I was blessed by Sharon who lives in the Philly area. She was away on vacation, so we didn't get to meet, but she had a WONDERFUL gift bag waiting at the hotel for me. Talk about an inviting welcome! Thank you Sharon. Notice the bag says "Sisters in Christ."
The actually conference was tough. It's hard to show someone your work, your PASSION, your "baby," and have them not love it. I had a "practice your pitch" session on Wed night and the faculty member said "You hit it out of the park!" and all the other class members loved my book idea, so when I met with an editor, giving the same pitch, and he looked at me said, "What is your second idea...do you have another idea?" it was rather dejecting! What? What is my 2nd idea? Do you hate the first one so much you can't even comment on it?
Truly he didn't like the idea. Luckily I had another idea (which in my mind was MUCH weaker than the first) and he said he could see that one becoming a book with 3,000 copies distributed. This wasn't good news to me, as I wasn't excited about my 2nd idea at all. On to the next meeting!
I meet with another editor who said they only take 12 books a year, so right away my chances there was SLIM and they take "deeper living" books, and my book isn't deep at all! On to the next meeting!
The next guy was very encouraging and offered helpful ideas and told me to email him the book. He was funny and I enjoyed this meeting a lot.
Finally, I had my last meeting. Praise the Lord, the editor was "intrigued" by my idea and wanted to take it back to his publishing board. Yay! He was very honest and said that my idea would be a resounding yes, or he'd be laughed out of the room. So my idea is either very good...or very not good. ;-)
Finally, in one my panel meetings, an agent said something very reassuring. She talked about a wonderful book she'd been pitched a while back, "Devotions at Disney." The author had made devotions based on the rides at Disney World, where parents could do devos with their kids every morning before they hit the park. She thought this was a great idea. But because Disney wasn't behind it, the book could never be published. A great idea, but just not doable. She likened my book idea to that one.
Laurie & I, below, got to know each other better at the conference. I feel blessed to have been able to encourage her. She has a beautiful spirit!
The BEST thing about the conference was friendships. My friend Sonya & I got to spend 4 days together! It was wonderful! Unbelievably, I didn't take any photos of us, so I borrowed this one Sonya took, from her blog.
Leslie actually got to spend more time with Sonya than with me. They both attended the same general session. Leslie is so upbeat and it was fun to spend time together.
Kelli was at She Speaks last year, though I don't think we met. But we connected through blogging and it was so great to spend time with her this trip. She is a neat person, and I would have loved to have been able to spend more time with her! (Although she asked if I wanted her to stoop down for the picture! Ha! She isn't THAT much taller than I am, is she??)
The best part of the conference was on Friday night when we all went to dinner, along with new friends Susan and Shelley. Well, we ended up closing down the cafeteria! The time went so fast, that the staff actually asked us to leave so they could lock up. The time flew as we were sharing and laughing, and being sisters in the Christ...just like Sharon's gift bag said!