i'd been having anxiety about driving in downtown nashville & trying to find parking. everyone assured me there were plenty of garages, and i have my handy dandy gps for finding things. but i was still anxious. then, someone on the event FB page posted about Lyft - this nifty car service that is not a taxi company, is affordable, and fast. AND they included a $25 coupon code. i looked up the website & did the math & saw that the ride would be free w/ that code, and less than a taxi for the ride back. then i began to weigh the amount of anxiety caused by driving myself against the amount of anxiety from catching a ride from someone i don't know. twice.
i decided to give it a shot, because at least that was only one anxiety instead of a variety. lesser of two evils as it were. my stomach was still in knots & i really was praying hard. but i hit the little button & ordered a ride. two seconds later, my ride called me to say hi & let me know they were on their way. that was pretty cool.
lisa showed up & she was super friendly & her car was clean (& had that nice clean car smell!). i was instantly at ease & we chatted the whole way to the musicians hall of fame. even tho the gps tried to take us somewhere else... LOL thankfully, i saw the marquee at the venue & was able to direct her over there! : ) if you're in need of a ride, check out their website & see if they're available in your city. and if you're in nashville & need a ride, you can use the code pictured above for the same free ride i took! :D
once at the venue, my nerves kicked back in. but i ran into some nice ppl & the ppl around me in line were super nice! the girls behind me were very friendly & from kentucky (okay, jackie lives in kentucky but is from california. heh) & SUPER fans of tina reber. they were even tweeting or instagramming w/ her while in line, and when they got to her table, they got big screams & hugs. it was cute. : )
since we got in line around 11, we were pretty close to the front. not RIGHT at the front, but i think we hit the registration table at like 12:45 or so, so it wasn't bad! and like i said, the line was FUN! (but hot - they were having a/c issues i think just because of all the bodies in the space. some of us definitely took advantage of flyers to use as fans!)
by the time we got to the authors, i was pretty manic, but cora carmack commented on how happy i was (she even mentioned it in her signature in my notebook!) & she was super bubbly & sweet! her friends/assistants were as well. she was a good one to have first (convenient since they went in alpha order)!! oh! AND she complimented my Inspire notebook that i brought for signatures. : ) love love!
jay crownover was a treat! she writes the marked men series (Rule, Jet, Rome, etc.) which i just ADORE even tho they can be highly emotional. *laugh* and her tats are super stellar in person! also, she had the cutest green dress on... and some really neat swag. pens (you know i love pens!) and stickers & i think keychains altho i didn't grab one & now am wishing i would have. i didn't do anything fun for my photo, but other ppl were & she was going right along. she's just one of my favorite ppl. *laugh*
jillian dodd wasn't there, so i didn't get to see what her books are about. i may yet check them out on amazon, we'll see.
rebecca donovan had some killer jewelry & used a pink highlighter to sign, which i thought was super cute. :) her friend/assistant also had some really neat earrings. i always notice earrings because i wish i wore them, but i never remember to put them in! *laugh*
colleen hoover... i feel like i know her because she posts all the time on instagram & everywhere - she has a very big social media presence, and her videos are always SO FUN that they always make me smile! which i shared w/ her & that made HER smile & then i felt like i'd won the lottery just by giving out a compliment. which is sorta why i love complimenting ppl! : ) i finally was able to complete (so far) my collection of her paperbacks by purchasing Hopeless. YAY!
i loved her dress, btw. :D
heidi mclaughlin was the author i was most looking forward to meeting - not only do i love her writing, but she's always got some neat stuff to say via FB. unfortunately, a combination of things (nervousness & melting being high on the list) made it so i'm not even sure i got to tell her / thank her properly! (heidi, if you ever see this, i'm sorry! i meant to gush at your amazing writing & fun FB posts... and take a picture w/ you! but i was so flustered i forgot that bit, as well!) she had her models w/ her & i do remember teasing them as the young man reminded me of bret, but i'm not sure my teasing came off as familial as i'd intended... that is the one section that just made me so nervous! but i was so happy to get to meet her, too. oye. (i can't think about it too much; it's giving me residual anxiety...)
okay, so then we had tina reber! i love her books, as well. and she was super fun & later fanned us while we waited for the griffin peterson concert to start. heh.
jenn sterling was probably the biggest surprise for me. she was just out-there-amazing, and i haven't read her books yet, but bought Seeing Stars as it was one that i'd been looking forward to. oh, and her friend/assistant had AMAZING make up! like, if i wore lipstick, whatever color she had on would be what i would want to wear. it was just a really neat color! : ) and jenn was super fun & dancing around & stuff.
the final author, K.A. Tucker, was also one i haven't read yet, so i bought Ten Tiny Breaths to give her series a try. she was very chatty & nice. everyone was so nice, it was really a pleasure to meet them & get to chat for a couple minutes, even if i was melting all over the place!! : )
after i was through the line, i wasn't sure what to do, but needed some quiet time, so i took a tour of the museum (pretty neat!) & then sat in the cool, dark theatre for a bit to decompress & get my head back in a space to be around all the ppl again for the concert. God was looking out for me (always) & i timed it just right to end up sitting against the wall w/ two cool gals from NC, tabitha & lauren. we hung out through the concert & they were just really a lot of fun & helped to keep me calm in the sea of ppl.
and the concert! OH MY HECK IT WAS AMAZING!!!! griffin & the band did a GREAT job & i always love live performances anyway, but this was really neat. oh, AND! before they started playing, murphy (colleen's sister? i'm not sure... but she's fun) did a raffle & i won a maybe someday CD! *bounce*
sorry, these are super blurry.
the plan was to get it signed after the concert, but by this time my phone was nearly dead & i still needed it to make sure i got a ride back to the hotel! so i pulled a chair over to an outlet & charged it enough to order a ride, from william this time. he had a little trouble finding the place (because GPS wanted to take him wherever it tried to take lisa!) but when he arrived it was all good. : ) he was a really nice driver, too, even tho he did attempt to take me home... (LOL - he lives in the same town as my hotel, and i think he was on autopilot while we were talking, so he was heading home.)
so, it was an amazing day!! the event was so much fun, and i am so grateful for this opportunity to meet everyone, and SO GRATEFUL for all the prayers & everything that helped me fight off the overwhelming nature of anxiety. *HUGS* you are all WONDERFUL!!! : )
okay, i'm off to write up the next post all about hanging out w/ my wonderful cousins & meeting my newest little cousin, olivia. ttfn!!