Friday, November 2, 2012

Elements of Writing

We sing a hymn at church, perhaps you know it, called "It Is Well With My Soul."
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
I saw this posted by a friend on facebook today regarding the losses of Captain Robin Walbridge and Claudene Christian as well as the tall ship Bounty. The writer of the hymn, Horatio G. Spafford, was no stranger to tragedy. In 1870, he lost his first born son to scarlet fever. In Spring of 1871 he invested in real estate in Chicago. In October of that year, he lost it all in the Chicago fire. In 1873, choosing to go on holiday but delayed due to business, Spafford sent his family ahead to England. The ship they booked passage on was the Ville du Havre. During the crossing, it was struck by an iron sailing vessel. 226 people lost their lives including all four of Spafford's daughters. His wife survived. Later, when another daughter was born to them, he wrote the well-known hymn about God's peace in that tragedy.

This November, (in 4 days) one of the most important elections of our time will take place. I know how I am voting. But even if my candidate does not win, I still have peace that God is in control. This November, we will give thanks for all  God has given to us and challenged us with this year. This November, my brother will turn 54, my husband 53 and as my 50th birthday gift, my family will put up with my participation in NaNoWriMo for the sixth time.

With the many things I've been through this year, I have struggled to be thankful. I've fought depression only  by God's grace, knowing that he has given me the opportunity to be involved in many unexpected opportunities to praise him. The shaping of the lives of my children, even through times of tragedy and suffering, the ability to think and to write in a way that others enjoy and that blesses them. The best solution to fear and depression and change is knowing the life he has given me has impact and value. Every life has value, no matter how it begins. In this next year, it is my prayer that I will write and live in a way that gives glory to the Father, through the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As I wrote the first part of this post, just when I got all serious and heavy, my son brought a package in to me that arrived in the mail. It is a birthday gift from my dear friend and co-conspirator, Claire. I couldn't wait 'til Friday to open it, so let me share with you the awesome gift she gave me!

Happy Birthday to me! Whoot!

Here is a close up, just in case you can't read it. ;D ----------->

Yes, I admit it, I am a "Big Bang Theory" fan. Yes, I am a bit of a science geek, too. I married a chemist! It is handy to have him around when I'm working on sci-fi stories and it expands my appreciation of the world God has made.

As I was finishing up this post today (Friday), I went to Google to look something up and found this:
What a cool thing for Google to do! I mean, I know it's automated, but what a surprise that was to me! I'm tickled the proverbial pink. I really needed this today after having to go food shopping on my birthday. My wonderful brother helped me shop, so it was not as difficult as it often is, so that's great and well... how can I be unhappy about being 50 when this happens, too? I can't!

It's the little things that make up our lives. These are the elements of writing to me, what motivates us, what touches us, what makes us smile or weep. What we know gives the most depth to our writing - no matter the genre. Give your writing some punch from reality. Make it gritty, make it funny even when it isn't a comedy, because *life* is like that.

Hey, have a terrific my birthday everyone and rejoice in the little things!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks you so much, Susan! I love your blog, btw. I think I've mentioned that before. I had no idea that you did photography, though, on a professional basis. I wish I could have come to the show! What I've seen posted on fb is amazing.

  2. I wrote a reply and it got lost so I'll try again! lol

    I'm glad your birthday was happy! I love the little things too; They are often the best things!

    Without a doubt, I know your life has impact and value. I believe God is celebrating right along with all of us who know you and have been blessed by the impact of your life. Rejoice!

    1. And ... I wasn't quite done.

      It makes me happy to see you are enjoying the mug! ;)

    2. Thank you, lady! You make me blush. Boy, you show up as a lot of numbers! How weird!