February 27, 2017

WorDshops Near You!

We have an exciting line up of ‘WorDshops’ coming your way this spring. What is a WorDshop? Think of it as a ‘mini-conference’ – a day of speakers and workshops geared to encouraging and assisting both new and seasoned writers in their craft and calling. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other writers in your area, and you’re sure to come away inspired and equipped.

This year there are several WorDshops planned across western Canada, including events in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. (See the listing below or go to the Inscribe website – http://inscribe.org/events/wordshops ) The overall theme for 2017 is ‘Write Words’, but each event has its own flair and features seasoned and award winning Canadian Christian writers as keynote presenters. As well, each WorDshop includes a variety of break out workshops.

For more information, visit the Inscribe website. Registration is online and is a two-step process. First, fill out the application form. Then, go to the online store and pay for your session. You can also register at the door, although there is a discount for registering online. Local authors that attend have the opportunity to sell their books, and there are door prizes and other incentives, too.

If you’re looking for a way to connect with other authors of faith, or if you need some inspiration, why not come to the WorDshop nearest you?

2017 InScribe Spring WorDshops

Edmonton, AB
March 18, 2017 – 9am – 4pm
Keynote: Dayna Mazzuca –
‘Write On Target’ – a ‘hands on’ day of reaching your target audience
Location: Richmond Park Evangelical Missionary Church
9340 69 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB   

Steinbach, MB
March 18, 2017 – 9am – 4pm
Keynote: Tracy Krauss
“A Call to Authenticity”
Location: Steinbach Days Inn
75 Pth 12 N, Steinbach, MB

Regina, SK
March 25, 2017 – 9 – 3:30 pm
Keynote: Janice Dick
“Sharing the Writing Journey”
Location: Argyle Road Baptist Church
3510 Argyle Road, Regina, SK

Blackfalds, AB
April1, 2017 – 9am – 4pm
Keynote: Marcia Laycock
Location: 5005 Broadway Ave
Blackfalds, AB

Aidrie, AB
April 1, 2017 – 9am – 3pm
Keynote: TBA
Location: Nose Creek Valley Museum, Symons Valley Room
1701 Main Street SW
Airdrie, AB

Fort St. John, BC
May 13, 2017 – 9am – 4pm
Keynote: Erin Peters
Location: Evangel Chapel
10040, 100th Street, Fort St. John


February 26, 2017

The Grammar of Joy by Marnie Pohlmann

English grammar can be complicated. I am no expert on grammar. I have probably forgotten much of what I learned in high school, or maybe I didn't pay attention in the first place.

However, I am presently doing a study with friends on "The fear of the Lord" that has led me on a rabbit trail of researching grammar. Researching, specifically, prepositions and prepositional phrases.

My simple understanding is that a preposition modifies the subject of the sentence to define the relationship between the subject and the object of the sentence. The preposition "of" indicates a part of the whole.

When this month's prompt suggestion was the joy of writing, I was reminded of the prepositional phrase in Nehemiah 8:10.

Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10 NASV

"Of the Lord" is a prepositional phrase.
"Joy" is the subject modified by "of the Lord."
This is not my joy, this is God's joy.
Joy is an attribute of God.
             "Joy of the Lord" is part of the object "your strength." 
             God's joy is our strength.
             Strength not to grieve.
             Strength to celebrate.
             Strength to share.
             Strength to worship.

In the context of this verse, the Priest read the Laws of Moses to the Israelite people. The community leaders helped to teach what the laws meant. The people were grieved when they heard the Words of God. However, the purpose of the reading was not to grieve the people but to cause them to celebrate, to motivate them towards service of others, to give them strength. Hearing and reading Scripture gives us the joy of the Lord.

The Joy of the Lord is the kind of joy I want for my writing.
             Joy-of-the-Lord-writing is modified by my relationship with God.
             This writing is not simply for me but is for God's purposes.
             This joy of writing shows God.
                           Joy-of-the-Lord-writing is strengthened by God.
                           Strength not to be grieved by writing disappointments.
                           Strength to celebrate successes.
                           Strength to share the writing.

I believe the Psalmist, David, reflects this joy of the Lord in his writing. No matter how often David begins a song or poem describing struggles in his circumstances, his self-confidence, or his heart, he does not stay in the grief. His focus moves to God, to God's promises, and to God's faithfulness. This leads David to experience the joy of the Lord. He is strengthened. David is then able to praise God; to celebrate, to serve, and to share his writing.

How encouraging to me as a writer! As I read Scripture and journal my struggles, my thoughts begin to make sense. In my writing, I do not need to stay in grief but can change my focus to God. Joy is found in the writing. My writing is influenced by the joy of the Lord, and when it is, I am strengthened.

My joy of writing
     is found in 
          the joy of the Lord.

*photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Marnie Pohlmann writes from the beautiful northern town of Taylor, BC. Read how the joy of the Lord influences her life and writing at her blog, Phosphorescent.

February 25, 2017

Love it - Love it - Love it By Vickie Stam

I carry my notepad from room to room. It needs Wi-Fi to breath. But when something goes array there's no amount of medical training on my part that can resuscitate it. For that reason - pen and paper must follow. They're partners. They stay together. I can't have one without the other.

Being inseparable like that reminds me of a time when my husband and I were staying at our home in Florida. Some friends of ours had family visiting with them for a week. They were inseparable. When our friends came to visit us, they brought their company with them. For their company, it was their first time in our home. Upon stepping through our front door, our friend's sister yelled, "Love it - love it - love it! My heart skipped a beat. She loved the paint colour, all the natural light, the large windows and the glorious view.         

That's exactly how I feel about writing. The view from my eyes can be written down for the world to see. There's more than one word to describe everything. Emotions, colours, joy, pain, and anger. The things I touch, smell, and eat. All of this can be shown to a reader when I breath life into it.   

It's true, my writing has not been read by many. But if you ask the "Google" master to find my stories, he will find a few. I'm not well-known. I haven't signed one autograph. My name hasn't been splashed across the front cover of a book in giant gold letters, like John Grisham. Still, I write. Why? Because I love it! 

I've come to understand that words will always invade my head morning, noon or night. They're not on a clock. There's no schedule for them. When God hangs the moon at night, they don't sleep. That means that I don't sleep either. 

My stories are not governed by time. Their governed by God, the one who inspires me to write. God breaths life into my stories. He calls me to write. And a story born.

Writing has a way of turning the bad things in my life into something good. Words transform past hurts from pain into healing, they keep the memories of lost relationships from forever fading away and the lives of those who have been called to heaven, alive in my heart. 

Writing and I are inseparable.  


February 24, 2017

Why I Love to Write by Tandy Balson

To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How do I love writing? Let me count the ways.”

There are many reasons for my love of writing but the primary one is the connection I feel with God. I clearly remember receiving the call to start writing.

After days of getting inspiration in unexpected places, I thanked God for what he’d been teaching me. Then, I prayerfully asked if there was something I should be doing with these lessons. Immediately I received three words, “write them down.” After doing so, I prayed again, thanking the Lord for prompting me to preserve the words he’d given me so they wouldn’t be forgotten.

That’s when I learned he wanted more from me. Three new words were given, “Now, share them.” Writing and sharing my words were nothing I’d considered before. Initially, I resisted. When I finally obeyed, he gave me more thoughts to share.  Although unsure what to write about, he provided the inspiration.

When I sit down to write, I’m not always sure what will be going on paper. The element of surprise is another reason I love to write. Often the words take on a life of their own and flow in directions I hadn’t planned. It’s always exciting to see where they may lead.

When troubling times appear, my love of writing has been a form of therapy for me. After pouring my thoughts and feelings onto the page, I feel much better. This is something I had never done before the call to write. It’s an intimate form of prayer.

Another reason I love to write is the new eyes and ears I’ve gained. Snippets of conversation now present deeper meaning. Sights and sounds of nature provide abundant lessons to write about. I’m never sure if these lessons are for me alone or if they will speak into other hearts. I only know I am passionate about capturing and sharing them.

When I write, I imagine myself as a pen in the hand of God. I feel incredible blessed to be called to serve the Lord in this way. What better reason could there be to keep me engaged in this noble pursuit?

 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” 1 Chronicles 28:19 NIV

February 22, 2017

A Mutual Love of Writing! By Alan Anderson

I hear them everyday. They tease me and I hear them snicker. They say, “You know you want to! We’re running around in a mess trying to find our way.” I know what they mean, the little sneaks!  They are in my head just waiting to get out. I can feel them drooling to get on to a page. They wonder what is taking me to become motivated. I finally realize the little beggars are right! A story waits!

I love to write! I even love the game words play with me. I never know what the words that settle in my mind are up to. They kind of sit there inside my head quiet like. I know they are in there. They can’t fool me! The thing is it takes me some time to figure out what they want to say. Oh boy, wait until you read what I’m going to say next.

I talk to the words hiding in my noggin! Yes, I do! I ask them what they want to say. I can be sitting with my family enjoying their company. Before long my mind begins to wander. The words are talking to me. I can’t ignore them! I want to spend time with my family. The words don't seem to care. They persist. I ask them to leave me alone for a while. They are relentless.

I will let you know something. Are you ready? Okay, here goes. The words always win! Yes, they never lose. In time, I can be found sitting at my computer or writing in my writing pad. The words begin to quiet down and come together. It brings sweet relief to the word crowded center of my intellect. The words are thrilled!

Here is something you writers who are also readers will appreciate. Our words love us! We give them something to look forward to. We understand them and they love that. Our words feel fulfilled when they also know we love them.

The next time you express your joy of writing tell your words that you love them! They will always love you even more in return! It is a mutual, life long love and that's the joy of writing!

Blog: ScarredJoy@wordpress.com

February 20, 2017

Words, Words, Wonderful Words by Joylene M. Bailey

What is it that draws me to the page day after day?

It’s the words. 
Words, words, wonderful words.  
They provoke, twist, assuage, encourage, and roll off the tongue.

Ian Hanomansing anyone? 
Not the guy. The name. It’s the most roll-off-the-tonguish name ever!

Words like Pepito and pizzicato that make you think of tiptoeing across the floor.

Words that make you lisp, like Duluth and mythical.

Fun made up words like yertle and sneetches and fiffer-feffer-feff. (Thank you Dr. Suess).

My absolute favourite thing about writing is searching out the perfect word. Sometimes it takes 2 hours, but when I hit upon that just-right word, it’s like little firecrackers – sparklers – go off somewhere. It truly is a joy that comes from deep within. And I thank the Lord for words, words, wonderful words. 

It is a joy to me when I know that the Father is pleased, not only with what I’m creating, but that I’m creating at all. And the most joyous of times have been those rare moments when I sensed that the Father and I were co-writing. He giving the ideas and approving the work, me doing the actual hands-on work of researching, and choosing word after word after word.
Co-creating words of life.

And the satisfaction?
The first time I saw an article of mine in a distinguished magazine and not a church or school newsletter, I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home. Before he even got halfway through the door I ran up to him, flashed the open magazine in front of his face and exclaimed, “This is ME!”

It’s a moment I will always remember.

But more than that, when I receive comments that my writing has meant something to someone, made them laugh, made them think, made them feel something, even prompted them to try something new; that my words have brought life in some way. That’s what brings me the most joy and satisfaction.

As I’ve been working on this blog post, an old Sunday-School hymn has been crooning in my head. Maybe you will remember it too.


1.     Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of life;
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty,
Teach me faith and duty:

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

2.     Christ the blessed One, gives to all
Wonderful words of life;
Sinner, list to the loving call,
Wonderful words of life;
All so freely given,
Wooing us to heaven:

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

3.     Sweetly echo the gospel call,
Wonderful words of life;
Offer pardon and peace to all,
Wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior,
Sanctify forever,

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

If you are unfamiliar with the tune, you can find it here.

Words, words, wonderful words. May God continue to give us words of life to share with our world, as we fulfill our calling as His writers.

All above photos from pixabay.com

Joylene puts word after word after word together from her home in Edmonton. Find more of them at her blog, Scraps of Joy - a Joy infused view of the world.