This is the second time in my life I have ever been to Las Vegas. I am attending the Romance Novel Convention held at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas because one of my novels, EMERALD FIRE, book 2 in the JEWEL SERIES, is a finalist for the INSPIRATIONAL NOVEL OF THE YEAR in the RONE awards.
The first time, my wonderful newlywed husband flew me out for a single weekend then we flew home together. I actually ended up being in the area for less than 48 hours and packed in a trip to the Hoover Dam during that time. Friends drove up from California and we had a great time visiting on the shores of Lake Victoria. It was a completely "fun" trip.
This time is different. I am seeing Las Vegas through a filter I didn't have ten years ago. And I am here for work this time while my husband is at a conference on in Pennsylvania. There are big names in my industry here. I have met some of them before and some are new to me. They are teaching classes and having socials. There are also fun events like pajama party movie nights, a costume ball, and there is a HUGE book fair/book signing that I will be a part of all day on Saturday, August 10, 2013.
PLEASE COME MEET ME IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA! I would love to meet you in person.
It sometimes surprises my longtime readers who followed me as Hallee the Homemaker over the years or recent readers of my novels who have gotten to know me through my books, because I know that I come across as very approachable "online" in my blogs, on twitter, on facebook, on bookfun, and so on.
In person, it's always different. I really don't like loud. Loud puts my teeth on edge. Las Vegas is very loud ALL ... THE... TIME. I am not completely comfortable in large crowds of people. I am much more comfortable in smaller groups or better yet in a one on one. I like the intimacy of getting acquainted with someone or a few folks in a quiet place -- like my home or a bookstore or coffee shop or a deli. Somewhere where one need not raise their voice to be heard over the surrounding din of the ever present slot machines. I am subject to really bad vertigo and the hotel is VERY high.
And this is silly because I arrived yesterday but I REALLY miss my husband. He had a conflict this week or else I know he would be right here with me. I have spoken with him and texted with him several times today but it still just doesn't feel right not having him beside me. We spent YEARS, literally YEARS apart while he took care of business in the middle east. We both agree we have spent plenty enough time apart.
So all of that is challenging. But I think my main challenge here, as I see it, is to be a constant shining light amidst throngs of readers and writers of every variety. I am one of only a very few inspirational authors present. I strive to witness by my actions, my presence, my very thoughts. I realize, even if it isn't clear to me, that there is a reason that I am here that really has little or nothing to do with me. There is a reason I am here that will "work for good" because I love the Lord and I strive to work according to His purpose.
Please agree with me in prayer that I should be a constant witness of truth and love while I am here. Please agree with me in prayer that I am encouraged that I am here for HIS purposes and to do HIS work. If you can come see me in person on Saturday, I would feel so blessed and encouraged.
I am so very blessed by the One who made me. I am happy to bear up beneath that mantle anytime ... even in sin city.
Hope your time in Vegas is awesome