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It’s been a big week and weekend…it almost feels like if I stop pushing myself to keep going I’m going to implode or something!

I’ve taken on the design of Salt after the usual designer said she didn’t have enough time to get it how we wanted it. So that’s good on one level, because we have more control over the finished product, but bad because we still have to pay for her work even though she didn’t complete the project, and we’re already way behind deadline and I’m struggling to get it finished. But having said that, I am really enjoying doing this kind of design work, and I hope it turns out well.

Yesterday I went to and spoke at the Faithful Writer conference, held at New College by CASE and Matthias Media, and so impressively organised by Karen (well done and thank you! (she’s pictured right on the panel Writing and the Internet, with Mark Hadley and Byron Smith)). It was a really encouraging day, with the key talk by Tony Payne (pictured below right), and then a number of panel discussions.

I was on the panel for Christians and Fiction, where I had to give 10 minute talk on what it meant to be a Christian fiction writer, answer questions and chat with the other panellists, and also choose and read out some work by conference delegates from a writing exercise they did. It was a great experience, except I had left my talk notes on my work computer and had been so frazzled and sleep deprived I didn’t actually realise this until I got to the uni.

It was okay though, I wrote down thoughts throughout the day and having to recall the talk I’d put together in my head helped to crystallise it. Something a little perverse in me was also keen to wing it – I’ve always wanted to be able to just get up and speak without having to read out what I’m going to say, and I think it’s just something you need to practise. I had that usual thing of having no idea what I’d said once I’d finished, and I think I spoke too fast (as usual) but several people said what I had to say had been helpful, so I must have been at least coherent. I might type up my notes and post them here, but the audio from the talks should also be available for download from CASE in the next few weeks.

It’s a funny feeling being asked for your expertise when you feel like you’re still a novice! But it was said a few times yesterday that most writers feel like frauds, so I guess I was in good company. I feel comfortable these days in taking on the label ‘writer’; it makes what I do seem more real, more concrete, instead of just something I tinker away at. I guess the point is, if I want people to take me seriously as a writer, I have to take myself seriously as a writer!

I bought a pizza on the way home, then went to Krispy Kreme and bought doughnuts so had a total pig out, read Harry Potter and fell asleep with a candle burning (woke up to blow it out, then crashed again).

Today at church, I’m not quite sure what happened, but I ended up being really busy. I was rostered on to read the Bible, but I also ended up helping Jeremy amend the powerpoint presentation at the last minute, lead the singing so mum could have a break, and was called on with hardly any warning to talk about the Faithful Writer conference. I apologised at one point, because it felt very much like the Rebecca Show!

I enjoyed reading today; it was Isaiah 44 and there’s a lot of scope to put a bit of expression and feeling into the passage. I hate it when people get up and are either afraid to read expressively, or it doesn’t even occur to them and they read it like a shopping list. The scriptures are full of beautiful language and amazing imagery and I’ve always thought it a shame that we don’t train people in how to present it well when reading from the front.

This afternoon was my ‘break’ – I went to the Spot with Meg, Christian and a bunch of the youth group kids. We had pizza at Arthur’s and saw The Simpsons Movie, which was lots of fun, despite the hordes of young kids (who probably were too young to see it, but anyway).

Now I am absolutely ready to crash and I am undecided whether I will try to put in a few hours’ work on Salt or just blob on the couch for the evening. It could go either way. I’m frustrated that I haven’t had time to do things like clean the house or do my washing (I don’t have a washing machine so it’s not just a matter of chucking on a load – I have to actually get organised to take them to mum’s and use her machine). I did have the nous to pick up some groceries while we were out, so at least I have food to eat. But…isn’t the minutiae of day-to-day life annoying sometimes?