Code Orange, Growing Church, And Omg, What Did I Do?

First thing’s first: Mom and I finally saw Pastor Steven at the home church last Saturday (third time’s the charm, right?)  It was a great message.  I loved the chill vibe he was giving off.  Saturday service is awesome.

This month, my church’s second campus opened!  Second campus here, where I live that is.  We had a little get together, everyone who moved from the first campus.  We talked about the vision and how volunteering was going to look (like, where we were going to set up, how things were going to run, all that jazz).IMG_3155

Then, it was time for Code Orange Revival.  The last one was back in 2012 (which, fun fact, was where the people who started the campus got the idea to actually start one).  Code Orange Revival is ten days of different speakers/pastors.  This year, we had Joyce Meyer, Christine Cane, John Gray, Levi Lusco, and a few others I can’t remember.  It was a very heavy, exhausting ten days.  Ten days of hearing back to back preaching, with hardly any time to process what you heard the night before.  But it was good.  At least you can go on YouTube and listen to them, after you’ve had a nice, week long nap.IMG_3214

A lady that Mom volunteers with asked if we wanted to go to the live recording of the church’s new worship album (which happened one of the ten days).  So, the four of us (including the lady’s son), drove down to North Carolina.  I have to be honest, though, it wasn’t what we expected.  We waited in line, outside, for eight or so hours, and towards the end of waiting, people kept cutting in front of us (since we got there early, we were at the front of the line).  “My friend was holding my spot,” they would say.  No, they weren’t, but if that makes you feel better, be my guest.

We got pretty good seats, a few rows up from where the pastor sits.  We could see the stage perfectly.  But, the downside was the atmosphere.  Instead of it feeling like a worship setting, it felt like a concert.  Instead of feeling like people were worshiping, it felt like people were there just to say they were there.  I felt like the band was just going through the motions, playing the same songs, the same way they played every Sunday, the same way (you have a CD with twelve songs, and yet you only play the same three every other week, rotating in which order you play them).IMG_3314

I wasn’t the only one who felt like that.  Mom and the other lady felt it too.  Her son loved it though, and that made me happy.  I don’tregret going.  I went once, I don’t have to do it again.IMG_3362

With the new campus opening, I figured this would be a great chance to do something I had been wanting to do forever: I got my hair cut.  I met a girl at church who works in a salon, so I just decided to take the plunge.  I also did something else new: I got it cut short.  I mean, it’s short.  To be honest, I didn’t like it, mostly because it was a big change. But, it’s growing on me (ba dum chh- get it?  Hair?  Growing?  On my head?).

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So, that’s it for this month.  Gee, a lot went on!  At least I had something to talk about.

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Short And Strong

Since I finished writing my favorite novel, Times, two years ago, I’ve often thought that 50,000 words was too short and I wouldn’t get my point across.  Last year, I was eager to edit it, rewrite it, send it out, fix things, and get it published.  But I never felt ready.  I was so concerned with a lot of things pertaining to it, that it left me sitting in my room, angry that I couldn’t do anything.  By the end of the year, I was disappointed and sad and, at times, depressed.  I didn’t do anything with it, and I was not happy with the fact that I couldn’t do anything with it.

One day this week, as I was driving home, I thought about something I heard my pastor say on t.v. (yes, I just discovered that my pastor is on t.v.).

It’s going to take some time.

He talks a lot about fulfilling your purpose, and doing something now while you have the chance.  I’ve been so focused on finishing my story, and all of those anxieties keep coming back.

You’re not doing anything about anything.  You’re too busy thinking, and not doing.  You don’t have time to do nothing.  What in God’s name are you waiting for?  The pastor is telling you to do it now.

I let those thoughts flutter off as I went back to Pastor Stevens’ words.  It’s going to take some time.

That’s all I needed, really.  I came to a clear realization.  “God, I’m not ready to finish the story,” I said out loud.  “I still have things to learn.  I’m still getting more material for the story.”

I’m getting ideas.  More and better ideas.  I do honestly feel like I’m getting close to a breakthrough.  It’s coming.  I just have to be wise as to when I start.  If I start too soon, the story will be crap.  If I start too late, I’ll forget everything I’ve been thinking and feeling (aside from the notes I’m taking).  I’m still not 100% ready to start, but this may be the year I actually open the file.

And, as for it being “too short,” if I can get my message across in just 50,000 words, God can do the rest.  I just have to be wise and go with my “gut,” and stop when I feel is right.  Because, you know, as writers, we tend to go on and on and on and…

Maybe my purpose isn’t to finish the story, maybe my purpose in this season is to better the story.  Maybe my purpose is to not think about the story at all, and start thinking about my life.  Maybe I don’t even know my purpose.  Maybe my purpose is something I’ve never thought of.  Maybe I need to stop focusing on something I’m too angry to do anything about, and relax and do something else.

Relax.  That’s what I tried to do in December.  It did work, actually.  I think I may have written a little bit.  I know I have this month, for a couple of days.  It’s coming.  It’s coming smoother than it did when I held on too tight.  I relaxed, and it flowed a little more.

It’s coming.  I promise.  I just have to tell myself, be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.

Lord, I thank you that you have given me this awesome idea for a story.  You are the creator and the giver, and I know You have a plan for it.  I request that you help me rest in You, so I can better hear Your voice, so that I may know which way You want me to go.  I thank you that you have given my purpose life, and I thank You for giving me new ideas.  They’re pretty awesome.  Thank you.  In Jesus name, amen.

This Life

Today I will fill my life with things that I love, and have a positive attitude towards the things I don’t.

Life is too short to let unhappy people bring you down.  Life is too short to let what they say, dictate how you feel about yourself.  Life is too short to not do what you’ve always wanted to do.

We can’t own it,

We just get to hold it for a while.

We can’t keep it,

Or save it for another time.

This life.

This Life, The Afters

Life is just too short.

Old Cars, New Tricks

This has been a fun week, I guess.  Mom and I took the four kittens to get fixed.  While we were waiting, we went to a museum that was near by, and we saw some trains.

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We also saw some neat, old cars.

Tuesday was the Supernatural season 10 premier.  It was alright.  I thought it was going to be more than what it was.  I guess you can’t make the beginning too exciting, right?  Oh, and it rained, so I missed about five minutes of it.

And then I worked somewhere in there, I think Wednesday.  Eh.  On Friday and Saturday, Mom and I are volunteering for the home tour.  What this is, is, a certain amount of people (I think it’s eight this year) open up their houses for people to see.  Kind of like an open house.  But anyway, Mom and I are going to be standing in a room and telling people about it as they walk in.  It’s actually a lot of fun.  Our neighbor across the street has been renovating his house for the past year, doing all sorts of landscaping.  We had wanted to see the inside of his house, so when we found out his was going to be on the tour, we just had to volunteer.  So, we’ll be able to see it on Saturday.

NaNoWriMo is coming up (see blog post here about what NaNoWriMo is).  This year, I’m thinking about cheating.  I cheated last year, and I’m still alive, so I’ll press my luck again.

Why am I cheating?

  • I want to write book 2 but I don’t want to write it during NaNo
  • I have my murder mystery that I could write, but I already started it
  • I have another idea for a story, but I don’t want to start it yet (not enough ideas for it, and not enough want to look into it)

What am I going to do, then?  Write short stories.  I have three short stories that I want to write.  The ideas have been in my head for some time, and I really need to write them (or one, or two).  I think it will be a lot of fun.  This way, I have the option of moving on to something else if need be.  This is my fifth year doing NaNo, and I have four half-finished/finished stories.  I think I should take a break this year.  Now, mind you, it’s very likely that on October 31st I’ll change my mind and decide to not cheat.  Who knows what I’m going to do, until I actually do it?

That’s all for now.  I shall leave you with a picture of a sunset I took recently.

Good night!  Good morning!  Good everything!

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Get On Outta Here!

I cannot wait until Monday!  I get to go on vacation with a friend of mine from college/Tennessee!  And two other girls, possibly.  I don’t care, I’m gettin’ on outta hea!  Five days of nothing but awesome.

Shasta got snipped this week.  Poor baby.  But he did fine when we brought him home.  It didn’t seem to affect him, which is wonderful.

I just found out that my short story, Taste of You, was one point short of being in the top 100 in the short story competition I entered it in.  My fault, I forgot to add one last thing.  But they thought my story was good!  Which is awesome!  I’m going to try and get it out before I leave.  The cover is almost done, just the formatting now.

Well, I’m off.  Talk to you guys next week!

A Hint Of Fear

Yesterday, I had to drive farther than I had before, and, in a more condensed area, with traffic and stuff.  Mom says I did a good job, probably because I was too nervous to mess up.  On the way home though, once I got through it, I looked at Mom (for a split second, I had to get my eyes back on the road), and I asked her why that went so fast.

“We weren’t quiet” she answered.  No, she was right, we were too busy talking for me to concentrate on the nerves.  I’m getting better at talking while driving.  I usually don’t like to because I have other things to focus on, but I’m starting to focus on more than one thing now, not car/road related (like, turning the radio station, changing the volume, etc.). 

I still don’t like driving, but I’m getting better at it.  When I start not being scared, that’s when I should stop driving.  If you don’t have a hint of fear in all you do, you’re doing it wrong.  I’m all for being confident in yourself, but keep a pinch of fear deep inside, where no one can see it, just for you.

I go back to the doctors next Wednesday, so I’ll have a foot update for you then.  For now, I’ll just say that it hurts.  My blister skin is coming off, and oh boy does the underneath hurt.  Sometimes I can’t even bend my foot.

As far as my short story goes, I ran into a snag.  It was me, I was the snag.  If you follow me on Google+ (which you should, I’m a lot of fun) you know that I was having some inner conflict with myself and my editor and my need to conform and impress.  I’m going to let it sit for a while and work on a different story, one that makes me feel better about myself.  Back to a genre I know I’m good at. 

Not that I’m not going to try different genres, but a big problem with that first short story was I wasn’t comfortable with it to begin with, so when people started telling me what to change, I changed everything, and the story became something that I didn’t recognize.  Things that I wanted to be up to the reader, I felt like I had to give an answer for, when in reality, I had none.  Although, most of the critiques I was given were spot on and I liked and used to my advantage.

That’s all I’ve got.  I wish I had more, but my life pretty much consists of t.v., writing, and enduring the pain of my foot.  And sleep, lots and lots of sleep.

Talk to you guys next week.

Foot Update And Other Things

I went to see my boss on Monday, who told me to go to the doctors.  The doctor told me that I did the right thing, go home and wrap it up.  No reason to go to the ER in the first place.  That night, I woke up with my foot in a puddle.  My blister popped.  Well, half of it, the other half popped on…some other day.  Now, my foot is “flat,” no big ball full of water.

When this first happened, I took a shower with my foot hanging out the shower door.  A few days later, I took a bath, and I stuck my foot in the water.  No big deal, the water was cool enough so as not to upset it.  Then I took a shower with the bandage on, which was no a good idea.  The bandage weighed on it from being soaked, and put pressure on it.  That hurt.  I added this just in case you wanted to know how I took a shower/bath with my foot being like this.  Now you know.

I can walk now, like a normal person.  Except for when my foot hurts and I, again, have to walk on my heel.  I can now sleep under my covers, because now that the blister is gone, I can put my foot on the side and the blister isn’t pulling the skin and putting pressure on my foot and being stupid (I was sleeping under blankets because they were lighter).

Aside from my foot, I’ve been writing.  I wrote a first person POV short story, two things I never do (I usually write half finished novels in third person).  I got some feedback on it and I’m working towards it being up to satisfaction for my readers, and then, who knows what I’ll do with it?

Well, that’s it for now.  Talk to you guys next week!

Tell Me More, Old Man

Old is subjective.  I use this word loosely, but at least you understand that he’s not 20 (I believe he is somewhere around 50, maybe 60).

I live on a lake.  I may not have lake property, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the view.  You know who else lives on the lake?  Authors.  And to my knowledge, a few of them. I went to the library to listen to one today (Thursday), and I learned a few things.  And I, being the generous person that I am, am here to share some of these things with you.  Enjoy!

I learned that I am a 50+ year old woman living in a 23 year old’s body.  I’ve always known that I got along better with older people because I was old school, but I didn’t know it was so extreme.  No wonder I live where I do, it’s old folk country out here.

“An ebook is not a book” he said.  A book is what you hold in your hand.  This may be the old way of thinking, but gosh darn it I agree…to an extant.  Maybe it’s just because I prefer the physical form rather than the kind I read on a screen.  I know ebook has “book” in the title, and a book is something that you read, but I like what he said, and I find some weight in his words.

We don’t have to remember where we left off in an ebook.  You just open up the program and you’re right at the word you left off on.  With a physical book, when you flip to the page, you have to remember where you were.  There’s no thinking involved with an ebook (unless you aren’t automatically taken to your spot and you have to scroll through the pages to find it…then forget this part).

Articles in magazines used to be 1,000+ words (which is around how many words most of my blog posts are).  These days, they’re shorter because we have short attention spans.  We can get things so fast now, that if we have to wait for something to load, or read something that’s long, we lose interest (no wonder I don’t get many views…it could be because I’m boring…nah).  We want short paragraphs, short sentences, and short words.  Or heck, skips the words, give me a meme.

I’m not afraid of not getting my book published, because you know what?  There will always be people who like to read books.  Long, 300 page, full of adventure and mystery and emotion, legit books.  If I have to do it myself, well then, so be it, but it will happen.

These are just a few things I learned.  I hope you learned something too.

Talk to you next week!

At Least I Didn’t Cry

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On January 1st of last year, I cried.  I felt like everything that had gone wrong was my fault.  Looking back, it seems a little mellow-dramatic.  If you would like to read it, click here.

This year, however, I almost forgot.  What? How?  Well, it was just another, normal day for me, just like any other.  So, I decided to do something to make it different: I deactivated my Facebook.  I hate that thing.  Really!  The only good thing about it is it lets me know when it’s someone’s birthday, and quite honestly if I don’t know when that is, I apparently don’t care. Or, I’ve relied on that stupid site to remember it for me.

So, what’s coming up in this new year?  Well, for starters, another move.  Mom and I don’t have jobs, and we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, so we need to get out of here and move on with our lives.  Where are we moving?  We don’t know!  We thought North Carolina, but what we were expecting, didn’t live up to our expectations.  So, that was a bust.  We’re clueless, which should be fun.

Aside from that, I’m going to finish my book this year.  That’s right!  My 2012 NaNoWriMo story will be done.  Every day…or, something, I’m going to write it.  Either that or my other story that I have just started, but that will be for something that I’d like to add to the blog: Short Story Saturday!  I know, it falls on Caturday, and I’ll have to compete for attention against cute, adorable kittens, but I know I can do it.  I know what I’m getting myself into.

I don’t know what my “theme” is this year.  Random crap?  That will do.  No, for real, I think it’s just going to be things that I’ve been thinking about or talking about that week.  For example, I just talked to Bliss about Supernatural, and I wrote this really long comment about how Dean always takes care of everyone, because he has been his whole life, and I got to thinking, maybe that’s why I relate to him so much.  If I wasn’t doing this blog post, I’d probably post about that.

Anyway, I’m going to try to stick to my to-do list from last week, hopefully starting this Saturday.

That’s all.  Happy New Year everyone!