Monday, September 26, 2016

Three Reasons to Let Life Interrupt Your Writing by Tyrean Martinson


Interruptions - we all have them. What's the best way to maintain balance and keep writing? Author Tyrean Martinson is here to share her insight on this universal challenge. She's a multi-published author, busy writer, wife, mom, and homeschooler, so she knows a thing or two about managing time.

Speaking of sharing, I'm guest posting at Tyrean's blog for her Five Reasons to Write series. If you have a minute, would you hop over and see us there too? 

Three Reasons to Let Life Interrupt You and Your Writing

By Tyrean Martinson

I know it seems counter-intuitive to let life interrupt our pursuit of our dreams. I mean, haven’t we heard that we should stick to our goals above all else? Shouldn’t we create a sacred space and time for writing that all other parts of life should regard with respect?

Writing routines are great! Keeping our eyes on the prize is good.

But . . .

1) If we don’t let life interrupt us, we might miss something.

I have a story I’ve told a few times: On a day when I was feeling at a loss of purpose, I was stopped at a traffic light in the rain with dark clouds above, and I looked up to see a bird land on the traffic light post. My gloomy thoughts were interrupted. I felt purpose seep into me. For if God knows and cares for the birds, he knows and cares for me (and you).
(Matthew 6:26 paraphrase)

Recently, I was interrupted from my writing time to talk with a friend who is traveling to Hungary with me so we can cheer on our daughters at the Olympic Hopes Regatta. I found a library book on Budapest, and I took notes. I had never thought about writing a story set in Budapest before, or a story about traveling. 

2) We can find new direction in a small detail of our circumstances.

Now, the ironic thing is that after the story about the bird on the light post, someone will ask me: was the bird a dove?

And, my answer disappoints them – it was a crow. But for me, this is more powerful, because I think God cares for crows and doves alike, and I’m more like an average, crabby-sounding crow than a sweet, cooing dove. Thank God that He knows and cares for me as I am (and you, too). (1 Peter 4:10)

In my writing life, I’ve been feeling like the plots I’m working on are all “not me” – like I’ve been trying to write like I’m someone else. Yes, some of that was on purpose to challenge my writing skills, but it may be that I’ve been a crow trying to write like a dove. 

3) Sometimes we need to start something new, so new that we didn’t expect it.

While I do need to maintain a purposed course, I also need to listen to God’s call (John 10:27), and to the call of creativity (I think this is God, too), to find the right story to write.

As I write this, I’m still preparing for my trip to Hungary. By the time this post goes live, I’ll be returning. I’m taking notes on a new idea that’s still in the infancy of imaginative creativity. I’m listening first, and writing second.

Do you ever find new purpose in life’s interruptions?


Tyrean Martinson is an every day writer who lives on the Washington State peninsula – so close to the Puget Sound that she can smell the salty sea, but far enough away that her view contains cedar trees, blackberry brambles, and everything green. She writes fantasy, speculative, adventure, devotionals, historical, contemporary, homeschool curriculum, writing prompts, poetry, and random lists. She loves to read, spend time with her family, daydream, and believe. She has a random grouping of books out, available at most online stores.  Visit her at her blog, Every Day Writer.
 




I love Tyrean's observations! Her inspiration is contagious. Don't forget, if you have time, stop over at Tyrean's blog for my post, Five Reasons to Write Nonfiction. Thanks a bunch! 

I'll leave you with Tyrean's question:

Do you ever find new purpose in life's interruptions?

Happy writing, 
Karen


Monday, September 19, 2016

Out Visiting




Has fall arrived in your area yet? We've had some refreshing glimpses here and that makes me happy. :) Autumn is my favorite season - love the cooler weather, vibrant colors, and being able to spend more time outdoors. How about you, do you enjoy this time of year?

If you have a few minutes to spare, I invite you to stop over to my guest post at Susan J. Reinhardt's blog where I'm discussing the value of a wish list.

What projects are you working on this week? What's your favorite season?

Happy writing,

Karen

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Visit with Jeanette Levellie





Jeanette Levellie is here sharing about her new book, Touchable God, FInding the Lord's Friendship Through Prayer. This talented author and speaker has written several books, including The Heart of Humor and Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives

Jen is warm and funny and has a true heart for encouraging others. I think that she's one of the most genuine people I know. But don't let me sway you, of course. Decide for yourself through her post here. :) She's giving away a copy of Touchable God, so check out the details below.


With Love From Jeanette:

Have you heard the saying, “That sermon really stepped on my toes”? When I wrote my book, Touchable God: Finding the Lord’s Friendship Through Prayer, my own words constantly stepped on my toes. Like the prayer below about plans falling through. How many times have I doubted, cried in anguish, and sighed in despair when my plans fell through, only to find—sometimes much later—that God had a better plan? Aha. 

I hope this prayer helps you believe in the everlasting, bottomless love of your heavenly father for you. Even if it steps on your toes a wee bit. 

When Your Plans Fall Through 

Lord, my friend’s plans were like a towering tree that branched to the heavens, its leaves bright with promise of shade for everyone she knew and some she didn’t know, a glory for You and a joy for her. She believed the roots were formed in the soil of Your heart, of Your vision for her.

She watered her plans with worship to You for all the loveliness this tree would hold. She danced round the trunk as it grew and formed its stately shape. All who loved her rejoiced that it grew stronger and lovelier each year. As its fruit ripened and plumped, many partook of its sweet nourishment.

And now, its branches stare up at her, barren and twisted; its trunk a hollow shell where once a heart had beaten. Her vision is dead, her plans rotted and failed.

Lord, Your thoughts are only good for all Your children. Did my sister miss Your voice? Did she plant her own dreams, mistaking them for Yours? Afraid to blame herself, she’s tempted to blame You. Confusion hounds her soul like branches pounding on windows in an angry storm.

Will You please take her shattered aspirations, the splintered wood from fallen trees, and replace them with truer, straighter saplings from Your heart, dear Grower of perfect plans. Rain the gift of living water upon this new dream, born not of her design, but of Your holy purpose.

Or, if it’s Your will, resurrect her ruined plans, speaking life to the dead, proving You are mightier than death itself. You are life.

Whichever You choose, her times are in Your hand. Show Yourself strong on her behalf so she can dare to dream again, plan Your plans with You, and grow the tree of Your design. Give her hope for her future, a hope that’s rooted and grounded in Your love.

In Jesus’ name, so be it. 

References to Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 31:15; John 11:25; Psalm 89:8 

The above prayer is an excerpt from Jeanette Levellie’s newest book Touchable God: Finding the Lord’s Friendship Through Prayer. 



About Touchable God

“Every Christian longs for an intimate walk with the Lord, talking openly with their Heavenly Father and hearing from Him. Touchable God addresses this longing, helping you find a joy-filled relationship with the Lord instead of a joyless religion. In Section I Jeanette shares stories from her own journey in prayer. Written in her warm and casual style, these candid glimpses into Jeanette's tests and trials will help you believe the Lord's willingness to be involved in every area of your life. Section II consists of Jeanette's bold, often poetic prayers for friends in crisis. You need answers, and the Scripturally-based prayers will help you approach God's throne to find them. Touchable God gives caring friends, family members, and ministry leaders specific prayers for others' needs and guides you in praying for yourself during crises.”  





Jen's Bio

A spunky pastor's wife of forty plus years, Jeanette Levellie has published four books and hundreds of articles, greeting card verses, stories and calendar poems. She authors a weekly humor/inspirational column in her local newspaper, and enjoys speaking to church and civic groups, offering hope and humor in every message. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to several cats. Visit her blog, Hope Splashes.

 
My Review

Through true stories and uplifting prayers, Jeanette Levellie encourages readers, offering hope while illustrating God’s approachable, loving nature. These stories are relatable - I was engaged immediately. The prayers brought others’ needs (as well as my own) to mind, and were the catalyst I needed to begin to pray. This book will be a wonderful resource now and in the future, as it offers a lifeline of comfort and light.


Giveaway Info 

Jeanette is giving away a signed copy of Touchable God to one of my followers in the United States. Kindly note the following:

1) Please comment below, and leave your email address so I can contact you.  
2) I'd appreciate you following Write Now by Google Friend Connect or Facebook (see sidebar).
3) Giveaway ends Thursday, September 15, 2016 at midnight Eastern Time. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or another name will be chosen.   

How do you handle it when your plans fall through? What are you reading this week?

Happy reading and writing,
Karen