February 28, 2021

Keith Hampshire: "Big Time Operator" by Bruce Atchison

I was in high school when this song was in rotation on Canadian rock radio stations. It resonated with me because I had a dream of being a radio and TV repair man. After much resistance from counsellors, I was able to enrol in an electronics course.

Check out Keith Hampshire's hit here:

One career I never believed I'd end up having is writing. Back in the seventies, nobody had personal computers with screen readers to speak what was on the monitor. Neither were there electronic magnifying devices like the one I have now. In fact, I began that decade using two weak magnifying glasses held together to read with.

My dream of repairing electronic equipment fell through when the course had us work on televisions. The voltages inside them were far too dangerous for me to touch the components. That was the first of many course corrections I had to make.

God certainly had different plans for his people throughout the Bible. Noah doubtless never thought of building an ark before God called on him. Neither did Moses figure he could go back to Egypt and free his people. Jonah hated the Ninevites and never expected the Lord would send him to preach repentance to them.

My job history wasn't nearly as expansive as the man in Keith Hampshire's song but it did have a few surprises. I never figured I'd be a security guard. Neither did I expect to work for the Government of Canada.

When I was laid off in 1995, a career counsellor suggested I become a freelance writer. Though I didn't succeed at that, and my memoirs didn't sell, I'm glad I followed that man's advice.

Now I look forward to retirement and to enjoying all the bounty the Lord has given me. I might still write but I'll have no more pressure from disability counsellors to find paying work.

February 27, 2021

Required Flexibility by Lorilee Guenter


Our first major trip as a couple involved flying to Florida for a work gathering. We looked forward to meeting co-workers and exploring a new location. Plans started changing as soon as we arrived at the airport. Our flight was delayed long enough we would miss our connecting flight. The airline gave us two options. We took the option that would get us part way to our destination. It included an overnight layover before the last leg of our journey. The difficulties continued including getting lost finding our hotel and a full day delay coming home because of mechanical problems with the aircraft. Flexibility and adaptability became necessary. I won't paper over the frustration we felt, however even in the middle of being lost we found things to smile about. We found some hidden gems that our guide book did not list.  Since that trip we have become lost in many other locations, even with maps and GPS to guide us. This happens so many times we now expect to get lost at least once per trip to anywhere we have not yet been. The frustration has mostly subsided when this happens. Each time we look for the what we would otherwise have missed. Flexibility is required.

Many times in my art and writing the plans start changing as soon as I pick up a pencil (or paintbrush). I have the choice to give in to the frustration that bubbles up or embrace the change and see where it leads. I still struggle to embrace the change when I have a clear picture of where I think I want to go. With time, I am learning writing detour like travel hold treasure I would miss if I stubbornly clung to my plans. Flexibility and adaptability become necessary.

Some benefits found in writing detours are curiosities discovered while researching. I am in the middle of editing my first novel. I needed to verify some terminology but also stumbled on some unusual clauses people have included in their wills. For the curious this side trip is one of those gems. It has become part of my ideas file that I can pull from as needed. Even the act of writing the novel involved adaptation as I moved from the mindset of not being a writer to writing essays to trying something new and different. Flexibility was required.

Each piece of writing takes me on a journey through my interests and experiences. Writing helps me make connections. The need to slow down and observe the new and unexpected territory allows me to find treasure I would otherwise overlook. Now I look forward to the journey and even take some "wrong" turns on purpose so I can see where they lead me. One day I will be able to leave the frustration behind as I start looking for those gems right away.

I know the Master Map Maker and True Navigator. His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). When I remember this fact there is no lost. There is only here and now and the lessons of this moment. Therefore I look forward to what the journey brings including the unexpected.  Flexibility is required.

May your journey be filled with the expected and unexpected treasure that comes from following God's leading.

February 25, 2021

Creative Adaptability by Sharon Heagy


Adapting. It’s in our DNA. Put there by the Creator Himself.  It’s one of the gifts He gives us to survive.  If life is anything, it is ever changing and at times unpredictable. We need the ability to embrace life and shift with its ever-changing flow, ‘a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1) When we pour into the creative river within us and allow that river to freefall down the mountain, it not only aids in our writing, painting, sculpting etc. but it helps us to find creative solutions to situations in our daily life. If the river becomes dammed, algae blooms begin to grow and we start to stagnate. Our creativity wanes. It is up to us to figure out a way to poke a hole, to move one log and then kick the whole dam apart and WHOOSH, we are rushing, bubbling, twisting and turning our way back down the mountain. So how do we do that? How do we break through?

In 2Timothy1, Paul reminds Timothy to fan into flame the spiritual gift of God within him and in the same way we need to be reminded that it is up to us to stoke the fire, or in this case, to bust the dam wide open. We need to find a way to adapt. Below I offer a few dam busting solutions that have worked for me.

1. Always number one in my books – pray. Pray for help, for inspiration, for your eyes to be open then wait expectantly for answers. He will answer because He called you. Of course, if you are like me you need to remember to listen.

 2. Try a different medium. Switch to a pen or pencil if you use a computer and vice versa.

 3. Write about your frustrations. It gets the thing out of your head and may lead you to discover the real source of your frustration, which may be surprising.  A new concept may plunk itself down in your gray cells. You may go boldly to where your brain has never gone before. (Apologies to Star Trek)

 4. Turn off social media and other unnecessary screens. Nothing numbs creativity faster than extended hours of mindless activity.

 5. Go outside. A few minutes to a few hours outdoors can be amazingly refreshing. The fresh air clears our heads and can give us a new perspective. His creation is a grand source of clarity. Time spent there clears the cobwebs and the clutter.  If you are unable to go outside open a window and let the air in. Listen to sounds. Hear the wind. Listen to the birds. If that isn’t possible, perhaps a recording of nature would be more accessible. Close your eyes and allow God to minister to you.

 6. Have a nap. Studies have shown increased productivity in people who have a 20-minute snooze at some point during the day.

 7. Try a different genre or a different medium. Write a poem, prose, or non-fiction. Paint a picture, model some clay, doodle. Sing, dance make music. Do something other than your norm to kick start the creative engine of adaptability.

 8. Talk to other writers. (So thankful for Inscribe) They will have a plethora of ideas that work for them and you may just find the one that works best for you.

 9. Have courage and never give up.

 10. Tell Sharon to re-read this post on a regular basis as she forgets all the methods that have worked in the past and tell her there are a myriad more ways of provoking creativity because we serve an infinitely creative God.

 11. Have a blessed day and thanks for reading this rambling list. May you find encouragement and may your river never cease to cascade down the mountain.

February 24, 2021

Emergence ~ Valerie Ronald

I am intrigued by time-lapse nature photography, a technique that speeds up a process which normally appears subtle and slow to the human eye. When a blooming flower is captured at one film frame per second, then played back at 30 frames per second, the opening of the blossom appears 30 times faster. It is fascinating to watch a flower grow and bloom in accelerated time.

Adaptive creativity reminds me of time-lapse photography. When I review a piece of my writing, it is like seeing a flower bloom in just a few seconds. The creative process takes its own time. A completed project, once edited, revised, honed — becomes a time-lapse of all those frames of creative time opening in the reader’s mind like a blossoming flower. I consider my writing as more of an organic emergence than a technique-driven process. From idea inception to finished manuscript, the emergence occurs through interactions with God. Prayer by prayer, one soul conversation building on another, they string together like a necklace of words to grace the throat of my Savior.

Prayer is the birth channel for all I write. Whether by assignment or to express my own thoughts, the nebulous seed of a new project starts in the womb of prayer. Scripture-informed prayer influences, directs and speaks God’s voice into my writing. I seek His guidance and advice, especially when beginning. I don’t know where my own thoughts end and God’s voice begins, but I have no doubt when it is Him speaking. Sometimes insistent, often subtle, the idea grows in the creative corner of my brain until I am ready to give it life on the page.

 So is this adaptive creativity? Maybe not in the traditional sense. Certainly I have enough experience and knowledge to adapt one style of writing to another or change it to meet the requirements of a different market. Original creativity, however, keeps pace with life’s changing phases by adjusting to the climate of my days.

 Some time ago, during a long period of struggle and trials, I filled pages of journals with the pain of a betrayed marriage and a broken body. Those bleeding words were not intended for any other eyes except God’s. Yet now that I am whole and healthy again, He has called me to adapt those private words for a public readership so those who are experiencing similar grief can learn from them. Like most change, it requires vulnerability to put my heart out there for others to see. I have done much wrestling with this assignment in my private conversations with God, but I cannot escape His gentle insistence. I must believe that on the other side of obedience there is blessing.

No map exists of the adaptation of my writing journey over the years. It has gone through many transitions, each with a lesson learned and a step toward the next phase. It began as the seed of a love for words planted in a child’s heart, then gradually blossomed into acceptance as a published author. Frame by frame, prayer by prayer, God planted the seeds of what He wanted written in my voice. He gives such joy and satisfaction in the process, as He adapts the words and the writer to fulfill His perfect purposes. 



Valerie's devotionals can be read on her blog https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com

February 23, 2021

PIVOT by Joylene M. Bailey


If I had been an athlete, I think I would have played basketball. Sadly, I'm the farthest thing from an athlete but I do enjoy watching.

Two of my brothers played basketball, as did all three of my daughters. So it's fair to say, I've watched A LOT of basketball games.

There is one principle of basketball that I've always found intriguing, and is something that is difficult for a beginning player to learn: The pivot foot. 

In the simplest terms possible, the pivot foot is the foot that remains in contact with the floor while a player controls the ball while stopped.

The player may spin or otherwise change position so long as their pivot foot does not move from its initial position or lose contact with the floor.                            Basketball for Coaches

Basketball players need to be adaptive and creative, as they experience the nuances of the game. With every move from their opponents and even their own teammates, they spin and twist, looking for an opening, a way to their ultimate goal - to get the ball into the hoop. That's creative adaptability.


A few weeks before Christmas 2020, I put aside the memoir I was working on to prepare for Christmas. We were looking forward to the joyful chaos that a house full of kids, and especially grandkids, would bring. 

We'd been hoping the restrictions would hold off but, alas, the restrictions came down in full force and we knew there would be no little visitors from provinces away. I was down and discouraged.

One day as I sat in the living room commiserating with myself, my eyes fell on the long legged snowman my hubby had given me days before.

Suddenly, my mind opened up to new possibilities. My grandchildren couldn't come to me, but I could go to them with daily stories, complete with staged photographs, about a long legged snowman who got into innocent mischief. 


That's how Jubal's Adventures was born. Soon he had a pet reindeer named Reggie, and a very nervous friend called Beverly Mouse. I've written about some of his adventures here

The days leading up to Christmas passed swiftly with Jubal getting into new shenanigans every day. What joy he brought, to my grandkids and to me!


Just like pivoting in basketball allows the player with the ball to find an opening to take a shot, so pivoting in our expectations allows creatives to create in new ways.



Joy, Jubal, Reggie, and Beverly Mouse live in Edmonton with The Cowboy and Babe-soon-to-be-married. Find more of her joy-infused view of the world at Scraps of Joy.

February 22, 2021

Sleep Apnea, Adaptive Creativity, and A Wounded Writer by Alan Anderson


Sleep Apnea

The first sound I hear every morning after I turn off my C-PAP machine is the breathing of my beautiful darling, my wife. We have hugged and snuggled for over forty-two years. Many of those years included my snores every night. Readers might ask, “So what? Sounds like this post is going to be a yawner.” Well, let me explain.

In May 2020, tests at a local sleep clinic concluded I have a condition called extreme obstructive sleep apnea. The diagnosis freed me from almost sleepless nights for over thirty years. Since my diagnosis, I realize how brutal this condition is on one’s body, mind, and heart. I realize I am wounded.

Until my diagnosis, I never heard of “obstructive sleep apnea.” I had heard of “sleep apnea,” but not the “extreme obstructive” type. My Respiratory Therapist at the sleep clinic has educated me on the damage obstructive sleep apnea can cause. This condition is harsh, but the education I have received about it makes sense now regarding what I have suffered with for decades.

Adaptive Creativity

There are consequences because of sleep apnea. My biggest adaptation, at least for now, is to accept I have memory and concentration challenges. These challenges are common for people with obstructive sleep apnea. Believe me, this is not fun, but one can adjust and adapt life to these temporary challenges.


I, therefore, welcome adaptive creativity. I used to enjoy researching writing projects and working on them for days at a time. Now my concentration, at least for now, is good for about two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. I need a break in between or else my mind sees too many “shiny things,” my mind wanders.


In my life as a writer, I have embraced adaptive creativity via poetry. I find poetry is easier to focus on. While concentration continues to be a struggle, I can write at least one poem draft per week. I turned to poetry in hopes not only to sharpen my writing skills but also aid in my concentration.


My major writing project this year is my book of poetry I call, Plant Them A Garden: A Reflective Work of Grief, Faith, and Poetry. I hope to have the book published this year. I am happy to say I am learning a lot about poetry as this project takes shape. I must persevere and increase my concentration at the same time to bring this project to fruition.


Extreme obstructive sleep apnea caused me to put my life on pause. I saw a need to step back from my writing and evaluate where I want to focus. I mean as a writer, not to write means not to breathe. Well, I love to write and I’m super in love with the ability to breathe.


My journey with extreme obstructive sleep apnea continues, but not as severe as it has been. I thank God I still have an ability to write. I also thank God for InScribe and writer friends. Thank you for a place even wounded writers know they are safe.


PS: No more snoring! 


Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017 and Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has also written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca. Alan is the Provincial Rep. Liaison and BC Rep for InScribe.



February 21, 2021

Imago Dei by Denise Falk

Modern psychology suggests that creativity is defined as either innovative or adaptive and that we can find ourselves somewhere along a scaled continuum within the normal distribution of a bell-shaped curve. I think we can go deeper than a statistical explanation though, for we can define our creativity from its source, through our Creator. Jesus is the creator of life, the originator of innovative creativity and the author of adaptive creativity that is evidenced in creation, in the plan of salvation, and in the patterning of renewal into His likeness.

Genesis tells us that Jesus created the heavens and the earth, and all that was within it, and it was perfect. Jesus is the innovative creator, creating something from nothing. He created a brand-new thing. Jesus is the one and only, the original, for only He can create something from nothing.

After the fall, Jesus loved us enough to create a way of redemption. Jesus took his perfect innovative creation and crafted the concept of redemption, an adaptation of his original plan of perfection, so we could reunite with Him. 

Salvation is the by-product of Jesus’ adaptive creativity, fixing what we broke, and in doing so, he continues to make all things new. Jesus is the authentic adaptive creator, and he calls us to a life of faith where we worship Him with expressions of his adaptive love, because the cost of adapting perfection to offer us a path of salvation cost him everything.

By faith, we take up our cross daily and follow Him. We present our lives in an act of worship to be transformed into His likeness. This is the process of renewing. The Word calls us to continually renew our minds, our hearts, our thoughts through Him, daily. Its how we grow and how we are made new each day.

As Paul shares with the Romans, “do not be conformed to this world, but to the renewing of your mind...” (Romans 12:2), and to the Colossians he writes that we are to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge and in the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10). Paul also teaches the believers in Corinth “… we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). The process of renewing is the fuel for our relationship with Jesus, it is the energy that powers our faith. Our entire identity in Christ is the living embodiment of adaptive creativity. Despite our sin, our rejection of the truth, the Lord made a way for us to be continually transformed by his presence, to be made new again. 

Imago Dei, the image of God in us, is us, fashioning our craft in response to His love, the love that saved and redeemed us. If we are creative, then its because the source of who we are is creative. Everything we produce is an expressive act of His adaptive creativity.  

February 19, 2021

Digging up Rocks - Gloria Guest

 I want to start by saying that I'm very thankful for Vickie Stam's post yesterday, Something More. I felt that I had nothing to share on the subject of creative adaptability, although such a great topic. But Vickie's honest post helped to free me up to just be real. I don't really feel a great deal of creativity these days and I feel like my adaptability has been stretched about as far as it can go right now. This past year and right up to today, has been beyond stressful. I worry about sounding 'whiney' too as Vicky said, but 'it is what it is,' and I've always been a 'say it as it is,' kind of person. I call a spade a spade.

Heart shaped field rock 
that became something new

Speaking of spades they are also known as a rather useful digging tool. And with my spade I feel like I've dug deep for those creative juices to rise to the surface, like the bubbling water from a newly sprung spring. But time and time again my spade has instead struck and scraped against hard, unyielding rocks. Still I've dug. I'm stubborn that way. But with my writing life drying up like the cracked, thirsty ground around me I  decided to try my spade in a new spot. I wasn't so much adaptable as I was desperate and it wasn't what I'd expected. I wanted a gusher, a resounding creative idea to get me back into writing and perhaps even published. Something exciting. Instead I heard the clunk of another rock hit my spade. Bigger. But it budged and so I dug it up and brought it to the surface where I could look at it properly. Perhaps there was some potential here? Something I could do with it? It wasn't the 'water' of writing that I was looking for but when I turned it round and round in my hands and the thought of what it could mean to my writing, I came to an understanding. Perhaps this rock could even be something beautiful in my life.....with some effort...some creative adaptability on my part? 

And so with that in mind, in the past couple of years I've started taking editing classes, with the plan of obtaining my editing certificate. Even though I did a fair bit of editing in the past, on the side, when I worked as a newspaper reporter, it's not the direction that I thought I'd be going in. Yet here I am; daily attempting to climb the hard, granite walls of grammar and sentence structure. It's grueling and not as much fun as studying the art of writing. The learning curve has been steep and it feels like the summit of a certificate might be unattainable. Yet, I can sense that it's been good for the most part. It keeps me in the world of writing (albeit in a different way) and hones my skills as a writer too. I'm learning new strengths and weaknesses ( I think I may hate comma's even more than when I started). Perhaps it'll even lead to a new business venture someday. On the days when the going feels tiring and my footing unsure, I grip my fingers into the rock a little harder and set my slipping foot a little firmer, thinking of where it might lead me. Since I've left reporting, jobs have been as scarce as that gushing spring of water for me; it may be time to be a bit more adaptable in what I can bring to the table. 

I have spent much time in the hallway called 'waiting' in my life. I've even joked to my husband that my middle name should be 'waiting.' While there I have not been so  patient. I have tried kicking down many a door. They don't budge. But I'm stubborn and as I said, I believe in spades ;) and so I have found ways, while waiting, to instead dig up a rock or two. I've even tried painting on a couple :) 

So I am encouraging you who are struggling  with closed doors and long hallways, to also find that one rock to turn over and see something in a new way. Because that's really all creative adaptability is; taking what you already have and turning it around and letting the light shine on it in a new way for you. So when you get tired of kicking doors, as I have, try using that spade to turn a rock or two over. You might be surprised at what you find.  A
door may just crack open and a little light come shining through.

Gloria is a past newspaper reporter/columnist who now writes, blogs, studies editing, waits and digs up the occasional rock, in Caron, Sk. 

Something more.. By Vickie Stam

Here I am - I feel as if I am being swallowed up by our Covid pandemic. This widespread frenzy is truly challenging me. I desperately want to get back to visiting with family and friends - to feel alive and not just living. I know, it probably sounds a little overstated and somewhat whiny. 

The truth is that I long to sit in a coffee shop with my pen and paper or laptop and simply people watch. I look forward to seeing the affection that someone has for their early morning cup of java. Watch their face light up when they take their first sip. I can almost hear those obscene slurping sounds that used to annoy me or take in the tinkle of a spoon one too many times rasping against the porcelain mug. Oh how wonderful that would be! 

Those little opportunities that I once took for granted are now pushing their way into my thoughts. They weigh heavy - like a burden instead of something I hope for. Who would have thought that something so trivial would mean so much to me? Such an intense desire to be where people can once again interact.  

Without even knowing it, a room full of strangers can set in motion the seeds for ideas. Colours come to life, a fashionista trying to start a new trend introduces a character. Whispers, rumblings and hummers all have a way of stirring the writer in me. They provide the backdrop to a multitude of stories. 

I must admit that I have lost my zeal for writing. My lack of interaction to have silenced my passion. This road to recovery feels so long. Each day I need more patience to ride it out.

I can't say that I was one of those people that was allowing my life to wear me out. I never could function at high speed. Now I feel as though I am ready to go full steam ahead and this too feels odd to me. 

I'm asking God to refresh my heart, renew my spirit and encourage me along this extraordinary path we're all on. New beginnings are on the horizon. Though I am thankful for the quiet times I have had over the past year, I am ready for something other than Covid.


February 17, 2021

CRAVING CHANGE - by Sheila Webster


Adaptive Creativity

I always love the writers of the gospels and how they show that Jesus was never stuck in a mold even when healing people. There were no abracadabra moments where magic words were said and the miracle was conjured up by recipe or rote.

It was always a creative response to the person before him and I believe the audience around them. What would it take to call forth faith or life in the events as they unfolded at that particular time, in that particular culture? Whether it was words in the sand, water for the soul, a dip in a river or mud in the eye it was an unbelievably creative moment in that person’s life where they had to choose to adapt to receive the miracle they desired.

As a counsellor especially with people with addictions or long term depression I try and get them to use common sense and senses to bring about change. What did their gut say moments before something negative happened,? Can they take a different route home and focus on the ordinary or extraordinary details around them in the landscape. Does a tortilla chips crunch take their mind off the craving or a teaspoon of peanut butter slowly savored bring about a small change? Does the fragrance of something bring peace in the midst of crisis?

In our writing lives is it really any different? I don’t believe in writers block, no matter how much it has been written about. I believe people are tired, weary or exhausted in circumstances, or they have stared at the same thing for too long – whether it be their pen, screen or wall.

Calling on the beauty in life helps us adapt our creativity. It shows us that a million snowflakes or trees are not the same – ever.  There is always some new way to adapt to the circumstances creatively change the stories that need to be told.

In the first photo a single rose is highlighted against the frozen minus forty stark Saskatchewan landscape. The photo can help me remember both the beauty of a surprise rose, a frosty day or my beloved Saskatchewan landscapes. It brings beauty to an ordinary day when I MAYBE was not keen on helping a neighbor boost their vehicle again in frigid temperatures.

The last photo is of an artistic rendering of a little girl who was wounded by unsavory people commissioned by myself for a fundraiser to help address human trafficking. Over the years prints of this same girl have been creatively adapted for other occasions, this rendering can have alternate meanings or purposes depending on the recipient or audience.

To me adaptive creativity is all of this - responding creativity to what is encountered in everyday life or ministry.

An African Violet Awakening - by Eunice Cooper-Matchett

Two years ago, while on a RV vacation throughout the United States, I became seriously ill, which is the reason I’ve been silent on this blog. We cut our holiday short, and after returning home, life became a blur of unawareness, doctor visits, tests, and hospital stays. I even questioned my own survival. But God never left me. I was just too sick to notice. 

That changed two days after I was discharged from my last hospital stay. I lay on my couch, trying to concentrate on a television show to no avail. The mess in my home drove me up the wall. I needed to clean, but I lacked the strength to accommodate the emotion. Frustration overtook me. 

I shuffled to the kitchen, but on my way through the dining room, my steps froze. My mother’s African violet that hadn’t had a bud on it before I was admitted to the hospital was covered in bright, purple blossoms. 

My heart warmed. God. When my world was at its darkest, He always shone a light, reminding me, I was not alone. I returned to my couch, and the small area rug caught my attention. Although it was burgundy, so much orange, white, and gray, cat hair covered it, its color was unrecognizable.

Mustering up all the energy I could, then praying for more, I took my small cordless vacuum from the closet and went to work on the rug. Even if I couldn’t clean my whole house, one small spot looked cared for. 

Sometimes, my writing life swamps me in the same way. I set lofty goals and struggled to meet them. So many chapters sit in my inbox, waiting to be critiqued. I need go over edits on a chapter of my own, then finish the scene I was working on in my new novel. The list goes on and on. 

But that was before God caught my attention with the violets and showed me with the rug that although I couldn’t clean the whole house, I could do one small part. He taught me to pause, stop looking at the pile of commitments, and concentrate on what I can do now.

It may take me a wee bit longer to accomplish tasks now, but I’ve learned to take a deep breath and remember the violets. When I do, life falls back into perspective. 

- Eunice - 

February 15, 2021

Turning on a Dime - by Tracy Krauss

Adaptation. It's a skill set we've all been forced to hone, like it or not. 

At a recent ZOOM meeting, one of my teaching colleagues shared how her Grad team was learning to "turn on a dime" as they plan Grad 2021. I can't help comparing it to our own Fall Conference for this year. The Executive committee is in the throes of planning for a live event in Edmonton, but we know we may also need to 'turn on a dime', as it were, and go virtual once again for 2021.

I've done a pirouette or two in regard to my personal writing as well. Over the years I've adapted to doing most marketing online, but I did enjoy the odd personal appearance at bookstores and libraries and tried to hit a few seasonal craft sales and the like. These were never huge moneymakers, but they did give me something to share online afterward. I also enjoyed the spur of the moment conversations with passers-by. This cannot be duplicated online. 

In some ways, doing everything virtually is a relief. I have a ready-made excuse not to 'bother' going out. I wonder if I've adapted so 'well' to staying home that I'm becoming a hermit. How convenient it is to conduct all of my business from the comfort of my own home. There are so many advantages to technology. No more traveling. No wasted time coming and going. How wonderful that InScribe's executive can meet regularly to discuss business face-to-face - all because of technology.

But I am getting lazy, too. Complacent. How easy it is to watch my pastor's sermon online rather than have to brave the cold. We meet for Bible study and prayer meetings on ZOOM, but are we really getting the same heartfelt connection that we do when face-to-face? A colleague shared jokingly that the most used phrase in 2020 was, "You're on mute." I had to laugh. It is so true. Despite our best efforts, the ebb and flow of natural conversation aren't quite the same. 

Still, we're doing our best. All of us have had to turn on a dime to some degree. Some people are managing better than others. For the most part, I like my own company, which is a good thing since my husband works away, so lives in a camp two-thirds of the time. I have occasional visits from my children and grandchildren who have remained in my bubble, but other than that it is mostly just the three of us - me, myself and I. 

Early on in this Covid crisis, I embraced some advice I saw somewhere that keeping a schedule helps keep one's mental health stable. I knew this to be true ever since retiring from teaching public school. If I let myself just 'go with the flow' every day, I soon spiral into lethargy - and watching too my Netflix! So, I try to stick to a routine as much as possible, building in housework, 'work 'work, writing, and even hobbies. A routine keeps me sane and helps me feel like I'm still accomplishing my goals. As long as it doesn't become rigid and its own source of stress, routine has been my best and biggest adaptation. 

In some ways, I'm still turning on a dime, but hopefully, I'm doing it gracefully. 

Tracy Krauss
 writes - and enjoys life - in northern BC. She is currently serving as inScribe's president. Visit her website for more - fiction on the edge without crossing the line - 

February 14, 2021

February Mid-Month Moments by Connie Inglis

 February's Mid-Month Moment

Today I read something that brought back a memory of when I was 14 or 15. My parents bought a lot in our small prairie town, moved in an old house, basically gutted it (except for two joining rooms with a beautiful pristine wooden staircase in the center), and built a house from there for a family of eight. Most of the spring, summer, and fall for my older sister and I were spent bringing into fruition my dad's plan. (He had taken a blueprint course by correspondence just so he could draw up his own plans correctly--he was, and still is, amazing.) Pretty much every school day we'd drop off our books, walk to the new lot, and ask the same two questions, "What are you doing, Dad?" and "What do you want me/us to do?"

This memory came as a result of reading these words in Paul E. Miller's book, A Praying Life,: "When Jesus tells us to become like little children, he isn't telling us to do anything he isn't already doing. Jesus is, without question, the most dependent human being who ever lived. Because he can't do life on his own, he prays. And he prays. And he prays."

Here are the Scripture verses that corroborate Miller's thoughts:

John 5:19. " Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

John 8:28. "...I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me."

John 12:49. "For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken."

To the Western mindset, dependency goes against everything we believe in. Right from a young age, we are taught independence - to stop being children. To grow up! But that's not how Jesus lived. (Funny, even as I write this, I want to argue for independence.) Jesus gave up His heavenly home to take on our human form. He had to depend on His Father. Jesus knew humanity's independent spirit. That's why on more than one occasion He calls us to be like children. In Mark 10: 14,15 He says:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Dependency. Jesus calls us to dependency. Jesus calls us to follow His example. He calls us to pray. And to pray. And to pray. He calls us to ask two questions of our heavenly Father, like a child:

1. What are you doing, Dad?

2. What do you want me to do?

Are you seeking to know what God wants for you? In prayer? Maybe, just maybe, He wants to teach you (and definitely me) to depend on Him more. To understand prayer more. From Jesus' example, I know He wants us to look around--to pay attention--to see what He is doing. And in that, He wants us to ask Him in complete dependency, "Okay, so in what You're doing, God, what do you want me to do? How do you want me to be involved? How can I help build Your house, LORD God?"

How good that sounds on paper - how difficult to bring to fruition on a daily basis.

My prayer for us this week is that we will learn dependency. That in some small way we will learn to run to God in prayer. And even if it is only in one small way, may we not be discouraged. God sees that one small way. And like the good Father that He is, He smiles back, delights in us and sings over us, His children. (Zeph. 3:17)

Learning to depend,


Feb 7, 2018

Mid-Month Moments are past devotionals written by Connie Inglis that she shared each week when she was InScribe's spiritual advisor. (Originally called 'Mid-Week Moments') They are shared from her archives, with permission, in the middle of each month. 

February 13, 2021

Journaling with Jesus by Wendy L. Macdonald

 I’ve been taking my process for acquiring spiritual, mental, and emotional strength a step further since the pandemic started. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been battling fear and anxiety more than usual since COVID-19 sprung its tenacious grip on the planet. My hope is this blog post inspires you to dig a little deeper into your source of serenity too.

We’re all different. As InScribers, we’ve all got at least two things in common: We’re followers of Jesus and we’re writers. When I submit to these two truths about myself each morning, I end up writing in my journal. With a coffee in hand, a Bible on my lap, and a journal beside me, I read the Scriptures from where my bookmark left off.  I read slowly while seeking to understand what I’m reading. I also search for my verse of the day.

Once my coffee is done, I’ve usually found the chosen verse.

When a verse or passage makes me tear up—it’s a no-brainer—I need to write about it. This happened the morning I wrote my first draft of this post. I chose a verse that touched my heart. Here it is in part:

O LORD … in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1 NIV

One thing about the Psalms is it doesn’t take long to find a poignant verse. This verse reminded me of a devotional I read the night before. I had promised myself I would read it again in the morning as I was too tired at the time to grasp all of its goodness.

I turned to the devotional in the book, An Enduring Embrace (Experiencing the Love at the Heart of Prayer) by Juanita Ryan and read pages 24-26. Normally I don’t wander from the Word during my quiet times. But I am open to God’s nudges. This openness led to some lovely paragraphs about God’s love for His people. 

In Genesis 16, we read that although Hagar became Sarah’s enemy, she wasn’t at enmity with God. She called out to Him in desperation. God heard her prayer. God answered her prayer. In Genesis 16:13 NIV she said,

 “You are the God who sees me.”

As I pondered her words, I teared up. If God can love the enemy of Abraham’s wife, then surely, He sees me too. If God can bless Sarah’s enemy, then surely, He can bless me. I have been editing my recovery memoir. It’s reminding me of the deep mire I was rescued from. It’s reminding me how dark my sin stains were. 

These reminders remind me to pray fervently for my enemies. As former enemies of God, we are required to pray for those who have abused, used, or falsely accused us. Even while Jesus hung dying on His cross, and was mocked by His enemies, He asked the Father to forgive them. 

Surely, if a sinless man can forgive others, we can forgive our fellow man.

My tears were ones of gratefulness. I’m glad I’m forgiven. I’m glad God grants me the grace to forgive others too. 

In my journal, I wrote a prayer of blessing for my biggest enemy because my fallenness is fresh in my mind. Even if I never publish my memoir, it has fulfilled an important role in my faith walk. It has humbled me. It has exalted God. It has driven me to keep forgiving my foes over and over again despite ongoing sins perpetrated against me.              

Journaling with Jesus is my best source of spiritual, mental, and emotional strength. I have been journaling with Him since my early eating disorder recovery days. This is why I can say, “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” The deep drove me to Jesus. His rescue of me amazed me and made me believe He is who He says He is: The God who sees.

The extra step I’ve taken in my journaling with Jesus is to add the word forgive to the well-known praying acronym: ACTS. 

FACTS. > F.A.C.T.S. > Forgive. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. Facts rather than just acts help us remember how important it is to forgive others before we come to the altar.

I’d like to close to by sharing the poem I posted the day before I started this post:

He is the God

who cares

who listens

who loves

and restores

He is rich

in wisdom

in grace

and the One 

we adore.

~ wlm 

I’m nosy-to-know if you’re allowing God to use your writing gift to draw you closer to Him?

Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

February 12, 2021

Writing My Way Through Grief by Nina Faye Morey

My life has changed dramatically since I lost my loving husband and soulmate to cancer in April. Since then, I’ve found myself wandering through a desolate landscape filled with grief and loss, searching for the light that will lift me up out of this deep well of darkness.

I know that I must adapt my life to this new and challenging landscape, but my negative feelings—grief, fear, worry, anxiety, depression and loneliness—have caused me to lose my way. These debilitating emotions have also made it next to impossible for me to write. However, I’ve slowly come to realize that if I can refocus my writing to address my grief and loss, it may shed some light on my feelings that will help me work my way through this grieving process.

The empty page seems like a safe and comfortable place to pour out my feelings, but it requires a willingness to delve deep into this darkness that envelopes me. I will need to face my feelings of grief and loss, my fears, my worries, and my anxieties. I’ll need to summon the inner strength to explore and deal with the overwhelming emotions that writing about my grief evokes. I know it will not be easy. But if I’m brave enough, the process of writing may offer some relief from my sorrow and provide the healing needed to find my way out of this deep well of darkness.

While writing my way through grief may offer some measure of release and healing, my main source of comfort still comes through Bible study and prayer. I know that I do not have to deal with these feelings of grief and loss alone. Psalm 34:18 (NIV) assures me that “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” I can rely on Him and His word to provide me with the comfort, peace, strength, guidance, and support that I need. Jesus promises “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). If I pour out my grief to Him through prayer, I know that He will be faithful to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds (Psalm 147:3). When I am afraid, I can ask Him to calm my fears and give me “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Although writing my way through grief may be therapeutic, helping me to cope with my negative thoughts and feelings, I know that ultimately it is through faith and prayer that God will rescue me from this deep well of darkness and lift me up into the glory of His light once more.

Posture Matters! by Katie Gerke

Keep your attitude in a place that births art.

A “GET TO” attitude not a “HAVE TO” attitude.

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

I have had 30 years of creatively adapting my life skills. My life with progressive MS has presented me with some harsh realities and permanent life challenges. I needed to live in the light of the opportunities and not the restrictions. Once realized, it is impossible to be given over to pride and anger.

My writing began when I was asked, by the MS Society, to give a speech to the Alberta Legislature regarding young adults living in seniors’ facilities. I was living in such a facility at the time. Now, I needed to write a speech! I was able to articulate to the Members of the Legislature, the difference between living in the facility and having the choice to live in the community. Afterward, the MS Society and I produced a CD called, “These 4 Walls”, where I sat in my tiny room reciting my speech. It became a teaching tool for the Society and other advocate groups. The speech and CD were my first pieces of art.

Aristotle said, "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but the inward significance."

Advocating came too easily to me. I was getting involved with too many organizations, and I soon felt I was no longer making a difference. I emailed everyone and told them I could no longer participate in their organizations’ endeavors. This freed up an enormous amount of time and I was able to start advocating for clients in the facility where I lived. I adapted creatively. 

The first tool I got for writing was Dragon Naturally Speaking software. I am still training my Dragon and creatively adapting my writing. 

When I lost the use of my right hand and was unable to use a regular mouse, I got a head mouse camera and tracker dot. The tracker dot, which is stuck to the bridge of my glasses, communicates with the camera of my computer.

Along with the head mouse came the on-screen keyboard, which helps me with my mouse clicks.

I started a journal to corral my boisterous thoughts. That helped me articulate daily trends in my emotional and spiritual growth or lack thereof. Also, I would include prayers and relevant Scripture that would hearten me while I dictated some of my most painful reflections.

In later years, my writing morphed into fantastical short stories, parodies, and ruminations of the human condition.

I am still adapting to my habit of editing while I write. My compulsive behaviour will write something and after all the nitpicking is done there is nothing left on the page. 

My creativity extended beyond thoughts and emotions typed in letters of various fonts and sizes, to painting. 

Children’s art inspired me to start mouth painting. After I read to the children at a local elementary school, I would traipse the halls and become increasingly intrigued and inspired by the fantastic art the children produced. Twelve years ago I put the paintbrush in my mouth when I discovered a painting class at the facility where I live.

My creativity was stoked by experimenting with famous works of art. I found it to be a good tool in cutting my creative “teeth”. 

I started using Styrofoam, masking tape, and my wooden coffee holder to support my palate and paints. A rickety easel, which I creatively acquired from the class, precariously held my canvases. (There’s no guarantee on stolen goods.)

During each painting session, everything would slowly disintegrate and I would have to reinvent my setup while I painted. This was extremely time-consuming and frustrating. 

Eventually, after extensive research and development, I learned that these are the tools I need for a successful painting session:

Sturdy wood easel that would hold my piece of art.

Beanbags to hold the base of the easel so it wouldn’t fall forward and crack me in the head.

My yellow box contained my painting supplies and gave my easel extra height.

A heavy, black stand was engineered to hold my palate and paints, brushes, and water jar.  

Short, wooden paintbrushes, with close-cropped bristles.

As a result of my artistic endeavors, I became more well-known in the disability community and was presented with new opportunities to continue my advocacy with renewed vigor and optimism.

My advocacy, writing, and painting complemented each other throughout the years. These forms of expression have helped me to adapt and focus my energies on such things that God has laid on my heart.

God's purposes for me will come to fruition after all is said, painted, and written.

by Katie Gerke

February 11, 2021

New Scenarios by Carol Harrison

 My youngest daughter, with her learning disabilities, needed routines more than any of my other children had. It took adapting my mothering styles and at times that provided a great deal of inner friction. No matter what I tried to tell myself, change was difficult. 

As a little girl, if I told her we needed to do some errands, she needed to know how many stops that involved. If I mentioned four places, I better stick to just four unless I wanted a less than peaceful ride home and a little girl who struggled to make sense of what happened with what mom had promised. As she grew up, she didn't like unexpected changes, quick decision making times, or changes to her routines. In comparison, I have learned to be flexible and adapt to changes - or have I really?

Embracing alternative creativity and the changes that involves hasn't been easy and at times I dig my heels into the ground and don't want to change. I like what I am familiar with, whether it is a genre to write or technology I use. Branching out makes me cringe at the worst of times and hesitate too long at the best of times. I long to hide out where I feel safe - in the familiar.

Several of my grandchildren issued challenges that would force  me to try and write in new genres. I resisted. I insisted that the only thing I wrote or even knew how to write was non-fiction. At times I doubted my ability to do that well. 

Yet they persisted and told me to just try. I felt like my daughter must have when I changed her routines - afraid, frustrated, and filled with uncertainty of what to expect. Write poetry? Write fiction? Totally out of my comfort zone.  

But grandchildren pull on the heartstrings. I didn't want to disappoint them or stifle their creativity by refusing to adapt. What did I have to lose? Nothing but a bit of time and effort to attend a few workshops and do some research. What might I gain if I adapted what I wrote? A whole new world of possibilities, time with a grandchild, and the opportunity to try something new. 

The next challenge for me to move beyond the status quo and adapt hit when the COVID restrictions tumbled into our lives and I had two new books to promote. Those restrictions prohibited me from holding a book launch at any venue. Craft fairs and trade shows, which I had planned to attend and sell books at, were cancelled. In person speaking engagements disappeared so no book sales coming from that avenue either. I needed to adapt or let the books sit on the shelf unknown about and unsold. 

Virtual book launches meant using technology which I am not always on friendly terms with. But I took the opportunity to learn and get some help. I realize I have many things still to learn with using technology, but I made a beginning. I adapted and need to continue the process to connect with others about my writing or to possibly do workshops. It is a work in progress just as I am. 

What have I learned as I contemplated these adaptations and my less than willingness to change? Adaptive creativity means: 

1. Being willing to step out of the comfort zone I've snuggled into or out of the box I often erect around myself with the idea that it'll keep us safe and our routines unchallenged. 

2. Being part of a group, such as Inscribe, provides other like-minded writers to learn from, be challenged by, be encouraged by, and who offer support in various forms. 

3. Learning a new technique, skill, or improve ones I already have. It might mean asking for help with something I don't understand or attending a workshop or conference to learn from others further along in this creative journey. 

4. Being willing to enjoy the journey of discovery instead of stress about needing to change. I might just be surprised as the adaptations turn into new outlets for creativity. 

5. Above all else, being willing to give all those fears, plans, and creativity to God. This should be the first step but why do I so often relegate it to the place of, 'when all else fails'. I need to let God transform my thoughts, my heart, and my life, including the creativity and perceptions. 

Adaptive creativity means allowing myself to apply techniques I already know into new scenarios. Sometimes it means simply experimenting with new scenarios, asking questions, using my imagination, and challenging the status quo I've wrapped myself up in. What new scenarios lie ahead? Only God knows and I pray I will be willing to listen to his directions and adapt accordingly. 

Carol Harrison lives in Saskatoon and now writes more than non-fiction thanks to those adaptations she implemented by accepting challenges.

February 09, 2021

How Does Minimalism Apply to Writing? by Steph Beth Nickel


What is minimalism?

In the November 13, 2019, becoming minimalist blog post, Joshua Becker states, “… minimalism is intentionally living with only the things I really need—those items that support my purpose. I'm removing the distraction of excess possessions, so I can focus more on those things that matter most.”

I’m a long way from being a minimalist, but I can see myself moving in that direction.

Let’s discuss how minimalism applies to writing and writing-related pursuits.


There are SO MANY helpful writing and writing-related podcasts. Among my favourites are Writing at the Red House, The Write Now Podcast, and Creative If Writing.

I could list several others, but I have to limit the number I listen to each week or I could spend several hours a day listening to others talk about writing while doing no actual writing myself.

I must choose only those that will educate and motivate.

Facebook Groups

I’ve often referred to myself as “an extrovert on steroids.” While 2020, and now, 2021, have changed that to an extent, I still need to feel connected to others.

But as is the case with podcasts, I can spend so much time in the FB groups I belong to that I don’t accomplish the tasks at hand.

And because social media should be a two-way street, if I’m going to be a contributing member of the groups I belong to, I have to limit myself.


<averts eyes and hums>

I am a course (and lifetime access) hoarder.

However, I'll never accomplish all the things that interest me.


I have to narrow my focus and refuse to believe the lie that everything will fall into place if I buy just one more course.

But look at how much you save!

No, Stephanie, back away from the Buy button.

Writing Conferences

If these were the days pre-COVID, I would be limited by my bank account.

Of course, I still am. But when you don’t have to factor in travel, accommodation, and food costs, there are more available funds.

But will attending one more virtual conference really make me that much better of a writer or connect me with that certain someone its crucial that I get to know? Probably not.


Like most writers, my bookshelves—both physical and virtual—are bowing under the weight of unread volumes.

While it’s true that some books become outdated, many include content that is evergreen.

Simply accumulating a vast storehouse of knowledge won’t do us much good unless we take the time to apply what we’re learning.

And unread volumes? Well, they’ll do us even less good.


Writers often have more ideas than they’ll ever be able to get down on paper.

While several authors, especially indie authors, write in a variety of genres, if they don’t focus on the project at hand, it will never get published.

This is true for all of us.

Am I a writing minimalist?

While I’m not a minimalist of any kind, my Theme of the Year is having an impact on virtually every area of my life. And that theme? Contentment, Not Complacency.

This year, my desire is to be content with what I have ... and make the most of it. This includes courses, books, projects, etc.

It isn't simply a matter of limiting myself but actually putting into practice what I learn from those things that are readily at hand.

How about you?

Are you a writing minimalist? In what ways?

February 08, 2021

Adaptive Creativity by Dayna Mazzuca

This year I’ve had to retool my reliance on my own built-in brilliance and focus more on “Product Development,” which isn’t nearly as natural, flowy or exciting. But necessary! The Lord tends to give us, as Christian creatives, all sorts of great ideas, insights and true revelations. So far, I’ve tended to share these little gems in the simplest possible ways. But! This past year found me creating my first online course instead of hosting an in-person workshop or collaborating on a poetry retreat with good friends. This was a very different road to have travelled. 

While I enjoyed learning and the intimacy of the camera, it taught me that I have some gaps in an otherwise reliable repertoire of creative offerings. “Does the fridge running really make that much noise? Does it really take my hubby three hours on an advanced sound software system to clean out the sound? Does the garbage truck outside really cast such shadows on the wall behind me? Should my outfit match the painting behind me, rather than clash? Yikes.” These and other pseudo-technical questions! Like I said: gaps.

The Lord has always been good to me, blending my education with a natural bent for drama, public presentations, and facilitation of Socratic dialogue (honed with years of homeschooling my two children!). So, personal presentations come easy to me. I love having the microphone. I feel very at home at the front of a room, guiding a conversation and sharing ideas! But going online… working alone… without audience feedback or others’ input! Has been a huge learning curve. I have had to… adapt.

I love the content of my first-ever online course, and created it without a script, so the flow is still there (thank you, Lord) and I know it’s richly blessed, but the words “Product Development” came to me soon after its release last fall. “Online Packaging” is new to me, but I know this is where I am being led and I’ll have to reach out to others in a new way. 

“How do I do this?” is a rather humbling question after working as a professional in the field for more than 25 years. So, creative adaptability, for me, is not so much about content creation, but about the other two legs of the stool: collaboration and connections that now need to work online. 

Isolation is real. And online connections, however robust, do not have the same human warmth (and grace for just not knowing…) as meeting in person does. When I can look someone in the eye and know they hear me, that they catch the vision, understand an idea and why it’s important; I feel like I can do anything! This has been my experience with hosting workshops for Inscribe and doing keynotes for other organizations; there just seems to be so much support! On site fans make hosting workshops feel like riding a wave. It just all comes together, and I sense the Lord’s hand on it! Plus, the feedback is very settling, affirming and motivating. But in the online world it’s different. 

There are knowledge gaps about working online for someone who lives offline (intentionally) 80% of the time. And there are relational gaps for people not meeting in person, over a cup of coffee.

But! Creative Adaptability is the name of the game, as I find that out of the three legs of the creative stool (Content + Collaboration + Connections), I have one in place and will be working very hard from this side of my screen, with my own cup of coffee or whatnot on hand, to make the most of every conversation, connection and collaborative opportunity. To keep it ALL real, human, grounded and as grace filled as possible. Here’s to God’s continued favour on the work of all of our hands, wherever and however we may have to adapt today.


Dayna Mazzuca
is a writer, speaker and poet working from home in Sylvan Lake. Her formal background is in Philosophy, Journalism and Spiritual Formation. These topics tend to overlap in her writings on the spiritual journey, her eight books of poetry and her online work. Her most recent project is an online course called “The Power of Authentic Storytelling” and can be found on her new site – www.daynamazzuca.com.