May 2, 2009

LDStorymakers Conference 2009

Cindy R. Williams

Ramblings on the LDStorymaker's Conference,
the home of my youth,
Awards given to ANWA Members,
the drive back to Arizona,
a harp,
two Schnouzers
and . . . back to reality.

My head is full of so many words, my heart is full of so many emotions, my spirit is bursting, or maybe it' really my head bursting.

It is Saturday night, technically Sunday morning in Utah. I am too keyed up to sleep after the two day LDStorymaker's Conference.

I was born and raised in Sandy, Utah, and graduated BYU. This is my old stomping grounds, and so many sweet and bittersweet memories have jumbled in and out of this tired brain. My sweet father is buried in the Murray Cemetery, but this trip there isn't time to visit his grave. I know it is is okay with him, because he always was so proud of me and wanted me to become . . . well . . . me. He is unconditional love and charity all swished together.

What a fun, intense, hard, sobering, soul searching, gut check time it has been. I am surrounded by some very good writers. Five ladies joined ANWA today, and it was nice to welcome them into this great association. I think there were 22 members of ANWA at the conference. We often sat together for classes and meals. We are staying at the Marriott in Provo, so it has really been like stepping into a different world for these two days.

Liz Adair made ANWA pins for us to wear. Thank you Liz. This made us more visible and our ANWA sister's stood out at the conference.

ANWA members took a total of EIGHT AWARDS! Terry Montague took 1st place in Historical Fiction and 3rd in Romance/Fiction. Melinda Sanchez took 2nd Place in Historical Fiction. Tina Scott took 2nd place in Sci-Fantasy. Cindy Williams took 3rd in Non-Fiction (that's me.) Karen Hoover, won the Grand Prize, and Norene Uchytill aka Sandra Grey, took home a prestigious Whitney Award. (Norene is a former member of ANWA, and said she will be back with us shortly.) Kerry Blair was honored with a Life Time Achievement Award. ANWA is becoming a force to be reckoned with. I am so happy for these ladies and very proud of them.

I hope articles about the classes we attended will soon be written up in the ANWA Newsletter, so that we can share this opportunity to learn with all of you.

While here, I picked up the belongings that one of my daughters left, from a move. I have stuffed most of it in the luggage rack and the rest in the back of the van.

When I wake in the morning, it will be time for the "BIG DRIVE" back to Arizona. I have ANWA member, Melinda Sanchez and her daughter, Morena, riding with me. We find each other quite clever and spend most of our time giggling. We will stop by Snow College and pick up a harp from Melinda's daughter, Siciley, to bring home with us since it is the end of the semester. I am Siciley's harp teacher, and am tickled she took her harp to college with her.

We are also bringing home two eight-week old Schnouzers for a friend in the ward who raises them. Two puppies, a harp, my daughters belongings, our luggage and three giggling ladies with cinnamon bears and chocolate. This could have been a crazy episode of "I Love Lucy." It will be a delightful ride home.

As I get ready for bed, which signals the true close of the conference for me, the more anxious I become. My darling daughter is getting married in the Mesa Temple in twelve days so I will be caught up in preparing our back yard for the reception, and getting the house and food in order, since I will be catering it myself. Melinda calls me the "Energizer Bunny." I just smile and roll my eyes. It is all part of being a mom.

I do believe the point of all this rambling is that . . . LIFE IS GOOD!

Keep writing, and see you in July at the ANWA Retreat!


  1. So that must have been a ginormous van to hold all of that. Well worth it, though--the conference was amazing. I daresay we will have even more ANWA sisters in attendance next year.

  2. Oh, and must mention that now it has been reported that Melinda's first chapter placed in the contest! Congratulations, Melinda!

  3. Thanks for the reminder Valerie, I added all the other ANWA winners in my blog. Yay for Melinda! I also added Kerry Blair for her well deserved Life Time Achievement Award. ANWA ROCKS!

  4. Sounds like a great time was had by all. I have been printing out the reports as they have been posted. I hope I can go next year! I look forward to the retreat...if I'm not moving safe..and blessings on the wedding!

  5. Thanks Kari and Marielle. The conference is worth it for sure! Keep writing! Cindy


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