A Taste of My Book

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Hello everyone! I would just like to share with you an excerpt from my book. Many of you don’t know about my book, but the best way to describe it is a cross between X-Men, Shoah, and modern society. It is not edited nor complete, but I just thought I would share.

From the main character:

The end of my freedom did not enter with cannons and guns in a blaze of glory. In fact, it was just like any other day in my life. It was a chilly November night when the fog rose out of the valleys thick as smoke, and the cars glistened in the mist as I drove home. It was quiet when the end of my freedom came. 

My freedom ended with a vote, a vote I had made, and I did not know the outcome of. The end of my freedom came with a pen and piece of paper. The end of my freedom came knocking into my dreams, and into my nightmares, it crept in silently. 

The end of my freedom was in a camp with barbwire high as the eye could see. I was starved and beaten because of my belief.

I’m in a camp now because the people of social media decided it was time for survival of the fittest. 

We lost our compassion and empathy for one another because the agenda was more important.

The end of my freedom was in the hands of my friends, family, and millions of strangers. They all dictated when the end of my freedom would come. The beginning was the end of my freedom. 

This is from a young adult novel I am in the process of writing. It is the first of many books to come out of my hands and on to a screen. I think most of you will enjoy it when it is finished.

I hope all of you are following your creative dreams. I hope you are giving yourself a real chance to be the person you were born to be. 

Okay, that is all I am going to share today, sorry it is short as I need to get back to writing, but I will ensure it is not the end for this character or the faith she comes to find in later chapters.

Improve Your Year by Picking a Word

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I am starting the New Year late. It is the first week I have started to feel like myself again after the holidays. Every year I have been very precise about planning out my goals for the new year. However, after deep reflection of my life over the last six weeks I have decided to change some things. I went through this last year and saw everything I had not gotten done for the year and with deep sadness, I was at a loss of how to proceed. 

I put so much pressure on myself to accomplish great things that when I end the year no seemingly closer to my goal, I wanted to hide. 

I picked myself up I decided that instead of doing all of these crazy goals for this year that I would just do two. Writing has really been a focus of mine for the last six months. I have been moving back into this passion after years of trying to resist it. 

My two goals are to 

1. Finish the novel I have been working on 

2. Send out some other work for publishing. 

I am excited to just try to do these two things for a busy year I have ahead. 

I have also chosen a word to help me keep focused this year. I did this last year as well to keep me going through a very tough year. It took me a while to think about what this word would be. I took quizzes online and listened to podcasts trying to figure what my word should be. Last year it had come so naturally to me, but this year it was a battle to come across the right one. 

This year it is abound. 

Now you might be thinking why not flourish, and I am right there with you, but for me this year it is abound. I was reading a book by Max Lucado Unshakeable Hope. There is was a the end of the book, “He wants us to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) 

It jumped off the page at me abound. I had been struggling so much this year with hope. I hope that I would get to keep my home, that I would be able to care for my daughter, that I would find someone special for me, and that I would amount to anything as a writer. I had been so beaten down especially in the family losses over the last couple of months I didn’t even know how to stand up anymore to have faith in this moment of my world crashing in. 

Most would put it off as me worrying too much and that I needed to have faith.

 Let go, Let God. 

Someone is coming. 

God will never leave you homeless. 

These were all phrases coming from the right hearts, but it didn’t give me any comfort at night when I was already to the point I had lost my hope. When too many bad things where sturring up so much pain in my life.

Let me tell you something, for me, I could not have faith until I had some hope. I can even think of when I first came to be a Christian it was because I finally started to have confidence that God really did love me for me before I believed wholeheartedly in Him. I spent the better part of last week filling myself up with God’s hope for my life and what difference it has made for me on the inside. 

I have decided to make this word abound or my overflow focus on God. Last year it was about getting through the year and this year I want to be basking in the presence of God. 

The top three reasons I chose to do a word again this year.

1. Helps me have focus not just on steps to make a goal but a feeling I want for the year.

2. They are more fun to me than a goal because I can play around with the definitions. 

3. It is easy to pair it with a quote or scripture for the year. 

I found out too when it is the background of my phone or cover on social media I see it more often, and it helps me keep my focus. 

Is picking a word for your year what you should do?  

I will leave it up to you. 

Is it too late to choose a word?

Never but just so you know sometimes the word chooses you.

Jump Into Writing

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This blog has been going on for a couple years now even though there is nothing left of it in its original form. It has been strange for me to talk to people I do not know and let them into my personal thoughts. I have had to overcome great amounts of fear to accomplish what I have thus far. 

Throughout these months I have carved out time to write and sometimes not as much time as I would like.  I had been continuously fighting the feelings of rejection and the thoughts that no one was really reading this anyway. I usually tell these feeling to shut up or get out. 

While in some ways it may be hurtful to think that no one would read it, I suppose I would understand there is so much to learn these days on the internet. I keep going through and keep pushing through because whether anyone reads this or not I have this blog is something I need to do.  I wanted to jump back into writing again. I really just enjoy talking on paper and to people if they are out there. There are so many things to be afraid of in this world why let a wounded ego be one of them.

In the time the characters have been on vacation in October I have been working on short stories. What is wrong with my characters? Nothing, they are beautiful I check on them from time to time. They have been on an extended vacation trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. We still go out for walks, but we have not spent a lot of time together, but we will be soon. 

The book I hope will be finished by the end of the month as I am doing NaNoWriMo again this year and hoping to reach 50,000 words at the end of the month. However, I have been working on short stories in the meantime just to see what it would be like and also outlining my novel to write in November, which it is now. 

When I was in college, I loved writing short stories because sometimes a novel seems like a daunting task. I am happy to say after hard work I have finally sent something in to see if it would be published. 

Does this mean I have an agent? No. 

Does this mean I have hit it big? No. 

Does this mean my work will be published? I have no idea, but I sure do hope so. 

It has taken me a long time to finally let something leave my hands for someone else to read. Even if my story is rejected I tired and I think I would like to keep trying.

I am glad to say I was actually totally calm about the whole situation. I am not really worried about it, and when I hear something, of course, I will tell you too. Until then, however, I am going to keep working on my writing because I want to be better than I am now. I want to look back on these blog posts someday and see how far I have come. I cannot look back until I had started and I keep going. I have decided to jump all into this part of my life. Though I have had to take some swimming lessons and practice a lot, I am not drowning in my fear like I was before. Please don’t let fear stop you from doing great things with your life. Your failures are not failing but lessons in how not to keep swimming.

Find Your Book

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So can I ask what the last book you read is? 

Be honest with me. I will not judge you. 

No, not an article on Facebook, or the last news report but a book. These things called books are now a foreign idea. 

These strange things called books have a beginning, middle, and end. These rectangular devices range in page number from around fifty pages and up. Books can be paperback or hardback. You can buy them at almost every store now you walk into. My favorite is just loaning them from the library these days.  

Even now with a couple clicks on your phone, you could have a digital book downloaded. (The digitals don’t smell the same as the originals though.) 

Books are everywhere, and they influence more in the world than you think they do. Books of faith cause wars and unite people with the same verse. Books can evoke a whole spectrum of human emotions within a short period. They can help you de-stress and make staycations more interesting.

It has been a while hasn’t it since you read something that was not on social media…..

Now probably five years ago I would have told you I only have time to read things for school an nothing else. I don’t have time for this, and I really don’t like reading anyway. Yes, I know a writer just said she didn’t like reading. 

Yet social media is mainly reading have you noticed that? You are now reading about how someone is doing instead of them telling you on the phone. It also reminds me texting is even reading. I hear the excuse of I don’t really like to read often, and when I listen to it I want to counter with you must not like food either? Was that too harsh or rude? Perhaps instead you are saying what does reading have to do with eating? In a word a matter of taste.

I do not like every food on the planet. There are some foods too spicy, or I don’t like their texture. There are many foods in existence that seem way too out there to even try. However, I do like a lot of different foods, but I didn’t know until I tried them. 

I believe reading books is a lot like eating food. I did not know what kind of books I liked until I tried them out. When I was a child, I read the books my parents wanted me to understand, when I got access to a library I found I was trying to keep up with what friends were reading. Even though I did not like what my friends read and I struggled really struggled with reading, so I kept looking. I found out I love mainly non-fiction books and I wanted to learn more about the world I lived in. Non-fiction children’s books also had awesome pictures.

Then I was in college and did not have time to read anything but the books required for classes. English classes were required and as it turned out in some of my classes fiction books were the required reading. I found a new section of books I liked to read, coming of age. It was also because I was coming of age in my own way. When I was in graduate school, I was always reading the academic work written in my field of study. So, it was not until I graduated from graduate school that my mind became still and I longed to fill it with something new. Into my head walked hoards of fiction books. 

I started to read what everyone else did again, and it got me nowhere. So, I began to experiment by getting different types of books that seemed appealing to me. It was not long before I started reading post-apocalyptic books. The end of the world was exciting to me, but I realized post-apocalyptic movies were what I liked the most. I decided if I liked those types of movies then surely I would like those types of books too. Now I don’t like every single book out there on the subject, but I did find a start again for my taste in literature.

Can I ask you do to something for me? Please don’t give up on reading and keep searching for the types of things you like to read. Use the library to find the kinds of books you want without spending a fortune. If you get a chapter in and you don’t like it take it back and get a different book. Read with your children and most of all read to your children. If they are not interested in what you are reading to them, let them pick out a book, or read your favorite book to them as a child. They will see your excitement and want that for themselves.

Don’t give up on books they are still being written for you.

A Word to Describe Me

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If I was turning my life into a word what would it be…Love? Family? God? Self? 

Can life be described in just one word? 

We are gifted in the English language to have so many words to identify ourselves with, and yet these words also are not full enough to say who we really are. I find when you ask someone who they are they usually describe themselves by whatever they do in life. I think for many years it was what I felt gave me purpose. 

My favorite word is a worshiper of the Lord Almighty.

I often find I describe myself as a Christian, single mother, daughter, sister, friend, writer, a runner, a working mom, tired, hungry, happy, sad, or a person who does know what is going on. I think I am missing the point because any of this words of the world have their own meaning to each individual. Even though I have tried hard to put myself and my world inside a box of words, there are always more to be added. There is not one word so descriptive no other word will do.

I have so many words to string together could one word really satisfy me? I would say in many ways it could not, but I also think many times we use just one word to describe the world around us. Beautiful, ugly, rich, weak, crazy, fat, and thin these words seem to be the ones I hear out of the mouths of people often. 

Are these words exact about what they are describing? 

Many years ago I wrote so I would not cry and be sad. It is not how I started my writing, but it is what it turned into for a while. The emotions I felt were so real and intense I did not know what was going on. Then I strung words together only to find I was not just sad and crying for no reason, but I was heartbroken. I had lost the one man I loved dearly. 

For people to describe me as sad was an understatement and for others to say I was uncaring was hurtful. However, the blank pages did not judge me like we often judge each other. The pages let me pour out my grief in a way I could not with another person.

Maybe where there is now beauty in someone’s life where there was pain and suffering. I have come across things that seem ugly now, but was so beautiful and still is if you would just look a few steps closer. It is a matter of what we are willing to see in someone or something. 

I love words and the process of what happens when you put them together to create people, moods, and settings. I try to stay true to the words I use to describe someone, but sometimes even I am fooled by my perceptions. I usually try to keep quiet, I would never want to hurt anyone with an incorrect word even if they were not around to hear it.

Please be patient with people in this world. It may be easier to yell and be unkind, but it is not helpful to anyone. I love what joy words can bring. When we use these words in positive ways, we get a father proud of his children or loving his wife. A mother so strong she will not let her child see her cry when they lose their home. A child full of hope everything is going to be alright against all the odds. A friend who makes her best friend laugh when they feel the world is falling down. A teacher who encourages her shy student to keep pursuing his dreams. 

My point? One word is not a good judge of who a person is really. You start to fixate on that one-word description and then some words that might follow. There is so much more in a person than what we are seeing.  

My second point is to use creativity whether it be writing, painting, drawing, sowing, or the other 500 things I have not written to figure out who you are, and what is going on in that head of yours. Paint your fears, draw your dream, and write your future.

What word describes you?

The Outline

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For September, I had pretty much taken a break from my book. I had decided to do Story A Day again, and in doing so, I found an awesome writing community. I have missed them so much already this week. I had been experimenting with parts of my novel such as dialogue and trying to think of scenes differently. So while I was on my mini-break also because my character had ended up in places, I was not sure they should be. I am thinking of starting the whole book over.  

The story is not leading down the path I want it to anymore. One minute we are all good things were sunshine and roses, then people are hunting each other down and characters I did not plan on are showing up out of the woodwork literally! There is an explanation and an answer, I had no plan or guidance to get me to the right place. I am good at talking circles and going on adventures when I write things, but when I speak, I am generally linear. Well, some of you may disagree. Lol. I decided to pants my book, which means I fly by the seat of my pants, and it just goes whatever way the wind blows. If I had done outlining then I would probably be closer to my final destination instead of standing still at the moment. Yes, in this case, I should have listened to my mother. It is okay though because it is a process and one that I love!

This October I decided to follow through with an outlining guide because I want to finish the first draft of my book. I have been researching, and since I have found not having an outline got me in a mess, I will be attempting to plan this year. I found an author by the name of Kristen Martin through one of my you-tubing adventures and decided to use her course to outline my book. She is someone fun to watch on youtube and is a self-published author getting it done. The course has not been overly complicated as it is a self-study and it has links to the various videos. It did make me really think about what I was trying to say with my book and has been giving me a more precise outline of where to go. It lasts for the four weeks of October and then I will start Nanowrimo on November first starting my novel over again is the thought at this point. 

I do enjoy this planning part a lot and hope I will enjoy the rewrite just as much giving my characters a do-over in actions and names. It is strange to me still how things can happen in a book you didn’t expect. I just hope one day by readers will find it just as exciting. 

I encourage you to write the books and do the creative things you never thought you were good at. You will mess up and fail as I have done. However, it is so freeing to do something I love and to enjoy it. I wish this passion had been as active in my early years, but the outline for my life was not as defined as I thought it would be then. 

I think it is why we should have an outline for life or goals. I have always had a few goals floating around in my head. It took me a long way to get where I am.  However, I had always found myself more satisfied when I had a plan for my life even if it changes. At times we all need guidance from God the ultimate plan maker for our lives! So get some paper or an app and start making plans to be creative in your life. Let the artsy person out!


Clean Out a Space

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I have been going back and forth about continuing my writing. I have joined a group called Story A Day for September. It is the first time since college I have been able to talk with a community of writers face to face. It has been so invigorating for me to do so and yet at the same time I am hard on myself about keeping up with my writing. I try to do a little writing every day and keep falling in the comparison trap. The questions begin to creep into my mind like they seem more devoted than I am. 

I have been back into writing only a couple of years. I am trying to get back into daily practice, but I have not been able to sit down daily to do this thing I love. It has been like a couch to 5k experience. I keep going back and forth about writing this week. I wanted to dive back into this thing I loved once. 

There are days when it does feel like an old relationship I used to have I love it, but yet it is hard. How could something you love so much seem so hard at times?  Why won’t the words come out? Why does sometimes it just doesn’t feel great? However, I find there are people and situations all around me that I love but are not always easy to deal with. Family at times can be hard, a job can be hard, and sometimes the thought of another Monday can be unbearable. I would like to make a movement for two Tuesdays and get rid of the word Monday all together! Do I have a second? Second. All those in favor say I. (I can hear you agreeing with me). We no longer have Mondays!  No really #2Tues! (Joking of course.) I digress, it is hard to get out of bed earlier when schedules are being changed due to the new school year approaching. I am exciting for this unique time in life, but I also think waking before 6:00 am is evil, yet I do it daily. I will be waking up early though from now because I have to go to work.

I am excited though about this new found time in the morning. I’m usually a night owl having all of this quiet time in daylight is thrilling on the weekends before everyone else is awake. I am working this week to get my space prepared for writing. I finally found a desk that is not what I expected, but it kind of picked me.

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My characters have been excited as well to be re-released to their world and to start doing things they have never experienced before. I have been working on my first book and trying to go at it just as it comes to me, but I am not sure how successful that has been since it is not done yet. So, during September, I decided to take a break and write some short stories with Story A Day. The program is just that you write a story a day and that is all. They have great forums to share, comment, and encourage each other. I would recommend it to all my writing friends, and the host Julie is a lovely woman. She has a blog and post cast she does as well that are fabulous. 

I have been writing on the go where ever I can, and I hope by the end of this weekend my space will be complete. I think it is essential to make space actual physical space for the things we wish to do in our lives. Life is fast-paced, and those spaces can quickly pile up with dirty clothes, random papers, magazines, and books.  It may be hard to even see the desk anymore (I may or may not be talking about my own office). Let us do some fall cleaning and organizing so we can get those creative thoughts out and within the world. I will thank myself now for trying to help my future writer within me. 20,000 words are down too many to go!