June 16, 2014

How I Met Ted Dekker Without Dropping Dead

How I Met Ted Dekker Without Dropping Dead - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna RusnakHe smelled like soap.

I don't know why this surprised me because one of the golden conference rules was 'be scent free!'

I think I wanted him to smell like the mountains.

When the press-release stated that he would be at this years writer's conference it no longer became a question of 'should I go?' but 'when I go'. How often does the chance come along to meet your idol?

There's this strange phenomenon that happens when you build up a person in your mind - this budding perfection that makes you giddy like a schoolgirl and foolish like a killdeer - and they become this ideal monument that you appreciate and revel in from afar.  But the chance to meet them? What if? What if they're not what you've built them up to be? What if they're a huge disappointment? What if they're a puffed up celebrity-boasting-rock-star drunk on their own literary fame? 

What if you don't even have a chance to figure it out because you're so overwhelmed in their presence that you burst into tears and can't carry on a conversation?

What if?

From the moment he walked onto the stage on Friday night for his keynote address my 'what if's' were buried and I was enrapt.  He's got this cowboy swagger and Duchovney smile and he spoke with the same raw emotion he pours into every book he writes and I felt his eye contact all the way to my toes {because, of course, I was sitting in the second row dead on center} as he spoke directly to me and all of us and told us that we are all beauty and we are all story and all of our creations are in our own images and they are perfect because we are perfect in our 'right here, right now' because our here and now is beautiful. It was astounding. And moving. And I felt the lump of his words in my throat and wanted to set fire to all of my if only's.

Our first conversation was ridiculous. Not because I was an idiot but because it was late and everybody wanted him to sign their books.

"Green?" he asked as I handed it to him, surprised because it's older than everything everyone else was bringing to him.

"I brought it from home," I told him as he turned to the cover page.

"Is it your favorite?"

"Of the The Circle Series," I told him.  "It was fascinating. I don't understand how you pulled it all together."

He just grinned that grin. "Two N's?" he asked - to spell my name right.

"Could you sign this one for my son?" I took back Green and handed him the The Lost Books series.  "His name is Zander."

Ted sat with his pen poised above the page.  "Zander," he said.

"Zed-A-N-D-E-R," I spelled.

His pen didn't move.

"Zed-A-N," I said again.

"Zed?" he asked, giving his head a little shake.  "Zed? My brain can't get past that! Zed? Like Ted."

{I told you - a ridiculous conversation!}

I laughed because his brain had forgotten he was Canadian.  "Zee-A-N," I clarified.

"Great name!" he said after I'd spelled it out one final time.

"Thank you for what you shared tonight," I told him.  "It was so so great!"

Answering without words, he made prayer hands and dipped his head before taking a book from the next person in line.

And I was still in one piece. My heart was beating at a normal rate. And I was suddenly the owner of a book signed by my favorite novelist!

The next day found me absorbed in his three-hour class, soaking in the kind of wisdom worth much more than the price of the conference. And then the most extraordinary thing happened - in my hands, I held an advance copy of his newest book, not set for release until October 2014!

He read to us from its pages - the only time he actually seemed even a little bit uncomfortable. "Reading is not my strength," he told us. When he finished I had already written A.D. 30 - October on the top corner of my notebook to make sure I remembered when I'd be able to get it.

He held the book up. "So, I don't need this any more. How should I...?" and he looked to the ceiling while that little grin snuck out. "Who here has read one of my novels?"

Most hands went into the air.

"Who has read five?"

Some hands went down.


More hands.

"Who has read more than fifteen?"

All that remained were my own and two others.

He made us stand. 

And pick a number between 1 and 20. Seriously.

The others picked 17 and 18. I picked 7.

He threw the book to me, straight down the center and straight into my hands {which I quickly had signed as soon as we took a break}!

"If you bleed on the page, people will drink it. Everyone is a vampire." — Ted Dekker on pouring yourself into your writing

How I Met Ted Dekker Without Dropping Dead - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

How I Met Ted Dekker Without Dropping Dead - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak{Oh, just look at how I gaze on him with unabashed adoration. I don't even care how big of a book nerd this makes me}

So for now let me say, {in the way of my favorite movie, Love Actually} without hope or agenda, to me he is perfect and my wasted heart will love him for all the great beauty he unleashes on this dark, dark world.

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  1. I love it, Alanna! Your writing style is as refreshing as you are. It does my heart good when I see young people enjoying life with abandon.

    1. Ha! And it does my heart good to be called a 'young people' ;)

  2. ahahahahaha. I couldn't help but just laugh the whole way through this. Sounds like somebody has a crush (although you pretty much admitted that with your Love Actually quote). Seriously hilarious but I still understand all at the same time. Glad you got to meet him!

    1. A little crush is healthy - it keeps one young ;)

  3. Heidi EastmanJune 16, 2014

    The vampire quote makes me love him even more! I started the books you guys got me, but there are these things like work, sleep and kids that keep interrupting!

    1. I knew you'd like that - I wrote it down as soon as he said it because I wanted to make sure to remember it - it was just too good to let pass by!

    2. so when can we expect a preview or a review of A.D. 30? B/c that'd be killer!!!!!!!!!

    3. I'll share something soon! It's like nothing he's written before - and it's absolutely beautiful!!


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