When was the last time you attended a really amazing conference?
I love, love, LOVE conferences.
By nature I’m an introvert, but there’s something about a conference with like minded souls, that pulls my introverted self out and about. Meeting new people, learning new things, taking workshops and classes, the swag (!), it’s so much fun.
By the end of the event, I’m completely tuckered it, but it’s worth it!
One of the life changing conferences I attended was the Creative Connection, put on by Jo Packham, artist and founder of the fabulous publications, Where Women Cook, Where Women Create and Where Women Create Business. The Creative Connection event lasted for two years and I’m thankful I made it to the second year’s event (2011). It was one of those change-your-life-moments. I met and talked with women who were up to their eyebrows in creative endeavors, some as hobbyists and others as full time gigs. I went in wide-eyed and left with my heart filled.
What surprised me the most was the collaborative spirit of the group. There was 700+ women and everyone was eager to help, share, inspire, teach and encourage each other. I met women there I keep in contact with even now. I watched some women go from new artists to full time, inspiring art businesses of all shapes and sizes.
My newest book was inspired by the Creative Connection. The events and characters in the book are all fictional, but the feeling of collaboration and coming together to “save the day” at the event – I pulled back on my memories of the Creative Connection in 2011 to help bring about the characters and collaboration in the story.
Here’s a description of the book; I’ll be posting the first chapter on the blog so you can taste and see what you think.
In the third book of the Chocolate Croissant Club, Melody leaves her hometown of Stonybrook -and her cooking club friends- to indulge in three days of creating, cooking and learning how to take her fledgling business to the next level at the Create Conference. The cherry on top of the event: acceptance into the Pitch It Session, a prestigious panel awarding three women with book deals and television specials features.
Odd things start to happen as soon as the conference starts. Luggage goes missing, a theft occurs and a mysterious masked intruder interrupts a festive evening. The mood of the conference takes a dark turn as the featured display of the conference- twelve one-of-a-kind necklaces, worth $25,000 each- are stolen and the founder comes under suspicion.
Founder of the event, Madge Poppins, has spent her life training and empowering artisanal entrepreneurial women to thrive and succeed. The Create Conference has gone strong for twenty years. This is the final year and Madge is finishing her conference with a flourish. At least she was….until the necklaces are stolen from under her nose (almost literally).
Soon Melody is on the trail of a thief while trying to learn how to master baking a soufflé and impress a panel of intimidating judges. Then Brandon shows up, throwing Melody’s cool demeanor off course. Does he really think their relationship can survive after their rocky last few months? Will Melody find out who stole the jewelry before the conference is over? It’s a lot to handle, but Melody is ready to take it on and whip out a delectable new blog post in the process