I’m in Arizona after a very exciting and busy series of conferences, including the very successful WordCamp Netherlands, WordCamp Phoenix, and PodCamp Arizona, visiting family living near one of my favorite authors in the world, Alan Dean Foster.
During WordCamp Phoenix and PodCampAZ, I shared with my audience that I was too excited to just be “this close” to the one man who completely changed my life when it came to writing, actually helping me become a professional writer. Robyn Seaton stepped up to my challenge and connected me with the master himself. This is just one more amazing reason why I love WordPress and WordCamps!
In the next few days, I hope to connect with Alan Dean Foster and tell him thank you and hug him. Hopefully, I’ll also get time to interview him.
Alan Dean Foster is on my top ten list of people I want to meet, hug, and thank for having such a profound impact on my life, changing my path and encouraging me to stay focused on my passion. Earlier this year, the first person on that list was met, LeVar Burton, giving me a chance to say thank you for changing the conversation about disabilities. The list includes Bill Cosby, Shirley Maclaine, Terry Pratchett, and Orson Scott Card. My husband met Card, saying thank you for me, but that’s not good enough. As you can tell from the abbreviated list, authors have played a very strong role in my life, but Alan Dean Foster was the mentor whose knees I sat at and whose words I drank like a sponge.
After arriving last night, we walked the streets of Prescott and stopped in the lovely galleries and shops along Whiskey Row. I bought a key chain and postcard from Prescott to take home and put in my office as a reminder that I was this close to Alan Dean Foster, knowing he’s probably walked these streets and shopped in these stores, or ate at the Hotel St Michael Bistro where we had the best and most beautiful meal, hoping that would just be enough. Waking early this morning to find an email from him, instigated by Robyn, wanting to meet me has me over the top with joy and all the fears that come with making your dreams come true.
When I stop shaking and can compute all of this, I will tell you more about how Alan Dean Foster’s writings rocked my brain from the inside out, teaching me about turning a phrase, storytelling, and understanding the mastery of dialog no school has ever taught, and how knowing his life was richer for traveling spurred my own travels and willingness to jump off the cliff and live on the road full-time for almost 16 years…it’s amazing how one person you’ve never met can influence your life so much. The more I think about the powerful effect his writings and lifestyle has had on mine, the more I’m overwhelmed with emotion and stunned that I may get to actually met him.
For now, I’d like to ask you two important questions. First, if you could ask Alan Dean Foster a question, what would you want to know?
Second, what is stopping you from living your dreams? I’m living mine, with the help of friends, so why aren’t you? What’s your dream and what is getting in your way?
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.