1. Having a merlot with Johnny, the ninja assassin. (Regina Doman, when discussing set up and payoff in the Faith in Fiction panel, said, “Your character can’t say that he was a ninja assassin last year and not use it later.” Then Karina Fabian, in the panel, mentioned she and John Desjarlais were ninja assassins. That evening, Johnny went to make a phone call, and asked that we order him a merlot. It arrived while he was still gone, and Joseph Pearce, who had just joined the party asked whose it was. We told him Ninja Johnny, which got a bit awkward as Joseph had his arm around Ninja Johnny’s chair at the time. Payoff!)
2. Our first guild minion rendering Joseph Pearce speechless. (Squeeee!)
3. Photos with the Pope, and the legality of it all.
4. The EWTN interview round with a half dozen or more authors all talking about their books. Then Ellen Hrkach getting them to interview yet another author on the floor. (Said EWTN: “There are Catholic Writers all over!”)
5. Karina squealing from across the hall, “Omigosh! It’s (insert Guildie name here.)”
6. To veil or not to veil?
7. Matthew Bowman’s hundred-plus Lego pics, not to mention his feature-length Star Wars parody in stop action Lego. (Impressive.)
8. Much singing in the bar! A jam session of Irish songs with the Flynns providing music, Ann Lewis singing Ave Maria.
9. The reason why Ann Lewis will most likely ban spray glue at future conferences. (Good thing Tony Kolenc had Jennifer Fitz to rinse out his eyes while her young daughter gave medical advice. At least Michelle Buckman and Karina were only joking about gluing Michelle to the wall.)
10. Discovering the incredible poetry of 14-year-old Theresa Mladinich (daughter of Guildie Lisa Mladinich).
11. Arthur Powers and Michelle running madly down the hall because they were late to the Faith in Fiction panel—and receiving a room of applause when they arrived.
12. The world’s worst service at the bar—late meals, wrong orders. At least Michelle got free fries from it. In fact, Michelle got a lot of free things—free ride from the airport, free food and drinks from editors she lunched with. The one meal she planned to pay for—at Ruby Tuesdays, where we all went to escape the bad service–ended up free because they gave her meal to the wrong person!
13. Father warning everyone to stay faithful to the church and not look for a “little Buddah on the side,” and Ed Hara’s reaction when he got the joke. (He buried his face in his hands for a minute, then declared, “Well, except for that, he’s really a great homilist.”)
14. Ice cream! But no airborne peanuts, please. We had someone with an airborne peanut allergy.
15. Meeting with so many friends we only knew online, via chats or Facebook. Connecting with publishers, editors, priests and nuns, marketers, and bookstore owners. The Catholic writing world is bigger than imagined, yet small enough to be cozy. What a great group—what a great conference.
Did you attend? What are your favorite memories, touching or comic? Share them in the comments.