Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Have A Story

Sometimes there is something burning deep inside of me like boiling lava ready to erupt. That’s what’s good about being a writer. You can put it all down on paper, or however you do it in this world of advanced technology.

I’m not young, but I’m not claiming to be old either. From my many years of experiences, there is an untold wealth of stories within my heart and brain. What better way than to express and share those memories than by writing. My characters in my short stories and novels get their life, their personalities, their idiosyncrasies, and all their flaws and good qualities from people I’ve known or from my own experiences.

Do you have a story to tell? Do you have experiences burning within you? Do you have profound thoughts and desires you want to share? Tap into your creative juices and let it flow through your heart, mind and soul through your fingertips and onto a page. Tell a story, write a poem, pen the lyrics for a song.

It is within you!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Too Busy To Write?

It’s been a busy week. BUSY!  This was the week that I swore I would have my book sent off, or at least the beginning necessities of sending it off.  Not so!  I’ll tell you a secret. I spent a considerable amount of time spinning my wheels being frustrated and stressed because I was too busy to do more on my novel, or book, or my WIP.

Let’s face it, fellow writers: LIFE HAPPENS! It would be nice if the earth stopped spinning so that I could finish all my writing projects. Grrrr!  That doesn’t happen, and with my large family and tons involvements and obligations, the chances for me to have a quiet, uninterrupted day, let alone week is almost non-existence.

The key for me instaying afloat during these times is to keep positive, and reiterate to myself that as a Christian I have surrendered my life to Christ. Knowing that nothing in my life catches God off guard, and that He can use every circumstance in my life for His purpose gives me the assurance that He has it all under control.

Having said all that, of course, it’s easier said than done. Sometimes I just freak out  or get into a self-pitying funk.  I choose to rise above my self-pity though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Publishing That First Novel

    It’s that time of year that causes joy to arise in the heart of most parents – school has started! It’s always a little unsettling when it’s a child’s first day of school ever; unsettling for both the child and parent. Parents worry if people will love and appreciate the child like they do; will other kids pick on the child, are their bullies at the school, will others understand the child’s little quirks and qualities that you find endearing.
    My kids are grown and gone, have been for more years than I care to admit, but I remember the feeling of launching the child off to school. I did it five times. Now I am experiencing those same feelings, but not about my child. I’m feeling that way as I launch my first novel off to a publisher.
    Yikes! I am nervous and excited, I feel anxiety and apprehension. This is my “baby,” I have birthed this novel with sweat and tears, sleepless nights, second guessing, revision s, doubts and fears.
    It is time though. I have to do this. No more procrastinating. I’m starting the process tomorrow. Wish me luck. Better yet, pray for me, say a prayer. I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe that God orchestrates the lives of His children, and has His hand hovering over all that we do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gifts and Talents

We all have gifting and talents. To be happy and content in life we need to follow our true gifting and talents.
Take me for instance. I love to sing. I drive everyone crazy with my singing, especially if I have ear buds in listening to my iPod. I love to quietly sing along. At least, I assumed I was being quiet…until my husband told me otherwise. “You’re loud and off-key,” he informed me in his best I-love-you-but-you-have-to-stop-this voice!
When I was younger, me and my friends sang in a group in church. I had a reasonably good voice then, but after a couple of years of allergy triggered laryngitis, my voice lost some of its umph! Well, maybe most of its umph! Because of that, I would never sing in public unless it’s in a rather large choir. I know my gifting limitations.

My friend, Jan, struggles with writing a full length novel. Let me say right now that she is a very gifted writer. She writes wonderful devotions and short stories. She has ideas for fabulous novels, but feels frustrated with the struggle to complete one.  I have the opposite problem. Once I have the idea for a novel and start writing, my brain won’t shut down. My characters become live people clamoring to be heard, demanding my attention. If I had time to sit down for a solid few days, I could complete a novel in that time.
Jan writes awesome devotions. I love them. Ask me to write a devotional and I could, but it would take time and a lot of thought.  Ask me to write a book of devotions and I would freak out. I’d have to be on tranquilizers, it would stress me out so much. Yet it seems to just flow out of Jan.

God can always change or add to our gifting and talents, and sometimes He does. What is your gift, skill or talent?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Half Eaten Drumstick

Five-year-old Hannah’s eyes widened at the tables spread with a feast. Glancing around, she saw that her mom was talking to the group of ladies in the church vestibule. Confident that no one was paying attention to her, she made her way to one of the tables.

Her stomach rumbled, and it seemed her hand had a mind of its own. It darted out and grabbed a chicken drumstick. Hannah stared at her grubby hands. She hadn’t bathed in three days. 

She had eaten half the drumstick when she saw the centerpiece that said, “Happy Birthday Pastor Harold.” Hannah stopped chewing. She knew the words Happy Birthday but wasn’t sure about the other words. She understood this feast was for someone’s birthday. 

Sighing, she placed the drumstick back on the pile of chicken. Although there was so much food she was sure one drumstick wouldn’t be missed, she knew Mommy would count this as stealing. Wiping the back of her hand across her greasy mouth, then both hands on her shirt, she walked to the door of the fellowship hall. 

Mommy was explaining their plight, plight being the word Mommy used, to the group of ladies. “He just left us. I don’t know where he is. Then we got evicted from our apartment. Been sleeping in the car since. I just need gas money to get to my parents in Dallas,” Mommy said with a quiver in her voice. 

From the looks of that group of ladies, Mommy wasn’t getting money or anything else. “This isn’t a good time,” one said. “We’re having a potluck today to celebrate our pastor’s birthday.”

“Usually you wouldn’t even catch us in here, we’d all be in the service,” another said as her eyes raked over her mommy.

Mommy kept talking, so Hannah stepped backwards. Turning, her eyes fell on the dessert table. Her mouth involuntarily shaped into an O. Sidling up to it, she folded her hands on the table, resting her chin there. Pies, cakes, cookies, brownies….oh, my! 

“What’re you doing?” 

Startled, Hannah jumped, pulling back her hand that had been reaching for a brownie. She stared into the stern face of the lady. “Nothing,” Hannah mumbled. 

“Look what you’ve done,” the lady said, pointing at the spot where Hannah’s hands had made a greasy stain on the tablecloth. 

“I’m sorry.” Hannah’s voice trembled.

“Oh, no!” the lady shrieked when she saw the half eaten drumstick on the platter of chicken. The other ladies came rushing into the fellowship hall. They seemed to forget that Hannah and her mom were there as they discussed whether they should throw away the whole platter of chicken. 

“That’s just dandy. The potluck’s ruined,” the stern lady said.

“Come on, honey bug,” Mommy said softly, putting her arms around Hannah, and tugging her towards the door. 

“Wait!” One lady came walking over, motioning for Mommy to follow her. She went into the kitchen and pulled ten dollars from her purse and handed it to Mommy. “We’ll fix you both a plate of food you can take with you,” she said. 

A couple of the ladies helped fill plates while the stern lady glared at Hannah and her mom. They had just started out the door with their foil covered plates when people began pouring in, lead by an elderly, silver-haired man. 

“What have we here?” Pastor Harold remarked, smiling compassionately at Hannah and her mom. 

“Sorry ‘bout that, Pastor Harold,” the stern lady said. “They’re leaving. Come on, we’re ready to pray before the food gets cold.” 

“Tell them to pray then, Martha. I want to talk to these lovely ladies,” Pastor Harold said, dropping to eye level with Hannah. “What brings you here for my birthday potluck?” His eyes were kind and his voice gentle.

Despite Mommy’s protests that they were leaving, Pastor Harold brought them into the fellowship hall and sat them at his table, Martha glaring the whole time. 

It was a story that Hannah would tell her children, the potluck that changed their lives, reuniting them with her grandparents in Dallas. Not only did they sit at the table with Pastor Harold and his wife, but he filled up their gas tank, set them up in a hotel that night, and gave them enough money for food and gas for their trip. 

“He treated us like honored guests, like family. And when Martha warned Pastor Harold not to take any chicken from that platter, he winked at me and took two pieces.”