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I would love to say that I am currently enjoying the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference which is going on right now at a place nestled in the mountains just off I-40 in North Carolina–Ridgecrest.

This is the second conference I’ve missed since 2006, and I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms. While there I laugh and cry, commiserate with other unpublished writers and hob nob with the rich and famous published authors (I know there are those laughing at my comment, but hey, I’ve had the pleasure of being critiqued by none other than Jerry Jenkins who has sold over 70 million copies of his Left Behind books).

That’s beside the point, though. I still took the week off from work with the idea that I’d have my own little writers conference at home where I’d sit on my back porch, edit my finished novel, and read writing craft books and a few novels.

I stumbled across a book called One Second Later by William Forstchen about the consequences of an EMP attack(I have slight prepping tendencies, which, when coupled with my novel writing tendencies, makes me a very crazy person). I chose to read the book this week.

The book is set in Black Mountain, NC which is right there at Ridgecrest, where I long to be.

Usually I would not recommend novels with language that offends me, and this book has many instances where I cringed, so I’m not recommending it. The most offensive to me is the Lord’s name in vain, though some would say it is writing real.

The book, however, has opened my eyes to some things I need to do for my family as a precaution.

I would feel perfectly well supplied if I had water, and heat in the winter, but one thing the book made me realize is how important our medical services are. My son takes a medication that he agrees is as necessary to him as food. He could get by without it for a month, but after that, he’d start experiencing seizures that would eventually kill him from lack of sleep–essentially they would drive him mad.

The book was intriguing to read because I’m familiar with the setting, but also because it has raised an awareness about how dependent we are on our electrical grid. Scary stuff. Read it at your own risk. You’ve been warned.


I attended my first writer’s conference in April of 2005 and I forgot to pack deodorant. Fortunately, I had a small container of perfumed body powder. My aunt uses powder because she is allergic to most deodorants, so I thought I could use it too. And I did. And it worked.


it turns out I’m allergic to that particular body powder. I had a rash almost to my elbow. Fortunately, it was a short conference.

See this video for the location of the conference I just attended:


I’ve just returned from a mountaintop experience, both literally and spiritually. This was my third time at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The theme for the week was A Writers Journey.

Here are some of my notes from the conference:

A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn – Al Gansky

Click here for a great poem.

Click here for a great research resource.

When writing scenes, try to avoid eating a meal and discussions in cars.

Don’t have experts explain to other experts.

Stop being so literary.

Do not try to be clever.

The heart of a good story is tension and the heart of tension is unmet desire.

I had to include Glory Hallelujah in my blog today, because my son has been playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic on the trumpet all day long(at least since he woke up). He has been in the “man cave” so it hasn’t been too hard to write. He has found his passion and I am happy for him.

My passion is my writing and I can say that the main plot to my story, Absalom’s Beauty, is complete. I have a lot of work left to do, but now that I have the plot, all else will be easy. My page count is 252 and I would like to add another 50 if possible.

My big writers conference begins tomorrow. I hope to at least get the attention of an agent. I did get the attention of an editor last year, but the story wasn’t complete. It is now!

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