Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Writers Conference Experience

Have you ever been to a writers conference?

I experienced my first Christian writers conference this past week in Glorieta, New Mexico. I can only use scripture to sum it up:

Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Earlier this year, I attended a speakers training hosted by CLASServices in Austin, Texas. Prior to the speakers training, I submitted a book proposal for critique to one of the editors on staff, Tama Westman. I received positive feedback with constructive criticism on this book proposal. Tama suggested I take it to the writers conference in Glorieta, NM. I told her I would pray about it.

A series of events unfolded and I found myself at the writers conference. I read books by Terry Whalin and other authors in preparation for this event. In the meantime, I’d been preparing my proposal as well as thickening my emotional skin. I read to be prepared for the rejections. Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

I arrived at the conference, not having any idea of what to expect other than having a print out of an overwhelming schedule for each day. I attended a pre-conference course to explain what to expect. I received much benefit from this course. I recommend to any first timers to a writers conference to attend the pre-session for new comers if it is offered.

Once the conference started, it was fast and furious. Overwhelming. I jumped into the deep and went for it. First order of business was to schedule appointments with editors. Registrants are guaranteed one appointment of their choice at preregistration. But all the other appointments are by lottery. I pictured it like casting lots in the Bible. I received most of the appointments I wanted with the editors. Both editors from book publishers as well as magazines were present.

I kept my appointments with editors and agents. Let me describe the appointment process. Appointment times are in 15 minute increments for each person with the editors. The editors are seated two to a six foot table in a large room with these tables lined up in rows. The room is buzzing with the humming sounds of authors and writers pitching their ideas to the editors. The editors are listening to the ideas being pitched at them and deciding as to whether they like the idea or not.

If one does not get the appointments she desires, then she can have lunch with the editors on a first come basis. Well I had lunch with editors and agents. This is another time one can pitch their idea to editors in a more relaxing environment. I certainly took advantage of this lunch time.

I realized that editors are real people, nice people. They are not to be feared. They like to work with writers, especially writers who are willing to cooperate with them.

Also at this particular conference, I participated in a comprehensive class titled “Get Published Now.” In this class, 24 writers, 12 editors/mentors, one class coordinator and one great publisher scrambled to put together a compilation book. I submitted a narrative essay for the book and completed it with all edited revisions for publication. This was a very stressful yet challenging class for the working time frame was short, yet I learned so much from my mentor, Karen Jordan. I learned to write more tight and concise, to say more with less words. Something I must practice, practice, practice. She encouraged me by informing me that all the authors and writers she knows need editors to help them tighten up their papers!

I am so excited that I have a piece in a book. An essay--I'm better at teaching articles, but I stretched and wrote an essay. I have publishing credits in magazines, but to be included in a book is so delightful. Be sure to check out the post below and enter the drawing to win a free book and preorder if you desire.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moments of Grace Free Book offer & presale

By God’s grace, I attended the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference in Glorieta, New Mexico. At this conference, I worked on a publishing product and with 23 other people, 12 editors and one great publisher. The product--one great compilation book.

The book is called Moments of Grace: true stories of those touched by God’s grace. (actual book cover above)

I will have a drawing to give away three (3) of these compilation books with 24 great stories of grace including mine. Here’s how you can enter:

First, I will give one book away via random drawing of the names of those who leave a comment with the words “free book drawing” in the comment section. No purchase necessary and the winner will NOT have to pay for shipping and handling for US addresses or APO addresse. When I say free—it’s all free including the shipping and handling. If your comment email is not enabled, please leave an email address for notification.

Second, I am accepting pre-orders at this time. The pre-order price is $10 plus shipping & handling (and sales tax for Texas residents). These books will ship to me from the publisher after Thanksgiving and I can have them to you before Christmas if you want to order extras for gifts. (Pending no delays are encountered via the publisher). Please let me know how many books you want to preorder. Once I have this list of preorders, I will contact you via email for payment options. Again, please make sure your email is enabled or leave an email address for me to contact you.

To enter the pre-order give away drawing, please leave a comment with the words “preorder book drawing” in the comments. I will draw two names from this list.

Please enter the drawing only by selecting the “free book drawing” or by the “preorder book drawing” option, not both.

The comments to enter will be open until 1 pm central time on Friday, October 31, 2008. After that comments will be closed. I will have the random drawing on Saturday, November 1. I understand this is a short time frame, but I have to place my order with the publisher by close of business on Friday.

I hope you take advantage of the preorder offer.The book will be available after the first of the year from me or with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major online book distributors at the price of $16.95 plus shipping.

Please let your blog readers know about this book give away and presale order.

Engrafted by His Grace--

P.S. I have more exciting things I learned from this conference I'll be encorporating and sharing with you soon!! Blessings in Christ-

Monday, October 6, 2008

I interrupt this blogging break...

For an important announcement!

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” ~~~ Jesus (John 10:10 AMP)

My friend, Mary and I went to the Living the Life Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas this past weekend. The above verse was the theme for the conference. We learned about intentional living, stepping up into the supernatural, cleaning our dirty laundry, embracing the Life Giver—Jesus Christ. Becky Terabassi taught us on spending time with our Lord in prayer in such a way that God will change our lives. We learned that we must surrender to Christ and seek Him in our lives. We learned that no matter what happens we can hang onto Jesus. We are "no matter what women." This conference truly fed us the Word of God and His Seed was planted in us this weekend.

Now the enemy knows he cant take the seed, but he tried to get us to dig it up and throw it out. On our way home, Mary and I stopped at Cracker Barrel in San Antonio to eat lunch. While we were enjoying our late lunch, thieves helped themselves to the contents of my vehicle. Not only my vehicle, but two other vehicles in the parking lot were robbed also.

Well, these thieves did not realize that they were messing with the wrong people. They stirred up warriors of the living Lord. As Mary and I filed our report with the police, I noticed three other people standing around by their vehicle in the parking lot. At one point this lady came over to me and told me that they are praying for us. I told her thank you and asked if they could stick around a bit longer. When I finished filing my police report these three people informed us that the Lord put it on their hearts when they saw what was going on to stay and pray for us. Oh my! I just started bawling as I knew the Lord was with us in such a tangible way to bring peace and comfort.

The five of us held hands in the parking lot and prayed. We prayed quietly, but we started praying loudly and boldly. We prayed for the thieves to be forgiven. We prayed for the Lord to bless them. We prayed that the Holy Spirit convict them and they will recognize their need for a Savior. They stole Mary’s Drake’s study Bible and all her books purchased at the conference. They have the Word of God in their possession. We prayed that these thieves be saved by the mercy and grace of our Lord.

We stand in agreement by prayer that these thieves will turn their hearts to the Lord. We asked the Lord for them to return everything that was taken when they’re convicted by the Holy Spirit. . The items taken contain personal information such as addresses, social security numbers and medical information not to mention a camera and cell phone chargers.

This situation failed to take from us what He planted in us this past weekend. If anything, it spurred us on to know that that we’re on the right track. We know that we know that the Lord sent us out filled with His word to spread it to others. Let HIS will be done.

The material objects can and will be replaced. The sentimental objects shall remain engraved in our memories though the images captured on Mary’s camera are gone. But Mary and I both trust that what the enemy meant for harm, God will use for good.

By the way, I felt I had a confirmation about that as we finished our journey home after the theft. I saw words spray painted “Thief Caught.” I turned around and took the photo below. I just have to believe that the person or persons who caused this damage and took personal possession has been caught. Whether physically or spiritually or both, I pray specifically his or her heart has been captured by the Lord and yielded to HIM.

My conference slide show:

Corpus Christi's Living the Life Conference Photos:

P.S. I resume my blogging break.

Engrafted by His Grace--