J Christine's blog

To NaNo...

It’s almost November and my writing friends and I are talking about NaNoWriMo.

For those who don’t know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. When I first learned about the challenge I thought “no way can I do this.” But thanks to my pushing, prodding, shoving, and daring friends, I finally tried it one year. After participating for several years, I’ve learned some good reasons to NaNo and some good reasons not to NaNo. This blog is why authors should NaNo.

  1. It teaches me to free my mind.

Lots of Work To Do

Whew, I’m trying to catch my breath today. It has been a wild couple of weeks with a trip to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, followed by a trip to Wichita, Kansas, for my niece’s wedding. It all added up to a lot of time on the road and not much time to get work done. Now that I’m back home, I’m trying to get caught up on everything.

One of the things I enjoyed most about my travels was the writers’ conference. It was the first conference as an editor taking appointments from authors who want to get their work published.

Manifestation

Yesterday at the Writing for the Soul conference, Dr. Dennis Hensley spoke about what is important in our lives. He said “Inspiration without manifestation is frustration.”

Now, he was speaking in this case to writers about needing to fulfill their dream of writing if they are going to be happy and satisfied. But I think this is true for anyone. If a person has a dream and doesn’t do everything they can to bring that dream into reality, it is difficult to be happy and feel your life has purpose and value.

A New Cliche?

How Do Clichés Start?

When I hear a cliché, sometimes I wonder how the cliché got started. I can find meanings to the clichés but no specifics on how it started. My guess is someone said something that caught the attention of the people who heard it and they all started repeating the phrase until everyone was saying it.

For example, while I was helping at AWANA we asked the Sparkies what a soul is.

Who's Out There Talking?

As I have become more active in leadership in my two writers groups – Words for the Journey and Mile High Scribes ACFW, I have found myself in the position of finding speakers for the groups. Being an introvert, I found this very difficult. But I’m learning I just need to pay attention to who’s talking and reach out to those people.

Writers need to learn two things – how to improve their craft (including how to publish) and how to make their writing real.

The best way to find speaks on craft is by networking with other writers at conferences and through writing groups.

I Want To Be A Child

Lord, I want to be a child again. It’s Christmas, Lord, and I want to be a child. It’s supposed to be a time of joy and peace, but I feel chaos; planning, schedules, parties, figuring out what to give as gifts, rearranging my schedule to meet the needs of others. I feel loss; memories of those who are no longer here to celebrate with my family.

When I was a child I felt joy and peace because I didn’t have to worry or think about taking care of others or putting the needs of others before me. As a child there was nothing to worry about, but now I’m an adult and I feel overwhelmed.

At Home with Others Like Me

I spend last Saturday at INFUSE 2010, a conference for creative people serving God with the artistic gifts He has given them. After a long month of the type of stress life is so very capable of throwing at us, it was a real pleasure to spend time sharing and learning with people who don’t think I’m weird because of the worlds to which my fiction-writing mind takes me.

Even though there was a wide variety of talents; artists, dancers, musicians and writers to name a few; there was a spirit of joy and of sharing that was refreshing and heartwarming.

What Kind of Light

Genesis 1:16-17 - God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, (NASB)

What kind of light am I, Abba? What kind of light do You want me to be? Am I to be a tiny little light that can barely be seen or am a slightly larger star or what? I am no star, no light, at all without You, Abba. I have no light to give, nothing to give anyone, except that I have You to share with them. The only value I have is my value though You.

More on Light

Genesis 1:15 - and let them be for the lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth;” and it was so. (NASB)

But You knew, Abba, that by my very nature, my human mind would need a source to understand and help me to function on a day-to-day basis so You put that source of light in the sky. Abba, I ask You to help me not need that source, but to only focus on the true Source—You. Help me not to need to see the Source of all that I need, but to depend on the Source without seeing it. Abba, You are my Source and You are all that I need.

Journey to Light

Genesis 1:13-14 -- There was the evening and there was morning, a third day. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (NASB)

A third day, Abba, at this task of writing from the Bible. Not only does this correspond with the time I have spend writing this, but it also shows that we are on a journey together. We move through Your words as time passes and I continue to learn. Abba, I thank you for the lessons You are teaching me through Your word.

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