Take A Pencil To My Spirit

Image Credit: Pixabay

I follow Your outline without worry
Chapter by chapter and verse by verse.
I trust the Author of my story,
For better or for worse

Image Credit: Pixabay

Like an incomplete manuscript.
But I’m a rough draft of my soul –
Please take a pencil to my spirit,
Write and erase to make me whole!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Life gives me character development,
Circumstances give me a plot;
Don’t want to be losing my tint,
Like disappearing ink, just to be a blot.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Outline my novel, oh Lord,
Grab Your mighty pencil!
Glorify Yourself with each Word
And with Your Holy Spirit ink, fill…


I wrote this last February with NaNoWriMo in mind. And with that event just around the corner, I thought this might be a good time to post this poem. 😀

Special thanks to T. R. for helping me with the first stanza – the first draft just didn’t work and she figured out how to fix it! 🙂

A Walk Down Memory Lane & A Short Story Excerpt

 

On April 1st, this blog turned two years old. (And that is no April Fool’s Day joke!) WAHOO! 😀 It’s hard for me to believe. 😄 It’s equally hard for me to believe that yesterday, I had my 700th follower.  🙂 I don’t know what to say, except, thank you guys for your support – it means the world to me. ❤

This post will be a small collection of my favorite posts from the past two years – a walk down memory lane – and something new at the end that I’m excited about. 😉


What is Our Purpose” was my first blog post. It was published on April 9th, 2016. I remember being so nervous and then convincing myself that only my friends would be reading it anyway, so I had no reason to be nervous about strangers. And then ten people total liked it and I was like, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.” It was a shock, but a good shock. But no one commented (which was probably a good thing at the time because I was still so shy then 😅), so I soon went on to post a book review and other posts.

For that post, I had a purple wildflower as my header image.  I was also just starting to experiment with close-up photography at the time. I didn’t post the images in the post itself then, and with my dial-up connection, I had to compress the images a lot to get them to upload, so sometimes they would appear grainy. With that said, here is the original uncompressed photo:

And a bonus photo – the same flower at a slightly different angle:

Soon after that post, I started getting comments and followers. And I started getting minor panic attacks from posting – though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time – so I stopped. It wasn’t until June that I started posting again.


When I returned, I went back to posting short articles and book reviews, alternating between the two. That is, until July of 2016, when a friend asked me if I ever planned to share any of the poems that I had been writing. Many of them were personal, and I was unsure if that was something I wanted to do, or if anyone would be interested in them. After a bit of prayer, the Daily Prompt aligned with one of my poems, so I decided that was a sign to post one and see what happened.

Show Me Your Light! received so many encouraging comments. My heart felt like it might burst with happiness. I posted two more shortly after; Stained Glass, and He Saves. Then I went back to my articles and book reviews but felt a nudge to post more of my poems. Soon, poems seemed to be overtaking everything else.

And then I was surprised to find that it felt like I found my niche. It wasn’t only articles and book reviews – poetry is where my heart belonged. So then I started posting more… a lot more.


Also during this time, I was experimenting even more with photography (and photo editing software), and realize that this was also where my heart was. Here are a few examples from September 2016, when I started posting more photography:


I believe that Fall Magic was the first time I used my own photos within the same post as a poem, which was the start of posting two of my favorite things together. 🙂


Jericho Heart is one of my favorite poems that I’ve written and I have fond memories of writing it. After posting it, I started writing a short story, which reflected the poem a bit, so I named it Jericho Falls. It’s a western – and my first attempt in this genre. And with that… here is a sneak-peek at a chapter I call “Humility Hurts.” I hope that you enjoy. 🙂

(Context – Don had been shot in the arm, and Lissa had run barefoot for a mile or two to find him help and had sliced the soles of her feet something awful. Now she is supposed to be recovering, but in her pride, she doesn’t want to and thinks she can still do everything for herself.)

She stood and immediately wished she had not done so. The pain was almost too much for her to bear. With a cry, she fell into Don, who was standing beside her and caught her with his good arm.

“You’re fallin’ for me already, I see,” he quipped.

“Do you always make terrible jokes and use those awful one liners?” she snapped.

“I do,” he admitted, “and you are one of the few who didn’t laugh.”

“I guess I’m one of the few with sense,” she told him as he dropped her into the chair.

The doctor came back in with a second pail of water and took out a rag, which to the doc’s surprise, Don took ownership of.

“You’re recovering,” the doc said, pointing to Don’s arm.

“I don’t mind. Just get the salve.”

“You a doctor?”

“No, but…” his voice trailed off for a moment before continuing, “I knew of someone with a similar condition.”

“What are you–” Lissa’s question ended with an exclamation of pain as Don began to gently wash her right foot. “Don’t do that, it’s—ooohhh.” She bit her tongue to keep from crying out.

“Painful?”

“And humiliating.”

“Jesus washed His disciple’s feet, so surely I can wash yours.”

She did not expect that answer and it hushed her. She had no comeback. All she could do was watch quietly as he scrubbed the dirt from the soles of her damaged feet. As he dipped the dirty rag into the bucket, the water turned cloudy and brown.

Tears ran down her face, not from the pain, but from her icy heart as the cold that had taken residence there began to melt from the warmth of love. The waterworks was mistaken for pain and Don stopped.

“You’re fine,” she told him. “It’s okay, the pain isn’t that bad.”

And with that, Lissa had her first lesson in humility, and Jericho’s hardened cold walls began to crumble.


And speaking of stories and writing – you may notice that I haven’t been posting as frequently lately. April is Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve been preparing my project! I will probably be doing more novel writing than blogging in April, but I won’t disappear completely. 😉 I can’t wait to see what this next year of blogging has in store! 🙂

Thanksgiving Photos – cakes, candies, and lakes, oh my!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! First, it was Thanksgiving, and then I realized just how behind I was in NaNoWriMo… I’m determined to catch up and to reach 50k, I knew I’d have to write 3K a day. So far so good! I’m only 5K away now from winning; so close I can taste it!

Anyway, here is a snippet of last Friday in photo form. 😀 I didn’t get photos of all the food, but here are a few that I took. This is a cake that I baked and decorated:

And the inside of the cake. It was velvet with a cream cheese frosting. The decorations had allspice, cinnamon, and molasses (because I was out of maple syrup and had to improvise) and that gave it an autumn kick and the right color without using food coloring. I suspect there was food coloring in the cake mix though. XD

And my uncle’s girlfriend, whom I consider an aunt at this point, made these Christmas candies, which were addictive:

And of course, I went to my grandma’s lake, which was as beautiful and serene as ever.

As you may know, if you’ve followed me a while, I haven’t shown my face. And that’s not going to start now. XD I brought my dad’s tripod and set my camera on the timer function to get this one. I took a lot of me walking; do I sense a new “About Me” page header image? I think yes. XD Also, I just learned how to French braid and this was my second time trying it. And I included red highlights, because why not? I don’t know how well you can see it in the photo though.

After a bit of photo taking, it started to get dark, so I took this one (finally figured out how to make the new camera take photos and not wash out the sky – yay) and headed back to my grandma’s house. God’s artistry never ceases to amaze.

And here was the sunset from the opposite direction.

It was a lovely day, though we celebrated on Friday instead of Thursday so all of my uncles could make it. Hope you enjoyed the photos, and I’ll be back soon! ❤

Blog Issues & NaNoWriMo Updates

Hello all! 🙂

Firstly, I’d like to cover the blog issues. It looks like for the past few months, every time I’ve attempted to follow a blog, it was rejected. I thought this was a problem with my dial-up Internet and Windows XP system, and since I upgraded, all problems should be fixed. But I realized yesterday that I still could not follow blogs. I contacted support (they were so nice and helpful over there) and they told me that my account had been mistakenly flagged as an anti-spam measure for bulk following, and they fixed it. Therefore, if I made a mention that I was following you and then I disappeared, it was because I thought I was following you but I wasn’t. 😅  I’m so glad this is fixed now!

 


 

And now for the NaNoWriMo update:

I’m a bit behind still, but I’m planning to catch up. 🙂 And I just added an excerpt from my novel. I know that not all of you have NaNoWriMo accounts to view it, so I’m including it in this post so you all can read it if you wish. 😊

“He gives and He takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. That was Job’s way of dealing with loss.”

She knew now that she had been horribly wrong about Him. Maybe this was not about whether she believed, it was about whether she accepted Him. She was angry with Him; why could He not save the ones near to her?

Her sister’s words returned to her – she had said the same thing years ago, but she brushed them off because she did not want to hear.

It all started to make sense to her. She did not think that He did not exist; she only kidded herself to make Him feel the same pain that she had felt, and in the process, bit off her nose to spite her face.

She would not reject Him any longer. She fell to her knees. Holy is the Lamb. Good is her God. Loving was her Father. All her anger melted away into a puddle and was never remembered again.

Forgiveness was a powerful thing. Her burdens dropped from her shoulders and she felt lightweight, though that could be possible that she also lost weight by now.

But could her parents and sister forgive her? She knew that God was a loving God, and that He forgave because He died so that He could forgive. And defeat sin and death.

But—

She had to believe that they did. She just had to.

She opened her journal to write and realized what day this was.

Her sixteenth birthday.

She almost cried, thinking of what kind of sweet sixteen she was missing out on. And then she did cry when she realized that even if she was home having a party, her family was dead and would not be there.

It would not be a fun party.

She was half glad that she was alone and in survival mode because if she was not, she was sure she would fall to pieces.

She went to the beach and carefully built herself a cake made out of the sand, and found some sticks and stuck them in the top, pretending that they were candles with flames dancing around the wick. She pretended that her family was there with her, and blew out the fake flames.

There would be presents, and she made sandboxes with sand bows on the top and imagined what could be in there. A new purse? New jewels? An espresso maker? Items that she may have taken for granted before, but would be luxurious to have now.

She knew that soon, the high tide would wipe away her cake and presents – any trace that she had even made them. All she would have left were the memories and the memories that could have been if her parents had still been alive.

She walked the island aimlessly. It was hard to get lost; she knew the majority of it and it was so small that if she did lose her way, she could walk until she hit the beach and keep going until she stumbled upon the rocky cove or until she saw the tips of the orange tree.

Happy birthday. Sure. Not anymore. No birthday would ever be the same. It would just denote another year gone by without her family. Another reminder of how much time had passed since the tragedy that changed her life forever.

 

 

Photographer By Day, Novelist By Night

It is week forty-four of 100 Word Wednesday, and here is the photo and my response. 🙂 If you’d like to join in, just click the link! 😉

Image Credit Brevitē

Photographer at heart
Was almost ready to depart,
I’d gathered the supplies.

Cameras, film, and a backpack,
Going old school, memories taking me back,
Traveling to the airport, almost makes me cry.

Going to many exotic places,
Where I’ll see many faces –
That is all well and good,

But I do not want to explore,
I want to be home more,
In my own neighborhood!

Is that really so bad?
That right now, traveling makes me sad?
That in pajamas I want to stay?

And crash on the sofa and vent,
Especially during this event,
Trying to write a novel in only thirty days!

#NaNoWriMo

The Versatile Blogger Award

versatile

Thank you so much, Laurie, for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award! I’m so honored that you chose to nominate me. 🙂

 

Award rules:

Thank the person who nominated you

Share the award on your blog

Share seven random facts about yourself

Tag 10 bloggers with less than 1,000 followers and let them know that they have been nominated.

The Random Facts…

  1. This is my second award. 😀
  2. I have 17 cats. (Hey, someone abandoned them, and they were homeless and hungry and I couldn’t let them starve. They are very awesome little creatures. 17 distinct personalities. I love them all to death. 🙂 )
  3. Growing up, I adored Nancy Drew. Books, old black and white movies, old TV series, and computer games. I still read // watch // play them sometimes for nostalgia’s sake, even though I’m an adult. (Along with other children’s books and young adult books. I’m a kid at heart. XD )
  4. My dream is to be a published author someday. I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this November, and I hope to write the sequel to the Christian Dystopian Young Adult novel I wrote a first draft for last November, and maybe someday I’ll have finished the trilogy.
  5. I like to make stuff; especially the artsy and crafty type of things. For example, I made myself a charm bracelet last month: psalms-twenty-three-charm-bracelet I wonder why I chose Psalms Twenty Three? **glances at title of blog** XD
  6. My birthday is the day before Halloween. For too long, I let that define me.
  7. I think my favorite song presently is, “How Can I Keep From Singing?” by Audrey Assad. Or “Holy, Holy, Holy.” That was fantastic too. Or maybe, “Be Thou My Vision.” Or it could be, “It Is Well with My Soul.” Or perhaps, “New Every Morning” or, “Even Unto Death”? Haha, I can’t decide. She is so talented. A friend of mine gave me her “Inheritance” album, and I can’t stop listening to it – and singing along with it. She is absolutely amazing. Seriously, if you have a moment to sample her music, click the link, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

The Ten Blogs I’m Nominating, in no particular order:

The Showers of Blessings

Urvashi’s thoughts

paperheartdreams

Highly Improbable Blog

Refreshing Spirit

Mixed With Mine

Genie Poetess

Selene Silver

stephentotheplate

FaithWalkingHebrews11:1

No pressure to accept the award; but if you do decide to, have fun, and I look forward to reading your post! 🙂