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 September, 2010

Observations

Sitting in Starbucks people watching. I forgot to put my writing notebook in the car to work on my writing before work. My evening hours have become more time restrictive so I've decided to use the thirty minutes between dropping my daughter off at school and my reporting time to work to pop over to the local Starbucks. Right now I'm watching a grey-haired lady sitting outside-dressed in a black shirt and skirt. Even her belt is black. All black except for her hot pink 3 inch heels. Her legs are curled under her, one leg crossed over the other. Jewelry is not flashy. In her left hand is a cigarette ready for the grave. She snuffs it out to light her third one. She flicks her thumb and pinky together to jar the ashes from the end of her cigarette. She's a pro. 8am venti coffee and three cigarettes-think she's super charged?

7 minutes and I have to head into work. Note to self put my spiral notebook in the car tonight.

Can you picture cigarette lady? Fill in your own ideas of how you think her face looks. I couldn't see it, but I am thankful for her helping me write this morning.

24 September, 2010

Fuel

I have a week to start and complete a short story. Now I just found out about the contest two days ago. I feel compelled to enter. Number one, it’s free. Number two the prize is $5,000 and I can use the money. Plus I cut my teeth on writing by creating short stories in grade school through college.

So what’s the problem?

I can’t decide if I should take something I’ve already written and tweak it, give it a fresh perspective; change the premise. Or, if I should write something new.

In the past week my life has been on a huge emotional roller coaster. Feelings I thought were gone have resurfaced. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since a week ago today.

History tells me, and I proved it yesterday sitting on my patio overlooking the pond, that I should write about what I’m feeling. I wrote two pages in my journal yesterday trying to mind dump what I’m feeling. Wish I could say it helped but I know it wasn’t enough.

I looked over my journal writing from yesterday and I came across two lines that made me do a double take. The lines were full of such raw emotion. I thought wow, that’s exactly how I feel, and then the writer took over and I thought, hey that would be a good intro to a short story.

Even though the short story contest is a fiction contest, I will be basing it on the situation I am going through now. Of course, fiction has to
be larger than life so I will be “amp”ing up what the protagonist (lead character) will experience and how it all resolves itself.


Due to the emotional nature of this short story I feel draw to write outdoors. I do my deepest writing outside. Now as I am still under the weather today, it will have to be tomorrow. Beach or Park? Hmmm. Thinking the beach. I haven’t been in awhile and seeing God’s glory in the raging waves will be just what I need to fuel my writing.

21 September, 2010

Holding Pattern

Are you tired of living your life in a holding pattern? It's a term I became familiar with on a flight. Bad weather in our connecting city forced us into a holding pattern around a different city. We circled high above Philadelphia for hours, only to miss our connecting flight once we reached. New York. It turned out to be a blessing because we were able to see ground zero the next morning. Sitting up in that plane circling for hours, getting hungry, wanting to land and not being able to was so frustrating.
Is your life in a holding pattern? Hebrews 11:6 states-"Now without faith it is impossible to please God; for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him." HCSB
There's that faith word again. I know what it's like to have your entire life stuck in a holding pattern. You want change and it doesn't happen. Everyone else's life seems to be taking off. You want to move on but you feel you can't. You're stuck there. Good!
Yes, Good-" be still and know that I am God." This is the time for you to hear what God is trying to tell you and for you do make some life changes. It's also a time that God brings people into your life in preparation for you leaving the holding pattern, as many of us on the plane started up conversations with our neighbors and people in other rows. Faith that God has your best interest at heart no matter the initial pain.
But did you know that holding pattern is not forever. God lands the plane and tells you "Ok, you're ready to disembark." That's where your faith kicks in again. Are you still on the plane? What are you waiting for? The creator has opened the gates of Heaven wide to bless you. He is ready for you to step off that plane and into the wonderful plan He has for your life.
Not sure you can take that first step?
Listen to the words of Jesus (read them aloud) Mark 5:36 "Don't be afraid only believe." and Mark 9:23 "-everything is possible to the one who believes."
Believe and be free.

19 September, 2010

Forgiveness

This weekend I had to forgive someone for something pretty important. My Christian friends were divided into two camps: forgive, or make the person suffer. I was shocked by the latter. May I speak openly today about this. Slight detour from my writing. Christ is the only reason believers are going to Heaven. His forgiveness of our sins. Our model prayer from Jesus even says "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Jesus also stated if we don't forgive neither will our heavenly Father forgive us. Knowing the bible teaches this, why are some actions forgivable and others not? To not forgive is to live with festering hate and anger and machinations of revenge. I have had to forgive much in my life:
Abandonment, abuse, rapes.
I chose to forgive someone Saturday. Now he knows he has a long road ahead to earn back my trust but I was looking at Jesus' example and admonishment. I trust God so I did what I knew was the right thing. And for those of you Christians harboring festering, feelings of anger and hate- STOP IT. Let it go. Do you not know that hate and anger is from satan? Who is Lord in your life? Forget about what people will think or what other believers will say. Concern yourself with what Jesus will say. No matter what, He is the authority, the model, the hope of forgiveness.

13 September, 2010

Novel number two under way

Yes you read the title correctly. I have started writing my second young adult novel. I'm interspersing my time between another revision of my first novel and work on my second. Revision of my first novel is in the tertiary stage- I'm going chapter by chapter, checking for weak dialogue and poor description; fixing both. Polishing my novel in preparation for my public reading of it on Sunday the 19th.
My second novel. The lead character is a teenage girl with a criminal past (present), from a broken home. It's still fantasy and I hope it draws in a larger niche of the ya audience. Those who are living in one parent, or no parent homes; those who think mistakes of the past will haunt them forever. I hope it shows them it's ok to live. There will be some tender moments, some tissue to wipe away the tears moments, but there will also be laugh out loud moments. Strap yourselves in. It's gonna be a roller coaster ride.

11 September, 2010

Contest entry-done

Friday I submitted the first chapter of my novel to a contest for new writers. The winner will be announced October 11th. The prize-agents and publishers having access to the chapter. Meaning if they like it, they will contact the author. I almost didn't submit my entry. Why? Fear. Yep, that ugly word. I had spent alot of time and effort on it. I didn't want it rejected, especially since the contest did not have a winner last month-they didn't feel any of the writing submitted was ready. I didn't want to have to face rejection of my passion, my dream. I wasn't looking at it in a logical sense-that if it's not selected, it may just need more polishing. No, I was looking at it as if it means I'm no good as a writer. I've heard it said, and have read, that writers (artists), are more emotional and more sensitive than others. Makes sense. We have to see, and feel the world around us in order to make great works. But that emotional side can also paralyze us if we are not careful. So I prayed and pushed through my fear and submitted it. October 11th, we'll see what happens. In the meantime I am beginning my second revision of my novel and moving from synopsis to outline on my second. Stay tuned to hear if I won. Course if I do, you'll hear my scream of excitement 'round the world.

07 September, 2010

My train is stuck

I was stuck this weekend. I had finished the first revision of my novel. Had printed off chapter one to review for an upcoming contest, and was ready to start my new project. I had my genre picked out (sci fi), my target word count; I even had previously written the first 3200 words... But when it came time for me to write the outline and synopsis, my train came to a screeching halt. I came upon an impenetrable question:so what? The novel is about a female space cadet who gets to realize her dream, in a way she didn't expect. She encounters danger along the way...but? I don't have any real reason for anyone to want to read about her life, no great conflict or life challenge for her to overcome. Her train is stalled behind an avalanche of boulders. It's ok. The novel I just completed- the main characters stayed at their kitchen table for six months before the real story became alive and I could resume writing it. So instead of giving into frustration (too late). I'm going to move on to another project. Here is where it gets tricky. I just found out there is a young adult novel contest open from Oct to Dec 31st. The only catch is that it has to be set in contemporary mode. Meaning no knights, no spaceships. Can I write it? Yes, but I already know my passion is for sci fi and young adult fantasy. But...I do have some ideas for contemporary YA fiction. I could write one of those. And being blessed with being able to type 80 words a minute. It is quite doable. The other side of the coin if I were to flip one would be to write a sci fi script. The perfect idea came to me over the course of the 3 day weekend. That I could have done in a month and with another month for editing, it could feasibly be ready for submission by November. Oh what to do? I could conceivably write both simultaneously: alternate days of fiction for days of screenwrting. But I have a feeling that train leads to madness. Best stick to one writing project at a time. But which one?
Guess I better go put the pot of coffee on. I know me. Once I make my decision tonight, I'm gonna want to write for at least four hours straight. Stay tuned to see what my next project is.

03 September, 2010

Are you a Pharisee?

Saw a friend on my way home tonight. On the road. He opened his door to throw up. He's driving drunk again. He considers the peace He feels from drinking worth it. I thought to myself. How sad. He still doesn't get it. I wondered in the past who I could partner him with, what spiritual man that he could finally see the truth revealed. But then I realized I know more Pharisees than I do true believers. Pharisees were those people who would go around professing their faith, quoting scripture, and making themselves look important; while rebuking people they encountered for breaking any of the hundreds of laws they added to the original law. These people are still among us. You're reading a blog from someone who strived to be like that, because she thought that was how a follower of Christ acts. Now that she has seen the light and truth has been reveals to her she understands. Christ is merciful and forgiving. He sees our past mistakes and does not hold them against us. Rather, He meets us where we are and brings us up to Him. So a modern day Pharisee would look at a woman who walks into church with a baby, and no ring on her finger and pre-judge her. They would ooo and ahh at the baby and even point her to a great bible study, but have a deep meaningful relationship with her? Get to know her heart and come along side her, mentor her, help her with her struggles? No. She's a fallen woman. They would proudly say-"It's so wonderful she accepted Jesus as her Savior, but don't let her sit near your husband", or "She is a Christian, but she had a child out of wedlock...yes she does wonders in the children's ministry...but she's one of those women, you can't be a real friend with them, don't even think about dating or marrying one of them."
So completely opposite of Christ's example. He didn't puff himself up, or look down his nose at people. Look at what He did for the woman at the well. He showed her real love and compassion, and He didn't care WHO saw him.
Are you a Pharisee? Are you more concerned with quoting scripture, being seen on Sunday morning, making sure everyone knows how much you "sacrifice" for the church? Or are you willing to be real. Take in that pregnant teen. Partner with that single mom. Approach that person God has put on your heart, regardless of appearances in front of other Pharisees.
Let's see some real Christianity. I pray my friend meets a real Christian man that will be honest and loving toward him, and will parner with
him to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.