Have you ever planned and paid to go somewhere and been really excited about it only to have your plans changed by unfortunate circumstances?
Well, that’s what happened to me for this year’s Lancaster Christian Writer’s Super Saturday Conference. There was a fantastic line-up of speakers planned with some great seminars on the schedule. I was extremely excited that there was to be a historical novelist in the lineup since that is what I write. I looked forward to scheduling an appointment with her. Well, before I had even sent in my registration, she had to withdraw from the line-up due to a family emergency. I was disappointed but prayed that her family would be all right.
Then I registered, still looking forward to several of the scheduled seminars, and just days before the conference, another speaker, who was going to give one of the two seminars I was most interested in, had to drop out due to a health crisis. I prayed that the Lord would bring strength and healing to this speaker.
I began to wonder if I would get anything out of the conference. There was only one seminar left that I was looking forward to. Would it be worth the cost and time?
So, I prayed that God would direct me in which seminars to attend, in addition to the one I knew I would attend, and trusted that He would make it all worth it. Then this past Saturday, I drove to the conference not knowing what to expect, and found blessing in just seeing some of my wonderful writing friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.
When the conference began, one of my dear writing friends, Shelleen, sang a humorous song, to the tune of “Jingle Bells”, that she had written about the writing life, making us all laugh. Then the keynote speaker spoke, and I knew God was going to bless this day. The keynote, Pierre Eade, gave us such an inspiring and encouraging message to begin our day, and as I looked over the schedule, I seemed to know exactly which seminars I was to attend.
The day was indeed blessed, even as one speaker made me groan as she spoke of threading our backstory throughout our novel and I realized that I had begun to do that and somewhere along the line had dropped the thread. Now I have just seven chapters to finish the novel’s first draft, so I now know my revision and edit will be in depth and somewhat time consuming–more than I had anticipated. But that is why I attend these conferences — to learn more about how to write to the best of my ability so that I can produce the best novel that I am capable of producing. So, thank you Gayle Roper, who also taught another wonderful seminar I attended, providing valuable information and encouragement, as well as strong examples to read. As a matter of fact, after the second seminar she taught, I rushed back to the bookstore to purchase a book she mentioned that I remembered seeing in the book store when I had shopped earlier!
I have found that writing in Deep POV, (Deep Point of View), really does draw a reader deeper into the characters of a story and makes the book harder to put down, so I have been trying to master writing Deep POV in my own writing. However, I still had doubts that I really understood it and was actually accomplishing it, so I attended a seminar that was all about writing in Deep POV. I left that seminar affirmed and encouraged that I truly did understand Deep POV and had become fairly good at using it in my own writing — thank you, Donna Brennan.
Finally, the last seminar I attended, I simply attended out of curiosity. Shawn Smucker spoke about Speculative Fiction. I haven’t been a big Speculative Fiction reader in the past, but have been reading more of the Fantasy genre and Fractured Fairy Tales, (retellings of Fairy Tales), that fall under the Speculative Fiction umbrella. Therefore, I decided to attend this seminar simply to learn more about this group of genres. It was a great seminar as I feel like I now have a greater understanding of what Speculative Fiction is, and because Shawn shared some of his knowledge and experience with both traditional and indie publishing.
I love it when something that looks like it’s falling apart is blessed by God to make it something so valuable.