By Melinda Carroll
Well, this is my last post on the ANWA blog. It's been great to get to know you through your posts and comments, and I've really grown to appreciate the support that comes from this group.
I've always enjoyed writing, but my venture into fiction is relatively new. A few years ago I got an idea in my head and started writing. Once my first manuscript was done, I was stumped. I didn't know what to do next, so I contacted a childhood friend who'd just published a book. She told me to get to a writing conference and to join a critique group. I really didn't know how to do either.
I remembered she'd mentioned something about SCBWI and so I looked it up on the computer and discovered that the local chapter was hosting a writing conference in Phoenix. I signed up, and a few weeks later, drove into town with no idea what to expect.
I sat alone as groups of people entered the room, chatting and laughing. At lunch, since I didn't know anyone, I decided to go sit next to a couple of the visiting editors (a logical choice, right? I reasoned that they likely didn't know too many people either). Of course, I wasn't the only one who'd decided to do that, and our table filled up quickly.
As we chatted over lunch I learned that the woman next to me lived only a few streets away from me in Gilbert. We quickly discovered that we were both LDS (not by asking directly, but by throwing out words like "home teacher" and "ward"). That's when she invited me to an ANWA meeting.
I attended my first meeting November of 2009, in December I volunteered to be vice-president of our chapter for 2010, and at the beginning of 2011 I began hosting our ANWA meetings at my house and joined the ANWA blog. In 2012, I'll be our chapter president. Clearly, I have enjoyed being involved with ANWA.
So I want to say thank you to all of you for letting me join this blog. I love being part of ANWA, and I especially love the friendships I've developed-- some of whom I now count among my closest friends.