Award-winning Publishers Weekly Best-selling Author

arch sunriseButterflies sprouted their wings in my stomach as I stepped off the plane in St. Louis, Missouri. I took a breath and exhaled slowly to calm my nerves before heading toward the baggage carrier. Could I really go through with this? The introvert in me was screaming, “What are you doing? Go home!” However, my dream of becoming a published author gave me strength to push forward.

Why was I anxious?

I was headed to the biggest writer’s event of the year—the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. There would be over 500 other writers there. Many of them authors of books I love to read. I was nervous being around so many people, thinking about pitching to agents/editors, etc. It’s a lot to take in.

St Louis ACFW

On one hand I was excited to see my writing friends and my mentor, DiAnn Mills. It would be fun to spend time with them again. On the other hand I was concerned I would mess up my pitch when I went through my appointments. Would they like my story? Would I say something stupid?

I needed to just breathe.

And trust God.

That’s what I heard from our keynote speaker, Lauraine Snelling. She said in one of her sessions. “God is saying to us, ‘Are you going to trust Me?’”

Why do we have such a problem with trust?

craftsmans group

We tend to want the control of our lives. At least I do. Not sure why because I mess it up! I need to leave it with Him. He knows best.

The conference went well. I had five great appointments with agents and editors. My continuing class on forensics by Jennifer Dornbush was very interesting. It was fun to learn more about that world to know how to use it in my writing.

The closing gala was such fun. Everyone dressed in their finest! I had the privilege of sitting close to the front because my friend, Loretta Eidson, was a Genesis finalist and I was her date. 😉  As winners came up to the stage to accept their awards, I felt like we were at the Oscars for books. So cool!

Spending time with my friends and making new ones was such a blessing. Saying goodbye was hard though. That’s why I’m thankful we have the Internet to keep in touch!

I came home from the conference not only with great responses from my appointments, but with a renewed mission of why I write. One thing I kept hearing in different classes is that we are to be the “salt and light” in the world. Sometimes we are the only Jesus people will see and hear. They may not step through the doors of a church, but will pick up our books, so that’s why I write for Him.

craftsman group 2

I needed to be reminded of that.

I wanted to leave you with a song from my playlist. It’s Carrie Underwood’s newest song, Something in the Water. Here is a girl who has caught the country world by storm and has just released a song about baptism. She’s being the salt and light in the world. I’m not putting her on a pedestal, but I applaud her for making such a bold statement with this song.

Let’s be the salt and light in our world.

And yes, there was definitely something in the water at our conference! Anyone in attendance will say the same thing. We all caught the fever. 😉

Writers, let’s unite and write for Him!

We’ll reach the world.

One story at a time.

How are you being the salt and light in your neck of the woods? Share with us in the comments section.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Something in the Water (Chris DeStefano, Brett James, Carrie Underwood)

This song is being played on country stations across North America! All I can say is…WOW! You go, Carrie!


  1. Susan Steeves

    Thanks for sharing your journey at the conference with us…Its SO exciting to see the road the Lord has had you traveling on with this gift….this song reminds me of the time you and I were re-baptized in the Jordon river in Israel, to recommit our walk with Christ.. something changed that day…it gave us a new strength to carry on after Mom’s death and gave us a new focus….one of which you are living out now…Proud of you Sissy as I watch your journey on following hard after Christ to be the Woman He has called you to be! Love you and by the way this song is POWERFUL especially the ending!

    • Darlene L. Turner

      Yes, there was definitely something in the water at the Jordan River too! Thanks Sissy for walking this journey with me. Love you xo

  2. rollyachabotbooks

    Thank you for your experience and sharing it knowing He is the one we trust. The Father above has greater plans than we ever know. It is a blessing to read your words knowing it was where He wanted you to be…

    Hugs from Alberta


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