Yes, this is Emileigh Latham. You have found her! She is in quite a disarray because she is building a website right now. Do not worry. She will be back and have a brand new website for your reading pleasure.

Toodles for now.

Please come back.

::post ACFW conference + Sons of Victory::

Was it all just a dream?

Did it really happen? 

evidence that says I did go

In some ways it is hard to believe it did. It was all just one big blur of wonderment that could have easily been a dream. It felt like I went to a writer's version of Hogwarts except instead of having a school year's worth of time, we only had three days. Three magical days where I was surrounded by writers, agents, and publishers. It was just way too short but full of life and wonder.


It was strange to be back and see how much the hotel and the conference rooms had not changed. Everything felt the same and I even remembered what I was feeling and thinking from the last time I was there but I was not the same person walking in from 3 years ago. It was strange and rather bizarre experience.

I met so many amazing and talented people and even got to see old friends too.

picture via Mary Weber

As always, I feel like I feast like a princess with servants attending to my every need while I'm there. I felt so spoiled.

My view of the DFW airport from my hotel room


What is interesting about this year is that I really didn't learn anything new about my craft but I did learn a lot spiritually which is funny when you think about it. Usually, you can go on spiritual retreats for that but instead I got it at a writer's conference.

The Lord is funny in that way.

1) God not only knows the desires of your heart, but He can take them further. As Allen Arnold said, "God gives you the talent so that He can build it with you but also scare you a bit with the big dreams He has for you."

Let me explain a little bit more.

For ACFW, I didn't have a complete manuscript. I didn't having anything I felt remotely comfortable showing. So, my goals for the weekend were
a) find a critique group
b) make friends
Simple enough, right?

I was heading downstairs for the genre dinner when I met two lovely ladies waiting for the elevator, ACFW name tags on their chest. Yay! Time to make friends!

I introduced myself and we started a lovely conversation. Well, one of those ladies is a fantasy writer (GENRE-SISTERS!) and one of the first questions she asked me was, "Do you have a critique group?"
I replied, "No. Sadly, I do not."
She smiled and handed me her card and told me she would hook me right up.

That writer was Jamie S. Foley and she is an answer to prayer.

Jamie is in the middle and that's GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS on the right!
Not only had I made a friend that instant but I had found a possible critique group.

I still get goosebumps over this experience because I knew what God was saying to me, "See. I can do this and more for your dreams." (And that was just in the first 2 hours of the conference!)

During the rest of the weekend, the Lord showed up in amazing and astounding ways. That I'll never forget.

2) As a creator, you must know your story before you write one. - Allen Arnold, the Wildness of Writing with God

It was really hard to find the one line that summed up this epic, 5 1/2 hour class, let alone dedicate a paragraph. Allen did such an amazing job. He has such a big heart and he really spoke to us creatives in such a kind and encouraging way that made most of cry. Seriously, there were tears.

I will do my best to highlight what really spoke to me but I recommend getting the recording for this class (which I hope will be on the ACFW website soon.) I suspect that everyone got a different take away from the class than I did. Plus, overall, the class was amazing and I learned so much from it. Here are a few points that I got out of the class:

a) Allen talked about our identity as children of God. Writing a novel and knowing your story are completely different. "It's not about escaping reality - that's what ice cream is for - but showing a higher reality." You are not what you do. You are your identity.
The example he gave here was Once Upon A Time Season 1 where all the fairytale characters have forgotten who they are. They are living as bankers, accountants, teachers, and store owners but they are so much more.
How can a storyteller tell a story when they don't know their own?

b) "Because creativity is so powerful, it is powerfully opposed. Your story and your stories have an enemy. When you write with God, it reminds the enemy of the intimacy and fellowship he has lost forever. The enemy can only kill, steal, and destroy. He is an author of lies."

c) If God has given you the desire to write, He will see it through. It may never be like you want it but He will see it through. He wants to see this finished. He wants you to lean on Him. He's not watching you from the stands. He's right there doing it with you because wherever you're going, whatever you're doing, He wants to do it together.

And these are but a few of the points he made. I really do recommend getting the recording of this class because my few snippets do NOT do it justice.

3) "Adults primarily read fiction to escape reality. Teens primarily read fiction to learn how to cope with reality."
"Who cares if you ever write again. The Lord is proud of you. You are enough. This is your journey. Savor the journey but don't put your identity into it. - Wise words from Mary Weber (picture via Nadine Brandes)

Mary Weber did an awesome job teaching this workshop - Writing YA in the CBA

She showed us that teens of today are overexposed and their emotions are amplified. They don't care about happy endings but hopeful endings to cope with their reality. They want more adventure, more violence (because their world is violent), more truth, and more emotional realism.

No instalove. No love-triangle. No first-look love.

More strong female heroines and less sissy guys or guys as the savior.

They want authenticity.

FUNNY STORY...kind of

Once I gotten myself there in one piece (Dallas traffic is SO CRAZY.) and had everything settled in my room, I thought everything was going to be smooth sailing. I was about to eat lunch but before I did I went down stairs to the registration desk. (Let me just right quick, eat first then go register.)

Everything is going to be okay. Be positive. Relax.

They couldn't find me. My packet was missing.

I was completely bewildered. How could I not be there? I registered online. I paid the money. I doubled checked the process maybe about ten times because I'm a pessimist and expect the worst. Everything was in its place. Everything should work.

I tried my best to keep it together but I think they could tell that I was not okay.

Looking back now, I realize that it was a moment for me to turn to God and be reminded that everything is in His hands. Everything that has happened has been because of Him not me. He told me to come and I have done as He has asked.

With the help of my mother and my sister, I closed my eyes and prayed for the storm to calm down in my chest. And then I offered this experience up to Him, let His will be done through me and through this conference whether I get in or not.

It was definitely a heart-check moment.

Fortunately, one of the ladies at the registration desk was kind enough to let me catch the last 30 minutes of Bill Myers speech instead of missing it entirely.

And, they did find my packet and I was able to be apart of the conference. Yay!

Okay, maybe not quite so funny of a story but definitely comical. No?


While I was there I was able to have Mary Weber, Nadine Brandes, and Gillain Bronte Adams sign my books. They were SO sweet and generous to do so.


Sidenote: Not all of these pictures were taken by me. A few pictures in the collage were taken by Sara Ella, Ralene Burke, and Bethany Kaczmarek.

And, if you didn't already hear, Sons of Victory is out! 

You can find it in Splickety Prime's Lost at Sea issue. Click the magazine on the left hand side of this blog if you are interested in purchasing a copy of the magazine.

You know you are a writer when you see your name in print.


I want to take a moment and say thank you to everyone for all the sweet and encouraging comments and for sharing my wittle story! And thank you to the epic staff at Splickety for polishing and publishing Sons of Victory. Unfortunately I don't have a million dollars to give to everyone for their amazing kindness but I do have my face and a board. You're welcome. But, seriously, y'all are pretty much the greatest people ever!!! And, I do appreciate all y'all lovely folk!

::ACFW conference 2015::

Hey, guys!

Exciting news! I'm leaving for the ACFW Conference today! EEEEEEEPPPPPPP!!!

I am super thrilled and absolutely nervous. I'm going to meeting so many people and learning so many new things. This is all so exhilarating.

On top of that, Sons of Victory comes out this Friday and I can't wait to show you guys!

So many wonderful things are happening this week. I feel like a jack-in-the-box ready to burst out with so much happiness. I wouldn't be surprised if confetti is thrown around me this week.

My life is about to be filled with super-awesome things and wonderful-amazing people so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me until next week. But be ready for a lot of long posts for I will have much to write about.

See ya! I'm going on an adventure!

Remember, you're awesome too!


I don't know if a cat has been going on a rampage in my neighborhood or if birds have been shedding (Is that a thing?), but I have been finding a lot of feathers on my walks. Each time I've come across one, an awesome article on dragons and griffins by Nadine Brandes comes to mind. In the article, Nadine gives us some interesting facts about each mythical creature but the one fact I would like to highlight here was the belief that a griffin's feather could restore the sight to the blind.
Each time I've come across a feather, I have asked myself, "Where am I being blind in my life?"

What am I avoiding?

What am I hiding? 

What am I not seeing?

An area where I've been blind of late in my life is this disease that I am constantly afflicted with and have not realized has shown back up in my life is perfectionism. It is so easy for it to creep back into your life. It comes unnoticed and unannounced.
My writing has been stagnant for the past few months and I haven't understood why. Everything has felt forced and fake like diet soda. Sorry for all those out there that love diet soda but to me its a sham and will never be like the real thing. I have felt stuck. Each attempt to sit down and write out the next part of the story has felt like a missile to my ship. I just keep sinking it.

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft." - Anne Lamott

It's so true. I need to give up these ideas that keep ninja-attacking me and holding on to me like leeches. To get to where the story needs to be, I need to allow myself to make a mess of things. Use all the paper. Use up the pencil before the eraser. Quit comparing myself to others or where I was last year. I am not the same person I was last year. Nor is this a race. This is a journey, one filled with many obstacles and distractions and messes. The one thing I must not do is give up. 

::secret world::

From time to time, I wonder if there is a secret world hidden from me.

(Doesn't those scars look like eyes?) 

Are there disguised creatures watching me as I walk by, whispering about me, making strange noises, creating things to appear in front of me, or even stealing my stuff? There are some days that I feel I can almost touch this world just behind a bush or below the surface of the water.

In some ways, this is true. There is a secret world that I know about. It's the one I go home to every day and write about. A whole world that is confidential, classified, hush-hush until it gets published. Then the whole world will get to see my special world in the pages of a book. A part of me is saddened at the idea. It will no longer be my own secret place that opens itself only to me. The other part is exhilarated because I will get to share it and not be alone anymore.

Occasionally, my world bleeds into this one. I see glimpses of it here and there, whispering in the shadows. Sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Maybe that is the writer's super power - to see what is invisible; to hear what is silenced; to sense what is only imagined.

::why signing is a big deal::

Friday, you may have seen on Facebook and on Instagram that I signed my first contract ever with Splickety Publishing Group for my flash fiction story, Sons of Victory.

Wearing my Nightwing T-shirt because I'm feeling SUPER fantastic.

(Pauses to squeal like a piglet/fangirl) 

Some of y'all may be thinking, "It's just a short piece of fiction. You've been talking about writing novels for years. So, why the big deal?"

Well, let me tell ya. Life as a creative person feels like a box of puzzle pieces. You don't know how many puzzles there are nor how many pieces to each puzzle. You're not even sure if the box contains all of the puzzle pieces. All you know is you've got a dream and you're determined to see it fulfilled.

There are some days I don't know where to begin. Everything is scattered and not fitting together. There are so many options and decisions. It's overwhelming. Sometimes, I'm paralyzed just at the thought of the enormous size of my dreams and I can't move on.

The dream is too big. It's not for me.

I can't do this.

Then my characters start to surface in my mind and, deep down inside, I know I can't quit on them. My characters are counting on me to give them a voice. They are counting on me to share their story and I can't give up. So what if I don't have a plan and don't know what I'm doing. I can't know everything nor can I control everything. I need to cast aside my fears and enjoy this journey.

The journey of a creative.

::nobody told me::

There is something that has remained unspoken to me for many years until one day I figured it out.

{ Nobody told me how much thinking goes into writing a story. }

As a fantasy writer, there are days where I just sit and stare. Many people probably think I am doing nothing, maybe even think I'm a little psycho. They couldn't be further from the truth (except for the psycho part. *wink*). Inside my mind, I am traveling through my world, weaving magic into the universe, building cities and countries, breathing life into new races and creatures, creating history, religions, and governments.

Some days that is all I do, look out my window and slowly put the pieces of my world together.

Because of this, I think the hardest question I face is, "How's your writing?"

In my mind, I cringe because there has been no physical evidence of writing. No writing sessions where I pile on word after word, fashioning a story together; no scribblings on paper; no typing; not even a recording of my thoughts. It's all been in my head.

How does one convey to someone what I've been doing the past couple of hours?

"Oh, I haven't written anything. I've been staring out my window."

It's difficult to explain and there are days that I just give vague answers to the questions because I don't have the strength, the courage, nor the zeal to explain to someone that wouldn't understand what I do.

But the staring out the window, I've come to find is necessary. The hours thinking through how you want your world to work and run, whom you want running it, why, and how, are all important. I find that I do my best writing after I've spent a few minutes or hours staring out my window. It's then that I find the words to bring life to my story.
"The hardest part was being still, looking out the window." 
- Lauren Kessler

It's weird, I know, but I am a writer. I think it's part of the job description. 

::writing with a side of busy::

  1. Drink 1st cup of coffee
  2. Bathe the dogs
  3. Shower
  4. Laundry - Clothes and bedding
  5. Fold laundry
  6. Make the bed
  7. Vacuum 
  8. Drink another cup of coffee
  9. Sort through the piles of junk mail
  10. Post 3 book reviews
  11. Respond to e-mails
  12. Finish crocheting a blanket 
  13. Study 
  14. I'm going to need a 3rd cup of coffee
  15. Then save the world

And, those are just a few to mention on my 'To Do' list for today. 

So, where is that magical, glowing, harp-playing-in-the-background opening in my day to write?

Um, it doesn't exist.

"Writing is done in the time we make, not the time we find." - Amy Sue Nathan

If it isn't at the top of my priorities, it doesn't get done. Everyday, I must make the decision to treat my writing time, whether it be for 15 minutes or for 2 hours, as a critical and essential part of my day. I have to make it important. If I don't, others will not.

But how does one write amidst the crazy American busyness, the jedi mind tricks, shoeing-thieving Nargles, and world dominating Fire Lords?

5 sentences.

Just write 5 sentences or edit 1 page. That's all that I require of myself because even though I've made it to the desk chair and have turned on the computer to start writing, life has just taken everything out of me and there is nothing left to pour onto the page. With 5 sentences a day, I can build a story. It's better than having no words written. As long as I have made the commitment to put my butt in the chair, I will finish my novel.

Because I am a writer, it's what I do.