Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Weekend

Last weekend I attended the North Texas Christian Writer's Conference. I found out about it this summer and Corbin pushed me to register - what a guy. Yet another weekend he got to maneuver 4 kids to soccer games and birthday parties... with a little help from Daboo!
The beauty of this particular conference is that it's two days long, close-by, and affordable. Perfect! Highlights from my time...
- Amazing teaching. A great faculty with more than 50 seminars to choose from. Frank Ball, the conference director, has a heart for helping writers improve their skills. Unlike many other conferences around the country, he keeps this one exempt from publishers, editors and agents. It changes the mood a bit when all 200+ attendees are there simply to learn, rather than pitch projects. Interesting.
- Favorite instructor - Britta Coleman. An adorable A&M grad, mom of two, who happens to be a gifted teacher. Full of passion and authenticity, her classes went from full to overflowing by the end of the conference - standing room only. I came across her web site/blog this summer and was looking forward to meeting her, but I had no idea how much I would enjoy her, and I'll tell you, I'm inspired! If you haven't read Potter Springs, put it on your "next to read" list. I've just begun to delve into this fiction novel, but already can't put it down.
- Running into Renae Brumbaugh, a fellow writer I met last Spring at Mt. Hermon. She is darling and offers a fantastic smile. Check out the daily devotionals posted on her blog, and Renae's 1st book of devotionals is in process of publication.
- Also met a precious gal, Sonya Judd. Now if Sonya had a blog or website, I could send you to her! (No pressure, Sonya...) She's one of those people that after a 5-minute conversation, you don't really believe her story. Amazing, amazing. Add to that a two-year old daughter and one-year old twins, and it's unbelievable that she attended the conference. Something tells me we'll all hear more from Sonya in the next couple of years...
- Time with my sweet friend, Alyssa. She was brave to join me in attending the conference, and brave, I might add, to let me drive. When I called Corbin for directions (Sat morning, on the way back to the conference...) he asked if I was in Granbury... back story there. Anyway, my favorite thing with Alyssa was simply
hearing her laugh - she's got a great one!
I love hearing the stories behind the conference attendees and why they're writing, the passion and direction guiding their pursuit. Continuing to hone in on my direction... but I'm certainly encouraged by this crowd!

6 comments:

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

TJ - What a great recap! I can't stop talking about the conference or how fun it was to meet and learn from Britta. Thanks so much for getting me there and for the opportunity to get to know you better.

spaghettipie said...

Oh, I'm so sad I didn't get to go with you guys! Next time. . .

nikki said...

dearest humble tj,
i just thought of a highlight you forgot...what about when they brought you on stage and announced that you had won a big award for the piece you submitted...i'm so proud of you!!

Krista Sanders said...

Way to go, Nik! Can you tell how proud we are, TJ?? I love hearing about your new friends and inspirations!

Lauren said...

I almost went to that! Glad to hear it was so good!

Renae said...

Thanks, TJ! I just found this today. You are so sweet to mention me - now I am "famous"! :)

I enjoyed seeing you, too. Great blog, by the way. Love the story about the "Thursday Boys".

--r