Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Nano Psych Ward

Research killed the muse.

I spend one weekend researching for my novel. One weekend where I didn't write, I simply absorbed...and what happened?

I got behind. Way, way behind.

I'm like a runner who is unsure whether to keep plugging forward or plop in the grass and give up.

Sprint to the finish?

Write like a crazy person?

Hmmm, what could I do to keep the kids busy until Thursday? Giving them all the presents stowed safely in the closet would work, but then that would ruin Christmas (and force me back into the mob-infested stores).

What to do?

What? Quit writing in my blog and get back to the story? Oh yeah, that would probably be smart...

Here's to nano - and the padded room and giant margarita I'm gonna need when it's all over with.

Did I just admit to drinking the occasional Margarita? Great, now I'll never be published again in the CBA.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

That Girl on TV

Is me? The 700 Club interview goes live tomorrow!

I'll be spending the day at the Children's Museum with my three kids plus two extra little girls joining us. So I think I'll be Tivo'ing it.

Let me know what you think...but be kind. I still have an insatiable need to be loved and approved of:-)

If you miss it and still want to see it, you can watch it at CBN.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

nano redux

I don't know who invented the bar graph, but it's wonderfully satisfying to see my bar graph getting higher and higher.

In fact, I find it rather addicting. "I have to write today because I have to make my bar graph go higher." And after I add in my new word count I go back and refresh all my pages just to look at the new numbers on my icon, like I have done something great.

Deadlines, even self imposed ones, are good for me apparently. Nothing like pressure to make stuff cook faster, eh? I know it will need work when I'm done but I am making progress - and that's a lot more than I was doing before November.

But here's my problem. As addicted as I am to bar graphs, I also happen to be addicted to feedback (the positive kind). My husband is always good for this kind of feedback but he'd like me to finish the whole thing so he can read it all the way through. That way he doesn't have to wait to find out what happens, and also keeps him from hovering over the keyboard. But it means that I also have to wait to hear what someone else thinks of this story.

And I so want to hear what someone else thinks because I really, really, really love this story. While the whole Totally Unfamous story came out of a desire to offer something new to my readers, I have fallen in love with Lucy and yesterday I was completely emotional over the story that I am discovering along the way. My creative side is loving this pace. It's like riding a bike downhill. You just hold on and enjoy the ride.

So, at the end of the month, I'm hoping I'm not the only one who loves the story. I guess you will all get to weigh in on it at some point because it's going to be posted online in a reverse blog platform, free for all to read. Right now I'm trying to gather around me a group of readers (for that general feedback) and editors (a few people who will go through it thoroughly to get it ready for going live) so that when it comes time to release it, it will be in great shape.

I think I'm just excited to be working on something and making regular progress on it. That and those immensely satisfying bar graphs.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rosie & Dangerous Christians?

I read this just this morning, a news report about Rosie O'Donnell's comments on the View that aired more than two months ago.

Hmmm, was I under a rock or was this just not talked about very much? Of course, since a majority of our news outfits are liberally slanted, it shouldn't come as a surprise that most skipped right over this lovely little statement from O'Donnell comparing "Radical Christianity" to "Radical Islam".

The Queen of Nice ain't so nice. Unfortunately, she hasn't been for quite some time. But, I think I can understand the side of Christianity she probably sees. The side with the picket signs and the nasty letters and people telling her on the street that she will burn in hell. I bet all of these things and more have happened to her over the years, especially since coming out of the closet. You see, most celebrities probably have very little contact with real Christians. All they see are the picketers and the ones that like to rub everyone's nose in their sin. In their very closed world of celebrity and status, they probably don't get many letters from Christians who care about them. Nope. They get them from mean and hateful people who use the bible to abuse people and masquerade as Christians.

We've all seen these types of people, and yes, I think they are dangerous. Not in the way O'Donnell says, but in a different way. A way that reflects a very poor image of Christ. They turn people against God instead of winning them. I think I get ramped up about this because while most people are upset and shocked by what she said, I start to think about what put that anger there in the first place. Can you just imagine for a moment the way she has likely been treated by "Christians?" I can. That's why she's been on my prayer list for years. (Another friend of mine confessed that she prays regularly for Jennifer Lopez, so I know I'm not the only one who does this!)

That kind of pure anger comes from deep, deep hurt. And we can't lose sight of that fact. My main prayer is that God will put someone in her life that will model true Christianity. The kind of person that loves people, as much as they love God's Word. The kind that is equal parts holiness and mercy. So while Rosie may have said something awful, try to imagine the awful things that have been said to her, and we might be able to extend her a measure of grace.

And Rosie? I'm still praying for you!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sun to rain

On Friday and Saturday we had the two prettiest November days that I could imagine. Seventies, sunny with leaves on the ground. It was beautiful. We went for walks, raked leaves and just breathed in what we knew would be the last sunny days before winter officially wrapped us up for a few months.

Then, instead of a nice gradual change, we woke this morning to rain, cold and windy, the kind that pelts your face and makes you want to wrap your hands around a cup of coffee and stay inside.

Our lives are just like this aren't they, both the sun and the rain, the good and the bad? I find that paradox all over my life lately. A few good days will be followed by a whopper.

And frankly, I've had a few too many whoppers lately. Enough that I wonder when there will be good news. When things will begin to turn from this spot we've been stuck in for so long.

But knowing God, choosing to trust Him, means that I must wait expectantly for those sunny days to come. The spring always comes after the winter. The sun always comes up in the morning after a long night. And I have to trust that God will glorify Himself in the midst of all this. That He has a plan unfolding during the night that we are simply unable to see.

So if you have traveled a long and weary night, then know that the sun will come up, and a new day will dawn. It's just a metter of God's timing - and trusting that God truly does have our best interests at heart.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Take a minute...

and watch this video. You'll be glad you did. If the popultaion of the entire earth were reduced to 100 people, what would it look like?

Miniature Earth
(And thanks to Mary DeMuth for pointing it out.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The 700 club in my house...

went pretty well I think. Of course, I have no desire to actually watch the interview. I know that's bad but I have enough body image issues thankyouverymuch to try and avoid myself on camera whenever possible.

Getting ready for the interview was interesting. Who knew it would take that long to set up two cameras? But first they had to decide the angle and ultimately decided on an angle that would include part of my kitchen, the one room on the main floor that was not exactly clutter free. So I had to hide the clutter, move the decorations and they had to tape the windows and set everything up.

My puppy was a major problem. He wanted everyone to love on him and after he nearly knocked over the light box we decided he had to go outside. Well separating a puppy from people that he can see isn't helpful. He whined and scratched at the door. So we put him in a basement room and he banged on the door so hard the upstairs shook. So we used his leash to corral him away from the door and he chewed through the leash.

Finally, we put him in the van outside where we couldn't hear a peep. One random phone call, the cat pulling down the decorations and the icemaker dropping ice added to the noise they had to deal with. Apparently those microphones are very sensitive. But despite all of that I got a chance to share my story and God was right there, let me tell you. A couple of times the interviewer was happy about the way I described something but I honestly didn't think about it beforehand. It was almost like God was feeding me the right way to put it.

It was amazing and I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to really give God some very public thanks for saving me. Going through old photos for them to use reminded me of all that old stuff and what could have happened to me if God had not intervened.

Thank you God, for rescuing me!

So I'll let you know when it airs but right now it looks like it's going to air on Thanksgiving Day. I think I'll just Tivo it;-)

(Read the article that started it all: Confessions of a Teenage Witch)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Barna and revolutionaries

Interesting article.

I love discussions like this, from other people who are interested in church being something more than what it tends to be.

People who imagine what the church could be,
What it might be,
if we really look at what it means to be a family
to love each other
and be devoted to one another

Can you imagine what that would be like? What the impact on the world would be?

If you look at my last post you will see that I am one of those that have been "hurt by the church". I know my experience is pretty usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. But what should our response be?

Well, I'm going to choose to walk in love, to forgive, to not get offended. None of that is as easy at it sounds but I am committed to doing it that way because that is what Jesus asks of us. Of me.

But beyond that - I am not interested in leaving my church in some sort of huff (though you better believe the thought crossed my mind!) No, I honestly think that is part of the problem of the church today. Instead of being completely committed, we are only committed to church as long as the church is behaving the way we'd like. And since the church is comprised of fallen people, well, the church messes up. Sometimes royally. And too often we just leave, instead of staying committed anyway. Of loving anyway. You know, kind of like the way Jesus loves us.

See. I have this crazy idea that the church is supposed to be a family. Except for those of you who are in perfect families, most of you know that families mess up, they fight, they argue and they hurt one another. But when it happens, you're still stuck together because you're family. Yeah, you can not talk to them, you can move away, but no amount of denouncing them changes the fact that you will forever be linked.

We cannot walk out on our family of God either because whether you like it or not most of them will show up in eternity. Not to eternally irritate you, but because they too have believed God's word and exchanged death for life. You are forever linked because of the blood of Christ.

Wahoo, right? Yeah, I know.

But this idea of being someone who wants real faith to be lived out in real life, well, that's my kind of discussion.

So here's to being revolutionary...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sucker punched

Why is that Christians will behave in ways that the world wouldn't even conceive of? Why is that the church feels permitted to do unkind things and then if you don't like it then you are simply being immature?

I want to rant, scream and yell, yet feel that if I did so, then I would be seen as the one with the problem.

Is it good and right for the church to be unfair and invoke the name of God as the reason? So then, if we have a problem with it, it is God Himself we have a problem with?

I don't think that just because God will use a wrongdoing to make us more like Him is a valid reason for the church to do wrong. Do you?

Yet, as usual, it doesn't really matter what I think. And that's why I'm so sad. I will cry and rant to God and ultimately, I will have to forgive and let it go, and watch others get away with treating people like a mere commodity that is completely replaceable. Like just another cog in the machine. Like I really don't matter.

Some days it just all makes me sick to my stomach. Today is one of those days. I feel like I've been bled dry and I don't have another ounce to give.

Oh Lord, I love you so much. But boy is it hard to love your people sometimes!

Nano insanity

Yes, folks, I am joing the National Novel Writing Month craziness. (Add me as a buddy! My screen name over there is Sarahmom. Click on the icon in the sidebar:-) I've always loved the concept - but not the pace. This year, well, I have a book that I really need to write and since I have no publisher's deadline to force my rear into the chair, well, this seemed like a good idea.

"seems like" being the operative word.

So even though I need to clean my house for the camera crew, I'm not going to even pick up a dustrag until I write my 1,667 words today.

I promise!