On January 11, 2020, we had the first meeting of North Idaho Christian Writers. Even with about 8 inches of new snow, we had four people, including myself, attend the meeting. I began the meeting with prayer, then introduced myself. Two handouts “Member’s Information Sheet” and “About Robin” were passed out. Those attending the meeting were asked to fill out and return the Member’s Information Sheet.” Introductions were made.
After the introductions, our group went over the Goals, Rules, and Vision for North Idaho Christian Writers. Eventually I hope to add these to this website. Following the information on North Idaho Christian Writers we did an activity called General Words, Interpretation, and Specific Words. It sounds complicated but it was a lesson on choosing words for our writing.
For the activity I made a worksheet with three columns: General Word (s), Interpretation, and Specific Words. I listed General words in the first column and we used those words to fill out columns two and three. For example, the first General Word was “Dog.” I asked each person what thought/picture came into their mind when they heard the word “Dog.” That thought/picture is what they listed under interpretation. Each person had a different interpretation of the word. An example might be “puppy” or “poodle.” Some people had their feelings about “dogs” come out, such as cute, warm, fuzzy, etc. Then they had to determine which breed of dog brought forth that emotional response.
Then each person had to check to see if they had a specific word (which would create imagery in the reader’s mind). For example, “puppy” would need to be a collie or specific breed of puppy. By using the word “puppy” by itself, the reader can insert their own meaning or vision into your writing. By writing the words “collie puppy,” the writer gives the reader a clearer image of the specific dog he/she is writing about. It was fun to see the wide variety of responses to each individual word.
Following the word activity, we took a short break. Then we went over two mini-readings I put together with information from the book An Introduction to Christian Writing, 2nd. Edition, by Ethel Herr. These were entitled “Wanna-be, Would-be, and Already-be Writers” and “What is a writer?”
After the mini-readings, we did another worksheet activity where we practiced choosing words that added clarity, color, and senses to our writing. We used some words such as fruit, lasagna and pizza. By the end of the activity we were getting hungry.
I wrapped up the meeting by thanking the people who came, reminding them of our next meeting, and asking if they had any comments or questions. Our meeting did run over the scheduled time but I will keep a closer eye on the clock next time. As far as I know those who attended learned something and enjoyed the meeting as well. Praise God!