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!

31 May, 2010

Rainbow

I drove through a rainbow on the way home from a prememorial day get together with friends.
As the celebration wound down, we watched some videos of Casting Crowns, and The Newsboys. The lead singer of the Newsboys had an amazing testimony about his life and walking away from God; having Satan fill his head with doubt and lies, and the power of Jesus that brought him back around. He now uses the talents God created him with to reach others through his music. That is his form of spiritual worship.
I started thinking about my turn around and return to the Lord. My spiritual worship, my living sacrifice. Am I doing it, or am I still listening to lies?
I have to admit, I get discouraged from working 8 hours a day, in a spiritually void place. I realized I was letting Satan plant weeds around the truth about the plans God has for me.
I confessed them immediately to God; and realized the truth of God will happen. Let that joy fill my heart to overflow.
On the drive home, I was reflecting on my choice to let my belief in God's promises radiate out from me, letting that joy continue to shine on my face, when I saw it--the rainbow: God's promise in Genesis 9:12-14.

The rainbow is a symbol of God's covenant, His promise.
Now I don't know If you've ever driven through a rainbow, but I have to tell you, it was an Awesome experience.
To reflect on God's promises, to purpose in my heart to believe them, and just at that moment to come around the corner, no other car nearby, to see that rainbow and realize I could drive through it, and did it...definately a God moment.

26 May, 2010

Preparation

This may not seem like it's on the same track,  but catch the train anyway.
I was reminded of a story today "....awful, no good, very bad day." That was today. Nothing went right. Issues at work. Issues at home. Grandmother had a mini stroke. 
I was down low today. Ant-level low. So I went to church. They have a great dinner on Wed. Nights. I actually had pistachio ice cream for dessert, and found that I like it.
Preparation
The Pastor was preaching out of Revelation 
Revelation 19:7
7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, 
because the marriage of the Lamb has come, 
and His wife has prepared herself. 
My eyes kept going back to that last sentence.
What did she do? Say it with me class...she prepared herself.
Uh oh, I thought. I haven't really done much preparation for Jesus' return. I'm not using the talents He gave me to the fullest.
Think about a bride on her wedding day. She doesn't jump out of bed, throw her dress over her head, and go the church. 
No! She takes time to prepare herself.
Being a good writer takes preparation. Preparation requires lots of practice.
I had reached a point today, where I was at the end of my rope. So I grabbed a stool, clipboard, and some journal paper and sat outside.
Off the top of my head, I jotted down one line. "This is the last diary entry for Henrietta Blacksmith."
I then went on to write a cliffhanger of an opening.
I read it back to myself and got excited. It's good.
I'm not going to add to it right now. I'm going to leave it in it's,top of the roller coaster, cliffhanger status as I have a young adult novel to finish and another one after that. Then I'll have time for Henry-girl.
Preparation
A successful writer has to be able to write no matter the circumstance. If this is to be my way of life then I need practice on how to keep writing through trials and difficulties.
Today showed me: yes I can write while under enormous stress, and turn out good work.
Preparation to be a writer, while learning to trust and obey God. Good preparation. 

23 May, 2010

Blessings and Perception

During my quiet time one day a thought popped into my head: would you like to be able to do a writer's retreat, even if it was only for three days away in a hotel?
I said yeah I'd love to, but I have to fill my summer with paying teacher workshops.
I've been putting off doing my summer budget because I knew I didn't have enough to make it through. But I prayed and put everything in God's hands and began jotting down what my bills would be for the next three months. Because although summer break is only two months, the school year starts so late I actually need to cover an extra month.
So I listed everything. Cringed at the figure listed, and then listed my income through the end of this school year, plus my savings.
God moment.
I don't have to work this summer.
Not only that...
I can do a writing retreat while my daughter is at church summer camp.
Obedience is blessed by God. I know God really wants me to focus on getting this Young Adult novel completed. It's a Christian fantasy book (think CS Lewis or JRR Tolkein).
Having the summer off I have no excuse not to write at least 6hours a day.
So what does that have to do with perception?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding...
I made a choice about two weeks ago to obey God's call for me to live a life apart, to obey Him even when I don't understand.
Part of that is witnessing more and sharing His love with lost people.
Unfortunately, when you spend time ministering to the world, there are those Christians who think you've gone back to the world; look at you as if you are a backslider.
It pains my heart but I know I'm in God's will in what I'm doing and those that truly know me and love me will not mistake the glow on my face as coming from anywhere but Christ.
I wish more Christians had a heart for the world.

Perception: God does not bless disobedience. A summer off so I can write is a blessing for my repentance and obedience.
Now I wonder what will happen to my reputation when I start hanging out with prostitutes on Nebraska Ave sharing coffee and Gospels of John with them?

22 May, 2010

Disappointment

I've never been really good at handling disappointment. Which isn't good if you want to be a writer. You can't win every contest, or even place in the top ten all the time.
The past two writing contests I've entered I didn't win.
On the positive side the feedback from the 48 hour screenwriting contest shows I improved dramatically in the areas I was weak in the first time I submitted a screenplay.
At first I was so disappointed I didn't make it to round two. But then I reminded myself that I should read the judge's feedback and see if I agree or not...I did.
The feedback actually encouraged me. "solid scenes, well drawn characters, crisp dialogue."
Huge improvement over "flat characters, weak protagonist".
Even though I didn't make it to the second round I feel my writing has grown and that's the direction I need to be headed in.

Disappointment

I've never been really good at handling disappointment. Which isn't good if you want to be a writer. You can't win every contest, or even place in the top ten all the time.
The past two writing contests I've entered I didn't win.
On the positive side the feedback from the 48 hour screenwriting contest shows I improved dramatically in the areas I was weak in the first time I submitted a screenplay.
At first I was so disappointed I didn't make it to round two. But then I reminded myself that I should read the judge's feedback and see if I agree or not...I did.
The feedback actually encouraged me. "solid scenes, well drawn characters, crisp dialogue."
Huge improvement over "flat characters, weak protagonist".
Even though I didn't make it to the second round I feel my writing has grown and that's the direction I need to be headed in.

19 May, 2010

Running

I went to a paved trail with the intent and purpose of walking 3 miles. Now God had already told me He wants me back running (jogging). So I started my walk. As I walked my mind and spirit were restless. I could not figure out why. So I prayed to Jesus. “What is wrong?” Yeah, you can already see the answer can’t you. “You're supposed to be running.” Is what He said.

So I said “Ok Lord. I’ll run the last ¼ mile back.” Then I stopped myself, literally in my tracks. “No” I told myself. I’m not supposed to be bargaining with God. I am supposed to say an obedient Yes and do whatever He asks of me. So I ran the last 1.5 miles back.

I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn’t. I am out of shape. (I haven’t seriously run in 5 years.) I had to stop a few times. Each time I stopped. Jesus would press me forward. “Ok Desiree, go to that tree and then rest. Go to that shade area and then rest.” I kept praying as I ran. The sweat running down my face, into my eyes. At the next rest stop I told Jesus I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to finish and please help me to not stop. He did. I ran the last ¼ mile without stopping. I cranked up Toby Mac on the iPod part of my iPhone and looked at my feet as I ran. Jesus said: “Don’t look ahead, that’s the future. Look at the here and now and focus on what needs to be done now.”

You should have seen the smile on my face when Jesus said “Look up. You’re done.” You know without Jesus, it’s difficult and you want to just quit for good. With Jesus, it’s actually possible.

Goals

Goals

 

I had a great meeting with my Pastor on Monday. He reminded me about the importance of setting goals. I’ve never prayerfully set goals before. Today (Monday), I had my quiet time and used it to set goals. I started with listening to praise music and reading my bible.

As I began, I felt the Holy Spirit impressing upon me to set not only a writing goal, but a spiritual goal. So I wrote my goals as a request to God.

“What is my spiritual goal this year?” And guess what? God answered. Then I asked “What is my writing goal this year?” and again God answered. God did not want me to put down a 5 or 10 year goal.

I finished writing other questions and God’s responses to them. When I looked at what I had written I knew I had had an encounter with the Living God.

 

13 May, 2010

Birthday Countdown

6 days until my birthday. Time for some reflection. I can definitely say I am not the same person I was last year or any year prior.
It feels weird in a good way, this freedom in Christ.
I am in no way perfect and I do still make mistakes, but praying and reading my bible reminds me to stay God focused, not circumstances focused.
I have so many questions.
The women's book I'm writing... I want it to be done right. The goal is that the focus is not on me and any "elegant" words I may use, but on turning these women's eyes and hearts to Jesus, letting Him in to clean house.
So as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13 I am forgetting was was behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead...
Yeah I'm excited to see God's plan for me arrive at that appointed time.
This year really is Happy Birthday!

10 May, 2010

The Vision

Habakkuk 2:3 “The vision is yet for the appointed TIME. It testifies about the end and does not LIE. Though it tarries, wait for it, for it WILL surely come and not be LATE.

Sunday I stood in front of my bible fellowship class (Sunday School), and explained why I got re-baptized the past Wednesday. In a nutshell when you run from God, He doesn’t run from you. I’m now embracing the life My Lord wants for me and that’s the reason for the verse from Habakkuk. He’s one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. I’m not sure how a prophet can be minor, but it’s a short book in the bible. It’s been almost three years since God gave me a vision. In my fear I ran from it, but even Moses would agree: You can’t escape who you are created to be.

In these three years, I have come to know more about me, about my Savior Jesus, and about the world around me. I’ve come to understand what refining fire is, and I’ve come to understand that I do nothing in this life with my own strength, but through Christ who lives in me.

All that is within me says the TIME is now. Time for more focus on my writing. Time to prepare my heart. Time for God’s vision. Does that mean it will happen tomorrow? I don’t know. What I do know is that God’s train is pulling into the station again, and this time instead of running away, I’m running to hop on board.

08 May, 2010

Jahovah Jireh (God provides)

God provides

Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham and Isaac and how Abraham demonstrated his trust in God.
God promises. God provides.
I have a clear direction from God as to what He wants me to write next.
It will be painful to write. It will shed light on some old wounds that need to be healed.
Ultimately God wants to use it to bring healing to other women.
Tonight I'll be looking back over the outline, refining it through prayer.
A life set apart is what God has asked of me. With His strength I'm ready.

04 May, 2010

Let the countdown begin

No, I don't mean to the end of the school year. I mean the countdown to... Wait? Yes I do. Sorry being random again.
Looking forward to a summer of writing.
In 12 days I find out if I made it to round two of the screenwriting competition I entered last month.
It was 48 hours to write one scene. I think I wrote a solid, passionate scene, with living, breathing characters.
Emailing the first three pages of a hard core science fiction story to a best selling author to see if it gets me into his workshop.
Still reading as much as I can. Bible takes precedence.
Did get some revision writing done tonight as well as squeezed in time for exercise.
What is important we make time for.

03 May, 2010

Getting ready

Pausing during a five mile walk. Thank you Mary Carmen.
It helps to sweat while listening to praise music and praying. I feel sweaty yes, but I also feel
Yeah, what do I feel?
Saw an abandoned truck area that gave me an idea for a sci fi short story.
Thoughts about the dream I keep having about my living in a Spanish speaking country. Being outdoors helps me to think about my repeat dream and helps relax me from a stressful day in the classroom, so I can go home and write.

02 May, 2010

Renewal

Renewal
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so you may know what is that good, perfect, and pleasing will of God. Romans chapter 12 verse 2.
Words to live by? Yes. Words to commit my writing to? Definitely.
Today I re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ.
I'm reading a book about knowing God's will.
I'm also reading some hard core science fiction to prime the pump so to speak.
There are two types of writing I'm most passionate about: science fiction , and Christian non-fiction.
What I feel God drawing me towards is to write science fiction and fantasy from a Christian perspective. It fits my life like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.
I also have to look over the first ten pages of a manuscript I am preparing to submit to a science fiction writing workshop. It will either be my ticket in, or I'll get a thanks but no thanks reply.
Either response is independent of my being obedient to God.
Mine is to obey. His is to open doors.