Writer’s Desk: Creation Station

Ever feel like Eeyore looks on that mug? A while back, I was bursting with ideas for a new novel. But in the midst of nailing down thoughts and plots and opening lines, it was giving me a ton of trouble.☺

From enthusiasm to confusion to resignation, came rhyming words that matched my feelings. This is what emerged.

So, grab your choice of “libation” and enjoy a glimpse into my writing life! 

  • Libation                                         Monster mug of Earl Grey tea
  • Ideation                                Heavy plotting, brain-busting thoughts
  • Celebration                                                    Yesss! Got it!

Large cute mug shaped like Eeyore, Mainly blue, pink, and black

  • Destination                          Hmm, exactly where do I go from here?
  • Elation                                      Aha! There’s where I go from here
  • Creation                         Mad-crazy typing, wondrous ideas—ah, purrrfect

brown striped kitten on laptop keyboard pawing at the screen, green, blue and white background, table & windows

  • Evolution                                       Well—maybe not so perfect
  • Agitation                                                     Downright awful
  • Frustration                                    Did this really come from me
  • Hesitation                         Well, surely I can make something out of it
  • Procrastination                              But, maybe not right now
  • Perpetration                           Hatch a plot to get rid of the evidence

humorous pic of young man in mustache and beard with magnifying glass, dressed in brown plaid hayt and jacket

  • Assassination                               Just dispatch the whole thing
  • Conflagration                                Delete, delete, delete, poof!
  • Desolation                                        Oh no, now I’ve done it
  • Deforestation                                      Pulling my hair out

awful hair day for adorable strawberry blonde blue-eyed toddler, pastels and print in background

  • Resignation                                      I really did just do that?
  • Aberration                                            Yup, you really did
  • Prostration                                     On my face in fervent prayer
  • Re-creation                                 It just might rise from the ashes
  • Vacation                                             But not until I get back!

young woman sitting on a rocky tor, gazing at mountain vista with vivid blue sky and white clouds

“Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.” ― Thomas Mann

Sometimes in life we need a break to simply laugh . . . with others and at ourselves.

God created us with the capacity to do just that. So laugh, then turn around and DO the thing!

Even frustration can become something to share, and it was fun to have this little piece end up published in a writers’ magazine.

“And He said to me, ’“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).

Anybody relate to this poetic saga?

I’d love for you to leave a comment.☺

Love,

Sally

Sally’s Amazon Author Page  http://amzn.to/1MzgXNb

 

Storm Surge

New. Everything. New and different.

The polished wood desk is icy beneath my fingertips, shreds of self-assurance slip, my confidence suddenly a shipwreck.

Breathe.

Just sit here for a while. Take in this new place, this strange, foreign place.

I prayed, planned, vaulted every hurdle, passed every test, beat out the competition.

I’m here.

Doubts race in on the tsunami my mind has become. Have I done the right thing?

Leaving a secure job, one with everything . . .

. . . everything including the proverbial glass ceiling.

I went as far as I could go.

And I had a dream.

I risked it all, stepped out in faith.

The steely edge of panic presses its blade against my neck, set on supplanting my trust.

No! 

And my eyes fall on a single manual. A small reassuring link from my past to my future.

I haven’t come here alone.

Are you in the midst of a storm?

Do you stand on a heaving deck, reeling, desperate, barely hanging onto the rail?

Do you fear your life is about to go under? Terrified of the rocks of failure, illness, grief, or a thousand other things?

You are not alone.

Ever.

Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:23-31 NKJV)

God hears your cry.

He saves you from your distress.

He calms your storms.

He stills the waves.

And in the ensuing quiet

He guides you into safe havens.

The Captain of your ship will never leave you or forsake you.

There’s joy at the end of that rainbow!

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~Louisa May Alcott

Please share your story.

Love,

Sally

 

Try Again

“I was that far from pitching the whole thing right straight into the fireplace!”

She was that far from tears, too.

My friend was so frustrated after her first book proposal was rejected that she wanted to burn her manuscript and wondered if she really should even be a writer.

And, her passion and determination to make a decision whether to give up or keep writing as she talked to me,

woke up my poetry gene.

I remember those feelings.

Bright leaping flames in the fireplace
A red-yellow study of arson and lace
Beckon me feed it these papers I hold
Truly, I want to, if the truth be told.

The pages engulfed in the frenzied inferno
Would satisfy something so deeply internal
To see them consumed in the hot conflagration
To see them destroyed would soothe agitation.

But what if God asks me to try once again
To review and pursue and pick up my pen
To steel all my shakiness, regroup and pray
It might be for my soul, a much better day.

So, Lord, if I turn my back on the fire
And stare at these pages with fresh new desire
Will you kindle in me your sparks, and renew
The dream you placed in my heart so to do?

Please lead me and guide me—stay by my side
O, Lord, inspire me as you change the tide.

+ + +

My friend and I are both thankful we decided to never, ever give up!

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV).

“But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NKJV)

“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 NIV).

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV)

Have you ever been tempted to give up on a dream of your own?

I’d for you to leave a comment!

Love,

Sally

About the Norman Rockwell painting photo by Cliff via Flickr CC

Jo Seated on the Old Sofa from “The Most Beloved American Writer”, Woman’s Home Companion, December 1937, oil on canvas, 32 x 25 in.

Rockwell traveled to Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts, before beginning illustrations for a serialized biography of her life. Alcott’s book, Little Women, became an immediate classic when it was published in 1868, and was a hit again in 1933 when George Cukor’s film adaptation won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Its message—that family counts more than wealth, and happiness comes to those who help the less fortunate—was an apt revival subject in Depression-era America.

americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/tellingstories/

Reflecting the Writer

Ann Cooper McCauley is my guest today, and from the archives of her wonderful blog, she’s given me permission to use this beautiful and thoughtful post.

Here’s Ann with her inspired thoughts on what it’s like to be a writer.

Ever wonder how much we mirror God our Creator?                                 And from the get go? Born again, yes, we are continually transformed into His image, but do we realize how each of us—individual as we are—mirror different aspects of His nature? Our God DNA is grafted deep inside us.

Allow me to camp on the writer.

Who is God, but the Writer of the story? Not only did He leave us His bestseller, but it is a work in progress—alive and current.

So who are writers—really? People who yearn to be heard, write to be a voice, hunger to express thought, and seek to deliver timely messages. Not unlike our Creator at all.

Who discovered the plot outline?

The Writer of our story. He demonstrated to us the nature of construction when He wired everything on the planet in a perfect order and with a specific purpose. He tells us Himself that He knows the beginning from the end. Every good writer knows the general ending of their work, whether they write by the seat of their pants or not. From the beginning of the manuscript until the end, it makes sense, and a theme will whisper through its pages.

Who understands the web of characters more than the Writer?

He generates us. He makes plans for us. And like any good Writer—though He knows the ending of the story—He allows His characters to develop over time. He allows them to repeat mistakes, grow, and evolve. He intertwines his characters at just the right time and in just the right genre, setting and scene different to each character, yet similar to all.

And let us not forget dialog.The Writer is an open channel, a river on the page taking us where He is active and involved, unlike narration which tells the story rather than showing the action. God the Writer speaks intimately to His own and demonstrates to all. Why? Because He wishes His characters to know and understand Him and be complete. He desires them to hear. His purpose is to reveal—not conceal.

Does this pattern of seeing God in our vocation or giftings solely benefit the writing profession?

I think not.

Are you a musician, a welder, an administrative assistant, or a teacher? Explore how your work is patterned after the One, whose very nature, you reflect.

I’d then love to hear your analogies!

Me, too, Ann!

Analogies anyone?

“See, I have called by name Bezalel . . . and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:2-3)

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Ann McCauley married her sweetheart thirty-eight years ago. The McCauley’s have seven children, four internationally adopted. Ann’s first stories were published by Baker/ Revell in the book, Loved by Choice—True Stories That Celebrate Adoption. A songwriter for many years, Ann has led praise and worship, shared her original music with churches, and performed in fundraising actvities. She’s has shared her adoption and homeschooling experiences through many venues and has been a speaker and singer throughout Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Her motivational speaker service, The Power Behind the Story, can be found on her website. Having written three historical novels, Ann looks forward to finding a publisher for her novels, working through her agent is Diana L. Flegal of Hartline Literary Agency.
Website and Blogs: anncoopermccauley.com

Thank you Ann, I’ve loved having you as my guest!

Love,

Sally

P.S. Don’t forget to join Peggy Blann Phifer and me at her blog, Whispers in Purple on Wednesday, June 24th.

Peg’s doing an author interview with me, and I’ll be giving away a copy of my new novel, The Stonekeepers. Stop in and leave a comment. We’d love to see you there!

And if you’d like a Sneak Peek, go here to check it all out: http://wp.me/p5BLdw-Ac

Be of Good Courage

The hallway of the nursing home settles into a soft hum of lessening noise with residents getting ready for bed.

A child of God, a woman, sits in her wheelchair, bound up in sadness and loneliness, her countenance etched with fear and tears. Head bowed, chin-to-chest, slender fingers white as she grasps the arms of her chair.

She rarely leaves her dim, quiet room and feels secure only within their enclosing walls. But Light shines through another, an old man with a snowy-white beard. He rolls his wheelchair down the hall and pauses at the open doorway of the woman’s room.

He doesn’t notice as a nurse motions for the aide with her not to interfere. But the two stand and watch as he slowly maneuvers through the doorway and stops alongside the woman, facing her.

For a moment, he simply sits quietly. Then he touches her arm.

His gentle hand stays in place as his still-sweet tenor voice permeates the silence and births music. A song swells from the depths of his heart and fills the room, chases out shadows, melts away loneliness.

Darkness lifts and vanishes before the Light.

Loneliness and isolation had covered a soul with the wide, black brush-stroked paint of fear.

Unpretentious love casts the radiance of His Light to bring moments of comfort—and a tenuous smile.

Two children of age, transformed by time’s passage, one drawn to the other through the heart’s essence of compassion.

Uninhibited, innocent love and mercy pour from a heart where Jesus lives.

♥♥
The nurses where my father stayed for a while shared the woman’s fears and described to me how they’d watched and what they’d seen as Dad visited her room.

In spite of his own suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, he found a way to comfort her through the one gift he could give—a song.

♥♥

A tender song, a heartfelt prayer, a soft touch to a fearful or suffering child of God—if you give those small gifts, how do you know you aren’t bringing the Light of Christ into the world of another?
Watch for what God is doing. Heed the tiny urges to “go” and “do” that you sense in your spirit.

So, go there and do that, and don’t look back. Be encouraged in the knowledge that you’ve entered a dimension where God’s listening children work with Him Hand-in-hand.

Dad loved roses.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“And David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.'” 1 Chronicles 28:20

Love,

Sally

Distinctively Different

It’s an honor this week to have as my guest, Noelle Brani. Noelle is a senior in college, majoring in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Christian Counseling. I’m sure you’ll find Noelle’s post as interesting and thought-provoking as I did.

Noelle writes:

As I grew up, I realized some of the ways I’m different from others. I was raised in a single parent family, I’ve always been petite, and I was home schooled in a town where being home schooled was a little uncommon. Along with those differences, I was adopted. My mom made a different, bold move and chose to adopt me from Russia when I was six months old. Today, I’m still called “little one” at five feet tall, I still live in a single parent family, and I’m no longer a home schooled kid, but I’m thankful that I was.

Have you noticed the many photos young girls have posted on social media of themselves that have the hashtag “#basic” printed beside their photo? The hashtag is there to indicate how the girls feel about themselves—and/or how they want others to feel about them. They don’t want to be pointed out as being different, as in unusual or unique, only that they are “basic,” or “normal.” Being different is something that many people, young or old, seem to fear. I think it’s a sad statement that they feel they must tell the world that they are not different, that they are just like everyone else.

It’s amazing to me how our culture has changed. When I was a little girl, everyone seemed more relaxed in just being individual—being themselves. Sure, the fads and trends came and went, but people loved being themselves—you could see their individuality. And I remember being a teen and looking around me, wondering, Why is someone’s social status dependent upon the brand of jeans they wear? 

How shallow our world seems to have become. I think one reason we see so much of the same type of style, whether it be shoes, or clothing, or name-brand items when we walk into a school or even a church, is because many of us, no matter our age, are genuinely afraid of being “on the outside,” or that more sensitive label, “different.”

I sit here writing this and smile, thinking back on how I’ve always been the shortest person in the group, whether in dance class or church or school activities. Even now, at twenty-one, my friends and I joke around that I’m the oldest, but the shortest person in the room. In Psalm 139:14, the Bible says, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your Works are wonderful, I know that full well.” What a blessing! To know that God not only loves us, but He designed us. All we have to do is know it and believe it.

Everywhere I go, every single day, I’m proud of girls who dare to be different. I’m proud of them because they’re accepting themselves as individuals, and thriving. They’re finding the unique qualities that make them who they are. I will forever be joining them and walking alongside them because being different is nothing to be ashamed of! Perhaps we’re not basic; maybe we all just share a little basic insecurity. Truth is, we’re all different and we’re all unique.

I’m thankful that I’ve embraced being different, and I hope you will accept being your unique self, too. God created us to be so much more than basic.

Celebrate and embrace being you!

Are you accepting yourself as you are?

Noelle and I would love to have your input! Please leave a comment for us.

A little about Noelle Brani:

Noelle Brani

Noelle Brani has always enjoyed school and her dream of attending college at Liberty University began when she was five years old. Now a senior at Liberty, she’s working toward her major in Early Childhood Education and recently started her career in her minor, Christian Counseling. Noelle couldn’t be happier. Being with children is a favorite way of spending many hours of Noelle’s spare time. She has always loved to write and is excited about sharing her first post on Everyone Has A Story blog. She hopes to continue in her journey as a young writer by doing more blog posting in the future. Noelle cherishes her relationships with her friends, and is devoted to her Lord Jesus, calling Him “the most loyal Friend I have.” It says something about Noelle’s heart to include that her favorite movie is The Lion King and its memorable quote, “Remember who you are.”

Thank you, Noelle. I’ve loved working with you on your post and having you join my list of honored guest posters! May God abundantly bless you as you finish college and launch your new career in Christian Counseling.

And those of you who follow Everyone Has A Story might recognize that Noelle is the daughter of my friend and fellow writer, Sharon Brani, who was a guest here last December. It’s been a joy to have both mother and daughter as my guests.

Have a great week!

Sally

The Innkeeper’s Son

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:4-7 NKJV).

~Caesar Augustus requires the world to register, and Bethlehem, the City of David, is teeming with people who must comply by the deadline Augustus has set. Places for the registrants to stay are few and full.

One inn at the edge of town is no exception. Inside the overflowing structure, a precocious little boy lives with his parents, owners of the rustic inn. He senses much more within the crowd . . .

The Innkeeper’s Son

I am five and it is late
Noisy, crowded, at the gate
Pushing at my father’s knee
He ignores my whispered plea
“A Baby’s coming soon,” I said
Anxious urgent words I pled.
“Go to bed my little son
I have much that must be done.”

Mother’s sitting at the table
I reach as high as I am able
My hands encircle her sweet face
Her eyes are filled with love and grace
I draw her face down close to mine
“A Baby’s coming—there is a sign.”
“It’s time for sleep my dear, good son
You’re tired and dreaming, little one.”

Joseph’s knocking at the door
Mary cannot travel more.
“I’m sorry, sir, there is no room—”
But I am here with my small broom.
“Father I have cleaned the stable
They can stay if they are able
Never mind the ox and sheep
They will sing the Babe to sleep.”

A star turns night back into day
My father slowly leads the way
Mary smiles and takes my hand
Joseph bends to help her stand.
My mother stays there thru the night,
And lingers till the morning light
Then at dawn she looks toward me,
“Come here my son come here and see.”

Silently I near His bed
“You may touch Him,” Mary said.
Doves are watching from the loft,
I smooth and hold His hand so soft.
He looks at me, and in His eyes
Shines light as bright as morning skies.
“Thank you, God, this Baby came,
And that Jesus is His name.”

Manger-Baby Blessed One
Gentle Shepherd Precious Son
May we on Your day of birth
Speak Good News throughout the earth.

Sally Chambers

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God bless each of you, and have a joyous, Merry Christmas!

See you in January~

Love,

Sally