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.