Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Inscribe Christian Writers

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.

Driving home beneath the lunar eclipse

astro-87925_1280We left out friends in Alberta just after 4:00 PM to return home to Saskatchewan. We stopped for supper at Provost and when we got back out on the highway this great white moon was straight in front of us and just above the horizon.  There was a little bite out of the left size and we asked ourselves if it was waxing or waning.

We hadn’t been paying any attention to the news, or the moon phases, but here we were headed east with a long drive ahead of us. As the dark spot on the left grew larger we realized that we had a front row seat to a lunar eclipse. By the time we stopped for gas at Unity the moon had all but disappeared. The young man at the service station told us it would soon start changing colours.

We didn’t see much of that, except for a dark orange phase. It seemed to take a long time until a sliver of light appeared on the left side. We watched as it grew and by the time we reached home the eclipse was all but over. I went outside again a few minutes later and saw a brilliant, unobstructed full moon.

I understand that some people regard this event as a sign of the times, a message of impending doom. What I saw was evidence that the universe cannot be the result of random cosmic chaos. It cannot be an accident that the sun, earth and moon are precisely spaced so that the shadow of the earth just matches the circle of the moon.

This is my first post in a week and I am touched to see that people have still been looking at my blog. We have been away to Edmonton for the Inscribe Christian Writers Conference and fitted some visiting in before, during and after the conference. I will share some thoughts about that in later posts.

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.

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