by Tanya Parker Mills
I know Wendy and Kami both posted about last weekend's successful Northwest Writers Retreat, but I wanted to show a few more pictures and share a thought or two. First the pictures:
(Oh, I forgot. Blogger always puts them on top before everything else. If there's a way to switch this around and put them within the body of the post, please let me know. In the meantime, since I can't seem to get around it, I'll share just one more picture--the one of me with the two friends I brought to the retreat...two of ANWA's newest members--Kristen Jenson [L] and Marcie Daines [R].)
Together, the three of us are gearing up to begin a new chapter here in the Tri-Cities by the beginning of next year. There's a fourth member, Kelly Coughanour, but she's in the middle of planning a wedding for her daughter and hasn't gotten around to joining yet.
My thought about the retreat is this:
Everything worthwhile in life begins small and grows.
The novels we produce begin as small ideas. All living things, including our children, as well as organizations and groups start small and increase in size with time and attention. The reorganization of the Church bears this out, as does the organization of Relief Society. ANWA is also a testament to this principle. Kristen, Marcie, Kelly, and I can't wait to be a part of that growth.
The Northwest Writers Retreat is no different. Liz and her group were truly inspired to begin it (and I know Monique has a similar idea in mind once she moves to Southern California, so be ready you California ANWA members). Last year's retreat had about 32 in attendance. This year, we had 37. I encourage any of you who are wavering about coming this far north next year to set a goal now.
I think the reason Pam felt like this had been planned by a group of Relief Society Presidents is because we truly felt the Spirit the whole time we were together. And that shouldn't come as a surprise.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them--even so am I in the midst of you." (Doctrine and Covenants 6:32)
Our one thing may be writing, but when we gather in the Spirit of the Lord with a desire to magnify our talents to build up His kingdom, he will surely be there.