It Takes A Group to Raise a Writer

This became especially evident to me while putting the finishing touches on my first submission for the Chicken Soup series. Why?

  • During today’s Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writer’s group, I received beneficial feedback that moved me one step closer to the “submit” button.
  • Prior to today’s larger group meeting, my “Four Corners” group had already critiqued it… at least twice.
  • After today’s meeting, two of my Corners critiqued it again and one called to share a new title idea that was spot on.

Regardless if Chicken Soup accepts my submission or not, I’m blessed simply because of the phenomenal people God has placed around me. As a result…

I hit the “submit” button!

Do you have a group cheering you on? If not, have you considered starting one? There’s no better way to be encouraged than to become an encourager ourselves.

-photo courtesy of writeforyourlife.net

Conversations Overheard

Where would you expect to hear these conversations within one hour’s time?

  • a son leaving for Marines
  • a book deal due by Friday
  • sheep being sheared
  • an engineer teaching the Word to autistic children in a horse stable
  • how to refresh a cottage with a hint of “lime”
  • fiction ideas based on hot flashes
  • questions on creating a blog
  • the hike up to Mt. Laurel
  • and finally, the “excuses” some make to go to the library (you know who you are)

If you guessed this morning’s Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writer’s breakfast, you’re right!

Some came to breakfast having only slept a few hours the night before, one woman joined us immediately following lab work, and another had just rowed, burning a gazillion calories (so glad she sat next to me – she deserved to have her creamy grits drooled upon!). A few had deadlines to meet, and at least one woman’s alarm clock had rebelled against her, but the award goes to Ms. Liz, who drove for over one hour to be with us. She had no other business in town but felt the trip was worth it because she longed for fellowship. Wow. We need each other!

Hope to see you all in June…

The Bunch from Blue Ridge

While gathering hydrangeas this morning, I was reminded of a few similarities between this beautiful bunch of flowers and the friendships cultivated at Blue Ridge last week.

  • Some flowers take root quickly while others require more time. I had the joy of experiencing both while at Blue Ridge. Newly forged friendships with Dee Dee and Latan were effortless. Meeting my online writer’s group in person was much like a family reunion and existing friendships with Beth, Ellen, Celeste, etc., plunged deeper and grew stronger as a result of our time together. Still others, whom I met while waiting for an appointment or around the dinner table, may require more time. God creates them all.
  • Flowers don’t actually bloom where they’re planted (as the saying goes) — they bloom if they’re planted properly. Don’t believe me? Try planting a day lily in a heavily shady spot and you’ll find a wimpy plant with few blooms or vivid color. Last week, I was able to see our two fearless leaders, Vonda and Edie, in their element — blooming in the sunny spots where God has placed them — and their group is forever grateful.
  • Without fertilization, flowers may survive but they’ll rarely thrive. Enter our Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers group and the amazing online group, The Light Brigade, led by Lori Roeleveld. Words of affirmation, nurturing hugs, and fervent prayers describe this group of people who have enriched my life beyond measure.

At the banquet last Thursday night, hundreds clapped after my name was read for the award, but none as loudly or more sincerely as those sitting around our table that evening. They were my greatest cheerleaders and I was theirs.

Each flower
immersed in its own unique aroma of Christ
can saturate an entire field
when mingled among one another.

Ellen, Latan, and Celeste

I look forward to reading Dee Dee’s books to my grandchildren.
She is one amazing woman.

Lori and Julie — Light Brigade!

A night to remember…

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