Keli Gwyn
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Lessons Learned at a Car Show

Last week Gwynly and I took a mini vacation. We headed to a car show held in the “Biggest Little City in the World,” otherwise known as Reno, Nevada.

This was not just any old car show. This was MG 2011, a gathering of some 800 classic British MG sports cars from across the US and Canada that takes place every five years.

Gwynly is an MG enthusiast and has owned his 1968 MGB roadster over 40 years. Her name is Midge, and she entered his life long before I did. I like to joke that she’s his blonde and I’m his brunette.

When we left home, I welcomed the opportunity to be a supportive spouse. Gwynly is incredibly supportive of me and my writing, so this was my turn to be there for him. I didn’t expect to have much fun and took along a manuscript to edit in case I got bored.

I had a great time and hardly touched that story. During the four days we were gone, I learned some lessons.

Passion is contagious. Gwynly was in his element, and his enthusiasm was palpable. He rarely gets outwardly excited, but he sported a cute grin much of the time we were there. I had fun being with him and saw the cars in a whole new light because I viewed them through his lens.

Expect the unexpected. The first night we attended a dinner for MGB owners. I entered a room filled with 300+ people. Counting my hubby, I only knew three of them. We sat at the other couple’s table. They were to Gwynly’s left. A couple I’d never met sat to my right. The wife was beside me doing her best to be a supportive spouse, just as I was. We began chatting, and guess what I discovered. She wants to be a writer. Our dinner conversation took off once we discovered that bond. I was able to give her some helpful information. We had such a great time talking that we were some of the last to leave the ballroom where the dinner was held.

A smile goes a long way.  The last day of the event Gwynly and I helped tally ballots for the voting at the car show. I had such fun chatting with the members of our car club with whom we were serving as well as with those stopping by to drop off their ballots. I dished out smiles and was rewarded with many in return.

The keynote speaker at the Awards Dinner was Tim Suddard, editor of Classic Motorsports magazine. Since he’s an editor, I paid close attention during his talk just in case he shared some information I could use. Since he was talking about racing and classic cars I didn’t expect much to apply to me, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here are some nuggets I gleaned.

  1. Don’t be scared to be scared. Tim was talking about racing, but the counsel is sound no matter what the endeavor. Writing can be scary at times, but I don’t have to let that scare me away from pursuing my dream.
  2. Don’t take on a major project unless you can spend 10 hours a week on it. Tim was referring to restoring cars, but the advice would apply to any big undertaking, such as writing a book.
  3. When submitting an article to his magazine, Tim gave these pointers:
  • Ask what makes your story special.
  • Doing a story right takes time.
  • You’ll catch more flies with honey. He said his magazine publishes articles from nice people.

I returned home rested and ready to dive into my writing with renewed enthusiasm. While getting away can be hard for homebody me, I’m glad I had this special time with my guy and learned such valuable lessons.

• • •

What are you passionate about?

What hobbies or interests do you share with your special someone?

Keli Gwyn


  • Lol. Love the pic of the blonde!

    I’m passionate about dirtbikes! But I wasn’t always. the Hub introduced me to them and I tolerated them until I got on one all by myself. Now I’m like a chocolate addict, I CANNOT stop.

    Glad you had fun and wish I could have gone. I think I want your life. You do so much fun stuff!

  • Jessica says:

    What a romantic, lovely time! I love your brunette joke. 🙂 I wish I shared something with Jimmy, but we’re just really different and we mostly share a similar view on finances and child rearing. We both used to love playing poker though. 🙂 It sounds like you two had an amazing time!

  • Wendy says:

    That is so cool, Keli. My folks used to bring me to car shows sometimes when I was about nine or ten. You offered some great tips. I liked the part about asking what makes a story special. Hobbies…hmm. I love the outdoors and working on used furniture. I’m also passionate about writing and crafting a story. I’m so grateful to have found others in these past few years who share my passion.
    ~ Wendy

  • Char Chaffin says:

    Keli, what a great entry! I think my Don and your Gwynly would find they have much in common. Don’s also a car enthusiast. He’s had some kind of classic car ever since he was a teenager. Chevys, Camaros, Mustangs, you name it. I think there might have been an MG in there somewhere; I’ll have to ask him. Our mutual love of classic cars helped to forge our relationship, so that’s the hobby we share. As for passion, I’m passionate about my writing and he’s passionate about his support of my writing. I couldn’t ask for better! BTW, Don’s current “other baby” is a 1966 Shelby Cobra, a little red bombshell with a black leather interior. She’s a LOT faster than I am.

  • Alica says:

    What a fun time! Passion is contagious- I hate watching sports, but if I go to an event I get into whatever it is we’re watching.

  • Glad you had some fun time away with your sweetie. Your tips are wonderful and sound like they might also apply to our conference coming up as well. 😉

  • Marji Laine says:

    Funny how the right kind of lessons can cut directly across the lines that separate topics.

  • Getting away can be much needed! I love the lessons you learned, especially the one about being afraid. Joyce Meyer says, “Maybe you are afraid. Do it afraid.” I’ve hung on to that one.

    My hubby and I like to travel and see new places, though we don’t do it often since the kids. But we go to movies together and love them. He even likes chick flick. Can’t beat that!

  • I just LOVED the way you gleaned some great hints for our writing careers from attending a car show! You’re amazing. And I’m taking those suggestions and trying to paste them into my brain for my future. What makes my story special? Writing my story right takes time. And, I’ll catch more flies with honey. THANK YOU, Keli.

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Sounds like it was a fun weekend. It’s great to share a special time like that.

    My hubby and I share a passion for God and the love of American history. It binds us together.

  • What a blessed journey with your hubby! I like your application of what you learned from your experience translated into our realm of writing. Thank you for another great post.

    What am I passionate about? Walking with the LORD each day. My hubby and I share this same passion. I am very fortunate to share a simple but rewarding life with him. Blessings to you, Keli…

  • Beth Vogt says:

    Great insights from a car show! Like you, my husband is so supportive of my writing. He read multiple drafts of my ms and gave me some great lines of dialogue too! He loves to hike and camp. I joke that I like to “watch” him camp. LOL

  • Anne Barton says:

    I love your blonde/brunette joke too! I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip and took away some helpful tidbits. The lessons you mentioned are wonderful tips for RWA Nationals too. Can’t wait to see you there!

  • Thanks for sharing these nuggets you got from the car show, Keli. Sounds like a special time for you and your hubby, and IMHO I think because you went to the show with a positive attitude, you ended up having a very nice time and actually getting some pointers that can be applied to writing. 🙂

  • Oh it sounds like you had a wonderful time –I especially like that you meant a person who wanted to be a writer! I know she was blessed from your talk:))

  • Aw, that sounds like a great time, Keli. I’m so glad you had the chance to get away, and how fun that you sat next to a writer!

    My husband and I are big “gamers”. We love playing board games and our game collection has outgrown a double-width cabinet. I’m the queen of Scrabble and he’s the king of Monopoly. 🙂

  • Jill Kemerer says:

    Sounds like a fun time! I can tell you have an open and adventurous spirit, though. And how nice to be able to bond with hubby over HIS hobby!