Monday, May 19, 2008

Day #1

Well, I've been "Writer's Conferencing" all day. (That's a new verb, by the way.)

Thus far, it's been a good experience. A little overwhelming and intimidating at times, but enjoyable, nonetheless. The morning began with breakfast and a devotional followed by a morning seminar session. The seminars are done rather cafeteria-style, and I was pleased with the one I picked. The leader seemed a little scattered, but she definitely knew her material, which I appreciated.

I enjoyed lunch with a former editor of Lifeway publications, Matt Tullos, and several other conference attendees (Darin was out on the golf course!), then it was on to the afternoon sessions where I learned a little in the first one and a lot in the second.

I've met a few new folks, but with the exception of those with whom I had lunch, many of them have honestly been kinda strange. Like the woman who is chronicling her mentor's life. Her mentor who has raised a number of people from the dead. Yea, I found a seat on the other side of the auditorium from the "chronicler." And then there's the fact that I'm from Texas (I guess), and people from New York and Illinois don't know how to respond to being "Texas Friendly." Come to think of it, maybe that's why I liked Matt; he lived in Amarillo a long time. (It didn't hurt that I've known his work for more than a decade, so I kinda felt like I knew him already.)

The Lord has definitely used the keynote speakers to touch my heart, though. Finding out my life is a joke (i.e. a story with an unexpected ending!) was equally as valuable as the reminder that ideas for writing are the "talents" God gives. To bury them in the depths of my computer, never developing them, is equivalent to burying them in the ground (see Matthew 25). And if the ideas were God-breathed, I'm burying them alive, an even greater tragedy.

So, I'm learning some, but being encouraged and challenged a lot. Thanks for those of you who are praying for me; the Lord is definitely speaking loud and clear.

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