What could be better than four beautiful spring days in Estes Park, Colorado, at a Christian writer’s conference where chocolate is served?
Besides the view, the company of like-minded scribes, and the chocolate, other perks included:
- No cooking.
- No laundry.
- No TV.
- No Bible.
- No favorite coffee mug.
- A flat tire.
First question, first night of the conference: “How does a Christian forget her Bible when packing for a Christian conference?”
First observation, first morning of the conference: “I miss my mug. And my Bible.”
First comment on first leg of trip back to the real world after conference: “I have a flat tire?”
At least I’d had chocolate.
As well as four days of encouragement, instruction, and insight for writing great fiction, such as:
“Don’t call attention to business as usual,” Andy Scheer told us. An agent for Hartline Literary Agency, Scheer said everyone knows the sky is blue.
“Act out your character,” said multi-published author Robert Liparulo. Get a feel for what’s really happening, how it feels, what the setting looks like. The discussion took a vivid turn when I asked how that applied to a decapitation scene in one of his thrillers.
“Show redemption and grace,” Kathleen Kerr said. The senior editor for Harvest House Publishers cautioned writers not to preach. “Show redemption through life.”
And that’s what makes me want to tell stories and stir hearts. That’s what Jesus did when he told of the faithful father and the prodigal son, or the woman who lost one of ten coins and searched diligently for it. He touched our lives with stories: “A sower went out to sow,” “A certain man went down to Jericho,” “There was a certain rich man …”
Thank God for stories, mountains, and writers who encourage other writers.
And for chocolate.