Why Starving Word-Artists Need Conferences

The earth reflects our soul’s need for constant revitalization. Our dry lawn shrivels as a plea for rain’s kiss. But I do not bother to water the grass. I neglect the turf, much like I dismiss the aches of my clay-flesh. My aching eyes strain, but I resolve to keep my gaze fixed on the monitor’s white glare. The muscles along my spine wrench into a bitter position I cannot seem to untwist. Curtains block the playful dance of sunlight out of my office. I force my cramped hands to tamp at the keys. So many words tarry in my bleary head, unwilling to stir forth. But I must not allow myself time away from these projects. Too many lines to craft … too much to accomplish …

At my everyday meal, our kitchen’s blue-black avocados yawn rotten. Much like withered fruit dying on my soul’s vine.

My husband offers a gift of respite. My reluctant fists uncurl from work. Fingertips skid against the edge of my desk as I commit to leave it for a day or two. I embrace my husband’s gift and walk the powdery sands with him at sunset. Coquinas lay as angel wing shapes along the beach near the earth-immersed who breathe between the waves. Sandpipers skitter along the foamy water’s edge to forage a briny feast. As the ocean caresses the shore, the ebb and flow soothes my restless drive to accomplish without refueling. Herein lies nature’s wise counsel of life’s source sustaining life. Living water speaks from this twilight-silvered sea. The Creator whispers His name through the breaking surf. He sings a lullaby of our spirituality’s romantic sustenance. Our source renews life.

And the sandy grains mold together to share the evidence of His touch. Sandpipers dance to His lullaby and praise His provision. Not one bird, but many pace this shore. Tiny and visible components all work together to yield and share this masterpiece of romantic beauty. Here am I to walk, photograph, write, and speak of His art. Not as a lone artist, but one meant to function as part of the Source’s collective work of life renewal. I must give and receive, from the source and with others.

Like the Creator waters the dry sands of my soul, I must turn to life-giving renewal with my fellow artists. Creativity thirsts for flow to summon its spring and gasps for the breath to lift its wings. This week, I look forward to offering and receiving artistic revitalization. I’ll bring surf-stirrings to meet mountain peaks. At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, we will gather to hear our Creator’s song and bolster one another to share it with renewed life.


Instead of a story tidbit, I’m sharing my podcast interview from the 2018 Florida Christian Writer’s Conference to further illustrate a starving word-artist’s need for community life.

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