Saturday, February 06, 2010

Back and Up to Speed!

I flew to Orlando on January 28th and host Cheri Cowell picked me up at the airport. Cheri was a prior publicity client of mine, and we've developed a friendship over the past couple of years. We have lots of great talks about life, especially as it pertains to writing, speaking, and ministry. She opened up her home for me to stay 3 nights, total.

The Word Weavers of Florida invited me to be their retreat speaker Friday through Sunday. Within minutes of meeting these writers, I felt like I knew them all. The entire event was great. Lot's of "aha moments" and "light bulb" moments as listeners related personally to a topic or realized how to apply something I said to their own lives. So rewarding!

Like most events, I was "on" from the moment I stepped out of my room until the moment I determined I couldn't say another word of conversation for the day. All told, I spoke for about 4 hours on workshops and keynotes, about 3 hours on panel discussions with a couple others, and lots of one-on-one time. The retreat was hosted at a very nice encampment and my room was like a hotel room. We were there from Friday night until noon on Sunday.

Sunday I took one appointment in the afternoon--over the next 30 hours or so I consulted with 12 writers, during one hour appointments. Lots of really great ideas started flowing with all this thinking going on. Dangerous huh? :o)

Sunday night Cheri and hubby Randy drove me to Titusville so I could get my fill of rock shrimp, served much like itty bitty lobster bites, with drawn butter. YUM. I first had this delicacy a few years ago and have tried to figure out how to get more of it ever since then! When I saw the Titusville sign and shouted out "ROCK SHRIMP," Cheri made sure I had this little outing away from work. Very nice!

Also a break, we went to hear Eugene Peterson, translator/writer of The Message Bible and many other books. At 77 years old, I knew that hearing his point of view was a source of wisdom audiences may not get to hear for many more years. Obviously I didn't agree with every point, but I could respect his passion and his wisdom. He gave me a great deal to think about!

At this same event (at Asbury Theological University), I enjoyed the St. John's Episcopal Steel Orchestra from Kissimee, FL. They were amazing. Their talent spanned about 60 years, from an 8-year-old boy to a senior citizen lady. Their island music thrilled my soul. Especially Beethovan's Fifth, which I can't seem to shake from my brain's concert hall! Not a bad problem to bring home on the plane.

My entire trip was wonderful. Good fellowship. Great opportunities. Incredible ideas. Special people.

I started this note by saying I was back home and finally up to speed--but now, almost a week later, I'm still feeling like I'm playing catch up!

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