Monday, June 18, 2018

Go Back to the Well

Well

A poem I wrote years ago popped into my head the other day. It was about going back to the well and seeking the Lord, the great Creator. All the methods in the world to break writers block/discouragement can't compare to spending time with Him.

I believe with all my heart He called me to write. It hasn't been a easy road. From rejections to broken bones (elbow, wrist - just try writing when you're in a cast and your fingers look like sausages), the enemy has thrown everything possible in my path to sabotage that ministry.

You'd think after four published books and numerous devotionals and articles I'd be all set and have clear sailing. My experience has not followed that pattern. Other authors have also run into difficulties after publication: their publisher closes its doors, no one seems to want their next book, sales don't measure up to a publisher's expectations, etc.

All of this points to one key thing:

Without Him, we are nothing. It is by guarding our heart and mind and treasuring our relationship that infuses us with the strength, resilience, and the creativity we need no matter what our calling.

Even though nothing has changed in my circumstances (injuries as a result of falls and increased family responsibilities), keeping my focus on Him is top priority. The breakthrough will come. The answers will come.

Writers:  How do you stay plugged in to The Power Source?

Readers:  How do you keep the fire of your first love for the Lord burning even when life's challenges seem relentless?

Photo Credit:  Valentin Santarosa

Friday, June 15, 2018

Solitary Writers?/Setting/Testimony/Dena/Summer Activities

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1.  Tim Suddeth posts at The Write Conversation on, "Writers Shouldn't Write Alone." I skipped a writer's conference last year and realized how much I missed interacting with others on this journey. Tim reminded me of all the reasons I need to stay in touch.

2.  A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Love Finds You in Lahaina, Hawaii and raved about the author's use of setting and description. I just came across Lisa Hall-Wilson's post on, "3 Ways to Ramp Up Setting And Description With Subtext." She gives excellent examples and teaching on the subject.

3.  Testimonies increase our capacity to believe God for the miraculous. Breaking Christian News shared the story of a Gospel singer, who was healed of uterine cancer and then got pregnant with her son.

4.  Dena Netherton, at My Father's World,  My Father's Words, shares how words and reading affected her as a child. I always enjoy learning more about authors and bloggers.

5.  Whether you're a parent, grandparent, babysitter, or Sunday School teacher, it can be a challenge to keep kids occupied during the summer. The Activity Village, from the U.K. has some fun craft ideas to keep the little ones smiling.

Writers:  In what ways do you interact with other writers?

Readers:  What kinds of crafts do the children in your life enjoy? I always liked coloring. :)

Photo Credit:  Felipe (Aladim) Hadler


Monday, June 11, 2018

God, The Ultimate GPS

Barricada

As I traveled a familiar road toward home, a detour sign warned me it was closed. Uh-oh, it was a one-way street, and I couldn't backtrack. My only option was to follow the detour. Hitting the panic button would only hinder my progress. Instead, I prayed: "Lord, please help me find my way to the main thoroughfare."

The detour signs were confusing. I decided to make a left and ended up on a highway I didn't recognize. I again prayed, "Lord, please direct me."

Often we come across detours in life. They can be marked, "illness, injury, family problems, job loss, and many other things." As writers, the different path can come in the form of rejection, negative comments, and discouragement. How do we handle them? Do we react in fear or turn our focus on the One who is never lost?

My detour saga? Within a couple of minutes, an exit sign came up for the road I needed to reach. I didn't care if it was going in the right direction or not. I could always turn around. Sure enough, the road headed south instead of north. A simple course correction resulted in seeing landmarks assuring me I was on the way home.

We sometimes seek the Lord's guidance as a last resort. How about reversing that order? A detour doesn't have to be a disaster. It can be an opportunity to build our faith and trust in our loving God.

Writers and Readers:  Please share an experience or insight about handling those detour moments.

Photo Credit:  Cristian Jungwirth

Friday, June 8, 2018

Lessons/Write/Reunited/Devo/Old Blogs

Writing lessons 2


1.  Cindy Sproles talks about, "The Value to a Writer of Learning Difficult Lessons." I've had my share, and I'm sure you have as well.

2.  Jo Eberhardt posts at Writers Unboxed about the oft-repeated line, "Writers write." Her words encouraged me as I've been going through a season of caregiving, job demands, and just plain exhaustion.

3.  Breaking Christian News reports on the reuniting of a man with the woman who rescued him from certain death as a newborn.

4.  Lynn J. Simpson uses her photos of orchids to illustrate a beautiful devotion.

5.  Recently, the European Union's new privacy law went into effect. When reviewing my blog, I remembered I still had an old blog called, "Susie's Sandbox."

My computer guy asked  me if I wanted to delete it. Even though I hadn't posted since 2010, I couldn't bring myself to erase some sweet memories. I did turn off the comments, but thought some of you might want to visit. Maybe I'll do a whole blog post on the subject. :)

Writers and Readers: Do you have any blogs that are no longer active? Did you delete them or let them remain in cyberspace?

Photo Credit:  Edwin Pijpe


Monday, June 4, 2018

On My Nightstand - Love Finds You in Lahaina, Hawaii

Love Finds You in Lahaina, Hawaii by [Thoene, Bodie]


Sandi Smith flies to the exotic location of Lahaina, Hawaii, to interview an old woman who lived through the many changes in the islands. Her personal life on hold because her husband is Missing In Action in Vietnam, she seeks to be closer in case he's on a list of prisoners soon to be freed.

She becomes engrossed in the story of Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn, Crown Princess of Hawaii and the next royal heir to the throne. The tale of intrigue and betrayal helps keep her mind occupied as her own life seems to remain in limbo.

I borrowed this book from a friend. It's an old title, but I've always wanted to read something by Bodie Thoene. Wow!  I was impressed with the way the author described the settings. Woven seamlessly throughout the story, they could easily have been another character. I could see, smell, and hear the Hawaiian Islands and England.

The characters were as diverse as the settings. From ancient Auntie Hannah in the present day portion to the young princess, who desired the wisdom of Solomon to rule her people well, they each showed a level of growth and maturity.

I've  heard rave reviews about this author, and I can see why she's a favorite of readers. Five stars for this book.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher paid for a review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, as always.

Writers:  Crafting a great setting is a tough skill to master. Do you find it helpful to read books that get it right? Please share your experience.

Readers:  How important is a novel's setting to your overall reading experience? Please share.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Fresh Faces/Editing/Epidemic/Optimism/Summer Salad


Hot type


1.  Margie Lawson posts at Writers in the Storm about writing fresh faces and beyond the cold, hard stare. Even without her comments, the examples are enlightening. Don't miss this excellent article.

2.  If you're like me, the initial writing of an article or book is exciting. Editing - not so much. Eva Marie Everson posts at The Write Conversation and talks about the importance of the editing process and how it can turn your book into a bestseller.

3.  The addiction epidemic in this country affects every level of society. Breaking Christian News reports that Dr. Jerome Adams, the new Surgeon General, is tackling the problem by reaching out to law inforcement, the community, and churches.

4.  Helen Keller's story always inspires me. She accomplished so much even though she was blind and deaf. Beth Vogt posts at The Write Conversation about optimism.

5.  The official start of summer is still a few weeks away, but the warm weather makes a refreshing salad appealing. Check out this watermelon salad. Yes, I said, "watermelon." Allrecipes has many other examples, but this one caught my eye.

Writers and Readers:  What phrases do you see in books that seem worn and tired? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Andrew Beirle