I wasn't disappointed. The classes were fantastic as always, but something made them just a little more special. Scriptures were used as quotes in one of my classes and in the keynote (both the same teacher). They were verses I needed to hear.
Both keynote speeches were pretty much written for me. And the cool thing is, I think most, if not all the other writers felt exactly the same way. They were inspired, and for that I'm so thankful.
They focused on family and finding time to be both a writer and a parent. They shared funny insights from their lives and they were just ... perfect. I teared up during both because it helped me see what I did right and what I could do better to give both things the time they need and deserve.
And it wasn't just those speeches. It was meeting people and helping people with their first pages (I had so much fun!!) and seeing old friends. As I walked toward the registration desk the first day, I wanted to jump up and down because I felt at home. These are my people. This is my tribe.
I also had the opportunity to go to the Whitneys for the first time this year. It was fantastic! Such a wonderful spirit. And how many awards shows do you get to hear people say how much they prayed for inspiration to write, or talk about miracles? Fantastic. As I announced the winner's name for Speculative Fiction (Dan Wells for The Devil's Only Friend), I got to see his look of surprise and joy as he stood to accept his award.
Every year, as I left the conference, I felt drained of energy, and I couldn't wait to get home and sleep for a month or so(that much awesomeness is exhausting!). This time, I felt peace. There was a determination to put my new skills to the test, but I was just ... happy. Maybe it was my super happy yellow dress that I wore that day, or the excitement of being able to say "And the winner is ..." at the Whitneys, but I think it was more than that.
So I want to say thank you. To the committee for planning this conference, my friends (both new and old), and to Dr. Chris Crowe and Brandon Sanderson for their amazing speeches.
And now, I get back to writing my book so I can wake up in time to get my kids to school. A mother/writer's work is never done! Until next time, LDStorymakers Conference!