Happy Monday all!
For those that read my lame status updates on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I was in Atlanta this past weekend, staying at the Sheraton - home to Eyecon 2013. For those who do not know what Eyecon is, it's a mini comic con for fans of the Vampire Diaries (TVD) that promises more face-to-face time with the cast. My take = GENIUS! I mean, no wonder TVD is such a huge success - not only is the story interesting and the cast beautiful (not to mention HAWT), but this...Eyecon...It is pure gold.
Now, I was not at the hotel for that event. Not directly, at any rate. But, being a YA author, I have to admit how much I LOVED people watching! It started Friday night. I got into town in the evening, checked in and found myself searching for food around 8pm. The fabulous hostess did me a solid and sat me in prime people watching territory, and I watched as fan after fan tried to muster up the courage to approach Steve R McQueen and his half-bro Jessarae (yes, I actually knew who they were too! You know - for research purposes!). As I watched fan after fan finally muster the courage to talk to them, I was so impressed with their generous gestures and willingness to interact. It was refreshing.
The next day I was busy with the reason I was in the hotel - the [U] factor project. As I said before, this was a pilot project - sort of research for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, ISF, as it figures out how it wants to work with youth in the future.
I was more than humbled and honored to be part of the line-up of speakers, which included the amazing Kim Klingler (CEO of ISF), Riley Ennis, a 20 yr old with an amazing start-up in San Francisco (his focus - curing cancer. And after listening to him, I am CERTAIN he will!!! Beyond certain actually), and the inspirational Maya Penn, 13 yrs old founder of an eco-friendly design company - Maya's Ideas Shop (she started it at age 8 and donates 15-20% of profits to charities).
To say I was humbled is an understatement. I have no idea if my little section was as inspiring as Kim, Riley and Maya were - I can only hope I didn't mess up, you know. The kids in the workshop ranged in age from about 8 to 18, all there to discover their passions, cultivate their talents, and live their purpose. The message was inspiring and amazing - I know my soul will be filled for months to come.
The event ended with a surprise appearance with the foundation's founder and name sake. This was another amazing moment - watching a celeb take the time to listen to and care about some of his youngest fans. He was genuine, humble, and generous beyond words; a true role model at a time when these seem to be few are far between.
All in all - an amazing event!
My trip ended with a very exhausted Christine, a time change that made me even MORE tired, and an early ...EARLY check out.
I am anxious to get back to my routine this week. I know the messages of humility, generosity, passion and service I was honored to be part of will stay with me for some time!
If you'd like to learn more about ISF and the incredible work they are doing, CLICK HERE!
How was your week?