Monday, March 06, 2006


Last week, I taught at Florida Christian Writers Conference in Bradenton, Florida. People from all over the nation came to this wonderful conference on the Manatee River about 30 miles from the Gulf. With sunshine on our shoulders, birdsong in the air, and palm trees swaying in the breeze, we attended classes and interacted with editors, authors, and other industry professionals. It was exhilarating, to say the least. Next year, FCWC will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Your heart pounds when you realize the providence of God in the things that concern you. I taught two times on the craft of fiction and critted/edited many manuscripts. I met with writers and showed them not only what was wrong with things in their manuscripts but how to correct them. Four FREE critiques are perks at FCWC for attendees.

Creme de la creme fiction author T. Davis Bunn was the keynoter. My husband Milton and I had met him several years ago, and every time we run into him at writers' events, he is kind with a capital K. We just can't get over how personable and warm he is. Fri. night during his address, he said he had to leave the next day. Saturday morning, I mentioned to my husband that I would've loved to have talked to him to get some advice about my writing. But now it was too late.

Milton left the conference grounds and when he was returning, decided to get gas. Which gas station? Ah, there's a cheaper one across the highway. So he went over there. Just as he finished getting gas, someone walked up to him. Davis Bunn. Greeted Milton so kindly, as he always does. They chatted a few moments. Then, as they were parting, Milton casually mentioned what I'd said that morning. Davis said, "Well, I'm going back to the conference grounds (miles away) so I can talk to her." He drove all the way back, found me, and he and I (and Milton) talked a good while as he gave me valuable advice on my writing. (It's like he can look into your soul; he senses things.) With tears in my eyes, I thanked him.

Coincidence, some might say. No, it was providence. God's hand. God's interest in all things that concern us. (Remember the scripture about God being concerned about the birds but even more so His children?) Someone said, "Coincidence is when God chooses to be anonymous." However, I feel that if we "give God the glory" for things, He's honored, AND He'll do even more for us. I always attribute good things happening in my life as coming directly from the Lord.

After Davis left, I taught my fiction class. One man who'd flown all the way from Chicago said in class, "I've been struggling with POV (Point of View) for years. You just explained it to where I can understand it. You showed me what I was doing wrong AND how to fix it." Others expressed "aha" moments and "Now I see" comments throughout class.

Afterwards, a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes. She thanked me profusely for what I'd done with her manuscript. She said, "I can't get over how much time you took. And you wrote a whole page of what I was doing RIGHT. That was so encouraging."

Later, I reflected. I thought of how T. Davis Bunn had encouraged me, and then how I'd encouraged someone else. A nice circle. Pleasing to God, I think. In my next entry, I'll tell you what Davis Bunn told me about my writing.


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