It seems to me I've spent most of my life not quite fitting in. Part of that is my shyness which I have spent a lifetime trying to overcome. Part of it is feeling different. Not many people talk about the voices in their head or spend their days playing make believe in their minds. But in March I had an incredible experience. I attended the LDStorymakers conference.
I became aware of this conference several years ago, but the timing and the money never worked out for me to travel to Utah from Canada. One year I really wanted to go, but had become lazy with my writing. I told myself I would go the next time, if I could earn it. During that year I wrote my first novel. I persuaded a sister-in-law, who is also a writer, to come with me and we made the trip. I even entered the first chapters contest, hoping to get some valuable feedback on the work I had done.
Because I don't like crowds or strangers, I felt fairly nervous at the whole prospect. What I found when we first arrived was a feeling I had never felt before. Yes, these people were strangers, but we seemed to have a common bond. Here was a place where the written word was honored and revered. Here was a place where dropping everything to write down that perfect line is expected and encouraged. Here is a place where you say, "I am a writer," and you are respected for it. I finally found where I belonged. I am already planning to go to Utah again next year and get to know people a little better. And if I can find a place just once in a while where I truly feel at home, I'll be there.