Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo, Ready, Set, Write

I love this time of year, the crisp morning air, the late garden pumpkins and green tomatoes, even the last roses with their perfectly soft petals of spring colors wrong and right against the fall sky. I like turning my thoughts to Christmas and the time of advent. But more often lately, I enjoy the whimsy of Halloween which leads into joyous thanksgiving and prepares the heart for searching and kneading of Advent. There is so much wonder in the fall. Sunlight dances on autumn leaves. A moonlight stroll beckons me to take time in reflection even as the moon reflects the sun.  Where I live the harvest is mostly done and next year's crops planted by Halloween. Food is on the table and football parties, school games and sidewalk art take center stage.Tiny tricksters are followed by Veteran's Day Parades and generous hearts, feast days and lights, Christmas parties and finally Candlelight Services. And like whipped-cream, chocolate icing, served so cold it shears, there's National Novel Writing Month.
This year, thanks to K.M. Weiland and Janice Hardy, Larry Brooks and a few others, I haven't worried as much as in previous lead ups to November one. I'm doing one page sheets for each week of nano. The sheets have scenes on them mostly, scenes that provide a hook, an unaccepted call, turning point, rising action, second turning point more action, character layering, character nearly giving up ... If I get that far in fifty thousand words well yeah me.
I think I will like this method. I hope to transfer my notes as I go into journals and then into Scrivener for the first time, unless I am swayed by the fun poster-board grids I really enjoy making. I plan to work at my desk (photo above), my computer pictured below, but also my car, the library, my office at the farm and even the church as necessary
This is my fourth year, but the first year I had no idea what the plan was. I just kept working on a work in progress. I had fifty thousand new words, but I didn't realize until the second year that I was a NaNo rule breaker, a rebel in disguise. Oh the shame. Well, I moved on and attempted to "do it right" with my first stab at Gabby Care which came out the fall. I did the second book in the series last fall and now I'm on the third.

So I'm posting and looking forward to tomorrow's sunrise. Ready, Set, Write, Right? How's your sunrises NaNos?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

National Day of Writing, Fantasy Fiction at Goddard High School

National Day of Writing 10/20/16
Goddard High School, Roswell NM
Fantasy Fiction
Many consider George MacDonald’s, Phantastes written in 1857 as the first work of modern fantasy fiction, not least because it was a tale for adults. It greatly influenced many writers including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Our rich history of literature has always included tales and verbal tellings of the wondrous, unimaginable, and horrific. Often these tales were crafted to instruct and warn, sometimes based on visions of afterlife or another world.
If you study the roots of fantasy, you will find deeply spiritual men and women, and often you will find clues to sustained inspiration.
For instance, MacDonald was said to be influenced by the French fairy tale Undine. C.S. Lewis was influenced by MacDonald, but also by Norse myth and spent some time with his peer J.R.R. Tolkien unraveling and relearning Old English to better understand and engage with the epic poem. Beowulf.

William Morris was a textile designer and a contemporary of MacDonald and G.K. Chesteron. He was an artist with a strong interest in Icelandic literature, and is responsible for translating and keeping much of the Norse myth alive in English today. But what drew me to Morris was his illustrations and textiles. They are richly detailed and inspiring.
In today's fiction market, Fantasy covers everything from high fantasy and faery to science-fiction, horror, paranormal, dystopian, and a few things which defy definition. These are sometimes called speculative fiction. 

So, I have some questions for you. What makes you want to write fantasy, or are you here because you needed a place to land?
What are your favorite stories, movies included?
Who inspires you, truly, not just the coolest answer? 
What I find most fascinating in the world of other worlds is inspiration. Where do we get it? What is it made of? How do we sustain it?
That is where I’ll leave off talking for discussion. These are questions for you to answer.
Your assignment: pick two of the following, but one has to be the monster/villain
Create a monster, an enemy, or a villain. Give him or her an element of charm and style. Give him or her a weakness. Give Him or her a power. Give him or her a powerful desire.
Create a hapless hero or heroine. Give him or her a weakness. Give him or her an ugliness, a seedy underside. Give him or her a quest that has to do with the villain.
Create a setting or world. Give it a currency. Give it a wonder. Give it a horror.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Children's Church, What is God's Call on My Life

Our songs today are Beautiful Savior and They'll Know we are Christians by our Love

This week we look at God's call, in other words, what is it that God wants us to do. He created this world, He put us here, we love Him, but what are we to do?
Our questions direct up to Psalm 24. It opens with these words: The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord. This Psalm tells us that we belong to God. We are His. That means our lives are His as well.
The Believe Series in chapter nine, talks a bout Hannah and Samuel from 1 Samuel 1:1-28;3:1-11. Hannah desperately wants a son and finally prays to God that she will give her son back to God's service if He would only favor her. A year later, Hannah's prayer is answered and Samuel is born. She cares for her son until he is old enough to go to the priests and dedicate his life to God. While Samuel is with the priests, God calls him three times and Samuel at first thinks it is Eli, the Chief Priest. Eli finally understands that God is calling Samuel. Eli tells Samuel to listen and answer God's call. Samuel dedicates his life to God and serves Him from that day forth.
In the New Testament Mark 12:38-44, the widow gives all that she has to the temple. Jesus uses her as an example of dedication and trust in God.
We will close in prayer asking God to help us be examples of dedication and love for Him.