I’m finally getting around to posting these. It was my first time in Arizona, and having lived in Ohio, Florida (along the panhandle), Alabama, North Dakota, Alaska, Minnesota, and Nebraska, it was so different from anywhere I’ve been that I had to keep looking out the window to make sure there wasn’t as much grass outside the window as I’m used to seeing. People’s yards seemed mostly made up of rocks, and the golf course (while green) wasn’t like I’m used to seeing. But it is still a pretty place to visit. I’ve also never seen a cactus except in the zoo, so it was neat to see those around the area, and there were a couple of pretty bushes (but don’t ask me what kind they are because I am not a plant person and couldn’t tell you).
I’m glad I never wrote a book in Arizona because I would have gotten a ton of things wrong about how it looks and how it feels when you’re outside. This is why I try to stick with places I’ve either visited or lived. So if I ever write a book about a Nebraska couple and the temperature is 80 degrees one day and 60 degrees the next, that is actually possible. We’ve been having those crazy temperatures all spring and even now, it’s a seesaw in temperatures as we get into summer. And yes, this kind of thing does lead to a lot of head cold and sinus issues. But I do love Nebraska. Unlike Alaska, it doesn’t get so cold in winter where the snow is there all winter long, and I can still go outside and go for walks. But unlike Florida, I can step outside in the summer and now immediately get drenched in sweat. It’s more like Ohio, and Ohio is where I grew up, so it’s more comfortable for me. I get my four seasons, and I like that.
That all aside, here are the pictures of some of the great people I got to meet in person while there:
From left to right: Janet Syas Nitsick, me, Judy DeVries, and Rose Gordon. (Judy was designated to hold the sign. She was also dancing and talking to a lot of people, but you don’t get to see that in the picture. And if anyone is wondering, Rose’s purse really could be used as a phone.)
Janet Syas Nitsick and Rose Gordon
Me and Rose Gordon (Sorry it’s not as clear as it could be)
Me and Judy
Me and Lauralynn Elliott
I had a great time. The best part of conferences are getting a chance to meet people in person you’ve met online. I know there’s the debate over whether being online has hindered building meaningful relationships with other people, but I think it depends on the people you connect with. Being online has led to me finding my husband, and we’ll be married for 14 years next month. Being online has introduced me to Stephannie Beman who has become a friend and co-author. Being online has also led me to meeting Rose Gordon, Judy DeVries and Lauralynn Elliott, and it was so much fun to finally meet them. (Though I will add I had officially met Rose last year, so this was the second time we met in person.)
The point is, you never know possibilities are out there until you give it a chance. People are still people. Don’t close yourself off to the many possibilities that are out there, but also use common sense. Even online, you can get an idea if someone is “weird” in some way. Enough of the soap box. I need to get back to sprinting The Earl’s Secret Bargain. I hope to hit the 60,000-word mark tonight.