Saturday, February 27, 2016

Am I on the Right Bus- Creative Writing Exercise


                                                       Am I on the Right Bus?

 
             Andrew was successful.  Most of the time, he was happy and fortunate to have lived a decent life so far.  He was well traveled, educated, and by most standards a person of good moral character.  He was respected by his family and friends.  According to his family though, he needed to slow down and take a vacation.  He decided it might not be a bad idea.

He boarded the tour bus taking notice of all the people onboard. How odd that no one seemed to smile or greet him, yet the bus was full of people.  He watched out the window as Main St faded into the distance, then Cherry St and Park Avenue.

A sign up ahead stated, “Bridge out, 5 miles ahead,” which made him nervous.

“Driver, the bridge is out!”

“Don’t worry about the sign. The bridge was repaired a long time ago.”

Andrew nudged the arm of the older man seated next to him. After a couple of tries, the man turned to face him saying,” You have lived on the Earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” Hebrews 5:5.

Andrew sat in silence wondering what he meant. He had plenty of possessions, but how was that wrong?

Another sign came into view, “Bridge out, 3 miles.”

With a loud voice a middle aged woman yelled, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained Angels.” Hebrews 13:2.

Andrew didn’t believe in Angels. Surely she couldn’t mean the unkempt man standing outside the grocery store last week that was asking for a handout. He had told the man to get a job.  He didn’t see the man walk away with tears in his eyes as he grabbed the little hand of his hungry child and then simply vanish.

A scripture popped into his head, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:6.  He had been a fool and listened to unbelievers. He felt that he had everything he needed out of life.  A closeness with God brought accountability and obedience.  He did remember the closeness.  He had read something about once you accept Christ, you are HIS forever, but wasn’t sure he believed it.  

He didn’t notice the next sign. “Beware, bridge out 2 miles ahead.”

“Driver, how long until we get to our destination?” he asked.

No answer.

Andrew got out of his seat and made his way to the front of the bus. About half way there he felt a small hand slip inside of his.  Startled, he pulled his hand away.

“Don’t be afraid, I want to help you.  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” I John 4:1.  And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God and is the spirit of the Antichrist which you have heard is coming and is already in the world.” I John 4:3.

Andrew’s eyes filled with tears.  What if this bus was for the lost, the unsaved? He didn’t belong on this bus.  He prayed with all his might for forgiveness for not putting God first, for not spending more time with his family and for not caring about his fellow man.  A warm feeling began to fill him and he heard a voice telling him, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you!”

He continued the rest of the way to the front of the bus until he was almost at the drivers back and said in a loud confident voice, “Do you confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh?”

A throaty laugh escaped from the driver.

Andrew replied with, “The Lord rebuke you!”

“Please take your seat. We’re here.” replied the driver.

As Andrew made his way to his seat he noticed the sign, “Freeport City Limits.”  He was indeed on the right bus.  He was free at last.  All of his doubts had vanished and he knew he had really been forgiven.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I am Participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt Hosted by Positive Writer


Writing Contest-Writers Crushing Doubt Hosted by Positive Writer

Doubt became more prevalent the closer I got to the end of my fiction novel.  I had been working on it for over a year without seeing it come to completion.  It seemed that I always let life come between what I felt was my true passion. I had faith, but doubt always crept in to tear that down layer by layer.

Doubt is a strange emotion.  It doesn’t have to be fed by outside sources for it to affect the inside of you.  In fact, if you are like me, I am my own worse contributor. It’s like a cancer.  Once you let it in, it takes hold of everything you do, especially your writing. 

When I feel the stronghold of doubt capturing my thoughts, I remind myself that I was born to write.  I also find that if my mood changes and I’m feeling inadequate, that immersing myself in my imaginary characters is a great release for doubt.  In my writing world my characters can do anything and I don’t doubt that, so why do I doubt my ability to write when that is real?

Studying the craft of writing is also a great replacement for doubt.  The more educated you become, the less you doubt yourself.  I do my best to study from the writers I admire.  I learn from the ones that are willing to share their experiences about how they defeated their doubt.  Then I apply some of the methods to my own writing.

I released my first science fiction ebook in January 2016. I had the manuscript professionally converted for kindle, had a professional cover done, and still right before I went to add it on Amazon for the world to see, doubt crept in again.  I emailed an author I know online and I’ll never forget what he said, “If you wait until you think you are good enough, you will never publish.  Just do it! 
From those words of encouragement I went from doubt to confidence.  You never know when one person’s words will be just what you need to hear at that particular moment. You need to reach out when you need encouragement.  The best advice I can leave writers with, is to find a mentor or writing buddy to help encourage you along the way. 

When you see your final work published, you won’t be able to contain the excitement you have to write that next book.  Writing isn’t easy but it is self- gratifying and for some of us, it’s as important as breathing.
 
 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

For The Times When Confidence in Your Writing Craft is Fading!

I'm the creative ego that lives within the filled pages of your literary works. I'm waiting, hidden as the blank pages causing intimidation.  I take on many forms, but the writer's voice tries to break through just the same. You have to search deep within the writing to determine if she has truly escaped or if I have cleverly disguised her presence.

Sometimes she gives you a clue when she writes from the heart, then her true inner-self comes out from under the layers of hidden walls she has carefully built for herself.  Sometimes my cloaks of insecurity and lack of confidence is revealed in the mish-mosh that falls within her pages.

Who is she really? She is someone who cares deeply. Someone who can witness another person's pain and feel immense compassion. Someone who finds beauty all around her and knows what touches her heart and makes her come alive.  She has searched for the internal meaning to, "What am I supposed to do with my life?" with the answer echoing back--"Use the gifts you were given!"

I then find myself being less and less able to control the pages and begin to grow silent.  She is like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. She no longer needs to rely on me. She now has a voice of her own.

She refuses to wait to try her wings, unable to control the urge to try something new. She is learning to master the ability to focus on the process involved in creating instead of concentrating on the outcome. She lives everyday doing what is important to her. "If it really matters, make the time!"

She now looks at life with a new vision. I know someday soon, very soon, I will disappear and only her strong, confident voice will emerge victorious to be heard.  She has learned to let go of pain and doubt and welcome her creative side with open arms.