Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I’m amazingly tired after coming back from the ACFW conference in Dallas late Sunday night. I should be doing all sorts of things around the house (I haven’t even unpacked), but I’ve spent the morning reading everyone else’s blogs on the conference. For someone like me who pretty much just sees her family daily, being around other people nearly 24/7 for five days is a radical change.

I loved it. To me, the best part of the conference was hanging out with people I had met at other conferences and had become good friends with, meeting people I knew only online and finding we connect even better in person, and meeting new people. But to have all of that suddenly cut off feels strangely odd, like we need some sort of transition or post-conference decompression chamber.

Heather left the comment on my blog, “So what are we doing this weekend?” And I think I wrote back on her blog, “I feel like half my family has left me.” As an introvert, this is a new feeling for me. Generally, as much as I like other people, I need space away and time to recharge. Maybe because I’m in desolate Arizona among the cotton and the cattle steeped in solitude that I didn’t need it as much.

This conference was so much about heart and so little about craft for me. Mary DeMuth’s morning track was just perfect for this. If you didn’t attend, get the CDs. I did teach a late night chat on mentors and mentees which went well, considering I almost forgot I was teaching it, I was completely brain dead, and it was the night everyone went out to dinner so I expected nobody to show up.

I also was surprised to receive an interesting array of gifts: blush, a contact case, Diet Coke, and a hotel coffee cup. Just goes to show what quirky friends I have.

But most of all (not really, but . . .) I was so thrilled to find that it was 90 degrees when we landed in Phoenix Sunday night. Somehow I lost three pounds during the conference, and I think it’s because I shivered them off. Dave Long called me a cream puff at the FiF dinner Friday night for not wanting to live anywhere it snows routinely. I challenged him to visit Phoenix in July. Yeah, we’ll see who’s the cream puff.

I didn't take any, so I only have what Jenny took with my camera Thursday night and other people have sent me.

I stole this picture from Heather. It's Mike Snyder, Heather, me, Michelle Pendergrass and her husband, Phil.

This is me, Pam Dowd, and Jeanne Damoff. The three of us were roommates at Mount Hermon last spring. Jeanne's my sister if only we had the same parents.

And, would you believe, that's it? I told you I didn't take pictures. Maybe I'll remember next year.

. . .


Malia Spencer said...

I need to download my pictures and send them to you. There's some cute ones of the kids. Okay, I need to get my sister to download them since it's her camera and I don't know where the attachment is.

Thanks for having me stay! I loved every minute of it. I'm too back up with schoolwork to blog today but hopefully tomorrow. I want some pictures first. :)

GeorgianaD said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and came away with exactly what you needed. Hooray! I'm glad you're back safe and sound:)

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Dang. I miss you. :(

I don't think we'll be able to go a whole year without gettting together.

michael snyder said...

If you don't mind, I'd like to PhotoShop myself right on out of that picture. Guess I was in a serial-killer kind of mood. Funny, I don't remember it.

As always, it was great to see you again and hang out. You laughed at most of my dumb jokes and I thank you for that.

(Note to Jen's Hubby...My fantasy football team lost by 60 points this week and I'm currently in last place with four players injured. So, you want to buy a team?)

Heather said...

I'll get those pics sent to you today.
I've been in withdrawal for a couple days, that is, after my Sunday afternoon nap and my Monday morning nap. I drove down to the Marriot, but no one was there.
Back in the saddle again. Back to teaching and writing and writing and teaching. And maybe laundry. How many times can you fold your underwear inside out? Just kidding.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

So, Michelle, when are you coming to AZ? :D Seriously, we need to do a chat or something.

Mike, hanging out with a suspense writer must have put you in the serial killer mood (Aren't serial killers supposed to be likeable and charming anyway?). Want to star in my next book? And I laughed at your dumb jokes because you managed to get them out of your mouth before I did, and I was grateful I didn't say that.

Heather and Malia, I'm waiting for pics.

Georgiana, anything you want to know about the conference? You can ask, and hopefully I'll remember. :)

Prince Myshkin said...

It was great to meet you! You make good company at breakfast. :)

-Nathan Knapp

Jen's Hubby said...

Hey all: my "withdrawal" had to do with missing my wife! Thanks for stealing her for a few days. I had so much fun yelling at my kids, packing up stuff for the new house, moving said stuff over, yelling at my kids, kicking my dog, making Top-Raman for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and, oh yeah, yelling at my kids!

To use a famous quote from a Mel Gibson movie: "GIVE ME BACK MY WIFE!"

Seriously, she deserves to have a great time with y'all (isn't that how y'all speak south of the Mason-Dixon line?), and she is seriously in a deep depression because she misses all of you. Thanks for being great friends.

Mike - hey, that's why I don't play. Who would have thought that, after 3 weeks, Pittsburgh would be 1-2 and David Carr is leading the NFL in Passer Efficiency? As far as buying "your" team, well, I think my son stole a couple of dimes from me!

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Well Peter, I don't say y'all and I bleed blue. (That means I'm a Yank) I don't think Mike ever said y'all but I don't think he's originally from Nashville, though I could be wrong.

Heather...hmmm...no. I don't think she said y'all either.

Now Phil doesn't y'all, I think he leans toward y'ens. That would be Arkansas talk. But I don't think he says either very much.

But we were in Dallas and they do say y'all so I'll let you off the hook. This time.

Jennifer--if you can find Phil a Union job running heavy equipment (and he can run it all, he taught it in the Army) or a local Union job driving a truck (semi or dump) we're there. Seriously.

Jen's Hubby said...

Hey Michelle! No fair! Didn't know spouses were allowed at the ACFW Conference! I'll have to work on my y'alls, y'ens, and y'whatevers, and attend the next conference. On second thought, nah!

Actually, my main goal would be to embarrass the stuffin' outta my wife. Not hard to do!

michael snyder said...

Jen's hubby...

I'll take just the one dime. Trent Green has a cracked head. Terrel Owens is Terrel Owens. And Shaun Alexander prayed his broken foot into full recovery, now the experts are saying it was never broken in the first place.

I'm all for parity in the league. But I fear it also breeds wackiness and unpredictability.

Looks like my strategy this year is to have my fantasy team track along with my real team (Titans). We're both sitting at 0-3. Yipppeeee!!!

Malia Spencer said...

Well so far the females have left more comments but I'm sensing a hijacking alert. LOL And of course it has to be your blog Jen. :)

I'm still waiting for pictures too. My sister's been slow to find the cord to download them into the computer. I'll let you know when I get them.

Heather said...

Just tried sending you pics, and it said No!!! (wow, I just broke that writing rule times 3). Recipient's email is full. Check your email, girl, and delete! delete! delete! so that i can send you pics.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Heather, that's because it's my crappy public account. Do you have one of my business cards? That has my better e-mail on it. If not, just send me your e-mail to the crappy public account and I'll e-mail you my private one. Or you can get it from Michelle.

And yes, it's my blog so I get to say crap.

Melanie Dobson said...

It was so nice to meet you, Jennifer!! I'm still catching up on my sleep too. Hope you're able to get unpacked soon and enjoy your new home.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Melanie and Nathan, thanks for dropping by. I love meeting on-line faces in person. And back on-line again. :)

Can you tell I'm still not caught up on my sleep?

Jen's Lucky Hubby said...

Hey Mike, my Cards are only 1-2, and now we have a QB controversy (the fans are already calling for Leinart).

Your "dumb jokes" must be pretty good, because I can't get wifey to laugh at any of mine.

For example (because I know y'all are dyin' to hear one):

This guy walks into a bar...



Ask Malia how good my jokes are. On second thought...

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey girl, it was great seeing you. Sorry I missed seeing that gorgeous dress. So much fun!!! We need to catch up...

Deborah said...

Dear Jennifer,
So good to meet you at ACFW and hope you've unpacked by now. I finally got around to unpacking on the weekend. In the meantime, I had a train trip to Toronto. The good part of the trip was I got lots of time to read Mary
DeMuth's Wishing on Dandelions uninterrupted.