Yep, that's me, Kathi Macias (on the right), with fellow CAN author Karen Whiting, posing together at the recent Atlanta wingding known as ICRS (formerly CBA for us "oldies but goodies"). This annual gathering of mostly eagles (and a few turkeys) is nearly a mandatory event for Christian authors, speakers, publishers, agents, book sellers and buyers, etc. But even if it weren't, I think I'd probably attend anyway, simply because it's one of the few times I actually get to meet so many other lovers of the written word face to face. It's a time of forging new friendships and partnerships, as well as renewing and strengthening existing ones.
And that, of course, is exactly what I, and thousands of others, did this past week. It's actually a lot of fun to walk up to someone you've never met before (in person, anyway), read their nametag, and squeal, "Oh, my goodness! You're one of my best friends!"
But it's true. We loopers tend to develop some real heart-relationships in day-to-day communication over the Internet; to finally meet those fellow loopers and exchange hugs is exciting.
Then, of course, we reconnect with longtime friends and acquaintances and business associates for "renewal hugs," and that's great too. And we eat a lot. Believe me, banquet-laden meetings are the order of the week!
And believe it or not, we actually do get down to some business in the midst of all that fun. My most productive meeting was with my "dream team"--my agent, publisher, marketing expert, etc.--as we discussed strategy for upcoming releases and longterm partnerships.
In the midst of it all, however, the primary partnership must always take precedence. There are just some things you can't orchestrate, no matter how much of a dream team you manage to assemble. The fact that my most recent novel, Emma Jean Reborn, is now in the early stages of becoming a Broadway play is something I could never have accomplished through human partnerships. This is, without doubt, what is commonly termed "a God thing." I didn't knock on any doors, didn't pass out any slick promotional material, didn't even give away free books to Broadway producers. But God... (oh, how I love those two words!) somehow placed a copy of the book in the right hands at the right time, granted favor beyond imagining, and left me in awe of His grace and mercy.
Ultimately, folks, though we need the human partnerships that God so graciously provides for us, it is the Divine Partnership that counts. May we never get so caught up in marketing and publicity that we fail to make time to cultivate and honor that partnership--and to be amazed by the infinite grace that sustains it.