Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

29 April, 2010

Revelation

I love that song from Third Day.
I've been asking God to reveal His will for me and He has. The parts He knows I'm ready for.
I'm looking at the ultimate goal: to be a full time writer.
What I haven't done is sat down and looked at a time line for completing this and formulated an action plan.
A goal is a wonderful thing to have, but if you don't have a prayed over plan in place it stays a dream and nothing more. I have a three day weekend ahead of me.
Tonight is the drafting of my time line and action plan. Tomorrow is when I implement it.
Stay tuned and follow me on my focused journey to becoming a full time writer.

26 April, 2010

Description

My writing goal this week is to work on description.

Sitting at my fav. retreat spot. The brush is so thick, there's almost more darkness than light. The green leaves fan out with red veins pulsating in them. Here and there dead leaves fight for sunlight. They don't know their time has passed. You dare not touch them though. Hidden within are tiny, brown thorns, so razor sharp, the simple act of breathing on them would cut you.

Can you picture it? I'd like to know. You can post anonymously if you like.

25 April, 2010

It's Gonna Storm

There's a couple getting engaged right beside me.
I'm sitting with a view of outside, watching it prepare to storm. I was thinking about how many short stories and novels have been written based around a storm.
Storms have an emotional impact.
Everyone has been through a storm, whether physically or emotionally, or sometimes both at the same time if you live in Florida and have experienced a hurricane.
Storms make you want to run. You want to get as far away from them as possible. Even to outer Mongolia.
But...
I started thinking about Matthew 8:23-27 when Jesus was in the boat with the disciples, and a great storm arose. So great a storm that the waves were crashing over the boat and the boat was filling with water. Jesus was asleep. They woke him. But they didn't say: "Hey Jesus, you just feed 5,000 can you make the storm go away?"
No what they said is "Don't you care?" Don't you care that this storm is going to overcome us and cause us to die? Don't you care about what's happening?
And Jesus responded: "Why are you fearful, you of little faith."
It was like He was saying. I'm in the boat. I'm Jesus. If I'm not anxious or worried, neither should you be. But you need to ride this storm out so you can understand it is not your power that gets you through storms in your life but mine.
I have a storm right now. I want to run and hide but I'm choosing to do the opposite. I'm going to stand up in the boat, stretch out my arms, pray to my Savior, and let the storm wash over me. I know He's got me.

24 April, 2010

Keeping a Journal can be a Dangerous Thing

I was sitting on my porch yesterday afternoon watching the ducks, and writing in my journal. Out of curiosity, I flipped to the first page. It was dated 4/18/09. Almost a year to the date. I read what I had written. Now what you hope would have happened is that you saw some growth in your life in that time span. Not a regression. Not stuck in time.

On that date, I had just finished reading about self-care. It’s for those of us who are burned out on life and everything and can’t figure out why.
A really good read. I’ll try to post the exact name of the book and the author.
Anyway, in this journal entry I was sitting in Lake Park by the water and writing about the changes I needed to make in my life to take better self-care of myself. I wrote down obvious things, like my need to take time to hike in the woods at least once a week, creating a space in my home that reflects who I am, that is both calming and relaxing.

But what surprised me is what else I wrote. Some of it is too personal to note here, but I will state that I wrote how I wanted to travel out west. Now I’ve seen the southwest. Texas, Arizona. But I’ve always had this burning desire ever since I was a kid to see the mountain states like Montana, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, (even dipping into Canada to see Vancouver).

Sitting on my porch yesterday, I had this wild idea. My lease is up June 30th. What if I just put my stuff in storage for the summer and headed west?
If I travel solo, I would have to stay in hotels, and miss camping in the national parks. It would be better with a friend. To camp out, to reflect on the day, over a campfire at night. And the stars at night viewed through a backpacker telescope. Awesome sight to be held.

How relaxing and freeing an experience it would be.
How much writing I could accomplish, away from the city and its distractions.

Hmm. Decisions, decisions. You’ll have to stay tuned and see what happens.

23 April, 2010

A raisin in the sun

Langston Hughes said it best in A Raisin in the Sun.
A dream deferred.
I don't want my writing to be a raisin in the sun.
My writing has come in spurts this week. Too focused on writing a perfect first draft instead of just writing (my young adult novel).
I haven't been in the zone.
I was listening to a friend describe a very passionate conductor. He put his all into conducting. That's what I want to do with my writing. Put my all into it until swear pours out of every pore in my body and I lie spent, my work an emotional and visual force to be reckoned with, that leaves the reader amazed or stunned and wanting more.
To do that I have to let go of that final piece. That last door has to be unlocked and flung open.
Ok Lord, let's do this!
Dynamite that last door and let's show the world.

21 April, 2010

I Think

I have peace about the decisions I’ve made and that in itself is an answer to prayer. I wake up on fire to write. I spend my day hours finding snippets of time to write, and I can’t wait to curl up in bed with my laptop before falling asleep. It’s a weird feeling I haven’t experienced since high school. This overwhelming urge, burning need to write, write, write.

I think about the children’s book I wrote last night. Provocative and to the point I hope. I think about the young adult novel I’m writing that I hope to make into a series. I think about the two articles I wrote yesterday, here and there as I pieced together time to write them. Articles I never knew were in me to write. I think about the pages of story and movie ideas I have and how the ideas keep coming. I think I’ll burst if I don’t write.

I think I am a writer.

20 April, 2010

It Must Be Done

Today I wrote two articles. It wasn't my intention, I just wanted to make myself write something. They'll sit on the back burner for now.
Then I took about twenty minutes and prayed for my family and a friend.
I felt convicted by God for not writing something He asked me to write a year ago.
My mind has been distracted tonight as I tried to sort out how I feel about what I am about to write.
I was trying to sort it out by myself even though I have a good friend with a great listening ear.
So right now, I have turned on my laptop, and I am ready to start.
It's targeted to ages 8-10.
Tonight's writing will be the set up and shouldn't be too hard.
My prayer is that when it's published (not if), it will help children who have suffered the same tragedy.
The book itself won't be over 1,000 words as it needs illustrations so I will still be on track to finish my young adult novel.

18 April, 2010

24 Hours

In less than 24 hours I will be back at work teaching.
When I think back to all that happened last week during spring break, (some of which were in prior blogs), I wonder what did I learn?
I've learned God's word is powerful and true, if I would only be patient and believe.
I've learned that I love spending my mornings writing.
I learned how to swim.
I've learned that I am no longer afraid of losing my job.
I'm learning to let go and be free.
I've come to see how a person can be special and important.
So as I prepare myself for tomorrow, I feel like a new person.
I feel like the old me is stripped away and the new me is radiant and wonderful to behold.
Saturday I will find out if I was accepted into a two day writer retreat with a writing coach.
In six weeks I should hear something back about the writing I submitted.
A dear friend gave me some solid encouragement about my writing
I do want to stay true to what God has put in my heart to write, and so I am going to set a goal of completing the rough draft of my young adult fantasy novel of May 31st!

17 April, 2010

Rambling

1 day remaining in Spring Break. 
The 48 hour screenwriting challenge started last night. I jotted down 11 possible ideas. I fleshed out one and read it to my friend.
I need tighten up why she doesn't want to fight. I typed three script pages and the maximum allowed is five, so I've got room to maneuver.
1 day remaining in Spring Break.
It's been an interesting week. I've had ups and downs. Tears and laughter.
So as I pillow my head for the night I do so with a warm smile on my face.
Yes, God is good.

16 April, 2010

Beauty from Ashes

Common thread
I started reading about different writers and how they got started.
Their greatest successes came after a period of heartache or trial.
I'm beginning to understand why.
It's when you're at that point where you have nothing to lose that you pour your heart into your writing.
Once you do that and you step back, you see what a wonder you have created.
I just wrote a short story that is the most alive, passionate piece of writing I've done in years.
I poured out my heart into it.
It's amazing.
God is good.

14 April, 2010

I DID IT

At 4:05 pm today, I mailed my first children's story to an agent.

I did it (well almost)

My goal was to find an agent to submit one of my completed children's stories to. Well as of 2:30 pm (not am). I found two. Unfortunately they don't accept email submissions or I would have posted: "Hey I just submitted my story to an agent." So I have to head to the store to get heavier weight paper and envelopes to mail my submission. I will post another blog when I have completed the task today.

This is a journey I started on 16 years ago, when my daughter was born. Now I've always loved to write, but I didn't consciously try to pursue it until 16 years ago.

My life has taken many roads, twists, and turns but I am back to where I started, (except I'm on a laptop not a word processor).

I have to say thank you to God for creating me with this talent of writing, for giving me such a quirky odd brain that picks up on everything, and for not giving up on me, though there were plenty of times I gave up on myself.

I feel different. Is it because I accomplished my goal? Almost.

Let me get this done so I can post "I DID IT!"

A lovely day

It was a good day.
Yes, once again I am writing the prior day's blog at 2am. It's spring break, my time is off.
I spent the afternoon(Tuesday), at St. John's pass and then had pizza and comics and good company. It was a great day, that ended well.
While I was at the pass, I prayed about what direction God wants me to go in.
My children's stories are ready. Tomm. Well I guess that would be today, I'll be submitting them to publishers/agencies.
it's time to take that step of faith. If I want God to bless me in the big stuff, I have to show I'm obedient in the small stuff.
Time for bed. Alarm is set for 8 am. Coffee and laptop are ready.
Good night.

13 April, 2010

Broken

Brokenness
This is actually Monday's blog. I'm writing it at 2am Tuesday morning.
I have come to the place where I have nothing left. I have fallen as far as I can.
Reading Stormie Omartin's book "Praying God's will for your life".
Realized how much of my life I still want to control.
Surrendered all those areas of my life to Jesus.
I've been trying to do alot of things on my own, without His blessing or consent. I am broken hearted as a result.
Giving Jesus control is not like giving another person control. He knows what's best for me and He knows the plans God has for me.
My dog died today, which rocked me straight to my core.
I cried all day over it. All day. I blame myself.
I had to push past my grief to finish getting a writing scholarship entry done.
I then read my bible. Something I hadn't done in a long time. My friend Don gave me some good verses to look at, then I moved over to the psalms.
God opened my bible to Habbakuk3:2 the vision verse.
So what did I surrender?
My will.
My need to lead my life, instead of following God's will.
My desires in favor of His guidance.
What do I get in return?
Stay tuned as we find out together.

11 April, 2010

Renewal

Renewal
I woke up this morning at 10:30. Now my intent was to wake up at 7. I have no clue how I slept that long. It's not normal for me to sleep past 7:30. I think my exhaustion caught up with me because I also took a 3 hour nap.
I am officially in spring break. I have seven days left. What to do?
I grabbed my bag and headed to the beach. I did some reading in a great book by Stormie Omartin called "Praying God's will for your life."
I did some praying. And got to catch the last part of a sunset worship service on the beach.
Seven days.
I would like to go away and come back a completely changed and renewed person.
So the question remains: where should I go?
I can:
Go home to Tennessee and hike in the mountains.
Go to Rome or Montreal. Both are not too expensive.
Go on short day trips around my home.
Go to Houston and visit my cousins and my best friend.
Go camping.
The choices are many and any of them would do.
Guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I decided. The writer needs to get to work.

10 April, 2010

What I Did Today

What I did today.
Today my friend helped me with a fear I have lived with for a long time.
When I was fourteen I swam into a drop off. I use the word swam loosely, because I didn't know how to swim. I knew how to dog paddle badly (yes it is possible). I was with some friends, and I let my friend have the inner tube I was using, thinking I would just put my feet on the bottom and walk back. Well I had floated over a drop off. A deep part of the lake, and so when I went to put my feet down, there was no bottom.
Long story short, I went under.
I came to on shore with the lifeguard on one side and my mom on the other, and my ribs hurting.
Fast forward to now when I really want to get over this fear of water.
I got over a huge part of that today.
I learned how to float on my back. I learned how to hold my breath and blow it out under water. I learned a basic swim stroke that I used to swim almost the entire length of the pool. Of course my friend made me start in the deep end.
It feels awesome to have tackled that fear.
I can't wait to go again

09 April, 2010

Which way?

What do you do with hurt feelings? Why are they hurt? I'm going to be a little transparent tonight. I've got cotton candy so I may veer off course.
Prayer unanswered still? No, I know it's been answered. This is where the patience part comes in. The faith part. The bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things 1 Cor13. True love part comes in.
What I'm learning is that love is not that butterfly in your stomach feeling. It's the action part. The I forgive you when you are wrong and hurt me part. The I believe in you and support you part. That's love that lasts a lifetime. It's hard, but like anything in life if it's important to you you work at it. Like an artist, you don't stop. God is love. He loves me even during those times that I'm not very loving, not being obedient. That's the same for you or me. We are to follow his example. It hasn't been easy. I've been stubborn and wanted my way, but I see why God's way is perfect.

08 April, 2010

It's good to wander

My mind wanders a lot. I've come to accept that part of me. It can be frustrating to my friends at first, but the true ones love me as I am.
I just wrote a short story i didn't intend to write.
I was thinking about bottled water,
then my mind wandered to the end of the world, then I started thinking about how people can be driven to desperate acts.
I wrote three paragraphs Monday, three on Wednesday and three legal pad pages full today while sitting outside.
I just finished it. It's really good.
But I didn't intend to write more than some stray thoughts that were in my head.
Now it's still a first draft, but it's short enough for me to revise: punch up the dialogue, increase the suspense, and sell it as a short horror story.
I like what I wrote.
All because I let my mind do what it was designed to: explore, imagine, create.

07 April, 2010

A lovely day

My day brightened when I took delivery of my favorite coffee this morning. He made me smile.
I think about the author I know that was still writing at 3am this morning, and still going strong.
I think about the 8 hours a day I spend teaching, that I'd rather spend writing. How I'm sometimes too worn out to write when I get home but I have to.
I know I will get to the point that I write full time instead of teach full time, and that goal pushes me. The goal is in sight.
Just one more hill to climb. Sunday I went for a nature walk. There is this bridge I wanted to see but I had already been walking for half an hour. I knew the bridge was there, I just needed to go a little further. I'm glad I kept going. The bridge was in sight. It was worth the patience and effort.

Next week is spring break and I'm getting excited. I hope to go camping. I hope to improve my swimming skills and maybe learn how to tread water. I'm looking forward to spending time outside, enjoying just being outdoors. I've got my spiral notebook and my pens to work on my writing, no matter where I am.
I hope next week is filled with laughter, surprises, and joy.

05 April, 2010

Something Different

I did something unexpected. I unplugged my laptop and took it outside. I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee and a wild blueberry scone. I have found I actually love scones.
They’re like the British version of American Southern Biscuits.

It feels good to be outside writing. Listening to some Celtic music, feeling the stress from today’s meeting wash away.

On tonight’s writing agenda: Start the query letter for the children’s story I’m on target to submit this week. Write 5 pages of my zombie script. Go for a long walk to work off the rocky road ice cream I had after work.

I’m really itching to get started on my writing today. Plus, my P.O.J. laptop has only a two-hour battery (still working on getting a Mac Airbook). So until tomorrow blog followers…

03 April, 2010

Reviewing the Situation

Sitting outside Dairy Queen with my posse. Ok, it's just me and my daughter. But while she's texting and listening to music I figured I'd see how far I could get with today's blog. 
Oops she's done. Be right back.
Ok now that she's accessorized for Sunday, and I have a goth shirt to match my mood, I can finish this blog. 
Spent five hours today writing. Five hours. I haven't written for that long of a stretch of time since 2007.
Today I was off world. I was on my writer's planet where nothing else exists but the story.
It may be weird, but I got a natural high from it. It felt really good. I could actually see my characters and feel what they felt. 
Even my rewrites today seemed different. I guess that's the key. I am different today. My father, as I stated in a prior blog is deceased, so I got some rock solid advice from my Uncle D. I prayed about what to do. Asked God to forgive me for trying to return His blessing because I was afraid to try. Afraid of rejection. 
Rejection in my personal life is a lot like rejection as a writer. Not everyone man is going to like me (or every editor, what I write). Not everyone is going to accept me as I am. Just as editors try to change what I've written, for better or worse, the same has happened in my life. But God didn't intend for every man to be a good fit for me. 
But if I don't try with the one He picked to be a good fit. If I don't open my heart to love. If I don't submit my writing, then hey! I don't have to deal with rejection. 
It also means I miss out on blessings, opportunities, living.
Is rejection scary? Duh!! Yeah it's scary.  
But I'm no longer afraid to try.
And I have to say a special thank you to my straw man. I laughed so hard I know tears were coming out of the corners of my eyes. You make me laugh deeply and that is a rare gift.

02 April, 2010

Good Friday?

Today’s blog is about Good Friday and what it means to me and how it can have meaning (I hope), for you.
It’s a day Christians celebrate as the day Jesus died on the cross. What morbid person would celebrate someone’s death? There is beauty in ashes, so hold on while I shed some light. If you want more light check out John 12:42-John21 at
http://www.biblegateway.com/ . It won’t take too much of your time to read. (Remember stick to the NIV version.)
So before the world was formed, Jesus knew that He would have to die on the cross for our sins. He did it because He loves us. Not butterflies in the stomach kind of love, but true love. 1Corinthians13 love: patient, kind, not selfish, not provoked, keeps no record of wrongs, bears, believes, hopes and endures all things.
Imagine there is this man, the Son of God, who loved you before you were born and because of that love for you, chose to die a torturous death on the cross. Good Friday is a reminder of Jesus’ unconditional love of all of us.
How can he love a sinner like me? He just does. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to perform a daily ritual; you don’t even have to go to church three times a week. You just have to:
Believe that Jesus, God’s son, died on the cross for you.
Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins.
That’s it.

As you grow in your faith, you start to trust Him to lead your life. I’ll admit. I am very stubborn and still think I can do a lot of things my way, but Jesus is so cool. He knows me, and is patient with me through my stubbornness.
Enjoy your Friday and try out Easter with new understanding.