Conferences

Travel Woes? It Will be Okay!

As I prepare to attend the ACFW conference, I recall how many things can go wrong on travel. They can, and they do. But the world will not end. Please remember this. How do I know? Because I used to consider myself indispensable. But the graveyards are filled with indispensable people. And I must remember that the world will not end if something goes wrong. For example:

1.) I missed my flight.

Yes, this happened to me. I was embarrassed. But the conference director saw to it that I arrived at my destination. All was well. I was still embarrassed, but all was well.

2.) My flight was delayed.

Yes, this happened to me. It meant I missed an important meeting but they went on without me and my career didn’t come to a screeching halt. I have since tried to address that problem by arriving uber early. But this is only possible now that my kids are grown. Hubby understands and is willing to eat at Subway in my absence. (And I do love being married, so I make those absences infrequent.)

3.) My luggage got lost.

I try to take direct, nonstop flights. That doesn’t guarantee no mishaps will ever happen but so far, my luggage has been safe. But I’ve seen airlines lose luggage. If yours gets lost, everyone will understand why you are wearing jeans while you wait for your luggage to arrive, and will be entertained by your story of travel woes. Hint to the ladies: make sure you have your makeup packed in your carry-on bag so you can still look your best while wearing jeans.

4,) A death in my family made me days late.

Yes, this has happened to me. Everyone knows that no one dies when it’s convenient. I’m sure when the Lord calls me home, the timing of my death will inconvenience many. Again, an understanding conference director smoothed the way for me.

Final word: Workshops can be rescheduled. Transportation can be flexible. The event will go on, no matter what happens. If something goes wrong, we’ll be embarrassed if it’s our fault. If it’s not our fault, we’ll still feel badly. Worrying won’t help. Preparation and planning will.

Just enjoy the adventure!

Your turn:

How has an understanding person helped you when travel went wrong?

Do you have a funny travel story to share?

What are your favorite tips to help travel go as smoothly as possible?

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The Morals of the Story

As promised, here are the morals—and names—of the story of our young writer from last week. If you missed the post, please go back and read it. The young writer? None other than the gifted Lori Benton. Her second novel, The Pursuit of Tameson Littlejohn, released in April 2014. The first …

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One Author’s Journey: A Tale of Publishing

With all this talk of publishing and where it’s been and where it’s going, I thought I’d tell you a story. One that happened not years ago, in the much ballyhooed Golden Age, but recently. So gather round, settle in, and listen… Once upon a time, there was a young …

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When Your Agent Appointment Flops

In keeping with my conference posts, I want to talk a little today about agent appointments. I’ll use agents as the example for brevity but this post can also apply to editor appointments. That is, what if the agent or editor doesn’t like your work? Don’t despair. Seriously. Here’s why: …

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Making Friends at a Writers Conference

Conference time is exciting for everyone, especially those who are looking forward to meeting people they’ve only met over the Internet and reconnecting with old friends. For certain, strengthening relationships is one of the best benefits of any conference. But what about the person who’s new, who hasn’t had a …

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Yes I Said That, But…

In light of the fact that many of us are getting ready to go to conferences, or have just been to conferences, I thought I’d spend the next couple of blog posts on conferences. Today I’d like to talk about what you hear, what you think you hear, and applying …

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The Writer’s Pod

When I was at the Mount Hermon Writers’ Conference a week or so ago, I went to one of my all-time favorite places: The Santa Cruz Wharf. It’s one of the best places to see the sea lions, which are draped all over the pilings of the wharf, as well …

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4 Tips for Surviving a Writers Conference

by Steve Laube I’ve had the fun of teaching at nearly 150 writers conferences over the years. In that time I’ve noticed a number of common things that all writers face. Let’s explore a few tips that may help you survive at the next one you attend. Relax The most …

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When You are on the Bench

by Steve Laube The NCAA Basketball Tournament is upon us with lots of drama accompanying March Madness. As you watch a game, of any team sport, the focus is on the players in the contest. The camera follows the stars and their every move. What you rarely do is watch …

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A Weekend with C.S. Lewis and Friends

by Steve Laube

This past weekend I had the privilege, once again, to attend and participate in the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Fall retreat in Houston.

Not a typical writers conference it focuses on the extraordinary contribution of Lewis and his fellow Inklings and ultimately a celebration of the Arts in light of the incarnation of Christ. The speakers were extraordinary. They included:

Devin Brown (one of my clients), professor at Asbury University and author of The Christian World of the Hobbit
Diana Glyer, professor at Azusa and author of The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
Malcolm Guite, Chaplain and Fellow, Girton College Cambridge and author of The Singing Bowl. He is also an accomplished musician
Louis Markos, professor at Houston Baptist University and author of Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis
Max McLean, president of Fellowship for the Performing Arts and is best known for his audio recordings of the Bible and for his theatrical presentations of The Screwtape Letters

I sat in two workshops on writing given by Malcolm Guite, the first appropriately titled “The Word and the words.” (the capitalization is intentional). During his presentations I heard more extemporaneous quotation of Shakespeare, Gerald Manly Hopkins, George Herbert, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Bob Dylan than I have ever heard in my life. I felt my mind and soul swell as they were slowly filled with so much art and incarnation that I could barely stand it.

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