Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Conference Encounter #3


I’ve been sharing a few interesting moments from the recent ACFW Conference here in Dallas last month. For the first two installments, visit HERE and HERE.

This final encounter is not easy for me to share. Indeed, I still owe this event a good cry. You know how you get that goofy feeling when you see someone unexpectedly. Think of a

celebrity or sports figure? I’ve done that before. Saw Kasey Kahne, my favorite NASCAR racer one time in the garage area. I felt so dumb, I could barely smile and nod. Thankfully, then, I knew how to keep my mouth shut.

My mouth gets me into so much trouble when it starts stumbling over my teeth.

Not so much during conference. I talked WAY too much and stuck my foot in my mouth WAY too often! Blah!
Then here came the editor I’d spoken with the day before. (You better believe I’ve changed the names here!)And so, as my job during the beginning of the gala was to collect tickets and greet everyone, there I was at the door seeing everybody. Those I knew and those I only recognized. For more on my pre-gala situation, see this post – and you can even hear my accent!

“You’re, uh … you’re … you’re …” Line held up. Patient look crosses editor’s face.

I swear I was so dumbfounded at seeing this person that I couldn’t even remember my own name, let alone his!

Finally, the editor dons an indulgent smile. “Linus Richards.”

“Yes,” I shouted and pointed. (I actually pointed at the man!) “That’s right.” Really Marji? That’s the best you could do?

I think I should have been a game show host.

Ugh! The lameness of it all. I’m not usually so ridiculous, but there it came squeezing out all over the place. And in front of one of the few people I’d really hoped to impress. Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath with that opportunity.

Calgon, take me away!

Your turn: If you haven’t already shared your Calgon moment, or maybe yours is perfect for “Wannagetaway,” by all means share on this last chance. Or maybe you had more than one. Goodness knows I did!

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

8 thoughts on “Conference Encounter #3

  1. The thing about those embarrassing moments is that we (or at least, I) spend so much more time dissecting them than the person/people who witnessed them. I know this, and yet … 😉

    I went to a book signing for an author who is kind of a big deal — but I wasn’t even very familiar with her work. She gave a funny talk which included a story about a family member of hers named Brandy, so when I reached the front of the line and told her my name so she could sign my book, she remarked on it. I cracked the joke I always crack in “so your name is Brandy” situations … and she didn’t get it. And I, like a comedy-school flunkie, repeated the punchline. ‘Cause that always helps.

    Still cringing. I just hope I don’t end up in her next book. 😉


  2. I’m a HUGE, super geeky fan of Suzanne Brockmann. At a conference in Ohio a few years ago, I believe I scared her by coming off as Super Scary Stalker fan. I showed up to every workshop she did (sitting as close to the front as possible), raised my hand repeatedly to ask questions/make comments, and knew the name of all her characters in all her books and all the plotlines/subplots/mini plots/microscopic plots. It was like an out-of-body experience. I could see myself acting scary around her, but I couldn’t stop myself.


  3. I am sooo glad you weren’t that star struck when we met. And here I thought you were such a neat person to get to know. Now I know I better not get too famous or you’ll forget who I am.


    • Haha! Don’t worry, Wade. By the time I remember who you are, once you’re famous, I’ll make sure you know it too!


  4. At breakfast one morning, an agent (who I’d read-up on before hand) sat down next to me and introduced herself. I didn’t recognize her name and ended up sticking my foot in my mouth. Talk about an awesome first impression. Bless her heart, she must have been used to it. She ended up telling all the writers at the table to email her our manuscripts. I’m so glad agents are real people. I didn’t realize that before I attended the conference. 🙂