Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Art of Play

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My family and I had the privilege of taking a short vacation this week. We all needed a break and a get away, even it was only for a short time. We chose to visit a Christmas themed park as one of our main activities.

In the middle of the park, situated between animated  elves and real reindeer, sat a water park that emulated the North Pole. My children and I couldn’t wait to try it. You know what we did?

We played,

and played,

and played,

for hours.

It was the most fun I have had in years.

As I slid down the slides, splashed in the water and climbed the obstacle course, I passed by my son several times. At one point, I stopped, wiped the water from my face, and  observed my son joyfully shooting  water guns. He pulled several ropes with delight as he doused the people below us. His eyes lit up as he became engrossed with the many intricacies that allowed the faucets and hoses to perform their functions. At that moment, I understood the important job kids have to explore, experiment and above all, create.

The time passed so quickly, that when I looked at my watch it was two and a half hours later. As quickly as we entered, it was time to say goodbye. That night, my mind relived every slide and splash and I yearned to go back again.

Being a child that had one older sibling, I learned early how to entertain myself. I colored, built with blocks and invented in my room for hours on end. At the time, I remember being bored, wanting to hurry up and grow  so I could become an adult and do all of the fun things everyone else was doing. Now that I am an adult, I have forgotten what it is to just sit, turn off my brain, and play.

When is the last time you became so engrossed in experimenting and creating that you lost track of time and thought of nothing else?

Playing is so important to any writer’s life. It will combat writer’s block, make you more productive and help you enjoy writing so much more that you ever have before.

When is the last time you played?

If you haven’t lately, it is time!

So, who’s ready to go play? ( I vote for the water park.)

 

 

Write What You Know

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This is a guest post from Kimberly Rae. Enjoy!
Amazon Bestselling Author Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Kosovo, Uganda and Indonesia. She has been published over 150 times and has work in 6 languages. Check out her series on human trafficking at http://www.stolenwoman.org, read about her real-life adventures at http://www.stolenwoman.blogspot.com, or contact her through her Facebook Page: Human Trafficking Stolen Woman.
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
Sometimes I have wondered why God sent me overseas for so many years, then brought me back.  I spent so much time studying and adapting to different cultures, I learned a new language, I was ready to give my life to overseas missions.

Then my health problems brought my whole family back to America.  As far as we can tell, back to stay.
I would be lying to say I haven’t wondered why.  So many people are not willing to go.  We were willing, so why keep us here?

God does work in mysterious ways, and some questions will never get answers until heaven (and by then likely they won’t matter anymore anyway!).  Then again, sometimes God lets us see glimpses of the answers here in this life.

I think my glimpse has come in the form of a book–my book on human trafficking titled Stolen Woman.  The setting is Kolkata, a place I’ve visited twice, next to Bangladesh, where I lived for 2 years.  Writing it was like going back for a visit.  And the main character’s experiences–being young, idealistic and desperately wanting to do something of significance–all of that was written more from memory than imagination.

They (whoever they are) say you should write about what you know.  I did.  I wrote about a girl who appears competent and confident but is really insecure, and wants to make a difference to show herself and God that she is worthwhile.  I wrote about arriving into a world that has too much evil, too many orphans, too many trapped women, and the painful realization that she cannot save the world, no matter how much she cares.

And I wrote about learning that worth does not come from what we do for the Lord, but from who we are in the Lord, and His value of us is based on the extent of His love, not the extent of our abilities or achievements.
All of this I know.  And I know about Asia, about the street kids in my book, about the missionaries who have their own faults and inconsistencies, about the color and life and noise and all the things that make up a foreign culture.

I’m certain that my years in missions were not for the sole purpose of being able to write a good book, but I see that being able to write from memory, from real experiences and thoughts and feelings, creates a much more powerful essence than I could have created from research.

So all that to say, those nebulous “they” people were right.  Writing about what you know is more powerful.  Through Stolen Woman, God is using what I know as the way for me to remain involved in missions.  Despite not being able to go out there myself anymore, I get to verbally take readers there, introduce them to missions, to another culture, and to the needs of the world they live in.  Then I get to ask them to get involved in helping rescue women and children around the world.

Who knows?  Maybe some young woman will read my book, and God will use it to call her to overseas work.  Maybe my book will result in women being rescued that I myself could never have reached.  It’s just a glimpse, but that would be a good answer to the question of why God sent me there, then brought me back.  I know it’s not the whole answer, but it is enough of an answer to remind me to trust Him with the rest of the question.

And He alone knows what He plans for the future, so I might as well stop trying to figure it all out and just let Him be in charge.  He does so much of a better job at it than I do, anyway.

So I shall continue to write what I know, and let God use it however He will.

Kimberly Rae
Amazon Bestselling Author
FB: Human Trafficking Stolen Woman
FB Group: Sick&Tired

I’m Getting Published!

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I began this blog to offer tips and advice for those writers like me who labor tirelessly and need a network of support and encouragement. I am happy to report that after  many hours of toil, I am having my first magazine article published!

I am writing this to encourage all of you who put fingers to keyboard everyday with the silent hope that one day your message will matter enough to share with other readers.

Your message matters.  Keep writing, even if no one reads those words, because even when no one is reading them, He is.

When I first received my calling to write, I vowed to treat my writing time like a part-time job. I write, edit, query etc. for at least fifteen hours a week. I rarely take a break during those few precious hours of time I carve out each day. I set mini goals for myself and work hard to achieve them. I seek the help of any and all friends and professionals who might shed a different light on my writing.

Do I think these things are a magic formula to ensure publication? No. But all of those elements of my writing have allowed me to be published, and without all of those things publication would not be a reality. These things are not easy, but necessary. Life tends to get in the way of achieving our dreams and polishing our skills and I began this blog so we could encourage and pray for one another.

If you have publication stories to share or prayer requests regarding publication, please leave a comment and tell me so I can pray for you!

Let’s share in the journey towards publication together…

Who’s In Your Tribe?

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Seth Godin changes the way people view leadership in his book Tribes. In it, he says ” Everyone is not just a marketer- everyone is a leader. The explosion in tribes, groups, covens and circles means that anyone who wants to make a difference can.”

Have you ever thought of the people reading your writing as a tribe? According to Godin, a tribe is anyone who has interest in what you have to say or sell.

On my  bad writing days, the enemy tempts me into thinking what I am writing is “just” a blog post, book proposal or magazine article. I not only have the power to encourage captivate, or empower my readers, but I might just change a life. Every person who takes a moment to read my writing comes with an expectation. They expect to receive. They want to receive the resources, skills and abilities to join me in the ability to affect change. Maybe it is only their life they want to change, but some want to change others’ lives,too.

Godin continues “Tribes are about faith-about belief in an idea and in a community. and they are grounded in respect and admiration for the leader of the tribe and for the other members.” As a Christian writer, this is especially critical. Jesus said

‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ (Matthew 9:37-38; NIV). ”

My field are my books, my blog, my website, my life. I need to available to reap the benefits of the seeds I have sown whenever Jesus deems it ready. I need to prayerfully assess who are the members of my “tribe” and use my ability to  change lives to equip them  to change lives, too.

Pretty encouraging, huh?

And you thought you were “just” reading a blog post.

Who are the members of your tribe?

What are you doing to equip them?

Words Matter

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This year’s Miss America pageant had its share of controversy when, during the interview section of the competition, the host asked a contestant to name a movie that portrays women in a positive way. After some thought, the woman answered enthusiastically, “Pretty Woman.” She went on to say that the woman, played by Julia Roberts had her share of ups and downs but came through it and came out on top.

The last time I checked, prostitution was not a well respected profession, but I digress. 

Words matter.

Now, if she had said the other Julia Roberts film, Erin Brockovich, in which Roberts fights the system and historically sues (and wins) the largest lawsuit against any utility company, her response would have been the best response in that category. Instead, that slip up did more harm than good for her career. 

Word choice, proper research and engaging written content all matter when it comes to the writing profession. The tiring process of editing, polishing and perfecting your words can make the difference between a published article or stellar proposal from the one that sits at the bottom of a publisher’s slush pile. 

Words matter.