Catching up– Spotlight on Books

A series of events — and so many of them weather related — have kept me from posting to this blog. The first catch-up post relates to Spotlight on Books, April 11-12, 2008.

The Spotlight on Books Conference: Decades of Great Reading  was held as announced, but presented major challenges for everyone. For us, it was mainly a question of getting authors, presenters, and participants there safely.  A blizzard forecast to begin on Thursday evening prompted a number of people to come early and for Sugar Lake Lodge to offer special rates, and meals, for early arrivals . All evening long, people literally “drifted in” as the storm began to get serious. Gusty wind and blowing snow, as well as poor road surfaces, made for challenges no matter what direction you were coming from. These conditions lasted through all of Friday and into Saturday morning.

Jim Trelease, Friday’s presenter, got there on Thursday evening and his two presentations were wonderful. Mary Casanova and Debra Frasier also blew in on Friday as events they were scheduled to hold were cancelled. DJ MacHale got to Minneapolis without a problem, but flights into Duluth, Hibbing, and Bemidji were all cancelled so he grabbed a shuttle to Duluth, spent the night there, and arrived at Sugar Lake Lodge on Saturday morning in time for the day’s events. His luggage didn’t quite catch up with him until he was ready to return to California, but he was a good sport about all the improvisations that took place and was a charming presenter.

Though our presenters all got there, and 72 registered participants arrived, and we had a terrific conference, some of the Sugar Lake Lodge staff were unable to get in to work and the food truck making deliveries was unable to get through. The staff and chefs at Sugar Lake Lodge were undaunted by this, however, and provided us with scrumptious meals and outstanding service.

Authors, book displays, showcase events, book sales, book signing, and lots of networking made this a wonderful conference. We were sorry that many could not make it, but were glad that a majority of our registrants did get there and all our presenters provided a memorable Conference.

We hope that NEXT year will go off — April 3-4, 2009 –without any dramatic weather!  We will hope for weather similar to the first year we were at Sugar Lake Lodge where we were able to enjoy the deck for after dinner dessert!


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