If you want to attend a writers’ conference, I recommend “Writing for your life.” It is Christian based, but the leaders aren’t preachy. In fact, they tell attendees, “don’t be preachy in your writing.”
I just returned from the Writing for Your Life conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Before leaving for the conference, I mapped my route from home to Raleigh and figured it would take me about 11 hours to drive. The big decision was whether to drive it in one day, or two days.
I chose the two-day plan, to decrease the chances of me showing up at the conference feeling dazed and wiped out.
The first day, I made it to Fredericksburg, Virginia and stopped at a Tourist Center.
“Hi, can you tell me about the Monopony Indian Reservation?” I asked the staff.
Silence on his part, embarrassment on my part. I was weary and only could remember the term Monopony. I’d looked it up before leaving because I knew I’d have extra time and I wanted to visit an Indian Museum or reservation instead of visit a Civil War Battlefield or Colonial Museum.
When studying religion, I realized the world lacks written material on the spiritual practices of Native-Americans, a population traced back 15,000 years. So far.
I dare to say that Indian spirituality transcends my Bible backed spirituality, despite my conviction of not pinning the Bible stories to a timeline. I don’t believe Adam and Eve were the first human beings on the planet Earth about 6,000 years ago, or whenever.
Anyway, the gentleman on staff at the Tourist Center was kind enough to understand what I was referring to and gently asked, “Do you mean the Mattaponi Indian Museum?”
“Mattaponi,” I repeated twice. Mattapo-nee. “Yes,” I answered.
“Their museum isn’t open but three days a week,” he said.
“Could you give me directions?” I asked.
He did and when I looked out at the traffic on Interstate 95, I knew I would not make it before dark. I found a motel. It wasn’t fancy, believe me.
Awake early, I drove to the Mattaponi Indian Reservation. As the road got less and less dense with traffic, it was easy to find, following sparse signage.
I watched the sun rise over the Mattaponi River from a dock in the Mattaponi Indian Reservation. It was solemn, silent, sacred and inevitably nurtured my appreciation for the thousands of Native-Americans who did, somewhat similarly, the same thing for thousands of years.
More in a few days.