I’m home again after an amazing 3-day Festival of Faith & Writing. I stayed with my parents, time which is so precious. Both of my parents attended the Festival, their second one. They have good health and sharp minds, and are an example of how to keep meeting people and loving life. Three good friends of mine stayed with them also, so we had a feast in every way: laughter, stories, food, prayer, sunshine.
We listened to hours and hours of beautiful words: authors talking about their writing, poetry readings, and workshops on craft. Here is the name-drop list, in no order: Yann Martel, Michael Chabon, Elizabeth Strout, Elizabeth Berg, Kathleen Norris, Rob Bell, Scott Cairns, Haven Kimmel, Phyllis Tickle, Diane Glancy, Carlos Eire, Krista Tippett, Cathleen Falsani. Yes, I actually sat in rooms and listened to all those people talk, and not one of them disappointed.
Oh, and I saw a powerful new play called The Women of Lockerbie.
Besides soaking all this in, the other goal is to make contacts in the publishing industry, which I did. This was my 6th Festival (held every-other-year), and I have been approaching agents, editors, and publishers for four of them. Two times, an editor smiled when I approached and said, “What are you going to pitch me this time?” I felt a little like the persistent widow in the parable about the unjust judge (Luke 18). Not that editors are unjust, but that my fists are getting worn out from pounding on the door.
You must have been praying for me, because there were 2 different places that the door seemed to budge a tiny bit, so I am deeply grateful. One opening was for my novel, the other for my pilgrimage non-fiction. Plus I learned about new venues for short pieces.
I have work to do!