Monday, June 22, 2015

UtopYA 2015

Wow, this is the first time I’ve had my computer on to really “work” since leaving last Wednesday for UtopYA Conference in Nashville. *creaks rusty finger joints at you*
So, I’m totally in zombie shamble mode, with a full conference hang over and a huge helping of euphoric exhaustion. The Waug has sat on my body several times and given me looks of side-eyed betrayal. But after this morning’s belly rubs I think she has forgiven me for abandoning her to the men folk for a weekend. Maybe. She could still be deliberating.

The Conference:
This was my very first UtopYA. I had high hopes for this event since it’s so close to Memphis and I’d
heard lots of great things about the conference, the attendees, and organizers. Honestly, the word of mouth didn’t do the reality nearly the justice it deserves. This conference was one of the most welcoming, friendly, and fun event’s that I’ve attended and I’ve been to the big and the small since 2011.
I met TONS of amazing folks! Readers, Writers, Aspiring Authors, Authors, Kids, Husbands, Friends, Siblings. And the list could go on and on. The connector was they were all nice, friendly people who seemed to be having a great time. What a joy to watch! Even better, what a privilege to participate in all that fun.

I don’t want to leave people out because so many people touched my life this week but there were a few very special moments. Like, an amazing sushi dinner that produced a TON of laughs. Thank you to everyone for including me in the fun. Especially my dinner travel mates, Carlyle, Katie, KC, and Chelsea. Sorry I got you “jacked” by the valet and lost in Nashville, ladies J LOL! Heck, let’s make it a tradition! #AdventuresWithTheKaties
The visit to Germantown Pub with Carla, Carrie, and Candace that thankfully included free food! You three are my sisters from another mister and you ROCK! I have not laughed and talked that much in ages. Thank you so much for those five hours of connection and fun and for hanging out with me Saturday night. Y’all can really cut a rug! I’ll never forget our time at UtopYA2015. The sky is the limit for you, writer sister. I believe that with all my heart and I’m cheering for you. And Carla, best of luck on your new job adventure, I know you will be fabulous!

My “shirt girls” who always had a smile and a laugh for me the entire conference. What a joy to see great friends having so much fun together for the love of authors and great books. I appreciate you gals so much!
Shantella and Jaci who eased a lot of my conference overhead just by not being afraid to share a room with a fellow book lover who happens to be a stranger and for introducing me to my first White Castle. Thanks to you both for answering my frantic texts for randomisms during the exhibitor hours and for the laughs. Shantella, I expect to see you go very far with that story! I’m cheering you on.
For everyone who stopped by the table, signed my shirt, said hello, waved back, laughed with me, sat down and said hello first, and let me join in on a game I sucked at. You guys, seriously. I’m at a loss for the right words other than thank you.

To the Tiny Nugget of Hulk, Stacey Rourke and the Fab Colleen Nye who held up the exhibitor front lines with me. You ladies are a treat to hang with! I wish you nothing but success in the coming year and hope to see you in 2016!  

For Carlyle and Mama, my most awesome table mates. You ladies are a true class act. I could have listened to Mama tell me stories of her travels all day every day. I love you both. I hope to see you again as soon as possible. Safe travels back to your family and know you will be missed every single day by this Mississippi girl.

To Morgan Wylie my Saturday signing day table partner. Solidarity in the triangle, girlfriend! You are a blast to hang with and I hope to see you again soon!
To everyone at UtopYA and now the newly upgraded UTOPIA2016, thank you all so much for all your hard work and dedication to authors and readers. Putting on an event this size is a daunting task, you all did it with grace, a smile for every one of my questions, and have created something wonderful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. These memories will live with me for the rest of my days. And mark those Utopia calendar's for June 2016, I'll be there and I hope to see you all next year!
Until then, KD 



  1. Yay! It was so fab to finally meet you in person, KD! Looking forward to 2016 and seeing where everyone is a year from now. xo

  2. Aaron and I had such a great time too.

  3. Corinne,
    YES! It was so wonderful to meet you too <3 I have my ticket already and looking forward to catching up in person at Utopia2016! Wishing you all the best over this year with your awesome book!

  4. Melissa,
    I'm so happy to hear you guys had a great time! You can't know how nice it was to run into you guys over and over again and always get a familiar smile. Hopefully next year I can bring my son if his footballing doesn't interfere again. I think he would have a great time too!