A Splendid Beginning!

Kirk Kraft recaps NCWA’s September meeting.

It was great to be together again last week for our opening meeting of the year. Gigi opened our time by playing a worship song by Kari Jobe which set the mood for the evening and our hearts.

Laura Christianson of Blogging Bistro led the devotional. The big takeaway was not being afraid to live into the gift God has given us, whether that means writing on the front lines or behind the scenes. Remember, “You are the letter of Christ.”

Clint Kelly’s Write Start session –“Not So Small Talk”– brought belly laughs to the evening as he introduced us to Sister Mary Joseph Harmony and Bad Boy Bob. Our assignment was to write a conversation between these two characters. Through this, we learned the importance of dialogue to allow characters to tell their own story while supplying valuable information for the reader.

There were many celebrations this month and our networking time included engaging each other in our goals for this year.

Our main speaker, Dr. Gregg Jantz, was a new college graduate when he was assigned to a woman’s prison. He began to study eating disorders when he met many inmates suffering from this affliction. GOD gave him a passion and a message of hope for women in all walks of life who struggle with eating.

He submitted a book to 23 different publishers before acceptance by Shaw Publishing. Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders is now in its 3rd edition. Dr. Jantz stressed perseverance through the rejections – “if it’s passionate and burning within you” you need to publish it.

Dr. Jantz freely admitted his weaknesses in English and his need for a personal assistant along with a team to carry out his dream at A Place of Hope.

While he provided much food for thought and shared a great deal about his publishing career, the biggest takeaway I gathered from Dr. Jantz regarded the importance of building relationships in the industry.

NCWA’s first meeting was a splendid beginning to the new year!

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From Kirk: “Gripped by the writing monster,” a husband and father of four attempts to balance raising his children the best way possible while chasing his dream of publishing. I’ve completed the first draft of two YA fantasy novels, several picture books and am currently outlining a nonfiction book about my family’s journey through liver disease and transplant.

Kirk has been a member of NCWA since 2008.  He writes a personal blog, Head Full of Mush, focused on family life and his youngest daughter, Sarah, who received the gift of life on April 23, 2009. He’s also trying to resurrect his neglected writing blog: Swings and Keyboards.

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