Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Out of the Waiting Room to Write! Canada

After experiencing massive writer's block several years, Our Lord is, I believe finally helping me to begin to share some of my experiences and insights. Many ideas on paper or disk have till now remained as frustrated dreams. Early in June, I attended my first Word Guild Conference, in Guelph, Ontario, a real occasion! Along with over two hundred other believers, I enjoyed the privilege of being insired and educated by people who are actually practicing their chosen art, writers, speakers, singers, agents and publishers.

I had known about God Uses Ink and TWG for a long time and had allowed my chronic lack of both energy and funds to prevent me from going. This year I was prodded by a lady I met at work who told me she was already registered. She didn't give up on me, even offering to help pay for my fees. She didn't need to. Joy, Marcia, Albert and I decided to commute back and forth to Toronto each night. I volunteered to do most of the driving giving Albert, the Jeep's owner, a much needed break.

Friday night we stayed late so I could share at the night owl session, only the second time in ten years I found a forum to read my work aloud, outside my home, that is. For me it was a breakthrough. I shared two poems and asked to share a third before leaving at 11:30 for the city. The trip back was dramatic. We sang along to upbeat worship music as we drove through heavy rain, passing truck after truck, watching the lightning only a short distance ahead. The next morning we arrived back in Guelph about 10 o'clock and enjoyed another informative day.

The following week, after getting permission from our ED to use my office computer and e-mail, I was able to set up my blog in under ten minutes. Now for the hard part; continuity! Most writing gets done at home. My regular work is counselling and spending time with marginalized street folk and others with various addictions or other mental health issues. I'm able to teach Bible studies and assist in leading worship.

Other highlights from the conference: meeting new people, hearing the three plenary speakers, the educational and inspiring workshops and classes, and Deborah Klassen's worshipful singing. And of course Hot Apple Cider, a compilation of inspirational stories by Canadian writers.

I'm thankful that Jesus encouraged my friend Joy to drag me out of my shell. May God give His wisdom and grace in telling the stories He has given.