Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Edmonton

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.

Making a faux pas

bird-40083_1280Today I stepped out of the place where I was working and started out for the nearest convenience store to find myself something to eat. Halfway there I made a misstep (a faux pas) and felt myself going face first towards the ground. My first thought was that I am going to be at a writers’ conference in a few days with the imprint of this impact on my face.

The ground surface at that point was broken pavement and gravel. I have serious scrapes on my right hand and left knee to prove that I partially broke my fall. My left hand is not so badly scraped, but that wrist is sore; my right knee has a small scrape, too. But my nose and forehead came out the worst. There is a long cut above my eyebrows where the top edge of my sunglasses hit my forehead. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the sunglasses as they appear to have protected my eyeglasses from damage, except for bending the nose pieces.

I had a fall somewhat like this almost two years ago and that makes me wonder what is happening to me. I have thought of a few possibilities. In neither case did I feel light-headed, or that my legs gave out. But my sense of balance never has been good, due to chronic hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. I wear progressive lenses, trifocals, and that may make it more difficult to see objects or uneven surfaces on the ground. The medications I take may affect my sense of balance, and I don’t get enough physical exercise to keep really fit.

Tomorrow I have to go to the city, no matter how horrible I look, and I’m going to buy a cane.

The Inscribe Christian Writers’ Conference begins Thursday in Edmonton and my wife and I have already paid our registration and booked our hotel rooms.

One of the sessions is on editing our own writing. We were asked to send in a sample of our best writing before the class. The class instructor emailed the corrections on mine today. I find that I make a lot of faux pas in my writing, too. For one thing, I really do try to avoid the passive voice, but my three page double spaced article came back with at least eight instances of passive voice flagged.

That’s why I am going to the writers’ conference – I still have lots to learn. Getting together with other writers is the icing on the cake.

Chicken apocalypse

 

 

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A couple in the city of Saskatoon has been ordered to get rid of the chickens they are keeping in their backyard. Two city councillors came up with a whole list of reasons why it is a terrible idea to keep chickens in the city. Chickens attract pests, they are noisy, chicken manure smells. They might freeze in the winter and then the city would be blamed. Somebody might get ill and die from food-borne disease from eating a backyard egg with a cracked shell.

Let’s see now, are chickens as noisy as the dogs that bark in the middle of the night, or the next door neighbours whose patio party lasts until 1:30 AM? If the city is responsible for winter, why didn’t they come and clear my driveway every time it snowed? Are chickens in one neighbour’s backyard any messier than the cats that use my children’s sandbox for their litter box? As for eggs with cracked shells, I guess that would be a danger if you ate raw eggs.

How many chickens did these people have in their backyard anyway to cause such a furor on city council?

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That’s right, three. It took three chickens to get these two councillors into a tizzy. The chickens are kept in a 40-square-foot, insulated coop. The neighbours have no objections. But the couple has purchased an acreage outside the city and plans to move soon. Problem solved . . . . until the next time. The newspaper article names four Canadian cities that do allow backyard chickens, as many as 12 in the case of Edmonton. I’m sure the question will come up again in Saskatoon.

Another councillor, with a little firmer grip on reality it would seem, suggested that people have become disconnected with how food is produced.

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