The Jonah Within


Image courtesy of Richard Hedrick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are few Bible personalities I really connect with. You know: Ruth was so good, and Esther was fearless and beautiful, and Mary was amazing. Paul is hard for me to get my head around, and the disciples, well, they were interesting and funny, but relatable? Well, maybe not so much.

But start talking about Jonah, and I’m right there with you. Somewhere amidst that moody, intense, prophet nature, I sense a personality at war with itself. He knew what was right, but he also knew himself. Maybe even doubted himself. And feared failure. And likely even feared success. Continue reading

Advertisements

A Thank You (and a Top Three!)


Merry Christmas, readers!

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.netOkay, I can’t believe 2015 is so advanced that I’m even saying those words, but what a year it’s been. I know sometime between Christmas and New Years, I along with everyone else will look over my shoulder at this wild, crazy, wonderful year. I think I’ll shake my head—in both amazement and “who knew-ment”—and then I’ll smile. I hope your year in review evokes a smile too.

Speaking of review, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s been a faithful reader this year. My hope has always been that, in sharing what is on my heart, I can encourage you, and so many times you have encouraged me with your comments, shares, likes, etc. Thanks for being a part of this wild year and this blog.

If you’re curious, here’s an overview of the top posts of 2015. As you can see, it was a mash-up of a topics! Continue reading

When God’s Dreams are Yours


Image courtesy of Kenneth Cratty at FreeDigitalPhotos.netIt was the sort of question I hated. I took a sip of my latte as I formulated an answer. What would I like to be doing two years from now? Hmm.

The person across the table asking the question meant well. Perhaps the opportunity she wanted to lay out would be something I’d like to jump on board with. She waited patiently as I chewed my lip, unsure how to make what was in my heart sound logical—or at least more than a wild fancy.

I mean, I’m just a dreamer. Deep down, in those ten seconds as I tried to imagine not what I thought I would be but what I could be if I had my druthers, I knew I would always be a writer—was one regardless. But I also saw another dream I hadn’t discovered until earlier that year. Continue reading

The Weird I Love


Last month was weird. Wild weird. Good weird. The weird I love.

Why? It was writers conference time.

Brandilyn Collins addressing conferees: "Upstairs, there be normals."

Brandilyn Collins addressing conferees: “Upstairs, there be normals.”

Ah, the time word scribblers from across the country converge to spend three tumultuous days swarming around a crazy-carpeted venue, wearing our most professional clothes and most uncomfortable shoes. When we stain our hands scribbling notes in classes, workshops, and sessions. When we buzz on four hours or less of sleep. When we shakily tell agents and editors about the manuscripts we’ve poured blood, sweat, and years into. When we overtake a hotel and consider everyone with a name tag a kindred spirit, regardless of whether they write suspense or romance. Continue reading

What No One Else Can Hear


ID-10011893Why do we associate silence with loneliness? Perhaps we mistake the blessing of solitude for the curse of loneliness.

Crazy as it may sound, I’ve learned that both solitude and loneliness can be good.

In the silence of being alone, the emptiness echoes a truth we don’t hear when we have people to turn to and the static of busyness to overpower the noise inside.

It’s the truth that our souls are utterly alone before God. Continue reading

Along the Back Roads


20140810_122833The woman looking at my paperwork glanced up and verified my hometown. “How’d you get here to South Dakota?” she said, almost in passing.

Picturing the miles between where I started and where I ended up, I smiled and said simply, “Via some back roads.”

Isn’t that the case more often than not? How often do we set about to do something and end up in a completely unexpected place?

As I got thinking more about back roads, I began to see ways God has used them to bring me closer to His plan. Continue reading

The Power of the Impossible


What a crazy few months it’s been! Thought with this month’s post I’d give a bit of an update.

I recently got back home from my working traveling adventure. Three months, fourteen states, and 12,000 miles later, I’m energized and ready to dive into another writing project. My next manuscript, In Lieu of a Plot, will be a full-fledged rewrite/ironing out of last year’s NaNoWriMo project. This story just won’t let me go, so I’m going to pounce on it and put it to page–officially, this time. (Meaning, other people’s eyes will be allowed to see it. Eventually.)

So, even though ILOAP is what I call a humorous historical, I’m presently researching funeral customs in all its morbid details and am learning interesting things along the way. For example, did you know that the word “parlor,” referring to a home’s sitting room, went Continue reading