Girls Write Out
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've been cruising by the Thomas Nelson booth at ICRS for years, always lusting after the graphics they had their for other authors. I finally had a graphic! I can die happy now. :-)

The Christian Book Expo was in Dallas and was the first of its kind. It was specifically for the readers. I had great fun connecting with readers and seeing writer friends. The sad thing was how poorly attended it was. I think so many near Dallas didn't know about it, and that's a shame. The weekend was packed full of great workshops by top Christian authors. There was a debate between atheist Hitchens and Christian leaders like Strobel. Women of Faith speakers were there. It was a truly fabulous weekend. I hope they do it again, but I think they need to change up the venue. For one thing, it was a lot like ICRS with separate publisher booths. After attending a workshop, an attendee would then have to figure out when the speaker was signing in the expo and track them down instead of being able to purchase books on the spot. I think it would be better held in a festival-like atmosphere with tents. Or maybe in a conference hotel with that great intimacy. But I do hope it goes on.

Friday was spectacular. I had about 100 in my workshop on Christian fiction, then we got to spend the evening with the Hyatts. Mike and Gail Hyatt are two of my very favorite people. I feel like I can charge hell with a water pistol after being with them. I'm glad Mike is at the helm of Thomas Nelson. He's so intuitive and forward thinking. He and Gail are both the kind of leaders who makes you want to be better than you are and they lead by example. Every young married woman should read Gail's blog. She's the best example of how to love and respect your husband.

The Friday night event was truly life-changing.Max Lucado spoke about Fear LESS and I can't get his message out of my head. He talked about how fearful the disciples were in the boat with the storm and waves raging around them. Jesus asked them why they were afraid. And he asks us now why we're afraid. He's got it under control! I've had such peace since hearing Max talk about it. Right now we see the storm of financial problems raging around us. But God has that storm under control too. What peace. Another storm we're going through in the Coble family is my father-in-law's Alzheimer's. God's got that in his hands too. How wonderful to relinquish that worry and know God will help us through it all.

Are you going through a personal storm? We'd like to pray for you and ask God to help you turn it over to him.

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 12:54 AM  
  Comments (28)
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At 6:38 AM, Blogger Cathy Shouse said...

This is such a sweet post and example of having a good attitude, I just had to thank you for writing it. The Book Expo had to be a big disappointment and spending all that time and money to get there didn't help. Your father-in-law's plight with that terrible disease is so sad and hard for you all.

But instead of complaining, you are thinking of others and their struggles.

Fortunately, our family is weathering the economic storm fairly well at this point. (high grocery bills and gas prices are getting to everyone, though). We're currently on a staycation--staying home on spring break to control our expenses.

If we requested prayer it would be to help us let go of our anxieties and resulting negative behaviors (waving to Denise and her diet because we're overeating at our house from stress). To maintain a calm leadership as a "parental unit" and married couple.

Even though we are doing okay now we know others who aren't and our hearts go out to them. We also wonder if/when we might be next.

We worry about our children's future as the country's debt piles up.

We pray for leaders to make wise choices and keep an eye on the future.

Sorry so long!


At 7:07 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'm so glad you're okay financially, Cathy! It's hard to see others we love going through a financial storm. The media (sorry) doesn't help with the constant barrage of fearful messages. LOL

Remember the 70s with super high inflation, double digit unemployment? Even that situation didn't generate the kind of fear I see now. I'm not quite sure what's feeding it. Maybe the nutso stuff going on in Washington? But people are afraid and we don't have to be. None of this is a surprise to God. I'm content to rest in that!

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

A very good friend is facing a gargantuan storm in his life right now that has to be an unspoken request. On top of that he fears he has a detached retina. He had another detached retina in the other eye a couple years ago and had to have two surgeries to get it completely repaired. The surgery is difficult and the recovery time is an even worse ordeal.

It is a very scary time for both of us.

Colleen, is Max's message downloadable anywhere?

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Do you have a link to the blog you recommended?

Also, could you pray for my friend Sasha? She is a young mother of three, a pastors wife, and is deathly ill. They can't figure out what's wrong with her and now her liver is starting to fail. She needs a miracle.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I should have posted that link to Gail's blog:

Praying for your friends, Suzanne and Pam! You too, Cathy. I don't think the event was taped. I sure wish it had been! I would have liked to have listened again.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

They need to move the expo to our area then we could attend! :)

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

You look great in that red jacket! And it's cool to know that with CBA Bestseller status, you get a huge graphic. LOL.

Praying for those who have left requests. Times are tough right now for lots of people.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Michelle V said...

I wish I could have been there! I'm not far from Dallas but wasn't able to be there. So glad you had such a great time!


At 9:49 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

Quote of the day: Charging hell with a water pistol!!
I LOVE IT! And I love when great fellowship bolsters our faith! :)

I'm still droooooooling over your beautiful book display. It makes me want to run my hand across it because it's so shiny and vivid!

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'm still drooling over it too, Jaime! If we'd been driving, I would have taken it home!

At 10:39 AM, Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Colleen, I saw your link on Facebook.

It was such a pleasure to meet you, and I've already told you how much I enjoyed your workshop. One of the highlights of my weekend, and I learned so much. Before your workshop, I was considering self-publishing, and I have a much different perspective now. I also hope to attend your ACFW conference in Denver next year.

Those worship services were life-changing (and all the breakouts were top quality too), I have to agree. I couldn't help but think about the message spoken: "His Word will not return empty or void." (based on Isaiah 55:11). His Word was all around us all weekend long, through worship, song, debate, teaching, and most of all...great books. While I'm sure the publishing houses and many of the professionals there were disappointed at the turnout, my prayer would be that incredible things would return to those of you communicating God's Word. May the unseen blessings be even greater than the counted heads.

Thank you for allowing God to use you!

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'm so glad you got to go, LauraLee! I just loved it!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Well since you asked about prayer requests, our 18 yr old daughter left college Saturday morning and it took us three days to find her. She is now holed up with "friends" and has told us she doesn't want us harrassing her. She also said if she wants us in her life, she'll let us know. We have six children, but she is our only daughter and we are reeling from the blow. Your prayers would be very much appreciated.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh JILL! I'm so sorry, hon. There is nothing worse than this kind of kid problem. Praying right now!

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Beverly said...

Oh rats....I am only three hours away and would have been delighted to have added to the crowd! Where will it be next year?

I guess I at least saved myself the embarrassment of seeing you and having to explain in my rambling manner about how I read this blog all the time because of Diann's ministry to me when I was going through breast cancer, but how I have never read one of your books because I'm a wimp when it comes to thrillers, but how I respect you so much from what I read on the blog , etc. etc. Comedy-mystery I can do, but thrillers, not so much! Can you see my red face ? I can imagine a confused-amused look on yours!

Anyway, I am sorry I missed it! Thanks to all of you for the effort and please don't give up on it yet!

Thanks also for passing on the reminder that fear has no place in God's perfect love and almighty power!


At 1:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Isn't Diann wonderful, Bev? :-) My books are more romantic mystery than thriller though, just so you know. Only Abomination would fall into that thriller category. The newer ones are more romance too.

I would love to have seen you! Maybe next time!

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Tricia said...

Well shoot! I have been dying to go to one of these types of things...all the writing wisdom in one place! But usually they are so far away.

I LIVE IN DALLAS! But I had no idea it was even here! :(

It must have bee poorly advertised, or perhaps I need to get out more :)

I'd love for you to pray for me...I have Sjorgrens Syndrome, recently diagnosed. It is alot like Rheumatoid Arthritis though it can damage things other than joints. I've had unexplained chronic pain for years, so it's nice to finally have a name for it. Sadly, the meds they put me on are not yet working...but I'm hopeful.

I still can't believe you and several other authors were right in my back yard sharing all their writing knowledge and I missed it!

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for the post Colleen. I needed a reminder like that amidst our storm.

Just got back from Johns Hopkins today for my husband's monthly check-up. The good news is his lungs look great, the bad news is that he came back testing as one of the 10% of people who can't metabolize the medicine that was the doctor's first choice to use. There are other things they can use that some studies show are just as good, but still, I don't like things not going as smoothly as expected. Our prayer request is that the tests they ran today come back the way we're hoping and that he continues to do well with the medication.

Thanks Colleen!

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Deena said...

It makes me sad to think that so many missed out on a huge treat...wish I could have been there, but California is a long way from Texas.

I'd love prayer that I can balance family and ministry. Lately, I feel God pushing and stretching me, but staying in line with my husband/pastor is a challenge for a free(er) spirit like me now.

Also, prayers for health--lots of family sick with the flu. Thanks for thinking of the family of God; we love you!

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

It's a shame that more folks weren't there, but for those of us who were, it was just that much more of a treat!! It was wonderful meeting you!! I felt like I was in heaven all weekend with the chance to be around all you great gals.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

And we're dealing with my FIL's Alzheimer's as well. Hugs to you as you walk that road.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

That graphic is fabulous, Colleen! So glad you got one, you deserve it. :)

I will be praying for you all with your F-I-L. I guess my prayer request would be I don't lose any hours at my job when it starts up again in a few weeks. Things are tight as is and I can't afford to lose income.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Michele said...

So this is my first time commenting here. I have such anxiety about commenting for some reason. It's like whatever I say has to be just right.

Wish I could have gone to the Expo. I am in the Northeast- and nothing comes up here.

Anyway, I guess my family is going through a storm right now. My dad has just been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. It has spread to some organs and his spine. He is in a lot of pain and I'm not sure if he will recover. My mom just got out of the hospital in January after being in there over a month. She had colon cancer and underwent "the most difficult surgery" her doctor ever performed. My dad was caring for her but now they trade on and off. They are quite young- my dad will be 60 this year and my mom 61. Please pray for both of them, especially for my dad and his salvation.

Btw- I agree with Jaime about "charging hell with a water pistol." I love it!

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh Michele, you never need to fear posting here. We're safe and we love you! I'm so sorry about your parents. BOTH with such problems. I think it's harder to watch someone you love go through this than to go through it yourself. We want to take it and we're so helpless. I'll be praying.

And I'll be honest. My pastor coined that phrase about me. I'm, um, enthusiastic. He always called me his Deborah. LOL

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Linda, it was SO great to meet you! I was wishing the other girls had been with me so we could have had a mocha together. I didn't realize your FIL had Alzheimer's too. It's such an awful disease. Sigh.

Praying for all your requests right now!

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Tricia, my sister has sjrogrens and is now doing great! The important thing is to find the right doctor--a doctor who is familiar with the disease. It makes all the difference. I'll be praying for you!

Waving wildly at Bev!

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

I don't know about other people, but when I found out that the expo was $20 a day, ($15 with a coupon) there was no way I was attending. I couldn't see the value in it (basically I had the reaction that I would have if I went to the mall and suddenly the security guards wouldn't let anyone in unless they paid $5) - in this economy, most people aren't going to do that.

That being said, this was the first year and if it was truly worth $20 a day, then next year there will be a lot of people saying "I'm so glad I went last year! I got my $20 worth!"... and then people will see the value of spending that $20.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Ok I just realized my comment sounded really snotty.... LOL

I deleted out a line that I should have left in.... but I just thought of a better way to explain myself anyway....

My understanding of the expo was that it was basically a marketing tool - authors were there selling books, publishers trying to get people to buy books, etc...etc... etc....

I, personally, don't want to pay money to basically be advertised to... no matter how much I might support that industry.

Now... if there was other stuff going on besides the advertising portion that had a value of $20 (or more).... THAT'S what was poorly advertised.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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