I was getting ready to go to the ACFW Conference in Minneapolis. “Getting ready to go” for me includes making sure all the laundry is done, everything is clean, and the freezer is stocked with pizza rolls, burritos, fish sticks and a few things that actually require thought and preparation for cooking, just in case my husband or teenage daughter gets inspired.
Oh, a few more things, too, — it means printing off those “one sheets” as the conference-goers started calling them several years ago. Before someone came up with the idea of printing out the twenty-five word hook of your story, we had to be able to talk about our books intelligently–THE PITCH. The pitch is much like you might imagine they do in Hollywood to sell a movie producer on an idea. Considering we’re mostly writers and not necessarily speakers, the one-sheets have given many of us a great sigh of relief. No more practicing in front of the mirror. No more fear of fumbling over the words or worse, drawing a blank. It’s right there. On the paper.
I have several writing buddies who’ve sold big books by simply handing over the one sheet to the right editor. It works.
This time last year I climbed the stairs (yes climbed) to my daughter’s loft–a dark and ghastly place I rarely visited–to get the luggage. This particular duffel bag had been to South Africa only six weeks before and had never been unpacked. So, after dumping the bag I picked my way down the stairs with too much confidence. To avoid a pile of something she’d deposited there instead of in her room, I took two steps at a time but my foot connected with air instead of a step, and I tumbled forward, ending up at the bottom of the stairs. Both my feet had twisted beneath me. I heard loud snapping sounds.
I remember lying on the floor, holding my ankles and feet, the pain indescribable. Then I lay on my back and cried because the next day I planned to leave for the AFW Conference–no way could I miss that! Also, I’d just ordered Runner’s World Magazine THAT DAY! I wouldn’t be running for a long time.
I can’t remember what the type of break is called now, but it’s where your ligament pulls a piece of bone from your foot. So, I wore a special supportive shoe to the conference where I should have been sitting and resting my foot, but no, it was a mostly standing conference. I should have been taking massive painkillers, but that would have made me completely incoherent. I made it through.
It was a great conference. As I expect it will be this year!