Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#TimeWarpTuesday~ Travel Back in Time with #UtopYAcon

UtopYA 2015 is just around the corner and you can get your tickets on BLACK FRIDAY!!! I will be there for sure so come by and see me!! Get your tickets HERE!

The theme for UtopYAcon 2015 is TIME TRAVEL so we are traveling back in time to yesteryear of UtopYA (ok so it's only 3 years ago but it's fun!). Back to the very first conference.... back to the year 2012...

This was my first writer's conference. I had been working on my first novel for awhile and had been chatting with several indie writers online. They were so sweet and so generous to visit with me and answer all my questions and encourage me along the way. I found out they were attending this conference called UtopYA and GUESS WHAT??? It was right where I was living--in Nashville, TN!! There was NO WAY I was missing it! So I went. Terrified, not truly knowing anyone other than some online conversation... but I went. I can't tell you how much it meant to me that not only did some of them recognize me, but they were so quick to invite me into their conversations and into their lives. That conference changed me. It gave me the courage and the confidence to keep writing, to believe in myself and my work, and a community to belong to. It was a smaller group of only about 70-80 people, but it was everything I needed it to be. Thank you to everyone of you that was there. 

UtopYA 2012
(I know you are not all pictured, but know that you are in my heart always)

Then came UtopYA 2013...

I was so excited to be able to return to UtopYA in 2013. Not only was I getting to see my peeps again, this year I was returning as a published author!! I released my first book just in time to be able to debut it at the conference and not only that I had the honor of speaking on panels! My novel Silent Orchids was also nominated in several categories at the awards!!  The most important to me, however, was getting to reconnect with friends...with family and also to meet so many others. This year the conference grew to about 300 people in only ONE YEAR!! The panels were helpful and I learned a ton. I got to meet and hug so many faces! (again sorry if you are not pictured. Know I love you and I'll get better each year with pics ;)

And then came UtopYA 2014 and so did the aliens...

2014 more than doubled AGAIN with attendees reaching between 700-800 people! We moved venues to the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, TN and had a ball! So many more people! So many aliens! So many more exhibits! SO MUCH FUN!! Once again, I had the honor of being on a panel and getting to share about how I use music in my marketing. Once again, I attended some very helpful panels each educating me in new ways and giving me new tools to use in my business. I had 2 books out this time and my dreams were becoming more and more of a reality with each passing year. I made more friendships and deepened older ones. I got to meet some of my beta readers and favorite bloggers!! This conference is more than just another "conference", it is more like a family reunion. Yes, it's about business and creating networks and opportunities, but it's also about connecting hearts and people.

(Again, I apologize if you are not pictured. I am getting better at selfies ;) but need to remember the camera more! Please know I love love love you!)

Thank You to Janet Wallace for following your dream! You have enabled, not only myself through so many means to continue following mine but SO MANY others. You have made a home for us all to keep coming back to. I am not going to attempt to name you all, because I am bound to forget someone, and that would break my heart. Know that I truly love all of you and you have special places in my heart. I am honored to be on our journeys together.

I am SO EXCITED to be back in Nashville in June 2015 and see what is in store for us all!!

If you are considering this conference, or are a writer beginning your journey, please consider UtopYA 2015. Tickets go on sale FRIDAY, Nov 28th!! Click HERE

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