Adversity and Writing

When Angie Arndt invited me to share about persevering in times of adversity I double-clutched. Persevere through hardship and danger? Seriously? And write at the same time? Oops – sounds like this blog’s name. Unfortunately, Angie’s invitation could not have been better timed.

I don’t like adversity unless I’m heaping it upon my characters. It’s not something I care to experience myself. I’d rather imagine how someone feels when difficulty strikes than write about it from a personal perspective. Read more.

Nancy

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Audiences

As a consequence of writing several novels and posting a regular bog, I get the chance to speak about, you guessed it, writing. After a few speaking engagements I’ve developed a sense on how best to adapt my talk on writing to specific audiences. I begin with a short introduction and jump immediately into answering follow up questions from previous engagements. The most popular answer is to the question, “What are some interesting things that have happened as a result of being an author?” The following is the long answer to a short question; it involves a trip to NYC as a result of donating book proceeds to veterans.

Earlier this year I bought a black suit-it was the first suit I’d purchased in maybe two decades. I also bought a new white shirt, tie, and dress socks but stopped short of new shoes. I’m funny about shoes, one of those rare people that still get them resoled. The new suit, shirt, tie, and socks were for a special event to which Debbie and I had been invited-or so I thought. Learn more.

Nancy

Editing Skills

As writers, we are constantly learning new skills and honing old ones. This article is a good one for editing novels.

Adjectives receive a fair amount of discrimination from writing instructors. Sol Stein, author of Stein On Writing, has a great deal to say on the subject. In fact, he created a little writing math formula for adjectives: one plus one equals a half. Here’s his explanation: Learn more.

Nancy

Staging Scenes

In addition to my self-confessed chronic chronology challenges, which I’ve written about before, I find that as I write my first draft, I need to track whether I have the right people in the right place at the right time. Here are three quick questions I’ve learned to keep in mind during this process.

  1. What do the characters need to see? Obviously, if I don’t have a good answer to that question, ix-nay on the scene entirely. Assuming I do have a good answer, when I finish writing the scene I read through to make sure the right characters are present or in some other manner acquire information or insight they need in order to play their next parts in the unfolding story. Learn more.

Nancy

Christmas Funnies

If you need a chuckle in this busy season, read this article.

Gather around in a circle with your friends and family. Share the Christmas cheer by telling some funny Christmas stories. Laughter is the best gift anyone can give. These are my favorites. These funny Christmas stories will warm your heart and may even make your stomach hurt from laughing. Making new memories is the best part of Christmas, and this collection of stories is a surefire way to do it. Create a few stories of your own this holiday season. Learn more.

Nancy

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:11-14

 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas,

Nancy

Magdala – Lesson from the Promised Land

The Home of Mary Magdalene

One of the greatest treats of our trip through Israel was our stop at Migdal, more commonly known as Magdala. This stop was special because the site is not yet open to the public. The dig was still in progress.

My pastor happened to be friends with Father Kelly who oversees the entire project, hence, our ticket in, to see what had been discovered thus far. The Catholic Church purchased the plot of land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with the intent to build a retreat for women. As they began to dig the foundation, they unearthed ruins. In Israel if that happens the project is halted until archeologists figure out what has been dug up.

It turned out they had discovered Magdala, the home town of Mary Magdalene. The most exciting find was a carved stone pedestal unearthed from inside the synagogue. A replica of the menorah had been carved into its side from the Temple in Jerusalem. This proves the existence of the Jewish Temple during that era, which some would like to discount.

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But what really caused my bells and whistles to go off, was knowing the chances are quite high that Jesus unrolled the scriptures atop that very stone pedestal. Scripture tells us He taught from synagogue to synagogue around the Galilee.

As yet, we don’t know much about the town of Magdala, but we do know something about a woman that was born there. Her name was Mary, who later was called Mary Magdalene. She had an encounter with Jesus that completely revolutionized her life. We don’t know the type of things she was involved in before she met our Lord, but one thing we do know.

Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. She was possessed with not one demon, but seven. This was a woman who lived in torment. Most likely her life was hell on earth. Then Jesus came along, delivered her, and great was her deliverance. Her life was never the same.

Mary was one of the women who followed Jesus from town to town ministering to His needs and to the needs of the disciples. She did this at her own expense, because she had been forgiven and delivered from much, and she loved much. She was at the cross when Jesus died, and she was at the tomb soon after His resurrection.

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after He rose from the dead. What an honor! She was the first with proof that He had risen.

Are you tormented by something in your life or struggle with something you can’t conquer on your own? Take it to Jesus. He is the great deliverer.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy