NCWA Writer Renewal Conference – Imagine That

I can’t express enough about the benefit of attending a writer’s conference. I try to attend at least one conference a year.

I come away with new friends, fresh ideas and encouragement to stay the course in my writing career.

There was an incredibly sweet spirit at this year’s Northwest Christian Writer’s Renewal Conference held May 18-19 at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, WA.

Worship by my good friend, Marty Nystrom, added a Holy Spirit touch to the Friday night session.

The lineup of agents, editors and workshop leaders was a beautiful combination.

Agent and Editor Panel

I didn’t come to this conference with an agenda other than networking and sharing my latest writing ideas.

I met with Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary Agency and Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency. I came away from those appointments with a few ideas about my next writing project. Once I solidify my ideas, I’ll have the opportunity to pitch it to them at a later date. That’s the power of building a network.

Marshal Younger shared from his heart about his journey as a writer for Focus on the Family’s “Adventures in Odyssey” program. He was melted my heart with his story of how the children of Make a Wish Foundation became part of the script of one of the episodes. His compassion for telling a good story was evident in each session.

The variety of workshops made it difficult to choose which to attend.

I attended the point of view workshop taught by two talented novelists, Lesley McDaniel and Lynnette Bonner.

Grace Fox gave me a list of fresh ideas for marketing my books.

I learned about King Content in Jim Rubart’s energetic session.

Romance was in the air during the romance writer’s panel discussion by Lynnette Bonner, Ocieanna Fleis, Clint Kelly and Kate Lloyd. I will write that romance novel one of these days.

Thankfully each session was recorded so I can listen and learn all throughout the summer.

Since the conference, I’ve been motivated to set new writing goals.

Yesterday I submitted an article to MomSense magazine. I’m excited to write for them after meeting with Alexandra Kuykendall of MOPS, Intl.

I was encouraged about dusting off the manuscript of my personal story Stones of Remembrance and praying for direction from the Lord about where to take it next.

I know a lot of prayer went into the planning and coordination of this year’s conference and I’m grateful for the team of people who pulled it off.

May 17-18 - Writer's Renewal 2013

I hope you’ll mark your calendar for next year’s conference. It is scheduled for May 17-18, 2013 and will again be held at Overlake Christian Church. Will you join me?

Our keynote speaker will be novelist, Jane Fitzpatrick.My calendar is set because I’ll be teaching two workshops next year.

God Bless your heart,



Trust that GPS

I was delighted to present the devotional this month at our Northwest Christian Writer’s Association meeting.

I shared about TRUST from one of my favorite verses in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Have you ever ignored the voice on your GPS system, only to find yourself at a dead end when you went your own way?

GPS Directions

This happened to us when we were trying to find a restaurant while on a trip to Disneyland a few years ago.

“Maggie”, the nickname we gave our GPS system, knew that the road ended about a mile down the road and started up a few blocks later. The illogical turn she recommended was actually necessary to get around the dead end.

After we hit the dead end, our attempt to find the restaurant on our own caused much frustration and made us later for the dinner.

Sometimes we don’t listen to God’s direction either, and end up wasting time and energy on the wrong road.

At the NCWA meeting, I shared my story of how my publishing goals changed once I stopped working on my own plan and sought God for His plan.

I had just completed a Writer’s Digest University critique review of 35,000 words of my Hope in the Aftermath memoir. One day I was praying about the next step for my book and I strongly felt I needed to put this book on hold.

I strongly sensed that my story wasn’t finished yet and it was not time to tell it.

What? But Lord, I’ve just completed this 35,000 word review! I worked so hard on rewriting what the editor suggested. It’s a story that brings You glory! What do you mean it’s not time?

After much prayer and counsel, I exited the road to publishing that book and went a different route.


Remember that when it comes to direction, there is one “GPS” that is most accurate. For me, GPS now means God’s Plan Succeeds.

The book I wrote with my son is now in the final typeset review at our publisher. It was loaded up to Amazon’s Kindle for review the other night. Tonight I’ll get it loaded on Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

Once the book is reviewed we’ll make it available for purchase.

Trust me when I say we are chomping at the bit! But we know God’s timing is perfect.

May God bless you plans with His clear direction.


Read more about it here at the blog for NCWA. You’ll see that I’m sure God’s plan was a better choice.

I Speak Dragon!

Monday night, November 7, 2011, I spoke dragon at our Northwest Christian Writer’s Association meeting at 7 pm at Northshore Baptist Church in Bothell, WA.

No need to bring your fire extinquisher. It was not the fire-breathing dragon type stuff. I haven’t quite perfected that skill yet.

During the Write Start portion of the evening program, I shared my experience with Dragon Naturally Speaking, speech recognition software program created by Nuance.
Save up to 40% in the Nuance Fall Sale!

This software is SO cool! Click on the link to check out the version I currently use which is the Home edition. (Scroll down on the above sale link).

Dragon speech recognition software makes it easier for anyone to use a computer. You talk, and it types. Use your voice to create and edit documents or emails, launch applications, open files, control your mouse, and more. Quickly and easily capture your thoughts and ideas while Dragon helps you get more done faster.

My son, Gabe, started using this when he was in junior high school. Imagine how much easier it is for him to type due to his limited finger control. The product has come a long way baby since the edition he first used and now it works so slick! So I bought a copy for myself.

The Dragon Home version is reasonably priced at $99.99 and works well for all your writing needs. (even email and web searches!) Right now they are running a holiday special for $74.99!

If you spend long hours typing, this product will be of great benefit to you. I know for me personally, it has saved my neck from the stiffness and pain I often get when I’m on the computer for long periods of time.

This video explains it way better than I can! Check it out to learn more.

With Christmas coming up, this might be just the gift you are looking for!

Have a blessed week.