Just got home from three days in Grand Rapids, Michigan (home of the nicest people on earth) at the Festival of Faith & Writing. FFW is a biannual conference where my two favorite conversations intersect. Perhaps the best part was that they defined "faith" broadly, so every session was filled with new ideas. Some I loved (see: Joshilyn Jackson, below), while others seriously ruffled my feathers (like the author who essentially reduced "miracles" to when something you don't like happens and it improves your attitude....I'm pretty emphatic in believing there's more to it than that). Even (or perhaps especially) because of the feather ruffling, I loved the collision of all these perspectives. And even more than that, I loved the chance to hang out with one of my favorite friends, and meet other writers who take on the challenge of writing about the huge, mysterious subject of spirituality.
Confession: I went with a rather unorthodox agenda for an author with a new book launching in June. On the flight out, I realized that what I was longing for was not networking, but connection. I wanted to get excited about writing again. Not as a job or a calling (I think recent events have left me overly focused--and slightly panicked--about the need to leave a legacy through my writing, thus making it almost impossible to write) but as a way of figuring out the world. You know, fun. Some parts of what you do everyday should be fun, right?
I'll share some of what I discovered through my posts this week. Here's a preview (so tomorrow when life gears up again and I can't remember even going to Grand Rapids, I'll have a frame of reference):
Blog #1: Joshilyn Jackson. So. Damn. Funny.
Blog #2: Eugene Peterson. How to take the larger view of your life and play multiple roles simultaneously (I felt like I was sitting by the fire with Yoda, gaining sage wisdom and learning to trust the force)
Blog #3: Mary Karr. I might have accidentally asked her, in front of several hundred people, how she deals with her inner moron.... That's not at all what I meant. But it might be what I said.
Blog #4: Amy Julia Becker. Connecting with people who get what you're attempting--and are willing to share the secrets they've learned in their own attempts-- is worth more than gold, I've discovered.
Blog #5: Technical frivolity. Why I might maybe be saving my pennies for an iPad.
Blog #6: The really inspiring thing I thought of a minute ago but now can't remember.
(When we get to blog #5, someone please remind me to confess blatant coveting of my my seatmate's MacBook Air on the plane today...)
Okay, time to hit the couch with with Steve & THAT DOG. More tomorrow :)