UtopyaCon 2015 hangover

I am EXHAUSTED! But so inspired and so ready to get my sh*t together. This is ALL bc of the wonderful people at Utopya that I met, spent time with, talked to, listened to, got autographys from, shared a room with, danced and sang with, got on stage with, got Pitched Slapped by and pitched a few ourselves. Seriously the most amazing place I have been truly bc the people that attended were amazing. They are totally my people.

I fit in! From a life of trying to feel like I belonged, and yes, if you know me, you know I am not a shy person, but deep down that kid who was ostracized, made fun of, told I was not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough. It has taken a long time in life to find my comfortable place, but that inner nerd still gets scared. No matter how many trade shows, networking meetings, lunches, etc., I go to I still get scared, nervous and worried I will be struck down.

At Utopya 2015, I was embraced by each and every person; author, blogger, reader, friend, family, daughter, etc. It was such a special place with wonderful people. Being in a convention with a bunch of wallflowers, I was one of the more outspoken people and I swore I would never let anyone eat alone or remain on the outside of a group.

I think the highlight, and there were many, was the morning I was walking by the tables in the lobby, happened to glance down and see a nametage. I kept walking and not a moment later, the name was screaming in my head

I backed up, looked at her nametag again and then took deep breaths to not go all fangirl on her. For the next hour, I was blessed to meet and speak with Katie McGarry and her dear friend, Collette Ballard. We had the most amazing down to earth, learn from our experiences, funny and inspiring time. I missed the panel I was scheduled to go to, but never once was I disappointed. Best hour of the convention.

Another highlight was the Doubts Panel where authors opened up to vulnerability and spoke out against the doubts of being a writer, seeing the white screen, thinking we may not be good enough. Many of these doubts, majority of them come from within! The room was filled with emotions and many tears fell. I was blessed to be a part of this panel where honesty came to the surface and led us to knowledge.

My roomies were awesome! I had never met any of them. It worked out to where Elisabeth and I were the early birds and Hope and Shelley were the night owls. It was fun to have a friend to look to for comfort when I was tired and ready to turn in and also to greet for breakfast in the morning. Then the night owls would greet us later and catch up on how their evening went. It was so funny to see our room fill up with books, hear the massively awesome stories of fangirl moments and hear how we all read and write.

I met a new friend for life in my own city who rode with me and flew with me to and from the Con. Karen was so sweet, fun and inspiring. 

I wish I could list all the beautiful moments I had with these amazing people, but I would be afraid to forget someone. I met the most amazing women who were like sisters from the get-go, women who got my sense of wrong and just before I crossed the line of crazy humor, women who were beyond kind and sweet and warm, women who knew when to tell me to get serious and write, women who gave me info that I have been craving for years on editing, internships, time management, etc. I just cannot say enough about this group.

Okay so the dance party the last night was EPIC! So epic. We sang all the lyrics to the songs, danced til my feet hurt, went from group to group to jam, laughed and pointed at the awesome pictures, took pictures with funny and beautiful women. It was just too much fun. A wonderful way to say goodbye and hello to all the new friends I met.

My booklist is truly staggering at this point. I am a little worried I may not be able to meet all the commitments, to myself and others, but I refuse to let those DOUBTS enter and take over. RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT! I will set my own goals of writing weekly, sending my mom for edits, look in to internships for editing, add classes to learn even more about editing and still find the time to read, blog and review bc my heart requires it. My main goal is to have a book, on paper (or computer) complete by the next Utopya. It can be long before any major edits have occurred, but it has to be out from my brain and down on paper. In order to achieve this massive goal, I need to stay focused. These people at Utopya have shown, told and explained how I can do it. And Kim Holden was kind of enough to share LIFE SHOULD BE EPIC. And refuse to not allow this to be in my life. I will make time for that which is important to me - writing.

Thank you UptpyaCon 2015!


Stephsco said...

This sounds like such a great conference! I'm tentatively planning to go next year :)

Elisabeth Kauffman said...

OMG! You mentioned me in your blog! (fangirl moment***) Heidi, you're the best. So so so so glad I roomed with you. I'm here if you need any encouragement/support/etc. with your writing, and come play with me in California!!! I'm gonna try to make my way to Flagstaff at some point, too, so think of fun things for us to do!

<3 you girl!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Me hungover too, ugh (and yay)