Monday, September 06, 2010

A Time To Fly

Some days we dream about far away places and the secrets they hold. Other days, when God unlocks a door, we slip away for a while and venture into the world beyond our doorstep. On very special days, we even get to fly away.

This time next week, I'll be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. My bags will be packed and with dreams in a vice-like clutch, I'll make my way to Indianapolis and the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference.

What do you pack for a dream trip like this? Here is my list of essentials.

1. A teachable heart. My strongest desire is to learn more about the writing craft. I plan on bringing back a collection of nuts and bolts for masterful storytelling, and exploring the elements which make a story sing.

2. An open mind. There are days I think I know what I can and cannot achieve as a writer. I'm hoping to be surprised with possibilities I never imagined. After all, why hope for the things I know I will find? Why not look for a rare jewel?

3. A strong voice. When your accent rings a little off key, it pays to have an ounce of courage. I have questions to ask and people to find who I hope, will share their answers with me. I may even swap words of encouragement with a kindred spirit or two.

4. A friendly smile. When things are scary, there's nothing more disarming than a smile. It unlocks  doors and chases away fears which don't belong, but may creep in.

5. Tear soaked prayers. Why tears? Because that's me. Tears come easily, and often. From those shed at farewells to twinkling tears of delight, they're as much a part of who I am as my brown eyes. It would be wrong to deny the real me and pretend to be someone I'm not. So the tears get to come, but I'll be tucking them in with my prayers. Without prayer, I wouldn't dream of taking my smile, voice, mind or heart all the way to the ACFW conference.

After all, my lifelong prayers and God's remarkable answer, have opened the door for me to fly away in the first place.

  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; 
       I will counsel you and watch over you. 
Psalm 32:8