On Friday, I’ll drive thirty six miles to spend five days under the redwoods at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.
In the spacious dining room, surrounded by friendly faculty and exchanging furtive looks with my writing comrades, I’ll wonder why I’m doing this again. Putting my introverted self out there. Under the scrutiny of professionals. For the third year in a row.
I’ve discovered, with a delicious feeling akin to eating the cherry on top of my toffee coffee sundae, that there are other people in this world unable to stop the ceaseless stories marching through their minds. There are other people who are savvy at the art of ‘people watching’, and don’t care who hears them talking to their story characters (because for goodness sake, they aren’t talking to themselves).
Authors, in all stages of the publishing journey, roam Mount Hermon’s lush campus. Some are multi-published, some (like I was on my first year in attendance) are flabbergasted to find a community of creative, friendly, bookish people who are willing to encourage and pray for someone they just met.
I’ve come back again to be available to help first time attendees, to belly laugh with others who can decipher author speak, “How’s your WIP coming along? Has your ACFW CP taken a look at it?”, and to meet the wonderful writers I’ve only interacted with on-line.
Now I begin preparations, by packing a comfy pair of hiking boots, praying over the critiques I’ll receive, and doing some stretches so I’ll be more flexible when the Lord wants to make revisions in me and my story.