Saturday, August 29, 2009

the night before the trip . . .

Tired, and yet definitely not ready to go to bed, I wonder if I have the mind to write, meaning do I have enough mind power enough to write something that makes any sense.

Just commented on a letter to the editor at the Tacoma News Tribune site, and read a bit there.
Is that all I have in me, right now, at 8:48, the night before a trip. Maybe.

Listening to the faint sounds of the road the night before a trip.
Not wanting to sleep.

Even though I have everything ready, even breakfast for tomorrow and the next day . . . ready to be packed up and eaten after the plane trip, cocoa muffins fresh out of the oven. They smell delicious and yet, they aren't really tempting. There is something about packing, cooking, preparing and generally running around my house like a madwoman that doesn't leave room for any hunger, or craving.

Well . . . a craving for a cup of tea, a small wish that I had time to pick all the blackberries and can them before 8am tomorrow . . . but that's not going to happen. I'll pick some for breakfast when I get up, and have to leave the rest for the birds. And my parents, in-laws and all those who stop by my house to help with the dogs, or pick up their lost goggles, will just have to pick many, many blackberries.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fast Flash

woohoo! One story written and submitted today!!!

It's a little arrogant, and slightly crazy to submit a story I've just written, just as in the last 40 minutes, but sometimes I've found success that way. Somtimes my rough drafts are so rough they are painful, and sometimes I over-edit perfectly good writing.

Hopefully this time, the writing is good enough for publication, and the online site I submitted to won't say, "what is this garbage she sent us?"

So I flashed a flash fiction piece to a flash fiction site, and who knows, they might just flash me back with a "yes." That would be great.

However it turns out, I succeeded in getting some writing done today. And I'm excited about that!

Now, I have housework - bluck!

hard work, hope and perseverance

Hard work, hope, and perseverance. These three elements are key to getting anything done.

Today, I haven't put in my hard work yet for my writing. When will I make the time? After my next segment of hard work on cleaning and packing. Sigh. It always seems like there is something.

Today though, it seemed like I needed a little hope to get started. And I found it . . . slowly, after searching through some of the usual spots I find it like at everydaypoets and everydayfiction, and mindflights, flash fiction online, and the Tacoma News Tribune. And my Bible.

All those are good places for hope and inspiration to drive me through the hard work with some perseverance. And yet, I found myself stalling. So I searched out my own story at mindflights.com in the archives, and re-read it. Dragon Fold is actually pretty good. I know that sounds like bragging, but I was starting to doubt my writing ability, and sometimes I have to read something that's been published to realize, "ok, I can do this."

So now for the hard work. I think I can spare at least twenty minutes before I start anymore housework, or packing.

Twenty minutes isn't very hard at all, if I do twenty now, twenty later, and twenty tonight, I'll have my hour minimum in. Sometimes making those kinds of adjustments is what perseverance is all about. Getting it done with all of life crowding for a spot at the timetable.
So here goes . . . another story like Dragon Fold, I hope.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scriptures from my daily Bible Study

Genesis 23:17 "So Ephron's field in Machpelah near Mamre - both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field - was deeded to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 27:4 "One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life."

Psalm 27:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors."

Psalm 27:13-14 "I am still confident of this:
I will see good nes of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord."

Isaiah 26:1-4 "In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."

Isaiah 26:9 "My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.
"When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness."

Matthew 14: 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"real" characters

Sometimes people are real characters, and sometimes we get the chance to read "real" characters . . . characters that seem so real that we laugh with them, cry with them, and feel as if we are living their life alongside them, even though they have no life off the page and outside of our minds.

Ender Wiggen, the main character of Ender's Game, and Ender In Exile, as well as Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and one last title I don't remember and I didn't like, has been a "real" character like that for me.

I wonder, why do I relate to a genius child, manipulated to destroy an entire species of alien life, who also happens to be a talented leader and savior of three, or is it four, alien species. I'm not a genius, and I'm not a talented leader. However, Orson Scott Card writes the Ender character so well, that I feel as if I'm there in his head and in his world. The characters, even the non-Ender characters, come alive on the pages, and I care for them as I read of them.

I wish I could write like that.

I wish I could write "real" characters that readers would care about so much that they could laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of their seats with them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

empty chain

An empty chain around my neck this morning reminds me that I am empty without the cross of Christ in my life.
I am empty without the salvation that comes only from the Lord.

And yet, I can't seem to keep a cross necklace intact for more than a year or two.
This time, it only took a day and a half for me to lose the beautiful cross that my daughters gave me for my birthday. I was saddened, and frustrated with myself.

I wonder now, if this is how God feels when I lose sight of the cross of Christ.

Thankfully, God's mercies are new every day, every moment when I turn to him.

Thankfully, my husband found my birthday cross at the bottom of the shower this morning. Tonight, he is going to sauder the cross onto my necklace, in the hopes that it will be a while before I break this one . . . at least a year or two I hope. I never take them off, which means I wear them through every situation - exercise, swimming, sleeping, gardening - I broke my last cross while watering my mom's plants . . . I'm enthusiastic about everything I do, I guess.

Today, refines and mends my heart with His cross of salvation, and I hope I won't lose sight of Him for the rest of eternity. I hope to be clothed in His mercy each day, and wear it through every situation with enthusiasm.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rejection Letter Rant

Rejection letters suck!

I know I'm supposed to be "mature" and intellectual about the whole thing.
I know I shouldn't take it personally.
However, getting a story or poem rejected still just sucks.
Even when I plan on taking that story and re-submitting it to a different market.
Even when I've had some success.
Even when they rejection letter is polite.

Reading a rejection letter first thing in the morning is a bad idea.
Except, from here there is nowhere but up.

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

competition, dog vomit and thankfulness???!

Competition, Dog vomit, and thankfulness??? Strange combination I know, but here's how it goes . . . waking up before my husband (woohoo - I won! :-)), ironing his clothes (happy that they are mostly wrinkle free), and turning to find my dog vomiting on the floor (ick!). For some reason, that verse "Rejoice in the Lord Always!" rang through my head, and all I could think for a moment was, "rejoice, now???!"

But as I controlled my gag reflex through years of training (kids diapers and noses, post-surgery nausea, etc), I found myself incredibly thankful for paper towels. Paper Towels! Today I am incredibly thankful for the invention of paper towels! And plastic grocery store bags in which I can throw away horribly disgusting materials.

So I found myself rejoicing at these mundane, everyday items, and then being thankful for the new flooring downstairs - pergo is much easier to clean up than 70's shag carpet. And Thankful for my husband and all the hard work he does putting in the new flooring, and working so hard at his job as a supervising engineer. God has seriously blessed me!

I can rejoice that no matter the circumstances, Christ is my Savior.
I can rejoice that I live in an amazingly blessed country. We don't deserve it, but we are one of the wealthiest nations on the planet.
I can rejoice that my life is incredibly easy most of the time.
I can rejoice that my husband has a good job in an economically hard time.
I can rejoice that my kids are healthy and happy. Food allergies are no big deal compared to illness.
I can rejoice that my family is wonderful and my friends are amazing.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
and
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, August 3, 2009

chayil

"The Hebrew word that is translated as 'virtuous' is chayil. The New American Standard Bible translates chayil as excellence, while The Brown Driver Brigg's definition uses terms like strength, ability, efficiency, and force. Chayil is what God calls a woman that has her act together. 'She is chayil,' says the writer who pens the description in Proverbs 31:10 that becomes the epitome of defining Christian virtue in feminine form. This woman is a star. She is an absolute ten! She is simply chic. No, better yet, she is chayil! She is full of strength and wisdom, she has the force of an army!" - T.D. Jakes in The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord

"if every girl could see her beauty, we would be an army" - Superchick So Beautiful lyrics

Proverbs 31:10 (NIV) "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." (the noble character part is where chayil has been translated)

Antidotes, and other quotes from T.D. Jakes

I wish I had something brilliant of my own to say today, but since I don't . . . here's another quote from that same book by T.D. Jakes.

"Talk to the doctor, and he will tell you that the inoculation is made from the infection. The antidote is made from the venom. That same principle is true about ministering to people. The best people to help others are not those who studied life in a book. It is those who lived it. You will never be healed until you use your pain to heal someone else. Ministry gives purpose to pain."

And another one on the same topic: "To offer away what you want is a principle of scripture. The thing that you need the most is the thing that you give. It will come back to you mulitiplied. You may be hurting now, but the best remedy is the give the comfort you never received."

In a very small way, I was able to do this in a children's message about forgiveness many years ago. My own struggle to forgive past bullies gave me a launching pad for sharing how forgiveness is the only way to a whole heart with a bunch of elementary kids, some of whom were dealing with bullies at school just like I had. Ministry does give purpose to pain, but I have to say that it must be done with care.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

quote from T.D. Jakes

Writing spot, "thoughtful spot", book review area . . . it's all here along with some ramblings that I can't keep stuck in my head.

Reading T.D. Jakes' The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord has been interesting and insightful. The title sounds like something off the bestselling smut shelf, but it's not.

Here's a quote from my bit of reading today:

"You are a precious commodity. You are the cure to the crises. I know you say, 'How can I be the cure when I myself am hurting?' Look at Jesus. He was giving life when He was dying. He healed the pained because of His pain. He was wounded for our transgressions. Could it be that you went through all you have so you could help someone else? There is no way to alter the past, but there is a way to benefit from it."