Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Box Office Smash Hit

I thought his years Northern Colorado Writer's Conference was a box office smash hit. It was easy to navigate, well organized, things started on time, the food was really good, and best of all the workshops were topnotch. I struggled to decide which of the workshops I had to leave out. The ones I attended moved me closer to my goal to prepare/finish a manuscript or two for publication sooner rather than 'one of these days'.

The nuts and bolts, the learning parts if you will, from Rachelle Gardner and Mike Befelor were complete and well presented. My afternoon sessions with John Calderazzo, Laura Pritchett and Tina Forkner were superb. I can't think of a better way to say it.

Although I didn't feel I was ready to do a pitch, I had planned to make contact with one of the presenters and I was able to do that over breakfast with Tina Forkner. I benefited by her depth of information about the inspirational market which parallels many of my interests. I believe we are on the same wave length and she invited me to e-mail her if I had questions.

But the best thing about the whole experience was that I got to listen to people who loved what they were doing. They woke up each morning excited about that day, from the Hollywood elegance of Stephen Cannell to Todd Mitchells heartfelt words to the delightful 'On the Spot" improv. group...they were all having fun! And so did I!

Thanks Kerrie!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Catching the Mare

Catching the Mare
Pasture Musing
March 2010

morning quiet, drifting along,
rope in hand I stumble a bit
over rough ground, marking it,
I lift my boots above mounds
of soft earth,old grass

I wonder about
tall grass that had such promise
but gave up long ago
to lie pushed down by
snow weight, sun's burn
horses feet, soaking water

I believe it was happy to return
something of what once was
to the earth… I'm thankful
the winter sun
the wind’s hint of warmth
the shortened darkness

elusive fox, mysterious coyote,
brave feral cat leave
their tracks in earth too,
next to the grasses
they survive but some, like me
still don’t understand

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smile but Stubbornly Go

One of my searching times was way back in the 80's when I was attending seminary. I met weekly with a small group of students that first year for support and challenge, for opening eyes and hearts. One thing it was supposed to do was to help us become at least aware if not tolerant but hopefully accepting of other students' widely divergent views and experiences about what they believed. This may have been more true of Iliff School of Theology in Denver than for others such as Oral Roberts for example.

I made the decision to take this path because of my passion for making a difference, but not in the way you may think. I was not a preacher who was hell-bent on saving souls. I just wanted to do what I could to make a difference in my small way, like the star thrower who returned one of hundreds of starfish that had been beached to the sea. It didn't make a difference to hundreds of starfish but it made a difference to one. I was searching my heart for the best way to do that I guess. And I ended up at seminary. My passion for justice grew through church involvement. in social issues. Tom Sutherland, one of the hostages held in Lebanon was a member of my congregation. I was convinced then as I still am today that God is love. And love will win but only if each person tosses a starfish back into the sea.

As I recall the year I began was the first year the number of female students equaled the number of male students at Iliff. It was also marked by a growing number of students embarking on their second or third careers. I was 45 and I felt like a fish out of water. It was helpful though, to see that there were also lots of other fish. So if numbers mean anything I think there was beginning to be a critical mass. Many women thought of themselves as pioneers. And we were.

I remember thinking as I emerged from my first exam which happened to be in Old Testament that if I passed that test I would probably make it through to graduation. It was certainly the first time I had studied the Old Testament and to be honest it was also the first time I had read the whole thing through. I questioned my decision to attend seminary many times in the years following but this first exam was a make it or break it for me and one that made me keep asking myself "what I was thinking?".

So when I came across this poem by Denver poet Lois Beebe Hayna it became a kind of a mantra that I memorized and wove into my soul. From the day I took it to my first year discussion group till now it reminds me, even as I get older that it is never too late to "tend a vine of my own choosing.''

Late to the Vineyard
by Lois Beebe Hayna

Delayed Bloomer, ten o' clock achiever,jack of all directions but your own,lady, will you tend at last a vine of your own choosing?
Forget calendars, ignore warnings of frost and blight;discount praise for your delicate hands.Smile but stubbornly go,because Indian summer shines for the late-to-luckand time runs earlier, earlier than anyone suspects.
Frost will miraculously bypass your budswhile rain rounds harvest ripe for you.Your grapes will be sound, lady, sound and sweet.You will sip each fruitlike wine.