A Day in the Life of an Author

Photo by Rawpixel

Photo by Rawpixel

OK, so I feel really weird even writing about this topic since I still struggle with the idea of being an author. Maybe after I have a few books under my belt it will seem more real. But, I’m trying to be transparent in my craft. If you follow my blog, you know I self-published my first book last year. And it’s an amazing feeling! But now what?

If you read The Experiment then you know it ended on a cliff hanger and there will be a book two. I’m planning a series about the protagonist, actually. And I am currently working on book two now. Let me just say, it’s more difficult to write. The first book came out of a writing challenge with my son. (My family is huge support!) I sat on the book for months, but finally got the guts to publish it.

You might ask why I want to write books. Besides the obvious reason of that writer being buried inside me for as long as I can remember, I want to be able to share my faith in Jesus Christ long after I’m gone. My thoughts had always been to write non-fiction, (and I still may) but it would be rare for a non-believer to read a Christian non-fiction book, I think.

Just days before my mother went home to be with the Lord, she called our pastor to plan her funeral. She literally told him what she wanted him to preach. Her reasoning was that her funeral would be the last time she could share the gospel. Let me tell you, her life shared the gospel and so did her funeral. Two family members came to know Jesus that day! What a celebration, right!

That being said, fiction thrillers have the potential to reach people I will never have an opportunity to reach. Thus, I am embarking on a journey much different than the one I had pictured with writing.

A day in this life is one full of things needing my time and attention! I am working a full time job and I’m often called to be out and about with others. My life probably sounds a lot like yours. At least three evening out of the week, I am already booked with things to do and/or places to go. After working all day, it is really hard to make myself sit down and write a novel. I am about one fourth of the way through book two.

I’m finding that I don’t like outlines. I didn’t use one with the first book. I wrote it by the seat of my pants - known as a “pantser”. I like to see where the story will naturally go so when it isn’t tying bows together from the last book I PROCRASTINATE! A lot!

Needless to say, other things are getting done around my house. I have crocheted a lot! I have packed up some things for a move coming…next year! But I am committing to you that I will begin my daily writing routine again!

My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1 (NASB)

In the World of Emojis

Photo by Fausto Ggarcia

Photo by Fausto Ggarcia

Don’t you love using these cute emojis in your texts and on social media? I have to admit, it is kind of fun and it certainly helps show the tone of a written comment.

Let me give you a little background on me and the world to emojis. Phones were used to call people; they were hard wired into your home and you had to select each number via a rotary dial on the phone provided other people were'n’t already talking on the phone when you picked up (yep, party line). Am I dating myself, yet?

The first mobile phone I had was a bag phone. It was huge and sat in a weighted bag on the floor of the car. You could only talk on it and you tried to avoid that due to the cost of using it. Then small hand-held cell phones came out and you could talk and text but roaming charges would eat you up, if you weren’t careful. I chose to talk, not text, because you had to hit a number multiple times and then the next and it took forever to text one word let alone a conversation.

While everyone was getting used to the small cell phones, I got a palm pilot! Whoa! You could take notes, utilize your calendar, use a calculator and talk and text! But be ware, pocket dialing was for certain. Who knows how many people heard me screaming out songs on the radio that were way above my alto range?! Of course, I never heard them shouting my name trying to get me to hang up!

By this time, my kids were in the cell phone mix and would often text me. After just a couple back and forth texts, they would ask, “Are you mad?” My answer would be in a phone call or a “no” or "no, but I’m about to”. After months or maybe years, my youngest child started asking me to use Emojis when I text so people could see that I wasn’t mad when I replied to them. I guess, when texts are short and to the point people assume you are angry, not that you don’t like (or know how) to text. So then, every text ended with a smiley face.

As you know, now there are so many emojis you can just about write out an entire thought in them. And they are used everywhere - on the phone, in social media and sometimes emails.

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23 (ESV)

Yes, we now live in a world of Emojis. We can present ourselves in any light we so choose with them. But behind the mask…who are you?

Are you experiencing life - life to the full? If you know me, you know I love to laugh and to make others laugh. After all, laughter is good medicine! This week as you text or get on social media and use those cute emojis, remember there’s only One Way to live life to the full and that, my friend, is in the salvation of Jesus Christ!

…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

Jesus came so we can have life and have it to the full. Trust in Him. Rest in Him. Let those smiley faces and winks show forth in the true joy of His salvation in you!

Dormant Life in the Dead of Winter

Photo by Aaron Wilson

Photo by Aaron Wilson

According to the dictionary, dormant means alive but not actively growing or temporarily inactive.

We all need times of being temporarily inactive. This allows us time to rest and rejuvenate. However, alive but not actively growing is not so good if for extended time periods. We know that when we are not moving forward, we are falling behind. Again, time for rest and rejuvenation is needed and a must, but to stay in an inactive state that leaves us alive but not actively growing can become detrimental to our state of well-being.

A state of being is more than just one’s mindset. It involves our physical, mental, emotion and spiritual health. We require rest for an optimal state of well-being. But to stop actively growing crushes our state of well-being.

Winter months, as depicted in the photo above, demonstrates dormant life. Trees still stand, but are bare of their leaves (unless an evergreen tree). Flowers “die” back to their roots. Nature demonstrates life that is temporarily inactive. God created nature this way - time for nature to rest and rejuvenate.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

John 6:27

I don’t know where you are in your journey with Jesus Christ. Maybe you are in the spring; budding out in new growth; excited to bloom where you’re planted. Maybe you are in the summer; marching along in full force following your Saviour. Maybe you are in the autumn: feeling tired and losing some of your luster. Or maybe you are in the winter; dormant; alive but not actively growing; temporarily inactive. So is the cycle of life;

spring-

summer-

autumn-

winter-

spring…

No matter where you are in your journey. Jesus is LIFE and He came to give you rest so you can let your light shine in all seasons of life. Even if you find yourself dormant right now, remember that you still have LIFE in the dead of winter through Jesus.

Rest. Rejuvenate. Because dormant life in the dead of winter is still LIFE. So let THE LIFE restore your vigor to serve Him. Before you know it, you’ll “spring” into action once more!

We are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made for Life

photo by janko ferlic

photo by janko ferlic

January is Sanctity of Life month. I was born in January. What a coincidence…maybe not a coincidence.

Today, I want to share a personal story, not so much about me but about two people who shaped the world for me. Mind you, this is a story as I know it. It may have slight variations if told by others from their perspectives.

But before I begin, I want to let every reader know that you are NOT a mistake regardless of the circumstance of your birth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were known by your Creator even before you were conceived. And best of all, Jesus loves you. Yep, Y O U.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139.14

Fifty-two years ago, modern medicine wasn’t quite so modern. My mother who was forty when she found out it wasn’t full blown menopause, it was a pregnancy. I can only imagine her reaction - panic - embarrassment - distress - or maybe blessed.

Let me set the stage… Mom and Dad already had six children with their eldest daughter pregnant with her second child. I can’t imagine being pregnant the same time as my DAUGHTER! Anyway, Mom then developed gestational diabetes. As I mentioned, medicine has come a long way since then. But fifty-two years ago gestational diabetes was bad news.

According to Mother’s doctor and his partner, there was only one option - terminate the pregnancy. My parents were livid that such a thought was actually voiced. Both doctors agreed that there was a one hundred percent chance that the baby would die and a greater than fifty percent change my mother would die in delivery.

The doctors told them it was okay since her life was endangered. Against all medical advice, my parents refuse to abort. In January, following their eldest daughter’s delivery of a healthy baby boy in November, my mother went into labor a month early.

The delivery went on for hours. Mom was beat and the baby was stuck in the birth canal. The doctor said they would have to stop and remove the baby by cesarean section. The baby would not survive the time it would take to get it out.

Mother would not have it! She begged her doctor to try a few more minutes. Just before all hope was lost, a ten-plus pound baby girl was delivered. She was snatched away immediately for intensive care.

My parents weren’t allowed to see her for quite some time. When they finally saw her and talked to the doctor the news was grim. The baby had a nurse with her around the clock. A surgeon was consulted because her left arm needed to be amputated. The doctors said her left arm was damaged so badly during the difficult delivery that it virtually died. It would never be of any use and would most likely never grow beyond the infant arm that it was.

Not to be deterred, my parents stood their ground. One of the nurses said she had seen the baby move a finger on her left hand. My parents pleaded for help to save the baby’s arm.

For the first couple of years, I wore a brace on my left arm and my mother wound exercise it every single day. My older siblings would leave the house during that time due to the painful screams and my mother’s tears.

I grew up to be a happy, healthy, SAVED adult. I’m so thankful to have been given life, especially with the poor prognosis for my mother. God has blessed me more than I can express and He started those blessings with Pro-life parents!

Do I have “scars” from that traumatic birth? Not really. My left arm is a couple of inches shorter than my right and I have limited use, but what’s that? I have life and through Jesus Christ, I have life to the full!

I urge you to choose life! It’s not too late.

I’m happy to share my story in person, and I’d love to hear your story of life. Leave a comment below about how God has given you life.