Have you ever been somewhere or done something that was so amazing you were still on a high from it? Well if not, I’m here to tell you that’s how it was at the 5th Anniversary of BRAB Readers Warrior Retreat. For those of you who don’t know what BRAB is, it’s an online FB group – Building Relationships Around Books. The retreat was held in Alexandria, VA from October 5 – 7.
I attended my first conference with BRAB two years ago in Las Vegas. Yes, honey… Las Vegas. I had a great time as a featured author. However, there was something special, dare I say magical about the 5th anniversary. The atmosphere was charged with positive vibes. It was as if readers and authors were all on one accord. Everyone was genuinely kind and loving to each other. And to top it off, Nikkea Sharee was an AMAZING emcee! She kept it live and popping!
It was wonderful seeing readers who have been following me since writing my very first novel, and meeting new readers who didn’t know me. The same goes for authors I’ve met over the years in person and meeting authors I’ve only engaged with on Facebook, especially my author-sisters Anita Davis, JL Campbell and Sheryl Lister. And of course it was sooooo good to see Sharon Blount, MsPrissy Parker, Denise Stokes, Lillian Douglas, and meeting my birthday twin, Kathy Brooks.
I think one of the things that made this year so special was that folks stepped outside of their comfort zone and mingled. Each day I talked to someone I didn’t know. Y’all this is huge for me since by nature I’m shy. I truly believe it was the positive energy I mentioned earlier. Another thing that made for an amazing bonding experience was the trip we all took to the African American Museum in D.C.
Before writing this post, I reached out to Sharon Blount the president of BRAB to ask her what did she think made the 5th anniversary so special. Madame President said there were many factors that contributed to the retreat’s success. The first being, “I told myself this year I was putting this event in God’s hand. Once I did that I stopped stressing about the small things.” She went on to say, “The event was so special to my heart because the ladies of BRAB – Denise Stokes, MsPrissy Parker, Kathy Brooks, Lillian Douglass, and myself remembered where we started. Also, I wanted to show appreciation to those who was there from day one.
Blount goes on to point out that everything came together beautifully with this being the first year of having a keynote speaker – Patricia Sargeant, live awards ceremony and lip sync battle. Now that lip sync battle was a lot of fun! Meeting her supporters for the first time was another touching moment that had her in tears. The absolute highlights was meeting Loretta Walls and her surprise of bringing Chamsil along. And having her godmother, Mechonda Williams attend.
Finally, Blount wants us all to know that there was nothing but love and respect there. “That’s something you can’t fake. I’m so proud of that. Ain’t God good?” Yes, He is!
This year my daughter, Martia and best friend, Esther joined me. You’ll just have to believe me when I tell you they enjoyed the conference just as much as I did. We’re all looking forward to attend the San Antonio conference in 2018.
Well, Loves, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you were at the retreat, please share your experience. Don’t miss out on all this goodness! Join us next year! Click here for more information.
Until next time,