“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This verse sums up my weekend at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. God truly ordained each moment for me. The joy I feel in writing for Him is overwhelming. I want to share a few of the highlights, but before I do, I want to let you know that 16 months ago, I got the results from a writing contest. They were terrible. I didn’t write for two months. I doubted everything, but also knew that I had a lot of work to do. I lost count of the number of craft books I read. I rewrote my first manuscript over and over. When I entered it again, I didn’t win, but I did get some high scores. I kept working and praying. I gave it all over to God, and these are the results of delighting in Him:
- Thursday – At the first timers’ orientation, I meet a lovely woman from Jacksonville—Lauren Crews. We hit it off right away. When I registered, I asked to be assigned a roommate, and several times over the last month, I considered changing a single room. After hearing a positive story on Christian radio about sharing a room with a stranger and making a lifelong friend, I decided to take my chances. I’m so glad I did. Lauren was my roommate.
- Friday – One of the most exciting things at these conferences is getting to meet with literary agents and editors and hopefully, get a contract. I didn’t plan to pitch at this conference until ten days before and decided to wait until Saturday for all of my appointments because I didn’t think I was ready. But on Friday, I threw caution to the wind and sat down for lunch with a potential agent. Right away he asked to read a few of my pages. He LIKED them. My heart raced like one of my characters. He was very interested in working with me. What!?! He told me to e-mail him my proposal and sample chapters, but I should keep my appointments.
- Saturday – At my first appointment with an editor from Love Inspired, she suggested I chat with Lindsey Bracket about writing flash fiction. When I met with Lindsey, we found common ground in that we are from Georgia and write southern fiction. Ya’ll, she volunteered to coach me. For the rest of the weekend, she was my strength in the midst of overwhelming good news. Her advice is keeping me sane right now.
- Saturday Evening – I had a mentor appointment with an agent to discuss and work on my current manuscript. After we went through her edits, she asked me send her a proposal. I couldn’t believe it—more than one agent was interested in my work.
- Saturday Night – At the awards banquet, I won first place for contemporary romance novel, and Lauren (my fabulous, talented roommate) won first place for Bible study. Then the Lord decided to really lay on the blessings. Lauren won first place overall non-fiction, and I won first place overall fiction.
- There were so many other amazing God winks throughout the weekend.