Tuesday, May 4, 2010

LDStorymakers Writers Conference 2010

A little over a week ago, I flew to Utah with my hubby for our annual LDStorymakers conference. We've attended this conference together for the last five years. Each year, we come away with new knowledge, a slew of new friends, and excitement to continue the writing journey.

Now, before I get much further into this post, I'm going to put up a picture for y'all. A little contest, if you will. I'll figure out a fun prize. I've got a huge box filled with books, scrapbooking supplies, and other gadgets just waiting to be given away.  The winner can choose their item of choice from the box. I'll take everyone who has the correct answer, then choose a winner from random.org. The answer (picture of the faces) will be revealed on Friday when I post about the Whitney Awards.

So tell me, who are these two handsome bald-headed guys?
(leave your answer in the comment trail!)

Now, back to the LDStorymakers fun!

THURSDAY

For my hubby and I, the parties started early. Thursday night, I was honored to attend the Cedar Fort Best-Selling Authors banquet with my girlfriend, Heather Justesen. We had a blast chatting with everyone and enjoyed the buffet. We sat with a bunch of goofballs at our table - Cindy Beck & her hubby Russ; Nichole Giles; Anne Bradshaw and her hubby; and Stacy Gooch Anderson. Ironically, everyone at our table wrote non-fiction except for Heather.  =) It was fun to watch (and cheer) as the book covers for the people at our table were projected onto the wall in front of us. Our table shared jokes, almost tinkled in our pants when I told Cindy Beck that Heather's little doggie (Jelly Bean) just had a hysterectomy. Yeah, yeah - I know it's called something else, but I seriously could not remember the animal terminology. But hey, Cindy knew what I was talking about and that's all that matters. Just a tip for all you writers out there - Anne Bradshaw is gathering stories about researching family history & the promptings and miracles that accompany our search. If you have a story to share, write it up and send it on over to her!

After the Cedar Fort banquet, Heather and I hopped into Nichole's Mustang Convertible - yes, it's red! Wipe that drool off your face, boys! - and went to the pre-Storymakers get together. Don Carey put together a social at the Provo Borders. In excited writers tradition - we were there until they kicked us out.  =) I didn't get my camera out early enough to take all the pics I should have, but here are a few from the social.

Nichole Giles, Heather Justesen, Darvell Hunt, John Ferguson, and Danyelle Ferguson
Nichole, Darvell & John are all moderators for the AuthorsIncognito group.
Danyelle (me!) is the AuthorsIncognito Event Co-ordinator.
And Heather is just awesome!

This was a totally fun moment!
Mormon Mishaps and Mischief was co-authored by Nichole Giles (center) and Cindy Beck (not pictured).
Heather and I both have stories included in this book. So it was fun to grab a few copies and get our pictures taken together. BTW - anyone who wants a copy, there's a link on my sidebar to order from Amazon or you can go to the Borders at the Provo Riverwoods where there may still be a few autographed copies left!

After a totally fun night at Borders - were seriously there were tons of people I didn't get pictures of - we all went back to the hotel to prepare for the first day of conference on Friday.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY

So, my totally cute hubby has one busy guy at conference this year. He - along with Darvell Hunt and Daron Fraley - taught a two-part series class on how to create an author website Friday. Plus, John was Mr. Techno Geek for the South Tower of the Marriott - which means he was in charge of making sure all the microphones, laptops, power points, and other electronics worked for all the classes held on that side of the building. And to illustrate what a true geek my hubby is - he had a total blast doing it! 

For me, Friday and Saturday was a mixture of fun and topsy-turvy emotions. I was late for most of my classes and even completely missed out on a few. No, I didn't flake out and just skip classes. This year was unlike any other year I've attended conference. Somewhere between 50-80 people (no exaggeration) came up to talk to me about my book. Some where church teachers telling me how excited they are for the book to come out. Some even said they told their stake about it and their stake ordered copies for in their ward building libraries as a resource for everyone in their congregations to refer to.  Many of the people who stopped me were parents. I was humbled as they shared their stories about their children with me. I had no problem missing out on classes to share these tender moments. Lots of hugs and tears were exchanged that weekend. I can only say the meekest of thank you's to each of you. You are all incredible parents and church leaders.

So, once again, I didn't get my camera out very often to take pictures. I did get a few fun ones though . . . 

Friday night was our AuthorsIncognito Mix & Mingle. Whew! I can't believe how much our group has grown! When John and I joined the group five years ago, there were about thirty of us. Now we have over two hundred members. Look how we filled up the lobby stairs!

AuthorsIncognito 2010
This is my totally fabulous online writers group - AuthorsIncognito (AI).
I can't believe how much our group has grown! AI Rocks!

Danyelle Ferguson & Lynn Parsons
After almost three years, I FINALLY got to meet my co-author, Lynn Parsons!!! And she's just as funny and awesome in person as she is over the phone and email. Whew! I'm so glad Heavenly Father put us together!

 Our Editing Queen
Lynn Parsons, Tristi Pinkston, and Danyelle Ferguson
Tristi is a awesome, fabulous Valor editing queen! She popped out of the AI Mix & Mingle to come meet Lynn.

LDS Women's Book Review
The ladies of LDSWBR interviewed Lynn & I together & Tristi off in another corner. Lynn and I talked about the writers conference, what we hoped to learn, and of course, about our book and how we met.
Front Row: Danyelle Ferguson & Lynn Parsons
Back Row: Shanda (LDSWBR), Tristi Pinkston, Hillary (LDSWBR), and Sheila Staley (LDSWBR)

Valor Girls
Saturday, Lynn and I had a chance to meet with Candace Salima (Owner of Valor Publishing Group). After we settled details for our book trailer interviews for that Monday, Lynn went off to spend some time with her daughter who came down to visit from college. It wasn't until after she left, I remembered I had my camera and wanted to get a picture with Candace. Some of the other Valor authors joined us. Here we are:
Andrea Pearson, Jenni James, Tristi Pinkston, Candace Salima, and Danyelle Ferguson

 
 Elizabeth Mueller & Danyelle Ferguson
It's so fun finally putting faces together with the names of people we know online. Elizabeth is one of the awesome people who come out and read my blog & also a member of my AI writers group. She's a total sweetheart. I really enjoyed chatting with her and becoming better friends.


One of the funniest moments of conference for me was performing in our annual AuthorsIncognito skit, called Good Morning, Storymakers hosted by Jessica Scott Savage and Jamie Dashner. This year, Jenn Wilks played the role of Jessica and I returned for a second year of Jamie Dashner love. Best of all, Jessica Scott Savage and Jamie Dashner had exciting news to announce about their newest releases!

Jessica recently had a lot of success with her Facebook application - Farm World: Keep Your Land. The online gaming network where you can raise cows, farm crops, and discover hidden worlds of elementals under the rutabaga leaves.


Jamie announced her new best-seller, The Marriage Runner. Here's a teaser:

The Marriage Runner is a fantasy romance about a group of young ladies who are taken in groups to a set of mysterious elevators. They don't know why and they have no idea where they are going. They’re just put in the elevators and taken away.

When the elevator doors open, they find themselves surrounded by a strange community with grassy fields and a maze of sidewalks leading in all different directions through large dark buildings. As the women take in their surroundings, they notice that up on the side of the mountain there's a great big Y.

Suddenly, they all know where they are. They know their mission. And as hordes of men come rushing down the sidewalks towards them, they whip out their combs, touch up their lipstick, and prepare to let the games begin.

I have tons more things I would love to share - like friends who told me about their book offers and contracts, agents who asked for partials or full manuscript requests . . . but I'll leave that for them to announce. There was so much GOOD stuff happening. So much EXCITEMENT and ENERGY! It was an awesome weekend! I'm already counting down the days until next year's conference!



11 comments:

Daron D. Fraley said...

The answer to the question is too easy! :)

John on the left, BJ on the right.

KC Mom said...

I don't know the answer! But it looks like it was an awesome time!!

Karlene said...

I'm pretty sure that's BJ on the right. I think it's John on the left, but not quite certain of that one.

Noble M Standing said...

If i hadnt seen John from the back I'd have had a harder time but its John on the left and BJ on the right. LOL what a hilarious picture! What on earth were they doing???????

Taffy said...

Great conference! So much going on. Someday, I'm going to get to attend on Thursday night :)

The pic looks like your hubby and the voice-behind-the-mike, BJ.

I'll have to do my review of the conference next week.

Angie said...

I wish I knew who is in the picture, but I don't. Oh, well. I had a great time at the conference. I loved your skit. The Marriage Runner. That was too funny.

smilinmera said...

Well, I know it's John, so I'm going to go with the consensus of BJ on the other side!

Shanda said...

Hey Danyelle!

Great post. Thanks for the mention. You're podcast will be up shortly and then you can link to it. I'll let you know.

Shanda

www.ldswomensbookreview.com

Tamara said...

don't recognize the baldies, but sure loved the great post & reliving some of the storymaker conference fun. I didn't get to meet you there but I enjoy your blog.

Sheila said...

Of course it is your hubby John on the left and BJ on the right. I remember the shirt BJ was wearing. LOL!

CL Beck, author said...

Oh I know, I know! Bugs Bunny on the left and Yosemite Sam on the right.

What? That's not correct? Then how about John and BJ? :)

Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.