Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
“Mamaw, you tilt,” my seven-year-old grandson said matter-of-factly.
Yes, I thought with chagrin. Hip replacement recovery has been excellent, even if my gait is lopsided sometimes. I loved the quaint way he expressed his concern, even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear since I was leaving for Hannibal, Missouri, for a writing conference the next day. The trip included driving to San Antonio to catch a flight, then changing planes at DFW. Upon arrival in Springfield, Illinois, the capitol of “Lincoln Land,” I rented a car and drove to Hannibal, the home of Mark Twain.
The writing conference, officially known as ScriveCon, is a place where authors gather to learn their craft—a continual process—and gain new marketing tools. Author Kim Vogel Sawyer was one of our keynote speakers. As of this month, she’ll have sixty books published. Before Covid, she spoke at a local writer’s club in San Antonio. Her talk communicated just the words I needed to hear as a newbie struggling to write fiction. My favorite takeaway from this conference was during a chat with her in the breakfast buffet area. Kim said with a heartfelt conviction that I had landed in a good place when I contracted with Scrivenings Press.
All of us met face to face with people we’ve only known through FaceBook or Zoom meetings. It was a joy to meet my content editor who recently completed the edit of my first novel. Best of all, she loved my book! Have to admit I was nervous about that one. There were four of us from Texas. We stuck together, being from the same state, but more for the thrill of getting to know each other. One gal and I clicked so well, we spent over two hours brainstorming through plot intricacies in our respective books. It was a God-thing. We had never met but acted like old friends who had been doing it together for years. Strange, but wonderful. On the plane, I scribbled four pages of notes so I wouldn’t forget the details of our visit. Prior to the trip, I wasn’t quite willing to admit I had stalled out in the writing process of my current WIP. Since our discussion, however, I feel recharged to write the rest of the story.
The conference attendees ate together, prayed together, bought each other’s books, and inspired one another as friends and fellow authors.
The long weekend was like feasting with family that you love but don’t see very often. Yet, life intervened as we returned to our homes and offices. One fellow writer had a flat tire, and my roomie had an encounter with a wild turkey. It hit the side mirror of her car so hard it rendered it useless the rest of the way. In truth, she was thankful to make her destination in Minnesota, considering a snowstorm was in her path.
I drove back to Springfield to catch my flight, mesmerized by the Illinois/Missouri scenery. A tingle of excitement coursed up my spine when I crossed the mighty Mississippi River. Fields of rich farmland, silver silos, and white frame houses dotted the landscape. Evergreen firs, aka, “Christmas trees” grew wild along the highway, much like cactus does in South Texas. In places, they carved the roads out of low-rising bluffs, giving the atmosphere an eerie cave-like feeling. I wondered if Tom Sawyer was watching.
Driving to Victoria from San Antonio, I thoroughly enjoyed the multitudes of colorful wildflowers and gnarly mesquites. I even appreciated the cattle—all reminders I was finally back home.
Illinois and Missouri were great states to visit, but my grandson was absolutely correct. I tilt—toward Texas.
Which way do you tilt?