"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."- Psalm 37:4

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."-Psalm 32:8

I just returned from the ACFW conference a few days ago, and as I look back on my experience there, one word sums it up: thankfulness.

I was happy to meet many of you who read my blog and who gave me feedback about the video blog. Thanks for introducing yourselves!

While at the conference, I had a God-moment. Well, quite a few, actually. But one stands out in particular, and that is meeting my heros. I won't go into specifics for propriety's sake, but let's just say that out of every single person at the entire conference, God put the person I most wanted to meet (and most respect) in my path and allowed me the privilege of talking with him about my book. Funny how God's plans outdo our own, even when we imagine ourselves dreamers.

This person spoke words of affirmation into my heart and my writing pursuits. I am still in complete awe over the conversations I had with this person, and his faith in my dream.

I'm also missing all of you guys, my new friends!

Questions for Comment:

So, how was your conference experience? Are you experiencing a conference high or a conference letdown? I, for one, managed to get a cold... I think I overestimated my socializing stamina!

Also, many of you commented to me at the conference that you enjoyed my video blog, so I'm planning to do more of them. Any particular subjects that you'd like to hear more about?

Pitching Tips Forthcoming

I'd hoped to post my pitching vlog today, but it's been one of those no makeup, wearing fuzzy socks kind of days because I'm fighting off a cold. That said, I'm hoping to get it up very soon! In the meantime, I wanted to give you a few things to think about as you prepare your pitches for next week's ACFW conference.

1) Who are your characters? Florists? Firefighters? Children's pastors? These kinds of details are important to give the flavor of your story.

2) What are the stakes? What does your character have to lose, and what is pushing your character forward? Rachel Hauck did a brilliant segment at last year's conference, alongside Susan May Warren, where she said that your characters should have a push and pull motivation. They should be pushing against some variable, and they should also be pulled toward some goal. It's important you know what those are in case editors ask.

3) What's the takeaway value, particularly spiritually? What do you hope readers will learn? You don't want to explicitly say, "Readers will learn to be more disciplined in their devotions," for instance (you only have 30 seconds, after all!), during your initial pitch. However, editors and agents might ask these kinds of questions after your pitch, and you should be prepared.

Also, keep the action at the forefront of your pitch. You want to hook them, after all, not give them seventeen random details about the clothing depicted in your historical novel.


What to Bring to the ACFW Conference

This is my very first vlog attempt. Hope you enjoy it!

Do you have anything to add to my list? What are you bringing to the conference this year?