This week is the 2013 Mount Hermon Christrian Writers Confernecer on the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains—about an a 90 minute drive south of San Francisco. We are in the heart of California's amazing coastal redwoods.
It is sunny, warm (60's), and idelic—at about 42' above sea level. (I can breathe!) Something is bound to go swrong. The photo is the HEnry Cowell Redwoods State park, about two minutes down the road.
The faculty is top notch and easily approachable. An entire wing of the dining room has been given over to becoming the conference bookstore—in addition to Mount Hermon's regular bookshop. [In one section, on three long tables, they have more than fifty different tiles on the craft, nuts-n-bolts, structure, style. ...of writing.
Along with my newest book—HATCH! : Brianstorming Secrets of a Theme Park Designer—they carry (on my recommendation):
• Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper, SARK
• Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie
• Walking on Water, Madeleine L'Engle
• Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairytale, Fredrick Buechner
Plus I brought a few used copies of two of my now-out-of-print books:
• Everyone Wants to Go To Heaven, But ...
• Raised In Captivity, Memoir of a life Long Churchaholic
There are several tables of other books penned and/or recommended by faculty.
The main conference began yesterday, Friday 22 March and runs through Tuesday lunch—26 Mar. The day is wall-to-wall, morning-to-night seminars, workshops, one-on-one appointments with agents, publishers, editors (books and periodicals), and writing critiques.
Each evening I am presenting a keynote address, beginning last night with "Recapturing Your Creative Spirit." (One down, four to go.) A couple of my presentations are brand new. One is rework from the one and only time I gave it two years ago, and one will be a dialogue with the entire conference: "Tackling the Roadblocks to Creativity."
As we are the only conference on the hill this week (and not huge in number), it's rather quiet here in the coffee house, lounge in the heart of camp. (It's also one of very few wifi hot spots in the forest.) Our guest rooms, while spacious and comfy, are black holes for wifi. Aaargh!
As I was preparing for my five keynotes it becaming more and more evident that the major themes and supporting illustrations for the week will find a place in my next book—Book No.2—in the three book series that began with HATCH!
I am still playing with the title, but hope to anounce it this Summer, in advance of its Autumnal release. I will be posting a brief survey here (www.TeaWithMcNair.com), and on the "Hatch-by-McNair-Wilson" Facebook page soon. Hope you will join in.
I continiue to be impressed and inspire by the remarkable array of people who attend these writing conferences. They are not all experienced, published authors. Yet from the dozen or so teens, to a physician I met, teachers, pastors, moms, and more, all have come to learn the craft of writing and the business of getting published and marketing their work.
The common thread: all seem to have been ifected with the passion to write.
Start there and write, write, write.