Sunday, October 23, 2005


Yep. You heard me right.

First of all, sorry for the long delay between posts. My server was down for awhile, and I've actually been in a writing challenge. We were supposed to finish a book in two weeks. Okay so I got to 180 pages. I was 100 pages short because I couldn't seem to turn off my internal editor with this story. Sigh. But hey, I got over two thirds of the book written!

What does that have to do with obedience? I'm getting to that.

I hadn't been very disciplined with my writing the past couple of months and I was beginning to feel that little nudge on my shoulder from God. He called me into a writing cave a couple of years ago. Told me to quit (gasp) volunteering at the crisis pregnancy center, quit committing to certain programs at the church, quit IM'ing my friends so much, quit playing Spider Solitaire instead of writing. He wanted me to get these books written. Okay, so when I drift from my mission, He has to steer me back. I get easily distracted so I'm glad He keeps me on a short leash. I need that. I need to stay the course. I sometimes gripe at God because I haven't heard Him speak anything profound to me lately. Oh I always know he loves me and all that. I'm talking about directional words.

He gave me direction all right. He said, "Why would I tell you the next thing to do when you haven't obeyed the last thing I told you to do? Go back in your cave and finish the books I told you to finish by year's end."

OOOOkay. So I hope He's explaining all this to my church friends who may think I've backslidden or worse, dropped off the face of the planet. The pulling away from serving is very hard for me because I have a problem caring what others think of me. Plus I love to serve. Nevermind that this is also the season in my husband and I's year where we're gone A LOT. But I just have to trust that one day they'll understand. My main gift and calling in the church is intercessory prayer. I can do that no matter where I'm at, and I do. I know there will be a season coming up when God will call me to volunteer more, serve more in the church. Be more involved in teh extarcurricular activities. Do something besides just show up. This is a hard issue for me because I love to serve. If I see a need, I want to meet it. If I see something that needs to be done, I do it now and ask questions later. So these past couple of years has been hard for me in that regard.

Obedience is never, ever easy.

But it's always, always worth it.


Friday, October 07, 2005


This morning at a women's prayer group God did some really awesome stuff. Two gals prayed for me (waving to Val and Becky!), and I left that meeting more peaceful than I have been in a long time. I also went there knowing that Marcie had some words of encouragement for me. And boy did she. I'll share them in another blog entry. I also went instinctually knowing*** that if Obsitu came, she'd have wisdom from God for me. I waited. At the end, she encouraged me without me prompting her about a decision I'm facing regarding a trip to India to visit children that were orphaned by the tsunami. The strange thing is, when I was invited to go, none of the people knew that was a strong theme in my book. So I really think this is a God thing. I'm a mom. They're orphans. I'm going to love them. I think my books will be better for it, but at the same time, my life will be irrevokably changed by those children. Even though I write fiction, my books have a voice. One speaks for the children. One speaks for the soldiers. One speaks for the families who have to let them go serve to keep the rest of us safe. I beleive this trip will help validate my research, and strengthen the voice calling out to the hearts of people to reach out to these little ones.

Last night at church, Jamie's message was so awesome. One thing he said was, "Sometimes God stretches us."

And all I could think was, "Yeah. Sometimes alllllllll the way to India."

Thank you, Jesus for the opportunity to go love your precious children. I'm overwhelmed to the core of my being. It's going to take a miracle to get the paperwork pushed through in time. If you want me to go, you'll expedite it. I know you will. You know my deepest fears with this. Right now, in the face of the world, I lay them down at your feet. Now stomp all over the enemy's head. Destroy this fear in my midst. Do not let it triumph over me any longer. I love what you do, Lord. Breathe life into this love for these little ones in me and others. Breathe life into my characters, and into the voice in my story. The one that speaks your words to that reader in only a way you can, in such a special, tender, intimate way that reader knows you are real, and that you really care. That you know what's going on in their life. You see what no one else does. You hear what no one else does. You feel how deep that pain runs. You know how deep the longing goes. You know. Thank you for being that kind of God.
I love you.


*** That might sound up there like I hear God clearly and perfectly, and honestly, I struggle through it just like everyone else does at times. Just so you know, I'm still not perfect. LOL!***

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Most of my work is character-driven. The more I learn about the craft of fiction the more I learn....that I really don't know much of anything. LOL!

BUT, what I *think* character-driven means is that I know my characters more than my plot when I write the story, and that shows in the finished product. The characters drive the story rather than the plot because they're more developed. That's not to say that people with Plot-driven works have weak characterization, and vice-versa.

You can be perfect at grammar and craft, and have no readership. Why?

Two reasons I think.

1. Because you haven't made us care about your characters, and
2. Because your plot didn't have that, "Wow!" factor.

What's a "Wow!" factor? I have no idea. It's that thing that a book or movie has that, after the final page closes, or the screen credits roll by, makes you sit there for several minutes going, "Wow."

Okay, so you may not be doing that externally because you don't want to look like a goober in front of your date. Even if it is your spouse. But internally, you're going, "Wow." You know what I'm talking about. I did it last night, after watching the movie, "SERENITY."

It had that "Wow" factor in my opinion. The characters were memorable. Meaning I thought about them long after the movie was over. I'm going to analyze each character from that movie, as to why I couldn't stop thinking about them through last night and today. I'm going to ask myself, "What was it about that character that drew me to him, or her?" "At what point in that movie did I feel compassion, or empathy toward them?" For River, the thing that pops in my mind is when the one crew member wants to toss her off the ship because (they think) she's mentally unstable. They're talking about her like she isn't there only she is. That gave me sympathy toward her. I felt for her and at taht point really began rooting for her more. Actually in one of the first scenes (I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen the movie) River endeared herself to me because as a little girl among classmates she was the only one gutsy enough to stand up for something she beleived in, the only one who had teh courage and insight to question her authority.

Can you think of some of your favorite movie or book characters? What makes them so special to you? I'd like to know the answers. So reply here or email me with your thoughts.

Can you think of some movies or books you've read the last month where the characters still vividly stick out in your mind?

What about last year?

Ten years ago?

Why do you think that is?

How can you make your characters that vivid and long-term memorable?

Food for thought. Make those characters stand out...or sit down, or jump off a building to save a heroine, or face her worst fear for her hero, or whatever it is they do to stand out in the reader's mind.


Monday, October 03, 2005


Sorry I didn't post these rules with the last few prompts...brain fizzz.

Here are the rules for Squirrel's Story Starter:

Write a 500 word scene following the Prompt instructions and email it to me at anavim4him@gmail dot com (Replace "dot" with an actual "." and close the spaces.

I don't get all bent out of shape if the word count goes over since the idea of the Story Starter is to, well, start a story. LOL.

Contest ends the 20th of each month and winner is notified by the 25th of each month. Prizes are sent out that week and new prompt posted by the 1st of each new month.

Entrants retain all rights to their entries so I do not epublish or post entries anywhere.

Reply or email me with any questions,