Doing the Good Works God Has Prepared for Us
by Susan Maas, OCW Secretary
“Don’t forget to breathe” is the tagline for suspense writer Brandilyn Collins, keynote speaker at the October one-day conference. Though a strong Christian, Brandilyn viewed her writing as separate from her Christian life at first. When she was convicted to give her writing to the Lord, she knew she had to have her agent ask for her book about psychic arts back from the publisher who had it on her desk. That book later became The Eyes of Elisha for the Christian market.
Brandilyn is now a best-selling Christian author and working on her 29th book. In her presentation she encouraged writers to develop the determination and discipline needed to keep going when rejection comes. She cited Ephesians 2:8–10, about God preparing good works in advance for us to do. Brandilyn also presented workshops about story structure and developing character emotion. Other workshops of the day ranged from poetry to publishing to making use of social media.
OCW President Maxine Marsolini presided over the business meeting, and members voted to reelect Program Coordinator Marilyn Rhoads for a third term and Secretary Susan Maas for a second term.
It was announced that OCW members could sign up to be a part of online critique groups beginning November 1st. Gail Sattler coordinates this new program.
Summer Conference Director Lindy Jacobs shared about the 2014 Summer Conference, which will once again host the Cascade Writing Contest. Marilyn Rhoads highlighted the upcoming one-day conferences: Deborah Raney will be the featured speaker in February, Jane Kirkpatrick in May, and Rachel Hauck in October.
In honor of OCW’s 50th anniversary, Julie Zander interviewed longtime member Stan Baldwin, who spoke about his 50 years in OCW. While serving as a pastor in Corvallis in 1963, Stan heard that two women in Eugene had started a Christian writing group. He joined Helen Kelts and Mary Hammack in what became known as the Oregon Association of Christian Writers, which later adopted the assumed business name of Oregon Christian Writers.
The October conference inspired attendees and sent them away to do the good works God had prepared for them.