A simple task, right? Wrong. A double-wide mobile home had gotten stuck between two railings on the overpass of my exit to the airport. What to do? The nice man in the state trooper’s uniform knew what to do. Keep moving.
I give the second state trooper a little more credit. I rolled down my window, and since he was already dealing with one hysterical woman (the one stuck on the exit) he was used to a deer in the headlights look. He told me to get off the road, turn around, get back on I-70, and exit at the airport.
Faith kicked my hysteria in the posterior, and I moved on. Adventure runs in my veins. After all, I’m distantly related to “Dr. Livingston I presume,” the great missionary doctor people thought had been lost in the jungle. He wasn’t lost. He knew where he was all along.
Authors were picked up on time, we checked into the hotel, and the marathon began. On Thursday, I paced myself. How can you mess up registration, picking up an appointment schedule, and dinner?
Over the next two days, I met with 30 “scheduled” conferees, and received innumerable escalator and elevator pitches, Starbucks pitches, and between hither and yon pitches. Also lots of wonderful conversations with people who only wanted to say hi—even some of you who have followed my blog.
By Saturday night at the Abingdon author dinner at P.F. Chang’s, I was on a roll. Energy high. Still awake. My laughter button working. I was running full tilt.
On Sunday night after my self-editing workshop and the awards banquet, my feet were swollen to twice their size, I felt as old as Moses, and I was facing a six-hour drive back to Nashville the next morning at 6 a.m. Reality kicked in.
But I finished my race and passed the torch to Rick Acker, author of When the Devil Whistles. He’s younger, and I thought he could stay up longer that night.
After saying good-bye to Joyce, Christa, and multiple award-winning author Jenny B. Jones at the airport on Monday morning, I sailed away in my 2002 Camry that I named Silver Streak that morning. All this without a drop of coffee in my veins.
By this time dawn had broken, but I could barely keep my eyes open. Silver Streak raced off the freeway at the first Golden Arches she saw. I thought an Egg McMuffin and a soda would do it. Not so much. (I don’t like McDonald’s coffee. Sorry Mickie “D”.)
I hit the road . . . back north instead of south. Before I could turn around in commuter traffic, I had made a 20-mile mistake. Eventually, I made the loop on I-65 and headed south. Only 265 miles to go.
More yawning, but now, I’d become a danger to myself and the public. I pulled off at a convenience store and gas station, changed into tennis shoes, which I couldn’t tie because of the swelling, drank a venti-size bold roast, and decided it was naptime. I laid back my head and snoozed for an hour.
Before I got home, I had poured at least five large caffeine drinks into my body. Next time I’ll fly, or Mike will come and act as relief driver.
Wait! The conference. Yes, it was the best ever with 620+ conferees and more divine appointments than I can tell you about. They say my author Cynthia Ruchti, outgoing president of ACFW and author of They Almost Always Come Home, walked those halls early every morning, praying for the event and the conferees. The Lord was pleased, and He was present.
If you ever have a chance to attend, pace yourself. Don’t attend every workshop. Meet people and make lifelong friends.
Now it’s your turn. Were you there? Tell us your stories. What was the highlight for you?
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Please let me know how today’s blog has helped you. This becomes a two-way conversation when you post a comment. Often I jump back on the blog during the day and will answer your questions or respond to your comments. I have both published and unpublished authors who read The Roving Editor, and we’d love to hear from you so that we can learn from your experience. Let’s talk!