Monday, September 19, 2005


by Marion Kelley Bullock

I just returned from the ACFW conference in Nashville. It was awesome. Renewing friendships, making new friends, laughing, crying, making memories that last a lifetime. That's what it's all about.

But there's so much more. There's the chance to learn, the opportunity to improve your writing as well as the encouragement to think of our journey as just that, not simply a struggle to get published. Of course, that's what we all want - to be published. But it's got to be God's will and in His divine time.

I particularly enjoyed Deb Raney's intermediate class. Being the poorest note-taker in the universe, I appreciated the concise handouts more than I can say. With her help, how could I help but improve my craft.

I benefitted from Kris Billerbeck's "Writing your passion," from Colleen's class and the info she shared with me personally. Karen Ball's keynote messages wrapped up our experience with a tub-full (make that a hot tub-full) of laughter and wisdom.

Kim Sawyer's testimony touched my heart, as did the precious note written by her daughter, Kristian, telling why Kim deserved a prize.

Brandilyn frightened me, with her froggy face and Bloody Bart. She caused me a terrifying nightmare. Friday, in the middle of the night, I awoke feeling the dead weight of a hand across me. My first thought was that it was my husband's. No, I wasn't at home. Perhaps it was my roommate's hand. But wait! She was in the other bed. I panicked. There was no way I could force a scream through my rigid throat. I pulled my left hand from under the cover, reached out and grabbed the ice-cold appendage that trapped me. It felt alien, lifeless, unattached . . . Bloody Bart! Maybe I did scream. I'll never know. My roommate wore earplugs. But something woke me and I felt the hand come back to life. My breathing slowed and I pulled the cover back over my cold arm.

As Karen Ball said, "It's all good."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


By Marion Kelley Bullock

We leave tomorrow afternoon to go to Abilene, because my flight out of Dallas is early Thursday morning. And I have to be there ninety minutes ahead.

The conference is about all I can think of. That and wondering if I've packed enough clothes, makeup, meds, snacks, etc. I pared things down till I could get everything in my small twenty-inch Protocol bag. Everything except the things I stuffed in my rolling tapestry bag that I'll carry my essentials in at the conference. That's tight packing, folks.

I'm almost ready. I'm thankful I can attend the conference, see my crit partner, Megan, and others I talk to on the loop. We'll miss Angie, our other crit partner. But each of us, in our own way, is reaching out for God's will in our lives. We'll pitch to publishers, because ultimately we want to be published. But most of all, we want what God wants for us.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


By Marion Kelley Bullock

It was just for a couple days. He trekked from the metroplex, where he has gone to hunt a job after college. The other night we ate T-bones (we were really celebrating!), big baked potatoes with all the toppings, salad with his fave buttermilk ranch dressing, cantaloupe, and chocolate meringue pie a la mode. The next day, he went to Sweetwater to finish cleaning his apartment and close out his bank account. In the evening, he returned, to work with his granddad on a newer resume and for lemon-pepper chicken and rice, and the rest of the chocolate pie.

God blessed John and me with children. Most of the time, they bring us joy. We feel no regret at the money spent rearing them, educating them, getting them ready to go out into the world. Because we love them.

Occasionally, a son or daughter turns away from what the parents taught, going off in a direction they wouldn’t choose. But the child can never escape the parents love. Love is eternal. It can be likened to God’s love.

From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with his children’s children. Psalm 103:17 NIV