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!