The Sisters of Chuck


In case you haven't noticed I have not been the most diligent of bloggers. But I am really, really going to try and change that. So here goes. I wanted to tell you all about my most fabulous weekend with a group of writing sisters in a cabin in the woods in a room with a coyote named Chuck. I was privileged to spend time with my most excellent editor, Barbara Scott and a few of the other Abingdon authors. I will admit I was nervous at first. The thought of being holed up in a cabin, in the woods with a group of women I didn't know scared me a little (okay, more than a little). But God is so gracious and has been so good to me that it turned out to be one of the most significant weekends of my life. The bonding was pretty much instant and all my anxieties melted away--well the initial ones. I laughed, I talked, I cried, I shared. Barbara did two workshops with us on editing and character construction. We yakked about marketing and we just plain talked about things that had nothing to do with our novels or writing. But then again, as I've been thinking about it, I saw that even though the stories we shared seemed on the surface to be unrelated to our books or our journey I've come to see that all of those struggles, triumphs, journeys were necessary to us. We would never been the writers we are today had it not been for those moments of terror, times of elation, victorious outcomes and even the grief some of us shared. It all matters. So to Christa I say, thank you for being so funny and willing to face your truth head on. To Cynthia, the new president of ACFW, thank you for sharing your gentle spirit and discernment. Kay, what an incredible life you've had, what amazing adventures. I'm so glad you shared them with us. Even though malaria ain't sweet! Yikes! To Gail who came all the way from Canada. Thank you for being outspoken and happy and for sharing your journey and for just being you, Gail. A woman of great strength and courage. And Jennifer. You shone with the light of a hundred stars. A woman of incomparable strength and fortitude and perseverance. God blesses perseverance. And finally, our editor, Barbara. You are amazing in so many ways, smart and joyful, funny and wise. You shared your time from an outrageously busy schedule and came to the cabin to nurture and minister and bring joy to each and every one of us. I am honored to be counted among this group. Now about Chuck, he just stood there with one paw raised and those beady little eyes darting around the room. But, he kept a watchful vigil over us. Thanks Chuck.

7 comments:

Judy Christie said...

What a fun -- and touching -- account! Amazing writers and an awesome editor! I'm honored to be in the Abingdon family and wish I could have been with the group. Judy Christie (P.S. I LOVE the counter stools photo; reminds me of the diner in "Agnes Sparrow.")

Cynthia Ruchti said...

Joyce, thanks for allowing me to relive those priceless moments again. There's an awful lot of hot pink in that picture! But I owe it to the fact that the camera adds fifty-or-so pounds.:) Each person's life experiences added so much to the total picture of the retreat...and to find that we held so much in common--even in our pain--kept us in awe, didn't it? I left with a bubbling-over love for each of our Abingdon authors and an even greater respect and marrow-deep love for Barbara. We are of all people most blessed!

Myra Johnson said...

Again, I am so disappointed my flight problems kept me from getting there. I missed out on so much--most of all, the sharing and bonding and fun. This writing business is challenging and scary enough without having to face the ups and downs alone. I'm so proud to be part of this "family" even if I only know most of you through e-mail.

Joyce said...

Gee, there must be a way to do this again. Sooner than later. Thank you so much for all the kinds words. I am so blessed. ~ Joycie

christa said...

I think we ought to adopt Sly and Family Stone's "We are Family" as our theme song.

Thanks to you, Joyce of 1000 worries, for stepping out in faith, getting the cabin, buying the food, and giving us all the chance to be blessed.

Pam Halter said...

I have two words for you all:

KITCHEN SLAVE (I would be a good one.)

Thank you all for your feedback on my pages even though I'm not part of your group. I am totally humbled you would take the time.

Rita Gerlach said...

Joyce,
Thanks for posting this. I wish I could have been there. Next year for sure. I'm so thrilled to be a part of the Abingdon family. There is a bond between us that spans the miles that has touched my life in a profound way.