Tag Archives: writing

The Leveling

I haven’t written since Beau.

At all.

Well, a couple bursts of Facebook posts here and there, but this is the first time I’ve come back to this place I love so much.

That horse did something to my heart.

It’s only been a month since he died but it seems like a year and then at night, when I wake up for my normal 3 a.m. insomnia check…it’s last week all over again.

As with any death I suppose, I think of “if only”. If only we would’ve caught it sooner. If only we would’ve known he was compromised. If only we would’ve…

And I go round and round and while I know a horse is a horse and not a human, I still grieve. We are still quiet when we speak of him.

But I know this:

Life is fragile and life is precious and sometimes life is too short. But life is a joy and a push and an embrace and sometimes you have to pause but you can never stop.

So I’m here.

I’m here and I’m yearning to write and my heart spills over now with words needing saying and letters needing typed, and this is where I want to be.

Because when God put a pen in the heart, there’s never any stopping it.

There might be a pause.

But today, again, I write.

A word-stringer might slow and her tears might flow, and her words might cease, and her heart might twist…

but after it all settles and that grief smooths some…

a writer will write.

~

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king…Psalm 45:1

SCORRRRE!

You guys.

One of the hardest things I’ve found as an emerging author is promoting your story without sounding like you’re tooting your own horn.

Publishing is SO MUCH promotion and marketing and that is the area that is hard for me, timewise, and modesty wise.

I’ve just been content to let Annie’s story speak for itself without a lot of hubub from me.

And that is probably why I haven’t sold a lot of books. ❤

BUT.

This was in my inbox today.

I know you all love me and you love Annie too.

So I had to share:

Judge’s Commentary, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition

“Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking. Our system only recognizes numerals during this portion of logging evaluations. As a result, a “0” is used in place of “N/A” when the particular portion of the evaluation simply does not apply to the particular entry, based on the entry genre. For example, a book of poetry or a how to manual, would not necessarily have a “Plot and Story Appeal and may therefore receive a “0”.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*:

I found it surprising to read with so much interest about one dog, Barley, only to realize that this book focuses on another dog, Annie. The author skill in engaging the reader is that good! The family that adopts both dogs is clearly a dog family, people who understand that dogs are God’s creatures—the smartest and loyal creatures humans could ask for. So while Barley won my heart right off with his adamant chewing of all walls, wood and obstacles that prevented him from being on road trips with the family, Annie’s incredible stoicism and heart had me shaking my head in wonder. I like the author’s voice, for she knows how to introduce elements into a scene and transition from one moment to the next in such a way as to get the most impact. I was distressed that Barley was not tolerated by Annie when she became pregnant, but I loved what Rankin’s young son said about that. The author has a gift for finding exactly the right amount of tenderness or humor, oftentimes both, in the way she words her sentences. It was hard to read about Tessie/Annie’s owner being in jail and then reconnecting with the Rankin family and Annie without crying. There are dog people who will love this book, and it should be marketed in places where they will discover it.

-Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

I don’t think I won the contest.

But this sure was good to read today.

It made me proud.

And I think it makes Annie pretty proud too.

Have a great weekend friends. I hope you receive some good news today too!

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One Hour and a Glass of Red – 100 Word Challenge

Mine followed the hoard running toward the hotel pool, super soakers cocked, walls waiting for water blasts.

Late check-in, the pool’s soon closing.

Husband takes his once-ever turn at watching them splash; my body says no swimming tonight.

Five minutes after we split ways, a text.

“Lord of the Flies up in here.”

I smile. Him hating the pool, wet humidness, kids screaming.

Almost a year ago, another hotel pool ushered in cancer news.

Music played loud and happy in the car that day too.

Family weekend ahead, he gives me this hour.

I embrace it.

Embrace them.

And indulge.APRIL 2015 110

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This post was part of the 100 Word Challenge for this week on http://www.velvetverbosity.com

Get Used to It

So I finished writing a little book yesterday.

Actually, I finished it back in October, but yesterday I finished finished it. I finished my edits and proofreading and cuts and adds and rewrote that dreaded twelfth chapter and I got it to the point where it’s finished enough that I’m excited for other eyeballs to see it.

That kind of finish.

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If it’s going to go anywhere other than the top drawer of my filing cabinet, there will be more finishing I know. Little changes that I had completely missed in the editing were flying off the page and crash landing on my eyeballs last night in the printing.

So really, it’s not finished but…yesterday, in my mind, I finished my little book.

And it felt kinda weird.

Kinda sweet and sorrowful and fulfilling and grown up and juvenile… all at the same time.

Because who hasn’t wanted to write a book right?

Since high school I’ve wanted to write one. Since being married I’ve wanted to write one. Since moving to Alaska I’ve wanted to write one. Since being a mama I’ve wanted to write one. Since becoming a Christian I’ve wanted to write one. Since people tell me to I’ve wanted to write one and then doesn’t a woman just get busy in the days of growing and loving and raising up a life and a family?

But if you’re like me, having a mind that constantly yearns to write, you think in blank pages and the thoughts you think form in lines, sometimes tidy and sometimes flung but always, always that white page with words. It waits ready on the backdrop of the brain.

Even in the busy, the writing is always there.

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My husband doesn’t share my love for words. The page in his brain has grids and lines and drawings and things solid. His page holds work and touch and nature, and reading is okay for a day or so…but let’s put the book down and get back to real life now.

He has a lot to say but he would probably never set out to write a book. His mind mixes the letters and mixes the words and writing me a card is a beautiful finish for his writing hand. Oh he’s smart. And he has a lot of words. He just likes to whisper them soft or laugh them together.

Not everyone knows how to organize and compartmentalize their words. Sometimes when you are one who puts down words, you forget, not everyone is. Sometimes words don’t always have to be written. Sometimes they just need to be lived.

So when he reads mine and doesn’t have a lot to say but his eyes water tender, I know that means the words I put down are good words. I know he loves them. I know he loves me.

And when the world wants to go and tear down a woman for doing marriage and life the way she believes best, haven’t we forgotten? Forgotten that sometimes, the way of this world, this culture, is not always the best way but that there’s a page and there’s a Word and it is compartmentalized and it is organized and it is grace…and it is good.

But we’ve taken those words and we’ve made them bad and we’ve used them to stifle and degrade and make ugly what He wrote beautiful when He said For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

How could that ever be oppressive? How could the beauty of two souls uniting in flesh and being seen as one unit of two individuals before the maker of this universe ever be scorn worthy?

Or is it the submit part that causes the ruckus?

Maybe this one: Everyone must submit to governing authorities. Can’t we agree though, that there needs to be submission to the authorities? Don’t we appreciate the organized and compartmentalized word of the speed limit that keeps, if not all of us, most of us, traveling along safely together and collision free?

Or maybe it’s this one that causes all the trouble: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Is it because we think the other person should be doing it all that this one offends? Any person married more than a year understands that marriage is a two-way street. There is no My Way or the Highway in a healthy marriage. There just can’t be. So why would we have such a hard time with the idea of submitting to one another?

Maybe those aren’t the submission verses that get everyone in a twist and make normally nice people turn into name-calling, mud-slinging opinion ranters.

I betcha it’s this one:  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.

Ah, yes. There’s the issue.

We women don’t like to hear that we’re not the boss. That we don’t wear the pants. That we don’t keep him on a short string. That our roar isn’t as loud as we think it is, that our You’ve Come a Long Way baby might mean something different than what we want it to mean.  We might not even know exactly what it means, but we don’t.like.the.word.s-u-b-m-i-t.

Period.

One little word will get this nation in an uproar.

So what if I didn’t? Submit. What if I didn’t voluntarily place myself under the leadership of my husband? What if I didn’t want to play by the rules and I wanted to scorn those women who read the words and love the Word and are an example to this world of how to live it out?

What if instead of letting my team captain be the team captain and my coach be the coach, what if I went gang busters unsubmissive and decided I didn’t want to do MY job of being on the team and building up the team and leading the team right from where I was positioned? What would happen then?

Submitting doesn’t mean we’re just sitting on the bench, folks.

And us Christians? Those of us who follow what the Bible says about marriage right there all through the New Testament? We understand that if it’s not your belief too, you won’t understand what it means to be on this team and so you’re certainly not going to follow the Playbook. But we don’t hold it against you, because really, we look forward to the day when you’re on our team too. We want you on our team. We love the coach and we know how much he loves you and spends this season recruiting you as one of his best players.

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But if you decide in your mind that the game’s just that, a game, a made up bunch of scrimmages, well, that’s okay. Because we’re gonna keep at it anyway. We’re gonna run the race and we’re gonna play the plays and we’re gonna use it all up for that coach and our team because it’s not just a game.

And those husbands he puts on our team? Those leaders he gives us, each wife her own team captain? Guess what their job is?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.

There’s a whole lot of words in that job description. But we forget that part sometimes don’t we? The coach tells husbands to be just like Jesus. And what did Jesus do for his church? He died. He thought so much of his bride that He made himself little and he died for her in order to make her beautiful and blemish-free.

I can get behind a leader like that can’t you?

Wives, our husbands are the team captain, the lead player, the ball kicker and the quarter back of the family. If the team is going to take a hit, he’s to be the one to take it. If someone’s body is to be bruised, he’s the one to withstand it. He’s to take his big and his strong and make sure his team is safe and able to play well and that they’re all doing what the coach wants them to do.

And as his woman, we’re to be right there beside him. Running with him, ready to take over a play should he need a rest, willing to take the field should the team need it, helping him determine exactly what it is the coach said, and always, always to be a cheerleader and encourager to him and the rest of the family team.

That’s submit. Simple. Not ugly. Not oppressive. Not door mat. It’s the breakdown of the team and everyone has a job and when everyone’s doing that job it’s like a dance on the field and it makes sense and it works. It works because the words in the Word says it will work.

And when my husband, my non-word loving husband who has come to cherish the words of his coach and has come to quietly love the words his wife puts down and call her his wordsmith in secret, when he hears that the little book I’ve been working so hard on all these months is finally finished, he has some words for me.

He tells me congratulations.

He pauses and picks them carefully. He knows this is a time for some words. He has learned that a writer heart needs more than “fine” and “good” and that when a piece of that heart is splayed open out there on the page, a soul can squirm until it hears just the words it needs to know that it really is finished. He has learned to put his words together and whisper what his word lover needs to hear.

“How does it feel honey?”

I tell him the feeling is odd, finishing something you always wanted to do. Taking paths different than the ones you originally thought you’d take. Having it be done.

“It’s a weird feeling, finishing a book” I tell him, ready now to move it off the desk and get on with the day and just let it sit awhile, this heart still a little squirmy and insecure with the idea of feeling like a writer, doubtful at the thought of maybe even being a writer.

He’s not done with his words though. He’s the captain and now he’s the cheerleader and he may not love words like I love words but he loves his wordsmith and he knows his job is to help make her feel radiant and make her be radiant so he simply says “Well babe,”

“…You better get used to it.”

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Songs 6:3

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Scriptures cited: Genesis 2:24, (Romans 13:1-2) (Ephesians 5:21) Ephesians 5:22-24 Ephesians 5:25-28