Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm SO Excited!

I want to share with you my thrill and honor.

At the Faith, Hope, & Love mini conference today, I received my First place award for Long Contemporary in the Touched By Love
writing contest. I am thrilled because it encourages me to keep writing. I'm honored because the competition for this award is against other inspirational authors I admire. Thank you to the judges and contest coordinators for this opportunity:-D

My friend and co-blogger over on the FAITH girls blog, Mindy Obenhaus, acted as M.C. for the FHL mini conference.

She was my first hug when she handed me my prize. All the time learning how to accept an award graciously at Toastmaster meetings and you'd think I could do it professionally. Nope, I couldn't stop shaking or being the teary winner.

I'd chalk it up to adrenaline, but this is the book about the Swedish-American flight attendant who has to save her mom from living on the street. The only person who can help her is the love she left behind twenty years ago. Yep, it's me and my mom in those pages. Of course I'm fictionalizing even though the gist of the story is very real.

What did I learn? Put what is on your heart into your story because it matters.

If you have a dream, immerse yourself in learning the mechanics of that dream. Then let your heart take over and lead you into not only the exploration, but also the joy of honing your abilities toward that goal. Your passion will carry you through the rough times while your skill continues to evolve.

This is Linda Goodnight talking with a fan while she autographed books. She offered me excellent professional advice on my first book. I saw her at the Literacy Signing. I hope to run into her a few more times. She's a gracious and very kind soul. Do you see someone familiar in the background? Note the red blouse. If you don't recognize her, you might want to scoot over to the FAITH blog and see who she is after finishing up here:-D

RWA has a passion for bringing literacy to adults who cannot read. This is a moment in the Literacy Signing. Hundreds of authors donate their time and book sales toward helping others learn to read. Such a successful endeavor each year.

Here is Dallas, Texas in the West End. After all the excitement, we wandered off for dinner and saw the lovely Old Red Museum along the way.

On the way back from dinner, I met Officer Sims. She's a sweetheart of a lady!

We walked and talked all the way back to the hotel. I thought I was keeping her from her job. It turns out she is part of the Safety Patrol. In addition, she agreed to help me with a little research on how she experiences mentally ill, homeless people on a daily basis. I have only my mom's experience, but Officer Sims has people every day. She said there is a six month rule you can pretty much understand. If a person stays on the streets for six months or more, you can pretty much assume it is from mental illness. She also said it gives her a sense of satisfaction to be able to help some of the street people reclaim their lives. The Saftey Patrol works with other agencies to find shelter and jobs for those willing to work. Her face glowed as she told me some of her joy when a person really did leave the life of the streets.

Also, because Officer Sims is such a good sport...I had her pretend to give Mindy a jay-walking ticket in downtown Dallas. ROFLOL! It was so funny to watch Mindy's face! The officer called her back from the middle of the street and advised her against the crossing. My stunned friend couldn't believe she was in trouble. I hooted! (Now, however, I'm watching closely for humorous paybacks.)

Thanks for visiting today. Please let me know what questions or what you might be interested in hearing about from Dallas this week.

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