First writer's conference is complete! I am so glad I went. It was a great learning opportunity, and wonderful time of fellowship with others. If you want to write seriously, then seriously, go to something like this! As Christians, we are called to worship together not just individually, but together, as a congregation. Events like this are another way in which we can share with each other and grow individually as well as communally. Communion of the Saints is as important as your personal devotions and always worth the effort and time. (Psssst: even for us introverts.) Although writing is a solitary calling, it is a also one that requires bravery, and you will need strong people beside you for that. I recommend the Breathe Writer's Conference because it is a way to learn from other Christians who write a wide variety of genres in a welcoming, Godly atmosphere. I walked away honestly believing that these people truly want you to succeed in your craft.
That being said, I also learned a great deal more, some of which I can't even begin to share, nor do I have the time, and some I'm still figuring out.
The "figuring out" part means I'm taking a break from my 9+ year project, only recently dubbed the "Atremento Chronicles". Since it's taking a break from me, and I from it, I can tell you it was currently 3 books, all partially written, and the first of which was over halfway or nearly finished. I knew Nico in and out. He became my voice throughout, and I was having a blast with Izére. Her witty comebacks and bad habit of popping (literally) into scenes was not only amusing for the other characters, but for me as well. There were minor characters I'm going to miss, whom I put just as much effort into as my major characters.
Putting it down is going to be very strange for me, and it may not mean a permanent goodbye. I have plenty of other projects that are possibilities but I'm going to take my time in making a choice in any direction. In the meantime, there is much to study and new adventures to take (no hints). Perhaps one day, I will pick up this project again, or maybe its characters will find their way into other stories. There are more dark corners I haven't peeked into, slippery stairways I have yet to explore and dusty attics I'm dying to break into. Who can say? There's no pressure. Today, I'm just writing for God and for me.
In case anyone is interested, here is a link to the Breathe Christian Writer's Conference website. This year was their 10th annual conference. The people were all very welcoming and encouraging before I even arrived, they worked hard to keep it at an affordable price and still offer everyone the very best. There was also great food, and plenty of breaks in-between sessions for your brain and for just chatting with others. It had a very relaxed atmosphere, so you were free to come and go to sessions as you chose and not feel pressured, and books to browse for further learning.