More news…just had an article accepted by the magazine At the Center, a publication for people who work at pregnancy resource centers. “More than Food Stamps” is a reworking of a more technical article I had published in The Bible Translator years ago. The more popular version compares the circumstances of a client at the pregnancy center with those of Hagar in Genesis 16. God responded to the needs of a pregnant woman who was not part of His chosen people and gave her, not merely food and shelter, but hope. The article is a reminder to all who work at pregnancy resource centers to offer our clients more than food stamps or a crib but to offer hope in Christ.
And another Chicken Soup will soon be released with one of my stories. This one is called My Dog Did What?! My story is called “‘Master’ Card” and tells about our famiily dog who had a her own credit account at a local 5 & 10 cent store when I was a child growing up in New England.
The Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference is coming up. I’ll be presenting a workshop called “Pro/Con: Cool it!” and talking about how to write about hot topics like abortion and homosexuality in ways that allow the readers to lower their defenses and hear what you are saying. If you want to attend the conference, details are at writehis answer.com/Philadelphia.
And then before you know it I’ll be off to the Billy Graham Center at the end of August to attend the Christian Communicators conference. Again, this trip was made possible by a generous scholarship provided by Cec Murphey. Cec has written hundreds of books and speaks at writers conferences all over the country encouraging new writers like me. You can find out more about him and his books at cecmurpheyswritertowriter.blogspot.com.
After almost a year of silence, partly due to taking on a new job that has been an amazing source of blessing, I think I am long over due to bring my readers up to date on my life!
In addition to seeing a number of my devotionals appear in “The Secret Place” magazine, in January I was invited to be one of four writers coordinating a project for a devotional book on the Beatitudes. That book, Blessed are You: Meditations on the Beatitudes, was released in March. It contains about twenty of my devotionals. I wrote most of the sections on mourning and peacemaking. Of course, when I was writing on peacemaking, the Lord gave me three clear opportunities to apply these lessons in the lives of people in my church and at work, a special blessing for me as I saw relationships restored.
Four more Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes have come out with my stories in them. They include Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Food and Love, Inspiration for the Young at Heart, Family Caregivers, and Say Goodbye to Back Pain! I especially like the stories in Food and Love which are stories close to my heart. And the one in the Family Caregivers is a tribute to Tom, a dear family friend who helped me care for my husband Gene when he was incapacitated by a staph infection inside his spine. I didn’t tell Tom that the story was about him, but just handed him the book and let him discover it for himself. We both cried as we remembered that difficult time.
Then, just this week, a book review I wrote for the Brethren in Christ journal called History and Life appeared. I reviewed a book by Elrena Evans called This Crowded Night and Other Stories. It is a wonderful fictional account of lesser known female figures in the background of Jesus’ life. For example, it includes a story from the perspective of the Bethlehem inn-keeper’s wife and the bride at the wedding of Cana. A strong recommendation for women who enjoy fiction.
And the future? In August I will be speaking at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference again. And over Labor Day I will be attending the Christian Communicators Writers Conference at the Billy Graham Center in North Carolina. This conference is a special gift to me made possible by a scholarship from Cecil Murphy who is the author of dozens of books and who has generously encouraged new writers all across the world.