I’m a Writer!

Well, I still haven’t figured out how to make my new blog, Distractifying.com do what I want, sonfor now I’ll just have to post here.

My novelette, The Barbeque, has officially made me a writer. I got my first official rejection letter. So I now feel official – I AM A WRITER! However, my next goal is to become a PAID writer!

I have three stories in two publications. Paulie and Talitha I’ve mentioned before. They are in a book called “Reasons For Hope: Speculative Fiction and Poetry” by The Writing Journey. It can be found on Amazon.

The most recent acceptance is a story called Sunday Morning that has been recently published in, “Gleam: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2019.” It is available for purchase at:

http://www.clarendonhousebooks.com/anthologies

While there is no pay for this, but it is another feather in my writing cap. And, while I don’t know the details yet, there is a contest involved with this publication. As soon as I know details, I will let you know. Voting happens for each Clarendon House publication. The author that garners the most votes wins a contract for a future, paying, book. I’ll let you know when I learn how voting works.

Competition will be stiff for this. Not only are there many well crafted stories in this anthology, but there are some well established writers with large readership as well. No matter what happens, it is a privledge to be placed in a publication with such talented writers. It only whets my appetite for more.

With that said, I’m going to send this on it’s way, and get back to work! Have a great day!

Final Apology

So many time, in so many ways, I’ve apologized for having so many long gaps of time between writings. Each time I’ve tried to change, it has ended in failure. Of course, there’s always the possibility that I will change. I’m working on it again.

I’m working on changing many things in my life right now. And I’m actually being fairly aggressive about it. I’ve been writing on the regular for a couple months now. I mean writing things other than journal. Like actual, “real” writing. “They” say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit, and ninety days to turn it into a lifestyle. I’m about two thirds of the way to a lifestyle as a writer, and I’m enjoying it.

In the past I’ve allowed things to get in my way. This time I’m not. I’m seriously striving to create a lifestyle as a writer.

I had two stories published in an Anthology last year. The stories, Talitha, (my favorite), and Paulie, (good, but not as good as Talitha as far as I’m concerned), are in “Reasons For Hope: Speculative Fiction and Poetry” by The Writing Journey and edited by Tim Yao. It’s available on Amazon if you want to buy it. (Shameless plug!!) There are many good stories by many good writers. But when I saw my name in print, I knew I wanted more. Yet still I just dabbled.

In June of this year, in the midst of the hubbub of the busiest month at my j.o.b. I saw a facebook meme. I wish I could remember exactly what it said, because it’s changing my life. It had to do with focus, something I’ve struggled with for my entire life. It stressed that you have one thing that you are meant for, and you need to focus on that one thing. I believe, however, that there can be subsets, so to speak. Or, to put it another way, I hedged. I have more than one thing.

There will always be Jesus. He is my One and Only. And in spite of another near miss of a mission trip to Kenya, I still believe that I shall be a missionary in my future. But I also know that I AM a writer! Not, want to be, or will be in the future, but I AM a writer.

So, I have renewed my focus. I have a flash fiction piece and a novelette submitted to publishing houses for inclusion in anthologies. I’m hoping to hear something soon. I’ve also been involved in research to FINALLY continue my Ephesians study. And I’m looking forward to November and NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I intend to finish my novel by the end of November, if not sooner.

Most of my off time, now, is spent writing or researching. I’ve looked up more stuff on Google in the last month than in the last two years combined. I’ve wondered what people would think if they looked a the history of Google searches by a writer, especially a mystery or horror writer’s history. 🙂

All this is to say that I will not be apologizing again. I’ll either stay focused, and write, or I won’t. You will either get new content, or you won’t. Also, soon, you will be able to read more from me on Distractifying.com. (As soon as I figure out how to get it up and running.) I’ll post something here when it launches. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I get distracted easily. Distractifying will be a way to use those distractions to continue writing. I look forward to turning it all into production.

Thank you for supporting me and not giving up as I’ve gone through so many changes, yet stayed the same. Here’s to enjoying the next months and years of shared words!

Sorry I’m Sorry

I’m sitting here on the couch, enjoying a day off, and being a total slug after being up late on Friday night. I get a notification on my phone. I’m excited because it’s another like of my latest post on Ephesians 1:1- 2. I go back to look at how many likes other posts have gotten. I’m even more excited that the Ephesians 1:1- 2 post has double the number of likes of any other post.

But then …

For 3 years now, I’ve been apologizing for having so much time between posts. I need to stop leading with apology and expressions of sorrow. I’m sorry, but I’m done! (Yeah, sorry again, but I really couldn’t help that one, or this one, for that matter. But really, I’m done now.) Far too many people use the phrase “It is what it is,” but it really is. Sometimes there’s not much else that can be said.

Moving forward, I’ll write what I write, and you’ll like it or not. I’ll write it and post it whenever it gets written and posted. And I’ll learn to deal with it. It’ll be okay.

Thank you.

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, it’s been quite a while since I wrote. And as you discovered last week, the main reason is, I’ve been struggling. It’s been a really rough year. And it’s been an all over struggle, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, with a little bit of financial struggle thrown in for fun. But I’m on my way back. There’s still a long way to go, but there are improvements in all areas and I’m on a definite upswing.

One of the things I’ve struggled with, not just over the last year, but throughout the life of this blog, is writing on a regular basis. One of the reasons, I believe, is not having a clear cut purpose for this blog. Well, that is changed. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again here, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” And I mean that literally, figuratively, and humorously as well, since every time I think or write that line actually sing it out. What I mean is, while I’ve tried using the blog simply to complete assignments for classes, or to showcase some of my writing, both of which will continue on occasion,  I have not had a clear purpose. It’s all been sort of thrown together whenever I’ve gotten around to doing something. Sure, there was purpose to the writings for my classes, but nothing ongoing, continuing – habit forming. And that’s what I believe I need right now, something habit forming.

So, there is now a theme to this blog. I’ve been trying to figure out how to combine some of the things I’ve been trying to do. Part of my physical struggle has been due to stress from trying to do too much. But I believed, and still believe, that each of the “too many” things I’ve been trying to do are things that I really am supposed to be doing. I’m now figuring out how to combine some of the things to be able to do the God assigned tasks yet still reduce my stress level. Pray for me that I am successful.

So, the new theme for the blog is going to be the youth Bible study that I had been doing. The biggest difference, as far as I’m concerned, is that it’s available to everyone. I’ll be posting every week, sometime on Sunday. And, yes, I have several posts banked already in case life gets in the way again. The other writing things may still happen, the school assignments, the occasional short story, but the primary commitment is at least one Bible study per week.

There will be a Scripture memory verse and a few questions for discussion or reflection. And, the biggie! A read the Bible in a year plan. Who’s with me? When was the last time you read every day? It’s really not all that bad. Yes, it requires discipline, but if we are going to be disciples of Jesus, we need to be disciplined. Keith Moore of Faith Life Church in Branson, Missouri says we need to discipline ourselves like Olympic athletes. Yes, that’s a LOT of discipline, but it really is worth it. The sense of accomplishment alone is worth the effort, but the better benefit is getting the Word inside you. You need to keep filling yourself with the Word until it starts spilling out of your mouth.

I know this intimidates many of you, especially the students. How are you going to get all this reading done in the middle of the school year when all of your teachers are acting like their’s is the only class you have, and they all schedule tests on the same day? Start now! Over the summer, get in the habit. It may seem like a lot of reading, but it’s really not all that much. Put down your phone and pick up the actual Book, and read for 20 minutes a day. I say again, it really is worth the time investment.

I’m using the reading plan at the back of my ESV Bible that I use for travel. There are readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, and the New Testament. You can use whatever plan you want, just be in the Word. Also, if you are following the plan, but the LORD arrests your attention on a particular passage, by all means, stay there. Don’t move on because the plan says you should if God is telling you to tarry for a while. The main thing to remember is that this is all about relationship. If a passage strikes you straight in the heart, dwell there with Jesus until you get things worked out. Read to learn, read to grow, read to become more like Jesus. Just remember, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16- 17).

So I hope you’ll join me on this journey, not just through the Bible, but through the studies, and my adventure to grow in obedience to form a regular habit of writing and study. I’m excited to see what the LORD has in store, and to learn and grow with you.

The first memory verse is the verse above, 2 Timothy 3:16- 17. It seems as good a place as any to start.

READING PLAN
Day 1 : Gen 1- 2 Matt 1- 2 Psalm 1
Day 2 : Gen 3- 4 Matt 3- 4 Psalm 2
Day 3 : Gen 5- 6 Matt 5 Psalm 3
Day 4 : Gen 7- 8 Matt 6 Psalm 4
Day 5 : Gen 9- 10 Matt 7 Psalm 5
Day 6 : Gen 11- 12 Matt 8 Psalm 6
Day 7 : Gen 13- 15 Matt 9 Psalm 7

I Wrote Something

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I needed to start writing more than just babbling complaints in my journal. Well, in an effort to find some prompts to help me do that, I found a Christian writers’ site, several actually. But one in particular has drawn my attention. They hold a weekly writing challenge. I entered. I’ve been trying to wait until I know how I did before posting my entry, but I just can’t wait anymore. Besides, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter how I do, that can be fodder for another post here. If I’m “short” of writing material, I should be seeking ways to create more.

The challenge puts out a topic each week. Once it hits, entries are accepted for one week. You must write new material, no using something you’ve already written. Length must be between 150 and 750 words. Those are the only criteria for entry. The first topic I wrote for is “I surrender all, (don’t write about the song).” So, here it is. My first ever official writing challenge entry. Hope you enjoy.

What Would You Do For Me?

“I surrender all.” I’ve said it dozens of times. Dozens upon dozens. Maybe even hundreds now. Each time there’s a call to the altar, I say it again. “I surrender all, LORD. I give it all to You. I’ll go anywhere You want. I’ll do anything You want. Just tell me.”

Yes, I’ll do whatever You want, LORD. Just don’t make me work with kids. I don’t like kids. They’re so . . . young and immature. Mission trip to Paraguay?!? Sure, I’ll go. I’ve never been out of the U.S., I don’t speak Spanish, I’ve not even been Christian for a year. Yeah, that’s way out of my comfort zone, but I’ll do it for You, God, as long as there are no children involved. By the way, what will we be doing?

Uh, what!!?? Vacation Bible School!? Isn’t that…? I love You and Your sense of humor. Let’s do this thing!!

Yes, I’ll do whatever You want, LORD. Just don’t make me work with kids. I don’t like kids. They’re so . . . young and rowdy. Mission trip to Haiti?!? Sure, I’ll go. I don’t know Creole and I’ve heard it’s a scary place full of voodoo and walking dead. It’s out of my comfort zone, but I’ll do it for You, God, as long as there are no children involved. By the way, what will we be doing?

Uh, what!!?? Helping out at any all girls orphanage, a children’s hospital and another orphanage for profoundly handicapped children? Say WHAT!??! Your sense of humor is out of this world, LORD. But I was blessed in Paraguay, so, let’s do this thing!

Yes, I’ll do whatever You want, LORD. Just don’t make me work with kids. I don’t like kids. They’re so . . . young and boisterous. Mission trip to Tanzania?! Sure, I’ll go. Isn’t that in Africa, the dark continent? I’ve never been half way around the world, I don’t speak Swahili, and I’m terrified of creepy, crawly, scary things. It’s out of my comfort zone, but I’ll do it for You, God, as long as there are no children involved. By the way, what will we be doing?

A feeding station for nearly 400 street children? Really? Anything else, like maybe something withOUT children? Yeah, like that, a destitute camp for adults. That’s much more up my alley. I can do that. But why is it that they are destitute? Oh, it’s really a leper colony, but it’s politically incorrect to call it that. That’s way outside my comfort zone. I am continually amazed at Your sense of humor, LORD. Let’s do this thing.

You’ve called me to work with the youth group at my church. You’ve called me to start a Bible study for teenagers. You’ve called me, a young in the LORD, white female, to teach pastors in India. You’ve called me to a medical mission in the war zone of Ukraine. Each time You call, I tell You, “I surrender all to You.” I’ve offered up my time, my money, my peace of mind, my safety, left my home, my family, my friends. I was even willing to give up my life if that became necessary. What more is there?

“Will you give up your dog for Me?”

In His Presence

So, 2 weeks ago I put it out here that I was going to be more consistent with my writing. And last week I did do my 2 hours of writing on Monday evening, I just didn’t do anything worth posting. But this Monday I wrote nothing. I thought about it, but I just couldn’t do it. I was busy.

Okay, back story. The weekend after I last posted, I went to a women’s conference. At least it was supposed to be a women’s conference. But God has had other plans, for the conference and events since its completion. And actually, completion isn’t exactly the right word. While the conference itself has concluded, the meetings continue. In fact, the meetings have continued every single day. The LORD is inviting us into His Presence. It’s an invitation to all who want to spend time with Him. So I’ve been going to the meetings. I’m going as much as I can, for as long as I can. And for that reason, I spent my writing time in His Presence, just being with Him.

So, last night, (Wednesday the 29th), I went, once again to His Presence. It was an amazingly peaceful time, warm and relaxing. It had been a very long, busy day at work, but in His Presence it all melted away. Incredible testimony was given, focusing on a certain Scripture. Then another speaker spoke on the same Scripture. And finally, Bonnie Chavda spoke, saying that Father had given her that same Scripture as well. Don’t ya just love it when Papa God confirms things by the word of two or three witnesses?

And what, you ask, is this Scripture that was so apropos? “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

And so we rested with Papa God, and I relaxed, and received the rest my soul so desperately needed. And I was not the only one who received what was needed. It was evident by the feel throughout the room that others also received. I love the kind of “carnage” the LORD brings in His presence, that of bodies resting all over the room. I love being a part of that carnage. And I am going to make an effort to participate in that type of carnage more often. And you can too. All you need to do is lay down and talk to Him. For some it’s easier with some gentle music. Some want silence. Just find your own place of peace with Him and He will give you rest, and He will talk to you, and you will learn from Him, and grow in relationship. And as you meet with Him and go deeper, He will go deeper with you. It only gets better.

Time Flies!

OK, folks, I thought that I’d be posting about once a week. And I still think I’ll get there, but this is harder to stick with than I thought. So far, it’s not about having something to write about. It’s about actually doing it! It’s about being in a position to get it done.

I have a whole post written, but I did it in the word processor on my tablet. I did it 2 weeks ago. And there it sits. My wifi went out at home, so I wrote in the processor while I could, figuring I’d get wifi back up and send it. But wifi isn’t back up. And I’m not sure how to fix it. So I figured I’d put it to a memory stick and copy it to the desk top. But no, the tablet is not recognizing the memory stick. (Yes, I dropped the tablet, but it didn’t hit hard!) So now I’m not sure what to do, so, just to keep something out there for you, to keep you all interested, and just to do SOMETHING!, I’m writing this drivel and actually enjoying it. Hope you do too!

In the meantime, I’ve decided to schedule a regular time to write. I’ll be starting that next week, so I’m hoping you will see some good results from that. I’m blocking out 2 hours to write. I may make some adjustments to that as I see how things shake out. Some weeks may be more time, some less. Depends on what I’m writing and how much research it requires as well. So, for right now, I’m not telling you what day I have this time blocked out, so that if I don’t do it, you won’t be upset. And, as soon as I figure it out, I’ll get that other, completed post up. It’ll be worth the wait. It’s a good story!