Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Believer is Tested and Blessed

Here is a children's message featuring my young protagonist Milly.
I presented it today at church. :)
The story talks about the passage in Genesis 22: 1-18


“So how did it go today?” Milly’s mom asked as they sat around the dinner table.

Milly shrugged her shoulders, “I think I did OK on the spelling test.  There were only a few words that I didn’t know.”

“I’m sure you did fine.”  Her mother dished out some corn onto her plate, “You did take some time to study.”

“I hope so,” Milly said.

After dinner, Dad told the story of Abraham and Isaac on the mountain in the book of Genesis.
“God tested Adam’s faith.” her father started the story.

“Adam had to have a test?” Milly asked her eyes going round with the thought of Abraham getting stumped on some of her spelling words.

“No, not that kind of test,” her father said chuckling.  “No this was a test to see if Adam would obey God in all things.”

“I know how to spell that O-B-E-Y,” Milly said.

“Very good, now let your father finish the story,” her mother said.  Milly sat back in her chair trying hard not to fidget.

“God told Abraham to take Isaac, the only son that God had given to him and Sarah, to the land of Moriah.  There he was to kill Isaac and offer him as a whole burnt offering.”

“God asked him to kill his only son?” Milly couldn’t help but shout out.  Her older brother rolled his eyes and looked at his watch.

“Yes Milly, to test whether or not Abraham would be obedient.” Her father answered.

“Did he do it?” Milly whispered.

“Yes, he did obey God.  He took Isaac to the mountain with some wood and when his son asked where the offering was Abraham told him that God would provide an offering.  They built an alter and laid the wood on it.  Then Abraham took his knife and was about to kill his son...”

Milly covered her eyes gasping in horror.

“Don’t worry,” her father said quickly, “ just as he was going to kill his son the angel from God told him to stop.  He had proven that he would give anything...even his only son for God.”

“But what about the offering?” Milly asked.

“Ah, God did provide one.  A male sheep had gotten its horns caught in a bush so Abraham went and got it and offered it as a whole burnt offering.”

“That must have been a very hard day for Abraham,” Milly said.

“Yes,” her father agreed.  “and for Isaac as well.  But do you know what?  God blessed them promising them descendents and land.  Through them all nations would be blessed.”

Milly thought so hard that lines appeared in her forehead, “But then Dad, why is this story in the Bible?”

“Good question,” her father’s face broke into a grin, “well, first we can look back on this story and see how God’s promise to Abraham did come true. Which means what Milly?”

“Ummmm, that God keeps His promises?”

“Exactly right!  Second we can see that when Abraham obeyed he was blessed.  Showing us that when we obey God then we are blessed as well.  And finally, this story is a picture of another Father who gave His only Son for our sins...”

“Oh, oh, I know it’s Jesus!” Milly said jumping up and down in excitement in her chair.

“Yes,” her mom said with a smile, “and because of him there is no need for anymore sacrifices.”

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Writing Prompt #2: You're listening to the radio.

It's Word Prompt Wednesday,
join me in doing some free writing,
(no editing).
Write whatever comes to mind with the prompt given:
"You're listening to the radio."

The milk swirled into the velvet brown coffee.  The aroma rising to my nose--filling the whole kitchen with a sense of peace.  This was the perfect time of day when the kids and my husband were still sleeping, snug in their beds.  The floors had been cold this morning making me hesitate before jumping out of bed.  Now, however, I was happy I had made the decision.
The radio plays the song from my childhood.  Not your typical teenage rant but a classical piece.  Rachmaninoff I think.  One of his concertos.  It takes me back to the trips with choir in our blue and yellow polo shirt and easily stained white pants.  The feeling that I was one when we sang in a choir of over a hundred people.  The late night improptu pizza parties as we planned for musicals.  The sense of home that I would have as I walked into the music room everyday.
Of course then there were the many early morning practices.  Even then it was a sacred hour for me--a new day that seemed like a personal conversation between God and I.  On cold days my breath would hang in the air before me as I followed the railroad tracks to school.  The birds were still silent and the sun was just starting to peek out on the world.  It felt like home.
...all that from a simple song. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Take 234...

OK, OK, I might not have written that many elevator pitches...
but it feels like it.

It's a tough one but I'm bound and determined to master it!!

Anyway, here is my second (well my second public one at least) attempt.
Is it any better?
Would you fall asleep before I was done?
Is it too long?
I get 15 minutes to chat about my book.

Here it goes.

Rosalyn has nothing; no home, no family, no friends. Yet demon wolves hunt her, the king fears her, and the fallen angel Satariel wants her destroyed; all for the sake of a book with no words.  Forced to flee, she takes refuge in the secret city of Haven. But will she be able to let go of her resentment and anger to save her new found friends? Or will an ancient darkness destroy both the world and her soul?

Have at it! :)

Friday, 20 May 2011

The most wonderful time of the year...

I may have stolen the line for my own nefarious purposes.

But I can feel the winds of change in the air,
can't you?
The poignant smell  of sweat and fear,
mingled with a smidgen of fragile hope.
Yup, it's the dreaded writer's conference. :)

Sure it's delicious fun to go,
just think of all those books!
Being surrounded by other writerly geeks just like you.
But somewhere in the conference lurks the publisher.
And he's waiting for you...
dum, dum dummmmm.
to pitch your book of course! :)

The Word Guild is holding their Write! Canada conference from June 16-18th in Guelph, Canada.
More info here:
This is my first year going.

So I've been frantically planning my elevator pitch for it.
Using resources from Camy Tang on this website:
I have finally come up with a reasonable pitch.
Here goes:

When her village is destroyed Rosalyn, an orphan shepherdess, seeks the truth of Aleph to fight the fallen angel Satariel and his minions.  Can she let go of the anger from the past to save her new found friends or will the ancient darkness destroy both the world and her soul?  
Rosalyn is a YA fantasy manuscript of 50,000 words.

So what do you think?
Are you interested?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Writing Prompt #1: My best day ever...

I was convinced that everyone could hear them.  You know, the butterflies the size of airplanes that buzzed around in my stomach.  I sat there in my stylish paper gown (I promise you in another life if I was a paper gown designer…) feeling a cool breeze that my husband did not feel in his armour of clothing.  They poked and prodded me checking to make sure that I was indeed human and finally nodded their head in consent—the surgery was to go forward.
                Hard to believe that, not two days ago I was sitting nervously in the surgeon’s office.  This would be the first time meeting my prospective surgeon in the hopes of going to surgery in the next month or so.  When we met her she looked like a cat who had swallowed a canary and I could feel my heart thumping in my chest.  She could remove the cancer in my breast as early as a week from now, but…if I was willing to go with another doctor than I could go for surgery in two days.  My heart leapt, she left my husband and I alone to think it over.
                “I’m not ready,” I said sitting on his lap crying.
                “Will you ever be ready?” he asked kindly.
                I shook my head still sulking a little like a petulant child.
                “God certainly has his hand in all this,” he said with a slight tremor in his voice.
                And so here I was on the cold steel slab.  The lights burned my eyes as I pretended that this was the most normal thing that I had ever done.  I couldn’t help but start sobbing as I sank into a deep sleep.  When I awoke I could barely keep my eyes open but my husband was excited and was repeating the same phrase over and over to me.
                “They believe they got it all, love,” he smiled his crooked smile of his.
                And as I sank back into sleep I felt God’s blessing and comfort like I’d never felt before.   I knew no matter what came in the future I was in His hands.  And that made it the best day ever.

Yay!! It's finally here!!

What you may ask?

Well, I was thinking that it would be nice to have a regular writing segment I did once a week on my blog.
At my last writer's group meeting we talked about writing prompts:
the leader for that meeting than gave us ten minutes to write on a specific topic.
The topic was "My best day ever..."
(I will post this for you to see).

After going home I thought about how much I missed that type of free writing,
so I decided to dedicate Wednesday to the practice...
calling them "Writing Prompt Wednesday's"
(super exciting original catchy

I will be using  prompts from a book,
("Prompts & Practices" by Judy Reeves),
but you could always check out sites like this:
or this:
You could also use photographs or famous paintings as well.

Once you've chosen a prompt,
start writing for ten minutes.
There are no wrong answers,
just write whatever comes to mind when you look at the prompt.
Straight from your brain to the page,
(no editing!).

The benefits?
This will keep your creative juices flowing when you are working on longer projects (like a novel).
Also, you will be surprised what ideas spring out of your subconscious as you write away,
your next idea is waiting on the side lines!

So if you are interested pop in here on Wednesday's to get a writing prompt from me,
or find another source to do some free writing of your own.
Either way, I would love to hear how you did.
Above all, keep writing. :)

Sunday, 8 May 2011


I remember the day we met.
You in your three piece suit with walking stick.
I was in my garden party finery.
The day was magical,
but even more so because I met you.
When asked what I thought of you my reply was:

"The greatest thing since sliced bread!"

I knew you were the one,
but you did not.
Months of accidently bumping into you,
conveniently needing a ride after church,
and finally I gave up.
Only to have you ask me out on our first date:
coffee and Mr.Bean. :)

The day I said "I do",
went by in a blur.
So did the years that followed.
Picking up Kaylee (our first dog) on our honeymoon.
Our first home.
The loss of our first child.
High peaks like the birth of three boys and our last little princess.
Dark valleys through breast cancer.

Through it all -- you were there.
I couldn't...
No, I wouldn't have made it without you.
You made every day an adventure.
I thank God for you each and every day.

Twelve years today my love,
Happy anniversary!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Jack of All Trades

My guidance counsellor sat in front of me,
his arms crossed and his eyes attempting to bore into my brain.
I couldn't help but notice that his navy blue argyle socks matched his tie today.

"You have to make a decision eventually, Karen."

I sighed and nodded my head -- I did know.  But that didn't make my decision any easier.
Every time I opened one of the glossy pages another school, another vocation called to me.

A teacher...
A singer...
A writer...
An artist...

I was a jack of all (or lots of) trades and I loved learning new things.

This, unfortunately (or fortunately) has shaped me as a writer.  My dear writing comrade Danielle Raver wrote recently that she had always felt drawn to writing Fantasy (read that post here).  For me my current WIP (work in progress) drew me in and I gave no notice that it happened to be fantasy.  I love writing in all styles.

But when I'm typing away I can still hear my guidance counselor's voice in my ear.

"You have to make a decision eventually, Karen."

But I have.  After being a teacher and also a singer I have decided that my calling is to be a writer.

After all as the saying goes, a Jack of all trades but a Master of none.  And I am determined to become a Master -- one word at a time.