Saturday, July 30, 2016

Be a Sieve.

I'm often in a hole.

Some time in my life where I don't know what's going on and whatever it is, I don't like it.  Tears and darkness and such.  Really deep, dark holes.

Often, I focus my whole existence on getting out of these holes.  I can't thrive inside there.  I can't create until I'm out in the sunlight again.  Then, when I'm stuck in these pits for weeks, months - I'm totally disabled.  I can't function.

But I'm starting to realize that I need to have more trust while I'm floundering in these holes.  Did I ever consider that maybe I'm supposed to be in here?  Was thriving in the dark ever an option?

After all, my favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Doesn't that say that God is in control and knows what's going on?  Shouldn't I trust him with my very life, my everyday?   When I'm in the hole, it's easy to forget.

The reality, though, is that even the dark times have a purpose.  Think about the story of Daniel in the lion's den (Daniel 6).

God did the biggest miracles in the pit.

In a deep, dark, sealed pit full of lions.

That story wouldn't be half as powerful above ground, in the safety of the light.  Without the hole and the lions, there wasn't much to save Daniel from.  God used these things to bring a whole nation to know Him.  Because of the miracle, the king believed.

When you're in a dark pit, don't lie down and let the monsters consume you.  Wait on God, and thrive in the dark.  Rejoice wherever you are.  Don't wait to feel better before you seek God, make art, etc.  Live in the place you are - really live.  Because you are alive.

“For he is the living God
    and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves;
    he performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”  
                                (Daniel 6:26-27)

Take heart, these struggles will not be in vain.  You will come out with more than you had before, not less.

It's okay to be a sieve, sometimes.

Full of holes, seemingly useless - but God puts you through it anyway.  He knows you'll come out better, more pure.  More whole.

You'll have a story to tell, people to inspire, and an even better love of the light.

My dear friends, don't be afraid of the dark.  Embrace it and trust that someday, the sun will rise again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pantsers: How to Not Wander Blindly in Your Own Plot

Hey there, fellow writing penguins.  Haven't done a writing post in a while.  

But I sat down to write on LABYRINTH, so of course, I became inspired to do anything other than that.  So here we have a post.  (Note to self: Attempt to write on LABYRINTH more often.)

I am a pantser, for the most part, when it comes to writing.  (As opposed to a plotter.  For those of you unfamiliar with this term, plotters plan their writing out beforehand, while pantser just by the seat of their pants.)

A side note: I still haven't found my happy medium with this, judging by the number of WIPs I have been unable to finish.  I am probably actually a plotter, or some delicate mix of the two.  Plantser.  Anyway.

For the pantsers out there: do you ever find yourself absolutely lost in what you're writing?  And not in a good way.  I'm talking, your character just fell from a three-story building, you didn't know that was going to happen, and you suddenly have no idea what to do next.  And you sit down to write, but find yourself on youtube watching videos of giraffes.  Later you sit down to write again, and suddenly you realize that you haven't been writing, you're actually parachuting off the Eiffel Tower!  Silly you.

Sometimes writing is like being a penguin and tripping over the cold, unforgiving snow.

It's hard to keep writing when you lose your grip on your plot.

Unlike my title suggests, I'm not going to give you all the answers to staying on track.  (Sorry, I'm not Dumbledore.  Or Gandalf.)

But I do have one tip.

Write ahead of yourself.

I don't mean the end, or a whole outline - but just write a small scene ahead of the point that you're at.  

It's not really even planning.  It's just deciding something is going to happen there, and tentatively writing it in.  Write the scene out.  Just like, 100-500 words.  

Then go back to your current place and start writing.  You haven't planned out what you're going to write, but now you have a point to right to.  A goal - you must get to that scene, whether it takes one chapter, two lines of dialogue, or half the book.  

This has helped me stop wandering so much as a pantser.  It lets me stay free while at the same time having a direction.  

So next time your MC is bleeding out on the floor and you probably have seconds to decide on a way to save her before she bleeds to death, fast forward a bit.  Save a life or two. (Hers, and yours.)

Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Do you ever get hopelessly lost?  What do you do to keep on track with your plot?  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Everything Blog

The post's title would probably be a more accurate title for this blog.

I mean, yes, I loosely stick to the writing and book and life themes, but even those are a wide range in themselves!

Past topics on this blog have included:

and so on.  

(Heehee, it was fun going through all of those.  I also realized that I've been blogging for 7 years??)

It's not, on first glance, a cohesive list of subjects. 

But they always scream caring-ly at me, "Blog for you! Do it for yourself! Don't let people put you in a box!"

So I did.  And consider yourself screamed at as well.  If you blog, or write, you shouldn't let someone else dictate what you're doing. (See: robot)

But I've also heard whispers that you should keep your blog consistent.  Like, don't be talking about your fascination for tacos and your budding writing career at the same exact time.  


It probably depends on the blog.  Many people do want a blog focused on one or two main things, and that can provide a very nice place for other people who are looking for that exact thing! No sorting through chinchilla posts to get to the book reviews.  

But I ended up with an Everything Blog.  It definitely reflects who I am.  It lets me talk about whatever I want to without shocking my readers.  I'm happy with the variety.  So don't be afraid to run a blog with no set topic!  I don't, and it hasn't sunk my ship yet.

I mean, my BLOG TITLE says this thing is about "Stars", but I don't think I've actually ever talked about stars.  I just like stars, okay?

And finally, I've been thinking a lot about appreciation this week.  So if you're reading this, thank you.  It means a lot that people listen. :) *huggssssss*

What's your opinion of an Everything Blog?  Do YOU have an Everything Blog?  Is your blog secretly trying to become one, without your consent?  

Is there anything you'd like me to post more of (after we just finished talking about how NO ONE CAN CONTROL ME) ;) (I actually am curious though)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"Off My Grass!" The Real Meaning of That Acronym (Series): OMG

Do you ever look at an acronym and just wonder: "What in the world does that mean???!!!??!"  Or maybe you've been told what it means, but long for a deeper meaning than the lame universal one?

This post is for you.

OMG = Olivia's My Gramma

Somehow, this one seems to make a lot of sense?  I'm not sure why?

OMG = Off My Grass!

You probably got this a lot as a child if your neighbor was a stereotypical movie/comic neighbor. 

OMG = Oregon Makes Glitter

I hear it's really high quality glitter, too.

OMG = Oh! Many Goats!

This is what you say when a herd of goats randomly walks down the street.  Or if you're alone in a deserted area, then realize you're not alone...

That's a seriously tough goat who thinks he can take on a car.  *applause*

OMG = Orange Monkeys Gallup

Have you ever seen this?  It should definitely be on your bucket list.  The 19th Wonder of the World, according to some.

OMG = Orangutans Maim Giraffes 

A tragic fluke of nature.

OMG = Objects (of) Mass Gratification

Those things that make you really happy.  Like when you look out the window and you realize it's not the end of the world.  Or when you find chocolate stashed in your winter coat pocket.

OMG = Obfuscating Majestic Gramophones

Those things you find in your attic and they look great but you're not really sure what to do with them.

OMG = Or My Grapes

This is good to use when you are considering eating your strawberries but aren't fully committed to that plan yet.

Well, now you know.

What else could OMG stand for?  Will you be using any of these explanations now?

Off-my-grass, you definitely should.