I love writing. I do it every day. And I never know where the stories may end up. Often, I go on a journey with the people I write about. The picture at the top of this post was taken while I was interviewing New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy back when he was a junior at Brigham Young University. I love this picture (shot by the ridiculously talented Deanne Fitzmaurice) because it speaks to innocence and youth and promise and the future. Who knew that one day Kyle would end up playing in three consecutive Super Bowls for the Patriots! That’s what I mean about not knowing where a story might end up. Congratulations, KVN!

Last week in this space I told the story of Vic Gaska, my boyhood friend who passed away unexpectedly. I received a tremendous outpouring of responses from people, most of whom had never met Vic. I even received a touching email from the cousin of Zack Smith, the founder of Scandal (Vic’s favorite band). It’s a testament to the inspirational power of human goodness and decency, both of which Vic exemplified throughout his life. I was talking to my literary agent yesterday and he made the point that all of us can use more inspiration in our lives.

With that in mind, I want to say thanks to all of you who read my blog posts. This is my platform to tell inspiring stories and share personal life experiences that I hope resonate with people. I’m grateful that you take the time to read what I write.

Speaking of writing, today I’m announcing the launch of a new annual writers conference at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Richmond, Virginia, on June 7-8.

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Whether you are an aspiring writer trying to pen your first story or a professional writer simply wishing to sharpen your skills, this conference will offer intimate sessions with those who are in business.

If you are interested in writing and storytelling, come join us.