Posts Tagged ‘writer’s conference’


Slow Reader Thursday: Live!


I encountered Christal N. M. Jenkins (the author of Live!) at my first writer’s conference in Portland, OR. If you’re depressed, she is the “medication” that doesn’t require a glass of water or swallowing a pill. Christal’s smile, alone, will raise your spirits. It’s a smile that has known a lot of pain and hardship and yet, refuses to give into “the darkness.”

She taught a learning-loaded seminar for new writers and I learned a lot from her well-organized presentation. Even more impressive is that she didn’t refer to her notes (At least that’s how it appeared to me.). But, as she alluded to surviving some serious health issues, I felt myself identifying with her story more and more.

Thus, I purchased her 2nd book, Live! In Live! she recounts losing a job that gave her a fair amount of status and deciding that she would succumb to the call to preach. Even though she felt she was doing just that, she began having scary health difficulties. This was made even more difficult by her hectic schedule of traveling and speaking and volunteering. One is often at the mercy of others for transportation and not knowing where hospitals are while traveling.

Eventually, Christal was hospitalized and a diagnosis was found. And yes, I have suffered Christal’s illness. But, that is not the point of her story (or mine). The point is that we, as Christians, are to speak life to others and live. How does one speak “life”? Have you heard of the Bible? 🙂 I confess that I often don’t enjoy memorizing Scripture, but when I do force myself to do so, it usually comes in very handy when talking with others who need some encouragement.

Christal felt she was being directed to Ezekiel’s description of the “dry bones” during this period of her life. And on pages 49-54 she deftly lays out what the “dry bones” of our lives could look like: unemployment, fear, tragedy, etc. As she does so, she reminds us that God’s word can handle where we are in our lives and give new life to those “dry bones,” whatever they may be.

Point to Ponder Challenge: What are your “dry bones”? How can you speak “life” back into them and get moving again? Does someone else need you to speak “life” to them? What can you do today to help that process along for them?




Cheese, Please…


While at the writer’s conference last week, a speaker said that no poems had been written about cheese to date. His point was that no one would read a poem about cheese. The speaker is probably right and honestly, I didn’t research poems to figure out if the speaker’s claim was correct. But, I am just stubborn enough to take such statements as a dare. So, in case the speaker’s claim was true, here’s my ode to cheese:

Asiago, American
Bleu and brie
Cheddar, Camembert
And Domiati.

Edam, Feta
Gouda, gruyere,
Havarti, Imsil
Jarlsberg all are there.

Kojack, Limberger, Mozzarella
Monterey Jack, Mascarpone,
Munster, Nacho, Olteranni
And good ol’ provolone.

Parmesan, pepperjack
Queto and Romano
Swiss, String,
Tandil and Urda.

Valdeon, Whitestone
And Xygalo
Yaraslavsky and

Whatever the occasion
Whatever the day,
There’s a cheese to imbibe
To take your bleus away.

Monday’s Post: Zarzuela anyone?