Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dream Building

Back in 2012, our church purchased playground equipment. This was a large tower that had two slides coming out of it, a couple of poles to slide down, and monkey bars kids could pretend they were swinging over hot lava or snapping alligators. Four or five of us gathered on a Saturday to assemble this monstrosity. There were so many boards and bolts. It looked like a task that would take considerable time. As we started it didn't resemble what the box showed in any way. But the more we put those boards and bolts together, they began to resemble what we were striving to create. We didn't finish on that day and the kids would have to wait a little longer to enjoy it, but it eventually was completed.

I've experienced something of the sort this last week. I've been tirelessly clicking away on my keyboard in an effort to convey my thoughts to paper, well a monitor screen in this case. I have made excellent progress on The Five Barred Gate, the novel that I am writing. I completed two chapters yesterday and a little bit on one today. I didn't write much because I spent much of my time today building a website for Moments for the Heart. Just like those boards and bolts came together to form a wonderland for the children of our church to expend their energy on, today's website building put a few together within my dream building. Moments for the Heart Check it out!!

One other thing that put a slide on the side of my funhouse was that Carolyn helped out using her amazing talent of painting. If you have never seen one of her paintings, you are missing out. I had a picture in my mind of what I envisioned the cover to look like. The story behind the term in the title and someone searching for answers came together in one still photo in my mind. I quickly sketched it onto paper and sent it to Carolyn. She is somewhat unconfident in her ability, but I assured her she could do it. Well last night when she came home, she studied a little on how to do it. Then I could see the excitement in her eyes and she grabbed a blank canvas and her paints and went to work. This was the result, along with a little editing to only put up title:

Amazing isn't it!! It's coming together. God is blessing me with words and flow that I haven't felt before. I have a goal of completing this by the end of the year. I ask for your prayers for me to stay committed to this calling. It's pretty easy right now because the passion for writing is blazing within me. I thank you again to all of those who have commented and supported me. I look forward to the day that I can get this work out to the public.

In case you were wondering, no I have yet to hear about my short story that I submitted a few weeks ago. I'll be sure to post something the moment I receive news about it. God is soo good!! Go, my friends, chase your dreams. If God is for you, who can be against you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

And the Adventure Continues...

I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my last blog. I know it was a tad long, but it was necessary to explain what I am attempting to do with my life. The likes and comments were encouraging. Please continue to do so. If you have anything to say, feel free to leave comments. I love to read your replies to this blog. Especially if it challenges you and you begin a journey yourself. Heck, tell me I'm insane if you'd like. Good or bad, I'm open to any feedback you have.

As for this week, It's been pretty full. Several articles were written, submitted and accepted. I've submitted 8 poems the last couple of days. I still have yet to hear back about my short story, but the guidelines stated that it could take a couple of months. Its only been two weeks. Yes, I am impatient. I guess its more excitement at the possibilities than impatience... Aw, who am I kidding, I'm impatient.

What I am having a tough time with is figuring out how to manage my time. While I have two, sometimes three days off in a week, at least one of those days I spend getting things done around the house that I can't do during the work week. So when I do write, I have been just going with the flow. Doing what I feel like doing, or what attracts my attention that day. Yesterday I spent the day organizing the writing from my past. Some   were the poems I submitted. Today I looked at the different publishing sites that accept poems and submitted more. Those will take a few weeks to a few months to hear back. So I again, wait.

During this time I covet your prayers. I need prayer for direction. Not only with managing my time, but with what the next step is. I feel I am making progress, but now that the groundwork has been laid, I'm finding myself a little overwhelmed. I want to do so much, that I don't know where to begin. I focus on one thing, like the poem submission, but I didn't touch anything else? Then I feel like I didn't do anything that day. I suppose I need prayer that what I do accomplish, that I find it gratifying. And be satisfied with that.

God is good!! He has spoken to me about several things this past week. He has shown me some things about myself that I forgot existed. Things that I nearly let die. If you don't use the gifts you have, they will be taken from you. I'm grateful that it wasn't taken from me. I am making a conscience effort to not let that fire die out again. Writing is part of who I am. I cannot let that voice be silenced again. And you reading this and being encouraged by it AND paying it forward are what it's all about.

Thank you again for joining me on this journey. See, as promised, this entry was not that long. God Bless and see you next week!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A new chapter in my life

You may be thinking, "Uh oh, here he goes again. Saying that this time he will commit to writing, and then disappears for a year." Well, 3 years in this case. But, I am honestly making a return. Certain events in my life have steered me in this direction. I can't avoid this calling any longer.

First, I ask that you please bear with me. I know this post may be lengthy, but what your about to read is background of what I'm doing now, so you can understand the incredible journey I'm about to undertake. A journey that begins with this blog, a platform that has already been established, to hopefully gain an audience and further my pursuit of a career in writing.
About six or seven months ago a friend of mine expressed his desire to write. As most of you know, I have always had that desire. He challenged me to get back into it. We both read a book titled, Success is Not An Accident by Thomas Newberry. This book changed me. It evolved how I looked at my writing career as well as my personal life. The book is essentially about goal setting. It helps you determine what you want out of life and how to get there. Newberry does all of this with a Christian theme and putting God first in all that you do.

At the end of each chapter Newberry extends a challenge. Setting goals, writing a Mission Statement for my life and continuous evaluation were some of them. I followed along every step. I chose the goals that were most important in my life and narrowed them down to 5 main goals. One of which is to be a full time writer. I want to, by the end of the decade, retire from the oilfield and driving a truck to be completely supported by a writing career. I know God has given me a passion to write as well as a gift of delivery. I want to use that gift to affect lives for Christ.

Before I continue, I'd like to explain what I mean by 'what I'm about to undertake'. I plan to take you on my journey.  I feel that my experiences can help you develop a passion you may have. I want to challenge you to set goals and to do whatever it takes to accomplish the dreams you have for yourself. My plan is to use this blog to do just that. I will talk about what I am going through. The highs as well as the lows of what I write, how its going, the submission process, and other aspects of this journey to become a known author.

I have a lot of support. From the man who began with the challenge, to a fellow writer who is my accountability partner, to friends who continue to push me toward that goal of moving beyond a Freelance Writer to a full fledged Author. The biggest, and most important support is from Carolyn. She gets the behind the scenes view of the struggles I go through when a paragraph isn't working or I just cant find the right words. And I'll be honest, some of the words I come up with are hers. So I must put a footnote in every piece I write that some of it comes from her. She is my life partner and my true inspiration in keeping me going in my endeavor.

Over the last six months I've developed some of the things I have written. I think I have told you that I journal. (Journaling is a guys way of saying he writes in a diary...plain and simple..its a diary) I have written in a journal since I was in Junior High School. I was given a small diary with Bart Simpson on the cover. I wrote that day about a trip I was about to take to Disneyland.  I would write in it practically every day. Once it was full, I moved on to different journals. About 90 percent of my Jr. High and High school years are recorded. I still have every journal I've ever written.

Lately I have been writing in an app I have on my phone. I make an attempt to write everyday. I journal in the morning and also at the end of the day using a technique I learned in the book I referenced earlier. It helps me to reflect on how I felt my day went, what I could have done differently and how I will change for tomorrow. All in effort to accomplishing the final goal of furthering my writing career.

I don't remember if I have written here about my dreams. I have dreams. Extremely vivid dreams. Details and colors (yes, we do dream in color) and feelings. I began to journal my dreams last year. It wasn't until recently that I began to use those dreams to create stories. While in most cases the entire dream wont become a story, some aspect of it will. This birthed 'Waiting'. My first short story. It is based off a dream I had about 25 years ago. I never wrote it down, but its impact on my life forever stuck with me. I have been working on it for several months now. Writing and revising, sending it to an editor friend for her to work on and then me revising it. I finally reached a point to were it is completed. Last week I submitted it to a literary magazine for publication. I wont find out if they accept it for another month or so, but it's submitted. Accepted or not I will learn from the experience.
Finally, I hope you will feel challenged by my blogs. My desire is that you will get excited and want to pursue your dreams and embark on a personal journey of your own. Let me know about them, we can celebrate together. Meanwhile, I will write and blog to gain experience, and as accountability to keep on pressing toward the goal Christ has called me heavenward to....sorry Paul, I don't mean to plagiarize, but your Christ inspired words are apropos to my situation.

Thank you for your patience. I do not plan for future blogs to be as long as this one, but I had to lay down the ground work so you can understand where I am coming from. If you are still reading this, I pray it is a blessing to you and I hope to hear your thoughts in the comment section of each blog I am to post. I don't promise to write every day. That would be crazy. But well see how it goes. Perhaps a weekly entry.

God Bless!!