Heading for DragonCon tomorrow

A year ago this past May I went to my very first science fiction/fantasy festival here in Birmingham. It was the first time it had ever been held, and I loved the small, intimate feel of it. I went a second time back in May, and it had grown, but still had a lot of the same flavor.

I have been told, however, that the convention I’m heading for tomorrow is much bigger, and there will be many more people. The energy of DragonCon sounds amazing! I’m excited to get away for the weekend and spend some time nourishing my own geekiness. Not only will I have the chance to go to writing panels, meet some successful authors and learn more about the writing profession, I will also get to meet some of my favorite actors and actresses from my childhood. All of it sounds exciting, and I can hardly wait. I will update this blog next week and let you know how it went. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and if you are in the US, I hope you have a good holiday on Monday. 

Courage

From Wikipedia: “Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.”

It takes courage to do all kinds of things, but what I was thinking of today is the kind of courage it takes to start submitting your writing to places or to even put your writing out there like I’ve done with this blog. Not everyone is going to like my writing. I know that. But, if you live your life in fear, you will never know the good things that could possibly happen. I’m not going to live my life in fear. I’m going to meet every challenge God gives me standing on my feet with joy in my heart. 

I especially like what these Scriptures have to say about courage.

Psalm 138:3 – “When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous, be strong.”

Psalm 3:3 – “But, Lord, you are my shield, my wonderful God who gives me courage.”

Matthew 14:27 – “But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 

I’m looking forward to what comes from this courage. Hope everyone has a wonderful day! 

 

A Writer’s Truth

Read these quotes earlier and thought they were perfect to begin my blog entry today.

“To say: this is me, my truth, my world,” says Dani Shapiro about her writing motivations.”

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means,” says Joan Didion about the reasons she writes. 

These are similar to the reasons I write, to the way I form my perceptions of the world. When I write in my journal about my feelings, I figure out things I never knew once I see the words written down on paper. It’s funny that seeing the words versus hearing them has such a difference in my life, but it’s true. I’ve had someone tell me me my writing helps them form pictures in their mind so I guess it’s not a far stretch to say that when I see my words, the pictures of my life form into a cohesive whole. 

It’s the same way with my fiction writing. When I tell stories about other people, I draw upon my own life in the fictionalized world I’ve created. Their stories usually relate back to an aspect of my life I’m working through, and it helps me look at my own life as a writer. 

For those of you who are writers, I hope that you can find your own truth today, by looking at your words. 

 

The Best is Yet to Come

It’s the end of our first week of homeschool. This is usually the toughest week for everyone since we have to get back in a routine from the free time of summer. I’m impressed with how well things have gone. Both of my boys have grown a lot this year physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. I wasn’t sure though how well this would translate into getting back to a school routine, but it has been amazing. They’ve done as I asked with a good attitude and no complaining. I know there are many more days yet to come, and there will be bad days as well as good. For now though, homeschool is going well.

Now, what about my routines? They’re going well too. I’m writing on a consistent basis and doing all the other things to take care of myself as well as my home. Taking care of myself will help me do all of the other tasks I need to do. I used to take care of everyone else first, but I’ve realized I can’t do that anymore. 

I’m looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow, my younger son turns 14. The days and years have passed so fast with both of my boys. I want to make each one of them count. And on Sunday, he gets baptized. We all share the same faith now, the same community. I know my heart will be overflowing on both days. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Favorite Childhood Books

When I was a child, there were very few times I was caught without a book. Books were my passion. They took me to worlds vastly different from my own and were an escape from my own world. I could use my imagination to pretend like I was any one of the heroes or heroines in those books–someone who traveled to different places and was able to solve mysteries, escape from bad situations, fly on spaceships, and help other people. 

So, what were some of my favorite childhood books? I enjoyed reading a lot of the series books that were popular in the 1970’s. These included such series as Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, and The Hardy Boys. As I got older, I began liking authors such as Andre Norton, Peter David, Orson Scott Card, and Terry Brooks. There were other authors who wrote the Star Trek tie-in books that I also enjoyed. I think I began liking the science fiction and fantasy genres more at this point because their worlds were so different and because it was not expected that girls would like these books, at least in my corner of the world. For me though, I liked them because women made a positive contribution and were not in a traditional role. 

What were some of your favorite childhood books or authors? 

Threading the Needle

There are several definitions of this term, only one of which is the typical one you would recall. That would be when you would need  to make some kind of clothing repair, and you would need to thread your needle in order to get started.

Wiki Answers also has two other definitions that have come to be acceptable definitions of the term as well. The first is: “to find a path through two opposing views” and the second is when a “pilot uses improved navigation to fly to a precise spot and drop a limited number of bombs.”

With all three of these definitions, I think of doing something that is difficult. Why would that be, you ask? Well, I had to literally do that a little while ago when I was sewing a button back on my favorite pair of shorts. The sewing part is not the difficult part of the task. No, the difficult part of the task is actually threading the needle. When I was in my 20s, threading a needle was not a big deal. I could see where the thread needed to go, and my hands guided it to the hole. I was able to get it through the hole and start on the sewing task. Now, that I’m older though, the vision is not what it used to be, and it takes me longer to thread the needle. I’ve done it successfully twice now since I started sewing again which is good, and it is a task I know I can do. It just takes me longer.

What does that have to do with writing? Writing can be a difficult task too. Finding just the right word to put in the right place and making sure the spelling and the grammar are correct is monumental in and of itself. Does that mean we stop, we quit trying to figure out how to communicate with one another through the written word? No, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. For me, when a difficult task is accomplished, it just makes it all the sweeter when someone says I have done it well.

So, here’s to threading the needle for all of our difficult tasks today.

Have a great day! 

The Magic Place

I read an entry in my writing inspiration book earlier that had a title similar to this where writers talked about where they wrote. The variety of places was so great, it’s too many to mention here, but there was one thing that struck me. Every place where someone wrote was a place that magic was being made, where words were being put together to tell a story. Humans are wired for story, to tell about the places and things that make them human. The place where I write is not all that great. I have a desk in my bedroom where my laptop is set up, where I have things around me that inspire me as I write. Putting words down makes me feel alive and feel like I’m leaving something for the next generation. It’s important to me to do that so even though I just have a small place where I write; it’s a place where magic is being made.

Hope everyone has a great day! 

New Beginnings

Today is the first day of a brand new homeschool year for my boys. They are beginning their 8th grade and junior years. It’s been amazing to watch how much both of them have grown and matured this summer–not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually too. It makes me proud to be their mother. 

For those of us who are adults, the beginning of the school year is not as paramount as the beginning of the new year, for example, but it can also be a time of renewal, a time of beginning something new. It can also be a time of thinking about what’s been accomplished so far and what you would like to accomplish before the end of the year. For me, my plan is to keep moving forward with my writing, on this blog and on whatever else I can think of. If you have anything you are beginning anew, I would love for you to share in the comments.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day! 

Writing Prompt Friday

I am going to use a combination of writing prompts today. Here’s the first one I saw.

                       “Write about a time you were in a jam.”

And here’s the second one.

                        “Take your notebook to a public place and spy. Write down what you see and hear.”

And here’s the combination I’m going to use.

                  Write what you see and hear when caught in a traffic jam on 280.

 

280 is the main thoroughfare in and out of the big city I live near. It is the bane of everyone’s existence, and ever since I’ve lived here, I’ve never stopped hearing complaints about it. Fortunately, I don’t have to be on this particular road very often during the main traffic hour. But, I do have to be on it on Wednesdays to get to church on time. This summer has been no exception. To add to the fun, there have been several Wednesday nights when it has been storming or has just been pouring rain. On one particular Wednesday, we were on the road, and my husband was inching along in traffic. I have never seen water coming down that fast, and it seemed that everyone was trying to get to where they needed to go. I looked out one window and then the other seeing people to the right and left of us. I wondered where they were going. Were they trying to get home; were they trying to go shopping; or were they wanting to get something to eat? My patience level has never been good on this road as I have always seen too many people taking chances they shouldn’t take. People were going slower on this particular day though because they couldn’t go fast. And it calmed me; made me more patient. It was funny because we ended up being late. But, when you’re forced to slow down and actually pay attention, patience will come even when you’re not looking for it. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!