Today I signed up to go to a Middle Tennessee Christian Writers Mini-Conference on August 28. It's in Nashville. Fiction writers. I like to dabble around in fiction every now and then (when I have time); this might be neat to see what it looks like to pursue being published. I feel like Nashville has kind of sucked the creativity out of me. It's seeping back, but the Year of Change (my first year here in which every aspect of my life changed dramatically) left me too busy and breathless to pick up a pen. The writer in me goes way back.

When I was little I would spend hours and hours writing fictional stories about my friends, make-believe characters, and great adventures. I did my own illustrations back then and finally matured in my writing as I learned how to write satisfying conclusions (throughout first grade every narrative ended, "And then she fainted. The end."). I was the over-emotional middle school poet. I crafted essays and research papers in high school until my teachers were ready to slap As on them after reading the introductory paragraph. In one of my proudest moments, a college professor gave me an A+ on an analysis of Jim Stevens' Schizophrenia.

Cover for 2008 collection
In college I wrote feature articles for a campus magazine. I took Intro. to Creative Nonfiction in which I had to write daily. Then Intro. to Poetry Writing. My poetry teacher was a Kansas poet laureate so I was still proud of myself when he gave me a B. (Even though I know he gave As to kids who never came to class and didn't turn in all of their assignments.) I got involved with the inkWELL, a group of my friends and writers who met on Saturday mornings to drink coffee (tea for me) and workshop the words we had managed to jam together during the week. It was wonderful.

I hesitate to identify myself as a writer in the same way a C-team fat kid hesitates to identify himself as an athlete. The same way having an alto saxophone doesn't make me a musician or having a garden doesn't make me a gardener. But writing has been a passion of mine since I was little, kindergarten even. I've still got my construction paper-and-staples books hidden away somewhere, in which I retold the plots of my favorite cartoons in crayon and sloppy illustrations.

Being published isn't the end all for me. I won't be too distraught if it never happens. But I think I have something to say sometimes, so hopefully it will be a possibility. (For now I've been sticking to self-publishing.) So this conference should be a neat experience and a chance to meet some other writers around Middle Tennessee.

Another conference I'd like to go to: 2010 Think. Anyone going to this? Because I think it might be lame to go by myself … even though I'm sure it would still be awesome. But really, I'd feel lame going by myself. (Any of my blog readers live in Minneapolis? We might need to become friends real quick!) ;)

Put it on paper,


  1. Correction my friend.....having a garden totally makes you a gardener. Be proud, you grow your own food, for free!

  2. Alyssa--
    We're really looking forward to having you at the mini-conference. But you don't have to wait until August to find out what it's all about. We meet the second Saturday of every month for a two hour workshop on varying topics about fiction writing. Next meeting is Saturday, July 10. Would love to have you there!

    Kaye Dacus
    MTCW President

  3. Professor Holden was amazing - I particularly enjoyed his Bob Dylan-izing of poetry. :) Exciting about the conference - you'll have to share tips after you go!

  4. Sounds like fun. Have a great time, and may it be productive for you!! =)

    Do you know of a Nashville group for Christian writers of poetry? (I'm not so great at fiction - be it short or long!)

    ~ your work-neighbor down the hall, AEH =)


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