Sunday, August 05, 2007

Oregon Christian Writer's Conference

Back in January I was invited to come and give a workshop at the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference. With much fear and trepidation, I accepted. The conference was this past week and while I'm still tired, it was an amazing experience.

Arguably the most encouraging thing that happened was walking back into my room that first day and finding these flowers waiting for me. My parents knew how nervous I was about speaking and so they sent these to cheer me up. It worked! As I told them on the phone, I didn't know you could send a hug FTD. Once the lilies opened they made the room smell lovely and every time I saw them I was reminded of all of the support I had behind me.

As for the conference, I don't think I've ever been in a group quite as open and welcoming as this one. There were all levels of writers in attendance from newbies to those with 20+ published works. It didn't seem to matter if this was your 15th year at the conference or your first, everyone was interested in what the other had to say and more than willing to share their expertise.

I met some incredible people all of whom had stories that need to be told. Between us I think Gail and I have a list of two dozen authors whose work we want to use. The days and nights were full and by the end of the week so was my head! There were so many ideas, so much to learn...so many stories floating through the air. I had a writing teacher at Trinity who used to say "Scientists will tell you that the world is made up of atoms, but they're wrong. The world is made up of stories." That's certainly what it felt like last week in Canby Grove.

It felt a little strange to be one of the "experts" when so many of the attendees had been to a million writer's conferences and this was my first one. The workshop went pretty well. It was short -- who knew 6 pages of notes wouldn't get you through 45 minutes? -- but it was the last one at the end of a full week so I don't think people minded. They all asked a lot of questions so I think it went OK.

It's been a wild summer. First the conference with my first ever workshop and now I need to focus on packing up and getting ready to move. Hard to believe that there are just a few weeks left. I feel very close to the surface of myself these days. It's like the protective layers have been stripped away and I'm just right there. Exposed? Accessible? Maybe we have to lose our shells to be flexible enough for what comes next.

ps. If you ever want to feel like a movie star, walk through a major airport with an armful of lilies. I have never had so many strangers come up and start talking to me. It was better than a puppy. And can you believe it? The customs guy in Vancouver actually let me keep them :)

9 comments:

kimu said...

welcome back! so glad you had a good time :)

Mom Colvin said...

Glad the flowers had their intended effect - worth all the hassle to get them to you. They are even nicer than I expected. I still can't believe you got them thru Customs at Vancouver.

Soon, soon, we'll all be meeting up in Winnipeg. You will have moved to your new home and able to take a deep breath again.

Much love,

Mom & Dad XX

DAve & JAnie said...

So HAPPY for you and your recent experiences! Remember that your own stories of change and adventure have not been ending in sorrow but in strength, fun and flowers! I would love to see you 'in action' one day; you have a calming, welcoming, and knowledgeable presence. I find that when YOU begin a sentence I know right away that you are an intelligent woman!
Sorry we haven't called you back yet. We have been on the phone, but not with chatty calls, just with business calls regarding two very important things: Corrina and Houses. It seems our house buying is not going as smoothly as you. Lots of kinks, lots of conversations, and boy are we learning about being bold! The people we most desperately need to negotiate with are on Holidays! Gotta love summer! But, dave is on holidays too, so we do love summer!

On the more positive side it seems that Corrina's second implant may-and I really only mean may- be in reach. More phone calls to make though! Ha!
well, there is my exceeding a comment update!

kelly said...

glad it went well and you had a good time.
ps. i never mentioned how surprised I am that you're moving - what has brought about such a major change for the one who hates change so much?

Claire Colvin said...

@ Kelly

I *do* hate change! It would never have been my idea to move but the lady we rent from decided to sell the house, Kendra's school closed and the senior pastor from our church left to teach at Regent full time. I got the feeling that maybe I was supposed to start walking.

kelly said...

That sucks that you're essentially being forced to move :( But at least you've found a place!

leslie gould said...

Hi, Claire
It was great to meet you and Gail on the first day of the OCW conference. (I looked for you on Wednesday but didn't find you.) I'm so glad that you had a good time!
Do you mind if I mention Christian Women Today and your blog on my blog?
Leslie

Claire Colvin said...

Hi Leslie,

It was great to meet you too! Thanks again for coming to get us, it would have been a long walk to Canby from the airport :)

You're welcome to mention CWT on your blog. This particular blog is just my personal blog and not work related. I don't mind if you mention it as long as it's noted that this one isn't professional :)

Marco said...

Hey can you post your notes or send them? I'd be interested to read what you had to say.