Monday, April 26, 2010

Time out!

I'm pushing toward completion of turning Out of Her Hands into a screenplay. Learning to write a screenplay is a new challenge for me, and I'm going to devote some quality time to this new endeavor.

To give this effort my best, I've decided to take a time out from social media.

I'll be back online in the beginning of May. Have a few good, productive weeks!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Expectations

When I awoke yesterday it was raining and so very dark outside. The heavy clouds pressed close to the earth and motorists were driving with lights on.

I had several errands to run, and I resigned myself to enduring the gloomy, wet day. I left the house early wearing a flannel jacket, fortifying myself against the elements.

After my first stop I came outside, hopped in my car, and headed south. I looked up to the sky and witnessed what felt like a miracle. Looking to the southwest I saw a patch of brilliant blue in the sky—right over Pikes Peak. It was spectacular. The sky above me and to the north and east were still dark and menacing, but there was a promise in the sky right in front of my eyes

By the time I came out of my second appointment, the skies were mostly clear. The day was so lovely I felt as though I had traveled to Eden. The morning rain had washed the atmosphere. The skies were crystal clear, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains looked like a mirage against the blue, blue sky.

The change in weather created a lightness in my heart. As I was driving, it hit me—my expectations had colored my perception of what the day held. I was so relieved to see the heavy clouds dissipate and the bright sun cast shadows on the greening landscape. Of course two hours later it rained, hailed, and a tornado passed overhead. But it was quick and then the clouds parted.

I guess there’s a lesson to be learned here. Don’t rely on your expectations or allow them to rule your thoughts because you just might end up being 100% wrong. Know what I mean? Has that ever happened to you?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Freelance Writing Courses

My friend Janice Thompson has long been a mentor to writers learning the craft. Now she's upped the ante and is offering freelance writing courses to writers who want to support themselves with freelance work.

If you've always dreamed of making money writing, consider taking Janice's courses. I know from experience how helpful and encouraging she is.

Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Challenge: See yourself as God sees you.

You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was lain out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:16

I find this verse to be both comforting and challenging. God saw me before I was born and knew what to expect—He knew I would be a writer. He gave me the desire and the talent to become a writer, and He knew that I would seek out instruction and devote hours to stringing words together.

God knew there would be a day when I looked out my window as evening approached and would see a scene that would translate into one of my books like this: “The fading daylight stained the vibrant green of trees and fresh lawns to a dull monochrome as the shadows of evening fell upon the homes of teachers, small business owners, computer programmers, and young lawyers.”

Although I had the desire to be a writer since I was a young girl, I didn’t always see myself as a writer. But God did.

God saw the raw material (me and a willing heart), and with His grace I fulfilled a dream. But to be honest, I didn’t see myself the way He did throughout my journey to publication. I doubted, I worried, I felt as though I had picked up a too-grand dream.

One of my newest prayers, and I hope it will become one of yours, is to see myself as God sees me. And that’s true not only in regards to writing, but also for life in general. How wonderful would it be to see the possibilities within us that God sees? I’m challenged to live up to the plan God has for me and boldly greet each new day and every opportunity.

The next time you sit down to your keyboard, pray for God’s vision of you and for you. It could change your day . . . and your life.

The image above is of a tulip in my front garden. When I took the first photo, that's the way the world saw the tulip, but a mere three weeks later, it's bloomed and lovely. Outward appearances can be deceiving.

I like to use familiar images, when possible. The picture of the snowy tulip was also in a blog that discussed feeling emotionally or spiritually chilled. I guess you can say that God speaks to me through nature. How about you? When you see beauty in nature does it turn your thoughts to Him?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a Shame

It’s a shame that shame is no longer a valid motivator for appropriate behavior in our society.

When I was a child if someone tossed trash on the sidewalk one of our neighbors would stick her head out the window and yell, “Shame on you. Pick that up.” As a child and teen, I avoided certain behaviors because other than it being against the rules/the law, to be caught would be shameful.

Shame is now an antiquated concept in our culture.

While picking up the mail my husband came across a group of young (perhaps 10-12 –year-old) boys ganging up on one unfortunate young fellow. The bullies claimed it was a “fun fight,” but the guy on the ground screamed, “No, it’s not.” When my husband told them to knock it off the chief bully responded with, “Who are you, my Dad?” Oh, shame on him. Who did he think he was that he was entitled to beat up on someone else and then mouth off to an adult?

Current entertainment news reported that both Tiger Woods and Jesse James, upon being caught cheating on their wives, immediately checked into a rehab clinic. They avoided the stigma of shame by covering their misdeed with a clinical term. Perhaps they do have clinical problems, but come on, they should be ashamed of their behavior. Anyone who breaks trust/a vow/laws/rules of etiquette even, should be ashamed of themselves.

Please don’t assume I’m not a compassionate person because I advocate a return to shame, but honestly, don’t you think some of the selfish and self-centered behaviors in our culture need to be curbed?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Writers: Learning opportunity!

I often tell people about the writers' groups I belong to: American Christian Fiction Writers (national & local) and Words For The Journey. Being a part of a writers' group is the best way to improve your craft, learn about the industry, and hang in there while you're on your publishing journey.

Tomorrow (4/13) WFTJ will host a special guest, DiAnn Mills. An award-winning author, DiAnn will speak about “Self-Editing for the Dynamic Writer.”

If you're in the area, join us tomorrow from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Southeast Christian Church on Jordan Road in Parker. Our meeting will be held in the Community Room, and you'll have the opportunity to purchase one of DiAnn's books and get it signed by the author.

We're also going out to lunch at Hacienda Colorado after the meeting, want to come? Join us.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Faces Behind the Books

I spent part of the afternoon at the Englewood Public Library participating in their 11th Annual "Meet the Faces Behind the Books" event. Wow. It was amazing.

This was the cubbie I shared with five other Colorado authors.

It was a well put together author event and a great opportunity to meet book lovers and other writers.

The rest of my Sunday afternoon will be spent in much-anticipated bliss sitting on my little patio. When I returned home from Englewood, my patio furniture was out of storage and awaiting our reunion.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday

It's a beautiful day in Colorado today, sunny with puffy little clouds. As I do every year, I'm going to take some time to visit an outdoor worship area to contemplate the significance of this weekend.

I love that spot, somewhat wild with trees and grasses, overlooking a wooden cross, and as the backdrop, the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. The everyday sounds fade up on that rise, and all you hear are birdsong and wind humming through branches.

I thank God that I'm living under His grace. I'm thankful that the moments of of my days are laced with the knowledge that I'm in covenant with the Creator of all. I'm thankful for being forgiven, loved, and cherished. And that's all because of Calvary and what happened on that amazing Easter Day when death lost its sting.

I'm a writer, and I live with and by and through words. But friends, some things must be experienced with the heart, not words, to be fully grasped. I pray that you open your heart and earnestly seek a relationship with Elohim. It can change your life forever -- it did mine.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:4-7