Friday, April 27, 2007


My last post joked about how I was in "Mount Hermon" conference recovery. I wasn't joking when it came to getting back into my routines, both as a writer and as the manager of our small but lively household. Today seemed to propel me over the last hurdle to catch me up to my goals, as I finally met a deadline that I'd set for myself.

Why do some of us have such difficulty with to-do's, goals, and deadlines? Then there are others who thrive on following the list and checking things off all day long. I seem to go through phases where I live each of these experiences, but not at the same time.

Some would call it ADD, while others might say it's just lack of discipline. Whatever it is that makes me procrastinate or devote chunks of my day to useless tasks, I seriously dislike it. The Lord knows I have wrestled with this dark angel often enough that I feel guilty chastising our son for showing similar traits in his college work. At least God has given me some empathy for the struggles he faces, though I never hesitated when handling academic work.

An unstructured soul such as mine doesn't fare so well with a writer/homemaker's schedule. I need to put that timer back into my day and be more stringent with my routines. The structure I adhered to before I began writing would give me more time to write. So many things I want to write about and accomplish through my writing, the words and ideas God has placed on my heart and mind, yet at this moment I can't seem to find enough time. May the Lord grant me the guts to follow through on this plan that I've boldly committed to in this public place today.

Lord, guide me as I set my writing and personal goals. Empower me to act, so that I may accomplish the goals you've led me to set.

Monday, April 09, 2007


I'm in recovery. No, not rehab or anything that scandalous. I'm recovering from a mountaintop experience at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

First, the privilege of attending overwhelmed me. One of eight winners of a Cecil Murphey scholarship through TWV2 (The Writers View Two online discussion/panelists' group for beginning or intermediate Christian writers), I only needed to pay for my transportation and the early arrival night. Six delicious months of anticipation and preparation, and on March 29, hours before dawn, I began my journey.

After minor delays, I arrived at the perfect setting, Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center, just a few miles from Santa Cruz, California. The Lord granted us picturesque cherry and dogwood trees in bloom, set before a backdrop of majestic sequoias and a flawless blue sky and surrounded by crisp cool mornings and evenings with sunny afternoons. The food we ate was plentiful and scrumptious: lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, abundant salads, and healthy snacks at our breaks.

I embraced the adventure of meeting my roommate and online buddy, Donna. We melded like jelly beans in an Easter basket. God gave me a new friend for life. I loved how we cheered each other on through our experiences: She wanted to skip a meeting with an editor; I was nervous about my appointments also. The encouragement concerning conference-related issues, as well as our commonality in our current life-stages, drew us close.

Nothing else I know can compare to the hectic, emotional blur of the conference itself. The schedule of major morning-tracks, workshops, panels, worship services, and socials, interspersed with meals, snacks, appointments and chats with faculty, conversing with fellow writers, and a sprinkle of sleep kept everyone hopping. We heard and wrote down more than anyone could absorb in a week, but it was fun to try. Once I decided to order the entire set of conference messages, some of the pressure was off, and I could enjoy listening without fear of missing anything. Trading business cards as I met other writers and shared our common bonds of Christ and our craft made connections that I will cherish.

We can’t attend every Christian writers’ conference, and we may not all be able to afford Mount Hermon every year; but if any similar opportunity arises anywhere in your vicinity, I highly recommend you go. Whatever your level of expertise or experience, you will make friends for a lifetime and learn more in one weekend than you ever dreamed possible. Who knows? Your investment of time, energy, and money could launch your writing life in a new direction as God unfolds His plan to use your gifts for His glory.