Tag Archives: South-Central Kansas Chapter

Is it wrong to be “Star Struck”?

I’ve had a chance to meet many of my favorite writers. And I’m star struck most of the time it happens. Sometimes my brain goes into temporary hibernation, refusing to allow my tongue to work properly. Ever been there?

It’s just so doggone cool to meet these published authors, especially if I’ve read their books as a fan. I still remember my fist ACFW Conference (St. Louis 2011). I knew that Brandilyn Collins was going to be there. She’s one of my favorite authors. I really wanted to meet her. Shouldn’t be that hard, right? I’m a grown–relatively mature–adult with workable social skills. Then the moment came…and went. I was preparing to get off the elevator. The doors opened, and there stood mulitpublished, award-winning, Brandilyn Collins. And I had no idea what to say. I had to look down at my name tag to remember my own name. Awkward.  I wandered off the elevator, she got on…and the opportunity was gone. Later, however, after a few rounds of Christian stalking, I did get to meet her. Then, at the same conference, a new friend introduced me to Terri Blackstock. I’m not sure what I said to her, but chances are it resembled that Chris Farley skit on Saturday Night Live. I’m sure you’ve never felt such nervousness in the presence of someone you admired. I’m riding solo on the goofball express, huh?

I just get tongue-tied around people I admire from the standpoint of a fan.

And when my tongue does work, it’s not always a good thing. I’ll spare myself the embarrassment of telling you what happened the first time I met Nancy Mehl. (Picture me slapping my forehead). And don’t listen to the members of the South-Central Kansas ACFW chapter when they say that they think I have a man-crush on Ted Dekker. I’m sure I’ll be just fine if ever given the opportunity to meet him…

And what’s really ironic is that as a preacher/teacher I talk for a living! Yes, God is a God of wonders.

seriously, it is really a thrill to meet so many talented writers whose books I’ve read. I was nice to meet Collen Coble and Rene Gutteridge at this past ACFW conference, then to have Rene come and speak to our local chapter, and sign a book for me. And to be friends with published authors like Nancy Mehl, Karl Bacon, and Deborah Raney is a blessing that has made my writing journey more enjoyable.

But do you know who else has blessed my enormously? The unpublished writers that attend my local chapter, or go to conference. These fellow stewards of story work hard to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. To them I say, “It’s an incredible honor to know you. You make me proud to be a writer. And when you get published and I become a fan of your books, just forgive me if I walk up and get tongue-tied or something dumb comes out of my mouth.”

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Writing

Support System

     Many of the blessings that have come my way as a writer can be directly credited to other people. In fact the last year and a half have been full of growing experiences because of my association with American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the resources they provide.

    • The local chapter (South-Central Kansas chapter meeting in Wichita, KS) has provided monthly fellowship opportunities with other writers. These dear people have become friends, sharing a common bond with me.
    • The national ACFW conference which provided friendships that have blessed me over the last year. This year’s conference is only a few weeks away, and if I get any more excited I’ll be bouncing off the walls. Being with other writers who sacrifice time to teach me how to be a better wordsmith is priceless. There truly is a spirit of servanthood among the members of ACFW. They celebrate each other’s successes, and offer a listening ear when someone is struggling. The craft is highly respected, but people are too. It was at last year’s conference that I made friendships that have been so important to me. I can’t wait to see these people again this year!
    • THE JOURNAL, ACFW’s new print magazine is another great resource that offers advice and information about the craft and business of writing Christian fiction. I was honored to have written an article for the premier issue.
    • THE LOOP of emails that goes out every day of the year provides an opportunity to engage in conversations, ask questions, seek advice, or just “listen in” as others do all of those things.

          The above resources mean a great deal to me. However, as wonderful as they are, they take a back seat to the real heroes that provide my most important support system: my wife and kids. They deserve the credit for anything good I write, because they sacrifice so much so I can write. Since I’m a full-time minister (which I love–thanks Gracepoint!), that means I don’t write full-time. I have to carve out time to write in the mornings and evenings. My family sacrifices time with me, allowing me to hunker in my bunker and bang away at the keyboard…or just stare at the screen and mumble whatever yiddish words come to mind (& I’m not even Jewish!). My family takes money from our family budget so I can go to conference & chapter meetings (we live an hour away from Wichita), buy books, get a laptop, etc…, all of which means that they give up something so I can write. They believe in me when I doubt myself. They deserve better than I give them.

     Who are the people who have made your writing journey possible? Have you thanked them yet?

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Filed under family, Uncategorized, Writing