On September 19, I will be traveling to Chicago for a few days. No, not because I am craving the best pizza in the known world (...although...). I'm going to the Story Conference. This will be my second such conference this year with the word "Story" in the title, although this is going to be a tad different from Donald Miller's Storyline Conference. This - Story - is for creatives. By creatives. Writers. Bloggers. Artists. And unlike when I went to Nashville, this time out - I have a bucket list. A bucket list of people I want to meet and activities I want to undertake.
I want to NOT turn into a completely gushing fanboy in front of Rachel Held Evans.
I want to NOT sound like a complete blithering idiot in front of Ed Cyzewski.
I want to find Matthew Paul Turner, if for no other reason than to see if for once, he and I can occupy the same space at the same point in time. Otherwise, we will have no choice but to determine that we are the exact same white guy with a shaved head and facial hair, simply from two divergent timelines. At least, that's my theory.
I want to see who "gets" the DOCTOR WHO tshirt I will wear one day during the conference, and then declare them my brother or sister in geekdom. (First official geekdom family member claimed: Tammy Perlmutter. Woot!)
I want to cultivate a minimum of three (3) potentially borderline inappropriate in-jokes with Alise Wright.
I want to come up with a totally non-sequitur question to ask Tracee Persiko during her Q&A session.
I want to yell something out loud to Darrell Vesterfelt to see if I can embarrass him. Out of love and friendship, you understand.
I want to play "Tag" with Bob Goff (and if he reads this, odds are, he probably will play with me).
I want to get KT to explain "Bibles and Beer" to me. Over beers. Plural.
I want to convince Ryan Haack that he and I should dress up like "Jay and Silent Bob" at some point. Or to be more accurate, "Silent Bob and Silent Bob."
I want to buy Katie Axelson coffee. Actually, I think I owe her some coffee.
I want to take a photo of Alece Ronzino. A photo of her smirking. Because those are so amazingly hard to come by. (Just joking, friend...)
I have a list of about two dozen people I want to hug. Every person (except maybe Darrell) listed above is on that list.
I want to be challenged.
I want to be humbled.
I want to be given focus and clarity.
I want to love - and will love - the fact that a number of people will have no clue who I am, and I can make new friends.
I want to be able to accept any words of praise that come my way. I want to accept them as the blessing they are, and not internally swat them down thinking I'm not worthy for someone whom I may look up to and admire to tell me "Hey, I like your stuff."
I want to not be scared to introduce myself as a writer.
I want to come back with a few dreams and ideas for the near future.
And as long as I'm dreaming, I'd like to come back with a few leads, critiques, and hopes...and somehow wind up about 25 pounds lighter, and have hair.