"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Ruralhood

I'm talking at The Ruralhood about Laura Ingalls Wilder, if you're in the mood to read it.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Keep the Change!

I was cleaning my study, den, (former) living room, whatever you wish to call it. I started with cleaning out two bookcases. I found my stash of rejection slips and tossed them. Who needs them? I also found stacks of printouts of my short stories that I’d forgotten about and even file backups on CD’s that I need to look through. Unfortunately, I have lots of paper to go through yet, in this paperless society. 

I’ve written a lot of short stories.

Even though I tried not to, because it slows down the cleaning process, I stopped to read some of them. There are changes in my writing—from then to now. 

In the mix of cleaning out books, I found that I had purchased two of the same book at some point: Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for it by Melvin Helitzer, published 1987. The second book was published in 2005 and has a c0author, Mark Shatz, listed beneath the original author name. I’m sure there’s changes in the second book to warrant an added author’s name. 

There’s another change, too. The cover! I guess it needed to meet the standards of 2005 and appeal to the (then) modern reader. 

Unless we're already perfect or brilliant or something, we need to be open to change in order to get better at our craft.

“The only thing constant in life is change.” Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld

I hate that quote because I hate change, but this post isn’t about hating change, is it? I'd like to say, "keep the change", but we need to be open to change so that our craft reflects our best effort.  

Which cover do you prefer? 1987 on the left or 2005 on the right? Does it bother anyone else that 2005 seems so long ago?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Reflection: This is the verdict...

All of my life, I’ve heard people say that Christians are the worst people. Hating. Doing bad things and are hypocrites. To that I say yes, Christians are both good and evil. And yes our actions should reflect love in every thing we do. People are flawed and this includes those who follow {the life example of} Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It's not in us yet to be completely good.

 I like what this says.

 “When sin came into the world, everything broke. The earth no longer functioned as it was supposed to. Our bodies and minds became susceptible to sickness, disease, and demonic oppression. And we found ourselves relationally separated from God and other humans. In Matthew 8 Jesus shows His authority over sin in all these areas. The kingdom of God is not just a place we go to when we die. It is a kingdom Jesus began during His time on earth. He manifested it every time He healed a sick person, drove out a demon, or calmed a storm.  And it will be ultimately revealed when He returns to earth again and makes everything whole, perfect, and new.” Dennis Moles (ODB Insight)

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:17-21 (NIV)



Monday, May 09, 2016

Reflecting on the A-Z 2016 Challenge

I finished the A-Z Challenge this year. Actually, I’ve always finished. Is that bragging? My theme was dying an odd death. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’ve never enjoyed researching something so much as I did this topic. I had no idea the amount of people who have died crazy type deaths, until I researched it.  I felt sorry for all of them, even the woman in the chimney, although when did climbing down a chimney ever go right?

During the A-Z, my real challenge wasn’t posting every day, but commenting on Blogger posts. I think it was my Internet. Our rural Internet provider stinks big time, so that could have been it. I could read the posts, but couldn’t always comment.  Maddening.

The first week, I decided to work from the bottom up and wham many of those bloggers were not participating.  That was disappointing. Then there were bloggers that, by the time I got to them, had run out of steam. (I totally understand.) But the bloggers that I did visit, who were still trucking along, were awesome.

I gained a couple of followers. I saw some interesting blog posts. I didn’t feel like people  participated as much as they did in the past. Sad.

Over all, it was a good experience. 

Did you participate and read or were you read only? What did you think of the whole A-Z challenge? What did you think of dying oddly?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Sunday Reflection: Comforted

Lately, life has been a whirlwind of turmoil and I’ve needed some consoling. My comfort often comes from delving into the word of God and praying for guidance, but sometimes God sends us other people to comfort us and to comfort. In the past few months, I’ve talked to many who feel upset, betrayed, and angered.  

Often our own experiences with grief and injustice can help others. Letting God speak through our spirit, to the wounded, can be a blessing for them. In turn, we also receive a measure of comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)