Finding Hope In A Mysterious World

Category: Writing (Page 1 of 9)

Wishing Everyone a Blessed 2021

Choosing a Path

Going on a journey

After living through a pandemic, a strident election, and a record number of natural disasters, 2020 is finally over. Now, we are looking forward to the new year of 2021. Even though we are carrying a lot of baggage left over from the old year, that doesn’t condemn the new year to be just like 2020. In fact, we have as much reason to believe it will be twice as good.

Many of us like to make plans and get an idea of what we want to achieve in the weeks and months ahead.

The Wonder of Creation

2020Night Sky by Pezibear

Over on The Write Conversation, I posted a blog about making plans that included God. You can get the link here.

Often, we think about what we can do. I know, when I do this, I get discouraged because there is so much out of my control and my abilities are so small.

But when I look at God, my Lord, at His creation and how He has worked in history, why shouldn’t I think He will do it in me? In you?

Wishing everyone a happy 2021 and hoping that you will achieve even more than you can dream.

Merry Christmas in 2020

This has been a rough year for everyone. Between the COVID-19 virus and a hard fought, take-no-prisoner election, we in the United States are exhausted. Add in social justice unrest and the whole world has been through a test.

Usually, we can look at Christmas as a time to gather with friends and family and get a boost, but the virus has disrupted that. This year, we are looking at minimum if any travel and much smaller groups. Zoom is becoming the norm.

In my post this month on The Write Conversation website, It’s Not About What We Don’t Have, I look at all that we are missing this season, but also what we still have to look forward to. There is still hope. Multiple vaccines are their way. We are learning new ways to cope and handle this disease.

And God is still watching over everything. The message that the Babe in the Manger brought us over two thousand years ago is still as true .

In It’s Not About What We Don’t Have, I discuss how this Christmas may look a little. You can read the post here.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

And let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Next year will be different from any we have ever had. It’s important that each of us take the responsibility to share the light with each other.

Merry Christmas.

November’s Reading and Mourning the Loss of Traditions

by Tim Suddeth

2020 is racing to an end. Most of us would be quick to say, “Good riddance.” Hopefully, prayerfully, 2021 will bring back more of a sense of normality, maybe with a dash of peace and compassion for others.

Let’s make that two dashes.

The COVID pandemic has burdened many of us with a new feeling this year, guilt. Probably not a new feeling for most of us, but COVID seems to have brought its own supply.

The holidays are here with their traditions and gatherings. Thanksgiving is the day each year that my family drives to the mountains to enjoy a whopping big dinner with cousins. My eighty-seven-year-old mother says that she did this when she was a child. I have gone every year, except for one or two because of health, for all my fifty-nine years.

This year it’s cancelled.

Family gatherings, musicals by churches or communities, parades, plays. Many of these are going to be cancelled or drastically cut back. Then you have to deal with either the guilt of going and risking exposing someone to the virus or the guilt of missing out on some of the holidays.

No matter how you choose, you still feel guilt.

Maybe, this will; be for just this year. A mere blip in the years of our lives.

But it has been a long time in the present.

 

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading.

Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves, by Larry Brooks, came out in 2019 and is his latest book of writing advice. In it, he gives benchmarks for writers to use in developing and improving their novels. He begins by helping us consider our idea and premise, then describes how to determine if they are meaty enough to last for a whole book. Then he walks us through the structure of a novel, how it is organically shaped. He tells what the reader expects at different points along the story and how we can meet and exceed their expectations.

The writing community has separated a battlefield between those who plot out their stories before they write and those who just jump in and trudge their way through to some type of an ending. In Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves, Brooks come down strongly on the plotting side, but agrees that both ways work.

I think most people are somewhere in the middle. When you start on a hike, or on a trip, you usually want to know where you are going, with maybe some stops along the way. That way you can be sure to get enough gas and pack any supplies you might need. Your destination may be a drive to the mountains, or to certain barbeque place in Black Mountain.

With my five books, each one has had its own process.

Like Brooks says, no one is going to care how you wrote your story, how many character sketches you used or how drafts you went through. They are only going to care if they were able to lose themselves inside your story.

 

The Power of Less, by Leo Babauta, is another book on the benefits of not flooding our lives with more; more stuff or more activities.

He talks about the importance of simplifying. That running faster and faster on a hamster wheel isn’t going to get you anywhere. Spending all of your energy to do more isn’t the best way to meet your goals. That takes focusing, planning, and goal setting.

His tips are pretty generic and commonly heard by all of the simplifying gurus out there. But this is a good reminder to watch out for all the extra things that are constantly sneaking onto our schedules and into our lives.

 

 

Over on my new blog, Opening a Mystery, you van find my review of the last mile. David Baldacci’s The Last Mile is his second in the Amos Decker series. It will be interesting to see where he takes this detective and whether he will continue to work with the FBI. One thing’s for sure, I’m glad he’s on our side. (You can get the link here.)

Hope you all are enjoying your reading. If you have a particular book you are reading you would like to recommend, leave me a note in the comments.
And happy holidays.

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