Sunday, September 9, 2012

Visiting Plainview

“Delightful." I told my husband when he asked about my day.

But that answer only partially describes the writers’ event I attended on Saturday, Sept 8th in Plainview, Texas. The Witness Writers, who hosted a workshop by author Jennifer Mersberger, did a first-rate job of organizing the meeting. Well publicized, it drew participants from Amarillo and Lubbock.

Jennifer Mersberger’s entertaining presentation evoked plenty of laughs. And that would be expected with a title of Lighten Up. But the program’s title is actually an acronym for the nine main points of Mrs. Mersberger’s talk, and not a tickler for a how-to on writing humor.

I checked Jennifer’s website,, for pictures of her ornaments called “writer’s blocks,” but didn’t see them. Neither drilled with holes to hold pencils or affixed with magnets to keep paperclips handy, the beautifully decorated blocks serve a higher purpose: they are something to stare at while a writer’s muse catches up with the worker’s need to meet a deadline. Clever. And at $5.00 each, the writer’s blocks make an affordable gift. I hope Jennifer will post a photo of them soon.

A photograph on my FaceBook page, taken after lunch before the last of us dispersed, was copied from one of Carole Bell’s sites: In a short interview today, Carole briefed me on the Witness Writers. Members write in various genera and not exclusively on Christian topics. The group is affiliated with North Texas Christian Writers. “Their conference held in June in Fort Worth is one of the best bargains for Christian writers,” said Carole.

According to their website, The North Texas Christian Writers hold a number of events in addition to an annual conference. The events list includes a writer’s contest, free to anyone buying a $15 ticket to their Christmas party. First prize: $50.00. Sounds like a deal for writers in the Fort Worth area.

For writers in the Amarillo area, a one-hour trek on I-27 takes you to Plainview. The Witness Writers meet on the second Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 12 noon. Their meeting format: a mini lesson followed by critique sharing. They welcome visitors. It’s a gratifying getaway, and even as days shorten, you can still be home before dark.

© 2012, Bernice W. Simpson

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