October 23, 2012

My Trip - and Exciting News!

Yes, I'm finally getting around to posting about my trip last week. (So sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it!) Since I didn't give a whole lot of detail before hand, here's the long and short of it:
Grace Bridges - the owner of Splashdown Books, mastermind behind the Avenir Eclectia project, and author and editor extraordinaire - has made the trip from New Zealand to spend the fall traveling the U.S. She was staying in Illinois for a few days, so I got to go up and meet her!

Mom and I started out early Wednesday morning, armed with written directions as well as a borrowed GPS. We had studied our route on Google Maps the night before, and were under the impression that it would take us safely around the outside edge of St. Louis, avoiding the traffic and confusion of the city itself. As they say, ignorance in bliss.
We ended up right in the middle of downtown St. Louis. (This picture was taken before we actually got all the way downtown. By the time we were there Mom and I were both too preoccupied to think about taking pictures.) Where I come from we thought we were elaborate when we got a diverging diamond interchange. So needless to say, staring up at ten different flyover ramps and trying to choose from among the twelve lanes below them, Mom and I were a bit overwhelmed. But we eventually made it through without so much as a single tear shed, so we were pretty proud of ourselves.

Once we made it to Illinois, the fun really started! Deborah Cullins-Smith, one of the authors of the Avenir Eclectia project, graciously opened her home to me, Grace Bridges, and Kaye Jeffreys (another Avenir Eclectia author), enabling us to not only make history by getting four AE authors together in one place for the first time ever, but also to enjoy a fabulous AE girls' day!
There we are! That's Deborah Cullins-Smith in the back on the left, Kaye Jeffreys to the right of her, me, and Grace Bridges in front. And of course, a glossy, brand-new copy of Avenir Eclectia Volume 1 in the middle!
It was such a fabulous day. Just getting to meet some of the people whose stories I've been reading and enjoying for so long was awesome. Getting to meet Grace, the reason we even have Avenir Eclectia, was amazing. Getting to autograph my first book was so exciting!
Getting to talk to people who didn't look at me like I was nuts when I said something about giant bugs or telepathic sea creatures, people who didn't need me to explain what ash lung is, who already know where the cities of Zirconia and Adagio are in relation to each other, was so much fun - a writer's dream come true! We did so much talking, so much brainstorming, so much dreaming and creating. Like Rush Limbaugh says: 'Having more fun than a human being should be allowed to have.'
The day ended too quickly, and Mom and I headed out early in hopes of avoiding a storm that was moving across Missouri. We didn't succeed.
We had to pull off the interstate and buckle down in a parking lot for half an hour or so, while some pretty heavy rains, winds, and small hail blew over. It looked for a few minutes like we might get a tornado, but fortunately we didn't. Once it blew over and it was safe to drive again, we got back on the road and made it home without further incident.
My first 'business trip' as a writer - and it was awesome!

Exciting news for the here and now, too: my copies of Avenir Eclectia Volume 1 arrived this morning! I think I can safely say that I have never before felt the urge to hug the mailman, but I sure felt like it today!
I've already got my copy on my bookshelf, I've signed my family's copy (which is sitting on the dining room table for all to see), and I'm pretty sure that every one of the six others that I ordered are already spoken for. I'll have to order more soon! Woo-hoo!
I'm going to be interviewing some of the other authors from the project over the next few days, possibly even giving away a copy, so be sure to stick around! We're going to be having a lot of fun with this, and I'm so, so happy that God has brought me to this point in my writing journey. He's given me so many opportunities, opened so many doors, and blessed me so richly, and I am absolutely loving it!


  1. I hate that sort of driving. It would drive me nuts.

  2. It was great to see everyone that day face to face and to get an appreciations for their hearts and personalities.

    1. Absolutely. And I think doing so will make writing together in our shared world even more fun than it's been so far. I think we'll be better able to understand where we're each coming from in our stories, too.

  3. We went through St. Louis and it was a nightmare! Yipes. I don't think we even went through the downtown part and it was horrible.
    It's great that you made it through, though, and got to meet those authors! I have an author friend I would like to meet someday; she lives in Texas, so who knows when it will be, but it's fun to think about :D

  4. Wow! What an incredible time you had! It was fun just reading about it. Congratulations!


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