Have you ever read a book or seen a movie that you connected with in a profound way? Did it give you a new perspective or change your direction in life? Did it touch a deep place in your soul that lingered long after the end of the story?
I've read several such books in my lifetime. As a child, it was the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis that I connected with, and I would say, planted the seed of a writer inside my heart. I was fascinated by that other world the author created.
Three years ago, I attended a workshop at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in Asheville, NC. It was all about marketing and branding for writers. I needed that information, but I was impressed by the presenter, James L. Rubart. I found out that he was also an author and it wasn't long before I ordered his book, Rooms. The next year, I returned to the conference, attended another of his workshops, and scheduled a 15 minute one-on-one appointment with Jim. Reading Rooms had touched my soul and confirmed to me that I wanted to write books that did the same for others. Jim helped me that day with many things concerning the "business of writing," but spent extra time to help me figure out my "brand." I had recently released the first book in my Tresia series, and he encouraged me to keep writing and make it my brand. I was happy about that because it was the story I had wanted to write, even though I dabbled in historical fiction and memoir first.
A few months later, I signed up for his newsletter and found out that Jim and his son, Taylor, were starting the Rubart Writing Academy. It was held in the Pacific Northwest where they lived. I knew going cross-country was more than I could do, so I was thrilled to learn that they were working on an online version. I signed up to receive the announcement as soon as it was ready to go. But before that happened, I learned that they were having the first Academy on my side of the country, and it was to be held in Blairsville, GA, only a little over an hour away. I had no excuse. I prayed and discussed with Dennis and we both knew the Holy Spirit was leading me to attend.
It was a fantastic and BLESSED four days. I am now a graduate of the sixth Rubart Writing Academy, along with all these amazing new writer friends from all over the country (and some pretty close!) So many Divine Connections were made, which was one of my reasons for wanting to go. But the best thing I learned was the direction that I am supposed to take my writing. I have been on sabbatical since the third Tresia book came out in November of 2018, and because of Den's retirement and getting settled in our new home (campground!) in Franklin, NC. But after RWA, I am so ready to begin the next project. One of the things I learned about myself is that I need to find my own space to write. I've always had that---my writing nook that became my Kingdom Corner. But we've been living in our camper since last July and space and time are limited!, I may need to find a coffee shop or a quiet corner in the library until I can establish a new Kingdom Corner when we build. And I will. Because I am called to write. I love sharing stories of adventure and mystery, and especially when the Holy Spirit helps me thread in the Gospel.
Thank you to Jim and Taylor Rubart for a wonderful experience at the Academy, and special thanks to all the God-loving women who spoke into my life while I was there. We had a funny name for our group because Taylor had never been to the South before, but as I pray for all of us, I call our group, "Warriors Writing." That name comes from the Well Spring series that Jim wrote. The group in the books were called "Warriors Riding," and that series is my favorite so far of all Jim's books. However, he has a new one coming out this month. Pages of Her Life may go to the top of my list. We shall see. I will let you know.
If you are called to do something, and we all are, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, and take every opportunity you can to make connections and receive direction on your God-given assignment. Allow others to share their knowledge and speak wisdom into your life. Love and support those with the same calling. We need each other.
I'd love to hear from you about connections and direction you've received lately...or that you would like to receive. I'm always available to pray. That's what else Kingdom Corners are for.
Remember. God has a plan and assignment just for you. Don't doubt it. Embrace who He made you to be.
Be Blessed! JA
J.A. McPhail is the author of five books, has been married to Dennis since 1974, enjoys living in the North Carolina mountains. and is an avid collector of books and book related stuff.