A friend and I were talking about favorite scriptures today. I’m afraid I don’t have much scripture memorized, but I carry a few around with me to pull out in case of emergency. Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (KJV) This is the cornerstone of my book. Reminds me I don’t have to prove anything, just trust and believe. Mark 9:24 – Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV) I love this–it really sums up my faith walk. I do believe–deeply and passionately–yet I doubt all the time. I Corinthians 13:1-8 – 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with […]
Remember wishing you could be grown up? Remember how much easier life was going to be when you could wear makeup and eat as much candy as you wanted? My niece is the one on the left. Here’s wishing her lots and lots of waiting to grow up and maybe just a smidge of knowing how fantastic it is to be a kid. Now go do something that makes you feel like a kid who can’t wait to grow up. I’m going back to my office to use as much tape as I want.
Happy Labor Day! It’s a day off from work, which means I have plenty of time to write, but I’ll probably laze around with Jim instead. Ahhhh. Week of August 30 – 12 pages
So here I am, waiting for someone to publish my book so it can reach lots of people and have an amazing impact on them and their Christian journey. I mean, that’s the point, right? Then a friend called me. He’s an older gentleman who has some ongoing health problems, but in spite of that, he’s always just a delight to talk to and spend time with. We chatted a minute and then he abruptly asked me to pray for him. He’d gotten some bad news about his condition. There’s nothing the doctor’s can do and while it isn’t immediately life-threatening, it will have an impact on his quality of life. He was home alone–his wife was out–and he was feeling down and a little discouraged. He said he called me because he knew I’d cheer him up. Well. I began trying to say wise, Godly things that would boost his spirits. Turns out I had little to say in the way of wise, Godly things. I gave up and we just talked. I think, based on the laughs we shared and the way he seemed to brighten, that I DID cheer him up. Or rather, I let God cheer him up through me. Maybe I’ll have a book published that will touch hearts and change lives. Maybe I won’t. But in the meantime, God can use me every day. What an incredible honor.
Marisa de los Santos’ writing in “Belong to Me” is absolutely gorgeous–lush even. And the story is compelling, though you’ve probably read similar stories before. At times the telling is a tad overwrought, but ultimately I cared about the characters, wanted them to work things out and was pleased with the strong characterizations. While the book tends toward the literary, it’s also an entertaining story that moves at a decent pace. In the end it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read that I hated to see come to an end. And yes, Piper started as my least favorite character and by the end she was the one I would most like to spend time with. I can often tell that what I’m reading affects how I’m writing. Which is okay as long as I don’t let it change my voice or overall style. “Belong to Me” helped me step my descriptions and emotions up a notch. Now all I have to do is hold onto that as I move on to other books that are perhaps not quite so beautifully written . . .
Not only is this a really fun thing to do with words, it’s incredibly useful when writing a novel. To use Wordle, go to www.wordle.net and paste a chunk of text into the empty box. Wordle will create a word cloud with the words used most often appearing largest. When I pasted the synopsis for “The Lotus Leaf Effect” into Wordle, I ended up with a cloud that had the main character–Ella–in huge letters with other primary characters a bit smaller. Other BIG words are “water,” “family” and “walking.” Just as it should be. I put the entire text of my manuscript into Wordle a couple of edits ago and discovered that the word, “just” was huge. I use “just” waaaay too often. It was a great tool for finding my writing “tics” and then editing them out. Find you a chunk of text and play with Wordle–it’s a blast!
QUAKER LADIES I once read something about how the meek would inherit the earth and it must be true—only look. Every child knows the bright names of Daisy and Buttercup sunning themselves in mountain meadows. Black-eyed Susan winks and waves. But here, in grown over tracks, on top of cold, windy mountains where color is afraid to show, you’ll find these. Bluets the book says under a picture of almost nothing. Bluets for bare tinged petals cupping a soft yellow center like a pat of butter—like light. Now leave the book and ask just folks. They’ll say Quaker Ladies and I prefer the peaceful point of that. Nature sows blankets, foamy and soft. You’ll want to sink down in how sweet and simple they are— like something that already knows how the world will turn out.