February 20, 2017

Words, Words, Wonderful Words by Joylene M. Bailey



What is it that draws me to the page day after day?

It’s the words. 
Words, words, wonderful words.  
They provoke, twist, assuage, encourage, and roll off the tongue.

Ian Hanomansing anyone? 
Not the guy. The name. It’s the most roll-off-the-tonguish name ever!

Words like Pepito and pizzicato that make you think of tiptoeing across the floor.

Words that make you lisp, like Duluth and mythical.

Fun made up words like yertle and sneetches and fiffer-feffer-feff. (Thank you Dr. Suess).

My absolute favourite thing about writing is searching out the perfect word. Sometimes it takes 2 hours, but when I hit upon that just-right word, it’s like little firecrackers – sparklers – go off somewhere. It truly is a joy that comes from deep within. And I thank the Lord for words, words, wonderful words. 



It is a joy to me when I know that the Father is pleased, not only with what I’m creating, but that I’m creating at all. And the most joyous of times have been those rare moments when I sensed that the Father and I were co-writing. He giving the ideas and approving the work, me doing the actual hands-on work of researching, and choosing word after word after word.
Co-creating words of life.

And the satisfaction?
The first time I saw an article of mine in a distinguished magazine and not a church or school newsletter, I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home. Before he even got halfway through the door I ran up to him, flashed the open magazine in front of his face and exclaimed, “This is ME!”

It’s a moment I will always remember.

But more than that, when I receive comments that my writing has meant something to someone, made them laugh, made them think, made them feel something, even prompted them to try something new; that my words have brought life in some way. That’s what brings me the most joy and satisfaction.



As I’ve been working on this blog post, an old Sunday-School hymn has been crooning in my head. Maybe you will remember it too.


WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE

1.     Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of life;
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty,
Teach me faith and duty:

Refrain:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

2.     Christ the blessed One, gives to all
Wonderful words of life;
Sinner, list to the loving call,
Wonderful words of life;
All so freely given,
Wooing us to heaven:

Refrain:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

3.     Sweetly echo the gospel call,
Wonderful words of life;
Offer pardon and peace to all,
Wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior,
Sanctify forever,

Refrain:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

If you are unfamiliar with the tune, you can find it here.


Words, words, wonderful words. May God continue to give us words of life to share with our world, as we fulfill our calling as His writers.


All above photos from pixabay.com




Joylene puts word after word after word together from her home in Edmonton. Find more of them at her blog, Scraps of Joy - a Joy infused view of the world.





February 19, 2017

Joyful Thoughts by Eunice Matchett



Joy is such a small word, yet, it is one that can be interpreted countless ways. Curious, I went to the experts for their input. Two definitions appeared in all my sources.

1. The emotion of great happiness.

2. Something or someone that provides a source of happiness.

Emotion of great happiness tells me nothing, so scrolled to the next definition. That provides a source of happiness switched on my brain light. I did a word search in my Bible. One verse seized my attention. Romans 15:13. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

This shows me that joy isn’t a degree of happiness, it is the source of happiness. Whereas happiness can be shallow, and only lasts for a season or just a few seconds, joy goes beyond emotion.

I liken happiness to eye candy. It is the emotion I first feel when I’m standing on the shore watching a flock of geese float from the sky and land on a shimmering lake. Being a witness to the moment evokes happiness. When I look deeper, I’m reminded of how God has equipped these majestic creatures with wings that carry them through the air and enables them to effortlessly land on the water. This fills me with joy, knowing that our omnipotent God has wonderfully provided for all living creatures.

Almost every morning I sit at my desk staring at a blank screen waiting for my thoughts to come out of a coma. When words finally flow from my mind into a beautiful paragraph, happiness gushes through me. The next paragraph takes hours to master, and the happiness ebbs. But knowing I’ve written something that will uplift my readers, my joy remains as a shield around my heart, not allowing anything to disrupt the peace within.

Joy is peace in a blizzard. A knowing that regardless of how difficult a situation is, it will pass, perhaps not in the way I think it should, but it will pass. It is a knowing that my God walks beside me preventing me from slipping. It is hope when no hope is in sight. Joy sustains all positive emotions and silences all others that try to mess with my confidence.


February 17, 2017

The weird love for writing - by Rohadi


“What do you love about writing?” This month’s writing prompt.

I had to think about this, and then think about it again, then think about it some more. But every time I tried to think about my ‘love’ for writing all that came up was how writing was/is work. Work that beckons me to participate most days. Work that I couldn’t live without, but work that requires constant struggle through resistance to complete. 

I don't always like my work.

Not only is writing work, but it’s also a part of me. I can't get away. It’s how I get my ideas out, and I don’t really have a choice in the matter. I either write something or become a discombobulated mess as ideas amass themselves in the limited space between my ears. 

Ah, the 'joys' of writing….

But then it dawns on me. If writing was an instant success where every word came naturally and perfectly, what would the point be? What kind of love measures itself on whimsy and ease? A love that’s fleeting, that’s what.

Most of us would know that the quality of love is rooted in its substantive essence. The choosing you have to do day, by day, by day, to love. This is why even on those days you don’t like to write, you still love writing. Then one day, sometimes by chance or miracle, the love offering of words produces the reward—the book, the perfect sonnet, beautiful paragraphs…. 

It's why we keep returning, we choose to love writing. An odd kind of love, no doubt, since I may need writing, but writing doesn’t need me. 

_________

Connect with Rohadi on his website, and check out his adult colouring book.

February 16, 2017

The Transformative Power of Writing by Nina Faye Morey


Writing has transformative power for both the writer and the reader. As a writer, there’s nothing I enjoy more than the process of putting my thoughts down on paper. When I give free range to my imagination, I’m often surprised where it leads. You see, I’m more of a “pantser” than a “plotter.” When a story pops into my head, I don’t immediately start outlining it on paper. I might jot down a few notes as ideas occur to me, but that’s it. I usually just meditate on it for some time before I actually begin to write.

However, when I sit down at my computer to commence writing, I often find that, unbeknownst to me, someone has erected some sharp detours on my mind map that cause me to take a more circuitous route to my final destination. I encounter a number of interesting sightseeing spots and other inspiring places that I hadn’t anticipated along the way. These provide me with a lot of material and different perspectives on the territory I’m covering. By the time I get to my journey’s end, I discover that it’s nowhere near where I thought it was in the first place. It’s times like these I truly feel that my writing is a calling because I’ve somehow been intuitively led to my final goal by the Holy Spirit.

Once I get involved in writing a piece, my words normally flow freely onto the page. I find myself totally “in the zone” and become completely absorbed in the process. I lose all awareness of the activity around me and the passage of time. That doesn’t just happen when I’m writing about a topic that’s lighthearted or joyful. It also occurs when I feel drawn to my computer to tap out a piece on a troublesome or traumatic topic.

This all circles back to the feeling that my writing is a calling. Why would I be motivated to tackle distressing topics other than out of a desire to minister to my readers? Why else would I hive off hunks of my heart and soul and cast them out there for the entire world to devour? That’s one of the risks I have to take if I truly feel that my writing is a calling to contribute something to the world that exists outside of my little writing room.

So it’s all tied in to how I view my relationship with my readers. As a writer, I want to connect with my readers. I want them to know that they are not alone out there. I hope to offer them a perspective on their joys and sorrows that they might not encounter elsewhere. As a Christian writer, I hope to shine a new light on whatever is happening in their lives by offering them a biblical frame of reference. Perhaps when they close that magazine or book on my story, they will come away with a different perception of their world. Maybe they’ll share my work with someone close to them who can benefit from my message. Being able to convey some Christian insights into the issues they are dealing with through my gift of writing gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and joy.

For me, writing is a labour of love. The longer I write, the greater my sense of being “tuned in” to the Holy Spirit. It gladdens my heart to be able to spread God’s Word through my words and know that this creative act has the power to transform someone’s life.

February 15, 2017

Joy - The Flip Side by Tracy Krauss

How is writing a joy?

There have been some thought provoking, and just plain beautiful posts this month on the topic.
When I sat down to write this post I wondered how I could possibly add to the conversation. I decided to share three sure fire ways to kill your joy and then contrast them with three ways to increase it.

In the infamous words of Papa Berenstein, 'This is what you should NOT do, so let this be a lesson to you."

J - Jealousy.  Nothing kills your writing joy faster than that old green eyed monster. Just when you start feeling good about yourself or your accomplishments, someone else is bound to come along and show you up. No human being is immune, but as writers this can creep up unexpectedly. How easy it is to feel envious of that person who signs with a well known agent or gets a lucrative book contract. What about that self published author who is now raking in a six figure income while I'm still slaving at my day job? Why do other people have so many five star reviews? How come that person's book is winning awards and garnering praise ... You get it. We all feel just a weeny bit jealous at times, but as soon as you feel that first inkling - snuff it out! Celebrate other people's successes, but never allow yourself to play the 'comparison' game. You'll lose every time.

Proverbs 27: 4 - Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? 

O - Offence. Taking offence hurts you more than the person who offended you in the first place. It's like a bitter root that takes hold and pretty soon it can consume your life. Meanwhile, the person who has offended you often doesn't even know that they've done something wrong. After all, people are people and we all make mistakes; we say things without thinking, or make errors of omission without meaning to hurt anyone. We've all felt like telling others to 'lighten up' at times, but yet, when our own sense of entitlement is stepped on, we are quick to take offence. As writers, we need to learn to take constructive criticism without getting offended. Not everyone is going to love us or our writing. If you get a bad review, for instance, shake it off quickly, for there is nothing like an offended spirit to steal your joy away.

Proverbs 18:19 - A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

Y - Yearning. Okay, maybe I'm stretching it a bit in my quest to find a 'Y' word, but I think I can make this work. Yearning in its negative connotation is similar to envy, but it is different in that its object is directed more at 'what I don't have' than at 'what someone else has'. We don't need to be jealous of someone else in order to yearn for something. It speaks of a deeply rooted discontent - currently an  epidemic in today's society. True satisfaction comes in knowing who you are, not in how much stuff you have. When we yearn for what we don't have we cannot possibly also have joy. From a writer's perspective, this could be anything from a published book, greater recognition, more sales, or even just more time to write. Be thankful for what you have NOW, at this moment, instead of always looking to the grass on the other side of the fence.

Hebrews 13:5b - Be content with what you have,  for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

On the positive side, I like the old children's Sunday School song that says joy comes from putting things in this order: Jesus, Others, You. Jesus needs to be the King over my writing. Then I need to think about others and how my words may affect them. Lastly, I can take pleasure in writing what I feel the Lord has given me to write - without comparison, jealousy, taking offence, or yearning for something different.

That's real writing JOY!

________________________
Tracy Krauss takes a lot of pleasure in writing from her home in northern BC where she also teaches high school Drama, Art and English. She is currently serving as inscribe's Vice President and finds joy in serving this wonderful organization in that capacity, too.

Website: tracykrauss.com "fiction on the edge without crossing the line"

February 14, 2017

The joy of words - Ruth L. Snyder


I will always remember the day I understood how the squiggles on a page translated into words that told a story. A whole new world opened up to me that day!

As a young child, I lived in South Africa with my parents who served as missionaries. My father worked as a printer. I loved visiting the print shop and watching the paper fly through the machines. My Dad showed me how he set the type and checked the ink. It was fascinating. This was when I first fell in love with the smell of paper.

Around the same time, I started to pay more attention to the letters my mother read to us. Letters from people far away. I learned about my paternal grandparents who lived in Canada, where my grandfather also worked in a print shop. Letters from my maternal grandparents in the United States were full of descriptions of family adventures and funny family nicknames like Uncle Snort and Uncle Bub.


When I learned to print, my Mom encouraged me to write thank you cards and letters. My sister and I used to set up desks and play school and office. I also remember signing my letters, "Praying for you." Several months later my paternal grandmother thanked me for my prayers.

Stories were immensely enjoyable to me. I looked forward to the mobile library that visited our village. Not only did I learn life lessons, but I also experienced different places around the world through the eyes of many different authors.

A few years later, my siblings and I attended school five hundred miles from where my parents were stationed. Weekly letters were the only connection I had to my parents. I worked hard to describe interesting events and people and appreciated when my parents did the same. Each letter was a treasure.

In high school in Three Hills, Alberta, I had the privilege of working on a school newsletter as reporter and layout editor. I remember exploring events from different perspectives, including that of a mouse. Language Arts was one of my favourite subjects. My sister and I stayed with our paternal grandparents for one year during high school. We would visit the print shop where I observed my grandfather proofreading a book with one of his fellow printers by reading the words, letters, and punctuation out loud. That year I also served on the yearbook committee and received training in layout and font styles. At that time the layout was all done manually with actual pictures and type.

During my Bible College years I enjoyed being an administrative assistant for one of the professors. He taught me the difference between using a typewriter and entering information on a computer. When he noticed my ability to produce well-formatted documents which contained no spelling errors, he recommended me for a summer job producing syllabi.



After Bible College I worked in the Prairie Bookstore in customer service and then became assistant manager. Along with lessons in stock control, specialty orders, and placing orders through major distributors, the manager taught us many life lessons. During this time my mom encouraged me to take a writing aptitude test from the Institute of Children's Literature. I was delighted to be able to study article writing with a published author. Later that year I met Sigmund Brouwer when he did a book signing in our store.

As I look back, I am amazed at how God prepared me for what I am doing today:

  • Writing articles, devotionals, blog posts, copy, short stories, and books
  • Working as a layout editor for a quarterly newsletter as well as formatting my own and other people's books and book covers
  • Coaching other writers so that they can share the messages God has laid on their hearts
How thankful I am for the joy of words! What do you enjoy about words, reading or writing?


Ruth L. Snyder spent the first ten years of her life in southern Africa where her parents served as missionaries. In 1977, her family moved to Three Hills, Alberta. She now resides close to Glendon with her husband and five children. 

For more information about coaching or publishing visit http://ruthlsnyder.com

 

February 13, 2017

Did You Fact Check That? By T. L. Wiens



How much time does a writer spend researching while writing a manuscript? How many times do they get a manuscript edited before publishing? One study I looked at said the average fiction manuscript gets read through about thirty-five times before it gets published. Non-fiction averaged about fifteen reads. A lot of time and effort go into getting a good finished product.

Did you know that every book in the New Testament with the exception of Philemon warns about falsehoods coming into the lives of believers?


Matthew 7:15
Mark 12:24-27
Luke 6:26
John 8:41-44
Acts 20:28-30
Romans 16:17-18
1 Corinthians 3:3-9
2 Corinthians 11: 12-13
Galatians 2:3-4
Ephesians 4:14
Philippians 3:2
Colossians 2:8
1 Thessalonians 3:5
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
1 Timothy 4:1-3
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Titus 1:9-11
Philemon
Hebrews 13:9
James 5:19-20
1 Peter 5:8
2 Peter 2:1
1 John 4:1
2 John 1:9-11
3 John 1:9-10
Jude 1:4
Revelations 2



This is far from a comprehensive list and yet it’s not a subject I’ve heard much preaching on in comparison to the emphasis God put on it. In fact, I’ve heard more sermons on passages where there is only one point of reference in scripture on the matter.

We need to be diligent in our faith, making sure our theology is on track. That means checking our sources. Is the translation of the Bible you use accurate? Is your minister preaching truth? What does your denomination believe?

You put the work into a manuscript to get a good end result. Is not your eternal destiny worth the same amount of effort?


February 12, 2017

My Joy In Writing - Guest Post by Brenda Leyland


 Carli Jean / unsplash.com

"The work for which we are fitted—which we are sent into this world to do—what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds!" L.M. Montgomery, Selected Journal, Volume II, May 23, 1910

With pleasure, I accepted Sandi Somers' invitation to explore the joys that come from writing. What a delightful exercise it has been to discover exactly what it is that makes me happy when I write.

To do one's work well, a person needs to be fitted for the task. It turns out I am physically and mentally suited for writing. There is an overall sense of living in one's own shoes when I write -- the whole situation of writing fits comfortably and naturally -- which certainly increases my enjoyment of the process. Since a child, I prefer sitting, reading, or bending my head over a project at my desk to more physical activities. My nature tends not to be the restless sort, so I can sit quietly for hours on end and be content. Although I prefer a more sedentary lifestyle, it's not about being lazy. I actually start to feel frayed and edgy in my soul if I must be ever on the run with this activity or the next. Sitting around thinking and daydreaming is a good quirk to have if one wants to write, and I certainly have it.

My psyche is wired for writing. They say writing is a lonely business and that a writer must withdraw from society if she is to get any writing done. Truth of the matter, solitude suits me; it is my joy to while away hours with my own thoughts and ideas, listening for His input, delighting when our thoughts meld. I freely admit I anticipate the time my dear husband heads to the gym each morning; when the door closes behind him, I relish these completely alone times. Lest you think I'm a hermit, I am not; I do enjoy the company of others, including said husband, yet I'm perfectly happy being sequestered with my words and paper.

My relationship with my desk is an affair of the heart. One of my favourite spots in the house is my little office with its lovely antique table as a writing desk and the tiny 1960's kitchen table as my computer desk. There is something about walking into that space which fires up my creative spirit. As a girl, I loved having my own desk in school with its wooden drawer under the seat; I looked forward to coming home and seeing the little table waiting for me in my sunny upstairs bedroom; and I never tired of my corner office at work with its modern desk unit. Even when the job itself grew wearing, I'd still feel a leap of joy when I'd see my desk -- that place where I worked and wrote for my esteemed boss. To this day, my heart still does that same happy dance; it's at my desk where I feel the most grounded ... and in my right place.

The love of playing with words. American author Truman Capote once said that, for him, the greatest pleasure of writing was to hear 'the inner music the words made'. Oh yes, I can relate. Like a child who delights in playing with her toys, so too is the felicity of playing with words, honing and shaping sentences to capture with elegance what you desire your readers to see in their own mind's eye. When I work at stringing words together to share thoughts filled with life and hints of eternity, figuring out a beautifully turned phrase to surprise the mind like shooting stars ... and melt the heart like chocolate ... there is nothing more satisfying to the heart and soul of this writer.

Time stands still when I write. The other evening I sat down around 7:30 pm to work on a new blog post. Happily engaged in the process of writing a draft, finding suitable quotes, editing and loading photos, time went by. Glancing at the clock, thinking it would be around ten o’clock, surprised was I to learn it was nearly two o’clock in the morning! Completely absorbed, I had no awareness of time passing. It must be true -- time flies when you’re having fun.

"You should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on the mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten -- happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another." ~ Brenda Ueland, Author of If You Want to Write

There's a euphoria in pushing through the hard places. Every writer experiences those times in his or her work when it's just not working. You come to the spot where you want to throw your hands in the air and wail, 'Whose idea was this anyway?' But you come back to your senses, sit back down, and begin to chip-chip-chip away at the rock-hard resistance ... until you have a breakthrough. It's that sweet moment you wait for -- the frisson of excitement when the joy returns with its inexplicable thrilling up and down of the spine. One never forgets such a moment, and you remind yourself of it the next time you're tempted to quit.

The fullness of joy in The Assignment. Some years ago now, I used to pester the Lord about what he wanted me to write. I was certainly willing to write what he had in mind for me. Yet, so often I would hear his reply: “What’s in your heart?” I eventually realized there are times he invites me to go ahead and write what's bubbling in my own heart. And, when he has a special assignment for me to write, he will tell me. His assignments are ofttimes the most fulfilling, not to mention wondrous, because I love that I am, like Mother Teresa, a little pencil in His hand, working with Him to share a word that will encourage, comfort, or inspire. Whether it goes out as a letter, post, or article -- sometimes even as an entry for a writing contest -- when the words are finally ready to write, out they spill like liquid gold, filled with God's life to bring light, hope, and grace to someone's life. It's writing at its sweetest and best.

* * * * *

The Lord gave me a promise many years ago as I sought to find his way for my life and the work I would undertake. Psalm 128:2 says, "For you shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; happy shall you be, and it shall be well with you." It is only now in this season of my life that I am, more than ever, seeing the real fulfilment of those words. This writing work for which I am fitted by His grace -- and sent into this world to do -- what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds. 




Brenda C Leyland, now retired completely from the workforce, spends more time writing at her desk. Ever on the lookout for 'glimpses of heaven in unexpected places', she blogs about her life at It's A Beautiful Life, and works away on various small and even one monumental writing project which she hopes will eventually turn into something bookish.

February 10, 2017

Ode to a Writer's Joy by Sharon Espeseth


Read God's Word in a Quiet Place
Photo Credit: Unknown/free

"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest," Jesus tells his disciples. Travelling two by two, the men had travelled through surrounding villages preaching repentance, driving out demons, anointing and healing the sick.

The disciples, anxious to tell Jesus their many experiences, needed undisturbed time with their Master. The people, seeing Jesus, ran to the other side of the lake and were there when the boat arrived.

When Jesus saw this huge crowd, he had compassion on them, "because they were like sheep without a shepherd." Instead of turning them away, Jesus began teaching them.



Please. . . .



As writers, we also seek quiet, but often we can't get away from the phone, online messages, meetings, and the needs of other people. Sometimes, we feel more harried than joyful, and, in all honesty, this is what I am feeling as I begin this blog. Rushed. Jittery. Frustrated.

Dear Lord, I pray that you will fill me with your love, joy and peace. Guide me and give me wisdom in setting priorities. May your love and grace abide in my heart as I turn my planning over to you. Instead of attempting to meet everyone's needs, help me show compassion for them, but remind me to impress on them that only you can meet all their needs.

First I pray. Then, applying "bum glue" to my chair, I sit down in my office. As words appear on my screen, I become, not joyful, but calm. I enjoy this time to write.

First, why do I write? Upon arising this morning, my husband asked me this very question.

Because I enjoy writing. I write because it helps me figure things out. (Like right now.)
Because this is a way I can share my faith and what I am learning about life.
Because I have stories and ideas inside me.
To give glory to God.
Because God has blessed some/all? of my writing to certain individuals. Readers responses encourage my doubting spirit.

What hinders my writing?

Distractions, committing to more than I can handle, procrastinating, over-helping and trying to fix people, not discussing specific situations with the Master Planner.

Should I quit writing? 

Funny you should ask, because I just got some answers to that question. Can you recall one long road trip, someone said, let's say from Edmonton to Vancouver? Did you expect to make it the whole way without hitting any red lights?

If you've thought of quitting lately, you must read "Go Ahead and Quit!" by Janice L. Dick. (See janicedick.wordpress.com)

Furthermore, "The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness (joy) in using it. (Goethe)

Am I a good enough writer? (Was Paul a good enough disciple?)

To hear Paul's thoughts on discouragement, read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. To hear his voice, read the passage in The Message. "If I had a mind to brag. . . but I'll spare you. . . , says Paul. "So I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations."

Three times Paul begged God to remove his handicap, but God told him
"My grace is enough; it's all you need.My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
Grasping this message, Paul says, "I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift." God's strength moved in on his weakness. "Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer," Paul says, and he let Christ take over! Paul concludes,  "The weaker I get, the stronger I become."

I have paraphrased Eugene H. Petersons's translation of the story, but I appreciate the entire passage.

How does my writing affect me?

Starting this blog, I admit I was none too joyful. Distractions overwhelmed me, but I prayed. A friend prayed that I wouldn't let Anyone steal my joy. Like Paul, I said, "There (is) no danger of walking around high and mighty!" Speaking to Jesus, I tapped into his strength and understanding. Humbled, I acknowledge my need of guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Dear Jesus, remind me regularly to tap into your strength and understanding in order to overcome my weakness. Thank you for cheering me up, for helping me get this blog written , and for my being able to end this Ode to a Writer's Joy on a higher note. Praise God. Amen. 


Ending on a Higher Note!
Free Musical Clip Art




February 09, 2017

Writing Blessings - Shirley S. Tye



When I was active with my story ministry, stories popped into my head easily.  When a group of people (ladies’ groups, nursing/seniors’ homes, churches, etc.) would invite me to speak, they’d tell me about their topic for the meeting.  And after praying about the subject, a story would pop into my head.  I’d see the story unfold in my mind like a mini movie. Once the story was down on paper, then the real fun began; tweaking it.  It always amazed me how the story improved just by rearranging sentences, changing a word here and there, omitting some words, or adding new ones. A thesaurus certainly came in handy. 

But sometimes ideas don’t flow easily. I sit in front of the computer screen with no imagination at all.  The white screen stares at me, defying me to mar its perfect surface. But when I start typing something, anything, it’s like grabbing a lump of play dough, rolling it around mindlessly with eyes closed and pulling at it.  When I open my eyes there’s a vague shape that resembles something; a person, an animal; a plant.  I look at it closely and begin molding, tearing little bits off, and adding more play dough, maybe even adding a different colour.  Soon the vague shape becomes a definite recognizable figure.  And it looks pretty good to me. 

That’s how some of my writing goes; from a blank page sprinkled with a few words to a crafted story that pleases me.  If I force the words out, hammering them onto the page, the story sounds…well…stiff, unnatural, phoney.  And I’m not happy with the end result.  Other times, I’m pleasantly surprised what I’ve written.  Did I write that?  Oh, that couldn’t have been me!  Certainly not!  That must have been the Holy Spirit.  Awesome! There’s nothing more exciting than having the Holy Spirit speak!  What a blessing!