Writing Without Cussing

If someone’s going to write a book, a play, or a movie – or even an internet post – they should produce it with proper dialogue and good words.

Creative words.

Don’t stick to the lameness of reality with its knee-jerk cussing.

Go out on a limb of higher verbiage.

There is time, when writing as opposed to speaking, to cultivate creative communication.

Encouragement for Writing

The following is a comment written to me by my friend Chad in response to one of my blog posts (this one: Giving Up On Writing) . I found it so encouraging that I decided to put it in a document, highlighting a few points in Amazinga font, with the rest in Adobe Garamond Pro font, and to print it out and put it on my desk, so I can refer to it until it becomes ingrained. I also wanted to share it with others who might happen to find my blog. May it bless you as it has me.

“I felt like encouraging you to write at your leisure, and don’t let anybody dictate rules about that – not even you.

I’d suggest sitting down to write as often as you get the time, but notice that all I said was sit down to write I didn’t say actually write necessarily, nor create an obligation to write and then feel lousy if nothing happens.

I’ve received that same advice (with more detail) and it’s the closest thing I’ve done to being something enjoyable and productive. Notice again, that I didn’t say it was enjoyable and productive – just the closest thing to it that I’ve tried.

It’s enjoyable more often than not, though.

It’s also enjoyable more often than it’s productive, and that’s an important piece to ponder, should you desire to do so.

One hint I can give you is that when I sit down at my desk, I’m not creating a law to follow; about accomplishment of any kind. I’ve learned that that never is a positive experience and rarely if ever produces anything, positive or not.

But what I do, instead, is first, enjoy a tiny little pocket of orderor quiet, as it’s commonly known. It usually takes a while for my brain to reach a state that I can call quiet. But when it does I just give myself license to enjoy it.

With God.

Praying and writing are not things I separate very often.

Then I just decide that I’ll write or I won’t.

I ask God, but I don’t strain.

I just enjoy a moment with Him, and I let it go where it goes, and if I happen upon some part of that time that maybe could be written down, then I start.

Without expectations.

That’s the important part.

Peace is vital to the process, therefore laws and expectations are antithetical to it.

Since you do have a specific project in mind, maybe you can still just write whatever comes to you, and stay loose, and maybe you wander into your project, or maybe what you write spontaneously turns out to form an unexpected element of the main project? Or maybe it jars a memory loose that’s relevant to it, or maybe it inspires something unexpected… who knows? Not us, so why form expectations? It ruins the enjoyment, and it stifles creativity. It may never have anything to do with the book you’ve planned, but it may stand on its own as something you and others value for decades to come, and yet more, it may form the basis of a main project that you hadn’t previously even considered. But there’s only one way to find out what it’s going to be….

Prayer for me is a great way to enter the writing process, and writing is a great way to enjoy God. So I combine them, and I trust Him to lead the proceedings. And when I approach it that way, it’s much more peaceful and much more enjoyable, and more often fruitful – and in more than just one way. And if something is not enjoyable, and there’s no gun to your head, it’s not worth doing in large part because the fruit (product) won’t be as good as it will be if it were an immersive, transporting experience for you, to create it.

Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.

Maybe you’re already doing this but lack the time to engage in such pronounced dissociation, or maybe you’re a different enough personality type that it’s not your thing (although I highly doubt that, from knowing you to whatever extent I do!).

Maybe, however, there’s some use you can make of something or other I’ve said – that’s what I hope, anyway – but either way, I pray you find time, inspiration, and most of all, enjoyment, in the desire and effort to produce, and in the process itself.

Can’t go wrong if ya pray for someone, no matter the quality of your advice! ☺

PS I apologize for the disjointedness and rambling, but I didn’t prepare and I didn’t edit. I rarely do in contexts like this – though folks may occasionally wish I had done! ?”

Biggest takeaway for me is this:
“Peace is vital to the process“.

Amen, so much amen, and aaaaaaaaamen! Yo!

Is this what love is?

Is this what love is, Lord?

Is this the way Your love is?

To possess and be possessed by

Something so immense

That it cannot be pounded down into words

That are comprehensible by mortal man,

But by the pounding of two hearts in harmony

The definition is felt between them?

Will love be made clear

When at last we are in Your light,

Where no shadow hides even the nuance

Of joy from the one who needs to read it,

Where every colour and texture of sunset

Sings an endless harmonized song

Never fading to darkness?

The longing for closeness

After long last completed,

Incorruptible,

The taste having turned into fullness

Which satisfies yet appetizes the spirit

Endlessly,

With joy You have yet to reveal?

Can we know what Your love is

Apart from having known love on earth?

Or is it as foreign to us as is heaven

To eyes which have not yet seen?


~ unearthed from a draft I wrote some time ago

Giving Up

Maybe it is time for me to give up on writing a book.

I can relate to my great-great-grandmother-in-law, in how she must have felt before she kicked the stool out of the way and hung herself.

She had been asked to do the arrangements for a wedding – a big task, yes, but by itself not death-worthy. It was, however, the final rock to send her over the edge of a stress mountain.

I often think of that scenario when I find myself in positions of having too much to do and too little time to do it efficiently and effectively. There are demands being made of me by others who COULD be helping, compounded by the frustration I feel from the expectations of others who don’t really know me but who think I SHOULD be doing more.

The thing about people expecting me to do more is particularly irksome, but I can control it, to some degree, by avoiding contact with them.

What I am talking about is the writing of my supposed book.

I say “supposed”, because although it has been looming over my head for the past few years, it still has not materialized. I have pages of notes and a few chapter drafts, but no complete manuscript.

I am at a point where I am wondering if I should just give it up.

“You have such a talent for writing and an important story to tell,” they say.

That sounds like a compliment on the surface, but the way it lands on my ears is more like a sledge-hammer to the side of my head.

Really? More? I am supposed to do MORE?

I have seven children. That is not common or easy. Few people can I consult for advice and even fewer are willing to help.

I never set out to have a large family, but that is what happened. Whether people can accept it or not, my kids are my number one priority.

Even sitting here on my couch writing this blog entry on my laptop is a luxury, but the kids are all occupied at the moment, none of them asking me questions, none of them asking me for help, none of them trying to tell me something, and so I am taking this quiet time to write out the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for the past few days.

(No sooner did I finish that paragraph than one of my kids ran up to me to remind me that they left their iPad charger at someone’s house a 25 minute drive away. So I sent a text to find out if the road is decent enough to drive there to pick it up. Yeah, this time of year, where I live, snow and ice can make roads dangerous.)

And I can see someone saying I should have taken this time to work on my book instead of venting on WordPress.

No, this here is quick and mindless.

Like sudden vomiting.

Working on my book, however, requires deep thought, more akin to preparing a gourmet meal on a wood cook stove. Ingredients must be bought and measured. Careful attention must be given to the fire. And nobody can interrupt me, lest I miscalculate a measure, miss an important ingredient, or burn the results.

I deactivated my Facebook account. That thing depresses me. A huge pile of potential communicators who are supposedly friends, but most of them just want a quick fix. I can understand that, to a degree, because I myself am usually too busy to get into much depth, but still it discourages me to post a question or a thought and have very little feedback. Like, why bother? Might as well write on WordPress, where it is more to be expected that there will be little to no intercommunication.

And that leads me back to the topic of writing my supposed book. How satisfying will it be to complete a book, and not know what others are thinking or feeling when they read it?

But how can I write that book if my focus is on my children’s needs?

And with my own ability to concentrate being poor at best (two of my kids have ADHD, and two are diagnosed as being in the Autism Spectrum – surely they got some of that from me, though I have no such official diagnoses – and, yes, I did undergo testing), I can only work on a book when everyone is asleep or out.

I even built a shed in hopes I could write in it, but my kids interrupt me in there, too. The thing is, though: they need me more than the book needs to be written.

Oh yeah, and I failed to mention that my youngest three children are almost always home. We homeschool. It’s more in the direction of unschooling, but still, my point is that they aren’t away for several hours a day. They are almost constantly at home. And don’t try to convince me otherwise. I have long been against public schooling and so this is my choice.

And I haven’t even touched on the chronic pain with which I live. There is no cure. All I can do is suffer through it. Some days are better than others, and on those days, I get a lot more physical tasks done.

I don’t really want to hang myself, because I think of how it would affect my children. But the pressure sure becomes a lot sometimes, and where can I go to escape it?

Writing With A Pen

For me, there is something therapeutic about picking up a ball-point pen and watching the letters form on a fresh page, especially those first words in a new notebook. The word “sacred” comes to mind.

Whether I write via ink or through the wonders of electronic transmission, getting the words out is the main thing. Still, something about pen and paper beckons to me. Perhaps it is the relative simplicity, where no electricity or electronics are involved, giving more of a sense of creating something from my mind and connecting to the result.

bursting-heart-pen

I read an article today on the subject of writing by hand. I find it to be inspiring. Here it is.

The Simple Joy of Writing by Hand

 

Scrawling About God

Sometimes I feel like going out to my incomplete writing shed, taking a pen and notebook, and writing in big scrawling letters about how much I love God, obliterating the thoughts of how frustrated I am with everything else in the world.

Yes, focusing on my love for Him (“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19). and what I know from His Word about His love for me, throwing in some imagination and inferences about how heaven is going to be, is what I need to do, and perhaps I will find that for those few moments, nothing else will matter.

If I could do it in crayon on large sheets of newsprint, all the better.

But then…

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.” *

*Taken from Frederick M. Lehman’s “The Love Of God”
(Of note, “scrawling” is not considered a proper word. Right now, I do not care.)

Not Made for This World

CS Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity” about the desires we have that cannot be satisfied, which led him to conclude we are not made for this world.

How science has discovered that our brains only function on a small percentage of their full capacity is a mystery to me, but if that science is correct, I wonder if the remaining potential is symbolic of something new and far superior that will be formed after we are dust scattered throughout more dust, becoming nothing so we may be recreated from scratch as a new home for the spirit that has experienced so much frustration and imperfection, and because of that experience, we will rejoice endlessly in that which is perfect.

I believe the Bible. Science, via the brains of man, has proven in various ways what was written millennia ago in it – things that were once mocked have now become evident by studies, as progress has permitted. The world is, after all, truly round.

Oh, to have all the answers in plain view, wherein I can look and see that my heartaches, doubts, and questions have full and satisfying solutions.

Meanwhile, until I see plainly and not through a glass darkly, platitudes, guesses, and excuses will be poured upon me. Sometimes they burn, sometimes they soothe, but never do they consume nor fulfill.

Acclaim, accomplishments, riches, plans, material, dreams, losses, condolences – none of it matters. If you find something that makes you happy, if it is in this world, it will end, except for one thing: love.

But love is better than anything merely of this world. Love is of GOD.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

All is vanity, but only without God is there no hope.

Love lasts forever. And it is to note that the Bible tells us God is love. That which exists in God is that which is not vain.

What I see in this life is meaningless compared to that which I will see in the presence of my Lord, when everything is viewed in the literal light of His love. To see His face and be endlessly with those who love Him as I do, for that do I now breathe.

If not for the pain that too often overwhelms me, I might have no desire for that better place.

Still, I do not want the pain.

I was not made for this world.

Herbatophile – new word for “tea freak”

There should be a word that means “someone who loves tea”. The phrase “tea freak” isn’t suitable to describe the gentle mingling of pleasantly scented herbs with the drinker of such concoctions.

The word for “tea”, though, in Greek isn’t much help – tsai. Even Latin doesn’t have a better translation for it. Spanish, French, German, Italian, and so many others also have words too similar to “tea” for it to sound nice with the Greek suffix of “phile” for “loving”.

Polish has “herbata” for tea, so… herbatophile? Can I mix Polish and Greek? Yes, I can! Bibliophile is French mixed with Greek for one who loves books, so… herbatophile it is. I think it is a harmonious blend for those who appreciate the warming pleasure of a good cup of tea.

I am a herbatophile. Are you?

(Edited to add a pronunciation description: herb-AT-o-file.)

Unspoken Words of Passive Aggression

Because you loved me so much that you gladly did everything for me, I took full advantage of that.

Yes, I realize it became burdensome after awhile, when you carried more children in your womb and still had to work full time, but my expectations were set in place, and  woe unto you if you don’t continue at that impossible pace, because I am the king of your life, now that I own you as your husband.

Yes, I do believe that.

I believe you are trapped and won’t even try to leave me.

You’ve been through divorce before and you don’t want to go through starting over again on your own.

What do you mean you don’t feel it is fair for me to lie around all day while you work?

Hey, I work too, and my job is more important than yours.  I work manual labor, and if I don’t get enough rest, I could have an accident on the job.

Come on, don’t be silly – YOU don’t need sleep as much as I do.  Your job is right here at home.

So you’re stressed to the max.

So you’ve ended up with adrenal burnout and further stress could easily push you into more life-threatening illness.

So you make mistakes in the medical reports you type.

So they will terminate your contract if you have too many errors.

So we won’t be able to pay our bills.

All that matters is that I get to spend 10+ hours in bed, and that any hours I’m not at work I am to be on the couch with my mistress — the TV — flicking the remote at her when she doesn’t do what I want.

If you can’t survive on six to seven hours in bed, that’s not my problem.

It’s not my responsibility to help with the household chores when you are working on your paying job.  You can stay up a few more hours to complete them.  It’s not killed you yet.

I help once in awhile.  So what if it’s not consistent?  I expect you to do everything, remember?

Oh, I’ll never speak of this to you.  I know you are sensitive enough and smart enough to interpret it without me having to say a word.

And if you even try to “work things out”, I will pull a pout, make immature and unreasonable comments, and storm off, leaving you feeling worse than you felt before you dared to upset my perfect world.

What?  Someone else might win your affection?  As long as you stay here and take care of me, that doesn’t bother me.

What?  You might not always stay here?

Well, when that happens, I will believe it, my heart will be broken, I will mourn the loss of the most excellent woman to have ever entered my life, and I will feel that life is as futile as you must feel it is right now.

Two Bit Coffee

Image

Two Bit Coffee

I recently got my first PhotoShop program – Elements 11. Lots of new stuff to learn, and little time to do it.

Here is my first attempt at making a poster combining text and a photo.

I conceived this idea a few weeks ago, before I found out I’ve got adrenal fatigue. As soon as I found out, I quit caffeine cold turkey, desperately wanting to heal up, and knowing that caffeine only makes matters worse, so the part about drinking coffee will just have to be figurative, or else water can be substituted.

So, what do you think?