Friday, October 18, 2013

Missoula Festival of the Book

A week ago this time, I was having a great deal of fun with a one-day writer's conference and a weekend book festival in Missoula, MT.

As a part of Montana's ACFW group MT Pages, my hubby and I were asked to teach at the one day writer retreat.  Jim taught on research since that's his field of knowledge and I spoke on brainstorming before breaking into groups to practice my tips.  We had so much fun.

The next day was the Festival of the Book at the downtown Holiday Inn.  Last year over 7,000 people attended.  I don't know how many folks were there this year, but it was a bunch.  This festival is for Montana authors and or books about Montana and it was the first year inspirational writers were invited thanks to a lot of hard work by Angela Breidenbach, MT Pages hardworking president.

The very first day I was a part of a panel to speak about the Mind and Soul of Christian Fiction. We had one of the biggest audiences of any of the workshops and had so much fun.  Here's a snapshot from the event.

From left to right in back - Miralee Ferrell, Janalyn Voigt, Tracie Peterson, Valerie Friesen Comer and Janet Chester Bly.  In front is our fearless leader and former Mrs. Montana, Angie Breidenbach.

We had two tables of books for sale and met a lot of interesting people.  We sold and signed some books for the festival.

On Saturday we headed over to Missoula's fabulous Christian bookstore - the Garden of Read'n.  We talked with folks and shared our stories and then I spent way too much money shopping.  I usually end up buying more than I manage to sell and sign.  I don't think manager Joshua McNeal much minded.  If you're in Missoula - I urge you to stop by and shop. Oh and try the Jet Tea.
The point of this weekend was all about being the sweet aroma of Christ.  So often we see the negative aspects of Christianity.  The world sees us as judgmental and unforgiving, harsh and legalistic.  At the festival we had a chance to offer kindness and love to complete strangers, as well as connect to a great many Christian folk who were glad to have us there.
Throughout the weekend, I have to say one of the best things was getting to share the time with a bevy of wonderful writers who love Jesus.  Next year we hope to do it again - only bigger and better - and more full of the love of Christ.
God Bless You!

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