#Writers on a #RoadTrip

“What happens when an introvert and extrovert take a 3000 mile road trip? Will they complete their mission or kill each other trying?” 

“LOL! I’m sure you thought of killing me a few times, Cherrilynn. Rightfully so.”

“No. Just letting you out to walk. — We did really well together.”

“I noticed a pause there, Cherrilynn. Walk right off the highest peak, right? Even though we are writers on a mission from Gad!”

“No way. You had the snacks!”😅🤣😂

“You’re too funny! Careful now, anything you say may be used against you  in a blog post of mine.”🤣

The question is, folks, would Cherrilynn dare do it again? Inquiring minds want to know. — White knuckling the steering wheel through seven states, plus DC, with fifteen stops over thirteen days.

“I want to do it again,” said Cherrilynn.

And we are. Sometimes I wonder at her state of mind.

So, seems like it’s high time I share our adventures and photos from our 2021 trip while we embark on this year’s treck to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2022.

Why are you surprised? I’m from Jamaica, remember. — A country with a town called Wait-a-Bit. And then there’s life’s interruptions.

Sharing the adventues of our roadtrip, and thoughts on faith, following our calling, and the writing life as Coach Prasek’s victim- I mean guest interviewee, on PJNET.TV. Click the video below t to watch.

Spent the first night at America’s Keswick in NJ.

We met a pastor and his wife at breakfast. He is a former police officer. I happen to host interviews with pastors and their wives and recently launched my series of interviews featuring police officers and their families from around the country.

Ben Cooper in his natrual Habitat!

Thank you, Ben and Sonja for inviting us to your home, introducing us to your family, and giving us a glimpse of your lives in Wellersburg, PA along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Eastern Continental Divide and the Mason Dixon Line.

Blessed to enter via the side door, Ben! Check out Ben’s devotion inspired by our visit: What door Do you Use? Ben Cooper devotion on Vine Words

Let me tell you about our friend, fellow writer, prayer warrior and and brother in Christ, Ben, who is an encourager to many. Despite his busy life, to help me get into a much needed writing routine, Ben challenged me to commit to start my writing day at 9:30 every morning. Over the course of several weeks at 9:30 a.m. he sent me a scripture on a graphic he created to guide my writing—with my name inserted in it, and he prayed for me while I wrote. Yup, he made me cry—and show up. How could I not? You can check out Ben Cooper’s books here.

Akron, Pennsylvania

Our mode of transportation and our sweet hosts Donna and Kirby Smith, both writers and Kiby is a marathon runner. Actually, the horse and buggy were spotted at Walmart’s hitching station.

Sometimes it’s good to get a little lost. 🙂

Waynesboro and Henderson, North Carolina

Thanks for hosting us, Joyce.

Dinner with writers Joyce Glass and Holland Webb and a walk by the Courthouse in Henderson, NC. Note “In God We Trust” on the building, and copies of the US Constitution are displayed in cases in front to the left of it.

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Ridge Crest Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC

Privileged to attend a class by the Frank Peretti, NYT bestselling author of the Christian supernatrual thrillers This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness and then some. – Been praying for you all year while you work on your new book, Mr. Peretti.

At #BRMCWC conference. Bottom left: award winning author and Bible study teacher Stephanie Pavlantos. Norma and me at awards night. Hmmm…Norma can’r make it this year. I just might wear her dress!

Writer friends Norma Poore, Doug Carter, Barbara Buyers co-producer of PJNET.tv, Ben Cooper, and Cherrilynn Bisbano. (We visited with Barb in Hickory, NC after the conference.)

Oak Ridge, TN

I needed to go back to Oak Ridge, to make contacts so I could hear and include stories in my book other than Dr. Spicer’s and my family’s. I needed to hear the Black voice perspective and also from both adults and kids in the 60s about segregation and integration of Oak Ridge TN.

Chapel on the Hill, the chuch my inlaws, Rev. Roy and Jean Colby and Dr. James and Shirley Spicer co-minstered in the 60s while helping to aid the intergration of Oak Ridge, TN.

Private tour of the Scarboro history wall at the Community Center with writer, teacher, and African American Historian, Rose Weaver. (Thank you, Rose.)

Private tour of Oak Ridge History Museum for research for my book with Ray Smith, City of Oak Ridge (the Secret City) Historian, author, veteran, and police chaplain emeritus. Check out my interview with Mr. Smith HERE.

At Cherrilynn’s suggestion I started with the city historian. Mr. Ray Smith has proved to be a marvelous teacher and guide for my book’s research as well as a respected friend. He also invited me to write on my findings for his column Historically Speaking in the Oak Ridger newspaper as a prelude to my book.

Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell, a symbol of the reconciliation and peace between Japan and the USA after WWII.

Sevierville, TN

A wonderful visit with my father-in-law’s best friend, co-minister, and fellow civil rights activist, Dr. James Spicer and his family. And what an amazing conversation with his son-in-law John Terrel about growing up in Oak Ridge during integration, lifeguarding at the Oak Ridge pool, teaching in Scarboro, the area of Oak Ridge set aside for Black citizens when the town was established in in 1942 according to Jim Crow laws of the time. John is also a retired teacher with much wisdom to share. (You’ll have to wait for that.) #blessed

An unplanned stop at the Natural Bridge, Rockbridge , VA.

I was hesitant to stop because we were pressed for time. But there we found the waterfall, the sound of water rushing over river rocks that my thirsty soul had longed for. A little bit of still with God in His creation. 

Rain on the road home. Mist on the mountain.

“Lord, where’s the rainbow?”

“There isn’t always a rainbow, Cherrilynn. — Lord, give Cherrilynn a rainbow.” I said.

“I don’t need a rainbow to prove God’s promises.”

And we rounded the bend and God stretched His bow across the sky. He’s like that. #roadtrip Circuitous road home from 2021 #BRMCWCBlue Ridge Conference Writers with Cherrilynn Ryerson Bisbano via Roanoke to visit our friend Alisha.♥️

“I keep praying that someday, somehow we will get to meet in person,” my friend Alisha who I’d met through the 540 writing community online said via FB message several weeks before the conference. We decided to surprise her and didn’t tell her we were coming until the night before our visit. Can you believe the flowers matched her outfit?

VIDEO: Trip Highlight ~ Visiting friend and fellow writer Alisha, then wheelchair bound multiple stroke survivor and creator of Mess 2 Masterpiece Ministry

Shenandoah National Park via Skyline Drive after visiting Alisha.

I really wanted to see a sunset in these mountains, but wisdom dictated to find civilization before dark. But our stop at the Natural Bridge and the deer in the road around every other corner delayed our departure.

Thankful for God’ s help and for AAA’s paper map! Got my sunset photo too. 🙂

Honored to receive the following Awards at the 2021 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference:

Foundations Award 2nd Place for my devotion, Broken, and 3rd for my article, Protesting Prejudice, Pursuing Peace. Rich is the word that comes to mind when I ponder #BRMCWC 2021. — Rich in God’s anointing, His Healing balm. Rich in instruction and opportunity, and oh, so rich in sweet fellowship. The other word is home. #Blessed by our gracious hosts DiAnn Mills, Edie Mahoney Melson, Edwina Perkins, Eva Marie Everson, the inimitable Linda Goldfarb, and by all the knowledgeable faculty and the wisdom they shared. Amazing how God’s presence fell the first night as Russell and Kristi stepped forward to lead worship. Steve Laube you proclaimed truth, fed our souls, and equipped us in our call to write for God. Thank you. — Your keynote alone made it worth attending the conference. Yes, let us wield His sWORD. Thank you also to Greg Bridgeman for your time and for the challenge you extended. (Working on it. And I’ll try to not make the editor cry as you say. And hey, Gregg, what’s the story behind your facinating and eclectic hats and jackets?) To the staff at Ridgecrest Conference Center blessed by and appreciate your warm welcome and hard work. God bless you all as you pursue Him and fulfill all He calls you to. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3 NKJV) Blue Ridge Conference Writers

We capped off our trip with a visit to my sweet cousin Cathy and her husband, former US ambassadors with intriguing stories to tell in picturesque Roanoak, VA, and then on to the newly opened amazing National Museum of African American History and a visit with my beloved daughter and grandbaby in Washington, DC. ❤

Update: Alisha on vacation a few months ago.

Flying in the face of impossible and all medical prognosis, Alisha was miraculously healed a few months ago by the hand of the God through whom all things are possible. She is wheelchair free and walking. Praise God! Do you know Him?

The adventure continues in 2022. Will Cherrilynn stay in the shine? Will Rachael’s hair go straight? — Excited to attend this year’s 2022 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference! Join us in June as we recap our 2022 adventures in an upcoming PJNET.tv episode.

"Thank you Jesus, for the privilege to write for You and for the amazing writing community I'm a part of."

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© 2022 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaith Chat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, and the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. Her WIPs include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website, TattooItOnYourHeart.com—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

10 thoughts on “#Writers on a #RoadTrip”

  1. Got to confess, I’m always happy for you and a little envious. It looks like such a fun trip! I’m glad God blessed you with the chance to hang out with and meet so many wonderful people!

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  2. Looks like you had a wonderful trip! I hope you enjoy this years trip as much or more. God bless! Love you and appreciate your friendship.

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  3. I really enjoyed learning more about your trip. I can identify with the introvert/extrovert challenge, although when my extrovert friend and I are together, we manage well (haven’t tried a 3000 mile trip with her, though). Looking forward to seeing you soon at BRMCWC. Drive safely!

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  4. Rachael, I am blessed to call you and Cherrilynn friends, sisters in faith, prayer partners, and pilgrims on this writing journey God has called us into. Thanks for your kind words and may you meet even more exciting people as you travel the roads to and from Blue Ridge 2022. I’m also hoping to hear your name called out again as an awardee!

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