Girls Write Out
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I think this story bears repeating (forgive me, if you've heard it) Colleen and I met to do a novella collection through Loree Lough. Loree got busy and didn't do the novella collection, but Colleen and I joined Carol Cox and Gail Sattler in "Forever Friends" a Barbour publication. The book definitely didn't last as long as the friendship, but it was a good starting point and aptly named. Anyhoo, Colleen and I became good friends over the Internet because she thought she might have MS (she didn't) and we didn't meet for another two years.

When we did meet it was at the Glorieta Christian Writers' Conference in New Mexico. We roomed with Carol Cox. Let's just say I was not familiar with the ways of the religious retreat world and had I known I'd be essentially camping dorm-style in an aqua-on-steroids painted room with Brown Native American quilts, I may not have been so friendly.

My mother-in-law, who stayed with the kids, was freaking that I was going half-way across the country to stay with people I'd "never met" before. She was convinced I was meeting up with a serial killer. (Little did she know, I was -- that's what Colleen writes now!)

So here's where it turns ugly and Colleen becomes my lifelong friend. I find out, there is no such thing as espresso on this little Southern Baptist spread. And the nearest town is about a half-an-hour away. This was in my convertible days -- when I had the convertible for coffee jaunts and the minivan for the kids. (I know, I know, but it was the beauty of Reagonomics that held on through Clinton, all right?)

Anyway, I decide that I'm going to take a shower when I get there. So I go in and take a shower. One towel is on the floor. One is wrapped around my head and the other my body. I emerge from the bathroom and say, "We have to call down for more towels. They only gave us three!"

It turns out, that's all the Baptists give you. Three people, three towels. For the week!!! What are we, on safari?? So I have just met these people and essentially, I am wearing their towel reserve for the week. They laughed like hyenas after they told me, but first they tried to get more so as not to "hurt my feelings." They were so nice, no one wanted to tell me! So if that didn't cement my Diva reputation, THEN, I rented a car so I could go into town and get espresso. Because I was NOT going to sit through classes without espresso. This is how I got Colleen hooked on espresso. I gave her the entry drug: her first iced mocha.

We got along swimmingly and no one killed me (though they may have wanted to) and here's the pic of us from that conference. But it's a bonding experience when you make an idiot of yourself in front of new people. Try it. Worked for me. And if this picture doesn't tell you that writers' conferences are worth your money, I don't know what would.

In Pic from left to right: Carol Cox, DiAnn Mills, Colleen Coble, Tracie Peterson, Freda Crisman, Judy Miller, Joyce Livingston and moi.
posted at 11:59 PM  
  Comments (10)
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At 9:10 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I love this story, especially the cementing of your Diva reputation. :)

So, Kristin, are/were you a scrapbooker? I recognized the Mrs. Grossman's stickers and Creative Memories album. ;)

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Becky said...

I remember you back then. :) And I blame you and Colleen for my coffee addiction.

Correction: Behind Tracie is Freda Chrisman, I believe. Not Dianne Christner.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I really had to laugh because that was my entry drug, an iced mocha. But at the other Southern Baptist retreat center in the Blue Ridge Mountains, they have this wonderful little shop called Clouds. Yep, you guessed it ... a barista's delight of a coffee bar/shop. I guess they realized even the Baptists had bought a ticket to the espresso craze. ;) So at the BRMCWC, you can have your espresso and take classes wide-eyed.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I sooo love that story!!!! It was the most fun weekend ever. Love you, K!

Beck, I just got home to find a sweet birthday card from you!!! I've been gone for 6 week.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Lisa, I was a scrapbooker, since my fourth came along, I haven't been able to do much of it. And I wasn't very good at it, but I really love having them now and the kids go through them often.

Thanks for the correction Becky, I'll fix that. I had no idea that you were an addict too. I'm sorry?

Ane, I am a Baptist, I was just ahead of my time on allowable addictions. LOL

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Love that story! By the time I came along, you knew not to hog the towels. :-) Not that we ever went back to "camp" after your first experience.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Kris, that is hilarious! I would love to see a book about a recently converted Catholic girl having her first run-in with her new Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ. How fun! I Knew you were a hoot the first time a met you, what, was it ten or twelve years ago? I can't remember. It's especially funny since you ARE Baptist. LOL!!! I loved this. Thanks for making my day.

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

I love this story. You guys should done a collective -- like how you all met and became friends. ;)

Personally, I love knowing all of you! Jewels in my heart.


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

We love you too, Rach!

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh my goodness, this is hilarious, K!! LOL!!! I'm with Ane, mocha was my entry drug, too. I've been struggling with my weight ever since (who can drink it without the whipped cream?). :-)

To defend your honor, I will say you've never used more than your rightful towel allotment since I've known you.


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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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