Friday, September 21, 2012

Live From 2012 ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas

I am thrilled to be bringing you photos and news from the conference.

First stop! Gelato! Audra Harders, Mary Connealy and Debby Giusti

On the hotel shuttle bus! Debby, Janet Dean, Rose Ross Zediker.

Our new friends, Kari from New Zealand, Tari from Arizona and Andrea from N. Dakota!

Melanie Dickerson helping Seekers prepare tchotchkes

First Paparazzi preview of Mary's award dinner RED DRESS!

Peep toe red Mary Connealy shoes for the award dinner.

The foot gear of the rest of the Seekers!

Carol Moncado and Casey Herringshaw

Jeanne T and Tina R

Debby G and Jan Drexler

Barbara Vey and Debby G

Tina R, See's Truffels and Nancy Kimball

Tina and the Elevator Attacking Pepper Basham

Audra Harders and Melissa Jagears

Senior Editor Tina James and Senior Editor Melissa Endlich, Love Inspired Books

We'll share more about the Love Inspired Spotlight on Saturday but the big new is
Love Inspired Suspense is looking for new authors and..

Get a fast track read in October, just follow these steps:

  • Email your submission to
  • Attach your first chapter and a short synopsis (no more than 2 pages) to the email as well as a short query letter indicating how much of the manuscript is complete.
  • Fast-track submissions received between October 15-26 will hear back from LI no less than one more after the closing date, before November 26th.
Check out the LI S Guidelines at

Here's more tidbits ...all the LI Lines are looking for a few more Amish authors! 
Heartsong Editor Kathy Davis is looking for submissions to Heartsong in both contemporary and historical. More info on that line here.

And don't miss the LI Editors on S.Y.T.Y.C.W. THIS WEEK!!!

That's it for now!!

As usual, Seekerville had a great ad in the ACFW Conference magazine to launch our Fifth Birthday Bash that begins October 1st and runs through October 31st.
We're giving out Seekerville Tchotchkes at the conference. 

Comment today and we'll send you a surprise conference tchotchke package. Five winners! Let us know you want to be included. 
Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. Hi Tina:

    I don't know what a tchotchke is but if it is good, I'd like a chance to win it. :)

    Great pictures. Let's see many more. I wish I could be there. :(


  2. Great pics! Looks like you're all having a great time! I'd love to be in the draw!


  3. Ohhhhhhh I have MISSED YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!

    Man, jealousy here in Vermont, but you look like you're having so much fun! Every year I see all your pictures and I just wanna be there so bad lol. It must be nice to see everyone :)

    I agree with Vince (hi Vince! By the way!), I have no clue what a tchotchke is....gonna have to go google that one. But it'd be a great prize no matter what if it's from the Seekers :)

    Big hugs all around! I'm gonna get there someday or at least meet you all :P

  4. Oops hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com lol I'm out of the loop *eyeroll*

  5. wow sounds like fun and like Vince no idea what a tchotchke is (or how to pronounce it) but if I won I would know right????????????????

    cant wait to hear more.

  6. I'm not sure what a tchotchke is either. I think it has somethign to do with swedish bakers.
    No that's a Kolache...anyway, what she means is the little cute promo items we're putting out on the freebie table.
    We're giving out to each and every conference attendee, pretty pink pens and a small armadillo. Tina rounded up a bunch of them and stenciled Seekerville on the side.
    Fortunately so far...they are scent-free.

  7. And now I need to go to bed.
    I road a long horn today, yes a real one ALIVE
    No, it wasn't bucking. But beneath the thorazine induced haze it had a MENACING vibe.
    I could tell.
    I paid my five dollars, prayed they wouldn't say I was over the weight limit and hopped on.
    And when I say HOPPED, I mean cralwed on with agonizing slowness and much help. Janet leapt on that thing like she was the lone ranger. Then, oddly, veyr oddly, she left her sunglasses on the cow. How exactly...??? I can't say. Myra found them, I guess the saddle had a sun visor you could hook glasses too, but I never noticed it.

  8. Thank you for sharing all the pictures. It makes me want to go next year!

    I would love to be entered for a tchotchke, not sure what it is but I'm sure it's wonderful.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  9. I will not gaze longingly at the photos, I will not gaze longingly at the photos, I will not, will not, will not!!!!!

    Great info, Teeeenster, and I love seeing all o' youse there!!!! Oh my stars, on the spot reporting is the next best thing to being there!!! YAY YOU GUYS!!!!!

    Mary... first you're skinny and Tina's svelte and oh my stars THAT DRESS!!!!

    HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!!! HALLEEEEEELUUUUUUUUJAH!!!!!! The black pants have been retired and color is in!


    Love the sock, I have that same dotted socks in multiple colors, TRES CHIC.

    That's how I roll, too!!!! I love seeing Seekervillagers!!! I love that so much! Have so much fun there that you have our fun and yours too!

    And of course go to classes... but if you don't, you'll find Mary hanging out someplace.


    And I bet it won't be in a classroom.

  10. Janet is a show off. She takes that stinkin' size 4 bod and tosses it around like a twenty-something. At 35, she shouldn't be nearly so nimble.


    I visited Fort Worth when ACFW was in Dallas years ago. SO FUN.

    I love the cowboys, the museum folk, the way they chat with you. And there was a western prairie type clothing shop there with a long skirt (crazy expensive) and cute, ruffled, lacy top that called to me...

    It did NOT call to my wallet, so I left with my cards unscathed but I have NEVER FORGOTTEN THAT PRETTY WESTERN SKIRT AND BLOUSE.


    Hey, save me an armadillo to go with my rattlesnake collection, Connealy. Do rattlers eat armas??? Vice versa?

    We'll see.

  11. Nice to see some pics of all these great gals, Lot of Debbi G did you notice? she gets around doesnt she. You can tell ALL are having great time, hey freebees are always nice no matter how they are spelled. Tchotchke-I think they just wanted us to wonder about that one. dont be jealous now Ruth -another year for you.
    Mary seriously on a bucking horse, cow or whatever, I sure would have like to seen that.
    Paula O

  12. Oh do Armadillos smell? I mean stink?
    I don't know if I have seen one of them.
    maybe add to my to see list.

  13. Jenny they're fairly common road kill here in Texas. You can google images of them.

    Sounds like you ladies are having a BLAST! I know Dallas in September is slightly (but only slightly) cooler than Dallas in July/August.

  14. Well just saying tchotchke is so 'continental'!

    It's nice of you all to think of us at home and offer the "almost like being there' gifts (of which I now know how to spell - almost!

    Everyone looks so fab at conference. I guess it's like Red Carpet - you know you are going to be in plenty of photos.
    Can't wait for Mary's Red Dress! And more PHOTOS!

    See's Candies. Another reason to go 'west'!

    THank you for all the news!

  15. POL!!! I just read your comment to the GET AROUND Debby G. She gets her picture in the photos because she's my roommate. Better her picture in the photos than mine.

  16. So let me tell you my Pepper story.

    The elevators opened. I was near the door inside the elevator. Suddenly a missile from outside the elevator launched. LUGGAGE and all.

    I couldn't tell what was coming towards me but it was upon me.

    When she stepped back I finally realized it wasn't an attack it was a love hug.

    Pepper had arrived. A hugging machine.

    Who knew?

    hahaha. I just met Pepper Basham.

    Finally! Yeah, Peps.

  17. Let's see...who else have I seen or met?

    Jill Kemerer.

    Dawn Crandall.

    Mary Vee.(<-I saved her life so she owes me)

    Effie and Rosemary from Arizona.

    More to come. Stay tuned. And more photos....

  18. On Debby in the photos does that mean you have the camera and dont give it up!
    Sounds like a great time I know our Aussie friend Lucy is having a good time. She told us about meeting Melanie

  19. OH MY STARS!!!!

    To quote one of my 13 favorite Seekers...


    How FUN is that?! Talk about randomly small world!!!!!

    Plus I got lots and loads of Pepper hugs yesterday. She didn't attack me in the elevator, but I got a smoldering look you had to see to believe!

    And Audra gave me much needed drugs. Thank you, dear one!

  20. Okay guys, I'm going to let you in on the scoop.

    The Seekers are real people. Like flesh and blood, don't know what purple potatoes will taste like until they get someone else to try them first type people.

    And they stay up WAY too late!

    Wish you were all here!

  21. Great photos.

    Love the red dress Mary. And the shoes. You practiced walking in them. I just know you'll be gorgeous.

    And Teenster. You look as Ruthy said, "Svelte" Are you enjoying the conference? Isn't Debby a great roommate?

    So fun to see all the Seekers together.

    And I'm not jealous.

    Wait. What is that green color in my eyes?

    I'm not jealous.

    That is my natural eye color. Promise.

    Have fun all of you.

  22. I'm in for the freebies.

    Looks like everyone is having a blast!

    MARY! You and Janet rode a Texas longhorn. Now where are the pictures of that??????????

    On my way through Dallas airport a few years ago I bought my son a tshirt that pictured a dead armadillo and read, "Road Kill, Texas Style." Haha. I think he still has it. Funny thing is, we have more of the troublesome critters in Alabama than they do in Texas.

  23. TINA, YOU LOOK FAB, DARLIN'!!!!!!!!

    And so does everyone else -- having fun must agree with everyone!!

    LOVE living vicariously through this post and all the Seeker e-mails and wish I were there.

    Come on, Indy!!!


  24. Jealous and thank you for the pics!!!!

  25. Oh, it looks like such fun. I plan to be there next year. This year I'm dealing with a kidney stone.

    Please post more photos. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Isn't Barbara Vey the nicest person! She gave such a boost to RWA12. Hope I can be part of ACFW next year. Budget only allows for one conference a year.

  28. I will gladly forfeit any and all potentially won prizes today for pics of Seekers on a bull!

    Unless of course tchotchke really means large amounts of money...or chocolate...

  29. It looks like you're all having a great time! Thanks for sharing the pictures. tchotchke . . . sounds interesting.

    So long as it isn't a live armadillo. They dig up our yard and multiply faster than rabbits. Baby armadillos are kind of cute but NO they must go... all of them. I wont share what happens to the ones we find digging up our flowers.

  30. Oh, this is so much fun, I love seeing and hearing about all youse are doing!!!

    Paula, I'm not really jealous... Not like over-the-top. I was fine until I saw the pics, but you know....

    I knew I could vent, wah, wah here because we're peeps together!!!

    Gotta take the little ones outside before the rain. Loving the updates!!!

  31. I love tchotchkes and am in a deep boohoo about not being at conference. So I will just soothe my sad self with Swiss chocolate.

    Love to have new goals to aim for! If I can hike in the Alps, I can get down to writing at a lower altitude!

    Peace, Julie

  32. Jodie!!! Ach. Kidney stones. I'm sooo sorry, sweet thing! Those are so gosh-darn painful. Praying for your relief, for pain to disappear and the minerals to break down and flush away.

    And sending you hugs from upstate!

  33. Audra the druggie.

    Sheesh, girls, keep it under wraps, wouldja????

    Isn't Audra like the most gentle, genteel gracious Seeker?

    Debby's the classiest and I have no hope to top that score!!!

    And Audra, so stinkin' nice.


    Tina's smart.

    Mary's unconscionably funny.

    I'm going to stop here because I'm hearing chocolate call my name. When all else fails???

    Eat chocolate!!! (Or watch Johnny Depp in "Chocolate"...


  34. Thanks for the prayers Ruth. They are much appreciated, as I'm in my second week and the stone still hasn't made an appearance yet. I have to wait another week before my next doctor appointment.

    In the mean time I hope to be working on rewrites requested by an editor. Maybe the next round will actually result in a contract. :)

    Praying you all have a great time.

    Jodie Wolfe

  35. Donna, laughing out loud, rolling around on floor for real!!!

    Last year we got pics of Mary, me and Janet by a Buffalo...

    We do whatever we must to make us LOOK smaller. It's positively ingenious, right????

  36. SOOOOOO much fun seeing the photos of all your smiling faces! Thanks for letting us live vicariously! Can't wait to have you send us conference words of wisdom. Praying that the Lord with lift you up with knowledge and courage as you learn and pitch.

    Mary, the dress is fantastic and love the shoes and your cute red toenails peeking out! Fun.

  37. So much fun to see all these pics of famous people! Judging by the grins everyone is having a fabulous time.

    And that red dress -- wowzer and I'm going to coordinate with Mary because I bought brand spanking new red jammies for the party tomorrow night. No high heels though. My schnuazer slippers are way too comfortable. I'm excited to tune in and 'see' the happenings though.

  38. Jodie, you hang in there. I have come to believe that the darkest hour being the one before dawn isn't just about daylight.

    You hang tight!

  39. Kav, my jammies are pink and blue flannel!!!!

    We'll have so much fun!

    I'm bringing red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. How's about the rest o' youse????? What would you like to bring to the Saturday Night Awards Pajama Party in Absentia to honor Mini Marathon Writing Weekend??????

  40. tchochke is a YIDDISH word meaning thingamajig (basically LOL). But in all seriousness, it means inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament - according to

    And it's pronounced (according to my my Jewish grandmother, anyway) choch(rhymes with watch) key - emphasis on the first syllable.

    All that to say - I WANT TO BE ENTERED? (Do I get an extra chance because of my heritage LOL?)

    And I LOVE the pictures. I was just over at the Writers Alley, whining that there were no pictures of Pepper - and then I find one here!

    Have a WONDERFUL time. I'm keeping myself distracted so I don't cry ;)

  41. Ruthy, I'll be wearing my long Pomeranian sleep-shirt and my soft jogging pants, plus heavy socks, lol. Babysitting munchkins this weekend. Still, I hope to squeak out some writing. How about if I bring my WW special dessert - low-fat ricotta cheese topped with fresh berries and no points whip and a sprinkle of chopped almonds for those who want them.

  42. Oh, a PJ party... how fun! I planned to make a sheet cake for the church pot luck the next day any how, so I'll just go ahead and make two and bring one to the party.

  43. Tchotchke is Yiddish for trinket.

    All of you look fabulous. I'm very impressed with Mary's red shoes and dress. We must see a picture of Mary in her new dress!

    It looks as if you're all having a ball! Party on!!!!!!!

  44. Looks like everyone is having a great time.


    Does anyone know it they will live stream the Carol Awards as they did last year? I have not been able to find anything out about it so I expect they won’t. If they do, I sure do not want to miss it.

    Also, will the Seekers have instant updates of the Carol winners here Saturday night?



  46. Hello from Dallas!!!

    I see you're surviving without my coffee pot. Guess I'm not indispensible. :)

    I'm tired but having a GREAT time.


  47. Sounds and looks like fun. Keep at it. One day, I may he able to attend again.

    Tina P.

  48. i have never heard of a tchotchke, but if it's free, i'd love to win it!


  49. That was Sooooooo fun to see! What a beautiful group of women!

    And Mary C., that is some beee-yooo-tiful dress and shoes!!!

  50. SANDRA - I keep forgetting to tell you, but that children's book you sent to me (which I won here) is one of my daughter's favorite books. Odd, Eragon and Lord of the Rings and... a Christian book on gifts of the spirit?? :D

    It's such a great book. So many ways to show the world we're filled with the Holy Spirit.

  51. Ruthy~

    I confess, I did gaze longingly, especially when my two best buds, Melissa and Carol, scrolled across my screen.

    Someday, someday, someday! Right?

    Wasn't it Carol the druggie and Audra the dealer? Tsk, tsk, tsk, ladies.

    Tonight I'm taking my Erika and we're staying with my big sister (I'm actually bigger than her, but that's depressing, so we won't go there.) We're gonna have a sleep over, and tomorrow is FunFest! (my sister's company picnic) So I won't miss conference at all.

    Helen~ No one makes coffee like you, so don't think you're gonna get out of it when conference is over.

    I hope you all continue to have a blast. I'm politely requesting pictures of Mary IN the red dress and peep toe shoes. I think she's gonna be dazzling. Mary~ I your husband along to beat the men off with a big stick?

  52. Make that "Is your husband along..."


  53. Yes they will stream the Carol Awards tonight! Go to the Weekend Edition and there is a link.

    I will put the link in tomorrow's Weekend Ed.

    BTW I am freezing. FREEZING. This is Dallas for goodness sakes.

  54. Hi Tina:

    I assume you mean Saturday night.


  55. Hallelujah, Tina, thank YOU for thinking about the rest of us who are not attending by giving us an update.

    Seems like everyone's having fun!! That's great. Can't wait when till I get a shot at attending this of conference. Wow, that'd be something!!

    Lastly, I had to google Tchotchkes: Apparently it's small toys. (?)

    *Grin* Well, I'm not sure what to say about that.

    Wishing you all writers the best and evenn more fun in this conference - and in your writing journey.


  56. Yes. Saturday. Sorry, I am so cold I don't make sense.

    Ganise. They are like, pens, bookmarks, books, etc. Giveaways from conference.

  57. Virginia,

    Melissa E mentioned your book TWICE!!!!!

  58. Love the update on the conference! You all look to be having so much fun!!! Can't wait for the awards tomorrow :)

    eva maria hamilton at gmail dot com

  59. So nice to come home after a long day of work and see all these lovely Seeker pictures. I'm too tired to wish I was there, but I sure can enjoy hearing about all the fun times you're having.

    Thanks so much for sharing the news.


  60. Tina Radcliffe said...


    Melissa E mentioned your book TWICE!!!!!

    WOW Virginia. SO cool!!!!!

  61. Melissa mentioned the new kid's book TWICE????

    She's a nervy thing, isn't she????

    Ach, Virginia, clearly they like you. I'm digging in the archives, hunting for a reason WHY!!!! :)

    Isn't it nice to know that you're beloved, even in absentia????

    You go, girl!

    Vince, I couldn't find the link on the ACFW site, so I'm glad Tina has it embedded in the WE. We'll hunt for it come morning because my night is wearing thin.

  62. Tina, thin people get VERY COLD.

    That's all I'm saying.

    See if they sell Starbucks sweatshirts in the coffee shop. OR...

    A Dallas Cowboy sweatshirt.

    Now you're stylin'!

  63. Very cool, Virginia! ;)

  64. my aussie friend put the A/C on cold so it would feel like home the first night there and the fact she was jetlagged.

    I think I have been jetlagged without getting on a plane!!!!!!!

    I do love the updates.

  65. Tchotchke????? Ok would love to win.


  66. Hi all! I'm back I'm the room with Audra and Melanie Dickerson giggling and having fun! (with my feet propped up!) :)

    Having a great time seeing everyone! Lots of great workshops and way too much good food--especially desserts!

  67. Wow, what a great post! Thanks for helping us feel included in the conference, tchotchkes and all!

  68. How I miss being there this year! green with jealousy! I would love to win a tchotcahke convention package! It would be almost like being there.

    Have a great time today and tonight!

  69. LOVE the red dress and shoes, Mary!!! Debby always looks like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine. Tina, you look wonderful and you know you've made it when lovely people like Pepper risk elevator doors crushing them to get a hug!

    Everybody looks terrific and so happy. Enjoy the rest of the conference, and safe travels home, everyone!

  70. Enter me!
    God Bless!
    Sarah Richmond

  71. Thanks for sharing the fabulous pictures! I love Mary's red dress. Let's see a picture of her wearing it! Enjoy!

  72. I want to be in the drawing

  73. Loving the pics! Smoking dress, Mary, and those shoes!! Yowsa.

    So cool to put an actual face to some familiar names (avatars just don't cut it). I'd love a chance to win a tchotchke, but I'm totally hoping to meet up with these Seekerpeeps someday.