Friday, January 22, 2010

Writing Inspires...


Oh my, does it ever!

Writers, at least Christian writers, pray about their story premise, and how best to reveal the story for God's glory. Whether it's for the Christian Fiction/Non-Fiction market or the secular, we are prayerfully lifting our work to Him in hopes that He'll use it to His great Glory and that our written words become an instrument through which He can and will work wonders for His Kingdom.

But what about writers who are pulling back on time devoted to writing for honourable reasons? What special prayers might they lift?

Yes, I happen to have personal experience with this. When I wrote full-time my direction was clear--write because God calls you to, no matter that you have no idea if He'll use it to help anyone else but yourself, just write for Him. And, yes, it definitely fulfilled my own need for stretching my imagination and directing me to battle my own sinful ways and overcoming fears that God has no desire for me to be crippled with. But that I have so very little time to devote to writing, I find myself running from it when I should be embracing those precious moments available for it.

Why am I running?

I want to be a blessing to others. If my writing is solely for my personal gain, if it will never be published for even one other to gain wisdom from, then what an absolute waste those brain-draining hours of editing and revising are, not to mention how emotionally difficult they are on me. Ahhh, but if it's God desire that I continue on, so be it. Amen.

I'm an all-or-nothing sorta girl. If I can't delve in and give it my full effort and time, accomplishing great gains with each session, then the rewards are too small for me to strive toward. Ahhh, but my daughter, what I'm trying to teach you is that there is great merit in perseverance and working with building blocks no matter how small each brick. Patience, my dear, break the task into the smallest of parts and set forth to accomplish one paragraph, one page at each session and rejoice in a small job well done. For those small jobs will accumulate much in one year compared to running from the task at hand completely.

I'm no good at it anyway. Why bother? It's probably time to quit, find a new challenge to stretch myself with, perhaps the girls and their horse time is what is to fulfill me now. When that last sentence reads: "It's time to quit, find a new challenge...", that's when I'll know it's God's desire and not my weakness calling me over to the dark side--to giving up. Indecisiveness is not of God. Think about it. When was Jesus ever indecisive?

Have you ever struggled with change and found yourself questioning if God is directing you elsewhere or if it's the "change" itself that you are fighting and thus you struggle to rid yourself of the work all together? If so, how do you handle it?

May our prayers be met with answers, clear, straight-forward answers that offer peace within, and direction to accomplish the truth. Amen.

Surrendering to Him,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A head cold has slapped me hard and now I'm zapped.

Frustration is my newest best friend as I ponder the list of to-do's that is ever growing while my body is ever "unfruitful". When the body is weak and eyelids are heavy enough to break toothpicks, there is but one thing to do.


I pray for the Haiti situation. I pray for family and friends and their individual circumstances. I pray for direction...for guidance...for a sense of knowing that I so richly lack at times. I pray for His presence to be ever felt in my life. And I pray for you, if you'll let me.

Please, allow me to make use of this tired body by lifting prayers for you. Amen!

Surrendering to Him,


Monday, January 18, 2010

Fiction Versus Non-Fiction?

What effect does each have on you?

It's a well known fact that a really good novel has the reader daydreaming about the fictitious life long after the book is closed. And, oh, what a lovely way to work through menial tasks like cleaning out hamster and guinea pig cages. (Can you tell what I did this morning before logging on?)

Seriously, it's been far too long since I enjoyed reflecting on a good story and contemplating what it was about the story and characters that drew me in and continue to hold me to them long after the story end is complete. That contemplating brings out characteristics I long to discover and/or develop in myself. And of course the writer in me has me wondering when I can fit a second "educational" read in to dissect that baby and figure out how the author created such an enjoyable world to travel into.

Now, Non-Fiction on the other hand offers a more immediate opportunity for change, complete with suggestions, of course. Whether it's a book teaching you to write that gives suggested ways to up the conflict, deepen the character, or spin a twist in your novel in progress, or a faith-driven book that reveals how to live your life more purposely for God, you have something at your finger tips to guide you along having an immediate impact on your life whether in work or personal growth.

The knowledge driven Non-fiction books for one reason or another always seem slow going for me. I suspect it's because I want to apply the suggestions. Test the new knowledge. Whereas, those really good fiction books get read in no time, but they live on, offering a wonderful dreamland to go to whenever I so desire.

Do you experience the same effects from your reading stack, or is everyone different?

A blessed Monday and Tuesday prayed for you all.

Surrendering to Him,


Friday, January 15, 2010

Writing Inspires...


There's a lot of goal setting going on in blogosphere lately. I'm still not settled with my list to log mine for the world to see, but there is one that I would like to share now.

My reading goal for 2010.

One of my dear bloggers, Tabitha, has set her reading goal for 2010 at 50 books. That's an awesome goal, but for a slow reader like myself, I'm going a little lax and setting my goal at 36. That's three books a month. I imagine some months I'll go over and others I'll be under, but in the end as 2010 draws to its end, may my 36 in 12: Eileen's 2010 Reading Stack list on the sidebar reveal my reading goal met--ah, yes, sweet success--that's what I long for with at least one of my 2010 goals. And that's a measurable goal, for all you out there with your goal rules set in stone. Absolutely love how committed you all are to goal setting and defining the parameters around it all. [And, no, I'm not worried about any of you experiencing OCD. Really, I'm not!]

As noted often here in cyber space and even in books, many authors are adamant that to become a truly good writer, you must be an avid reader. I agree totally with them on this, but what concerns me is that many of us wannabe writers automatically think the reading element of that equation is limited to published works.

I'm attempting to squash that theory. Partly because I'm such a slow reader that I can't possibly keep up with the suggested reading goals flying around out there, but also because I doubt very much that these prolific authors are still in large critique groups, and reading and editing for dear friends, to help and learn along the way with unpublished works as well.

I mean, it takes time and brain-draining mental exercise sometimes to help other writers hone their craft. I'm not saying it isn't fun brainstorming better ways to pull something off on the page, but it is of value and I think it should count as part of a writer's reading quota. What do you all think? Should reading unpublished works count, or not?

I must add here that after a disappointing run with reading, I'm finally falling in love with it again. You see, I've been reading, errrr, attempting to read, many Steeple Hill Love Inspired novels as usual since it has long been my goal to write for that line, but sadly something has changed either in me, or in the quality of that line as of late.

I've come to the decision that I'd rather spend $10 to $20 on one novel that will likely please me, than $4 times 3 or 4 of the LI's each month that mostly seem to disappoint and I have no problem never finishing. They just don't grab me like they used to and I no longer route for the hero or heroine from the start. This is so sad, because truly, I love the concept of a concentrated sweet romance that can be read in a day for most readers, two for slow me, but my frustration has me drawn away from that line for now. However, I still plan to pick up the LI's written by choice authors I want to support and trust won't disappoint with their offerings. So hopefully you'll still see me recommending an LI here and there on this blog, but notice how rare they've been as of late? Now you know the reason.

Anyway, take a look over at my sidebar and see the 2010 Reading Stack list for what has me excited once more about reading. The fiction (F) book I'm currently reading is not at all what I expected, it's so much BETTER!!!! Thanks, Laura, for inspiring my love of reading once more!!! I appreciate you and your writing so very much!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did get pictures of Penny up on the last post. If you didn't catch them, scroll further down for a peak at how beautiful this large pony is. She's so friendly, too, and loves receiving treats!! May your weekend be filled with cherished family and friends time, and when you find yourself smiling or laughing, may you lift your eyes in a tender moment of gratitude for our Heavenly Father for all the good He has given you. Blessings prayed for you all!

PS. If you're interested in entering a book giveaway for a hightly recommended YA novel. Check out Georgiana's post today. Sounds like a good one to me.

Surrendering to Him,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As Writing Isn't for the Weak Hearted, Training...

our cats that our furniture isn't beautified scratching posts just for them isn't easy, either.

We've tried spraying our furniture with perfume (an idea given courtesy of one of my sisters) only to cough and sputter due to a much too overpowering scent. As nice as it may be sprayed on a human body, let me tell you, it is not nice to inhale once sprayed over several pieces of furniture. And our house is open concept. Can't imagine what it would have been like if done in a closed room. Anyway, after nearly dying of massive headaches and raw-throat appeal, that didn't work, either.

In the interest of being humane to my pets and any other creature that roams this earth, I really don't want to send them for de-clawing, so if anyone has any great suggestions as to how to get these silly cats to use the scratching posts given to them rather than our furniture for their obvious need, I'd love to hear it, or read it, as the case may be in blogland.

Praying you all are inspired with something grand today that makes you smile lots!!!

(P.S. My daughters still haven't sent me any pics to upload of our dear equine Penny. Haven't forgotten, still working on getting it to show off their beautiful filly. Oh, and here's a line that hubby said the other night that really cracked me up "We need to save our pennies for Penny." Hee Hee! But boy is he right on that!)

Jan.14th update.

Thanks all for your great suggestions! Keep them coming as I head out to get tape that won't destroy my leather, more tinfoil, and more scratching posts. I'm good with the catnip for smothering on the posts as Santa seemed to have a huge supply of that this year. Thanks too, to all who comment with or without suggestions for this problem of mine. I love reading all your comments! Thanks so much!

Now, onto the pics. Meet Penny. Isn't she beautiful!

Penny and Sabrina.

Penny and Alisha.

Aren't they all beautiful together?

Surrendering to Him,


Monday, January 11, 2010


2010 is already going way too fast for me. How about you?

The Watson household is in deep alteration this year. Not just physically with a hoped-for major main floor renovation, but mom and dad (being Phil and I) after years of skirting it have finally plunged into the leasing-a-horse mode for our two oldest daughters. It's actually a large pony they are leasing and preparing to show in the A-circuit around here. This means major change around the home-front.

It means that mom is at the barn five afternoons a week watching said daughters ride Penny, said large pony, and girls are building major thigh muscle and toughness with a new coach who loves no-stirrup work. My crock-pot is getting work-out in all of this, too.

So, not only am I busy drawing up possible floor plans for our new kitchen and location of current kitchen, family room and dining room, along with scouting possible contractors, I'm at the barn way more (starting to sound like my teenage daughters here--scary!)

The interesting thing about all this is that I am at peace with it all even though it has put my writing on the back burner. So I've deemed 2010 a year of horses, renovation inside the house and renovation of old works of writing. Although I'd planned in late 2009 to write a teen novel for my girls early this year, that's going to have to wait. The plot wasn't meshing like I'd hoped in my mind and so it needs more time to knit together as I continue on with 2010. Who knows, perhaps I need to experience the A-circuit living to find the missing pieces since it definitely has equestrian life in it for my girls to enjoy.

I'm starting with revisions and edits of The Unlikely One (that's the story that finalled in the Genesis contest). It'll go slow, I have no doubt, but again, I'm at peace with that. If I get it polished and ready for submitting by the end of the year, I'll deem my writing for 2010 a success.

Of course, that's what I say and feel today. God reserves the right to drive me differently at any point in time. And I say to God, "Bring it on my Master. Lead me, mold me, use me to Your Good Works. Amen."

My question for you all today is this: What are you feeling peace about lately?

(P.S. I'll try and get my girls to send me a picture of beautiful Penny and add it to this post tonight so you can see the newest addition to our family that is becoming very time-consuming.)

Surrendering to Him,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Desires of Thine Heart

Since I don't seem to be alone in the fog of early 2010, I thought I'd share a devotional I read just this morning that's really helping me.

This comes from Joyce Meyer's New Day New You, and January 8th's devotional is based on Philippians 2:13.

"It is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight."

Isn't that beautiful and so very freeing? It is to me. What it says to me this morning as I snatch glimpses of what lies outside my kitchen slider doors (see picture above--taken only minutes ago--it's so beautiful, but had I been submersed in some great plan already, I might have never paused at all to really appreciate it) is that since I'm in prayer as I attempt to plan, organize and make goals for myself, perhaps right now my desire for rest and working in slow motion is actually God-driven. And who am I to deny His will?

I rest easy now as God takes His time setting me up for what is next to come. For His will for me is far greater in His Kingdom than anything I could possibly create on my own. I may never see it that way in this scarred human body in which I am, but I trust God to make a good work of me for His Glory even when I don't see where or how it all leads.

I am desperately trying to get around to visit all my blogging friends, but that too is going in snatches and slow motion for me. Forgive me for taking so long if I haven't gotten over to your Cyber pad yet. I do intend to soon. I have a thyroid ultrasound to tend to today at the hospital which always rolls into a half to full-day excursion with how behind diagnostic imaging always is. So I'll steal snatches of Internet time over the weekend to catch up with you all. Hubby is feverishly studying for a new six-month course he's taking for work, and the girls are busy with the horses for a good portion of this weekend to make this deviation possible. Wow, some "me" time when technically it's supposed to be "family" time. That doesn't happen often around here.

May you all have a wonderful weekend and may God impart His desires in you...and may we all follow through with them for His Glory!

Surrendering to Him,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Definitely Not a Good Start, But there's Hope!

Okay, so 2010 is proving difficult to get into for me. My mind is jammed with wanna-do's and organizational how-to's and baking ideas and lots of guilt because nothing seems to be getting done. I just keep spinning in sphericals. (Oops, sorry, trying not to be cliche. Oh, well, it's an attempt at least.)

Anyway, I got news of a contest that might just help me get my writing mode back into play. What better way than to win a critique from an impartial, educated duo in fictional writing. Here's the link to check it out yourself. Good luck, everyone!

Surrendering to Him,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Does the Quiet get to you?

Hi, All:

I'm feebly inching my way back into what is known as "normal" living in my little world.

How about you? Do you come back after a healthy dose of family and loving feeling raring to go, or a little remorseful that the time has passed all too quickly?

As I work to find balance once more and an energy conducive to creative thinking, I'm blog hopping again and so looking forward to absorbing the wonderful nuggets all you lovely bloggers offer up so freely. Pray your time of celebration was met with love and much joy!

May we all find 2010 to be a year of growth and further understanding with God guiding each and every step we take. If He but tug hard when we tend to stray, we'll be truly blessed!

Surrendering to Him,