Mary books

Monday, 31 May 2010

ACFW CONFERENCE – FROM RAY’S POINT OF VIEW

Mmm…after reading my last post, Ray thought he’d add his thoughts! I"ve post-poned Part Two of the ACFW conference because this may be important for any non-writing spouses out there who are wondering about the worth of sharing the experiences of a conference - especially a Fiction writers' conference. Have a smile!
The excitement was building in Mary’s eyes. In my mind there was a touch of the Antarctic. The plane had touched down in Denver, Colorado and we two Tasmanians were about to experience ACFW. Those initials to the uninitiated do not bode ill. For me however, a mere male going to a Fiction Writers conference with his multi-published wife, it had the whiff of a dentist appointment.
Mary knew many of the authors through the internet and from reading their books. Me, I’m a romantic, not a Romance writer or reader – except my wife’s of course. (I added that last bit!) So I virtually knew no-one and clung close to Mary - I enjoy being close to her. Soon the warmth of the many women writers and the few male writers caused an inner climate change. I was readily accepted then recognized as the husband of Mary from Tasmania with a “Where is that exactly?”
Involvement is the best way to break through the shyness barrier. Helping at the ‘Beyond Borders’ zone display table opened the way to meet and greet folk as they came pick up various give-aways and to taste our Aussie sweets - er…candy… to the Americans - plus New Zealand and Canadian goodies. I enjoyed doing that too as I chatted and chewed with folk at the other zone tables.
Boredom’s fear born before we flew out of Tasmania proved a figment of an overactive timidity. Going to the meetings, attending seminars with some appeal to my interests, talking one on one with folk from around the country and world, especially some of the guys was simply great. The common ground wasn’t so much the interest in writing, strong though it was, rather it was the unity of knowing Jesus as our Author and Perfecter. Wanting to make Him known through the various strands of writing simply gave added depth to most conversations. As I shared in the various sessions I began to imagine myself as a rival writer to Francine Rivers. That faded as soon as I picked up a pen. Where do those plots and characters and suspense with romance arise and flow through fingertips? I must ask Mary. My delight was seeing Mary’s unbridled pleasure in meeting other authors she had admired for years. Internet friendships strengthened by face to face encounters and new friendships formed which will span the oceans and years. Would I tag along with her to another writers conference? Definitely! Would I encourage other spouses to do the same? Yes! Why? It affords us the chance to understand our wife or husband’s ‘world’ and those who share it. An understanding of the pressures, challenges, pleasures and costs involved in being a writer with its highs and lows helps the non-writer to be more understanding and patient. This is so important when they wrestle with the story in the mind and the keys on the computer.

If more husbands of writers attended these Conventions, maybe the organizers would give us a session of our own. There we could tell our stories and have a seminar on ‘How to handle a wife who is a writer and not to imagine the computer as a competitor for her attention.’

Sharing this conference with Mary has allowed me to meet her comrades in writing, expand my understanding of their ‘world’ and have an enjoyable time with new friends. I’m saving up for another one!

Whoopee! Does that mean we'll cross that Pacific Ocean again? I sure hope and pray so!

Friday, 28 May 2010

OVERSEAS TO AMERICA AND BEYOND Part One

Thank you to those of you who are having a read of my blog for the very first time. A very special thank you to those of you who have returned!

So, have you had a peep at my Past News on my website? If not, you will find a link to that in the right column here. My last news update there was way back in September last year – and that just before our trip overseas to America, England and Singapore. Now I have this blog I will be able to keep you up to date regularly on what my husband and I are up to – especially in regard to our writing efforts.












We were so privileged to attend the amazing 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Denver, Colorado. We arrived the Friday before the conference to give us time to not only recover from close to thirty hours travelling time from Melbourne but also become a little acclimatised to the mile high altitude there and have at least a few days to look around Denver. Yes, we did visit this Colorado State Capitol and this shopping centre too with beautiful murals! And one friendly shopper offered to take our photo here.

The conference hotel had another convention that weekend and the large entrance area was jam-packed with mainly young people attending the Anima convention. Most were in manga type costumes and all very excited but courteous to us as one of their staff members pushed a way through the crowd for us and our luggage. Later we heard from the hotel staff there were over 5,000 at that gathering! It made us oldies realise how out of touch we are with cartoon characters these days. Never fear - our grandchildren are already teaching us about Sonic the Hedgehog! Now, are the Transformer characters manga? Hmm. . .will have to check that out.
Through ACFW we’d had contact via email with one of the local members, Erin Rainwater.  She and her husband, Keith, took us under their wings in a wonderful way. They picked us up from our hotel and took us to worship at their church, the Foothills Bible Church, where we felt very much at home enjoying the worship and message. Afterwards they drove us around, including to Red Rock amphitheatre. On the Monday Erin also took us to the North Denver ACFW chapter where I had been asked to give a devotional talk. Although I have to confess to feeling rather nervous, it was simply wonderful to share fellowship there with other Christian Fiction writers.
We enjoyed Erin and Keith’s company so much and despite our different backgrounds still had a lot in common. Erin was also a registered nurse who after graduation joined the Army Nurse Corps and I would love to have talked longer with her about her experiences. After the ACFW conference finished the next weekend we shared lunch again with them. Naturally, Erin and I exchanged books and I have really enjoyed reading, The Arrow That Flieth by Day. Do check out Erin’s website.

Oh dear, just realised how long this is so now have decided to tell you more of our overseas ‘story’ in two parts. Want to hear - and see - more about these Aussies at the awe-inspiring, wonderful 2009 ACFW conference, then on to Texas, England, Singapore? There was the Association Christian Writers conference in London, the ACW in Cambridge, friends, friends, friends in England and Singapore, including that lovely time in Bedford with Marion Stroud who I notice is one of the workshop presenters this year at the ACFW conference.

Registration forms will very soon be available for the 2010 ACFW conference. My sincere advice? If you are a writer targeting Christian Fiction, do everything you can to go this year to Indianapolis. How I would love to be there again. If only that Pacific Ocean was a much smaller pond. . sigh!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

THE LEARNER NEEDS HELP

So, here I am at long last venturing into this blogging world!

I am discovering starting my own blog is rather daunting and I have been trying to decide just what to write about – especially for this very first post because I would like you to enjoy these enough to return again and again. But what would you like to come back and read?

Perhaps you are someone who has read at least one of my medical and inspirational romance novels over the years since 1993, someone I have had contact with through writers’ groups, writers’ conferences in Australia, England, Chicago in 1999 and Denver last September. Perhaps you are someone who, while not really interested in reading my romance novels have known me over the years of my husband and I ministering in churches throughout Australia – even those two years we spent in England. Perhaps you knew me as Mary Pedler - or even Nurse or Sister Pedler from nursing days - long before I went to Bible College in Sydney and met my own romance hero and married him. Perhaps you are a family member of the Pedler and Hawkins clans scattered throughout Australia – yes, and even across the seas. Perhaps I’ve simply ‘met’ you through reading your books.


Perhaps we have only met on the internet. In Denver last year at the wonderful American Christian Fiction conference I will never forget the beaming smiles and hugs of writers I had only met before through their books and the world-wide web of the internet.

If this is the very first time we have met – here in Blogging World – here is a cyber handshake – even a hug - along with the traditional ‘G’day, mate’ from an Australian!

One thing I do know you will enjoy here from time to time – guest bloggers!



These will include writers from different genres and with just a tweeny-weeny arm twisting my husband Ray is to be a regular guest with his Meditation Moments. You can check out some samples of his writing if you click on Ray Writes and I am relying on him to write some thoughts for us to chew on, consider, disagree with even but hopefully most of all be blessed as we have a peep into his heart at least once a week. We have been married for over forty-five years so I know that heart will bless you as he has me!


Then of course there are writer friends, Australians and other published authors from around the world I look forward to have share with us. Anyone you would like to know more about? Dare I say there will be contests from time to time for books, other goodies – even perhaps some Australiana you might enjoy.


I am considering posting blogs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Inevitably there will be personal snippets about my own writing and activities scattered over the week but do feel free to offer your suggestions!
 So, the Learner needs your help! Do leave a comment and tell me what you would like to read the most in this Aussie writer’s blog. I would also love you to join me as a Follower so you receive a notice each time I post a blog. Remember I am planning to post a blog three times a week but I will leave this first post up well into next week to give time for the word to get out that Mary has at last started her own blog!

Do leave a comment, do become a follower and do return next Friday!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

WELCOME!

Welcome to my blog!
Sorry, but afraid I should have my Learner sign here to warn you I am still learning how to post - or at least how to be interesting enough so you will want to return!
So, do be patient while this is all still so new and the site still being tweaked.