I'm back. What a great trip I had despite the lost luggage. On Thursday, I took it easy. I did some shopping--trying to pick up souvenirs for my kids. I found some cute books for my 8 year old. In Ogden, I stopped at an old railroad station that is now a train museum and gift shop. I scored big time with gifts for my two youngest who are obsessed with trains-- a train snow globe, train pencils, train stamps & ink, train postcards, train pencil sharpener, and train bubbles. For my husband, I bought a BYU hat to replace his very old one. Thanks to Shopko, I didn't have to drive all the way to Provo.
On Thursday evening, I visited with family members in Logan, UT who came from Idaho to see me. I did a little book signing at Borders and I'm so grateful for those that came down--mother and father-in law, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, and nieces and nephews. It was so nice to see them. I spent the night in Logan with my sister-in-law.
On Friday, I drove to Sandy for the LDStorymakers Conference. It was so wonderful to meet people that I know on-line. There were so many people and it was so fun to get to talk to everyone for a little while. I attended some great workshops-- Writing in Spite of a busy life by Rachel Ann Nunes, Ways to get your story noticed by Kirk Shaw (editor for Covenant), Making the Leap by Lisa Mangum (Editor for Deseret Book). There was also a publishers panel with 4 representatives from LDS publishers. That night I stayed with a good friend from an old ward in New Jersey. It was so nice to talk to her for a while. She even stayed up late that night to finish my book.
On Saturday, I went back to the conference for more great classes. I had to skip part of it for a book signing in West Jordan. The manager there was so nice and even said she'd started reading my book. She made me feel so welcome. It went well and I was happy to see: a friend who used to live in my ward in San Antonio, my sister, her husband, baby who just happened to be visiting family in town. She even brought her in-laws who bought a book. And, my friend from the night before came to the book signing. She bought another book to send back to ward friends in New Jersey. It was so nice to get to see them. I went back to the conference for some more great workshops.
That night was the first annual Whitney Awards ceremony. What a great evening! The food was good and everyone looked good. For a full recap of events and to see who won, go to the website. There were so many authors that I admire-- Jennie Hansen, Betsy Brannon Green, Michele Ashman Bell, Shannon Hale, Nancy Campbell Allen, Jessica Day George, Anita Stansfield, Rachel Ann Nunes. That's just a short list of all the ones that were there! For a podcast of interviews, go to LDS Women's Book Review. After the awards, I stayed with my brother and sister-in-law in Salt Lake. Thanks for letting me crash there guys!
It was a great trip and so much fun. And a very special thanks to my kids who did without me for 5 days. Thanks to my parents for helping with the kids while I was gone and the biggest thanks goes to my husband, Nolan, for holding down the fort while I was gone and for taking three rambunctious kids to the ward Easter party by himself. You're awesome.