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

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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

On the Eve of a Deadline


Here I am hours before I have a post due and I have to admit I honestly tried going to bed early. I tried all the excuses about why I should just skip this month’s post. Most of them were quite valid, and it was a most interesting debate, but you can see which me won. Continue reading

Too Important


I recently sliced the base of my left thumb open. I won’t go into the gory details, but I will say it was less than pleasant and definitely beyond the league of Band-Aids.

My thumb is currently wrapped, strapped, and taped against my index finger so that I won’t move the thumb and open the wound.

20141020_092947So, in operating with one and three-fifths hands, there are some things I simply can’t do as well as I’d like. You should see me trying to tie my hair back. Better yet, you should see my excuse of a ponytail. Playing piano is out of the question. Driving is fine, but with my index finger half as mobile as my thumb, I look like I’m waving to everyone I pass. Continue reading

Rest: Five Things I Learned on Sabbatical


I feel as if I need to reintroduce myself now that I’m back from sabbatical. I hope I’ve changed since being away, and I know The Empty Inkwell will look a little different from now on too. Check out my last post or the About page for more information about changes.

Without further ado, let’s get into it:


Rest-Five-Things-I (1)The day—okay, days—I found myself fighting tears as I sat down to write, I knew something wasn’t working. I had pushed myself to burnout. I’d ignored the symptoms for a long time, telling myself I didn’t have the luxury of a break. I was involved in several ongoing projects, finishing a course, and restarting a manuscript. Also, I’d just faced a Continue reading

Hard Decisions


ID-100159663Today, I declined an offer I’ve always dreamed of accepting.

Two months ago, when I received the email with the writing-related offer, I was flattered and excited, but for various reasons, it was not possible for me to immediately accept. There was a difficult decision before me. It was as if I’d been walking along the writer’s path, my head down in determination, when I was suddenly startled to find an intersection leading in two very opposite directions. From where I stood with obstructed visibility, either choice was Continue reading