August 21, 2014

What if--Writing Through a Glass Dimly by Jocelyn Faire

All the what if's in the world, wishing on stars—it won't change a thing ... determination, perseverance and a twist of fate changed my life and writing.

Writing through a glass dimly ... like a fog ...

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” That used to be the way I lived my life, my most prolific sewing happened with three small children attached to my body like extra limbs. Busyness, the accepted hallmark of Christian faith—the way many of us lived and still do, life filled with those appointed good works .... and then a twist of fate ... For me it was drastic and tragic ... the accident that took two children, the nest emptied, so torn apart by grief that barely a few twigs remained of that once-happy and full family nest.

And now, I am in that place where I have the time.

And the sense of urgency has decreased.

Now the need to write, is to make sense of this world, to give Hope a voice. I ache to express the beauty, the pain, and the God behind both. Being has become more important than doing.

Having the time or money to write, is not my issue—the issue is having the resilience to carry on, to respond to be creative and willing in all aspects of life, including writing.

When I read the question for this month, I didn't know quite how to approach it.

Perhaps that right time to do the things we keep on a bucket list, is once we get to heaven, when we are not seeing through the glass dimly. And then what? What will I have to write about? The tears will be gone, I will not be needing to overcome these great obstacles ... what will John Grisham write about? Ian Rankin ... who needs murder mysteries? Or those self-help books ... or, perhaps I should write now, because in Heaven I won't need to express the twisting doubts?

This summer I lost a very dear friend, a heart issue at age 57... and the bereft family said in the initial email ... she went to her eternal rest.

One thing I know about my friend, she wouldn't want to be in eternal rest. I don't think that's what Heaven's about. I used to wonder about eternity ... if it was going to be forever anyways, I saw no rush to get there, but once I had two term deposits up there, my outlook changed. Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven paints a phenomenal picture of experience and beauty, an exciting future he believes will greet us upon arrival. And he is convinced that we get to continue on in our creativity, and work in the eternal future. (This is not a theology piece on heaven.) So will I be writing up there? Or should I finish my stories here below? And 1 Corinthians comes to mind, If I speak (write) with the tongue of men and angels, but have not love, I'm a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.


While kayaking last week, heavy with thoughts of my friend's life, praying about the upcoming funeral, I saw the most exquisite flowers, unlike any I had ever seen before, what made them so unique? They were underwater. I have seen enough seaweed and lily pads, where the blossoms rest on top of the water, to know this was exceptional, ... I kayaked over the clear blue green mountain lake waters again, to be sure my eyes had not deceived ... yes there, through the water glass dimly, were tiny yellow and white flowers a few feet below the surface ... the water dimmed their colours, but they truly were blooming where planted.

I think I can continue to write from under the water as long as I keep my kayak aimed at the Son!


Jocelyn writes about Hope in the Hard Places on her blog.


 

August 19, 2014

Living Lampstands by Linda Aleta Tame


Living Lampstand
14 x 18 Acrylic on Canvas

We 
want 
to see light precious light
We want to be light
precious light
Living
lampstands
growing
glowing
He fills 
the earth
with glory light
Arise
Shine
 He is
In you
And you are
the glory
of God



August 17, 2014

I'M THERE! WELL, SORT OF Bryan Norford



To have unlimited time, space, and finances to indulge in a writing compulsion is the fantasy of us all, but it seems to me, an unrealistic and pointless pipe dream. Unless, perhaps, it sparks some selfie encouragement: “I can do this,” or at least squeezes a little more time and money by judicious rearrangement.

But, believe it or not, I have finally arrived at that writers’ paradise where all those dreams have come true. Well, almost. Let me explain.

Being retired, I have, apparently, all the time in the world to spend on myself. Mind you, I still have to take out the garbage, fill up the car, pay the bills, and suchlike, but really negligible time demanded by my married status. No excuse here.

As for space, I have my own well equipped workplace, bookshelves to hand, and a deep closet that can house a filing cabinet. No more fighting over counter space to plant my laptop. Ann, too, has her own space which avoids conflict with mine. Okay, okay! It is smaller than mine, but she likes to be near the kitchen. She says the juices flow while the soup simmers.

Last, I really don’t have all the money I require, but the industry has provided free publishing and digital printing that allows me to buy one or a thousand books at the same reasonable price. The advantage, beyond cool costs: I don’t have to fill my basement with a thousand books of every title. I can store the few I need in my deep closet.

So, as you see, I’ve got it made. So how do I spend my time? You tell me! I can’t remember too well. It seems to leak out of every corner of my life. In fact, as you’ve probably heard, I don’t know when I had time to work. And the writing I planned is in my head, incomplete, unchecked, or still in the bucket.

It appears that although I have all the time I want, there are more demands on it: others’ needs, recreation, family togetherness, that great time waster—in my opinion—sho-o-o-opping, and, of course, ministry and time to enjoy the pleasure of His company.

Absurdly, with all the benefits I desire, I still do not produce the amazing works of art that you, dear InScribers, accomplish with less. It is not the availability or lack of resources upon which great work depends, but on the inspiration God graciously provides.

Deprivation frequently provides depth to art, affluence often stunts it. It’s His resources that advance the Kingdom. What ever we have are only tools for His service. The bottom line is not our assessment of time, money, or resources, for He will provide whatever we need—much or little—to accomplish what He requires of us.

But, if I’m honest, I do enjoy my comfortable space—for which I am daily grateful. 



August 15, 2014

The Magic If - Tracy Krauss

'The Magic If' is actually an acting technique introduced by iconic director Stanislavski to help actors portray emotion on stage. Basically, an actor is asked to imagine certain situations and draw from his or her emotional memory. Sometimes, an action or even an imaginary object is added to help the actor react in a convincing manner. In a nutshell, actors should ask the question, "What if...?" and fill in the blank. (Example: If an actor is asked to portray fear, he or she could ask the question, "What if a gunman had a gun pointed at me?") I won't go into all the finer details, but when I saw this month's writing prompt, I couldn't help making the connection. (I do teach theatre arts, after all...)

The prompt reads something like this: "...what if you had a whole year free to completely focus on your writing? If financial considerations were magically taken care of, would it change how/what you write?"

Now this is a 'what if' scenario I can really get into! I don't think it would change what I write as much as how I would accomplish it. And it would certainly change the amount I would be able to produce. I can imagine myself finishing three to four full length novels per year instead of the paltry singular I've managed so far. Plus, think of all the time for online tasks that often get brushed aside. Maybe I could even make a bit of money at this gig!

I'm sure reality wouldn't run that smoothly. Murphy's Law dictates that when we have more money we spend it, so I imagine it is the same with time - more demands would eat up the hours. I am actually blessed to have a small taste of this scenario every summer. As a teacher, I have two months each year when I can focus more exclusively on my writing and it tends to be quite a productive time for me. It is something I am very grateful for.

Until the time I can quit my job, I intend to be satisfied with that - although it is fun to imagine...

Tracy Krauss continues to dream about writing full time from her home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. In the meantime, she will keep plugging away - one novel, play, or short story at a time... To see what writing she has managed to accomplish, visit her website: http://tracykrauss.com or sign up for her newsletter to keep up with all the latest.