#392: “The Story” Contest

As you probably have guessed if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I LOVE to write! Fiction, non-Fiction, Journalism, Poetry, etc. I love writing it all. But my favorite thing to write, what I’m most passionate about is fiction. My dream job is to be a Christian novelist. In recent years between this blog and a few other opportunities I’ve gotten a lot of my non-fiction and Journalism articles out there, but not my fiction.

Back in March I heard about a Christian fiction short story contest called “The Story.” I was SO excited to be able to get some of my fiction out there and possibly win a prize or two. Now you have to understand I haven’t written a short story in years, I write novels and novellas. When I was younger I couldn’t write long stories because I just didn’t have enough ideas to drag out into a long story. Now I have the opposite problem, I have so many ideas I can’t keep them short and don’t know what to cut out, and the word count maximum was 1000 for this contest. But I decided to take on the challenge.

I had a great idea for a novella which I knew I could cut down to a short story length, but it proved to be harder than I imagined it would be. I tried different things but nothing worked at first then I took a step back and thought about what was really important to the story, changed the focus slightly and had my first short story for the contest. This process helped a lot when I wrote my second one, where I took a couple of scenes from the novel I’m currently working on changed a few small details, and had my short story.

Well the contest winners were announced July 1st and… I didn’t win, I didn’t even come in the top 50. But that’s ok. I got some of my fiction out there, grew as a writer, and had a blast! I hope they do another contest next year because I’ve got a couple of great ideas for more stories, but even if they don’t I’m grateful I had the experience!

#392: Thank you Lord for “The Story” Contest. It was such a great experience for me as a writer, and so much fun!

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it! Continue reading

Day 295: Words

I’ve heard the song “Words” by Hawk Nelson quite a bit recently, and it’s made me think about how important words are. Whether it’s in writing or speaking, words are how we communicate with people, and make ourselves known. We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” and while that’s often true, pictures can be open for interpretation, and therefore can be misunderstood.

But we also need to be careful with our words, they can help or hurt someone. I know that’s true for me, there’ve been times when I’ve felt discouraged or even worse because of the words someone’s said to me, and other times I’ve been truly encouraged by what their words. I want to be careful in what I say and write, I want to always glorify God and be encouraging to others.

Day 295: Thank you Lord for words, so we can effectively communicate with others, and glorify you.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

“Words” by Hawk Nelson
They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Day 212: Local Magazine

Recently I mentioned that I was going to have a couple of articles published in a local magazine. Well when I got home from work today the latest edition of the magazine was in my mailbox with my first article in it! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see it in print! I’m so grateful to have an opportunity like this to write and have articles published. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get my name out there and it’s fun for me.

Day 212: Thank you Lord for the local magazine that’s publishing my articles! I’m so happy for another opportunity to write and be published.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 200: Getting Published

Yesterday I mentioned that I’ve started doing some freelance writing for a local magazine and today I found out that this second article will be published in the September issue. (In case you’re wondering the first article will be published too in the August issue) I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out! I’ve written a lot of stuff over the years, but very little of it has been published. I have quite a bit of stuff online, but it’s there because I post it, this will be the first time I’ve submitted something for publication and someone else had to approve its publication since I wrote for my college newspaper. What writer doesn’t want to see their name in print? I can’t wait to see both of my articles in the magazine. (Now if I can fulfill my dream of getting some of my fiction- but that’s a whole different story for another time)

Day 200: Thank you Lord that my articles are being published! It’s been such a dream of mine for so long, thank you for giving me this opportunity.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 199: Writing Deadlines

I’ve started doing some freelance writing for a local magazine and tomorrow is the deadline to turn in articles, but I submitted mine tonight! It feels so weird to have a definite deadline for something I’m writing for the first time since college. (You could say I have one each day for this blog, but since it’s every day it doesn’t feel the same to me) I’ve really been feeling the pressure this week to get the article finished, and am glad to be done! I have mixed feelings about deadlines, a lot of times I don’t like them because I feel the pressure to get it finished and it sometimes stresses me out. But on the other hand it can be a good thing to have a time limit to get something finished so I don’t mess around with it, and really concentrate on making it as good as it can be. While I don’t think everything I write should have a definite deadline with certain things I’m glad to have them.

Day 199: Thank you Lord for writing deadlines so my writing can be the best it can be.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 195: Villanelle Poems

(Today’s Daily Prompt is to do the opposite of what you normally do on your blog, and while poetry isn’t the exact opposite for me it’s what I want to do, especially since I’ve never done it before)

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 13.
But from early on I’ve seen
That while I write good fiction,
as well as decent nonfiction,
Poetry isn’t my strength
No matter its length.

But every once in a while
I want to try another writing style,
And I write a poem
Because it’s nice to roam
And try something beside
Your normal writing tide.

When I do write poetry
There’s only one style for me.
It’s called a Villanelle
And I know it fairly well.
I like the way it repeats
Certain lines so it tastes like sweets.

Here’s a Villanelle I wrote
About my blog. So take note
If you’d like to try one yourself
It doesn’t just write itself.
But it’s a fun
Poetic style for everyone.

365 Days of Thanks
Writing my blog isn’t an easy job,
Discovering the things I’m thankful for,
It isn’t for a snob.

Some days are really hard; I have to rob
my brain and not be a bore
Writing my blog isn’t an easy job.

Other days it’s really easy; any thingamabob
that happens that day I’ll explore.
It isn’t for a snob.

Sometimes I feel like I’m writing for a mob
who could care less if I write anymore.
Writing my blog isn’t an easy job.

I try to write for those who are encouraged by what I lob
out there for everyone to read and adore.
It isn’t for a snob.

So whether I write about something beautiful or a doorknob,
I hope you’ll be encouraged and come back for more.
Writing my blog isn’t an easy job,
It isn’t for a snob.

Day 195: Thank you Lord for Villanelle poems, they’re such a wonderful style of poetry.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 138: Journaling

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I LOVE to write! A day hardly goes by when I don’t write something. (No, I’m not counting this blog) I think of this blog as a kind of journal for the year since I’m writing every day, though not every day’s blog is related to what happened that day.

I’ve journaled off and on through the years. I try to have an actual journal on my bedside table all the time, so if something happens I have something handy to write about it in. When I go on a big trip overseas I like to keep a journal so I can remember what happened each day. Off and on I’ve journaled my quiet times, something I want to get back into, because it helps me grow in my faith.

I enjoy reading back over my journals years later. It’s interesting to see what happened back then and remember it. Sometimes I laugh at how bad my writing was and see how much I’ve improved in my writing skills and style. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I’d been more descriptive of something, because I don’t really remember it and/or have no idea what I’m talking about specifically. That’s one thing I have improved on as writer, but I know I still have room for improvement with how I describe something.

Day 138: Thank you Lord for Journaling, not only as a way to get closer with you during my quiet times, but to remember things in my life years later.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!