Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Writing Course Part 2-B

This is Part 2-B of the Creative Writing Course. I am beginning to have a little fun with it! I feel as if I have learned a thing or 2. I am really excited about some of my future postings. I have gotten some ideas and feel like I am actually writing with a purpose now. Or at least I will be! I haven't done much other than the course for quite some time, because I really want to learn this! All of my "free time" (ha ha) has been spent researching, observing, and thinking. I hope it pays off!

Do This:
Randomly pick one of your posts. First of all, look at the title. If it were on another blog, would you stop to read a post with the same title you chose? Why or why not? Now, look at the first 3 sentences. Is there at least a hint of your message there? Would someone reading it be able to give a good definition of what your post was about or would they totally miss the mark?

This is the post I chose (OH MY GOSH, I DID IT!!!! HTML, HA!)

I chose this post at random and did so because of the title. I couldnt remember what the post was about, but it was kind of quirky sounding compared to the rest, and it piqued my interest.

I was surprised, but yes, there was a hint of my message in the first few sentences. Actually, I thought it got right to the point.

2. Repeat with a purpose.

Ask This:
Is there a phrase I can repeat throughout my writing to drive home my point?

I promise I did not plan this!! I just picked at random like we were instructed above! I was having a little fun with this particular post, and I found that my repeats were indeed repeats but also had more than one meaning.

3. Be sincere.

Ask This:
Am I passionate about what I write? Do I truly care what my reader takes away from it?

I am very passionate about what I write, or I would not write about it. I do care what my reader takes away from it, because alot of the things I write about are things that I am learning in my every day walk with Christ. I want to be encouraging, yet I want to teach. I want to be light hearted and funny, yet I want the Lord to use me.

For each of the emotions listed below, give a brief description from your own life as to where you draw the deepest expression of that emotion. What is the story behind that deep expression?:

1. Love
2. Anger
3. Sadness
4. Surprise
5. Joy

Ok, the hard part for me. I am not an emotional person, so I am really having to reach deep for some of these. OK most of them, except the anger one, which really irritates me!!!

1. Love-My children. They are a piece of me. I would be lost with out them.
I have miscarried 3, and I dont talk about it often, because it is so very painful. I often wonder what they would be like, I wonder if they will know me when I am reunited with them and if I will know them. I wonder if I would have the kids I have now if I had never have lost the others.

2. Anger- injustice, child abuse/neglect, battered women, this list is pretty self explanatory. I guess I have one or 2 other things that affect my own life, and I just keep praying that God would soften me, and open my eyes to His truth.

3. Sadness-Cant do this one.

4. Surprise- That people really can change! I have not had a huge opportunity in my life to see this, but lately it is all around me. Including myself!! It's been almost like a domino effect!

5. Joy- Kids learning about Christ and memorizing scripture, and worshipping. Especially my own! Ever sat in a teen agers worship service? Talk about POWERFUL!!!

Today's Final Assignment:
Now it's time to begin creating! Besides working on your topic post, begin using what you've learned in the last 3 lessons to write other posts. Choose topics you know and hold dear. Try different methods of grabbing your reader's attention. Keep evaluating what you are writing, ask others to evaluate with you. Are you seeing improvement? Are you feeling more satisfied with what you write? Keep working at it!

I have several different things I want to write about. I am very surprised that I have not taken the time to do so lately, because they are truly life changing events. I am in a time of healing right now, as is my family, and I wonder if this is maybe just a "down time" for me. Every day I live with new challenges, and I think this writing course is a time for me to "get away from it all." I can't truly do that, but for a few minutes or an evening I have something else to concentrate on.

I am more than happy to be evaluated on any of my posts! I do have to say that the one I linked up here is probably one of my fav's. I didnt realize it until I went back and read it, but it has some of the qualities of what we are learning here. I was pretty satisfied with it!

Part 3 coming soon! Thanks Amy!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Creative Writing Crash Course Part 2

This is the second part of the creative writing course that I am taking part in. If your interested, click on the link above and jump in!

Do This:
Come up with 1 funny story and/or 1 serious story (preferably from your own life) and write down the basics of it. For instance:

The lights during the wedding dance were shining right past the bride and groom and directly onto my husband and I.

Now, take each noun and see if you can add more description to it that makes the story pop (remember not to overdo so people don't start rolling their eyes

The blinding lights from the DJ station at the wedding dance shone right past the blissful, (and thankfully, oblivious) bride and groom and directly onto my husband and I, who were sitting ever-so-casually against the far wall.

Now kick it up a notch. No, I don't mean lie...I mean take what happened and make it worth reading. I'll do it and then explain how I did it:

The blinding lights from the DJ station at the wedding dance shone right past the blissful, (and thankfully, oblivious) bride and groom and directly onto my husband and I, who were sitting ever-so-casually against the far wall. Staring into those two bright lights, neither one of us could resist...my husband slowly brought his hands, shaped to resemble antlers, to the top of his head as I turned sideways and proceeded to make shadow puppets on the wall.

The real story is...we didn't make a spectacle of ourselves like it sounds. Everyone was watching the happy couple (we think...these lights really were very blinding so there's no telling how many were watching us too), and my husband's antlers and my shadow puppets lasted all of a nano-second. It really wasn't much of a show. But, kicked up a notch, it makes for a good story.

Now, you try!
OK, I think I will! I have been brainstorming for days, and like I said in the earlier part, I am not a very creative person. Nor do I have the greatest memory for telling stories! I asked my family for ideas for a funny memory, and how crazy, they all came up with the same one!! It's funny because this is not especially one of my favorite memories, as they were picking on me!! Here goes!

The truck was barreling towards us at 65 miles an hour.

We were headed out of town on a much anticipated family vacation. I had already lost myself in the book I had brought along, and nothing was going to bring me back to reality. Until my husband yelled "AAAAHHHHHH". I quickly looked up and adjusted my eyes and wits to the road in front of us just in time to see the truck that was barreling towards us at 65 miles an hour. It took only an instant to decide what to do, and I reached over and smacked that husband of mine on his arm, and told him that was NOT funny, and if he ever did that to me again, he was walking! The truck that was barreling towards us at 65 miles an hour was actually being pulled backwards on a tow truck, but when I looked up from my book it really looked like it was going to hit us at first glance!!

From that day on, you will occasionally hear my children or my hubby ask me "Is it funny yet?" To which I always reply, "It will NEVER be funny!"

To be honest, it is funny now, but I will never tell them that!! It would spoil all of the fun!

2. Be real, but encouraging

Ask This:
What part of my life can I share that my audience can relate to? How can I show the real me without making this the most depressing post ever? What has happened in my life that I have learned from and can share with my audience as a way of encouraging them?

Know This:
When your reader can relate, they read. When they see themselves, they read. When they find encouragement, they read.

Do This:
Go back and look over the list of posts from #1 of Creative Writing - The Message. Chances are those posts were more you. What about them spoke of you?

Now, make a list of who you are in real life...what makes you you. This is NOT a list of who you wish to be nor is it a list of all your negative traits. Be real.

Lastly, randomly read a few of your blog posts and consider if your reader is getting a true picture of who you are. Are they edified by what you have to say or does misery love company?

Here's my take...
I write from my heart. I use my emotion and what I have learned, and what I know. I use my own convictions from my everyday life, and I use the scripture that is given to me through it. Sometimes I start with a scripture and build from there on what I believe to be true, or that has been revealed to me through my daily walk with Christ.

I am a leader in training.
I know that I am privileged to be a wife and Mother
I like pretty things
I am not the greatest organizer of the home, no matter how much I want to be
I am an optimist, and negative people drive me CRAZY!
I am firm in my faith, and I have strong beliefs that some people dont agree with.
I analyze way too much!
I am a loyal friend
I am the exact opposite of my husband!
I have a heart to reach the lost that they might be saved

I went back and re-read several of my posts, and there are a couple that I can't believe I actually wrote. They sounded good, they flowed, they just worked. Then I came across some that made me cringe and want to hit the delete button! I can definitely see the amateur writer with a gift, and I am finding pieces of me that I never knew. Again, I am not exactly sure WHO I am yet, no matter what the list above says. It is a true list, but definitely only a beginning.

Well, I hope I am an encouragement. Most of my writing at this point I think is meant for me to take my jumbled and sometimes not so together thoughts and just get them out of me. I very rarely share with others verbally, because I have a hard time getting spoken words to say what I am trying to reveal. This is also a way for me to deal with some things I dont understand quite yet, and a place that I have found healing. It is a place of strength for me. So, encouraging? Well, guess the longer I am here, the more I will see!

3. Shock 'em and then pick 'em up off the floor

Ask This:
Is there something I can say that will really grab the reader's attention without overstepping my boundaries?

Do This:
Take this phrase and build the bare bones of a post around it...(this post can be about anything)
I've Had Enough!

HMMMMMMMM........Amy, you made this one tough because, frankly, it made me think, and I learned a couple things about MYSELF through it.

I've had enough of women who dont know who they are in Christ. My heart just bleeds for those who dont know Him, and dont know the POWER and HEALING He can bring to their lives!

I have watched several women lately in my life who know they need something more, are searching for something more, and yet wont accept the yoke God has to offer. I have been through so very much as of late, and if I didnt have the Lord in my life, I dont know how I would have handled it.

I have been through some pretty life changing events, and I could have come out angry, depressed, beaten down, and feeling abandoned. Instead I walk in victory everyday, knowing the Lord has a plan for my life and the life of everyone around me. I am scarred from what I've been through, and my life will never be the same, but it will be ok, because I know whom I put my trust in.

I've had enough of women not being happy with their own lives! Happiness comes from within, as I have truly been finding out. So many times we lose ourselves to our homes, and our children, and our husbands, and I'm not saying that is wrong, but we must be the women God made us to be! Yes, we are nurturers' and housekeepers, and doctors, and some of us have full time jobs, but we are also still individuals who write, crochet, enjoy art, plays sports, and too many other things that I could mention.

I am married to someone who does not share the same interests that I have, for one reason or another, and I gave them up for so long because I thought I was the "bad" wife if I didnt!! Recently, I found myself in a rut! Living everyday was so mundane, and boring! It doesnt have to be that way. Yes, we need to find a balance, and yes, sometimes things need to be put on the back burner, and yes, our families need to be our priority, but we have to take care of us too!

OK, ready for the next part. Again, I'm EXHAUSTED!! What an awesome class!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creative Writing Crash Course part 1

I'm a little behind! I am going to be real and tell you the real reason!

I needed to see what everyone else was doing first!!

Some things come easy to me, but not writing, and to be honest I am not terribly creative. I am just an average, ordinary, not really unique in anything, every day girl. Now.

I grew up in the school of hard knocks, and have really only become the woman I am now through alot of prayer, hard work, fighting through it, and allowing myself to be mentored by others, usually by quietly observing. One day I hope to be able to share my whole story, uninhibited, but right now I am still learning to become a "productive member of society." Writing helps me with that.

I have come to a point in my life where I want to know who Stephanie is, not just as a mom and wife, but as a woman of God. I havent always been so great at the latter of these either, at the most, I'm just mediocre. But I'm a work in progress!! In my opinion anyway.

So, I think I have gotten part of this backwards, but I will just use this as one of my "posts." I am excited to see what this course brings out of me. Thanks Amy, for your time and talent.

1. Who is your audience and what is your purpose?

Ask This:Who reads your blog? Who do you want to read your blog? What past posts have gotten the most traffic? What kind of posts on other blogs do you enjoy reading?

I do not know that I really have an 'audience.' My closest friends and family read my blog. I am still rather new to blogging and I took a year off before really getting back into it. Some women have private diaries, I have a blog.

My posts that share my personal testimony are the ones that get the most traffic. I suppose that is my purpose. I really have a heart for women who are hurting, who dont know Jesus, who have low self esteem and need someone to believe in them.

I enjoy reading light hearted posts as well as those on room makeovers, and organizing, I'm really getting "in" to the ones on photography! Matter of fact I just bought myself a new camera so I could pursue that interest.

Know This:

Everything written has an audience (even your diary!). You don't need to change who you are and write things just for your audience, but it does help to know who is reading. If you are writing mainly to young ladies, then your tone will be different than if you are writing to seasoned mothers. You will use different analogies and assume they have a different knowledge base.It's best to concentrate on the audience you already have. They are there for a reason and ignoring them while you seek after new readers just isn't nice.

2. What do you know? Ask This:What does my day consist of? How is my life unique? What things do I know that could help others? Have I seen another blog post about something I do, but in a different way?

My day consists of work, hubby and children, and finding ways to share God's love, mercy, and salvation. The blogs I follow are very good and uplifting, and encouraging, and informative, but I have yet to come across something that screams "THATS ME, THATS MY LIFE!!!" I guess that makes me unique!

Do This:Brainstorm your life and come up with a list of 5 topics that are part of your life (hopefully, some of them coincide with the list you made in #1).

1.Taekwon do....martial arts. I have a real passion for this. Some day I would love to teach a womens self defense class.

2.Writing...sharing my story to encourage other women and find healing for myself through it.

3Music/Worship....my very first passion and oh how I would love to combine it with my own writing

4.Giving testimony...I am not a great up front speaker, but with practice I think I could do it!

5. My husband....God did not give me this life to walk alone, I will do it beside my man, who also has a testimony to share.

4. What do you want your readers to feel and know after reading what you've written?

I want my readers to know truth and feel that I am genuine and authentic. I want them to see my heart and my peace and desire a piece of that for themselves. In some cases I want them to see my struggles and mistakes and hopefully learn from them and not have to walk through some of the muck and mire I have.

Ask This:Do I want my reader to DO something with this information or do I want them to FEEL something? Am I able to take this topic and clearly convey a message?


Know This:Not every topic is easy to work with, but just about any topic can be transformed into a good post depending on the viewpoint you choose. The spots on my carpet and the fact that I have no idea how to get them cleaned up is only going to hold my reader's interest for a short time. However, if I can take that topic and parallel it with something much deeper (like how we are unable to remove the spots in our lives on our own and thus need the saving power of Jesus), THEN I have an awesome blog post in the making. More on this in #5

I think I am done for now. Well not done, but ready to move on to part 2!! I have decided that this writing course is WORK!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jack O' Lantern Time!

I got a new video/digital camera! I can not tell you how very happy that makes me! :)
There are so many things I want to take pics of right now!! Here in Branson/Hollister, Missouri fall is coming with a vengeance! I have never seen such rich red, gold, and orange. We are known for our fall beauty along with the many other attractions this tourist town has to offer. In living here almost 4 years now we have become "locals" as we refer to ourselves, but the same things that bring the tourists out are the same reasons why we chose to relocate here. I am hoping to get some really great pics of the area to share here soon! Today we went to our first ever block party in our own neighborhood and had a little fun!

Those really are 3 happy kids despite the looks on their faces!
Tomorrow we will get tea lights and have them light up the night! What a great family time!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh My...Bear with me!

Wow! Lots of work goin on here! I'm not done, so no judging yet please! I just got called to make fried ice cream so guess the odd colors are staying awhile! Be back soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've gotten myself lost in blogland! I have followed my sister in laws blog for years, I finally decided I wanted one too! It took me a long time to actually get it done, because oh my gosh, what if someone actually read it!!!
Writing was always a private part of my life, and I never thought about sharing it. However, blogging is so much fun and so relaxing to me, it was easy to get addicted! Now I don't necessarily fall into the same category as alot of the blogs that I read. I don't homeschool, I am not quiverful, and I have an average size family. What draws me more to these certain blogs is the content, and the fact that they are Christian women sharing what they do in everyday life! They laugh, they cry, they cook, they decorate, they serve, they mentor, they help other women. And they are so much fun!!!
Right now there is a blog party going on! If you want to join, click on the Harvest of Friends button and get started! I am looking forward to blog hopping and meeting new people! So to introduce myself, I will be answering a few questions that Lynette, our hostess, has prepared! Ok, here I go!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?
I am not much of a snacker, but I would take a cup of coffee with Vanilla Caramel coffee creamer.
2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
My Jesus! My Lord and Savior. I have lived without Him, but it wasn't really living.
3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
This is a tough one! How's this...Where I live right now is a combo of all 3! We are surrounded by 3 lakes, in the beautiful ozark mountains, and I can see deer and raccoons out my back deck. How do I choose one when I can have it all!
4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
5. Who do people say you remind them of?
Usually someone they know back home!
6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?
I am kind of a home body, but I like blog parties!
7. What's your all time favorite movie?
Not big on movies and TV, so I really don't have one.
8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?
9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
Yes..that's why I joined the creative writing course! I would also love love love to learn how to play piano.
10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Understanding how men tick! At least mine anyway!
11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
His truck! There's something women like about a pickup man!
12. What is something you love to smell?
Freshly mowed grass, all smells at Christmas.
13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
Hmmm....maybe someone needs to tell me so I will stop! I am not sure!
14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Thrift store shopping! I also like to buy new things for decorating my home! This is something i have really gotten into lately also!~
15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
Loud! I usually laugh alot around friends and family!
16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Thrift Stores! Oh, and Kohls! I like Deb shops too. Did I mention JC Penney?
17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
Church Ministry
18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
Depends on my mood and how much my hubby has spent!
19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)
Too many to choose from!
20. Would you want to be famous?
Yes! I wouldn't like the invasion of privacy, but when you are famous you have more of an opportunity to change the world!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why is our anniversary clock like our living room?

Hee Hee! For any one reading this, yes, this is what I am writing about tonite!! One of the exercises in the creative writing course is to pick the first object I see when I look up from my computer and then pick a room. I am going to attempt to explain how they are alike!
The first thing I see is my husbands anniversary clock that we have had forever! I picked the living room because, well, I don't really know why! So lets see how this goes!

I do have to say that my first thoughts are that they are both small and brown. Looking at the clock makes me think maybe it should actually be IN that room! It matches the decor. Oh, and I complain ALOT about both! I never have enough time, and I don't have enough room in this particular space! I am most focused on the fact that time holds so many memories. "Like the time that" and Remember the time when." My living room also holds alot of memories. From the deer head hanging on the wall, to the picture and frame of the waterfall, right down to the spots on the carpet! Also the memories of holidays past, (time!) friends and family gathered to fellowship, and family movie nights where we spent good quality TIME together.

I am sure there are many more things I could say about this subject, but I think I did a pretty good job with the association! Don't really want to over think it! I think that was a great exercise to get my juices flowing!

Till next TIME................
Stephanie : )

Caution!!! Blog Under Construction!!

I am doing something EXTREMELY fun! My sister in law who happens to be a fabulous writer and has her own blog has graciously decided to teach a crash course in Creative Writing!!
I am still new to the world of blogging and my knowledge of how things work around here is not very great! So you may see very odd things on my blog in the near future!!! Maybe read some very odd posts also! I have prayed for quite awhile for the Lord to help me in my writing, and like any good thing, you have to have practice! I have been to alot of football practices with my boy lately, and I have seen fumbles, footballs falling short of where they should go, kids running to the wrong end zone, and even silly things that you never think will happen on a football field! So I just ask that you will bear with me for awhile, laugh if you must, groan if it's really bad, and try to oversee the mistakes in my layouts!! So far that has proved to be the hardest part!!! I still have no clue what happened to some of the links I thought were supposed to be here!! Also, feel free to leave your feedback! Thats what this is all about! Whether it is really great, or really awful, hopefully this will help me me to grow and learn to be a seasoned writer. I look forward to seeing my results!
Also for those of you who receive my posts through email, come on over and look at my website. There are so many interesting writers in blogland, with a variety and flavor all their own! It is a great place to learn, get recipes, be mentored to, and too many others to mention! So...lets go on a journey!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's All About Me

That's right, its all about me. Me Me Me. Sound like anybody you know? Quite the popular phrase and mindset of today's culture.

In my quest to find true happiness, this is one of the first things God has opened my heart to receive. To find healing, I must grasp it. Embrace it. Allow it to permeate every ounce of my being.

Huh? Is that Biblical? So glad you asked!

Not if you look at it from a worldly perspective. In the world it is a form of instant gratification, selfishness, the idea that life owes you something, and worse yet, that you even deserve it. I get caught up in this too, ALOT, and it makes for a miserable existence. I must change my mindset.

My favorite thing to say when Jeff and I have a falling out is that he can make me mad faster than anybody I know. His favorite thing to say, to add coals to a fire already out of control, is that NOBODY can make me mad. ITS MY CHOICE! At that point I usually start grasping at anything and everything, sounding like a blubbering idiot, not even making a point that makes sense to myself. Ugh!

My flesh hates having to admit that he is right, but guess what? It's all about me.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-3 "

Wow! Did you read that??

I have been praying for a very long time that God would work on me in certain areas. My attitude is one of them. I want to be able to be content in all things, like Paul was, even when he was chained and hungry in jail. I don't want to be angry anymore. Anger is usually a cover up for several different emotions that we don't take time to work through, are too stubborn to work through, etc.. I refuse to be held captive any longer. I want to take the responsibility for the renewing of my mind, with Christ's help, and His truth. I want the negative out, the positive in. I want the glass to be half full, instead of half empty. I want to feel that it hurts, right down to the last tear, instead of stuffing it away like it doesn't really matter. I want to fight the good fight, not blaming and pointing the finger. In 100 years does it really matter who was right and who was wrong anyway? No, and there is only ONE true judge anyway.

I am working on building a bridge to forgiveness, peace, and happiness. I am learning to say, "God change me" instead of "God, please make him or her change."I will never be all that He has made me to be if I do not. And it's all about me. It's all about the attitude I take, it's all about taking the narrow road, it's all about turning the other cheek.

I am convinced that this one little phrase could change the world, one person at a time. It could, but it must be transformed into a life that does not conform with worldly ways.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Its been an eventful year since my last post! Some really great, some really awful. All of it life changing, all of it real. I dont think I will take the time to recap everything in one post, as their is stuff that I need to sort through yet, process, and put in proper perspective. Some of it will never have a "proper perspective" because that is just how life is. It is what it is.

I am feeling a little bittersweet right now. My life has taken on a new dimension today, as my husband has finally been realeased from the hospital after being gone for 106 days and nights. It has been a very long journey, and is not over yet. Getting from the night of the accident, through the 12 hour surgery and the 3 months of immobility is only part of the battle. The exhaustion that comes with putting one foot in front of the other on a day to day basis has come to a head with me. Tonight as my hubby is resting as comfortably as he can, at home, I have decided to start feeling it. All of it. To heal from it, to grow from it, to share it. I wish I could say that I have dealt with some of it already, but there has just been so much that has happened, I wasnt sure where to start. I'm still not, but I know WHO to start with. I begin it by saying that I count all of my trials pure joy, and I am thankful that God trusts me with the tasks He has given me. May I honor Him in all that I do, from this day forward, and may He reward me with the healing of my heart and my family. I am on a quest for true happiness, something I have not been for a very long time. Learning to be content with all circumstances, and learning to love with everything I have in me. Until next time, God Bless.

Back Where I Belong

I have thought many times about deleting this blog, since the last time I posted was well over a year ago. I just couldnt find it in me to let it go. It's not that I didnt want to blog anymore, I just wanted to make a new place for me to be able to share any and all things, and not have to fall into a category of something in particular. When I first started this blog I wanted it to be a place where I shared my daily walk with Christ, but I think at times I got frustrated and didnt post because I couldnt find the right verse to fit with my life for the day, or I over analyzed and got overwhelmed. So I am hoping to change some things around here, and give my blog a facelift! I have decided that I do not have to have deep and meaningful things to say every time I blog. I want to enjoy it, and post about my daily walk, good, boring, or in between. I have felt so lonesome with out it, and I am happy that it was waiting for me right where I left off. Thats how our God is also, he waits for us and meets us where we are, usually right where we left off. So I hope you will join me again. Lets go on a journey.