April 20, 2015

Writing Conference!

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , at 3:01 pm by Tamara

Image credit: http://centrum.org/2014/08/creative-nonfiction-workshop-nov-6-9/I have to share a cool story: I’ve been wanting to go to a writers conference for years, and a few months ago I found out there’s a big Christian writers conference in Estes Park in May.  I instantly wanted to go; unfortunately it’s too expensive for me to be able to afford all three days of it, but I found out they offer a few partial scholarships and I thought maybe if I could get a scholarship I could go to one or two days of it.  I wanted to take my time to write as compelling an application as I could, but then morning sickness hit with a vengeance and I could barely get off the couch, let alone write an eloquent scholarship application.

A couple Friday nights ago something (or should I say Someone) made me think about the conference and I got on the website to see when the scholarship deadline was.  I was crushed to see that it was that day.  I told Adam I had missed the deadline, and he pointed out that it was still technically the day of the deadline, even if it was already 10pm.  I was exhausted and feeling miserable but I decided the worst that could happen was that I submitted a horrible application and they rejected it, so I started writing.  I had to tell why I wanted to attend the conference, my writing goals, current writing project, what I’m doing to meet my goals, why I need a scholarship, etc.  What I sent it was honestly pretty pitiful; nowhere near the compelling and eloquent application I had wanted to take my time to write.

I didn’t expect to hear anything for a while, but the very next morning I got an email from the conference organizer saying that she was so blessed by my application that she contacted the man who offers the scholarships to ask him if he would consider covering one more FULL scholarship for me, and he said yes!  She also said she wanted to arrange for me to meet with five agents to present my book, and recommended that I sign up for critiques with two authors.

I was completely stunned and told Adam, thinking there was no way I could leave him and the kids for three days, but he immediately insisted that this was too great an opportunity and I had to go.  My parents and in-laws said the same thing and graciously have offered to help with taking care of the kids and helping pay for my hotel for the conference.  So, it looks like I’ll be going!

The conference looks amazing: the theme is “Write His Answer” (Habakkuk 2:2); there’s a faculty of 56 authors, editors, and agents; workshops on everything from writing in deep point of view to how to handle spiritual takeaways in fiction without preaching to how to market your book; and one-on-one meetings with agents and publishers.  Estes Park is a beautiful mountain resort town; I wish Adam could come with me so we could enjoy it together!  I’ve only been away from Bear overnight once and have never been away overnight since Songbird was born, and while I feel a little heartsick thinking of being away from my family for three days, I also suspect it will breathe new life into me as a mommy!

I’m amazed that God is giving me this opportunity; not only because of the opportunity itself but because of the timing.  We’ve had some really discouraging closed doors lately.  I KNOW the truth that God proved his love for me once and for all on the cross (Romans 5:8), but I’ve struggled to hold onto that lately when so many circumstances seem to imply that he’s just forgotten about us.  The fact that God chose to bless me with an opportunity I’ve dreamed about for years at a time when I have felt discouraged and even angry with him is amazing proof of his gracious love for me, and how his love is not conditional on whether or not I am worthy of it.  What a message about the gracious, generous character of our God!

Secondly, it has reminded me that I can trust God and the members of his body to accomplish what he wants to accomplish.  One of the things that is so intimidating to me about the prospect of missions work is that we will need to raise financial support.  I worry that we will never be able to share our vision in a powerful enough way to compel people to be involved in our ministry.  The fact that total strangers are being so generous to me, even without the perfect, eloquent application that I wanted to write, reminded me that if God wants to take us to the mission field it won’t be through my efforts and clever words, but through his power (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).  It has reminded me that there are believers in the body who are eagerly listening for his voice and willing to joyfully and sacrificially participate in his work.  How encouraging!

The Israelites set up stones to remind them of what God had done for them (Joshua 4:19-24), and I have several stories of God’s provision that I’ve set in my heart as my “12 Stones”–things I can go back to it and be reminded that God loves me and will provide for me–and not just my needs, but often my heart’s desires, as well.  I’m adding this to the list!  (If you want to read other stories, click on the “12 Stones” tag in the sidebar.  Some of them are pretty funny.)

Since I registered so close to the deadline I’ve been SCRAMBLING to get everything ready; choosing excerpts of the book for critique, preparing my “one sheet” and book pitch for the agents, registering for my workshops and one-on-ones, and all the other little details.  The fact that I’m still dealing with pretty severe morning sickness (and even got to spend a day in the hospital last week) hasn’t made it very easy to get my rusty creative brain functioning again, but I’m doing my best.  I’m really praying that I’ll be feeling better by the conference so that I can get everything possible out of it!

If you’re curious about the book, to be honest I don’t feel like it’s anywhere near ready to be sold.  Mostly my goal for the conference is to just learn about how to improve my writing and get some feedback on my strengths and weaknesses as a writer.  The prospect of having my story critiqued by agents and published authors is, frankly, terrifying (!) but I’m going to swallow my insecurities and just try to learn from the experience.
Many of you have been so encouraging to me and my writing dreams in the past, and if you would pray for me related to this conference I would so appreciate it!  Pray that I can prepare well, that I’ll be healthy and have energy for the conference, that I’ll learn everything that God wants to teach me, make good connections, and for my husband and kids while I’m away for the first time!
Write His AnswerI know many of you are also writers, and if you’re interested in attending, here is a link to the conference.  Registration is still open and it would be so fun to have friends there!  :)  http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/

July 7, 2012

Autumn

Posted in Poetry tagged at 10:12 pm by Tamara

I’m ready for Autumn.

 

Ready for cosy sweaters, hearty soups,

pumpkin candles, leather boots.

 

Chilly breezes, twinkling stars,

flame-red leaves, raking yards.

 

Crackling fires, love-worn books,

snuggly blankets, steaming cups.

 

Fly faster, Fall!

October 6, 2011

Calling All Future Best-Selling Authors!

Posted in Writing Spashes tagged , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by Tamara

If you didn’t guess from my last post, I’m writing a book during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again this year!  I wrote here about the experience last year.  I don’t know how, but I seem to have forgotten how hard it was, because I am SO excited to do it again!  (In spite of the fact that we will be driving to Colorado the first two days of November and then trying to do things like, oh you know, find a place to live, take care of a baby, and still pass my classes.)

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to stop saying “Someday I’m going to write a book” and just do it.  Last year (on October 30th) a friend asked me to do it with her and I decided on a whim to go for it.  It felt a bit like running a marathon after two days of training, but after much blood, sweat, tears, mental blocks, twitching of my eyes, and aching of my wrists, I finished!  (See my winner button??  *ridiculously excited grin*)  Because I had to write so much so quickly (50,000 words in one month), it forced me to focus on quantity, not quality, which is perfect for perfectionists like me.  As they say, a horrible first draft can be edited (and believe me…it was horrible), but you can’t do anything with a blank page.  Having a set goal and some competition was exactly what I needed to stop saying “someday,” stop overanalyzing, and just make writing a priority.  And it was amazingly gratifying to finish the month and be able to say I’d written a book!

Now, to get to the point of this post, I’m doing it again, and I’m looking for writing buddies to do it with me!  If you have even a hint of an inner author begging to come out (and I am thinking of quite a few of you who I know do), why not give it a go?  It is so much easier to keep going when you have the accountability of friends, so I hope some of you will do it with me!  And imagine the amazing satisfaction of finishing the month and being able to say you wrote a book!!  Once you sign up on the NaNoWriMo website, there are lots of fun things to keep you motivated and accountable, like charts where you can track your daily word-count progress, hilarious and encouraging pep-talks from published authors, forums on writing techniques, etc.  The new site for this year will be up on October 10th.

There’s a famous Ira Glass quote (see video below) about how when you start doing creative work there’s a gap between your ability and your taste, and the only way to bridge this gap so your work becomes the wonderful thing you want it to be is to do lots and LOTS of work.  NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to start doing that!

So…who’s ready to join me for a month of literary abandon?

 

Book Review: No Plot? No Problem!

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , at 11:45 pm by Tamara

Title: No Plot?  No Problem!  A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Author: Chris Baty

Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing

Verdict: **** (out of 5)

Written by the founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), this is a funny and encouraging guide for NaNoWriMo participants.  The goal of NaNoWriMo is to stop saying “Someday I’m going to write a book” and forcibly  kick it off your bucket list by writing a 50,000 word novel in one month (November).  Hundreds of thousands participate in NaNo every year around the world, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys writing but is too much of a perfectionist to just sit down and do it.  NaNo forces you to focus on quantity, not quality, because, as they say, a horrible first draft can be edited, but you can’t do anything with a blank page.  If you’d love to write a book “someday” but the very idea of writing a book in a month makes your perfectionist self want to scream, faint, or huddle in a corner whimpering, this is the book for you!

The first half of the book is tips on preparing for NaNo: imagining your basic plot, fleshing out your characters, choosing a point of view, etc.  The second part is a week-by-week guide for NaNo, offering advice and encouragement for the ups and downs of the month.  This is the perfect book for anyone who dreams of writing a book “someday” but thinks they don’t have the time now, or who finds themselves paralyzed by perfectionism every time they try.  The book is chock full of encouragement to keep writing, ignore your vicious inner critic, and relish the thrill of finishing the month and actually being able to say that you wrote a book!

November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 10:30 pm by Tamara

Why, hello, blog!  Who knew you were still hanging out here?  I thought you were just a little bookmark that made me feel guilty every time I saw it.  Huh!

I’d love to say that I haven’t posted because this month has been so full of exciting things, but…I can’t.  It has, however, been filled with one time-consuming, energy-sapping, stress-inducing, sleep-stealing, insecurity-causing, too-many-sugary-stress-snacks-eaten activity known not-so-fondly as “NaNoWriMo.”  The point of National Novel Writing Month is to somehow bleed out a 50,000 word novel (oh, I use that term so loosely) in thirty (count ‘em: thirty!) days.  The focus is not quality (!) but quantity: to stop making excuses for why you don’t have time to write and force yourself to pound out (or slowly, painfully, agonizingly plink out) a minimum of one thousand, six hundred and sixty seven words every. single. day.  The organizers also pointed out that signing up for it would give a “rock solid reason” to not do dishes for thirty days (or clean the house, cook, bathe the dogs, bathe myself, etc).  Adam was very supportive, in spite of suffering through the above abuses and usually coming home from work at night to hear “Hi, Love!  How was your day?  Now please don’t talk to me, I have to write at least one thousand more words and I can’t think of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to write!” (right before I banged my head down on the keyboard with a wail and would only be pacified by massive amounts of chocolate).  Poor, poor husband!

While the NaNo “pep talk” writers helpfully encouraged us that “the looming specter of public humiliation is a wonderful motivator” and suggested we tell everyone we know that we were doing it, I was too scared that I wouldn’t finish to announce it to the world.  But—wonder of wonders—I have!!  And not only have I done it, I finished a day early!  I am incredibly proud of myself (hopefully in a good way).  I have spend years praying about writing, asking God if it’s something he would let/help me do, and usually I feel like the answer has been “Yes, but are you willing to put in the work it would take to do it?”  And there’s ALWAYS an excuse not to, or not “now,” anyway.  Maybe next year….  So, when this opportunity came up I finally said “Alright.  This is a chance to make myself work really, really hard.  I had better stop saying no.”  So (gulp) I did.  And I managed to finish!  Now…I’m much more proud of all the work I put in it than of what I actually wrote, but that wasn’t the point.  Now I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, banish the file (heavily encrypted and password protected) to the darkest depths of my hard drive, and see how long it takes me to recover enough to ever want to write again.  Heh.

In addition to the damage the month has wrecked upon my housecleaning routine, it has also been brutal on my reading goal—I only finished one book during the entire month.  Now I have five weeks to read six books if I’m going to meet my goal for the year.  I think, think, think I can do it.  I just need to stop picking 1,000 page Dickens tomes to read.  Too bad I can’t count kids’ picture books.

June 30, 2010

I’m Afraid I’ve Been Thinking

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , at 2:22 pm by Tamara

Today at work I was shelving Bibles and came across a section I didn’t realize we had, called “Famous Author Bibles.”  Funny, here I always thought GOD wrote the Bible. But, there they were, Bibles with names of popular Christian authors/teachers splashed across the front in big, bold type.  Which got me thinking about a LOT of semi-related things.  (“Lefou, I’m afraid I’ve been thinking!”  “A dangerous pastime—”   “I know!”  …Ahem.)

First off, what an incredible responsibility when people take your teaching so seriously that they actually publish an entire Bible with your comments on it.  There’s a lot of potential there to either lead people closer to Christ or put slippery banana peels all over their path.  But that doesn’t just go for those of “us” who have our own brand of Bible, but for every one of us who’s ever written something, given advice, or even stated an opinion.  Our words are powerful.  Mark Buchanan wrote something in his book The Rest of God that has seared my soul:

All our authority is derived.  Either God gives us words, or we are only giving opinions.  …If anyone ever stops to listen to you or me, this had better be solidly in place:  Our speaking comes out of our listening.  What we say comes out of what we hear.  We have to be people who listen, day and night, to God.  Our  utterances ought to be as Jesus’ were: an echoing of the Father, an imitation of him…. “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God”  (I Pet. 4:11).  That verse should be paired with Jesus’ statement: “He who has ears, let him hear.”

How much of what I say could I call “an echoing of the Father, an imitation of him?”  Three areas convict me immediately: Facebook statuses (so easy to “vent” on there), agreeing with coworker’s complaints (sigh), and giving advice that’s based on my own subjective experiences but doesn’t have real Biblical backing (and I have a whole post on that rattling around in my head, so I’ll say no more.)

The second thing these “Famous Author Bibles” made me think of is the “Cult of the Personality.”  Sadly, I think a lot of organizations/churches get all their fuel from one particularly passionate and likable person.  But what happens if they die, quit the ministry, or get in a scandal?  Will the whole thing fall apart?  A crucial part of leadership is replicating yourself to the point where you’re sure you could fall off the planet and God’s work would still continue.  Also, when thinking of the cult of the personality, I need to make sure that, just because I trust/admire someone, I still test what they say and write against the Bible.

Lastly, my Bible shelving experience was frustrating because the shelves were so impossibly tight that I couldn’t get all the new ones on.  We carry every imaginable translation, size, and style of Bible you can imagine, from massive gold-edged King James Versions to magazine shaped New Testaments with photos of models on the cover so no one knows you’re reading the Bible.  Now, I’m incredibly thankful to live in a country with so many Bible resources, but as I was breaking my fingers trying to shove even more Bibles on the shelf, I couldn’t help feeling sick about the fact that there are thousands of people whose Bible translations look like this:

.

.

.

That’s right.  Empty.  Because not a single word of the Bible has been translated into their language.  They estimate there are 2,500 entire LANGUAGES with no Bible translation.  I’ve seen letters from indigenous groups in the middle of nowhere begging for someone to come tell them the story of Christ, and I’ve talked to people ready and waiting to go, just as soon as they have the funding to do it.  What if we spent a little less money on another Bible (or another movie, purse, or meal at a restaurant, for that matter) and sent that $15 to a missionary instead?  Western Christians have enough money to evangelize the entire world in our lifetime.  But it won’t happen unless we’re giving.

Convicting day for me.

June 11, 2010

Transparency

Posted in Poetry, Writing Spashes tagged , at 11:57 pm by Tamara

I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write tonight, so I was searching through my quotes file when I found this. It’s a bad, bad, BAD example of “poetry” (please accept my humble and heartfelt apologies to the entire genre for using that term to describe it) but it still resonates with me.

Transparency
At last I stop, I crumble, and let all the pieces fall.
Transparent at last, a broken, watermarked soul.

There has to be more you want from me;
Some strength You’ve given me to play a part in this eternal vision
That dances with searing steps through my consciousness.

Why don’t You pick me up and dust me off and turn me into a
Blazing mirror of Your glory that flashes into the darkness?

But I’m no shining mirror; instead I’m a lump of broken clay,
And I can feel the cracks painfully traveling through me
How can I hold any of Your majesty in this state?
I am desperately trying to hold the pieces together,
Trying to protect this shiny pretext from realty.

Then a searing ray of dazzling light shoots from nowhere.
I see it dancing through the cracks and piercing deep into the darkness.
It staggers me in wonder as its brilliant, glorious beams escape,
And I realize this light has burst from behind this crumbled, cracked façade,
No longer bound by all of me that was in the way until I was torn asunder.

Like Gideon’s jars smashed to pieces, I’m broken,
But the light is revealed, and it envelops me and dances majestically
As I suddenly realize that transparency
Is only a measure of how much light I allow to travel through me.
My desperate attempts to hold the pieces of my pretence of perfection together
Have only kept the real glory from shooting into the darkness.

This shattered, broken, dusty lump of clay
Is a perfect example of all You can do with nothing.
I realize why I’m clay—so that the surpassing glory will obviously be Yours.
It must be You, it must.

Oh, Father,  I need You.  No one else has the words of life.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…  Therefore we do not lose heart.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 16

Copyright T.H., January 16, 2007

June 27, 2009

Havilah

Posted in Writing Spashes tagged at 9:33 am by Tamara

Havilah stared at him blankly. “A what?”

“An arms dealer,” Dorian repeated matter of factly as he searched for something in his briefcase.

Havilah suddenly let out a dry giggle and looked up and away. “An arms dealer. Right. Okay, you got me.” She shook her head and rubbed a hand over her eyes. “Alright, I give, I lose. Well done. Where’s the camera?” She looked around them seriously, waiting for a team of cameramen and sound people to jump out and mock her joyously for falling for it. She kicked herself for listening to him this long. Why hadn’t she realized this was a big joke? She heard a slap of paper landing on the table in front of her and looked down to see a pile of photographs. Her laugh died in her throat as Dorian started talking.

“That’s Garrett’s stock-in-trade. He supplies black market weapons to the highest bidders. Everything from the small stuff—semi-automatic hand guns, grenades, tear gas, to the big stuff—mortar launchers, nuclear components, chemical warfare experiments….” Dorian continued listing off the weapons in the same emotionless monotone as Havilah pawed through the photos with her stomach churning violently. Some were dark pictures of Garrett and men she’d never seen unloading trucks and doing other things that looked normal enough to her. Others, and these were the ones that were making her skin crawl, were gruesome, horrifying scenes of war, bombed out houses, dismembered bodies, mass graves….

She pushed them away from her, sunk against the back of her seat and looked up at Dorian where he sat with his hands folded on the table, staring calmly at her. She met his eyes and held them for a long moment as her heart pounded slowly in her ears.

“How do I know this is real?”

He shrugged. “Look me up, check me out, do whatever you like. Play prime time T.V. sleuth if it makes you feel better. I’m sure you watch those shows.”

Havilah irritatedly narrowed her eyes, but somehow she couldn’t tell if he was jabbing at her or being serious. She stared back at him hard, then cocked her head to the side and propped her elbows on the table skeptically.

“Alright. So what do you want with me?”

Dorian shifted in his seat with the closest expression to interest she’d seen on his face all night and leaned towards her. He picked up his coffee and took a slow drink, staring at her over the rim. Placing it down, he cleared his throat.

“We’ve noticed lately that Garrett has taken quite the interest in you. Now, a man of his financial status doesn’t typically spend loads of time in low-end coffee houses, so to be honest we wondered at first if you were one of his contacts.” Havilah’s eyebrows shot up but Dorian took no notice. “We looked into you enough to figure out that that’s not very likely, but we did notice that you’ve got a background in debate and linguistic analysis, correct?”

“So?”

“Well, debate requires quick thinking and persuasive argument—both important facets of undercover work, and linguistic analysis requires you to be observant and analytical, right?” He didn’t wait for an answer but continued, “While all this still hardly makes you ideal spy material, we couldn’t deny that you have a much more valuable asset: for whatever reason, he’s fascinated with you. Now, I understand you’ve rejected his advances so far. Any particular reason why?”

He leveled her with a look and Havilah cried indignantly, “Because he’s a sleaze!”

Dorian bobbed his head slightly from side to side to concede she was probably right but didn’t address the issue. “Well, what I’m asking is that you change your mind.” He paused to let his words sink in and Havilah just looked back at him unflinchingly.

“How?” she deadpanned, and he took a long, slow breath.

“Well you see, we have about enough evidence to convict Garrett, but we want more than just him. Garrett’s the hub of a massive black market, and we want to take out a few spokes with him. We’ve put several agents undercover with him over the years, but they can’t get anywhere. The man’s like Fort Knox; he won’t let anyone close enough to him for us to get anything good.” He took another drink while waiting for his words to sink in, then continued. “Well, if you’re failing miserably with your best and most complicated plans, sometimes you need to try out your worst and simplest. That’s where you come in.”

Havilah swallowed and began fiddling with one of her empty sugar packets as Dorian went on. “As I said, for whatever reason, Garrett is fascinated with you. Our agents haven’t been able to get him to work with them, but you’re different. He’s chosen you.” He looked at her over the top of his glasses to make sure she was paying attention.

“Now, we’re not asking you to really do anything. The last thing we want is for you to play detective. All we want you to do is observe and tell us what you see. We want fresh eyes, and eyes that have no idea what to look for. Sometimes when you know what you’re looking for you look too hard and you overlook the things that are actually important, see? To be honest, I’m not really expecting you to get much of anything. But, it might just take one clue or one name, and that’s what we want to use you for.”

Havilah agitatedly begin ripping her empty sugar packet into pieces. “And just how am I supposed to do this?”

Dorian shrugged as if the answer was obvious. “Just like you would with any boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” Havilah cut in, and Dorian raised a brow at her.

“It couldn’t be too painful. Garrett can afford to treat his women well. Theater tickets, jewelry, weekends at resorts,” he trailed off as Havilah rubbed the palm of her hand over her face and up into her hair, propping her forehead on her hand. She took a deep breath and sighed slowly, staring at the salt and pepper shakers as she gathered her thoughts.

“Look,” she said at last, trailing a finger in the ring of water left from her glass. “I don’t think you understand. I didn’t just say no to Garrett because he’s a sleaze, I said no to him because I have moral problems with it. I have no interest in dating someone who doesn’t believe the same things I do, and I told him so—in no uncertain terms, too.”

Dorian pursed his lips in disapproval, and Havilah stopped. She knew he didn’t get it, and she felt like an idiot trying to explain.

“If I did date him, I’d be trying to build a relationship that I knew had no foundation, and I’d have to be fake to do it. He’d see right through me.”

Dorian cut in emphatically. “No, the absolute most important thing is that you be exactly who you are. No lies, no weaving complicated stories, or you’ll back yourself into a corner. You need to be and believe exactly as usual.”

“So how could I date him?” Havilah cried. “He goes against absolutely everything I think is right!”

“Exactly,” Dorian thumped his finger down on top of the photographs and Havilah jumped. He speared her with a look and thumped his hand again. “Religious arrogance is all well and good, but you’ve got to make a decision. Look at this,” he jabbed a finger at the pictures. “Doesn’t this go against what you think is right?” Havilah swallowed and said nothing. “You can either hold to your high moral standards and steer clear of associating with a lower being, or you can actually do something about what’s wrong. Is a few dates really worth more to you than the chance to help keep weapons out of the hands of murderers, terrorists, and warlords?”

Havilah looked at him and had the sudden feeling of being a mouse backed into a corner by a tomcat. She tried to think of a protest, but nothing came. She chewed on her lip. Would it be possible? Her eyes traveled down to the pictures and she stared at them for a long, silent moment.

“Would you train me at all?”

Dorian shook his head. “No. No spy camp, no fancy gadgets. The best way to blow your cover is to try to be the superspy you’re not. All you get to do is be romanced by a rich man and keep your eyes and ears open.”

He watched her for a long moment as she continued chewing her lip and staring at the pile of pictures. At last he took a deep breath and reached to sweep everything into his briefcase.

“Well,” he said, pausing to down the last half of his coffee in two gulps, “I’ll let you think it over. You’ve got my card. Do your detective work on me.” He stood. “I want an answer by Friday.”

(Copyright 2007, T. H.)

June 18, 2009

A La Carte

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 2:20 pm by Tamara

It’s been hitting me repeatedly lately that this time last year I was in Afghanistan.  I can’t believe it’s been a year.  Part of me can’t even believe I was there.  Memories have been flooding me like crazy—I want to get more of them down on paper.  The emotions attached to those memories are still so sharp it surprises me.

I’ve been packing for this weekend, and my carryon suitcase still has the “Dubai International Airport” stickers on it.  What a trip.  I was thinking today about the guy who weighed my suitcase in Dubai and then ran after me to point out to me in stuttering English that he purposefully hadn’t charged me the whole rate.  I have my suspicions as to that guy’s human status (entertaining angels?) but at the least I know it was a post card from God to remind me that He had everything under control, including the precious contents of my suitcases.

The old itch to write is back with a fury.  I used to spend hours of my free time as a teenager in the library, pouring over Writer’s Digest books on writing technique.  I feel  like for the past—oh, more than five years, God’s been telling me to wait.  Gradually lately I’ve been wondering if He’s now telling me to go.  I’m scared out of my wits, though.  One comment from someone who doesn’t like a book I like (not even criticism of MY writing!), and I’m a wreck.  I’ll never get anywhere with my own writing if I don’t get over THAT.  I’ve been pouring as much prayer into whether I should try again as I’ve been pouring over my story.  I have every intention of that continuing….

And that, is a few unrelated water droplets of my life lately.  Thank you, thank you very much!