Writing

I’ve signed up for a writing class. It only meets 4 times for 2 hours and it’s a 101 class. There’s no critiqueing (thankfully! and by the way, how do you spell that? Apparently I didn’t spell it correctly because it has red dots under it, but you’re just going to have to deal with it for now. I’m not looking it up.) and there’s no reading your work to the class (hallelujah! And I can spell reading!). The class is designed to give you guidance as to whether or not you really WANT to write, what your strengths are, what kind of writing you might be interested in and good at, and then some suggestions as to what your next steps should be.

I’m really looking forward to it. I have no idea if I’ll pursue anything past this particular class, but I’ve always been interested in writing and thought I would see what I find out about myself.

In preparation for the class, I took a friend’s advice and bought Stephen King’s book about writing. I have never read a Stephen King book and as far as I know I’ve only watched one of his movies (Carrie). I’m a pretty big scaredy cat and Carrie and the few clips I’ve seen of some of his other movies have let me know that is not a genre I need to get involved in . . . because I tend to need to sleep on a regular basis and sometimes I actually find it necessary to go outside after the sun has gone down.

But I have to say that I have really enjoyed Stephen’s book on writing. It’s been very interesting to learn what was going on in his life while he was writing certain books. And it was fascinating to read about when he received his first really big check.  I recommend the book if you’re a Stephen King fan or if you’re interested in writing or if you’re just looking for an interesting read.

His book is not a textbook but he has given one assignment (so far, but I’m almost at the end) and it is proving to be very fascinating. The few things I have written in my life have been non-fiction. I have never even thought I would be interested in writing fiction . . . and I’m still not convinced. But the exercise he has me working on right now is fiction and I’m having fun with it!

He compares writing a story (fiction) with unearthing a dinosaur skeleton (or something like that). So for the exercise, he gave us a particular situation and asked us to ‘uncover’ the story. I know VERY LITTLE about writing . . . so I’m sure there are other ways people write . . . but this particular process has been very good to Stephen King so I’m not going to question it.

I still can’t imagine me spending my time writing fiction, but I guess I’ll see what I learn from the 101 class.

Can’t wait! I’ll keep the two of you posted.

conspiracy theory

I’m not talking about a conspiracy theory related to politics or religion. I’m talking about conspiring WEATHER FORECASTERS!!

When I lived in Atlanta, I thought it was just a HotLanta thang. I believed that the Atlanta Metro Chambers of Commerce were in cahoots with the weather forecasters. No matter what the Weather Channel was predicting for the coming weekend, every local television and radio station within 100 miles of Atlanta was predicting a beautiful weekend! That is until about noon Friday . . . when it was useless to pretend the sun was going to come out and shine in the middle of a monsoon . . . or in the summer when it was unthinkable to tell you it wasn’t 100 degrees in the shade with 99 percent humidity . . . when you’ve already sweated through every article of clothing on your body as well as an entire bottle of Arrid Extra Dry!

I believe the Chambers wanted everyone to go ahead and make plans to attend their chosen events scheduled for the weekend . . . and they were afraid if the weather forecasters shared the REAL FORECAST, no one would buy tickets, no one would reserve a hotel room, and everyone would do what made perfect sense . . . STAY. AT. HOME.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found things to be very different now that I live in Denver. Take this week for instance.

Sunday night I watched the forecast for the coming week. It helps me to mentally prepare for my daily commute, and to make sure I have enough layers of clothes in my closet and enough gallons of snow melt in my trunk! And I was so excited that there was sunshine and warm weather (relatively speaking) scheduled all week and through the coming weekend! No snow! Not even a cloudy day! And a GORGEOUS weekend coming around to top it all off!

HOWEVER, by the time Tuesday rolled around, the forecast high temperatures had dropped several degrees on most of the days and we had not one but TWO chances of snow . . . the second being during the GORGEOUS weekend that had been predicted less than 48 hours prior.

The only difference I see in the Atlanta vs. Denver conspiracy theories is that I believe it was the Atlanta Metro Chambers of Commerce conspiring with the local weather forecasters.

Here in Denver, I think the co-conspirators are local psychologists! I’m sure they must be completely booked in the winter . . . and the last thing THEY need is for Denver weather forecasters to tell us the REAL forecast! That would just send everyone over the edge.

Look

Sometimes the oddest phrase will jump out at me when I’m reading the Bible. And sometimes if I spend enough time with it, eventually it starts to make a little sense . . . to become relevant . . . at least to my life.

I’m finishing up the book of Matthew (still) and I came across an odd phrase. Verse  1 in Matthew 28 says that the Mary’s went to “look at the tomb”.

This is on the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday. Not only was Jesus buried in a tomb and a large stone placed in front of the entrance, but because He had told His followers He would rise from the dead, Roman guards were on duty there to be sure Jesus’s dead body remained exactly where it had been placed.

So when the Mary’s decided to go to the tomb that morning, they apparently weren’t expecting to be able to do anything. Matthew says they were going to “look” at it.

Jesus was dead. His body was lifeless. The tomb was sealed. And guarded.

The Mary’s knew there was nothing they could do when they got there . . . except “look”.

But they went anyway.

They were helpless. And hopeless. And probably disappointed. And I’m sure emotionally spent.

But they went anyway. Just to “look”.

What about me? Do I go anyway?

When everything in a situation seems hopeless, do I still go . . . just to “look”?

Have I invested enough of my life in my relationship with God that even when I see no hope, even when I’ve been devastated, even when things haven’t worked out like I thought He said they would . . . and even when I know for a fact there is absolutely no thing I can possibly do about any of it . . .

Do I still go . . . just to “look”? Maybe from a different perspective. Possibly with a new set of eyes.

And if I do go, what am I looking for?

What were the Mary’s looking for?

Because of their close relationship with Jesus and because of who they had known Him to be . . . did they possibly have a glimmer of hope? A mustard seed’s worth of faith? An ounce of belief?

Were they taking those with them to the tomb? Were they hoping against hope that He would do something beyond what was humanly possible in the situation?

Isn’t that what He asks of us? What He asks of me? A mustard seed’s worth of faith (that’s not much!) . . . that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do?

Even when things appear to be hopeless? . . . . Or maybe especially when things appear to be hopeless!

So what am I doing? Have I given up? Or am I going to “look”?

Am I paralyzed with grief or fear at the loss of a relationship, a job, a lifestyle, a calling, a purpose . . . that I thought would last? . . . that I thought would turn out differently?

Or am I getting up and taking the ounce of belief I have left . . . and going back to the place where my hope died . . .  just to “look”?

To see what God might decide to change . . . beyond what is humanly possible?

What aspect of my life have I given up on? Could it be that God hasn’t?

What is it in my life that appears to be over? Done. Dead. Buried. Sealed up. Hopeless.

Is it something God may want to resurrect? Possibly in a totally changed form?

And how will I ever know . . .  if I don’t take my tiny mustard seed of faith and go . . . just to “look”?

another second chance

There’s a song I’ve heard a few times on the radio recently.  I don’t know the name of the song or who sings it. I really can’t remember many of the words, but three words have stuck with me since I first heard the song. Those three words are “another second chance”. Not just a second chance, but another second chance.

I think those words struck a chord with me because that’s where I find myself at this point in my life. I don’t need a second chance. I need another second chance. And not just with this blog.

Fortunately for me God specializes in second chances. On top of second chances. On top of second chances.