Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reflections on a Get-Away

silent auction table 

Yesterday I arrived at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre for the Refocus writers’ retreat. What a treat to see fellow writers I’ve met at previous conferences whom I’ve not seen in several years. And what fun to catch up on news of what's happening in their life and how their writing is going. It was equally good to meet new writers and those who’d been writing awhile who are new to us.

Guelph Bible Conference Centre

Coming back to this place was refreshing in itself, where I started on my first writer’s conference experience when it was called God Uses Ink and where I felt comfortable among people who thought like I did. I held their skills in awe, especially those who had multiple books published or credits in magazines. That was huge for me as a new writer with two publishing credits to my name. I held them as positive models in whose tracks I hoped to follow and writers I hoped to learn from. I was not yet ready for the critiquing (at my first conference) that I would someday learn to do and to teach others.
 the chapel

What’s different now is meeting in the new chapel and staying in the comfortable inn rooms. Instead of coming with two published articles, I come with two completed, published books of my own, credits in magazines and anthologies, attributing my success to what I’ve learned from others in those conference, inspiration of other writers, and the persistence to keep going.
 our meeting room in the chapel

 Remembering those whom I have learned from in conference sessions, personal and online discussions and the Word Guild online forums, I observe what’s changed in the organization since then, such as moving to Facebook for discussions and virtual book launches, and having one of our original founders taking part in the retreat.

There was a change in leadership at one point from our co-founders, Nancy and Wendy, who set us on a good path. We mourn the death of Wendy this summer and acknowledge that there comes a time for changes in leadership and that others with leadership capacity are stepping forward, such as Sara and Donna Lee who organized this retreat. We thank them for their efforts and time.

 Sara Davison

Yesterday afternoon, fellow writer, Donna, and I took the opportunity to work on our book project together. We looked at what we’d already written and plotted how to move ahead and get the next content written. We’ll try it out on our memoir classes this fall and get some preliminary feedback before taking our project to completion.

Donna Lee Sisson

Brian Austin, with some bargains at the book table

Therefore we look at refocusing, and as Donna Lee so aptly put it in her message at worship this morning, refreshing ourselves for writing in the coming days wherever we find ourselves and where God is leading us to write. She shared with us two verses in Proverbs, chapters 4 and 11, to inspire us. And I share them with you too, to perhaps inspire you as well.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)

 Kathleen and others hard at work   


Peter Black said...

Thank you, Carolyn. I know that I've benefitted immeasurably from our TWG friends' expertise and experience, especially through the writing conferences (my attendances were mostly at Guelph). Although I wasn't able to attend this recent event, I'm glad you've included these great camera shots. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Peter, it was good to be back there to spend those few days. There are hopes to have another gathering next year. It was a good time of year to gather. Thank you as always for stopping by and offering such heart-warming comments.

Popular Posts