Late at night, when the rest of the family has gone to bed, I like to settle in at the computer and write for children. I have a file full of stories, poems, and articles, some of which have been published, some of which are still waiting to find the right publisher. Last fall, I attended a writing conference for Christian children’s writers to help me with my writing. Not only did I learn a lot, but I met many wonderful people who were supportive, encouraging, and helpful. The best part, however, was that this conference offered classes for students, so I got to take my two oldest children with me!
I’ve been to writing conferences before, but this one was the most fun, because I could share it with them. Their class was with author Jonathan Friesen, and he instructed them on story structure and ideas. They both came away inspired, as they’re still working on the stories he helped them begin.
At lunch, conference attendees had the opportunity to dine with the speakers. My children and I sat with a couple of other authors. Also at our table sat Suzanne Hadley, the editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Magazine, and Nancy Lohr, editor of JourneyForth Books. Wow! My children were sitting and talking with editors!
And, yes, they did talk. And talk. And talk. They told stories to Ms. Hadley about our life at home, and about how their siblings were faring at home with their dad. Their sister, they said, probably had so many tangles in her hair it was standing up on its own, while their little brother was most likely sitting bug-eyed in front of a computer game. They would laugh and she would laugh. As we talked, I found out Suzanne is the oldest child in a homeschooling family, so I’m sure she understood.
I was very impressed at that luncheon. I was so impressed with Ms. Hadley, who was willing to talk and laugh with my children at this conference that was designed primarily for adults. And I was so impressed with my children, who spoke to this unfamiliar adult with such ease you would think she was part of the family.
I’m thankful I had the opportunity to take my children along and to show them what a conference was like. They enjoyed it too, for, as my son mentioned just the other day, “That was so much fun!”