Sometimes, on a good day, an extraordinary surprise drops into your lap or, in my case, sits in the chair beside you at the airport. My holy-smokes moment arrived this morning, courtesy of Debbie Macomber, the keynote speaker at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. For a good five or six minutes, I respected the author’s space. All the while, potential conversation starters circled my brain like a merry-go-round.

Eventually, I told myself it was now or never and freed my inner fangirl. Was Ms. Macomber kind? Absolutely. Was she funny? I laughed out loud. Our conversation hopped from knitting (her hobby, my nightmare) to professional football (she’s team Seahawks and I chant Go Pack Go).  When she asked about my manuscript, I gulped, squeezed out my pitch, and explained how my grandparents’ love letters had inspired my story. With a knitting needle still clenched in her hand, she placed her fist against her chest and said, “That touched my heart.” Her words melted mine.

In Debbie’s keynote address, she emphasized the importance of setting goals, including writing a list of 30 people you hope to meet during your lifetime. Whoa! I’m down to 29.

After an energizing conference, brimming with teachable moments and talented friends, this thirty-minute one-on-one was the sparkly sprinkles topping my gluten-free lemon cupcake. Thank you, God, for sweet surprises, especially at the Nashville airport when the Starbuck’s line is longer than the runway.

two men sitting in front of each other on white gang chairs in airport waiting area

Photo by Daniela Maria on