A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Convention

Every year I wonder what new adventure I will have on the way to the American Christian Fiction Writers Convention. I pray that it won’t be too extreme and that I will arrive in one piece.

Why so much faith in travel? Experience.

There was the time when the guy’s seat in front of me broke and I ended with his head and seat in my lap a couple of times. There was the time I was laid over in Japan overnight. Oh, and not to mention the time my plane caught fire before take off.

Why do I keep testing fate?

Because I have a passion for what I’m doing. It’s that thing that drives me forward despite the challenges and difficulties. If the ACFW Conference is going to give me a better shot at realizing my dream, than that’s where I’m going to be in September.

To give you a sense for what I mean, I’d like to take you back a few years. It was September and I boarded my plane in Minneapolis, excited for the Conference not to mention the Early Bird Session with James Scott Bell.

The first part of the flight ran a bit late, so when it was time to catch my connecting flight in Chicago I was poised to exit the plane at an all out run. You see, James Scott Bell was teaching in the morning at 8 am and I WAS GOING TO BE THERE!

The flight attendants did not give a special call out to those of us who were scrambling for our next flight, so naturally I got stuck behind a gridlock of passengers and luggage.

Finally, I got to the gate and asked the attendant what gate I needed to get to.

Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry miss, but there is no way you can catch that flight. They are leaving the gate in two minutes. If you will head to guest services, they will get you set up in a hotel for the night. You can fly out at 9am.”

Me: “You don’t understand, James Scott Bell is speaking at 8am in the morning in Indianapolis.”

Flight Attendant: Blank Stare.

Me: “You see, I can’t wait till morning to leave town. I would miss a workshop I paid for with James Scott Bell.”

Flight Attendant: “We can put you up at the Radisson Hotel.”

Me: “I don’t want a hotel, I want a flight.”

Flight Attendant: Dead pan expression. “The last flight for Indianapolis left the gate one minute ago. The hotel is quite lovely, I think you will like it.”

Me: “Fine. Get me a rental car instead.”

Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry, I’m not authorized to give you a rental car. There is a number for customer service. Let me write that down for you.”

Mumbling and grumbling to myself I took the number and headed toward the rental car bay. When there was a quiet spot, I stopped to call customer service. It went pretty well…as well as the flight attendant conversation.

That was it! No way was I going to miss James Scott Bell. I paid good money for that workshop and I wanted to learn from one of the best in my genre. I called my husband to ask him to pray for me. Rented a car with some bonus points we had left from his days as a consultant, and set out from the Chicago Midway Airport at 11 pm.

Chicago is a delightful city to drive in…NOT! Seriously, I was dealing with construction in the middle of the night. If you asked me, somebody somewhere had been sipping the Kool-aid if you know what I mean.

Nothing was going to get in the way of what I was planning on doing in Indianapolis. I was determined to press through the difficulties and emerge victorious.

I arrived at Indianapolis in the wee hours of the morning, caught a few hours of sleep and woke up just in time for the James Scott Bell Early Bird Session.

Me and my sunglasses didn’t catch nearly as much from that workshop as I would have liked…exhausted as I was, but I did learn how to save a cat and pet a dog. (If you’ve heard James Scott Bell speak, you know what I mean.)

Passion is something as writers that is essential to our quest. Am I saying that everyone should drive in the middle of the night from Chicago to Indianapolis if necessary, No. But I am saying that passion for learning the craft and finding your career as a writer is extremely important if you are going to succeed.

What inspires you to be passionate about your writing? What crazy things have you done because of your dedication to writing?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

8 thoughts on “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Convention

  1. ediemelson says:

    Michelle, I was at that early bird, too! I can hardly wait till this year’s ACFW conference in Dallas.

  2. Since I don’t like to fly (last time I flew I spent over 10 hours in airports), I always drive wherever I’m going…like to Melbourne Beach, Florida for a Deep Thinkers retreat (14 hours)…or Destin (10 hours)..or Dallas (this year-14 hours) And I always drive by myself. But I never think of doing that as being crazy…shows how much I know.

    • jeannemt says:

      I love long road trips, Pat! They’re a little tougher on the body as I grow older, and with kids, but they’re great nonetheless. Does that mean I’m crazy with you? 🙂

  3. ediemelson says:

    Michelle, I was at that early bird too! I can hardly wait till this year’s ACFW conference in Dallas.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    That’s a great example of passion for writing, Pat! There are lots of people who don’t like flying, but most of them wouldn’t drive that far…that’s committment.

  5. jeannemt says:

    I don’t know if I’ve done any crazy things, yet, because of my passion for writing. Unless you count going to Story Crafters and only knowing one person when I made the decision to go. 🙂

    I guess my passion for writing comes in the daily choices I make to choose writing over coffee or lunch with friends, and other things.

  6. Michelle Lim says:

    It’s hard to give up fun times. You are a very dedicated writer Jeanne.

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