Monday, September 18, 2017

Consumed


She is sitting in her room, reading a book, when God walks in.

"God, this book is amazing!" she exclaims, without looking up. "The characters are well-developed, the plot is original, and the author has broken my heart and crushed my soul like three times already by killing off characters. My feels are feelin' it."

God smiles and gently tips her chin up with His fingers, but she angles her head away and buries her nose deeper into the book. "Sorry, Lord, but I can't possibly put this book down right now - it's too good! In fact, I'm probably going to stay up until 1:00 AM reading it! And then it's going to take me another three hours to fall asleep because my mind will be so consumed with admiration for the author's writing style."

God touches His hand to her cheek, but she brushes Him away. Her eyes are glued to the page. "I love You, God," she says absently. "Thanks for dying on the cross. Thanks for saving my life. But for right now, I want to give this book my undivided attention."

God steps back and watches her read, the expression in His eyes a mixture of love and sadness.

~~~

Later she is at the computer, typing furiously. God approaches her and looks over her shoulder. "Guess what, God?" she says, and pauses briefly to shove some peanut M&M's into her mouth before resuming her work. Her mouth is full as she continues, "I've been writing for almost three hours straight, and I've only gotten up once to use the restroom. I am on a roll."

God tucks a lock of her hair behind one ear, but she tilts her head away. "You're incredible, Jesus, but this novel is getting to be pretty incredible itself. And the only way it's going to keep becoming awesome is if I keep writing. I know I haven't really talked to You that much today, but I've made this story one of my biggest priorities. You understand, right? Maybe later we can..."

But her voice trails off as her mind is swept once more into her made-up fantasy world. God is pleased with the story so far, and He's even managed to take control of the keyboard and weave in some clever references to His own book. But He knows what their relationship needs.

If she doesn't want to meet up with Him, He isn't going to force her to. But He's a jealous God, and He won't give up.

~~~

She is splayed on her bed with her Tablet in one hand, but as she waits for it to load, her copy of God's book catches her eye. She stares at it for a couple seconds, then blinks and refocuses on the Tablet. 

God enters just as she's logging into Blogger. "Oh. My. Gosh. I have a new comment! This is so exciting - I have to come up with the most amazing reply ever." She looks up. "Oh, hey there, God. I got a new comment and a new follower today, if you can believe it!"

God watches her for several minutes and then tries to gently pull the device from her hands. She jerks it back. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing? After I reply to this comment, there are some new posts to read and leave comments on too. I'm not done yet. I know I haven't read in Your book yet, buuuuut..."

God wants nothing more than to wrap His arms around her and whisper love and encouragement into her ear, as well as listen to her pour out her woes and joys to Him, but she isn't open to that at the moment. She feels His nudging, His longing, but she shrugs Him off. Her hobbies consume her so that she has no time for God. 

But that's not the problem. Not really. The problem is that she makes no time for God.

~~~

She stares at her book and sighs. The last thing she feels like doing is reading, even after that shocking plot twist.

She stares at her computer and makes a face. Her story isn't calling to her the way it has been.

She stares at her device and groans. A possible new comment, new follow, or new post to read doesn't excite her like it usually does.

Then she notices God standing in the corner, watching her. Of course. God loves her. God wants her. God always satisfies. "God!" she cries, and flings herself off the bed. He welcomes her with open arms and a huge smile, and she buries her face in His chest. "I'm so sorry, Lord."

He forgives her, of course. After all, He'd been waiting.

~~~

Please understand, reading is a wonderful hobby to have. So is writing. So is blogging. But to maintain a close relationship with God, you have to push those things aside frequently in order to make Him the priority. Do you pray more than you write, or is it the other way around? Do you meditate on Scripture more than you gush over the book you're reading, or is it vice versa? Is God first, or is He lower on the list? This is something I struggle with a lot.

When you shrug Him off, He doesn't love you any less. But He's a jealous, persistent, faithful God who doesn't give up. When you reach the end of your rope, run back to Jesus as fast as you can. I guarantee that He'll receive with open arms and a huge smile :D     

The Lord's Truly,

Monday, September 11, 2017

11 Reasons Why I'm Stressing Out // Rooglewood Fairy Tale Contest

If you've been around this blog for even a little while, you know that I love fairy tale retellings. So it shouldn't come as TOO much of a surprise to you that I'm planning on entering Rooglewood Press's final fairy tale contest, Five Poisoned Apples. Behold the gorgeous cover!

Don't know about the contest? Click HERE for more info.


I have mixed feelings of excitement (!!!!) and stress because. . .

1. I'm a slow writer.

2. I only have until December.

3. I reached approximately 5,000 words before I realized it had problems and needed to be rewritten.

4. The good news is that I buckled down and wrote a little over 7,000 words in the past three days, which I believe is a personal record. As you can imagine, I'm really happy about that :D And actually, right after I finish this post, I'm going to pump out some more words!

5. I don't even know my ending very well yet.

6. I keep going to Amazon and reading the samples of Rooglewood's past anthologies, marveling at the wonderful beginnings of each.

7. This makes me feel like my story is terrible and not worth the time. Which isn't true - I'm aware of that. But still.

8. Thing is, I really want to do this. I really want to have a chance at winning, because let's face it - this is one of the most fantastic opportunities ever. It's, like, one of my biggest dreams right now. (wow, that was cheesy)

9. I know that if I leave it in God's hands, He'll help me. And whether I win or not, I can rest easy that it was how He wanted it.

10. Think about it. Cash prize? Sure, wonderful. But that's not what I have my eye on, obviously. Just think about the anthology for a moment. And if you don't get the tingles, then you're not. Thinking about it. Hard. ENOUGH! *slams fist on table*

11. I'm almost certain my idea is decent. All I have to do is execute it well. No pressure there. *nervous laughter*

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to try my very, very hardest to write FAST. And that's going to be hard because I have this terrible habit of tweaking as I go. Homework: Say the word "tweak" out loud. Go ahead, just say it out loud. Doesn't it remind you of the sound a bird makes? Doesn't it sound... innocent?

*throws knife at wall* Well, it's not!

Tweaking as I go slows me down so much, and when it's habit... tut, tut. Not good, mi amigo. Not good at all. All I can do is put on my headphones, blast The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe soundtrack, and try my hardest not to think about the quality of my writing or look back to read the paragraph I just wrote. It's difficult, so difficult, but I think I can do it. I think I can make it. If I want to enter this badly, I will find a way.

You know the saying. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Wow. Okay, so I probably either totally annoyed you or totally overwhelmed you with my mostly-stressing-out episode up there ^. Please excuse my violent outbursts - these are troubling times XD

Anyways, you're probably curious as to what exactly my alleged "decent" idea is. Well, the story is called...

The Seven Huntresses 


...and I don't want to give away too much about it, but I will tell you that I'm doing plenty of gender-swapping and adding/subtracting (which both the above title and the below snippets hint at). I've also gleaned ideas from the Brother's Grimm version, one of which involves dragons. This may sound strange because there are no dragons in the Brother's Grimm version of Snow White, but hey - everyone has an imagination, and I am no exception.

I decided I couldn't not give you at least a small snippet, so here are two. They're messy little morsels, but I'd better get used to that if I'm going to write fast.

~~~

I heard the snap of a twig and swiveled my head in the direction it had come from, instinctively. A rabbit, most likely. “It was prying. It doesn’t matter.”

“No, whatever it was, tell me. I don’t want too many questions to be weighing on your mind,” he said, and I caught the teasing in his voice.

“You mentioned ‘she.’ I was only wondering who you were speaking of, but you don’t have to tell me.” I bit my lip, torn between wanting to respect his privacy and wanting to satisfy the curiosity searing questions onto my brain.

~~~

When I was far enough away from the camp but still a fair distance behind the prince, I called to him. “Casimir!”

He didn't turn around, didn't acknowledge my presence.

“Casimir, where are you going?”

No response.

I reached him and grabbed his arm. Without bothering to look at me over his shoulder, he jerked free.

~~~

These definitely need touching up, but I'll venture to ask... what did you think? And are you entering the contest? Talk to me in the comments below! XD

The Lord's truly,

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Sunshine Blogger Tag

I was going to post something else today - something a little more serious and a little more personal - but then I had second thoughts. So I decided to share a short story with you.

And I had second thoughts again.

Sooooo - even though I wasn't going to do both tags back to back - welcome to the Sunshine Blogger Tag!


I was also tagged for this by the ever-awesome Ivie, and she has some GREAT questions for me, so let's proceed.

1. What fandoms for a book/movie/t.v show are you a part of?

Well, if re-pinning quotes and fan art and so on and so forth on Pinterest counts as being part of a fandom, I'm going to go with Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter ("Nonexistent cat named Suzie got your tongue?"), The Lunar Chronicles by Marrisa Meyer (Fairy tale retellings. 'Nuff said.), Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan (I really want a green-and-gray mottled cloak, guys), Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings, Michael Vey, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. *takes breath*

2. What genre do you prefer to write or read?

Fantasy. Definitely fantasy. For both reading and writing. And if we want to get specific, fairy tale retellings. I just love those SO MUCH.

3. If you could have any mythical creature, what creature would it be?

Fairies are the best. But I'm going to modify the question to say "... any mythical creature as a best friend..." because when I think of fairies, I think of humans with wings and maybe magic powers. It would be weird to own one. You know, as a pet.

(I know you were thinking dragons when you came up with this question, Ivie. Don't deny it *wink-wink*)

4. How long have you been blogging?

Since October 2016. It's been almost a year!

5. Do you like slushies? If so, what flavor?

I like slushies, but I don't usually have them, so I don't really have a favorite flavor.

6. What is your personality type? (Meyers Briggs)

Confession: I haven't even taken the test. Why bother, though, when I already know I'm closest to an INFP than to any of the other types? XD

7. What's your favorite color?

Purple. Preferably a dark purple like plum or royal.

8. What is your favorite writing quote?

"Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious."

I felt that way over the summer, because I had lots of free time just to write and write and write. Then school barged in *insert sad emoji*

9. What is your favorite book?

Wow. That's a hard one. I don't think I could ever choose, but ONE of my favorite stand-alone books is Heartless by Marissa Meyer. It's such a beautiful Alice in Wonderland retelling... if a little odd, but what would you expect? It's Wonderland.


 
10. Pen or pencil?

Both. If you would've asked me a few months ago, I would've blurted "Pencil!" without a nanosecond of hesitation. But now there's this one blue pen with a fine point, and it writes so amazingly that I've grown to love it even more than my treasured mechanical pencil. But I still love pencils, mind you - as long as they're mechanical. I can't stand "normal" pencils, as I like to call them. The ones you have to sharpen constantly, and then they get too short to write with. So annoying XD

And I guess I'm supposed to come up with my own questions? Okay, then.

1. Think of all the book characters you loved so much... but who ended up dying. If you could choose only one to save, who would you pick?
2. If you suddenly became a billionaire, what is one thing you would do with the money EXCEPT donate to charity?
3. Which POV do you prefer to write in - first person or third person?
4. What is one funny story from your childhood?
5. If you could have one superpower, which one would you choose?
6. Think of the main character of your WIP. Which actor or actress would you want to play as him or her in a film of your book?
7. What's the most boring book you've ever read (or started reading)? 

I'll tag three bloggers!

Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer
Lisa @ Inkwell

No obligation to do it, of course :) 

Thanks for tagging me for this, Ivie! I had so much fun with those questions XD 

The Lord's Truly,