~An Ode to Ignorance

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An Ode to Ignorance

I’ve sat here many a time this week,
Seeking to pen a proper post.
And yet, ‘ere I try to form the words,
I may get a few sentences, at most.

No topic would clearly come to me,
Upon no subject could I lay a hand
Instead, they flew away – far a’non –
And I left without a distinct plan.

I scribbled in circles, I tapped on the keys,
For once, nothing would me, assist.
Until Lady Jocelyn did suggest –
Well, after all, she suggested, this.

That I write a post without any knowledge –
Well, about my lacking intellectual cement –
So, here you have it – an ode to ignorance!
Perhaps some amusement, to your day, it has lent.

To the KING be all the glory!

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~The Rotten Lad

This poem is not meant to be taken too literally. To be honest, I think I wrote most of it after reading Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and decided to try my hand at a similar kind of poetry. (Not saying I succeeded!) Bethany enjoyed this poem and encouraged me to finish it, so here it is! Oh, and it must be read with a Scottish accent – whether aloud or in your head. That is an absolute must. :D

 

The Rotten Lad
A tale this is, of a rotten lad
With a thatch of Scot red hair.
He lay around, a lazy bones,
As if he hadn’t a care.

His arms were skinny from lack of use
His were skeletons – aye!
His body so suffered from disuse,
It could do little else, but sigh.

His head t’was empty, don’t you know
With only images would he fill.
Show after film after another he watched
‘Til his imagination did he kill.

He eyed a book as a movie gone wrong.
“Why ‘tis only a script!” he said.
And he used a hardbound, classic tale,
As a plate to eat his bread.

“There is no sense in games,” said he,
“After all, what point have they?”
So, he rolled his eyes and crossed his arms,
Stubbornly refusing to play.

As then to study, no worse than he
Has ever before walked this earth!
“I learn all I need, from my movies indeed!”
So he happ’ly gave his knowledge a dirth.

I know not what will become of him,
For the lad hated all work, as well.
“If work were jolly and not such a bore!”
So, honest labor from his consideration fell.

There, he sat, upon his old couch,
Letting precious time pass him by.
Ah! Some one need remind him, our time’s not ours,
And eventually, away it will fly.

One day, he will wish, he didn’t just waste,
Those precious years with mindless wand’ring.
He’ll wish he had read, knew how to work,
And could study just about anything.

So listen and be thankful, while you may scoff,
That your parents didn’t allow such as he,
Because, this mindless lad, though rotten I may call,
Could have once been the wish of you or me.

To the KING be all the glory!

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~Startling Reflections

It can be difficult to see yourself. Sometimes it’s the reflection in the mirror in front of you; the bitterness staring back at you, the exhaustion showing in the rings and shadows under the eyes, the pain in the firm set jaw.

Sometimes it’s the reflection in an illustration, perhaps given by your pastor or read in a blog post; an illustration that describes you perfectly, often in a way you would rather not think about.

Perhaps even more disconcerting, for an author specifically, would be my most recent experience; a reflection of yourself in your own book characters.

I have written a few characters based after me on purpose, mostly in my older works, so it’s not surprising when they take on my traits. It would be rather surprising (and quite odd) if they didn’t. But it is startling when I begin to recognize parts of my character revealing themselves where I didn’t expect. The conviction that follows when I begin to show how these characteristics need work is usually more than I’m prepared for.

Peter tries to forget reality by burying himself in books. He reads book after book in a desperate attempt to hide from the pain of life. When I decide that reality hurts too much to think about, I start reading so that I can fill my mind with a fictitious reality and forget.

Xavier tries to handle life on his own even though he knows that he can and should turn to the LORD in times of difficulty. Instead, he stuffs down sorrow, anger, and pain, and tries to push on in his own strength. Again, I do the same. Far too often.

Claudette fights submission to authority as if it were an illness. She justifies her actions with claims of adulthood. And… me again.

No, I don’t take my fictional escapades nearly as far or as long as Peter, though I might be tempted. I’m not as vocal or rebellious as Claudette at all, but that’s not through any merit of my own. Xavier and I are pretty close in intensity when we try to stuff things down and handle them on our own. (Though, prayerfully, I am improving and taking things to the LORD more often.)

The conviction doesn’t come so much when I realize that we’re alike, even in flaws. It comes when my character has to face that flaw and deal with it – because I now have to face it as well. What kind of hypocrite would I be if I said that Claudette needs to honor her parents and I don’t? Or that Peter needs to face reality, but I can run from it? Or Xavier is too weak to control life on his own, but I am not? No, if they I have to face it, so do I.

I never imagined that writing a novel could stretch or grow me. Journeys of Four has been difficult at times; painfully difficult. There have been moments when I felt like I was being shred and taken to bits as I worked through Claudius fighting conviction and Christine struggling with her shyness. Where I haven’t shed tears, my heart has cried, prayed, and begged for help at times when I thought I couldn’t take anymore – because it became so personal.

I probably sound crazy. I might be tempted to doubt my sanity if I hadn’t lived it. Regardless, while I sometimes wished I could be the passive outsider while writing, I can now look back and thank the LORD for using the experience to draw me towards Him; to teach me about Him.

I confess to being a little afraid of what I may come across and who I might meet in 24 Days Before Christmas, but, on the other hand, I pray that I am open to see whatever lessons the book might hold. Because, if the LORD wants to use it to grow or teach me something, I certainly don’t want to miss out.

Note: I only just found this post, hidden in one of my notebooks. It was written back in June. 24 Days Before Christmas has since been drafted and typed. But that’s another post, altogether…

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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~Character Evolution and “Journeys of Four”

Front Cover - 4 - Journeys of FourJourneys of Four is officially published! It’s finished, done, complete. The cover is made, the interior edited, the bound copy in my hands.

I praise the LORD for where I am at in my writing journey. I now have four books, not only finished, but in published form. Journeys of Four is my fourth book and second novel.

Yet, in the midst of the rejoicing, there is a tinge of sadness. Why? Because I already miss my characters.

Journeys of Four started under a completely different title when I was about seventeen. Since then, the story has evolved and changed so much that I never would have dreamed it possible. Still, through it all, one part remained: the story of Christine Spurgeon as she has her entire Christianity shaken, when her family begins attending a new church.

The above was my basic premise when I first started all those years ago. Then, along came Claudette Crutch, the girl who claimed Christianity, but didn’t act the part. At first, Claudette was going to be a short trial for Christine in the early chapters, then disappear. She wasn’t a main character, a minor character, or even a side character. She was little more than a cameo. That was the plan anyway. By the time I had finished the first draft, Claudette had managed to work herself into the entire book with her own plotline.

When I decided to give Claudette a brother, I imagined that he would disappear even faster than his sister. A young man with a terrible temper and no story. Just a face to fill in a paragraph void. I didn’t give him much thought. Until he threatened to take over half my book. Now, Claudius is nearly as much a main character as Christine Spurgeon.

My last edition came more recently. Seven to nine months before publishing, in fact. Towards the end of the original draft, I had a very minor character. So minor that he didn’t even have a name and you only caught a glimpse of him in one tragic scene. Until a brilliant idea lit up my brain one cold night and Peter Alan Gottswald’s story began to grow, adding to my book, filling it out, and changing it in ways I didn’t expect.

Now, after all of these years, I have to stop. There can be no more weaving, no more additional characters, no more changing, tweaking, or adding to story-lines. The book is done. True, I may drag my characters into another book sometime – after all, most of my books take place in the same “world” – I’ve even given a few of them a short scene or two. Christine, for instance, appears in at least two upcoming books and is mentioned in another published book. Still, I miss exploring this book, dreaming about what I can add and improve.

However, at the end of the day, despite some slightly silly sorrow, I am thankful. So, so thankful that this book has reached publication. The LORD has been gracious to let me get this far. So, now, I’m off to the next book. A Christmas celebration month and a murder investigation, meeting in the small town of Poinsettia. I’m excited already!

Note: This post is old. Six to seven months old. But I wanted to post it anyway.

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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~Mr. Centenarian – Character Interview

Grandmother's Letters - FINALsm

Character Interview I wrote many months ago with the eccentric old man from Grandmother’s Letters. Hope you enjoy!

– Hello, sir. You’re the centenarian in the area, aren’t you?

Not interested.

-Excuse me?

I said that I’m not interested.

-I just need to ask you a few questions…

I don’t answer questions! Especially for reporters!

-I’m not a reporter.

What are you then?

-An author.

Even worse! I don’t need a book written about me!

-Can I ask you a couple of questions?

No.

-Can you tell me your name? Your real name?

No.

-Are those dogs that I can hear barking?

Do you know of something else that barks like that?

-I’ll take that as a yes, Mr. –

*sigh* Centenarian.

-Pardon?

My neighbors call me Mr. Centenarian. That’s the only name you’re going to get. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I said that I’m not-

-Wait, Mr. – Mr. Centenarian! The rumor is that you don’t let anyone into your house. Is this true?

It’s not a rumor, it’s a fact. It’s also the reason that I’m shutting the door now.

-Wait! Mr. Centen- *sigh* Well, that went well now, didn’t it?

 

 

To the KING be all the glory!

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