It was many years ago – over two decades now – that I attended a writer’s conference in hopes of learning how to write a book and get it published. Since I was a small child of four or five, I knew I was born to write and tell stories. As you may have read before, my childhood game of pretend was packing the family suitcase (I literally packed my clothes in it) and going to New York on “book business.” In this beloved childhood game, I was always warmly welcomed in New York and the books I wrote were celebrated. I have no idea how a little girl on a farm in the Deep South could know of such things. Still, this is the unvarnished truth. I am grateful to the good Lord that I stayed the path. Years passed, the little red-headed girl grew, gathered a couple of college degrees, chased adventure and worked some menial jobs. I was past 30 before I picked up the strands of my childhood heart dream and began, in earnest, to seek my true calling. I signed up for a writer’s conference where New York Times best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb was keynote speaker. It was a day that fueled my hopes. I hung on every word.