Hey - Don't complain. I'm ahead for once in my life! So this is to be your first letter of the new year, even though it's coming to you on the 30th of December. You're getting it a day or so early because I will be working at our church on January 1 and the work there will be very labor intensive. So truth is, I'll be pooped when I get home. Call this your JANUARY 1 letter.
So here we are, down to the last few weeks prior to the conference. I'm excited. Mostly because, like I said, I'm a little ahead on things. It feels good to not be rushed.
From here forward you will need to be sure to check the conference updates numerous times. I will send ONE NEWS LETTER PER WEEK and any additional updates will be on the Conference Update page. Under Conference Updates you will find a link called CURRENT UPDATES. This link will have important information about your check in at the Cove, last minute important news, attire, what to bring, all that kind of stuff. I cannot do this for you. Check the website after the first week of January. I'll start to populate that page.
The most popular question is WHAT HOTEL ARE WE IN ON CAMPUS. The current answer is....I DON'T KNOW. There are three other conferences sharing the Cove with us and until all three have their registrations complete, we will not know which hotel we will be assigned to. So wait for it. We'll know a week or so prior to the conference. If you are off campus, all you have to do is go to the main building daily. All our classes are on the 3rd floor, and meals on the main floor. PLEASE, PLEASE read the site after the first week of January. Information will start to show.
Secondly, our book contest and devotion contests are nearing their deadlines. Please, AGAIN....read the website under Contests and you'll find the information you'll need about the contests, deadlines, and how to submit.
Start to pray seriously over this conference. Ask God for safe travel. Good health and perfect weather. Lift up our faculty, your peers, and the staff. We want this conference smothered in prayer.
Finally, there are still some outstanding invoices. Those invoices have to be paid the first week of January. I have sent reminders. If you know you owe money but did not get the reminder via Pay Pal, know that I also forwarded to you from my email. Still, we can't always control technology, so if you know you owe money and you need the link to pay, please send me a private email to [email protected]
Once again, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. If you want to send me an email, PLEASE, PLEASE send it directly to [email protected]
If you reply to this newsletter I am not going to see it, so don't be upset with me if I don't respond. SEND A NEW EMAIL! I keep harping on this because, someone ALWAYS hits reply and the thread is 125 emails long. So no...I won't see it because I don't have the time or energy to sort through 125 threads. So enough of the MOMMA CINDY THING.
Please complete your payments for the Cove. Enter your contests and pay. You can do it. I can't wait to see all the entries.
MENTORING & CRITIQUES
Terri still has a few mentoring slots open. Paid critiques are available. And once you get to the conference, Terri will explain how you sign up for those valuable 15 min appointments. (Those are free by the way.) She'll let you know how many you can sign up for and when - AT THE CONFERENCE on Friday night. So take time. Look through our faculty and see who you'd like to chat with. Our mentors are generally tied up, but you can sit with them at meals, chat in the hallways, and prior to assembilies. Again, the clock is ticking on a deadline to take part in these mentoring or paid critiques. So read the site under https://www.ashevillechristianwritersconference.com/critiquesandmentoring
We do our classes a bit different. You do not sign up for our classes. We have two tracks Stepping Up and Stepping Out. Stepping Up classes are for those who are newer to the writing world. Stepping Out are for the more seasoned writers. BUT we encourage you to pick a track and stay in it. Purchase the MP3s and with the Manual we provide you (by the way, it's a very nice printed book that you can keep for years), you'll have all the classes on MP3 and all the handouts FOREVER. So consider purchasing the MP3s. I get them at every conference I teach at. This keeps me up to snuff on my own learning.
The early bird classes are included in your conference fee. There is no additional cost for those. You simply arrive at 12:30, get your name tag and go straight to the main building. There's a little flex time there so don't panic. We've built in some additional time just in case some of you are still getting your name tags. (We'll talk name tags on that CURRENT UPDATES later on)
The point is - if you're late - it's OKAY! And if you want to move to a different class on Saturday...I can't force you into your seat. But I can remind you that the MP3s will be valuable to help you have the entire conference (minus worship - we cannot tape worship due to copyright laws).
I venture out to say we are the ONLY conference nationwide that does this. For the next seven (7) weeks each weekly letter will contain a link to our site blog. On that blog you will find an additional learning assignment. These are provided for you because we want to give you as much information as we can. Each blog will address a writing process and it will have an assignment for you to complete at home. NO, I DON'T NEED YOU TO SEND THESE TO ME. They are additional learning for you to work through on your own. We really want you to have as much as we can cram into a weekend as possible. So take time to read through those. Your newsletters hit the blog as well so as the weeks pass you simply have to scroll down through the posts to see ones you may have missed.
Our first assignment comes from 3-time Christy Award winner, Ann Tatlock. It's called
Ann gives you some wonderful tips and suggestions to help you with the all important imagery of your story. Take some time, read through, and then apply this assignment to your current work in progress. I think you'll be surprised at the difference you will see.
Your Spiritual Take Away
Finding Peace In the Midst
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7 NIV
It's time to slow down and rest. The Christmas season has brought wonderful memories with family and friends, gift giving, kindness, STRESS! It's time to slow down.
I love the holidays, but honestly, I'm tired. All four of our sons were home - a pleasure that only happens every three or four years. You could say, I was one happy momma. So on Thursday after Christmas, when all the hoopla was done, my husband and I sat staring at empty Christmas tree. Neither of us said a word, we just got up, pulled out the boxes and ladder, and began to take it all down.
The house was quiet. Too quiet. We wondered if son number three had made it back to Orlando alright and did both the grands enjoy their gifts. Was Mom okay in the assisted living? When will the bills arrive? In the midst of all the joy we'd had, we had no peace of mind. Tim and I found ourselves, worrying.
I pulled up my computer and begun to write, but I was so wired I couldn't concentrate. Even knowing I have a self-imposed deadline, I couldn't concentrate.That's when I grabbed my prayer bowl. There are a few folks who understand me and my prayer bowl (Edie and Eva both share this bowl with me), but overall, this is my special bowl.
My prayer bowl sets on my dresser in my room. I'm a nighttime pacer. I wake up frequently and make a lap down the hall and back, but this, I have found, is my perfect prayer time. I pass my bowl, grab a card, and as I make my way down the hall, I pray over who or what is on that card. On Thursday, the card that found it's way to the top was a scripture. This scripture. And the peace of God, whichtranscends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There was worry over this conference - making sure everyone is taken care of, provided for. Worry over traveling kids, work that needed to be done, and a manuscript I so wanted to finish by end-of-year. In fact, the worry was so great, the silence so strong, that I kinda began to panic."What if's" rose to the surface, stress. Then there was this scripture. The peace of God!
I began to ponder that. God's peace transsends all understanding. Everything. All I have to do is grasp hold and it will guard my heart and mind. Isn't that amazing? God's peace transends anything we can find to worry over.
As you prepare for this conference, slow down. Rest. Don't allow worry to over take you. Seek out the peace of God that transends all understanding. You are coming to our conference because you felt the nudge to come. We've prayed for you, over and over. Don't worry about finished work, weather, or not knowing folks. Seek God's peace.
Once I allowed God to take my worry, the peace covered me and it will cover you too. Start your prayers now: Oh Lord, bring me your peace.
And He will. Do. Just. That.