Poetry

Hey everyone,

It’s been a bit of a crazy week for me. I’ve had a lot going on and admittedly, I haven’t had a lot of time to plan this week’s post.

So, rather than the usual, I decided to post some poems that I’ve been working on. I hope you like them – and depending on the response that I get from this, I might decide to post more in the future!

So without further ado, here are the poems!

 

Through It All 

I still remember the moment

I was still so young and frail

When I first heard the Gospel message

When I surrendered to His will 

 

A girl, only nine years old 

Praying for a broken home 

A girl, only nine years old

That was when I learned that I’m not alone 

 

There I was alone in my room 

Praying for change to come 

There I was sitting in darkness 

Praying for God’s will to be done

 

Two years later, my prayers came to pass

And there I was, standing in church with my family at last 

For the first time ever, I knew the power of God, so clearly I could feel

That Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, really was truly real 

 

Through my teenage years 

And all of my fears 

And growing and living life 

Through the ups and downs 

My life turned around 

Because He showed me His love and light 

 

Through finding my voice 

And all of the noise 

And times I wouldn’t want relive

Through every high and low 

Through the midnight snow 

He has always been my friend 

 

So this is the tale that I live to tell 

A story of triumph over pain 

Of my God above who rescued me with love

All to bring glory to His name 

 

Life 

Life is a funny thing

The way that we come and go 

It’s an adventure waiting to happen

And a journey to behold 

 

We start as small children, young and anxious to explore 

We wind up eventually with a new beginning

Knocking at our door 

 

But it’s the time in between that we remember 

Filled with choices, love, and hope

It’s the time in between that we remember

As we change, and learn, and grow 

 

Where our life touches another, and it creates a ripple effect

Where our lives touch each other 

None of us are autonomous 

 

Because we are all a tapestry

Created for something more 

We are all woven together 

Created for our Savior and Lord 

 

This is life

This is our story 

We cannot do it alone 

 

This is living—and it means giving

Of our heart and of our soul 

 

In this moment, we are alive 

 

In this moment, we are breathing 

 

May we never never waste it

 

Instead, let us always choose to embrace it

 

Freefall 

People say that life is many things 

They say that it’s short and fleeting 

That it’s a box of chocolates, or that it’s simply contemplating 

 

They say it’s a dream, a journey, and hope

Others think it means just holding on to the end of your rope 

 

But sometimes, it can be neither, sometimes it can be all 

Sometimes, when you’re living, and walking this pilgrimage, life is a free-fall 

You think you’re going one way, and than suddenly your life turns around 

Sometimes, this is what it means when you’re following the Spirit’s sound

 

The crazy moments beyond belief 

That are completely out of your control 

The joys and heartaches that we face, both the young and the old 

 

But to live is Christ 

The Author of it all

That is why we call it the freefall 

 

Because you’re falling, faster, harder

In the greatest, possible way 

You’re falling harder upward 

Into our Father’s embrace 

 

Living life isn’t safe 

It was never want to be 

But sometimes, it can still be wonderful

In the midst of an unexpected sea 

 

So here I finish my philosophical muse

About life, and death, and between 

The joys, the laughter, the beauty of it all 

When we dare to live in the freefall 

 

Stars 

Do you see the stars, rising high above, lighting up the night

That shine down on us, to give a warming light 

Do you see the galaxies, up there, resting high above?

The painting, the masterpiece, of our Creator’s love?

 

They sit in the sky as reminders 

To shine brightly in the dark

And they sparkle down as a reminder  

That they’re always the same no matter where we are 

 

They connect every heart 

Under the same big sky 

Telling us that there’s a way home

For the one and ninety-nine

 

Because they point back to what’s real 

What exists in Heaven above 

They point us towards something greater 

To an everlasting love 

 

But there is one that is greater

Than every star up above 

The One who Created them all 

And He’s someone we can speak to 

In every valley and behind every wall 

 

So next time you see them remember 

To send up a prayer above

Not to the stars, but to their Creator 

Who loves us with a perfect love. 

 

If you have any suggestions for future poetry topics or a future post feel free to post them in the comments section below! I always love hearing your input! 

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Thoughts And Ramblings Of A Christian Writer: Part Four (The Final Part!!!)

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. – Richard Bach

Today is the last part in my writer’s series, and perhaps the most dreaded—Editing.

 

For many writers, editing is the most overwhelming part of the process. Throughout the early first draft, we’re running mostly on creativity and fresh inspiration. The process is new, and oftentimes, we can’t wait to get our ideas down on the page. We can see it all in our minds like a movie, and we celebrate when we make it to the end of our story.

Editing, on the other hand, is different. It’s left brain. It’s practical. It means changing material that sounded really good a couple of days ago. It means reading your work through the eyes of a critic. And most writers don’t enjoy it nearly as much as the initial creative process. In fact, editing can make you feel a little like these memes bellow.

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And, at times, we may even feel a little like this guy.

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(As a new Dawson’s Creek fan, you had to know this would make its way into one of my posts eventually.😜)

Nonetheless, as stressful as editing can be, it is an absolutely essential part of the writing process. As good as our stories are, they’re never finished at the rough draft. Writing is a journey. And, like every journey, it takes hard work and dedication to make our stories the best that they can be.

According to thebookdesigner.com, there are four different types of editing: Big Picture Editing, Paragraph Level Editing, Sentence Level editing, and Word Level Editing.

Big Picture Editing means taking a look at your writing from a bird’s eye view. It means looking at your story and making sure that structurally, everything makes sense. There are no plot holes. There’s nothing that sounds, weird, or off, or incoherent. Hopefully, most of the big-picture of the book was structured carefully before and during the writing process, but if you have noticeable errors, they can still be fixed as you edit your manuscript. Remember—that’s the whole point of editing. To make your draft as good as possible before sending it to a publishing house (or, pursuing the route of self publishing).

Paragraph Level Editing is a little different. Like Big Picture Editing, it is largely about structure, but this type of editing involves changing sentence and paragraph structure to make the content easier to read and more coherent to the reader. This could mean clarifying sentences, adding detail, cutting fluff, and giving the book an overall “feel” or “tone”.

Sentence Level Editing, on the other hand, is more about mechanics. It’s where we get down to the nitty-gritty of our prose, and fix grammar mistakes and minor details that may have been lost in a sea of words. For instance, is the character’s last name “Jones” in one sentence and “Smith” in another? Does the protagonist’s best friend remain a brunette throughout the story? It sounds silly, but these kind of details can be easy to miss in a three-hundred page novel. It is important, for the reader’s sake, that all of this is addressed before the book is released into the hands of the world.

Last but not least, we have Word Level Editing, which is arguably the easiest and most basic kind of editing. This kind of writing addresses things such as spelling, typos, and punctuation. It is the kind of editing that many of us are familiar with from our days in elementary school, when we learned the basics of English and took standardized tests where we filled-in-the-bubble-for-the-correct-word.

I hope that these last four parts have been helpful and enjoyable to read for you guys! Admittedly, I’m still an amateur myself, but my prayer is that we can all learn, grow, and encourage each other on our journey to becoming better writers.

Writing has always been my passion and I know that I personally have loved delving deep into the world of fiction writing on my blog!

If you have any comments, please feel free to post them in the comments section! I always love hearing from you guys! 

Thoughts And Ramblings Of A Christian Writer – Part Three

Let’s be honest. Each one of us, if we’re telling the truth, wants to write something that leaves a lasting mark on this world.

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Each of us, as a writer, has a story inside of us that needs to come out.

Each one of us has a story that we want to bring to life.

Each one of us has something to say.

Each one of us wants to say something that matters.

This is where the concept of a “theme” comes in. A theme, in short, is the lesson, moral, or a concept of a story. And as authors, especially Christian authors, the concept of a theme is absolutely essential to our stories. It’s the meat and depth of our novel. It’s the heart and soul of our prose.

In my experience and observations, a theme can come into the picture in really any stage of the planning process. For some people, it’s easiest to start with the theme and structure the storyline around it. For others, myself included, it’s easiest to come up with the plotline first and than zoom into the lesson that you want to teach. The order doesn’t matter so much as the lesson that you choose to teach through your story. No one else can choose it for you. It has to come from your own heart, passion, and experience. It has to be something universal and unique—something that will inspire your readers in their own real, day-to-day-life. 

Personally, when I’m in the process of discovering my story’s themes, I do some soul searching—as I try to figure out what message I can convey through the storyline and what God has put on my heart to incorporate into my story. Oftentimes, I can even draw from my own life, as I think of things that I wish that I had known when I was younger. A theme, in short, can be anything from the importance of close friendships, to the problem with censorship, to the transforming power of faith in God. 

According to an article on www.novel-writing-help.com/what-is-theme-,html, “Theme is the deeper layer of meaning running beneath the story’s surface. While the surface story entertains the readers, the theme helps them to reach a new understanding of some aspect of the human condition.

Thus, while the story’s surface intention is to entertain, the story’s theme adds an extra, hidden dimension to a novel. It gives it depth, and helps us recognize things about ourselves and our world—much like how Jesus’ parable’s teach us important lessons about God and the world that we live in.

As humans, we’re all different, but we all experience many of the same experiences, hopes, and desires. Stories with strong themes capture this, and help us to see that we’re not alone. We find that other people have shared our same struggles and challenges, and have come out on the other side. When we delve deep into a novel’s theme, we often find that we’re not as alone as we think. 

As Christians, we have a guiding source of truth, which is God and His Word. Through spending time with God in prayer and reading our Bible regularly, we can develop strong themes and guiding principles for our writing (and life!). Thus, if you’re writing a story, I’d highly encourage you to look to Scripture for inspiration about your story’s theme. Like with anything else, God’s Word is always our best place to start. 

Some books that have gotten it right

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Some movies that have gotten it right 

Do You Believe? 

Soul Surfer 

Freaky Friday 

Inside Out 

Dangerous Minds

How about you? What are your thoughts on creating a “theme” for your novel? Is there anything you’d like to add to this discussion? If so, please feel free to share it in the comments section below! Discussion is always encouraged here!😃

 

Thoughts And Ramblings of The Christian Writer (Part One)

“The Christian in the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.” 
― Francis A. Schaeffer

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve been an author at heart. I have always loved telling, creating, and reading stories. Whether it be a book I found at the library, a movie that I just saw at the local theater, or a real person’s growth and testimony, stories fascinate me beyond belief. Being a storyteller is an integral part of who I am.

As most of you (hopefully) also know, faith is an integral part of who I am. If I was to rate each part of myself, faith would always come up on top, as my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. And while there are many great Christian authors who do not include their faith much in their stories, I cannot imagine keeping my faith out of my stories. One way or another, Christianity is bound to play some sort of role in my writing—it is simply the way God has called me to write.

Nonetheless, like many other people have pointed out, Christian art doesn’t exactly have the best reputation right now. Some may pin it on the fact that we live in an increasingly secular society and others may blame it on small budgets, but a fact still remains.

Oftentimes, faith based stories come out sub-par. And as a Christian and a writer, this is something that I find quite sad. 

I don’t think it is because Christians are inherently bad at storytelling. I also don’t believe that it’s because Christianity makes for a weak storyline—look at the Bible! I believe most of our problem is in our approach, and that with a little hard work, we can create stories that are both well made and and reflective of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Thus, I have decided to create a short series on writing good Christian fiction—and the first part of this series will be on writing good characters.

One of the most important things in writing a good story is creating a strong cast. For me, characters are the first thing that draws me to a story. That said, one of of the biggest problems that I’ve seen in (some) Christian fiction is that the characters exist for the story—not the other way around. 

In real life, we live amongst a wide variety of personalities, narratives, and temperaments. Ask me to name my five closest friends and I can point out specific traits that make them unique and special. However, in a lot of Christian novels, I have only seen a few personalities represented—and they’re often in extremes for the point of showing a character come to Christ.

Elaborating on this, many character only have struggles that are dramatic, cliche, or too-subtle-to-notice. I have seen female protagonists who come across like a damsel in distress, but rarely female protagonists that battle stubbornness and hard-headedness. I seen male protagonists who struggle with lust or anger, but rarely male protagonists who struggle with overeating, or self image.

Furthermore, I haven’t often seen characters who have quirks or interests that aren’t essential to the story or lesson. In The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, Tibby loves filmmaking, Bridget is impulsive, Carmen is introspective, and Lena is noticeably introverted. Those details aren’t necessary to the book (though, I suppose Bridget’s impulsiveness could be argued as essential in the first book) but they added life to the characters. They made them feel real and they made them relatable to the audience. Meanwhile, in The Hunger Games, there was a guy named Peeta who’s a baker. Corny? Maybe. Memorable? Absolutely.

In short, it is important to know your characters intricately, and for them to be written as if they have a life outside of the story. It’s important that they feel like characters we can get attached to and relate to. And, considering the vast diversity that we have in our churches, it is important that they represent a variety of different personalities and people. The kind of books that I love the most are the ones that  make me feel like the characters are my best friends. This is something we must do if we want our stories to feel real. Interview your characters. Stick them in various situations and see how they react. Consider how they would think or fall in love. Or how they would dream.

The kind of characters that become the most memorable are the ones that feel the most real. It is our job, as authors, to breathe as much life into them as we can.

Christian books/series/movies that get this right.

  • The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • SouledOut Sisters Series by Neta Jackson
  • There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
  • October Baby 
  • Do You Believe

How about you? Do you have any tips on how to create good characters? And have you read any books that you feel do an exceptional job with this? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

 

 

New Book On Wattpad!

Hey everyone, I have some big news for y’all—I recently published a new teen devotional on Wattpad.com!

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If you have an account on there, be sure to check it out. It’s called Confidence In Christ: A Devotional For Teen Girls, and it’s basically a compilation of blog posts in the form of a book, with a song for each post.

I hope to see you guys on there, and I promise to post more to my blog soon!

Here’s the description and link below!

Growing up as a Christian teenager can be a difficult journey. In each of our lives, we’re faced with questions. Who are we? What do we believe? What do we stand for? In this devotional, we’re going to explore some of those themes together, and learn how God wants to move in each of our lives, helping us to become confident in Him, and live out the dreams He has for each one of us. We were each made for something great, and it all starts with the greatest decision any of us can make.
Will we follow Jesus?

https://www.wattpad.com/story/104871825-confidence-in-christ-a-devotional-for-teen-girls

 

Some Writing Tips From 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl

Hey everyone, I’m back again with a new Thursday post – but this week, we’re changing things up again! 

Typically on this blog, I run posts about belief, inspiration, and current events. Nonetheless, this week, I decided to do something different. I still intend to keep this blog predominantly about those things, but this week I decided to write about one medium we can use to live confidently in Christ—writing!

  • More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve done some writing yourself, or have at least dabbled with it at some point. Personally, for me, writing has been a passion since my childhood. Thus, I would like to take this time to give some of my very own tips on writing. 
  1. Know Your TopicThis is vitally important to the process of writing. Whenever your writing, it’s important to know your topic like the back of your hand. If you’re writing an essay on photography, research photography, if you’re writing an article on the challenges of Christians in college, research what it’s like to be a Christian in college. This even applies to fiction—maybe even more so. When you’re writing a book, you need to have intricate knowledge of your characters, settings, and storylines. Oftentimes, I’ll even write character profiles, to learn even the minor details about my characters. The information may not all be used, but it never heard to have it on file for safekeeping.
  2. Get FeedbackOne of the most helpful things for me as a writer is getting feedback on my work. It’s pretty easy with blogging, as you’ll sometimes get comments on your work from fellow friends and bloggers, but it’s honestly helpful in every form of writing. I often ask my mom and close friends to read my writing and give honest feedback about their thoughts and opinions. As a writer, it can be easy to get “stuck in your head”, reading your work so many times you can’t even tell a period from a comma. It can be helpful to get objective feedback when this starts to happen.
  3. Silence Your Inner Perfectionist We are always our own worst critics. There have been countless times that I’ve either written something and obsessed over whether or not it was right or written nothing at all. When we’re writing from a place of perfectionism, it can be almost impossible to write authentically and creatively. Oftentimes, God will take our work in a place different than we expected, and that’s OK. Listen to that inner voice. Go with it. There might just be something beautiful there.
  4. Get In The Mood – Obviously this one could be turned into a form of OCD if taken to extremes, but many times, it can be helpful to write when we’re in our element. This means knowing when to take a break, and being aware that oftentimes, our moods can seep into our writing, for better or worse. It also means making your writing environment comfortable and natural. Oftentimes for me, it can be helpful to play music fitting to the tone of my writing, having the right amount of lighting, and being comfortable, but not the point that I want to fall asleep. For me, these things combined create the perfect writing atmosphere.
  5. Have fun with itMy number one rule of thumb for writing is that if I’m bored, the audience probably is too. Thus, I try to write things that I would want to read myself. Does it sound like the kind of book that I’d pick up? Would I grow to love this character if it weren’t my own? Does this topic sound like it would make an interesting article? These are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves as we go through the writing and idea process.

How about you? What writing advice do you have to share? Tell me about it in the comments section below!⬇️

Thirty Day Blogging Challenge #2: Day One

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IT’S BAACK!!!

I am officially starting a new thirty day blog challenge for the month of January. Since I got such a good response on my challenge this past summer, I decided to do another one—with a whole new set of questions to answer. I hope you guys enjoy reading these and I hope  you stay with me throughout the series. I always love reading comments from you guys, so feel free to jump in and give feedback.

Now, for the first question: “what, why and where I write.

What: Honestly, I have a pretty huge variety of things that I write. I love sharing my thoughts with the world and there are a variety of mediums in penmanship that you can use to do that.

One of my favorite forms of writing has always been fiction. I love creating characters to meet and different worlds to explore. It allows you to live a thousand different lives without even leaving your house. Like reading, writing gives you adventure, wonder, and suspense—as you lead characters through a host of different situations. Currently, I am working on a fiction series for teenagers that I hope is released sometime before I’m thirty. I don’t have all of the publishing logistics figured out, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated if anything changes with that!

Another form of writing that I love is songwriting. It’s very possible that this one could have emerged from watching too many movies (Remember Camp Rock and Lemonade Mouth?) but it’s a form of writing that I’ve found to be extremely therapeutic. It allows you to write about feelings, situations, and people in a much freer manner than most forms of writing allow. Songwriting is basically a musical diary of your life, your experiences, and your beliefs. This is also another form of writing that I would like to dabble in professionally in the field of lyricism.

Last but not least—I enjoy blogging. This one is probably a bit obvious, as I am writing a blog right now. I am a semi-new blogger, as I started in the summer of 2015, but I have grown to love the art of blogging. As an extravert, it is super exciting to see people actually respond to your writing and make friends through the blogosphere. It is perhaps the type of writing that gets the most immediate feedback, which makes it a unique and exciting venture.

Why: I suppose the obvious reason is that I absolutely love it. I love seeing words emerge on a screen and I love telling a stories and teaching through the power of the pen. Nonetheless, the biggest reason that I write is to make an impact. I’ve always dreamed of impacting the world and writing gives me the oppertunity to do that. It gives me the chance to share my faith, help others grow in theirs, and help people think about important issues. If you look throughout history, you can see the impact of writers like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, and Ray Bradberry. I want to leave that kind of legacy.

Where: This one honestly differs from day to day. I have found that certain writing spots “work”, while others simply do not. One of my favorite places to write is in my bed with good music playing and the lights dimmed, leaving the Christmas lights above my bed to shine solo. I also sometimes write on the downstairs couch just outside the living room or in waiting rooms. The life of the author can be quite sporadic at times.

How about you? What, why, and where do you write? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!