Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nine Days Later

Dear God,

This past week  or so was full of many surprises both good and tough and I did not have the opportunity to write much. However, my head is full of thoughts so I've not quit simply because I'm behind in the game.

NaNoWriMo has felt more like "Nah! No Write No Mo" this week but I've come up with a plan. It's a little tool I used to employ when I was plagued with arthur-write-us due to Lupus; it's called "Dragon Naturally Speaking". Heaven knows I can talk a mile a minute to someone I know very well and since I've been known to talk to myself and I know myself well, I think together we can make this happen.

Oh, God. I'm glad You have a sense of humor and that You seem to let my dreams play Hide and Seek with me. I'm also thankful that You keep life running so fast and full that I have so much about which to write. Maybe You want me not to be so serious and to use this over-tired brain to write comedy. It seems to be all that I can muster these days. So, well, I'm in for the ride.

Maybe I will write a comedy mystery romance how-to sci-fi novel with a twist of historical fiction. Ya, that oughta do it. Then I can enter it in every contest I find online so that I can once again receive the familiar rejection letters I used to see so often. You know how much I need my daily dose of rejection. But You--You love me no matter how many words I write or how novel my ideas sound and You--You already know my heart so that when I am too tired to make any sense, You have heard my prayer and answered before I have even spoken a whisper of it.

Thank You, Father for loving little ol' writer-me and showing me that I am not what I do but  who You made me, a person made in Your image. Though I can only see  the me that is still in the depths of the molding process, in Your eyes, I am a masterpiece. Thank You.

Now I ask that You allow me to see the world through Your eyes enough to know what Your plan is for my writing, whether it be to write a novel, an article, steady chatter for my companions or some brilliant work of words that touches a million hearts. I give this gift that You have given me back to You for Your use, Your goals, Your purpose and for Your glory.

In Jesus' Name,


Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One, Prayer-Confessions of an Aspiring Novelist

Dear God,The Author and Finisher of ALL things,

Did you know a human could truly write several thousand words without editing and survive it? I didn't. In fact, I assumed that most unplanned writing was not worth reading but pure drivel. Perhaps some of it is. I just never thought I could write that way.

 But I can because of Your help. How weird is that? No editing. Well it's suppose to be "no editing" but I just couldn't help myself 100% of the time.You know that, of course. You made me and knew that I would obsess about doing it right, but through Your grace, I did it. I  imprisoned the ciritical side of my brain and let the creative thoughts flow. That HAD to be Your handiwork there.

Here's what I found: in writing, I am a very big plotter, planner and editor, so much so that I edit myself right out of writing the story at times. Next, I've also discovered that writing is a great deal like life in that one cannot micro-manage it or it will never go anywhere and one will always be frustrated and uptight. Some planning is helpful but too much of it stifles the creative flow of the story.

So, I did it. I wrote my first day's worth of writing for National Novel Writing Month as a seat-of-the-pants style novel. Wow. It feels good. (unless you count the occasional one eyebrow I raised as I told myself not to correct things yet.) The time will come in December to edit. This month is all about the writing. It's so revitalizing to my soul. I've missed this part of me. I was lost but now I'm found. Only a writer could understand that statement in relationship to this topic. You understand. You are THE ULTIMATE author, only--You never lost Your vision or thoughts. You always had us in mind even before we were formed in our mothers' wombs. You wrote the words of our Life Book. You knew I would want to be a writer. You even knew (when I didn't know) that I could write creatively if I stopped over-planning.

 I can't sit and revel in it though because I have several thousand more words to write this month and this type of writing is new to me. So I'm going to need a little help freeing up my schedule and my busy brain if You want me to do this.

I have no idea how it will turn out in the end but at least for now the process has begun and I am finding my creative juices have not totally dried up.  I'm not being proud-just happy, happy to find something to enjoy and delight in. As my friend and I discussed tonight, we are made in the image of You, our Creator. You create and  are pleased with Your creation. We were designed to create and be pleased with our creation. Because we are human, we have the chance of being displeased with our work  periodically but when we take the time to relax and keep creating, eventually we will produce something that makes us smile with satisifaction. That is because You made us in Your image. In those ways, we are like You.

 I've heard it said that we are most like You when we play and create--more so then when we work ourselves like dogs. Even You rested on the seventh day to enjoy what You had made.

It's not proud, is it, to be glad God gave you a gift to use and to use it? It's an insult to not use it and not believe that You knew what You were doing when You gave gifts to men. How much more intimate we become with You, our Creator when we realize that You created us each to have such pleasure in creation of our own. How endearing it is. What insight it is into Your character!  When we see what we create and are pleased, we know a smidgen of the feeling that You have for us when in Ephesians You say we are Your masterpieces. Amazing.

Well, I've not created any masterpieces yet but I have seen the beauty of Your wisdom in creating each of us with our own creative bent. How wonderful it must feel for You to see one of Your children delighting in the gift prepared for them from the foundations of the earth. It's just like we feel when we see our children enjoying a gift that we labored for them to have. We don't resent them for enjoying it. We smile with glee to see what joy it brings them.

Thank you, God for the gift of writing. May this novel writing journey bring praise and delight to You who created me to love linguistics and  made me a scribe of life's events and innovative ideas. If for nothing but the mere pleasure of reading and writing the words, may I always use this gift as a reminder that You love ME. Yes, Me. You loved me enough to create a gift that You knew I would love for all of my days. May it not only be pleasing to me but may it be a blessing to others as well.  Thank You, God.


Your Daughter


Note: Yes, this is really me. I've been on a long haitus. Life swamped me with responsibility. I'm still swamped but I've decided that the topic of this post is the way I can jump back in to the pool of writing again.

 NaNoWriMo.  WHAT????  What kind of baby talk is that? Oh, maybe it's another language. That's what I first thought several years ago when I heard about NaNoWriMo. A few of my friends participated. Then the next few years, they participated again.Me. I watched with wonder and felt unworthy for the task. I still do but I'm putting on the hip-waders and jumping in this year because--well--this year is different. It's not because I have any less responsibility weighing on my schedule but because I decided I'm tired of not pursuing my dreams and I'm just gonna go for it, no holds barred.

So... this year is the year. I am going to sign up for NaNoWriMo. Here's some info on it. http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/whatisnano

Who else is with me?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Inspiration from Good Books

When I was a teenager, I used to be an avid reader of the Mrs. Polifax mysteries. I read and felt like I was on an adventure with her. This is how I long to write. For so long, I've been writing the facts of life. I naturally and easily write the non-fiction but there is a part of me that longs to write fiction and not just any fiction. I want to combine comedy, mystery, suspense and romance into a novel that people drewl over and stay up all night reading.  Is that even possible?

I love, love, love old-fashioned murder mysteries. I adore comedy. I can only write that when I'm overtired and then I don't know I'm funny until the morning after. Then there's the suspense. I've been told I have no poker face. Maybe I can get over this in writing since people will not see my face... and romance, well, certain kinds of it I enjoy. Some of it is so unrealistic. Is that my non-fiction writer voice coming through?

In addition, how will I ever make writing anything more than play if I can't find time to write until my brain is a white screen of static? In years past, my creative brain was on full force and I wrote all the time, everywhere about anything and everything. I even had some writing published. It wasn't bad either. So what shall I do to wake up my sleeping  muse? Well, if you can't write it, read it.

I'm back into Mrs. Polifax mysteries again and loving it. I figure that I might as well begin where I first started. Maybe that will inspire me.

What do you do when you just seem stuck? I hear people say that they never have a problem with this because they are true writers and they always write. I always want to write and I seem to write in spurts.  Sometimes it's all or nothing, Baby.

For now, I will inspire myself by reading some good books. I shall put up the "DO NOT DISTURB"  sign. Mrs. Polifax and I shall have tea.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I'm so thankful for the time to write once again. A part of  me was missing without being able to "write my heart" as much. I am once again "back in the saddle".

Last weekend, I watched my boys as they enjoyed therapeutic equestrian training. It was quite the experience. So much of their involvement focuses on balance, posture, learning to communicate with the horse and listening to the trainer. It struck me as similar to life. Whatever we learn to do takes focus, concentration and communication as well as learning the rules and philosphies around the particular interest. Mistakes can be dangerous or even fatal.

Writing is also like that. It takes research, time honing the skill, a general interest in what you write, advice from the experts and listening to your Trainer. You have to balance your unbridled dreams with the "bit" of editing and consideration of who is sitting in your audience. Your posture on topics and what you present publically determines the direction that your writing takes in the market. You have to run a few times around the ring to learn what works and what doesn't. Maybe you make a mutitude of laps before you see a rut behind you.  You mount carefully and ride confidently all the while realizing that your horse is bigger than you and must be tempered. You must lead your horse rather than letting it lead you but you'd be a fool not to notice what your horse is doing and "saying". Are you tracking with me here?

Writing is complicated. It flows naturally but must be harnessed as well. If you don't pay attention on the trail, you are likely to be bucked accidentally at bumps. After a great deal of riding, you climb off and need to rest for a while. You might be a little sore from the effort. It can be a while before you are able to climb back on again.

Well, I'm there. I'm finally back in the saddle.  This week, I began working again on my Christian RAD Parenting book.  I also had a children's book idea that "asked" to be written right away. I have several works in progress:  one big one and many little projects (some finished and some still developing).  I don't know if this is unusual or not but that is how I tend to work best with many irons in the fire (I had to use that analogy since we are talking horse sense).  I needed to be off the ride for a while to straighten up some things in the ring and on the trail of life but now I am ready to ride. Fences needed to be mended; holes needed filling.

So where will this ride take me? I feel like I have trail maps now and a good compass. God will be my guide too. Please pray for me if you are so inclined. And if you are a writer, saddle up, partner! You're along for a great, scenic ride, Lord-willing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pardon Me, My Epidermis is Showing

It's been ages since I posted here. I've been too busy with other writing and real life duties as a: therapeutic parent, counselor-in-training, band member, teacher, homeschool mom and many other responsibilities. I'm doing well now, though I was overwhelmed for a few months. I needed to drop a few things and balance the plate a little better so I had some time to write and to blog.  I recently began working on a book I had on hold for a while---which leads me to this story:

 When I was an awkward eleven and half year old, a smart-alek boy in my school walked up to me and whispered through grinning teeth, "Your epidermis is showing." I looked down at the hem of my skirt and around at my body for a few minutes until I realized he was attempting to provoke me. I rolled my eyes and walked away, all the while shaking my head in disgust. How dare he put me on the spot like that? Later I chuckled. It was kind of cute.I just couldn't believe I fell for it at first. How humiliating!

I've had many embarassing moments in my life: like the time in my teen years when I attended a youth conference with 7,000 other teenagers and my worn half-slip fell to my ankles right in front of a clump of sharp-looking 16ish year olds. With my puritanical type upbringing, humiliation became a familiar friend again. I walked right out of the slip and never looked back for fear that the shock on my face would provoke even more of a reaction from the boys. I ran up the steps to what I thought was the balcony and right straight into the mens' bathroom. My only option was to back out and run down the steps, right into the pack of boys I just left. Of course, that was not the last time that I felt the blood rising and my face flush as I or someone near me did something very, very embarassing. (Oh, trust me. All of my sons have found pleasure in finding ways to make a public scene at some point in time.) 

Not too many years back, I sang on a worship team where suddenly the worship leader changed songs DURING the service. Good thing the projector crew was on top of it. The words were projected on the front and back walls for the worship team and congregation to both be able to view. I had forgotten my glasses and did not know the song at all. Since I grew up on stage, I figured I could fudge it well enough. I was right. I really fudged it, not as in faking it-pull-the-wool-over-their eyes-that-I-know-the-song kind of fudge but bigtime-make-a-fool-of-myself fudge.

The fatal line was "God is bigger than the biggest________________".

The blank was suppose to be filled by "canyon" but with my heavy but rare for me, New England accent bursting from the deepest parts of my inner nervous consciousness,  I sang, "crayon" squarely into the microphone for three hundred people to hear. Can you say, "Awkward"?

So what is the point of this blabber about bloops and blunders? As I said, I've picked up writing again on a book I had on hold for a while.  Honestly, I'm not the provokational type; I'm a peacemaker but this message includes some not-so-easy chunks to swallow. 

 "God, do you really mean for me to write this? This is not going to put me on the well-loved resources list." I prayed a few months back.
Don't get me wrong; it will not be condemning, but merely off the beaten path compared to what is out there. I sometimes wish it was someone else called to write it but the inspiration has not dissipated regardless of the time spent avoiding it. Write I must...but...but my epidermis is showing.

Do you ever write things that you feel in your heart of hearts that you are suppose to write but you know that the product may not contain the most desired message? How do you deal with the inner urgings to write things from your heart that may not be popular? Or how do you deal with writing the truths from the hidden places of your soul that you feel others may not be willing to say either? I've had this feeling when I shared my testimony a few times and when I've written a poem about something personal.  Often, the writing when read, has stirred up someone's honest realization of things in his or her own heart that they might not have realized or it gives hope to someone going through a similar experience.

I pray that whatever I write, God will use it to touch hearts, change lives and inspire hope. If He wants me to also lovingly chide, well then, I must say "yes" to the call, though I dread it, in part. Can anyone relate? Or is all your writing pure pleasure to share with others?

Thank you for following my blog about writing. I hope to post more often on this page.  If anyone is still a reader, thanks for being so patient.  Please feel free to jump in the conversation and tell me about your writing journey. I'd love to hear from you.


Monday, March 29, 2010


Do words sometimes jump out at you while you write? Today, while competing with several deadlines, I developed an intense curiosity about the word, "deadline".   From where did it orginate? What on earth does it mean?

Every humorous thought came to mind. Maybe it is because you feel like you're going to die before you meet your deadline OR maybe you write for such a long period of time that everything begins to look like  dead lines. Of course, these were not the correct explanations but it was fun imagining it. Eventually, though, my inquisitive side won out and I popped the question into the search engine.

Here is what I discovered:  According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary and commonly known legend, the word, "deadline", has it's roots in the American Civil War when there were no literal prisons in the field.  Captives were held at gunpoint and told to line up and stay behind two  temporary lines. If they crossed the first line, they were ordered back behind the line. If they ventured over the second line, they were SHOT. Yes, SHOT. Thank God we don't get shot by editors if we are tight on the deadline but it's really a good idea to get your writing done on time anyway or your chances of keeping a writing job are SHOT!

To quote Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story." 

With that in mind, let me get back to my deadlines. I'll be back soon with April's Cheerleader of the Month.