My publishers collectively went on their knees to pray for good weather.
By grace, the sun shone for the first time on the 13th of September, opening day. Although I did not have any book signing or launching scheduled on that day, I hurried to the venue (SMX MOA), raring to see my new books (including an old one, Grace Found Me, with a new cover), caress them for the first time, and offer them to the Lord, for Whom they were written.
I was surprised at the already dense first-day crowd. The queue to the entrance was like a snake curled many times over. I begged the guard to let me in because I had to go to the bathroom badly. He took pity on an old lady and let me in, begrudgingly.
The first sight of a new book you slaved over for months (sometimes years) is always a crowning moment. It's like a scene in movies where a long-lost love suddenly appears from the horizon and you both run to meet each other—in slow motion and with matching music to dramatize the reunion.
I blinked back tears when I saw "Dump Truck in My Heart" at the OMF Lit Booth and "Grace under Pressure" at the CSM booth. I turned off the noise for a few seconds to thank the Lord for them.
Unscheduled book signing and photo ops happened next. The annual MIBF had raised the curtain.