This past week I spent the better part of four days attending the Oregon Christian Writers summer conference in Portland, Oregon. Theme for the week was Opening Doors and centered around the scripture of Colossians 4:2 (NIV), which reads:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”
Robin Jones Gunn (picture on left) and Kim Meeder shared the keynote speaker responsibilities. Robin is the author of more than one hundred titles, including the popular Christy Miller teen series. She challenged us to seek God and allow Him to do more in our lives.
Kim (picture at right) is the founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in eastern Oregon and has inspired the launch of more than two hundred similar youth ranches around the world. Each of these entities rescue neglected horses and minister to youngsters who have been victims of abuse or neglect themselves. She is the author of several books including Hope Rising and Encountering Our Wild God. Her challenge to conferees was to let God’s Spirit have control in our lives.
.Donald Maass, a literary agent and author of Writing the Breakout Novel, conducted a one-day workshop prior to the conference. He spoke about the Emotional Craft of Fiction, which paralleled his book by the same title. His insights made all of us who attended take note of how we can move our readers.
In addition to the evening programs and the pre-conference presentation, I attended a morning workshop each day that sparked my creativity, exercises to motivate me to write coherent sentences on the spot. After months of writing, editing and proofreading the three books that are now available for sale, my creative juices had run dry. I needed inspiration. I wasn’t disappointed. The four days were filled with intense learning, time well spent.