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Archive for the ‘Colorado Christian Writers Conference’ Category

golden egg
Okay, it’s yellow not gold. And it’s really not an egg, but it is egg-shaped and it did hold eggs that have now hatched. I don’t know how many baby birds are inside, but they sure make a lot of noise. And they keep Mom and Dad really busy with their need to be fed.

I’m fascinated as I watch their parents fly in and out of the nest with morsels of food. They don’t appear to grow weary or annoyed by the needs they must meet. Their life’s focus is to care for their young until they are strong enough to be pushed out of the nest.

The instincts God has placed within His creatures amaze me. They simply do what they were created to do.

What about us? Father has given us the gift of emotions and the freedom to choose how we will respond to the needs around us. His Word encourages us to:

Feed the flock of God; care for it willingly,
not grudgingly;
not for what you will get out of it
but because you are eager to serve the Lord.
1 Peter 5:2 TLB

Father, I pray for myself and for those You have called to “write Your answer.” Help us to focus not on what we will get but on what we can give. Show us how to write words to meet the needs of our readers. Give us strength to persevere when we question whether we’re really making a difference.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

  • Do you long to find editors and agents that are hungry for the “food” you have prepared?
  • Have you written a book but don’t know how to get it published?
  • Do you have a book in print that is not selling?
  • Are you faithfully writing a blog but getting few visitors?

The Colorado and Greater Philly “Write His Answer” conferences provide the help you need.

CDs of the May 17-20 Colorado Christian Writers Conference are available. Click here for the order form

And it’s not too late to register for the July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.  I’ve extended the early registration date to JUNE 30. In addition, everyone who registers through June 30 will receive an additional free 15-minute appointment. For those who come all three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), that’s FIVE appointments.  Come two days and you get FOUR appointments, and one day and get THREE appointments.

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If you were at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference two weeks ago, you probably heard me pray for my five pin oak trees that have bacterial leaf scorch. Yes, I pray about everything! And yes, I believe God can heal my trees!

Of course, I’m concerned about the $10,000 (that we don’t have) that it would cost to take them down. But it’s much more than money that has created such a strong bond between me and trees. The story below was first printed in The War Cry and has been accepted for reprinting by Live.

Embraced by a Tree

Silver maple tree Ken Cook

Two immense silver maple trees in the front yard sheltered the house I lived in until I was fourteen years old. They were my special friends.

When my mother threatened to call the police to come and take me away because I was a “naughty little girl,” I’d run outside and lean against one of my trees. Its branches seemed to embrace me with a love that I never knew from either of my parents.

My father was constantly in and out of the hospital. He seldom talked to me. When he did, his words were like hammer blows to my already fragile self-esteem. The beatings from his large fists often sent me flying. Even more painful than the welts his hand left on my face, was the way Mother (she didn’t like me to call her Mom) never intervened. “It’s all your fault,” she’d say. “If you’d be good, this wouldn’t have to happen.” But it kept happening, again and again.

When my father got a blood clot in his leg, I remember Mother’s warning: “You’d better be good!  If you’re not, if you get your father upset, the blood clot can go to his heart and kill him.”

For weeks I tried to be very good, but I was gripped by the fear that I wasn’t good enough. I often mounted my bicycle, hoping to ride to the far end of the world. Instead, I’d end up at the forest preserve nearby where I’d walk deep into the woods. I never worried about getting lost. The trees of the forest were also my friends. When I heard that girls had been raped and murdered not far from my woods, I was frightened. But Mother knew where I was going and never stopped me. Doesn’t she care if something happens to me? I wondered.

My father died of a heart attack when I was ten. “You can be glad you were a good girl the last few days so you don’t have to feel guilty,” Mother said. But I knew I hadn’t been a good girl, and now it was too late. Perhaps she sensed my remorse.

“Give him a kiss and tell him you loved him,” she urged me as we stood before the open coffin.

I was terrified. “I can’t.”

“You can’t!  What’s the matter with you?”  Her voice and eyes were accusing. “People will think you didn’t love your father.”

“Mother, please. Please don’t make me,” I pleaded.

For the next year I had horrible nightmares. I begged Mother to let me sleep with her. Sometimes she gave in, but it didn’t help. I needed her to hold me and comfort me, but she always turned her back to me. I laid beside her wide awake, listening to her breathing and worrying every time its rhythm changed. Suppose she died too!

Mother remarried when I was fourteen. But life with my stepfather, Harry, was even worse. Why didn’t Mother tell him to leave me alone? But she didn’t, blaming me for the beatings and other abuse. I remember sitting under one of my trees all night, afraid to be alone on the streets and afraid to stay in the house.

On my wedding I had no regrets about moving a thousand miles away. When I became pregnant, I missed Mother. I was sure she’d come when my baby was born, but she didn’t.

A year later Mother was diagnosed with a mental illness. Even knowing that she probably couldn’t help the way she treated me, I continued to be hurt by the things she did.

When my thirteen-year-old half-sister came to live with us because Harry was sexually abusing her, Mother was angry at me for taking her “baby” away from her. She blamed me for breaking up her “happy home.”

When Harry died, Mother was on the verge of another breakdown. She was so confused she couldn’t even lock and unlock the front door of her house. Obviously she couldn’t live alone. I finally convinced Mother to come east. By then she was so mentally unstable that I had no choice but to put her in a mental hospital. Tests revealed that in addition to being bipolar, Mother had an illness similar to Alzheimer’s. Doctors urged me to put her in a personal care home. But I knew Mother could still function, with support, in an apartment. A geriatric counselor agreed and helped me to see what tasks could be done by others so I wouldn’t become consumed by Mother’s care.

Now the roles were reversed. I had to give Mother the things she failed to give me—attention, affection, love.

Mother, who signed my birthday card, “From Mabel,” complained about me to anyone who would listen. Unappreciative, mistrustful, she continued to reject me. Some days I wondered why I didn’t take the “easy” way out and put her in a home. Was I being a martyr? No, I concluded, I’m doing what I must do for my mother.

On Mother’s Day I didn’t want to be with her, but I couldn’t leave her alone in her apartment so I took her out to dinner. Mother complained about her potatoes. They were too cold. Her chicken was too done. She didn’t like the salad dressing. Nothing pleased her!

I remembered how Mother’s psychiatrist had recommended that I think of her simply as an old woman who needed my help. “Don’t think of her as your mother; call her Mabel.” His words didn’t help.

Once I visited a friend whose mother had Alzheimer’s. I watched Peggy comb her mother’s hair and give her a hug. Her mother smiled and kissed her cheek. Why can’t it be that way between me and my mother? I wondered.

“It hurts so much,” I told God one evening as I sat on my porch. I looked up at the tree in my backyard and wished I could draw comfort and strength from it as I did when I was a child. I remembered a fragment of a poem I memorized in school—something about only God being able to make a tree.

I thought of Jesus—how His hands and feet were nailed to a tree in order that my sins might be forgiven. He kept reaching for me when I kept rejecting Him, loving me when I was unlovable.

Suddenly I knew that because He first loved me, I could love Mother no matter how she treated me. “Love,” He reminded me “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (l Corinthians 13:7, RSV).

A gentle breeze stirred the beginnings of forgiveness within my spirit. “I want to forgive you, Mother,” I whispered. “I still love you.”

~ *~ * ~ * ~

My concern for trees continued at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CDs are available) where the lodgepole pines and aspen trees that were just leafing out were blanketed with 41″ of snow. I thought for sure many wouldn’t survive. But amazingly, the next morning, with the temperature only in the low 40s, they were standing straight and tall free of the snow that had weighed them down. “That’s because they are closer to the sun at the 8,000 some foot elevation,” I reasoned. Then I thought of the burdens that had  been weighing me down. “Stay close to the Son,” I felt Father speak to my spirit. “Then the burden won’t be too heavy.”

Snow CO 2017

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I’m a slow learner? What about you? Do you often find yourself going around the same not-so-merry merry-go-round needing to relearn lessons that you thought you had learned, even mastered?

The past several days have been challenging, to say the least.

With the Colorado Christian Writers Conference only a week away, as always I’m racing to get everything ready in the midst of

  • Glitches I didn’t anticipate and can’t easily fix. But HE IS FAITHFUL!
  • Unwelcome surprises like the tick that made a home in my ear for over two days. And yes, it was a deer tick – the kind that causes Lyme’s Disease. I’ve gotten an anti-biotic from the doctor. And I’m trusting that HE IS FAITHUL.
  • Details that are overwhelming and that must be nailed down – like lodging, picking up faculty from the airport, assigning classrooms, preparing the packet and daily schedule . . . But Father isn’t overwhelmed. HE IS FAITHFUL.
  • Exhaustion and a weak knee that has given out on me twice in the last month making it first impossible and then very painful to walk. Today I got a hinged knee brace that I’m trusting will help because HE IS FAITHFUL. (Yes, this year’s conference will literally be more of a “faith walk” then usual.)

His faithful promises are my armor  (Psalm 91:4 TLB). Yours, too, if you choose to put it on. (Click here for “Put on the Armor,” a chapter from my book, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers.)

When I am weak, then I am strong—
the less I have [including time to meet deadlines
and to conquer a seemingly impossible to-do list]
the more I depend on him.
2 Corinthians 12:10 TLB

Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness!

A few updates:
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It’s not too late to register online or to walk in. Register through tomorrow, May 10, and submit your appointment request form (available after you register) and Barb Haley will pre-schedule your appointments. After May 10, you’ll be able to sign up for appointments when you arrive.

Faculty member, Roy Hanschke, will interview keynoter, D.J. Williams, tomorrow (Wednesday) morning on his morning show at AM91 KPOF. Click here for the feature article Longmont reporter, Steve Rees, wrote about D.J. for ASSISTNews.net:

WITH SPIRITUAL DNA FOR WORLD MISSIONS, STORYTELLER FINDS FERTILE FIELD IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am so looking forward to D.J.’s keynote as well as the other keynotes. We have an outstanding faculty. Thank You, Father!

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Our 16-page brochure will be off press tomorrow. If we have your USPS address, you should receive it early next week. The brochure is also available online, and online registration is open. Remember, the earlier you register, the better opportunity you have to get your top appointment picks. Plus, the first 75 to register to get an additional free 15-minute appointment. Register for:

3 days – get 5 appointments
2 days – 4 appointments
1 day – 3 appointments

Since Wednesday is not a full day and we do not schedule appointments on Wednesday, it does not count toward the number of appointments you will receive.

Please note that faculty bios and editorial needs have not yet been added to the website and probably won’t be until I return May 24 from the Colorado conference.

In conclusion, so I can get back to work 🙂

  • Are you questioning your call to write?
  • Are you questioning whether or not you can justify the cost of a conference?
  • Are you discouraged because the words aren’t flowing and your manuscript (or printed book) is not selling?

Remember – HE IS FAITHFUL!

 

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Nonfiction is by far the most popular and strongest selling genre in publishing (both secular and Christian). With all that demand, why can it be so difficult to capture a publisher’s interest in your real-life story of God’s work? The short answer . . . nonfiction stories are a much smaller niche.” ~ Craig Bubeck

My friend, Craig Bubeck, is offering a 3-hour workshop on Wednesday, May 17, from 2:15 – 5:45 (with a 30 -minute break) at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Craig is a professional editor and writer who has served for 20 years in the CBA retail industry as publishing director and in senior-level acquisitions editorial with publishers such as Wesleyan Publishing House, David C. Cook, Victor Books, and Scripture Press. In the span of his career he was directly responsible for the successful publication of more than 200 retail books. Simultaneously with his publishing career, for 25 years Craig has taught college English writing, rhetoric, and literature at colleges and universities wherever he has lived.

I’m very excited about Craig’s workshop. I’ve known him for many years and highly respect him and his skill as an editor and teacher. A description of his workshop is below. I have no doubt it will be worth much more than the cost of only $40.

It’s not too late to register for Craig’s workshop or for one or more days of the conference. With 8 continuing sessions and 42 workshops (plus the 16 early bird workshops on Wednesday) there really is something for brand new writers who have not yet been published (or even submitted a manuscript) as well as professionals who need the encouragement and networking opportunities the conference offers. Those who register for Thursday through Saturday get four free 15-minute appointments with our faculty of 56 agents, editors, and authors. Partial scholarships for those with financial needs and/or time payments are still available.

For more information about the conference and to register go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

Here’s the description of Craig’s early bird workshop:

Transforming Nonfiction
for Ears that Will Hear

Nonfiction is by far the most popular and strongest selling genre in publishing (both secular and Christian). With all that demand, why can it be so difficult to capture a publisher’s interest in your real-life story of God’s work? The short answer . . . nonfiction stories are a much smaller niche. (To learn how to connect with the nonfiction story market, check out Marti Pieper’s “Master the Memoir” [E4 from 1:00 – 2:00 on Wednesday] and the Sloans’ “Narrative and Nonfiction” [2D on Thursday afternoon].)

But if you are more interested in communicating a message, join us in this extended, in-depth, practical workshop as we explore why and how to transform a narrative nonfiction (your personal experience story or memoir) into the kind of topical nonfiction that has the broadest market appeal (and impact). This workshop is also a good transition and lead into Janis Whipple’s “Organizing and Outlining a Nonfiction Book” (3D on Friday afternoon). The truth God has revealed to you is important, but how you package the truth (how you incarnate it) for audiences can be the greatest and most rewarding challenge of God’s calling.

Please pray about joining us on the mountain. I know Father is going to meet us there!

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ASSIST Ministries

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By Becca Anderson, Special to ASSIST News Service

ESTES PARK. CO (ANS – April 17, 2017) — Today’s writers aspire to do more than entertain or inform, they want to change lives. Attendees of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, May 17-20, at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO will hear cutting-edge speakers to help them do just that. They will also have opportunities to interact with editors and publishing representatives to move their writing to publication.

A faculty of 56 editors, writers and literary agents will present 42 workshops and 15 Early Bird workshops, including a 3.5 hour session on “Jumpstart Your Publishing Dream,” “Scrivener from 0 to 60,” and “Advanced Fiction Writing.” The conference also includes eight continuing sessions, keynote addresses, intensive clinics and a special “Teens Write!” program on Saturday.

mjb smallest May 2010 for web“The world of publishing changes continually to keep in step with our culture,” said Marlene Bagnull, who has directed the conference for 20 years. “Writers have more options, including independent publishing, online venues and social media opportunities. We’ve designed the conference to touch on as many areas of today’s publishing as possible, while still feeding the Christian writer’s soul through times of worship, opportunities to talk to other writers and editors, and all in the beautiful surroundings of the Rockies.”

Keynote messages include “Storytelling that Inspires Change,” by D. J. Williams. He will also teach a continuing session on creating a roadmap to create a cause-driven novel or screenplay. Another continuing session, “Writing that Changes Lives,” is taught by Bill Watkins, award-winning author and senior editor at Broadstreet Publishing Group.
Writers will be inspired by keynote speaker Louise Looney, author of five books who was first published when she was 79-years-old, as she speaks on “Opening Doors.” Other keynotes include “Courage for Dry Bones” by Carol Award winner Terry Brennan, and “Undaunted” by full-time author and speaker Tim Shoemaker.

For writers who apply and are accepted in advance, intensive clinics can be life-changing. They include a fiction clinic with Tracie Peterson, best-selling author of over 100 books; a nonfiction book clinic with Craig Bubeck, who is directly responsible for the publication of over 200 books; and a speakers clinic with Roy Hanschke, a 20-year plus veteran of Christian radio who has coached beginning and seasoned speakers for over 17 years.

For more information visit http://colorado.writehisanswer.com or contact the director, Marlene Bagnull, at mbagnull@aol.com or 484-991-8581.

Becca_Anderson
Photo captions: 1) Marlene Bagnull. 2) Becca Anderson.

About the writer: Becca Anderson is a freelance writer and editor based in Texas, and has had two books published — both as a direct result of attending the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Her e-mail address is: banderson@cablelynx.com.

 

** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can get a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the website and signing up there.

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Do you feel called to “write His answer” and yet struggle with self-doubts?

Truthfully, through working with hundreds of writers through the years, I find that the those who have a message that needs to be published are the ones most likely to be crippled by self-doubts.

I shudder when I think of how many times I almost gave up because my self-doubts were so loud and insistent. Why would anyone want to read what I wrote? What made me think that I could write for the Lord? I wasn’t qualified! How could He possibly use someone who was only a high school graduate? I felt ashamed and woefully inadequate.

cross in sand

How it must have grieved the Lord when I failed to see
that the Cross turns my minus into a plus –
when I believed the lies of the evil one instead of His promises.

And how much time I wasted in my self-centered and selfish focus on my doubts instead of on the needs Father was calling me to address through the words He would give me if I would just trust Him.

I’m so grateful that I didn’t give up despite the deadly Ds of disappointments, doubts, and discouragement. And I continue to thank the Lord for my pastor who sent me to my first writers conference. That was over 40 years ago, and that conference changed my life!

Today I have the privilege and joy of directing not just one but two Christian writers conferences. Registration is now open for the July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, our 34th year of ministry.

The website has not yet been proofread and I still have lots more info to add, but the list of 53 faculty and descriptions of our 20 early bird workshops, 8 continuing sessions, 42 workshops, and 4 clinics are online. Faculty photos, bios, and info on this year’s Teens Write will be coming soon.

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And it’s not too late to register for the May 17-20 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and to request free one-on-one appointments with the faculty of 56 agents, editors, and authors. It’s also not too late to apply for a clinic:

Fiction Clinic with Jim & Tracie Peterson
Nonfiction Book Clinic with Craig Bubeck
Speakers’ Clinic with Roy Hanschke

But do it now! (That’s a great motto for writers who are tempted to procrastinate.) The April 15 price has been extended through today, April 18.

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Father, thank You for the ideas You have planted within us and for holding them and us safely in Your hands. Help us to believe, to really believe in You and the gifts You have entrusted to us and expect us to use to build Your Kingdom.

seedling
God never changes his mind
when he gives gifts
or when he calls someone.

Romans 11:29 GW

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Today we remember how Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the crowds cheered, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Yet less than a week later they shouted “Crucify him!”

Jesus entering Jerusalem

None of this caught Jesus by surprise. Indeed, we’re told in Hebrews 12:2 (TLB) that “He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards.”

Have you stopped to consider that you are the reason for His joy?

Years ago my pastor’s wife told me that if I was the only person on this earth, Jesus still would have come and died just for me.

We know that He is coming again but that He tarries because He does not want even one to be lost. And so He is calling you, He is calling me, to “Get His Word Out.”

An outline of this message – really a Bible study that I’ve given several times as a keynote – is available online. I hope you’ll download it and make time to prayerfully consider the passages. This week as you focus on Jesus’ passion, ask Him how He wants to use you to share His love with those who do not yet know He loved them enough to go to the cross.

Our story – One of the most powerful ways to reach those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord is through stories of our encounter with Him. If you live in the Lancaster, PA, area I encourage you to come this Tuesday morning to the workshop I’m teaching on “Writing the Personal Experience Story.” It’s also available on CD.

PE wksp


Reminder 
– The price for the May 17-20 Colorado Christian Writers Conference increases April 16. I know the Lord will meet us on the mountain and encourage and equip us to “write His answer.”

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Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, July 26-29
 – 
I am rejoicing for the 52 agents, editors, and authors that Father has called to serve on the faculty. I’m beginning the process of updating the website and hope to open online registration April 17.

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