For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Find Out Who I Am?

When College Boy was in 5th grade, at end of the school year, he brought home a writing folder filled with several pages of his writing from first to fifth grade. I just have to share some of what he wrote. Spelling or punctuation uncorrected.

June 12, 2002
Dear Reader,
I have learned many things in writing this year. I haved leared three parts of a story: a beginning, a middle, and an ending. I am a good writer. I can do lots of good senses {sentences}. I can do lots of wrting veary fast. We wrote lot of storys like toys summer. Wate {wait} you can just look at my stores instade {instead}.
Your student, Matthew Welborn

May 18, 2004
Dear Reader,
This year I have worked on my writing. Some areas in which I have improved as a writer are: I have gotten better at my cursive. I have learned new and better words. I have been writing longer stories. I know that I will continue to grow as a writer. Some things I would like to improve are: My printing I would like better and neater. I would love to write a longer paragraph. I would like to like writing.
Sincerely, Matthew

Give Colleg Boy props because many writers never honestly evaluate their own writing to see where they need to improve.

April 23, 2003
I am Matthew Welborn.
I wonder what will happen in the future.
I hear my thoughts and things around me.
I see what I see.
I want to have a great life.
I pretend to be everything.
I feel happy sometimes.
I touch things if I'm allowed to.
I worry about a lot of things.
I cry when I'm sad or hurt.
I understand how people feel.
I say a lot of good things.
I dream about the future and the past.
I try to do my best.
I hope I'm a youth minister.
I am full of joy.

At 9, College Boy was optimistic, literal, obedient, and tender-hearted. At 20, he is all those things still. What about you? What would you answer?  You don't have to share, so be honest with yourself.

I am _______________________.
I wonder _____________________.
I hear _______________________.
I see _______________________.
I want __________________________.
I pretend _______________________.
I feel ______________________.
I touch _____________________.
I worry ___________________.
I cry ______________________.
I understand _________________.
I say __________________.
I dream ________________.
I try ____________________.
I hope I am __________________.
I am ________________.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Lost in Washington DC

I don't like driving. Never have. Why drive when could, instead, take a nap, read a book, take a nap, look at the scenery, take a nap, listen to the radio, or take a nap.

Yes, I'm a slumberer.

When we lived in Virginia, hubby would often fly out of Reagan National Airport. Usually he found a friend to help him with the drive to DC. One time he couldn't find a friend. That meant I had to drive--the trip home at least. I wasn't an happy camper. See note about slumberer. Call me crazy, but sleeping and driving don't mix well. 

Hubby's instructions were follow the road out of the airport (the one that says TO WASHINGTON) and stick to the one that runs along the Potomac. Eventually it'd take me to I395 which would take me to I95. Well, I followed as instructed until I realized I was going north, and Richmond is south. Thus I figured if I got off of 395 North, I could loopy around until I was going south.

Contrary to popular knowledge, Washington DC is not loopy. At least the roads aren't.

So after a nice sight-see of the White House, the National Mall, some lovely cherry blossoms, and the Washington Monument, I realized the solution to my crisis. Pray. Pray hard and fast and desperate, and it went something like this:

"God, I'm lost. You are all I've got. Give me a I395 road sign."

Poof. There one was a sign. Soon I was back on I395 going south. But then I kinda sorta took the exit ramp and got offer near the Springfield Mall. Not being someone who panics, I prayed:

"God, I could really use one of those big signs that is full of interstate road directions."

Considering I was practically surrounded by a spaghetti pile of interstate and beltway roads, I knew God knew what I was talking about. Poof. There was a sign.

We don't have to be wander-driving around Washington DC to know that without God WE ARE LOST. And with Him we have all we need to live an abundant life.

"For in Him [Jesus] dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." 
-Colossins 2:9-10

Monday, September 22, 2014

Inkwell Inspirations: Sadie's Gift Release Party

Inkwell Inspirations: Sadie's Gift Release Party: CONGRATULATIONS NIKI TURNER!! SADIE'S GIFT is available as one of the short and sweet  stories in the Christmas Traditions Seri...

Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Come Up With a New Story Idea

"Tall, blond, and handsome, yet he never leaves home." Suzy-Jo Martin turned from her front window (and from the bare-chested hunk mowing the lawn across the street) and took the lemonade her friend Eliza offered. "He's either a child molester or a rapist."

"Does he have one of those home alarm bracelets on his ankle?"

"I don't get that close to look. He's a child molester."

"Or a rapist," Eliza added. Her smile wasn't the least bit amusing.

Suzy-Jo casually sipped the tart lemonade. "The children and women in this cul-de-sac could be in danger. I don't think you are taking this as serious as need be." She turned back to the window. Pity, his debauched past. No man who looked so angelic should have such base vices. "I need to find out his name so I can google him. Go meet him for me."

Eliza drew back the silk curtain and edged closer to the window. "He looks like a hero on one of those bodice-ripper romances."

Suzy-Jo sighed. Double pity, his debauched past. "Take a couple of cookies with you. For food, men will confess national secrets."

"I'm a woman and I'm pregnant." Eliza stared hard at Suzy-Jo. "If he's a rapist or molester, I'm top billing."

"You'll be fine. I'm watching."

Eliza rolled her eyes. "A rapist/child molester and a peeping Tom. You two make quite a pair."


Clearly Lawnmowing Man isn't a child molester. Or a rapist. This is a romance, after all!!! 

Why do you think he never leaves home? 

What secret is he hiding?

Why do you think it matters so much for Suzy-Jo to know?

How in the world does Suzy-Jo meet our hero?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Struggling with Internal Editor

I once went on a three-year-stint without reading a single fiction novel because I couldn't stop evaluating what I disliked.

Not too long ago, I read two Joy Fielding novels. I could not stop reading Charley's Web long enough to make  dinner on time. The family wasn't happy they had to wait to eat until I finished the book. Not sure why they didn't figure out they could fix their own food, but that's a post for another day.

As soon as I had a chance, I drove to the library and checked out Fielding's book, Heartstopper. I sooo did not want the killer to be who the killer was even though I knew the killer probably was who I thought the killer was.

I'm the type of gal to eat dessert before the main course (don't blame me, blame the hostess who put the dessert next to my water glass).

So when I read a book that makes me forget I'm a writer . . . ooo la la.

Life's too short to live in validation through self-perfectionism and the need to keep up that image in front of others. I think the reason I've struggled in my internal editor in the past is because part of me didn't want to enjoy the book. Part of me wanted to find flaws because in doing so I felt . . . well, smarter than that published author.

I won't deny a badly written book is always going to be a badly written book. But a good majority of published novels just aren't badly written books. If you want to find something wrong with ________, you'll find it because you're looking hard enough to.

Enjoyment is often a choice.