Off to Florida

I’m heading out to the International Christian Retail Show in the hot and humid city of Orlando, Florida. Thank heavens I’ll be inside with air conditioning most of the time. (My hair hates humidity.)

Tomorrow I leave the house at 5am. When I arrive, I’ll head straight from the airport to the Chi Libris retreat where I’ll be taking part in the agent panel. In case you’re not familiar, Chi Libris is a community of published Christian fiction authors. I’m excited to see a lot of friends there, and maybe even make some new ones. Following that, I’ll have a few minutes to check in to my hotel and change, then I’ll be attending the Christy Awards.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are packed with back-to-back meetings, breakfasts, lunches, etc. In total I’ll have around 40 meetings, I think. Although most people stay through Wednesday or even Thursday, I’m flying out Wednesday due to scheduling conflicts.

In the past I’ve always attended ICRS as an editor; this is my first time as an agent and I have a feeling it will be far more exhausting than before. For the next several days, I’ll pitch and schmooze my little heart out on behalf of my clients. It will be tiring… but I can’t wait! It’ll be fun, too. I have a lot of friends in the industry that I only get to see once a year, and this is it. So I always look forward to it.

I’ve set my blog to post every night as usual because I won’t have time to blog while in Orlando… unless something really exciting happens while I’m there (which is highly unlikely).

And on the home front…my kids have been having intermittent sob-fests the last few days about the fact that I’m leaving. Mommy, we’re going to miss you so much! Mommy, those five days are going to drag on forever! Mommy, I don’t want you to go! We’re talking big crocodile tears. I keep thinking they’re going to grow out of that! I thought I was going on a business trip but it turns out I’m going on a GUILT TRIP.

I’ll definitely give you an update on everything when I get back. Have a good weekend!

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Wordlist on December 11, 2011 at 1:54 AM


    Great blog post, saw on…

  2. militia207 on July 19, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    >telephone: caller id and voice mail for those times I wish to be invisible.

    television: Hands down DVR/TV-O

    Game Station: Okay i’ll admit it i’m 47 year old female and right now a wwii along Aerosmith’s guitar hero is looking pretty allurring right now

    computer: flexiwork woo hoo !!!! the ability to work from home instead of going into the office
    that the Federal Government offers its employees who are recoverying from long term illnesses or disabilities.

    car: forget the GPS XM Satellite Radio Rules allow yourself to get lost getting somewhere and stll not hear any annoying DJ’s or commercials : – )

    Hobbies: WordBiz where you can play a competitive game of scrabble 24/7. . . . ESPN Fantasy Football . . . . . . Food Network Recipe Database …. Ordering tickets online for the Colbert Report.

  3. Lisa Jordan on July 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    >Crocodile tears are one of a child’s best weapons. I work with children on a daily basis and know how well those little manipulators can heap on the ole guilt. 🙂

    I gave up my Florida trip this year to go to ACFW. What a sacrifice! Hope you’re having a wonderful time and a safe trip home.

  4. Eric Dabbs on July 12, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    >Sounds like a fun trip. Although, I’m not very big on flying. Haven’t been on a plane since I was a kid. I did go on a helicopter ride a few years back though.
    Orlando can be sweltering. We went to Disney World a couple of years back and had a blast. But I do remember nearly suffocating from the heat and humidity. We would search for a shade to pause and get some relief, of which there weren’t very many opportunities for that.
    We also carried around water bottle, battery powered fans that would spray you with a cool mist.
    No matter. I love Florida and go everytime I get a chance, Destin being my favorite (will be going there in September). Have a great time while your in Orlando. I know us writers appreciate your blog. It’s really informative and slightly addictive. We’ll wait for your return. Happy trails.

  5. Terri Tiffany on July 12, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    >Love your blog! I’m headed to the ICRS as well but will be with the Media for two days interviewing. But I live near Orlando so my trip won’t be so bad! Enjoy!!

  6. Gwen Stewart on July 12, 2008 at 4:57 AM


    If your daughters are anything like my girl, they have Daddy wrapped around their pinkies and will have a fabulous time while you’re gone, though they will miss you very much. They may even wheedle him into buying them another Webkinz. 😉

    Best of luck, enjoy and God bless!

  7. Rachelle on July 11, 2008 at 10:31 PM

    >Timothy, the show officially begins on Monday. Sunday is filled with a worship service and other fellowship activities, including a concert of worship music in the evening. So as we like to say here on Rants & Ramblings, no need to get your panties in a wad. 🙂

  8. Anonymous on July 11, 2008 at 10:16 PM

    >I read on the ICRS web posting:

    “In addition to the exhibit floor, the Show includes Sunday Worship,”

    I think, once in a while, it would be nice to get a new perspective and celebrate fellowship with other Christians.

  9. Timothy Fish on July 11, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    >Am I the only one who finds it ironic to me that ICRS begins on a Sunday? I have worked for a very large company for the past eleven years and while it is far from being a “Christian” company, aside from a recent out of state assignment, I have never had an assignment that hindered me from being actively involved in my local church. I don’t know how many people in the publishing industry are actively involved in their home churches, but I would think that organizations with Christian in their name (ICRS, ACFW, etc.) would be at least as considerate as a Fortune 500 company.

  10. Marla Taviano on July 11, 2008 at 9:29 PM

    >My girls do the same thing. Have a BLAST!!

  11. Chatty Kelly on July 11, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    >The hardest part of going to my last writers conference was leaving my kids! But with all the take-out food and cartoon watching that occurred while (strict) mom was away – they figured out staying with Dad is a-okay.

    Plus, when you leave it is more likely your family will rise up and call you blessed – cause they finally realize your worth (& work!)

  12. Mark H. on July 11, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    >Business trips are a little different, but my wife and I just took a week-long trip by ourselves to celebrate our anniversary. Saying goodbye to the kids was rough. There were no tears, but you could see the trepidation on their faces.

    24 hours later, however, we were both saying, “I’m so glad we did this.” The kids, of course, loved being spoiled by their grandparents. And then being spoiled some more with the loot we brought back. It all works out in the end.

  13. christa on July 11, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    >I always thought my kids played the drama cards to make sure I’d come back with gifts! Two years ago when my youngest (now 22) went to New York, he actually brought ME a t-shirt!

    The humidity-now that’s an oy-vey It’s over 80 degrees here at 5:30 in the morning.


  14. Rachelle on July 11, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    >Thanks, everyone for your comments and advice! The funny thing about my kids is that I’ve been going on business trips several times a year ever since they can remember. And I always bring them gifts, which they love. Still, the waterworks continue. Oy vey. I guess it’s good that they still want me around.

  15. Deborah Vogts on July 11, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    >Hi Rachelle,

    Your post this morning reminded me of past years at writer’s conferences when I left my young girls at home. Some of the things that have helped me (and them) deal with “mom being gone” were: 1) give them an important job (for us that meant taking care of dad while I was gone, such as helping him with meals, laundry, etc.) 2) contact them a few times while gone, and 3) bring them back a trinket or stuffed animal. They always love the last one. LOL.

    And for me, I remind myself that this is good “dad time” for them. 😉 Enjoy your trip!

  16. Cheryl Barker on July 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    >Rachelle, good luck on your first ICRS trip as an agent! Bring your girls a gift back from your trip — maybe they won’t mind the next one as much if they think the same thing will happen again 🙂

  17. Camille Cannon (Eide) on July 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    >They don’t outgrow it. Our 17 yr old Indian “daughter” who only lived with us for a year left for India last week and we got the big tears and “I’ll miss you so much” for a couple solid hours. When she finally connected with her family 10 days later, the first thing she did was call and tell us she missed us so much and started crying again. The only way we could turn them off was to promise to come to India.

  18. Anita Mae on July 11, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    >So after reading your post, my first thought was that if I was heading down to Orlando without my kids, they’d be sobbing, too!

    With 30 yrs of mothering and 20 of those yrs in the military, I’ve had to leave my kids numerous times. The actual leaving is the hardest with everyone in tears.

    But I’ve left my kids with 2 thoughts:
    1 – the conviction that this is where God wants us to be, and
    2 – they don’t have to listen to me nagging to pick up their things

    Usually, that (and keeping in contact) does the trick.

    I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  19. Kim Kasch on July 11, 2008 at 8:57 AM

    >It’s too bad the family couldn’t tag along and visit The Magic Kingdom while you’re trying to work your own magic, maybe next time.

    Have a wonderful time!

  20. Marcie Gribbin on July 11, 2008 at 8:34 AM

    >Praying for safe travel, energy to get what you need to done, some moments to unwind a bit, and for your girls (and husband) who miss you so.


  21. Catherine West on July 11, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    >Pitching and schmoozing…in Florida. Sounds okay to me. :0)
    Your girls will be just fine and so will you. Have fun, it sounds like an amazing trip, can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.

  22. Katy McKenna on July 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM

    >Your girls adore you. I’d kind of worry about them if the didn’t send you on a Guilt Trip. I’ve learned you can have just as much fun on a Guilt Trip as on the kind the other folks are taking. But your suitcase is a lot heavier on the way home.

    Oh, and my kids’ crocodile tears totally end. Right when my mother’s started. 🙂

    Have a great time ICRSing on the agent side. I predict you’ll love it even more now!

    Katy McKenna

  23. Jessica on July 11, 2008 at 7:06 AM

    >Gordon, I’m watching Season two right now. I’ve never seen the finale.
    I hope no one died. 🙁

  24. Jessica on July 11, 2008 at 7:05 AM

    >That’s so cute about your kids. I’m in Florida too. If you check your comments, definitely pack light. It’s sweltering here.

  25. Richard Mabry on July 11, 2008 at 6:57 AM

    Ah, guilt–the gift that keeps on giving. We’re praying for an enjoyable and successful conference for you… some of us perhaps more than others. Travel safely.

  26. Gordon Carroll on July 11, 2008 at 5:54 AM

    >I just watched a rerun of the finale of the Everybody Loves Raymond show. It was so sad and so funny at the same time. Some really great writing, acting and directing. Reading your blog, with your kids not wanting you to go, and your GUILT trip quip reminded me of it. Sad and funny.

    Have a great trip and remember, we’ll be missing you too.