Daily Archives: October 30, 2015

Faith and Writers Conference – Day 1

ifwc-tnThe weather was cool but not cold.  That means a constant battle with putting a jacket on, and taking it off.  Isn’t it funny how  little things like that annoy you when you’re nervous.

I continue to enjoy walking around the campus, passing clusters of students here and there.  Thank goodness other conference attendees have arrived.  Now I don’t feel like the old man in the sea (of young people).

Gloria Gather opened the conference.  How cool is that!  My parents sang their music for years in the gospel quartet they toured with.  My siblings and I were taught to sing, “What a day that will be” as youngsters.  Mom and Dad thought it was a good idea to drag us up in front of the church and sing it with them.  We were told to smile when we sang (that should give you some indication of how excited we were to do it).

York Performance Hall

York Performance Hall

Gloria challenged us to: (1) Write the story; do it by observing what’s happening around you. Keep a journal.  At one point Gloria said, “we (writers) are trying to say in words what cannot be said…”  (2) Read. Read. Read.  Know the world around you.  She also said, “you don’t need big words, just the right words.”  Of course I liked that quote.

We could attend two workshops in the afternoon.  I chose building a web platform (part 1 and part 2).  Angela Herrington was did  good job of taking some of the “scare” out of what is happening on the web these days.  I have to say whoever comes up with the names of these sites (hootsuite, aweber, unsplash, picMonkey, canva) really should put more thought into what they name them.

Yes I did take a bite out of the sloppy joe!

Yes I did take a bite out of the sloppy joe!

Then, we were off to supper.  Nice food.  The food tasted even better because the conference paid for it.  I signed up for the open mic reading, which was supposed to happen during the supper hour.  So I sat around waiting for someone to whip out a microphone and start the show.  No one did.  It was then that I realized I was eating in the wrong dining room.  Fortunately, the event was being held in an adjoining room.  I barely had a chance to sit and catch my breath before I heard my name called.  Come to think of it I never really did catch my breath because while I was reading I had to keep stopping to breathe.  Has that ever happened to you?

We had one more keynote speaker in the evening, Scott Russell Sanders.  Scott has a passion for trying to understand our human existence on the planet.  He has an extremely imaginative mind (something I relate well to).  He read excerpts of his yet to be published book, Ordinary Wealth.  The book features a collection of unusual photographs taken by a photographer friend of Scott’s.  Mr Sanders then wrote unique and imaginative stories for each picture.  From listening to his stories you can tell he champions preserving the earth, protecting its wildlife and resources.

Wow, that was a long day, but a fun day.

Faith and Writers Conference – Preamble

Why attend a writers conference?ifwc-tn

I am a self-taught writer.  Any one who has tried to write knows it is an experience of the solitary sort.  I seem to be doing pretty well but I’ve always wondered what it would be like rubbing elbows with a room full of others engaged in the same endeavor.  Also, who wouldn’t want to learn a thing or two to improve their “game” from professionals who’ve been around the block a few times.

I love a good writing contest, too.  I sent my “Fish” story on ahead of me to be judged by the conference speakers.  I wonder how it will stack up against other writers in the non-fiction category?

And then there’s the open mic night.  Will I be brave enough to read a 5 minute segment of my work in front of a room full of strangers and see how they react?

My main reason for going, however, is to get an opinion from writing professionals about my work.  I opted for two consultations of fifteen minutes each.  I want to get their opinion and ask for their advice.  It is a given that I will keep writing but at what capacity will I write going forward?

Thursday I hit the road with my Kindle.  I found away to use the “text-to-speech” function on Kindle and pipe it through my car stereo using an ear phone cord with a plug on each end.  It was the strangest thing having my book Junior’s Hope read to me while I drove.  I have to say, hearing it read aloud inspired and encouraged me as I drove.  I arrived safely, thank you for your prayers.

Anderson University is a beautiful place.

Common area between the buildings known as the valley

Common area between the buildings known as the valley