Monday was an exception. Monday I had the privilege to leave my routine and dream a little bit (Who am I kidding here, I dreamed a lot!). This day I was surrounded by people who do daily what I only dream of one day doing.
A dear friend of mine provided an opportunity for me and DP to attend the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Atlanta. According to its site description:
The International Christian Retail Show, the largest event designed for
Christian store owners and operators, has one goal: to enable you to
succeed. With its inspirational speakers, informed presenters, leading
suppliers, artists and musicians, and thousands of fellow Christian retailers,
the International Christian Retail Show is a source of nearly unlimited
value you simply cannot find anywhere else in the world.
I came away from my day at ICRS having brushed up against that mission statement. The value to me personally was immeasurable.
Let me explain:
I have a list of favorite authors. I read voraciously. I am an aspiring writer as well. So, imagine my delight in finding that three of my absolute favorites are present at the show . . . all signing books Monday while I was there!
Let me backtrack just a bit. DP and I left our three, precious blessings (who did NOT need to be on the floor at this show) with a babysitter and headed for Atlanta. We arrived at the World Congress Center, parked, got our appropriate identification badges and headed to the main floor to scope out the "people of note", ie. those authors I absolutely adore reading. In my humble opinion, these women are some of the very best at what they do.
So, amidst the crowds and elbowing for space, we quickly located and stalked/arrived at the booth of my first favorite just as she was finishing up -- Liz Curtis Higgs. Liz greeted me warmly like we had just seen one another the day before, signed a copy of her most recent release, Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible, and shared that her next book will be out in the spring -- another set in Scotland, of course. I can't wait! She is funny, sweet and just like I thought she'd be. What a God thing! I even had a chance to be photographed for another blog while I was there. Now to find the business card with their blog address . . .
Then we quickly sped over to another book signing just as it was beginning to wrap up. I'm standing in line and one of the assistants hands me the last book this author has available. It is a devotional for women by Robin Jones Gunn and one of her dearest "sisterchick" friends, Cindy Hannan.
Robin has written several books in the Sisterchicks series, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Though at this time I was more interested in the two series she's written for young girls, Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen. Robin was all too gracious and shared her insights as to the books in those two series being appropriate for an 11 year old, as well as giving me some sage advice in regards to my own writing. I just soaked in all she had to say.
I was pleasantly surprised at Robin's genuine interest and willingness to take time to chat with the likes of me. A true blessing.
So, after more wandering, more gathering of goodies (where was my rolling carry-on when I needed it most?), and scanning nametag badges for someone I recognized, we met up with my friend and a former colleague of his for a meeting regarding a business venture we are pursuing together. After some positive feedback and encouraging conversation, all while surreptitiously scanning my watch over and over, we finally came to a pleasant and timely close to our meeting.
I had somewhere I had to be. Someone to meet to complete my day of female fiction author fawning. I would not be impeded. Nothing was getting in my way of shaking this woman's hand!
Who could that be? I've only mentioned her numerous times throughout the summer as I have immersed myself in more of her books than any other author I've read in a very long time. I have read so much of her work in such a short time that I have been known to dream about the characters in the book as if they were real people from my own life's experiences. Here is the pinnacle of my day, my one shining moment with my favorite author of Christian fiction, Karen Kingsbury:
Not that we really got a chance to do more than exchange pleasantries, but it sure was a blast to be able to let her know how much her work has ministered to my heart and to the hearts of others I know who also read her novels.
Now, my day would have been complete without anything else added to it. I was thrilled to have met the three favorites. I was especially thrilled to not have made a bumbling idiot of myself with any of them.
Three favorites, three successful meetings without any toes being mashed or finding out I had something in my teeth AFTER I had already shaken their hands. I wasn't even going to post myself in the photos with them, but it really does make more of a statement if you see my silly face with each of these precious women.
So, I know this has dragged on long enough for one post. However, I will share the rest of my brushes with greatness tomorrow. Suffice it to say . . . my children were thrilled with my interactions with "famous" people.
So much so, that Sweetcheeks said today, "She touched this! You mean her famous hand was on this very thing!" I'll let you know next time whose hand caused such a "stir." at my house today.
I am off to dreamland now, exhausted but happy!
God is Good all the time!