Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Christian Writers Conference

Memories of the Inscribe Conference

You know you’re in a group of writers when a workshop leader asks each participant to name five of their favourite books from childhood and one includes the dictionary in her list. She says she used to read two pages a day. And nobody thought that was weird.

That happened in Colleen McCubbin’s class on writing for children. Our goal in writing for children should be to charm, inform and nourish on the intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual levels. She recommended a book by Mollie Hunter, a Scottish writer for children, entitled Talent is Not Enough. I have ordered the book and will share my impressions once I have read it.

Jack Popjes was probably the most entertaining attendee. At supper one day someone chided him for taking two desserts (they were small). “I only allow myself one dessert per day,” he said. “This one is for August 23, 2016 and this one is for August 24, 2016.”

There is another side to Jack. He and his wife spent 20 years living with an unreached tribe in Brazil. They learned the language, put it into writing, taught the people to read and write. At the same time they translated the Bible into this language and by the time they left there was a thriving congregation of believers.

We were told that the conference cost $265.00 per attendee. Of this, $100.00 per person went for the rent of the space we used, travel expenses for speakers, honorariums for the speakers and workshop leaders and miscellaneous other expenses. The other $165.00 was the cost of the meals and coffee breaks. Three meals and five or six breaks with coffee, tea, juices and snacks were provided.

As is usual in meetings like this, it is not permitted to bring in food from outside sources. We live in a litigation-happy world and if anyone got sick from food that was brought in, someone would be likely to sue the hotel. At least that is the fear. The conference was held in the Edmonton South Sawridge Inn. For those of us who stayed at the hotel, our breakfast was included in the room rate. This was a real breakfast, not the “continental breakfast” that many motels offer.

That’s all for today, I will write more about the conference in coming days.

Getting the right message out

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted anything for a few days. Part of the reason is that we had an overcast weekend with rain and snow and the dish on our roof lost contact with the satellite. We live on a rural acreage in Saskatchewan where this is the only high-speed internet available. Most of the time it works well, but not all the time. And yes, I did mention snow. We had 5 cm (two inches) this morning, a record for this date. It’s all gone now, but snow on top of rain-soaked gravel roads made driving a little tricky for a few hours.

In addition, we were gone all day Saturday to a Christian Writers Conference. My wife was on the organizing committee and was busy keeping things running smoothly. I just sat back and enjoyed the workshops. Dr. Kevin Dautremont presented two workshops, one on character development and one on dialogue. I sat in on both and thought they were excellent. Earlier today I re-blogged Kevin’s thoughts on the conference.

Yesterday we attended church in the morning and evening and in between had dinner at the home of our daughter and son-in-law. It was our son-in-law’s birthday. He is now half my age: Ken is 36, I am 72.

Back to the subject of writing, I think many beginning writers have the idea they can make their writing more interesting by working in interesting new words and by finding innovative new ways to say “he said.” Both of these techniques draw attention to the writer and detract from the message or story that is being told.

Ogden Nash had fun playing with words, using them in new and unusual ways. I doubt that anyone else can match what he has done. Does the English-speaking world really need more than one Ogden Nash? For those of us who call ourselves Christian writers it is especially important to keep ourselves hidden from view as much as possible so that God’s message may appear.

%d bloggers like this: