May 18, 2017 I was dizzy with excitement in preparation for attending one day of the Christian Writers’ Conference in Estes State Park in the Rocky Mountains. Last year was my first, and I had done nothing to prepare and nothing to enhance my writing or boost my opportunities in being a writer that would be read among more than my friends. This year! This year would be different. Barbara Haley, an amazingly warm woman helping to pull together all the ends of the writers’ conference helped me choose some workshops and some one-on-one appointments that would firm up areas where I was weak. I knew that we were to take excerpts of our present writing. The book I am working on is called
Clear Vision, Rounding the Corner
Risk by Risk, corner by corner walking from the darkness into the Light as a child of the King
and most likely will change many times until it is in your hands. My job now was to find 7 good excerpts of about four pages that I could present to a professional who could hold my future in his or her hands. So, I did. I found them, and stapled them together and slipped them into the wide, zippered slit at the front of my suitcase where they would be unharmed by travel.
My plan was to visit my dear friend Marilyn Mergenovich whom I had known and loved since I was pregnant with Nathan, now 35 years old. She lives in Colorado Springs so I could spend five delicious days with her. I was only going to attend one day at the conference this year because of the price of the registration plus days plus sleeping in the YMCA which sounds shabby but is in fact amazing and gorgeous. So my plan was to go one day to Estes Park and stay from early morning to late at night. A fellow conference attendee whom I had met the year before was in the same boat. One day was all she could swing this year. She lived in the Springs so she would drive us to Estes Park, Rocky Mountains on Friday.
Marilyn was such a sport. She told me she would listen to me read the excerpts of the book and she loved them! Yes she is a fan anyway because she sees only the best in me but she genuinely loved them. I love my writing, too. Is that odd? Do most writers love their own writing? I admire great writing in others and am awed by it, but I really do love my own writing too.
I thought I’d better check with Barbara about the excerpts. “Number them,” she said, and “no staples.”
No staples. I asked Marilyn for a staple remover and without too many ugly holes got my 7 excerpts together. The day was at hand. So excited to see beautiful Rocky Mountains again.
What? What? 40 inches of snow had fallen on our conference before Kim and I had even rounded the first mountain. Before we had packed the car. Before we crawled out of bed.
No! We weren’t able to attend the conference at all!
Sigh. Ugh. What? How? Kim is amazing. She is a midwife. a midwife! Who in the world knows a midwife? And she’s a writer. I knew she wrote and I knew she was a horse of a different color than I. I went to attend the conference to feel the atmosphere, to meet some writers and to learn a few pointers here and there. That is what I had thought when I planned to go the first year.
Getting there I realized that I had much to learn from the faculty and that I barely scratched the surface, but the next time I would pay close attention and schedule those one on ones that I didn’t think would be important that first year.
But here was that next time came and I got as far as Colorado Springs.
I had noticed Kim last year. She was friendly but she was intense. “No I can’t have coffee (or a soda or a walk) because I have a one on one appointment with…….”
I was there to experience and feel. She was there to learn, progress, succeed. I had no idea what Kim was made of. I thought she was just nice.
Well! Let me tell you! Kim was a doll. She offered to take me to dinner the evening that we were missing the snow-paralyzed conference. We went to dinner and she proceeded to make my eyes pop out with her knowledge, her tenacity, her determination, her generosity with all she had gleaned.
So now, tonight June 1, 2017, the first day I dared to look at the attachments Kim had sent to my computer I found the Kim I didn’t know. She sent me a template for a book proposal. And she sent me her book proposal: 51 pages! She has a 51 page book proposal! No wonder my book is read and enjoyed by my friends and not sprawling bookstores all over the country.
How could I have written a book just by the joy of writing?
Time to toughen up.