"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen


So, how was it, you ask? :D

If you read my blog with ANY regularity, you know that I spent this past weekend at the FaithWriters' Writing Conference in Livonia, Michigan. After all, I only did eight posts about it over the past two months.

There really is TONS to cover. The sessions were INCREDIBLE. The fellowship was amazing. The time was way, WAY too short. I was absolutely blessed beyond belief.

I'm thinking this is going to have to be another series. If I wrote everything I want to share in this post, it would be way too long. So, today I'll start with pictures and my thoughts on them. I'll get into the incredibly valuable information I received from the fabulous presenters in my next post on this topic, and I'm sure several other thoughts.

There are TONS of pictures of this particular weekend, thanks to some very prolific photographers on Facebook. Of course, most of my favorites are pictures that OTHERS took. Regardless, here is a link to all the pictures that I took myself (you should not need to be a facebook member to see these!): http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=112493&id=722127135&l=eefd298480

And, of course, a few other fun ones from other friends' pix (as well as a couple from my own) are below.
Left to right: Scott Lindsay (Mr. Faithwriters himself--the man behind the curtain!), Josh Janoski, Leah Orcutt, Shari Armstrong, Amy Wiley, me, and Noel (CAN'T remember his last name - but he came all the way from AUSTRALIA!)
We played a LOT of fun games on both Friday and Saturday nights. What a WONDERFUL way to get to know folks better. In this picture, Leah and I tied for first in bananagrams (SUCH a fun game!).

Left to right, Scott Lindsay, me, Deborah Porter.
Okay - this IS my blog, right? I'm allowed to toot my own horn here a bit, correct? The ONLY thing that made me nervous about going to this conference was that I would have to stand in front of the whole crowd and receive my plaque for being the runner up in the Faithwriters/ Finesse Editing Services Page Turner Contest from 2008. I am SO glad they didn't make me give a speech! I was truly shaking the whole time. Such an inspiration for me to keep up my momentum on my book!

Left to right: Yvonne "Vonnie" Blake, Sara "Sawa" Harricharan (whose last name I STILL can't remember how to pronounce!)
It is absolutely amazing to touch the people you have only spoken to virtually. Needless to say, hugs were incredibly prevalent throughout the weekend. And every one of them was precious to me. I could probably share dozens and dozens of pictures of people hugging, but this one is meant to represent them all. Just look at the joy on their faces! (and I like the one of me and Sawa better, but I figure you're tired of looking at pictures that have ME in them!)

Back row - left to right: Sunny Loomis, Patty "Peejiepoopers" Wysong, Yvonne "Vonnie" Blake, Dee Yoder, Laury "Hally" Hubrich, Beth "Beffy" LaBuff. Front: Sara "Sawa" Harricharan, me (aka Jo, JoMama, JJ)
I don't know quite what to say about this picture. These seven ladies (plus our one missing soul, dear LauraLee "LaLee" Shaw) are my heart and soul. These are my incredible jewely sisters, most of which I had NEVER spoken to, much less touched or spent skin time with before Friday. Being in the same room with them was absolutely, positively the absolute BEST. I didn't think it was possible, but I love each of them even MORE now than I did before.

Well, I think I'll leave it at that for this post. I promise to be back (within a week!) with more stuff.


  1. JoMama-JoMar -- Because of your new recent nickname I don't know what to call you, but I love you! :) The conference went way too fast! Super congrats on your award! <3effy

  2. Thanks for posting the pics. Everyone's so happy. Yes-post more on the conference for those of us who didn't attend.

  3. I just can't imagine Heaven being better than this!

  4. More, more, more about the conference please!! Keep the memories going (just cause I'm a little choked up that's it's all over...)

  5. The conference was so amazing, wasn't it? I can't wait to read more about it on your blog, Joanne. It's awesome how everyone had a different perspective of it, and yet everyone felt the same love and friendship. Can't wait until we can all meet again.

  6. I can't read enough about the conference, or look at enough pictures. I keep looking at the same ones over and over. lol.

  7. This is great Jo--now I'll get a slow-motion recap of everything that went on. Plus get to see the brightest, shiniest faces around.

    We are all basking in our own happiness, aren't we!

  8. Yes, my face was missing from the picture, but I was there with my heart and soul! I love you all so much!!!


  9. What a gathering of great minds and hearts ... and pens! I know you had a blast, not to mention all the wisdom and "learning" you soaked up!

    I so wish I could do something like this in the future ... the sooner the better in my opinion.

    I'm happy for you, friend.


  10. Oooh!!! Your best post yet, LOL! Loved this, JJ! (and I suppose now I ought to work on my own post, right? Lol) The pics are wonderful, I just love seeing all the smiles and remembering how wonderful it was to really, really meet you guys in person. ^_^ truly awesome!

  11. Ummmm...you forgot to put Laury's name in the group pic between Dee and Beffy.

    So glad I got to meet you and have such awesome "full-body" hugs. lol.


  12. It was an incredibly wonderful time! Face-time with my sisters--what could be better? :) Love you!!

  13. I'm almost jealous of you jewlers. ;-) So fun to meet or see everyone again! (((hugs)))

    (hmmm, apparently I forgot my Google login info... This is Amy/Sparrow :-p )


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