Friday, August 22, 2014

Sometimes You Have to get your Desk Messy

For at least a week now, I've been trying to make progress on a story that just wasn't...going. Oh sure, I was getting word count. But I didn't feel the satisfaction that would usually bring because while I love this story and I think it has potential, the words I was typing were going...nowhere.

Or at least, if they were going somewhere, I wasn't sure where that was.

To a non-writer, that probably doesn't make sense. But y'all know what I'm talking about. Every scene should do something, so say "they", and I think they're right. I'm not one of those super organized people who can tell you while I'm writing what exactly each of my scenes does, but there's a general feeling I can get when they are driving the story along like I mean for them too. The writing I did this past week? It might be driving the story forward...but I just wasn't sure.

So yesterday I decided to forget about word count. I decided to remind myself that I love writing for more than the desire to see the happy little progress tracker in Scrivener move closer towards "the end." I love creating characters that seem real, getting so lost in a story that writing seems natural--more like writing a movie in my head--and I had forgotten that in my quest for measurable progress.

So I got my desk messy. I printed a rough synopsis, brought out my blue highlighter, scrap paper, a pencil, caffeine (coke yesterday, coffee today), and I'm having fun. Is the deadline (aka, the ACFW Conference) sneaking up on me a little and making something in the back of my head whisper that I need to quit "working" on the story on actually write it? Yes. Am I ignoring that for now? Yes.

Sometimes you have to get your desk messy. Sometimes that's all that can make all the parts of your story line up neatly and get organized.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finding Your Wild Side


So I bought a mustang and got my nose pierced all in one week. As I stated on social media--I’m pretty sure this constitutes a quarter-life crisis.

I guess you could say life drove me to it. I’ve wanted to get my nose pierced for years--but some crappy situations finally me realize that there will be no “perfect” time.

So I dragged my two-year-old into a tattoo parlor (God bless my pastors’ kid heart) and consoled myself with the fact that I’d read reviews online with the word “sterile” and “clean”... even though the place looked more like “staph” and “ebola”.

The car? I’m infertile. I figure if I bought a sports car... I’ll get pregnant with triplets next week.

So here’s to you, my friend. What have you always wanted to do? Write a novel? Pitch to a publisher? Why are you still doing the “sensible” thing?

Go find your wild side.


Bekah Martin is a small girl living in a small town in North Carolina... who enjoys watching God do big things.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Got time?

THIS WAS SO HELPFUL! :)  Great tips. I hope they help you too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

You're Not too Broken

Photo by Microsoft

Anyone else would have felt like half a man, but this guy--the one with no legs--was the one who knew beyond a doubt that he’d been called.

Called to a tribe--remote--godless--dying. Called to bring relief, aid, and a fresh word from a God who loved them enough to send the broken.

They said he couldn’t do it. Time and time again this man came before churches, missions boards, relief organizations. “NO. You would never survive. REJECTED.”

He listened at first. But when you feel like you’re called--you’re called. Eventually the amputee and his wife gathered enough resources to go... alone.

It took days for him to literally drag himself through the jungle.

“Hostile. Dangerous. Cannibalistic.”

The mission board hadn’t sent anyone there, much less a man who couldn’t defend himself.

Unlike Jonah, one of the greatest heroes of the Word, this man didn’t shrink back--even knowing the greeting he could receive.

When he dragged in, dehydrated, starving, exhausted... God showed up too. The people fell to their knees and wept.

“You’ve come. He’s come. The wounded one we knew would come has come!”

The tribesmen explained that years before in a vision they’d seen someone--without legs--who would bring them a message. They’d never known anyone to survive such a wound. What the man had to say was surely important.

God used the one thing that had caused every rejection in this man’s life as the hinge to open the door to save thousands.*

The missionary was truly a “wounded healer”.

I don’t know where you are in your life today. Perhaps you’re a wounded healer. And if everyone’s telling you no--you can’t be used; you’re too damaged, too broken, ________... just let those words sink in. They’re right. But they’re oh so wrong.

Because if you’re truly called, nothing on this earth will shake the deep-down in your core knowledge that God uses the despised, the weak, the undesired to shake His world up and turn it on its head. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

So when the time is right, and you’ve gathered all the strength and resources you can find--you will pick yourself up and drag yourself up through that jungle. And when you get to the other side, your pain will be the hinge that will open the door... to change the world.

*This story is a recounting from a missionary friend. I am currently researching it to uncover the details. Corrections welcome.

Bekah Martin is a small girl living in a small town in North Carolina... who enjoys watching God do big things.

Writing advice for Snoopy (and us)

Best-selling authors give writing tips to Snoopy

Published: Friday, November 01, 2002

"Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life," edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz, Writer's Digest Books, $19.99
Charles M. Schulz may be gone, but Snoopy is alive and well, and still striving to write the great American novel. But this time, the beloved beagle of the late cartoonist's "Peanuts" comic strip has help. A lot of help.
Barnaby Conrad, a novelist and co-founder of an annual conference of aspiring writers where Schulz used to speak regularly, has asked scores of accomplished authors to give Snoopy some helpful tips from their own experiences. Among the book's 30 responses are tips from such popular authors as Sidney Sheldon, Sue Grafton, Elmore Leonard, Fannie Flagg, Danielle Steel, Elizabeth George and Clive Cussler.
The result is a delightful book, "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life," with a foreword by Monte Schulz, the cartoonist's son who reminisces about how his father loved literature and had great respect for writers.
The book consists of "Peanuts" panels showing Snoopy in various aspects of the writing life, and the successful writers' reaction to them in essays.
When Snoopy observes, "Good Writing is hard work," Danielle Steel, who seems to turn out enormously popular fiction with such ease, heartily concurs: "I'm glad that Snoopy so early in his career has learned that very important truth — good writing (and even bad writing) — is hard work. Very hard work. This business is fraught with uncertainty. Anyone who tells you how to write best sellers is a sham and a liar."
She confesses that she often types so long, she sees double.
To the beagle struggling to come up with a good title for his new novel, Ed McBain, the crime writer known for his 87th Precinct series, says encouragingly: "You're on the right track, Snoops. I never start a novel until I'm satisfied with the title. Generally, I'll know what the theme's going to be, and I'll know what kind of characters I'll need to keep the plot engine going, but I won't start a book until I have the title firmly in mind."
He then reveals how he goes about constructing a novel.
Seeing Snoopy having trouble with the first sentence, action-adventure novelist Clive Cussler suggests: "Snoopy, try this when you sit down to the typewriter: Just say to yourself, 'What if?' It all begins with 'What if?' What if they let pigs out in a mosque? What if they decide to change the name of Mexico to Shwartz? What if they start referring to whites as European Americans? Then comes, Why would they do that? I have to figure out why. So if I have my beginning I can begin the story."
One author who declined to offer help is John Updike, the author of "Rabbit, Run" and the other Rabbit novels. He is quoted by editor Conrad in the book's introduction as saying: "As Snoopy would tell you, a writer hates to return a check, but I have never been good at giving advice to other writers. If I knew something that would make a crucial difference, I would keep it to myself, since the field is so overcrowded."
Perhaps Updike perceives Snoopy as formidable competition. According to Schulz's 1971 volume, "Snoopy and 'It Was a Dark and Stormy Night,"' the canine author already published his first novel to great acclaim, drawing 2 million people at one of his book signing parties.
The novel, a two-page magnum opus called, what else, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," is included in the 1971 volume in its entirety.
Dedicated to Woodstock, it has a colorful jacket designed by Lucy.
But Snoopy isn't one to sit on his laurels. The self-proclaimed "world famous author" keeps pounding on his manual typewriter atop his dog house, aspiring to become a Tolstoy, even a Shakespeare. And who knows? With all these veteran authors falling over each other trying to help him, he may even make it.
And so may some of his human counterparts.