"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

IWSG: Writing Time

It’s IWSG time, where writers across the world gather to share their writing experience and/or insecurities. (See below for more info on the Insecure Writer's Support Group.) The IWSG million dollar question this month is: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Making time to write has always been an easy task for me. I’ve written first thing in the morning for years, while my brain is fresh. For me, I must write daily or I would go crazy. Setting a time to write is a must. The routine is there. The flow is there. I write between five and seven each morning and again from eight to nine in the evening, IF I'm not mentally tired. But...

Something happened this last summer, something terrible. After a million years of writing with or without a routine, I stopped. 

It all started in June when I decided to have some tiling done, a lot of tiling actually. This job would consume the center of the house (dining), plus three baths for six days. My kitchen was shut down. My home life and household kind of stood still, waiting for the job to be completed. During those days, I either had to leave the house early or hide out in a bedroom with a restless pup. Either way, it was disruptive and exhausting. 
I may have shown you this already. This is my dining room, tiled. I have a prettier clock now--windmill like.
I stopped writing.

I couldn’t think about writing. 

My characters stopped talking to me. I thought they’d died and not told me about it. When I opened my computer, I would stare at the screen. Sometimes I would try to write something, but it was really nothing. Then I would close my computer and do something else. 

Over the next two months, I pretended, but wrote very little or none. It was horrible. I’ve been writing since the age of twelve. At times, I may have been busy and wrote less, but never did I quit writing. 

One day, I think in August, I was cleaning and I moved a  stack of yellow legal pads. One seemed to be calling my name. I found a pen and began to write--for hours. Okay not for hours but a couple of hours.

What a relief! If I couldn’t write I would be in a big mess emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And what would I do with all of the character voices in my head? Check into a hospital? Yes, there is that, but I'd rather write from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m, thank you very much-- and maybe 8 to 9 p.m, depending.

The IWSG was created by Alex Cavanaugh and assisted by awesome helpers. The Insecure Writer's Support Group website supports writers with writers and helpful information. Check out the sign up list here.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Sunday Reflection: The Masterpiece and the Meaning

I know a young lady who is a teacher, who was not rehired at her school. Her passion for teaching is evident. Her employer district did not give her the usual notice so that she could apply elsewhere--early. She felt she was a popular teacher, with her parents and students, therefore was blindsided. There were those indiviuals who didn't want her at the school any longer. There are always "those" people.

I told her, “You cannot let others determine your worth." But we’ve all done that from time to time, believe we are what others say we are.

“Stop trusting in man, who has but breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? Isaiah 2:22 (NIV)

Positions for classroom teachers were mostly filled, but she continued to apply within the radius of her home. She was mostly met with, "Yes, we’ll interview you", and then, "We’ve filled the position from within". Understandably, she was sad and cried a lot, but continued to interview.

I've found that sometimes the answer to our efforts, where God is concerned, is no or not now because He has the better plan. I know it’s easier to stand outside someone else’s storm and tell them to have faith in God, but I’ve lived a long time, and I told her just that. 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) 

She enrolled her kids in our district because that’s where her house resides, and two things happened. 

When her mind cleared of the hurt and disappointment, she was free to listen to our heart-speaking, mighty God. She saw the path that she was supposed to take, one where she would pursue a lifelong dream of furthering her education in a specialized field. After that revelation, she was offered a job in the school where her youngest attends.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

We are always free to choose the lesser version of life, where God isn't invited, where we sell ourselves short, let fears chase us in the wrong direction and unfounded worry drive our reactions. If we could only pre-see God’s completed plan of our life, before we rearrange it, we would see the masterpiece and a truer meaning to our life. 

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6


Monday, August 29, 2016

Trading Lives

Hello, everyone! If you're needing something to read, The Ruralhood has a new post up titled Trading Lives

Hope you enjoy!


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Reflection: Shaded, Watched Over, Forevermore

As school begins this week in our district, it will be exhausting. I will need to remember that I am not alone, that it is not by my own strength that I put one foot in front of the other, but God’s strength.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.” Psalm 12 1:8 (NIV)

As I meet the new school year, I will pray as I always do for our students and staff, asking that the Lord will watch over our "coming and going". As I meet the challenges of my job, I am not alone. I will choose to believe that “my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”. Shaded by his mighty hands, watched over forevermore.



Monday, August 08, 2016

Online Relationships and Real Life

I have to admit, sometimes I feel more comfortable as a loner. When I meet with “people” I enjoy them, but I don’t exactly jump into anything voluntarily. AND I tend to be of a suspicious nature, listening to my gut feelings where people are concerned. So, I don’t understand when adults buy into online relationships over common sense and participate in self-destructive activities.

Recently, I read an article for teenagers Are Online Friends Real Friends? Kids hang out online as much as they do in person, sometimes more so, depending on parent input. It’s disturbing when young people are influenced by an online “friend” who wants to meet them and/or help them run away. The article said that 20 percent of teens “have met an online friend in person”. Scary. And convincing kids (and some parents) that the online presence, on the other end of their virtual connection, could be an adult—a predator wanting to do harm is sometimes impossible. (Think: my job.)

But it’s not just kids. Dr. Phil televises shows about this problem, where men and women think they are sending money to their new fiancĂ© of whom they’ve never met and sometimes never spoken to over the phone (only internet connection).

It’s difficult to watch the shenanigans humans participate in, sometimes.

So, it's no wonder, I’ve been watching YouTube’s Nomad Living channels where people live off the grid, in something mobile: vans, RV’s, tents, cars. Some of these people are anti-government, but honestly who can blame them. I can even understand “some” of their protests. One thing I’ve notice that they all have in common is their connection to their devices (i.e., phones, laptops) and the internet and must have a way to charge them.

Living a gypsy lifestyle is kind of alluring, but I think I’m too girly to actually live it in real life. Seems like a lot of work to me. And the campers would probably ignore me or ask me to leave when I pulled into their camp with a Class A RV. No composting potty for me. No outdoor makeshift shower either. Microwave? Uh huh!

With all of that said, this post does not reflect on my blogger buddies, who are my OFFs (online friends forever) and perfect in every way. I would meet you anywhere, anytime and give you any amount of money (if I actually had any money) that you requested.
What do you think about online relationships? Are we going too far?