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February 6, 2021 - Assignment 5
Saturday, February 6, 2021 by Cindy Sproles

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Week 5 - Assignments!

This week your assignment is all above the conference experience. Given this year, the experience is somewhat changing, but we're working hard to make all the adjustments you will need We want you to enjoy our time together and even in that, there are still some things you can learn and remember to make this best experience possible. For our virtual folks...well... it's a NEW experience as well. We are working hard to get the landing page up and ready. So you hold on...information will come to you the week of the conference. Slipover to our blog a www.ashevillechristianwritersconference.com and take advantage of this new lesson of the week.

News - News - News
There is new and then later on we will recap for the newcomers. ***REMEMBER, masks are required. So don't forget. You'll have to return to your room and get it. Masks must be worn throughout the venue. 

Our critiques and mentoring are filling so if you are interested in those services, contact Terri. Visit the critiques/mentoring page on the site. Time is drawing close and with faculty driving or flying in, their time to mentor or critique is getting SHORT.

Very soon we'll add a webpage for LAST MINUTE UPDATES. It will house the name of the hotel, final check-in and out reminders. Small details. You can easily pull this up on your phone at arrival and breeze through. I do want to remind you that with Covid and our being moved so many times at the Cove, we fear that the switches may cause us to miss something. I ask for your grace in this year's conference. We are doing virtual for the first time and that, in and of itself, carries a huge learning curve. I doubt our normally well-oiled wheel will not squeak just a little. Please bear with us. This year we are on two floors of the Cove. We have always been on one floor and very self-contained. This is a good thing because it means, despite Covid, we have grown. But it does also mean that it's a new hit and miss for some of our normal things. 

We normally run two learning tracks. We cannot do that this year in-person due to the live streaming and COVID. BUT, our faculty is so awesome that they are preparing that second track for you and when the conference is over, EVERY CONFEREE - VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON, will receive the links for the videos to watch these additional classes. This is a step of faith for us so I ask that you pray faithfully that we will have no glitches. We are making every effort to bring you our full conference - even if it can't be done as usual. (Now you can applaud - lol) CLAP! CLAP! Thank you to a super wonderful faculty.

Some of our faculty normally attending will not be able to attend due to COVID restrictions on their health or in their state with travel. Keep Ramonia Richards in your prayers. Ramona is experiencing issues with her voice which are requiring her to NOT TALK AT ALL FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. So Ramona is unable to attend - BUT...the positive is, we welcome retired Agent and now private mentor, editor, and writing coach - Diana Flegal. Diana is great friends with Ramona and they will work together to still bring you Ramona's class from double the experience. Diana will also see appointments and refer manuscripts to editors and agents in the industry and Ramona can rest her very sweet, southern voice. WIN-WIN!

Linda Glaz, also an agent is attending our conference virtually. COVID restrictions for her attendance and the safety of her hubby will not allow her to attend in person. But Linda, being the awesome agent she is, is still seeing appointments via zoom or phone on Saturday. She'll be available to do critiques so you can still see Terri about paid critiques for Linda. AND...she is sending a class video to add to our virtual library. HOW AMAZING IS LINDA?  CLAPPPPPPPPP! CHEEEEERRR! Thanks to Linda.

AND AS AN ADDED PLUS, you'll have a taste of one of NEXT YEAR'S FACULTY - The amazing DiAnn Mills. YOU BET! DiAnn has taken time from her very busy schedule to record not one, but two classes for our library. You'll get to see her this year and get excited for 2022 when she appears in person on our stage.

So you see, we are working hard to bring you a small conference with a POWERFUL, HUGE, SUPERCALFRAGILISTICEXPALIDOSUS impact. Keep an eye on the newsletter page of the website and watch for the UPDATE page to go live. That is where we'll update you with day to day changes and information for your arrival. It's not there yet...it's coming soon.

NOW, To Repeat for the Newcomers:
You may start to arrive on campus at the Cove around 11 a.m. on Friday. NOW PAY ATTENTION. You cannot check into your room, so don't drag your bags outta the car. Leave them there. You'll go to the first hotel Pilgrims Inn, pull in and park. Go inside the Inn and there you will be welcomed by some of our staff. You'll get your name tag and your conference mask, and a schedule. Your temp will be taken a second time (for our liability insurance). You will sign a liability release and fill out a covid form. Sorry team, this is just part of the covid mess we all must deal with. A reminder, if you are feeling bad, DON'T COME. You'll be sent home immediately if you have a fever. So save yourself the embarrassment and just let me know. We'll fix you up with live streaming. Now you can go upstairs and relax in the chairs at the Inn, or you can visit the Chapel (It's really pretty), or you can visit the Training Center. 

Our appointments, mentoring, and bookstore are on the lower level. Down the steps and to your right. EASY PEASY.  The main auditorium is on the main level (Pass the big fireplace and to your right.) Edie's mammoth class begins at 1. You cannot enter the Training Center without your nametag. So go to Pilgrims Inn first. Let's recap:
*Arrive as early as 11 a.m.
*Go directly to Pilgrims Inn for your name tag 
*Visit the chapel or mill around campus 
*The first workshop is at 1 p.m.

Here's the question that throws everyone for a loop and it shouldn't. If I'm staying off-campus where do I go when I arrive? YOU GO TO PILGRIMS INN AND GET YOUR NAME TAG. That isn't hard but trust me, it throws people every year.

Now you're gonna see this big hill up to the Training Center. Don't panic, the Cove runs busses every 5-10 minutes and they'll get you up to the Training Center without a hitch. So park your car and leave it parked. Take the busses. If you are staying off-campus you can get your name tag and drive up to the Training Center and park. Then after things are done, you have your car waiting on you. If you are staying on-campus. Park at Pilgrims Inn and leave it. Take the bus. It's a 2-minute drive.

After the two afternoon sessions, you can make your way back to Pilgrims Inn and see the ladies at the desk to check into your room. You'll have time between the last session before supper to get settled in your room. Supper (that's what we call it in the mountains) is at 5. City slickers like Bob Hostetler, call it dinner. Sheesh - there's one in every crowd. :)

HOUSEKEEPING for conferees will be held after the evening session. So don't skip out when Edie is done with her speech. We'll give you Teri who will tell you about appointments, we'll go over the bookstore, the Bob Box, and any other details you might need to know. This will allow our streaming conferees to exit without having to worry about details that don't apply to them.


Our Worship Will Be Different This Year - We have chosen to pull from an idea at another conference. There will be some uplifting songs playing for you when you enter the auditorium. Please enter quietly. Don't talk. Find your seat and spend some reflective time in prayer. We will have a short devotion before things begin. I know it's hard to be quiet, but honestly, this offers you an opportunity to set your heart right and give what is due to the Lord. You're going to hear some lovely touching songs from Rich Mullins and also Andrew Petersen. Though Rich has been gone for 25 years, his songs still reach the world by the millions. His depth of love for God soars in every word. Andrew, follows in Rich's footsteps giving us thought-provoking and worshipful songs to praise God with.  Take this few minutes to immerse yourself in the Lord.

MP3s - Yes, we will sell the conference MP3s for $35. These can be download and you'll have them forever. So we encourage you to get these so you can listen on your phone or in your car. Those can be purchased in the conference bookstore.


ABOUT OUR BOOKSTORE - Yes, we will have a bookstore. Not to be confused with the Cove's bookstore (which you should visit). However, the only books you will find in our bookstore are faculty books. This is simple. There's only one of me and I am really no good at researching state tax laws. Therefore, I cannot manage every conferee who has a book, in the world of tax reporting on our 501c3. Having said that, do visit our bookstore because I can only afford to pay peanuts to our faculty. When you buy a book you add some gravy to their biscuit. As you become published, you'll understand what it means to do these table sales.
Our bookstore will have faculty books, pre-registration for 2022, and MP3 sales, as well as verification for email addresses for the videos. Everyone should pass through there to verify that email address.

I think that is enough for this newsletter. Though next one, there will be as much. Remember, you can always check the newsletter page on the website to re-read these updates and prepare for your trip to Asheville. 

FINAL RESERVATION PAYMENTS ARE DUE NOW - If you have not paid your remaining reservation amounts you are in jeopardy of not being allowed to attend the conference. Please finish these payments so we can secure your housing and food on campus. We are required to pay the Cove at this point and since I am not floating in $$$ I need you to do your part. Thank you in advance! I repeat. Please take care of this promptly.

Just a note to remind you that we will have the BOB BOX set up at the conference. Our conference believes fully in giving back to the Lord's work so yearly we sponsor Bob Hostetler's cause with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year will also add our sweet Dee Dee Parker, who lost Mr. Jim on Christmas Day to Covid. Funds will help with funeral costs for Mr. Jim. And Edie Melson, who lost her sweet Daughter-In-Law, Katie to a terrible accident. Edie's son faces huge medical bills and he and Katie have a new baby boy. The funds we received are matched by the ministry of Christian Devotions and we'll divide the gifts evenly among these three needs. I pray that your generosity will run strong as God calls His church to care for those in need. For our on-line folks, if you would like to give to our BOB BOX we welcome your gifts. This money is matched and distributed to those above.
DONATE TO THE BOB BOX (you don't have to just be an on-line conferee. Anyone to donate to the Bob Box using this link.
You can donate by clicking here:

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=A6F2DC7K4EQTA

For our ON-LINE folks, you will receive instructions in the near future for your access to the conference. It will be early February but you will get this information as soon as we have all the details nailed down. IMPORTANT, once you receive the email DON'T LOSE IT. You will only get the info once. We need to be sure you hold on to the information.
ON OUR SCHEDULE - on the site, you will see streaming times for your convenience. We will stream Sunday so you can go to church but we will record the keynote and you will have access to that after the conference.

 

Hurry and Wait

...but those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
~ Isaiah 40:31 NIV

There's nothing worse than an asthma attack - I mean a serious, knee-bending, down on the floor, coughing until everything goes dark, asthma attack. Taking in a gulp of air that burns like it is subzero, cripples and knots your stomach. The pain of a rope tightening around your throat and diaphragm easily pushes you toward panic. And there you are. Laying on the floor, or bed, or couch, waiting for your lungs to fill. Waiting to see if you blackout. Waiting. Wondering, if maybe, this might literally be your last breath. Needless to say, it's terrifying.

That's where I was this week. Fighting asthma that started with a simple sinus infection and rooted its way to a small bout of pneumonia. I wondered and waited, doing my best to appear okay on the outside (as okay as you can be coughing your guts out).  I have a disabled son whose own well-being rests on normalcy. When things are out of wack for me, then his anxiety level rises and he can't function. So I waited and prayed for the strength.

I thought I was accustomed to waiting. You know, grocery store lines, doctor's offices, red lights, replies for submissions. It seems we are never really ready. Things just never move like we hope they will.

Isaiah penned some of my favorite words in Chapter 40. In fact, it's one of my life verses. When we hope (wait) in the Lord our strength is renewed. The win of waiting is soaring like eagles, not growing weak or faint. What a promise to hold on to.

Writing is a slow industry and with added slowdowns of cancelled conferences, mounting email submissions, and intermittent responses from work from home/office, it grows even more intense. My point is, just wait. It's okay to wait. Waiting grooms us in patience, hope, and faith. Waiting brings us strength and honor in success. It's us who think waiting is bad. There's nothing wrong with waiting an extra day (plan time in advance) to send that submission so that it has time to percolate in your head. You'll review and find the polish comes so much easier - better. 

When an editor tells you to read your work out loud. Wait. Then do it. When they suggest you think about it a day, there's a reason. Wait, then do it. 

Our God patiently waits on us every minute of every day. He longs for us to come to Him. To trust Him. To believe in the power of wait.
As you prepare your work and minds for this conference, take time to rest. Wait. Then pack that briefcase. You will find renewed strength when you trust in the "wait in the Lord."

Waiting for the days to pass,
Cindy Sproles 
 

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