Ah, well, I’ve been home a few days now and am beginning to feel like the body is recovering. On the upside, I’m brimming with enthusiasm and ready to follow up on a million and one things. On the other side, time is limited as I’m also trying to give my son a fun summer and just enjoy these moments of being the mom of a 4-year-old because I know they won’t last forever. The exhaustion of the trip left me not blogging for a few days but here is the "rest of the story."
I walked all around ICRS the remainder of Monday. I was able to store a box of books over at the Christian Small Publishers Assn booth, where I would be doing a book signing the next day (Tuesday). The size of the floor where the show was–well, let’s just say it took a good hour to just walk from one side to the other. I dropped by the CSPA booth and gave someone my cell number and said I’d meet them at the restaurant for the planned meal, but I’d left my bag at the other end of the floor and had to get back to it. My arms were beginning to ache. The booths that served Starbucks coffee were seeing the most action at this point in the afternoon. I recalled Children’s Expos where everyone had wagons to drag around and thought that would be a good idea for these shows. Can’t you just see publishing companies sponsoring little banners on the wagons? Everyone acts like their luggage on wheels is perfect, but you start walking around hunched over in no time.
I have to say as a mom I found it encouraging to see so many great books for kids as well as coloring books and even toys. One of the new ones were "action figures" of Bible heroes (like Daniel with a lion). You can read more about these here. But the frustrating part was it’s hard to actually find these items in the store. I asked the man in charge of the action figure booth if they’d done much networking with mom groups like MOPS and he said no. I gave him my 2-cents: that if he had a table of these toys and a presentation to go along with it, they toys would be gone in minutes. I’d much prefer to buy my son King David or Samson than Spider Man or Incredible Hulk any day… but I have to find them!
I collected and interesting group of stuff- a comic book of the entire Bible (perfect for those 10-year-old boys–very cool), a Frisbee for my son and a movie I knew he would love about a Jeep that wants to fly. I got a book by an author about living with ADD. As I go through my stack of stuff I will be reviewing it. I found some wonderfully encouraging little gift note-cards and things I thought people at Rest Ministries would like. I asked for a catalog and was handed a 2-inch-thick catalog, so I will be digging through that later. I was encouraged by the selection of items, and wished they’d had so many "cool" Christian t-shirts and Bibles when I was a teenager.
I ran into a few people I knew from San Diego (always fun) and talked more in depth with a few AWSA sisters. When I got home I was looking through the Harvest House Publishers new catalog and realized just how many of these amazing women I’d talked to! So… felt a bit "star struck."
As a publisher/retailer I joined a group called CAABA. My husband later said, "Let’s see… Christian Authors…" and I said "Nope! It’s Christian African American Booksellers Association!" This is a neat group that works with bookstores, publishers, authors, etc. to help reach the African American group of people with items that may specifically interest them. When I talked with the President and others at the booth they were eager to have our books on chronic illness, stating how many African Americans deal with chronic illness.
Since I’m always trying to make sure we are as diverse as possible, this is a great step in that direction and I’ll be honored to have my books listed by others such as the new IdolEyes by Mandisa (from American Idol a couple of seasons ago.) The CAABA catalogs aren’t large so our books won’t get lost in them and the amount of exposure we’ll receive for about $100 is amazing… So keep that in prayer for us to and let me know if you have any interest in letting the "urban" market know about our book (They called it "urban"- I don’t what is politically correct anymore…)
The restaurant we’d all decided for the CSPA group to meet at was closed so I wandered around a few minutes with an AWSA sister, Jan Coates. When I couldn’t connect with anyone by phone, Jan and I got in a taxi and said, "Can you take us somewhere quiet for dinner?"
We ended up at a cute little restaurant, which was a bit overpriced, but quiet and a nice place to get to know one another. If you have a minute, check out her web site. This woman is amazing and the things she has concurred… unbelievable. I so believe in what she is doing and her passion I want to share a bit of what her web site states,
"As a survivor of child abuse, divorce, the loss of my only child, cancer, gang warfare, and more, I know about hanging on to a bare thread of hope and overcoming, in spite of all odds and worldly conditions. It is my hope that this ministry helps you do the same. I appreciate all your prayers, encouragement and suggestions. Thanks to your input we now publish Set Free Today, a free monthly ezine newsletter. Just click Set Free Today to become a part of this growing family. The ezine includes a question and answer section, healing devotions, group study and support guidelines, and helpful information for retreat and conference planners."
If you’ve dealt with any of these kinds of issues and want to be "set free" I really encourage you to get her book, Set Free. It’s so nice to be able to recommend books because I have spent time with the author and truly believe in her message and passion for the topic (and most of run kicking and screaming not wanting to write a book on a particular topic, but God keeps chasing after us until we do!)
I got back to the hotel room about 9 and worked on packing. I had to pack (1) a carry on for the plane, including clothes to change into at the airport; (2) 3 suitcases—without a scale to see if I was over! (3) another box of books to take to ICRS, cards, etc. to pass out at my signing (4) whatever I could carry around all day on my cart.
At last I had everything packed up, had made a couple of phone calls to family and turned off the light. Tomorrow was going to be a long day…
Blessings to you,