Friday, April 10, 2009

Journaling a Writers Conference, Part 1

I'm home today after nine days on the road, sans email, blog, Facebook, etc. I've been at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (their annual 40th). For the simple purpose of not arriving back home with the entire week become a mental blur, I decided to keep a few notes about what I was up to each day. Nothing profound or deep, just the play-by-play that might, if I'm recovered enough, trigger something profound or deep that I can share. Considering that my head's still in a spin, the morning after... well, anyone who has attended a nearly week long writers conference will understand, and those who haven't, forgive me if I ramble or fail to make a bit of sense.

There and Back Again
My Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference Journal

Day One - Wednesday, April 1

Q: Can four writers/editors make a 7 hour drive last 12 hours?

A: Yes, they can. If they stop for a sit-down lunch, and one of them (ahem... moi) suddenly realizes she has forgotten her one-sheets and begs to stop at Office Depot (thank you, Lord, for thumb drives) to make new copies, and another needs to stop at a book store for a new bible, and another needs some shirts from the outlet mall, and then it's dinner time and so they settle into another booth and halfway through the meal realize how late it's getting and how far they still have to go, and that they must be at Mount Hermon to check in by 10pm latest, so they hurry through the meal, pay the bill and go.

Karen Ball (writer and fiction editor at B&H books), Marion Stroud (she's a writer and she talks like the Queen), Julee Schwarzburg (freelance editor), and little ol' me, pile our Stuff and Ourselves into Karen's mini van, leave Medford at about 9:30AM, and come careening (and yawning and blinking) down the final twisty highway to Mount Hermon long after dark, twelve hours later. I can't see the redwoods, or the wooded slopes or the rustic buildings, except for what the headlights show. But every curving drive and path in this place seems to lead steeply up. Both ways.

The conference doesn't officially start for me until Friday morning, so I bunk with Marion, who is teaching one of the Morning Tracks (hers is called The Writer's Spiritual Support) starting Saturday. Right now, all I'm thinking about is sleep. I don't know what the plague of frogs beyond the sliding screen door are thinking about, but it's not sleep, and they have much to say about it.

No worries. I brought ear plugs.

Tomorrow's post: Day Two - Thursday, April 2. A mostly free day, during which I see Mount Hermon in the daylight, and we go to Santa Cruz, where I see a thing I've never seen before.


  1. Looking forward to reading the rest of your journal entries!

  2. Lol at the surfboard sign and I love your comment about the frogs. While I enjoy listening to them I can see how the earplugs came in handy, with such a big weekend ahead. Looking forward to hearing more!

  3. Sounds like you got off to a great (if exhausting) start, Lori!

  4. Ruth, wish I had time to write them all today, but I have other conference-generated work to do too. It's a good thing. More later. :)

    Doree, that was the sign at the crosswalk below the lodge where I bunked for most of the conference. :-P

    Sallie, the drive down was great fun, except for my panicked moment of realizing I'd forgotten my one sheets, on which I'd spend an inordinate amount of preparation time and darn it if I'd go quietly without them. Office Depot to the rescue! Right after I had copies made I called my husband to let him know it was all right that I'd left the one sheets in his possession (he'd had them printed at his office the day before, and we'd forgotten to do the hand off), only to find he'd already realized I'd forgotten them and, also in a panic, had them shipped overnight down to the conference office for me. Together we spent an extra $30 on those few pages! Oy.