Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stretched and Strengthened

When I was a choreographer and ballet teacher, I sometimes taught a class for stretching and strengthening. The Fantasy Fiction Tour has done for my soul what those classes did for dancers' muscles.

I had hoped to post frequently along the way, but the experiences have been so amazing, that many small encounters deserve their own post. So I'm planning a day-by-day recap, complete with the terrific video diary (produced by Grandath Films for us).

Yesterday I had several hours to relax at LaGuardia airport waiting for my flight home to Minnesota. As I pondered the tour, I realized how bonded I feel to my tourmates after this experience. Statesman-like Bryan, gentle Wayne, and energizer-bunny Christopher have been part of my every waking moment for the past eight days, along with sweet Amanda, deep Jennifer, and relentless Kayla. I hope I've absorbed some of the amazing greatness of each of them.

There are wonderful practical and tangible things to report about the success of the tour (great press coverage, enthusiastic crowds, etc). But I'm especially rejoicing in the intangibles, and hope to share that in the coming days. Here are a few hints of some moments that warmed my heart along the way:

God-moments. Praying and crying with a man who has committed his life to caring for his son with autism - and him saying my description of The Restorer IS his life. Oh, how I long for the book to bring encouragement to those pulled into adventures they didn't expect! Prayer service at the Brooklyn tabernacle (we did an event for their bookstore). Hearing from readers how deeply they appreciate our efforts to write a genre that has been under-represented in CBA in the past. Bonding with three other authors who are deeply committed to sharing Christ through their books, but also in their conversations. Our prayer times together - sometimes snatched in a bookstore parking lot. Telling a group of homeschool families that their efforts for Christ matter. Sharing with a youth group at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. That they CAN be heroes for Christ as they follow Him. Hearing from book store owners and managers how The Restorer has impacted their lives. Or the woman who was reading it on a Manhattan subway and said her heart was beating so fast she had to stop to breathe before diving back in...

... and much more.

Please pray for Wayne as he prepares to do an interview for Fox network tomorrow about Christians writing fantasy fiction! He is the most good-hearted, humble, and earnest guy, and needs our support.

More as soon as I get unpacked. :-)


Justin B. said...

The way The Restorer has impacted people is amazing! I am so glad to see the amazing impact the tour is having! I'm seeing both christians and non christians who once doubted the genre take interest! I feel in a few years, something amazing is at hand. I am so glad to be part of the amazing time!

Valerie Comer said...

So glad you are home safe and sound. My ongoing prayer is that the impact of the tour will be...ongoing.

Big hugs!

Merrie Destefano said...

How funny! Valerie's first line was exactly what I wanted to write: so glad you are home, safe and sound. Well, apparently that was what we have all been praying for. Thanks, God, for listening so carefully to our hearts' desires.

Now it's time for reflection, Sharon. And this can be the best time of all! Time for all of your experiences to process through your heart, soul and mind, and be translated into words.

Thank you for going forward despite any misgivings, for being courageous when you didn't "feel" brave, for perservering when you got sick. You truly are a worthy role model for the rest of us writers, and I am still excited about how God will continue to bless your gift of storytelling.

By the way, has anyone told you how beautiful you looked in every video?

cyber hugs,

Pais Charos said...

Me three! I wanted to say the same thing! I'm glad you're home safe and sound, Sharon. It was just a pleasure and a JOY to meet you last weekend! I wouldn't have traded our time in my truck as we chased Wayne down the Interstate for anything!!!

OH! I'm almost done with The Restorer and I LOVE it!! *hugs*

Sharon Hinck said...

Pais, that was one of my highlights!

Merrie, I think I look like I was living out of suitcase for two weeks and getting almost no sleep - which was accurate. LOL! But I couldn't stop smiling - it was so wonderful connecting to readers and seeing their enthusiasm.

Justin, we were all so delighted to meet you. You are a blessing.

Val, I'm praying the same thing. As one of the tour members said, we're seeing the first rolling stones of an avalanche. :-)

Roheryn said...

Another, glad you made it home!

I must say, I FLEW through the Restorer, and am now anxiously awaiting the second! *bounces around*
It was fun trying to find LaGuardia with ya!

Pais Charos said...

I'm flying through it as well... well, "flying" for me, as I read kinda slow. I started it last Saturday night and I'll probably finish it tonight!

I miss you Sharon! I hope you get some sleep!