It’s true: we Wisconsinites are at serious risk of going crazy due to our weather. I’m surprised we don’t crack from temperature changes, or crack up from weather mood swings. Continue reading Wisconsinites Crazy from Weather
Attending my first writer’s conference was mind-blowing. We conferees soaked up all things writing for three days till near saturation. Hours, and hours, and hours of writers and writing. Networking, making new writer friends, meeting accomplished authors, learning, and more learning. Getting inspired. Continue reading UW Writer’s Institute Conference Aftermath
A friend gave me the book, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman.
The term art is painted with broad strokes. Freeman’s scripture-based premise is that we are God’s image-bearers, his artwork, and as such, it’s our task, our privilege, our terror, to find and live the individual artistry God has placed in each of us for His glory and the benefit of others. Everyone—even Dorothy, “the meek and small,” as she describes herself to Oz, The Great and Terrible—is God’s artist. Continue reading We Are God’s Artwork, His Artists
If a picture says 1,000 words, then this is a 3,000-word essay on Scotland.
Writing is like knitting. Here’s how—for me.
- I’ve learned a lot by studying online. There are lots of videos, tutorials, tips, blogs—you name it—online.
- It’s very technical. A new language of terms.
- It involves words. Untangling the directions for a knitting pattern can be a challenge.
- It takes practice, practice, practice (much like skiing!).
- I make mistakes. Oh, do I make mistakes. Correcting them is both a pain and an art. The trick is to first find the mistake and then figure out how to correct it.
- I get to give it to friends. I enjoy the process of creating, but giving away a gift is the best.
The process of writing is a lot like skiing—for me.
- It takes practice, practice, practice—for years.
- I need lessons and critiques from experts.
- I make lots of mistakes and feel clumsy half the time.
- Sometimes it hurts—my body and my ego at risk.
- It’s frustrating.
- It’s extremely technical.
- It’s hard to remember everything I’m supposed to be paying attention to.
- It’s the most fun—ever.
- There are times when it’s absolutely, crazily, achingly sublime: when it all comes together, and I feel like I’m flying, that I can’t do anything wrong.
- I’ll never regret doing either.
Notice to you writers out there: the UW Writers’ Institute is coming up in Madison, Wisconsin.
This writers’ conference has an excellent reputation in the writing community, so I’ve heard. I’ll let you know if it’s so—I’ll be there!
I hear and read over and over, “Writers, attend writers’ conferences. Attend writers’ conferences.” OK, I will, and I can’t wait. See you there?
This week I got the judge’s critique of my entry in the Christian Writers Guild contest Operation First Novel. Though I didn’t place in the contest, the critique was extremely helpful. It was worth all the angst of waiting and hoping.
If you haven’t had a professional critique your writing, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s putting your creative neck on the chopping block, but hey, that’s how we learn.
The critique confirmed a couple weak spots I knew were there. And it affirmed a couple strengths I hoped were there: two 10s out of possible 10! Woohoo! I admit it, I enjoyed reading the words “tremendous” and “excellent” in those two categories.
So, congratulations to these five talented authors, the finalists for Operation First Novel 2013. One of them will take home all the marbles and be published by Worthy Publishing.
● Assault on Saint Agnes by Joseph Courtemanche, Saint Paul, Minnesota
● The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance, Colorado Springs, Colorado
● The Orb of Oriston by Donna Myers, Nampa, Idaho
● Stolen Dreams by Sharon Sheppard, St. Cloud, Minnesota
● A Ticket Bought at a Hazard by Debra Jeter, Clarksville, Tennessee
Love Divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down;
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, Thou art all compassion;
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17
Are those the qualities required to receive the kingdom of God?
But what if joy, innocence, and all the rest, are wrenched from the toddler by thoughtless, self-centered parents?
Some of my psychotherapy clients are wary of relationships, don’t feel much self-worth, and are afraid God won’t pay them any more attention than their parents did.
So what does Jesus mean when He says to receive His kingdom “like a little child?” We adults can’t just set aside the weight of life: can’t cut out the thoughts and feelings burned in our brains that make love and trust a challenge.
Picture a child reaching up to Mommy or Daddy.
We were all born with that innate need to be picked up and held. Then picture some big, I mean really big, hands reaching down to pick you up—fulfilling your need.
I’m no biblical scholar, but it seems to me Jesus is saying simply, “Reach up to me. Come.”
O come, little children, O come one and all,
To Bethlehem haste, to the manger so small,
God’s son for a gift has been sent you this night
To be your redeemer, your joy and delight.
from the Christmas carol, “O Come, Little Children”