404 Story 2012: Words And Pictures

Story 2012: Words And Pictures

I don’t have an elegant recap of my time at STORY 2012. I’m still processing a lot of what I saw, heard and learned. So I’ll share a couple of quotes and some images that are still running through my head.

STORY 2012


The presenters were all fantastic. They each approached creativity from a different angle which brought such a depth of perspective. The following quotes may not make full sense outside of context but they were the main takeaways for me.

Find the prompts that make you jump the tracks. You don’t need to know all the steps, just the next step.
Bob Goff

You don’t have to have hope to create art, but you have to have hope to create beauty.

The person who loves the process is more likely to be successful than the person that just loves the outcome.
Erwin McManus

To behold something is to gaze into its inner splendor.
Makoto Fujimura

God will not bless His competition.
Kyle Idleman

If you’re not willing to do “nothing” for God, then you’re not healthy enough to do “something” for Him.
Paul Vischer

While Bob Goff starting it off by essentially prompting us all to jump out of our seats and go live life to the fullest, Paul Vischer brought it all back home with His personal testimony of failure and redemption. His quote had the most impact on me. Especially as it relates to what I write on identity.

There was also an incredible spoken word poet that shared a few poems. The most beautiful was an epic piece on the beauty of creation.

Spoken Word


The theme of Story 2012 was “Everywhere”. It was in the context of finding inspiration for creativity everywhere but I had another perspective. I was able to find friends everywhere. From Illinois, to Tennessee, to North and South Carolina, to Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

I was able to meet people like Kristin Tenant, Jennifer Luitweiler, Ed Cyzewski, Addie Zierman and so many others. We had a meetup at a local pub with about 30 writers/bloggers and it was definitely a highlight of my trip.

I spent time with my Prodigal Magazine family: Darrell & Ally Vesterfelt, Krisi Johnson, Bethany Suckrow, Katie Axelson and Sonny Lemmons.

Darrell, Ally & Krisi

I got to spend time with my brother from another mother, Sonny Lemmons. He was so much fun. If you don’t know this guy, you need to get to know him.


Another major highlight of the trip was hanging with two of my favorites, Tracee Persiko and Alece Ronzino. I pretty much talked their ears off at dinner one night. I was sharing my testimony and started preaching. They were kind enough to listen through the entire sermon without falling asleep!


I was able to spend time exploring the city with my beautiful wife. We absolutely loved Chicago and can’t wait to go back to visit.


There’s so much more but I won’t subject you to anymore gushing. Suffice it to say that it was worth every penny. It was an amazing 33rd birthday gift! Which is today by the way. Yeah, I’m no longer shy about telling people it’s my birthday.

Also if we’re FB friends, I’ll be posting more pictures soon.


  1. your preaching had me fired up and ready to give my life to Jesus again! 😉

    so glad we got to hang in chi-town together! what a blast!

    till next time…
    Alece recently posted..privacy, authenticity, and living publicly

  2. That is awesome! I really want to make it to a big conference sometime in the next year because there are so many awesome people from the blogosphere I want to meet. You included.

    Thanks for sharing some snippets from STORY. I hope you’re able to digest and process everything and the inspiration is sustainable.

    ThatGuyKC recently posted..7 Evernote Tricks for Every Husband

  3. “Brother from another mother” is definitely synonymous with “trouble in the making.” Now children, get on your carpet squares for StoryTime!


  4. I long to attend a conference like this someday. Thanks for sharing some of your experience! That Bob Goff quote is really sticking with me. Especially since I’m reading Love Does, and I just love that guy.
    TMZ recently posted..California Re-Bound? The Ongoing Saga of Traveling Golden Trout

  5. The quote from Kyle Idleman has really stuck with me, too. I feel like that was one huge takeaway for me that I didn’t anticipate – where our intentions for creating come from is what matters most. If our heart isn’t right with God, if it isn’t for His glory, then my work is fruitless. Definitely a “come to Jesus” meeting for me, in a good way. 🙂

    Again, so glad I got to spend time with you and Katie! Happy birthday, friend.
    bethany recently posted..STORY 2012 : Sower of Seeds.

  6. Tony, I’m so glad to hear that Alece and Tracee listened to you “preach,” since you were so kind to listen to me get all worked up about my own story. 🙂 Next time we’re in the same place, I want to be sure to get the “testimony encore” from you! Thanks for making the journey up to Chicago with the lovely Katie—it was great spending face-to-face time with you both!
    Kristin T. (@kt_writes) recently posted..Wholeness & creativity walk hand in hand

  7. It was fantastic to meet both you and Katie at STORY. I’m looking forward to the good things God will be doing through you both in the coming year.
    ed cyzewski recently posted..Women in Ministry Series: How Do You Know if You’re Called?

  8. I love that quote from Phil Vischer. It was awesome getting to hang out with you and Katie in Chicago!
    Darrell recently posted..Number One Rule Of Tribe Building

  9. What a fun roundup. Makes me feel like we’re still there!
    Jen recently posted..UR Stronger Than You Think

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