Tuesday, September 13, 2016


I sit down to a computer and stare at the blank paper on the screen. No words come to mind. What am I thinking? Why did God give me the passion to write if I can’t do anything? I’m a horrible author. I’ll never be able to do this.

The list could go on and on. I have my own personal list and you have yours. Our own nightmares of “I can’t” and “this is impossible.” The ones that keep dragging us down into the abyss.

We underestimate ourselves. It is so easy to do. But we don’t have to.

I was feeling a tad jealous this year for not being able to go to the ACFW National Conference. I had signed up for an email put out by Ted Dekker a while ago.  This gem was in my email box the same week. I think God was trying to tell me something.

Ted Dekker’s “4 Deadly Mistakes Every Writer Makes” has things in it we all have heard. Mistake number four is awesome. “Underestimating.” Undervaluing myself is not great. We all do it. Lift you head. Our strength comes from God. He has already given us what we need to be the best writers anyone has ever read. I wanted to start crying when I read it. I don’t have to be down on me. God has paved the way for something amazing, even if I haven’t achieved my goals yet.

I’ll let you read it for yourself. http://thecreativeway.com/4-dm-4 It will link back to the first three.

The Creative Way is a course Ted Dekker has formed. There is still a week until registration for this year is still open until the 19th. Go here if you are interested https://thecreativeway.com/enroll2016

Jessica Bertrand

Friday, September 2, 2016

ACFW 2016 Conference

A bustling Nashville held the ACFW conference this year. You may have been one of the lucky ones to attend. All attendees were meant to sit in those seats as Divine appointments. Newbies and aficionados who have been coming since inception, rubbed shoulders. You who didn’t get the chance to go, I want to encourage you to plan on next year which will be held in Texas.

Over four hundred, like-minded and slightly ticked in the head men and women, slugged back and forth down halls to meetings and ballrooms. Eyes on phones in hand reading the app to find the next place, deciding if they should boost themselves with a coffee or step into the restroom, trying to be on time, find a good seat, and not get lost.

Most people don’t understand writers who hear voices, configure intricate scenes and engaging dialog, take in everything around them, and file it for a possible future crime or passion. These slightly slouched, mostly bespectacled, and almost always introverted people, came to learn from the best, made appointments, were encouraged, and sometimes become disappointed and even crushed.

They shared a common thread—write the perfect book. The writers spent three days learning together and praying for one another. The power of prayer was felt throughout the two floors of the gathered children of the most high. The sweet Spirit breathed through the rooms and into the lungs and hearts of those willing to receive.

The inspiring words of our esteemed key note speaker, Ted Dekker, brought tears, smiles, laughter, and people to their feet. He encouraged us to work out our love for the Lord and others on paper, to fight through troubles in our soul while struggling to find answers to life’s burdens by interacting with our characters. As our protagonist learns, so might we.

Some storytellers had agent or editor appointments, all nerve racking and often life changing. The lucky ones were asked to send chapters. The editor or agent had a spot or niche that fit what the writer had poured their heart into. Most got sent away to work harder or pitch to another. Those leaving the meetings wore smiles of rejoicing or drawn faces and moist eyes. All were Divine appointments. The Lord doesn’t make mistakes. A “No” is not a sentence of doom, but of learning and redirection. 

A few crafters took the challenge of being sharpened by authors who wielded a red pen and bloodied the first chapters of their babies. Brave souls—we slightly crazy writers are—took the risk.  Is all this worth the emotional upheaval? Yes. Risk takers are the ones who win in the end and hold their baby wrapped in a hard cover with their name splashed on the front, or downloaded around the world.

The Gala, oh the Gala. Excitement filled the air as over five hundred well dressed men and women, in everything from Sunday best to tuxes and elaborate sparkly gowns, were full of expectations. The food scrumptious in a beautiful presentation and placed on laden tables. The question on everyone's mind--who will win this year’s awards? It thrilled us as we watched the winners cross the stage with gracious beaming smiles and give the glory and praise to their Lord.

You may ask—should I go next year? Pray. Search the Lord to know His will and remember, He promised to direct you.

Robin Densmore Fuson  
Gala Ready