This Is My Life… World Series Edition

Y’all.. I don’t watch baseball. It’s boring.

But it was on mute in the background while I was working out & I was like they throw the ball… nobody hits the ball. They throw the ball… nobody hits the ball. They finally hit the ball… somebody catches the ball. So we start all over again… & again.. & again.

Then they did a monkey in the middle thing that didn’t make much sense to me & seemed kinda mean tbh. — Then I turned the sound on & picked a team… cause… why not? & then they looked like they were about to lose & at the home plate last second they took out the little guy running there… And all was not lost. I was yelling at the tv.. Like yeah.. we’re still in this thing.

We’re still in this thing?! WHAT?

Y’all I don’t even like baseball. I don’t know what’s happening right now. — But it’s still 1 to 1 & we’re heading into the 11th inning & I’m still watching. — Sooooo…. go Dodgers?!?βœŒπŸ˜‚

It’s Happening!

Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)

Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.

It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. πŸ˜€ )

I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. πŸ˜‰ ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. πŸ˜‰ — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? πŸ˜€ — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!

Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.

Y’all… it’s happening.

There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.

I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.

I’m in that place now & it’s happening.

I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.

Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.

Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. πŸ˜€

But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.

And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…

If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.

Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! πŸ˜€

 

 

Feel Free To Read This In Your Spare Time… :)

PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… πŸ˜€ … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. πŸ˜€

 

I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.

The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.

As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —

But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.

I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.

So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.

And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —

Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —

& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.

There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. πŸ˜‰ — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.

I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. πŸ˜‰

Wash, Rinse, Repeat… ?!

Ever have one of those writing days where you don’t really wanna but you know you should, so you do? But then it’s like you have to push & shove & pull & fight to get 2 sentences on the page… and those 2 sentences sound like utter crap.

So then you begin a cycle of writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

Writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

over & over & over again.

Yep! One of those days.

But I will say that I did manage to get a page or two written despite all that & while it may be a total mess when I have to edit back through later… that’s okay. Something was written & that’s always better than nothing. Gives me something to edit in the future if nothing else.

Or who knows? May edit back through & find it to be an outstanding couple of pages. Future Heather may be like this is literary gold. πŸ˜€

So here I am blogging about my writing woes. But really if that’s all I have to complain about I must say I’m doing pretty good. πŸ™‚

Talk to you all later.
With Love,
Heather. πŸ˜€

This Is THE Game Changer…

So it’s been a minute since I’ve said anything more about the project I am working on. The last time I mentioned it, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m going to figure out some sort of schedule and devote to it the time & determination it is due… or something or other like that. (Definitely sounds like me. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow, that was in July. (I’m pretty sure it was July, at least.)

I did not immediately do that. BUT!! I have some good news to report. You ready???

I did pick it back up in September. AND… here’s the important part.

There is no schedule. No rhyme or reason. BUT! I write EVERY DAY.

Imma be honest… some days.. it’s just a few hundred words. Other days though… it’s a few thousand words. — & I have made a ridiculous amount of progress over the last few weeks.

I find that sticking with it & the writing itself is now much more effortless. — But that’s not all…..

Ya ever wonder if you’re on the right path? If you’re going in the right direction? — Just a little bit of doubt… can really derail you when it comes to going all in on something. So I want to tell you a little story. — Stick with me… It has an astounding ending.. I promise!

When I started this blog.. I said I was writing a book. At the time, that was roughly 4 or so years ago. Also at the time… it was an entirely different one than I’m currently working on. — A lot has changed. I have changed a lot. — Lots of change, Y’all.

I couldn’t figure out where I fit as a writer back then. As a christian I thought I had to write christian fiction if I was going to write fiction.

I was also ashamed. — I’m gonnaΒ be real with you. — The literary world looks down on a romance novel. That’s not great literature. It’s second-rate. It’s blah blah blah. — Okay, there are all sorts of opinions like that out there. I was letting those opinions.. affect me in a way that was causing me to try to change the romance aspect or be ashamed if I wrote it.

To both of those things… at several different points along the way… I said, screw it.

I am not meant to write christian fiction and I have embarked upon a romance series … and every one else’s opinion is completely irrelevant. If anyone has a problem with any of it, anywhere, no matter who they are… then my work, what I write… is not meant for them.

Here’s the other thing. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

4 years ago… when I was working on the other book that I have since abandoned (Years ago) ….

I was in the living room floor and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it or where to go with it. I had papers scattered everywhere. My lap top open. I was trying and nothing was working.

I asked God, I said, What do I do? Where do I go with this? Tell me what to do. & I motioned all around me at the papers and work spread about, where do I go with this? …. and God said…

Charlie is important.

& I said, say what now? Charlie? See there was a character named Charlie. & he was not a huge part of the book I was writing. He was in it. But a minor character. & I said, I don’t understand. — & God said again….

Charlie is important.

Y’all I tried so hard to fit him into that book and figure out what in the world God was talking about. Cause, look, that’s all He gave me.

It didn’t work. I did end up tossing the book to the side. & I reasoned that I had not heard correctly and must have thought that up myself. That was 4 years ago.

A couple of months ago I was working out and something had recently happened that had brought some of my past screeching back to the forefront. and my mind was on that. — Well in the middle of working out… God revealed to me with such clarity…

Charley’s story is your story.

And I stopped and I was like that’s it! (Mind you, the Charlie of my old creation was a guy and I had long forgotten all about him. This Charley, is a woman, and completely different character.) I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out her back story for months. I knew her quirks, and her personality and character. and I had always said she was the character most like me of all the ones I have created. But I hadn’t put all of the pieces together yet.

I was excited that I finally had the answers for her and I started working out again… and God said…

I told you Charley was important.

Y’all!!! Now see here, I had long forgotten about that. It was years ago and I had concluded that it was never God to begin with.

I stood there for several seconds just in awe. God knew.. He knew 4 years ago when I had it all wrong and I was going down the wrong path and it wasn’t working out, that years in the future, I would get on the right path and He would get to show up and say, I told you then.. so I could give you the revelation now.

And y’all.. I’m telling you.. it was such a powerful moment.

He gave me one little piece of a puzzle, that made zero sense at the time, because He was planning to give me the rest of the pieces years down the road when I needed them. — See.. Charley’s story was always going to be important because it was always meant to be the closest thing to my story. I didn’t know that then… But He did. — He knew I’d create a whole new world, with all new characters & that I would eventually name one Charley at the last minute because the original name I had for her just didn’t seem to fit somehow. He knew it all.

If there was ever any doubt, and okay let’s be real… there was heaps of it!!

It disappeared that day.

I know I’m on the right path. I’m going in the right direction. Charley’s story isn’t the one I am currently writing. Hers will come a little later on. But God revealed to me in that moment that I was going in the right direction. & all the doubt fled. I now know with certainty these characters and their stories are the ones I am meant to tell.Β  — So between knowing that and making the effort to write each & every day…. (& let’s be real… God guiding & blessing all that I do.. ) — I’m in a place with my writing that I’ve never been before.

& y’all!! It feels fantastic! πŸ™‚

Love to all!
Heather! πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Went Somewhere With This…

Ya wanna know the one thing I dislike more than most things? & before I get to that… just let me say that I dislike a lot of things. Hot weather, bacon, (which some would say makes me un-american.. πŸ™‚ ) scary movies, animal abusers, heavy metal music, going to the dentist, terrorists… I mean… the list could go on & on. — But at the very top of it, there is one thing I dislike more than most things…. & that is a hateful christian that uses the name of Jesus to justify their hatred.

I want to say real quick, right here, before anyone misunderstands…. I’m not saying that I expect people to be perfect. I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t screw up… we do, we will…. it’s part of being human. — I’m only talking about the ones that beat other people into the ground over their sins…. and claim it’s because God tells them too. — There is a difference.

I can be a hateful person.. and I am talking about myself personally right now. I can be mean. I can be petty.. I can be judgmental. I can decide that someone is sinning far worse than I am. I can put the spite in spiteful when I so choose. I can take “I am right & you are wrong” to a ridiculously condescending level. I can show people unkindness when I’m angry or disagree with them. I can do all these awful things. & I am guilty of doing so on many occasions. I am not perfect & I am well aware of it every single day. But here’s the thing….

I own that… I own up that I am a flawed human being because I am not perfect. I own my weaknesses & am aware that hate can pour out of me sometimes. But here’s the thing… I’m not going to give God the credit for those things. If I show hate to another human being in any form… I am not about to put that on God.

I don’t expect people to be perfect, but when someone fails to walk in love, and we all will time and time again, I also don’t expect them to give God the glory and credit for actions rooted in hatred. That’s a human failing, not his.

It angers me that there are christians that quote the bible word for word, but look down on someone who lands in prison…. because God says so. That there are christians that spout about their christianity all the time, but shun their families should they sin differently from them… because their bible says they must. That there are christians that sit in church & preach compassion, but then lack that very same compassion for people on the outside of their circles… because God says their way or no way.

It makes me angry because people are getting hurt. People that don’t know God are watching & they are forming opinions & making decisions about Him based off these sorts of things. They are doing God a disservice & an injustice. — They are telling a world full of people that God is not love. They are saying to the world, He loves you if… He loves you when… — He loves you… if you walk, and talk, and think like we do. As if His love, compassion, and kindness are conditional. When they are no such thing. — He loves you… period.

It drives me insane… but I’ve recently realized some things…. I said I was going somewhere with this… so here it goes….

 

 

I can speak up about Him. I can be kind and compassionate. To the ones they steer clear of, I can welcome with open arms. Every day, every word, every action I take… I can walk in love. — That’s what I can do. That’s who I can be. That’s what I can focus on.

What I realized was that it’s not about them. I’ve been so focused on them… that I missed that point entirely. They’re not my concern. What they do…. is their business. What I do.. is mine.

God has been working some serious overtime on this. It’s been a big hurdle for me. I think we’ve finally come out on the other side. We had to get passed the hatred I was harboring. Then we had to get passed my inability to overlook how families & friends just let that sort of behavior slide right on by. In the end, the last piece of that puzzle… I had to realize that it wasn’t my concern. I get no say in how others choose to live their lives… free will is free will.

It doesn’t mean I have to agree with them… because that’s not happening. It just means I have to stay in my lane.

It’s not about them. It’s never been about them. There’s an antithesis to that sort of hate… and it’s love. God is love and so long as I strive to do all things in love… I’ll be showing God everywhere I go & in everything I do. Love wins out over hate every time. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, it does. — I’m not perfect, I know it, and I won’t always get it right. But that’s okay. — I’m going to try.

I spent so much time giving people like this too much of my time & energy. Too many of my thoughts and too many of my words.

There’s a peace that comes with knowing that their words and their actions are not my concern & that anything they say or do is entirely irrelevant to me.

My job is not to police anyone else. It’s not theirs either. It’s God’s. I no longer want any part of it.

I just want to do what God needs me to do, stay in my lane, and keep moving forward.

I’ve been so worried about the damage that this sort of thing does to people, instead of focusing on the ability of God’s love to repair that damage. — I realized that’s what I need to be about.

It’s a far cry from where I was.

You may have even noticed that the tone of the first part of this post was a little different than the second half. — That’s because the first half was written 5 months ago… and it had a slightly different ending. — Mostly that I needed to let it go & be the opposite of them. — Which is still true… but it was slightly more hostile because I was still struggling very hard with it. — I’m not anymore.

This has been heavy bondage that’s been weighing me down… and I finally broke free. (Okay… God sprung me from this prison, let’s be real, jail break! lol.)

I used to feel anger, rage, and irritation. It used to consume me. But now…. I don’t feel any of that. — Don’t get me wrong… I still don’t like that this happens and I still don’t like that there are people that do this. But…. it doesn’t eat away at me anymore.

I’ve come a long way y’all. This post started somewhere else, written by someone with an entirely different attitude… than where it ended up. — I was on my way here at the time & had made some progress… but it took months to evolve all the way to this.

That’s God. All God. Every bit of it.

I thought about deleting this post altogether…. and then decided it’s a great example of God repairing damage done by hatred. I let it seep into my soul… and He took it out… & then replaced it with something far greater.

So it stays.. πŸ™‚
Love you guys!