Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

Oregon Christian Writers / Road Trippin’ / Abi’s Visit




Actually, this post is not going to be small. Or short. At all. Prepare yourself.





1 / Conferences are the best encouragement ever. Between the speakers, new friends, and mentors, conferences are absolutely chock-full of encouragement.


2/ Make connections. This is probably the just extrovert in me, but I love talking to people and making friends. Having a support system during the general hobbitness of writing is such a massive necessity, yet most of us don’t realize how much we NEED OTHER PEOPLE. Even though writing is a pretty solitary career, we’re all humans and need contact with the world outside our imaginations. Having writer friends to chat with when the writing gets rough is completely awesome.


3/ I’m an ambivert. I kinda already knew this because I come out either an ENFP or an INFP each time I take the Myers-Briggs personality test…but I didn’t realize how much my introvert side effects me! I was TANKED by the end of the conference, and even during, I found myself aching for a few moments of quiet. However, I do have this weird ability to ‘shut down’ and find a quiet place in the midst of a lot of people. Henceforth, I claim to be an ANFP. ;)


4/ Christ MUST be the center of our writing. I’ve been to Christian writing conferences before, but the Oregon Christian Writers is on a completely different level. Starting and ending each day with worship. Most sessions also started and ended with prayer. The spiritual focus of this conference was like no other. It was like being in the best church ever for three solid days. I was not expecting this level of spiritual instruction, yet I needed it so much.





The day after Abigayle Claire arrived, she, Emily McConnell and I  loaded up in the car and began the long(ish) drive to Portland, OR.



Before we left



Road-trippin’ together is so much fun!!!! Not only do you learn a lot about one another (MWAHAHAHA), but it’s such wonderful un-interupted talk time. We jabbed the entire 6 hour drive.




Our days at the conference were filled with smiles, concentration, laughter, studious-note-taking,  making new friends, and SO MUCH MORE that I’ll never be able to fit it all in here. But here’s a little taste. :)


Shortly after this photo was taken, a rather large spider crawled over my notebook and stared at me for several seconds before my sluggish brain registered that there was A SPIDER ON MY NOTEBOOK!!!!! Needless to say, spidey died shortly thereafter. (and i did not scream. *nodnod* )



Emily McConnell, Megan Wilcox, and I.




Abi and meeeeeee!!!!!! We were still trying to figure out what end of the phone to look at while taking a selfie… XD


Such good little students we are… (ha ha ha)

In the middle of the second day, we all got the urge for some junk food. Lots of junk food. Mercifully, there was a grocery store just across from where the conference took place, so we skipped over there on break and bought enough candy to last the rest of the conference behaved like the responsible adults we are.



Jill Williamson and I


Notice the pretzels. Food is important, guys. I lost track of how many baggies of snacks we consumed, but it was a lot. ;)




It’s still a little weird for me to talk about my health so publicly. For so long, my chronic illnesses are something that I’ve kept to myself and not really wanted to share. But they’re such a huge part of me–not always in a bad way–and I want to share ME with YOU.



I went to the conference already fatigued from almost two solid weeks of company. While I enjoyed all of our visitors in that time, I can’t ignore the fact that it exhausted me. (But sometimes, that’s the cost of fun, and it’s OKAY.) The issue was that since I was already ‘compromised,’ I knew my endurance was going to be less for the conference.

I did have a bit of a rough go. Thank goodness, adrenaline helps a lot, as does caffeine. But mostly, Emily and Abi were what helped me make it through. They didn’t make me feel guilty for needing to rest. They weren’t offended by the fact that I sometimes needed to sit on the floor in the back of the room rather than at a table with them. Even though I didn’t ask them to, they both kept a close eye on me and would frequently ask how I was doing. They would tell me when I was crashing. (sometimes I don’t notice the crash until it’s too late)

Another thing I appreciated so much about Emily and Abi was their patience and incredible support! We had to run to a store several times for me to grab some forgotten medical things, but never once did they show any irritation. I wouldn’t have blamed them if they had! But they only showed support and love. That means SO MUCH TO ME.



Other than the fact that Emily and Abi both know me very well and are incredibly compassionate, this meme is totally accurate.


There was even a time when I dislocated my finger while cutting meat (that’s EDS for ya) and Emily was kind enough to cut it for me. (After we laughed. We must laugh about these things. If we don’t laugh, we cry. Laughter is much better.)

I’m so blessed to have friends like Emily and Abi!!!! <3





While I didn’t get as many pictures with people as I’d wanted to, I managed to snag a few here and there.


Frank Peretti


Tessa Afshar


Jill Williamson


Melanie Dobson




The Oregon Coast has been a favorite vacation destination of my family for many years. I feel like the sandy shores, sunshine, and crashing waves hold a huge part of my heart. Spending a few hours there with my friends was the best!

SO PRETTY!!!! *heart eyes*



Selfie and flyaway hair. The struggle is real.

Emily and I

How adorable is Abi?????

Shadows and waves

Emily somehow managed to keep her jeans dry even with all the fun she had in the water.

Can I just say I’m impressed with iPhone pictures????

Abi and meeee…..trying not to shiver too much. XD Beaches are cold up here, ya’ll.




  • late-night chats with Emily and Abi
  • praying with some pretty incredible authors
  • pitching to an agent (who is now interested in my current WIP–more on this later!!!)
  • getting two fantastic mentor sessions with amazing people
  • deep discussions
  • movie nights with Abi
  • exploring a cemetery and choosing some new character names (with Abi)
  • listening to a certain person “suck mango brains”
  • laughing so hard I cried
  • eating so much candy, coffee, soda … ugh. XD
  • going to the beach
  • brainstorming Abi’s incredible new story
  • learning how to personality-type characters
  • enjoying just being together
  • discussions opinions on weddings
  • stealing Emily’s hat
  • and so much more!!!!



This post has taken long enough to write so I’d better stop now. XD Kudos for making it this far!!!

Have you ever met any of your writer friends? Are you going to (or have you) gone to a writer’s conference?




16 comments so far.

16 responses to “Oregon Christian Writers / Road Trippin’ / Abi’s Visit”

  1. Sarah says:

    oh my gosh you got to meet Frank Peretti!!!! And Jill Williamson!! That is so cool!

  2. Megs says:

    Love the pics!
    I’m glad you girls were able to come to the conference. It was sooo fun to meet and hang out with you! <3
    I'm ALMOST done with the wonderful birthday present you gave me. I LOVE this book. Seriously, you've got a GIFT! I can't wait for the next one to be published. :D
    I hope you're rested up from the long trip. I know those can be so wearisome, but I'm sure it's worse with EDS. I'm praying for you! :)
    God bless!

    • Ivy says:

      It was awesome to meet and hang out with you, too!!! You’re super fun to be around!!! :D

      Thank you so much for the review! I’m really glad you enjoyed it and are eager for the next one.

      Thanks for the prayers! It’s been tough, but God is good!!!

  3. Kellyn Roth says:

    Whoa, lots of material in one post, like you said! That all looks awesome! Sometime I’m going to get down to the conference, though I don’t know if it’s something I’d enjoy it. Anyway, I’m glad y’all had a good time! :D

    • Ivy says:

      Yep, picture overload! I’m SURE you’d enjoy it…conferences are so much fun!!!!! Hopefully you will join us some year??? :D

  4. Your post is awesome!!! I love how we kind of filled in the gaps for each other because everything you said was perfect!! I can’t believe how much I already want to go back XD There’s no getting rid of me now! Best. Trip. Ever.

    • Ivy says:

      Haha, yep!!! You’re like the easiest person to be around ever…I’m glad you’re going to come back willingly!!! I thought I may have to bribe you… ;)

  5. I’m so glad I stalked your blog and finally read this. :) I really enjoyed reading your take on things, Ivy. This was super sweet. Mango brains are good, by the way. ;) I love you sooo much and really enjoyed this time with you. <3

  6. Madison Guy says:

    Looks like so much fun!! So exciting that both you and Abi were able to pitch ideas to agents!

  7. Katja L. says:

    Haha. . . Spidey wouldn’t have stuck around very long if I’d have found him either. Hate those things!!!!

    Now you make me want to go to a conference too!! ;)

  8. This was such fun to read! Wow, you did manage to get a lot in one post, but you did it without overwhelming me! Now that’s good! :)
    No, I’ve never been to a writer’s conference. I’ve thought about it a few times, but never enough to see if there are even any around here. But after reading this, I need to go check. :) It sounds like a blast! As well as very helpful and encouraging. :)

    • Ivy says:

      Haha, I’m glad to hear it! You should definitely check out a writing conference. They are amazing, so encouraging, and always give me a lot of extra UMPH to keep writing. :)

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