Five Minute Friday: Writer

My life is so busy, as I’m sure a lot of you can identify with.  I have a ton of balls in the air with everyday life, plus I’m waiting to hear back on some more of my ‘Chaser Chats’ as well as I’m going to have a special feature for those of you who followed Noel’s story with me last year.  (<– you can click there to see Noel’s story!)  So my blog has been largely quiet. When I saw Lisa-Jo’s prompt this morning though, I knew I had to get back here!

GO

be a writer

I love this line from Sister Act 2.  It resonated with me and continues to.

Writer.

This word has meant many different things to me over the years.  Often times it was just as a source of stress relief.  I used to write my emotions.  If I was sad, then a sad scene would play out.  If I was excited, so were my characters.  Of course, this made for a pretty scattered story.

Lately though, the word has taken on a different meaning for me.  Writer is more than just someone who sits and writes words.  Writer, over the last year and a bit, means someone who breathes the story.  Someone who’s thoughts are often taken up with lines, plots, drama, adventure and excitement.  With those comes the agony.  Missing lines, plot holes, too little excitement.  When I am heavy into my book, I breathe it.  When kids, husband, meals, family weren’t at the forefront, my characters clamoured over each other for my focus.  Sometimes I would have to gag them so I could get anything else done!  I went to bed with my book on my mind (scenes playing through my dreams) and woke with a NEED to write.

I love watching other writers work on their art.  I see the ups and downs, the highs and lows.  The thrill of a 2,000 word day (or few hours).  The days they pull out their hair when a single word is a struggle.  Like any other craft, there’s a TON of work involved.  The lows are so tough.  When even in your head you can’t string a complete sentence together.  When you’re so desperate you resort to telling your characters that if they ‘don’t shape up and start talking‘ that you’ll kill them off.  Slowly and painfully.  (My dear characters may have heard this once.)  But… the highs!  Oh, the highs.  So magnificent and heady, so freeing and breathtaking.  Like you could fly away from your computer and soar on the joy, but the act of pulling yourself away from the computer is too painful to consider.  Bask in it.  Soak it in for when the next low hits.  It will come.  Thankfully, so do the highs and… have I mentioned how wonderful they are?

Writer.  I am one.  I love it!  (and sometimes hate it)  ;)

STOP

Fridays.  Rock.  One of my favourite things about Fridays is the chance to write with many others on a single word prompt from the fabulous Lisa-Jo Baker.  We just write without worrying if it’s just right!  Unedited and unscripted.  Don’t panic!  It starts off tough not to edit, but it gets much easier!  Come join us!  Here are the rules:

5minutefriday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa’s website (click the 5 minute Friday image above for the website).

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

The heart of this community is amazing!  See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/

 

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here.  Sorry to those of you who visit on occasion to see what’s new.  I have a lot coming up in the days ahead, but for now it’s 5 minute Friday time.  Yes, I know I’m a day behind.  :)

From Pinterest

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I was sitting on the couch this afternoon, watching 3 different versions of a puppet show of ‘Goldilocks and the 3 bears’ by my kids.  Each version was crazier and garnered more laughs than the last.  My son was last and started it out by saying ‘and Goldilocks tried the porridge.  This one is too hot, this one is too pillow-y.’  I think porridge and beds got a little mixed up in his story.

As I sat and watched the productions, watched the joy and excitement, held my husbands hand and shared a smile with him… I was overcome.

over·come

verb: to affect someone very strongly or severely

I was overcome with joy about how very deeply, profoundly and amazingly blessed I am.  I was so struck with this thought that, before I knew it, tears began to fall.

Surrounded by the family I had hoped for since I was a child.  In the living room of my beautiful home.  In a wonderful city that may be super cold some days but is a pretty darn safe place to raise kids.  In this country where, though not perfect, I am able to enjoy many freedoms.

So many thoughts went through my head.  It was like a movie of blessings in my world.

So, I sat.  Mind and emotions wrapped in a cocoon of such profound joy and thankfulness that, even now, I can’t explain how it felt.

Except to say that I felt an incredible sense of joy.  These lyrics are the closest I can come to explaining how I felt.

‘Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.’

If I could even find words to begin to write in the skies about how loved and blessed I felt in that moment, I know that it would indeed take more than the sky to write this love note to my Saviour.  Truly there aren’t words strong enough.

Instead, I’ll have to let the Holy Spirit translate the inexpressible feelings to the One who has blessed me so much.

Thank you, Father.

STOP

This post is not meant to be, or come across as, bragging.  This was just a reminder that I had today of how the Lord has blessed me.  We may not all be blessed in the same way, but we are blessed.  Sometimes the reminder is strong, like the smell of rain approaching.  Other times it’s subtle, like a shift in the wind.  We just need to remember to look for the blessings and not forget to thank the One who has blessed us.

Ahh, Friday (uhhh… Saturday).  How I enjoy Five-Minute Fridays.  Where a bunch of us just write, without worrying it it’s just right.

5minutefriday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa’s website (click the 5 minute Friday image above for the website).

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

The heart of this community is amazing!  See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/

Five Minute Friday: Willing

5minutefriday

It’s Five Minute Friday!  Where I (and a large community of bloggers) write for five minutes.  No editing, no overthinking, no backtracking.  Here I…

GO

I’m willing to try to find beauty and joy in winter.  I figure I should at least try… considering we get about six months of it.

To see the beauty in the mountains of snow, bitter cold and endless white.  I’ve been struggling with it.  I know that this season, like all seasons, are a creation of the Creator.  I’m sure that winter is good for many reasons.

Sadly, I have trouble finding those reasons.  Sure the kids can go out and build snowmen and toboggan… but it’s so cold.  The need for 15 layers drives the fun out of that experience for me.

We got (my snow-blowing hubby says ‘a foot’) though I swear it was closer to 3 feet of snow in the last two day.  I was grumbling and whining and maligning the snow and it’s efforts to hamper my journey through the city.

But then, a ray of sunshine.  Well, not actually sunshine… but a Facebook post.  My favourite photographer posted some images that caught my eye and stole my breath.

Craig snowflake 2

Magnificence.  Yes, Craig Hilts is super talented and, I’m sure, could make garbage look beautiful… but these are stunning not only because of the talented photographer but because of their creation.  Look at the image above.  Look at the lines, the craftsmanship that has gone into that one, tiny snowflake.  Not one is the same as it’s cold neighbour.  Each with it’s own intricacies and beauty.  Stunning.

To think that I have billions of these little works of art in my yard -in my city.  It’s like living with an art gallery in my own yard.  Suddenly, I don’t have to work so hard to be willing to see the beauty and joy in winter.  Suddenly, it’s everywhere.

Thanks Craig.

STOP

You can find Craig’s website HERE!  The awesomeness doesn’t just stop with snowflakes.  Oh no.  He’s got some amazing photos.  Go visit his website… you can thank me later!  ;)  Here’s a whole series of snowflake shots that Craig took.  They are just too awesome not to share.

Craig snowflake1 Craig snowflake Craig snowflake 7 Craig snowflake 6 Craig snowflake 5 Craig snowflake 4 Craig snowflake 3So beautiful!  (Keep scrolling for some more images that Craig took!)  Thanks for joining me for Five Minute Friday.  It’s been a while since I did one of these.  This is the time of the week where we just write for five minutes without worrying if it’s just right.  :)  Unedited (YIKES) and unscripted.  Just five minutes to free-write.  Want to join us?  The rules are simple!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa’s website.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

The heart of this community is amazing!  See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/

Find Craig on Facebook and Twitter!

~Sarah

Craig bubble Craig bubble 2 Craig bubble 1

End It Movement

Let’s Shine A Light On Slavery!!  This basically says it all, but I urge you to go to enditmovement.com to learn more and see what you can do! Are you in it to end it?

End It 1My friend Shannon also posted today on this movement and you can read her, much more comprehensive blog, here!  I have always known, as I’m sure most of us have, that there is human trafficking that goes on all around us.  I think that most of us relegate it to some distant part of the planet and seldom wonder what we can do about it.  I’m just very new into looking into what I can do in my own tangible way.  I’m still unsure of what my part should be but I’m working towards figuring that out.  For now, this #EndItMovement is a great way to start and to get us talking about something that happens a lot closer to home than many of us think!  Please join us in this discussion.  You can find the website above and also join in on Twitter!

Have you posted about the End It Movement?  If so, I’d love to see it!  Please let me know if you are IN IT TO END IT!!

~Sarah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7yFuLxoldU

End It 3

 

Weather Wednesday

It’s cold.  Not Antarctic cold, but it’s cold here.  We were sitting at -43*C here on Monday.  It’s cold.  I hate the cold.  I despised the cold before, but now I despise it more.  I can’t wait for winter to be over.  Can’t.  Wait.

Especially as my storm chaser friends start posting storm pictures from previous years.  ARGH!  I just want to get out there and see some amazing storms!

Sure, there are a ton of things that are awesome about summer. (not including the mosquitoes…)  I love the warm breeze, the sound of kids playing outside, the hint of the flowers on the air.  It’s just so much better than all of this ridiculousness that comes along with winter.  Plus….

THE STORMS!!

storm30

Photo by Greg Johnson (http://www.tornadohunter.com/)

Look at that!!  Isn’t it amazing!!

Yes, I know that some storms are so powerful that they devastate communities, cities, crops and people.  This is the one thing that I don’t like about storms.  I don’t like that people and their lives get caught up in these powerful storms.  That’s why I really like so many of these storm chasers out there who are trying to learn more and increase warning chance for you and I.

Anyhow, you’ve already heard me talk about a lot of them.  (And I will continue to!)  Today I just want to post a few of my favourite storm images, because I just really like looking at them.  :)

Beautiful SK storm by Andrea Clarke (https://www.facebook.com/2CPhotographyandreaclarke)

Beautiful SK storm by Andrea Clarke (https://www.facebook.com/2CPhotographyandreaclarke)

EF-4 at Great Bend, Kansas ~ Photo by Greg Johnson (http://www.tornadohunter.com/)

EF-4 at Great Bend, Kansas ~ Photo by Greg Johnson (http://www.tornadohunter.com/)

Amazing storm structure from Craig Hilts (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

Amazing storm structure from Craig Hilts (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

Storm barn july 24-13

Photo by Greg Johnson (http://www.tornadohunter.com/)

Amazing tornado shot outside of MooseJaw, SK, Canada by Craig Hilts (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

Amazing tornado shot outside of Moose Jaw, SK, Canada by Craig Hilts (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

SK storm Craig Boehm

Awesome photo by Craig Boehm (https://twitter.com/Skstormchaser)

Here are the links to the sites for these awesome photographers!

Greg Johnson

Craig Hilts

Andrea Clarke

Craig Boehm

How about you?  Eager for storm season?  Dreaming of chasing?  Have a favourite storm photo/photographer?  I’d love to see them!!

~Sarah

Broken Together

BrokenIt’s been a while since I’ve posted… thanks for sticking out the time with me.  The posts I have done have been pretty surface.  My mind has been spinning in circles for a while now.  I haven’t even been able to string two sentences together lately.  I hope that, as I write this, it makes sense.

The world tells us that we need to have it all together.  The perfect family, the perfect life, the perfect job.  If we don’t, we need to just try harder until we get there.  until we reach perfection.  Perfection.

~  a state of completeness and flawlessness.

Completeness.  Flawlessness.

Impossibilities in this life.

None of us, no matter how hard we work, can attain this.  We can work hard to have a great body, a great job, a great marriage… but the fact is that all these things are flawed.  Incomplete.  We cannot attain perfection.

I heard this song by Casting Crowns and it talks about how we can be broken together.

Most of you don’t know much about me and we’ll probably never meet in real life, but one thing that you should know about me is that I am a real person.  Those people around me, that have been drawn into my world, get me.  They get the real me.  Many people know how broken I am.  My flaws, my incompleteness is not something that I hide.  I fail, often.  I am prone to anxiety and tend to leap to the worst conclusion in a heartbeat.  You know what, these are things that I am working on, but I’m grateful that I don’t feel the need to present a picture of completeness.

Why do so many of us feel that we need to have it all together all the time?  Sure, the world may shake their heads at us and condemn our brokenness.  Choosing to ignore their own and pretending that it doesn’t exist, glossing on another layer of paint to coat the chipped paint below.

Would it be so terrible if we could just sit down and discuss what we are struggling with?  The battles that are going on inside us?  Recognizing that no one is perfect?  That we are all broken?  Would that cause the world to stop functioning?

Could we all still press through this sometimes difficult, very confusing, often fantastic thing that we call life?  Knowing that the person that you sit next to in your office who is always on top of their workload, the person you sit next to in church who always looks fantastic and is always smiling, that sister-in-law who seems so confident in everything, are fighting the brokenness tooth and nail… and failing.

Or, could we do more than just press through it?  If we were able to see through the layers of gloss to the chipped paint, if we were able to strip off the gloss to the view of the very real person below, could we maybe learn to be broken together?  Could we maybe mend a few holes, supporting each other in our pain and grief and wondering, and allow God to put some pieces back together for good.  True, there will always been crack, chips and brokenness… life is just like that.

Broken2

But… wouldn’t it be better to be real?  Instead of hiding, instead of being so terrified of what others might think, to be able to be free.  To be who you are and be able to work together to mend brokenness.

Until the day that we are made complete – made perfect – we could be broken together… instead of broken alone.

‘Beowulf’ by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

Beowulf

Former Navy handler Timbrel Hogan has more attitude than her Explosives Detection Dog, Beowulf, but she’s a tough woman who gets the job done. Green Beret Tony “Candyman” VanAllen likes a challenge and convincing the hard-hitting handler they belong together might just get him killed.

When tragedy strikes and Tony’s career is jeopardized, Timbrel must re-evaluate her priorities—and fast! A terrorist plots to unleash a weapon of mass destruction on American soil. Can Timbrel and Beowulf track the chemicals in time? Will Tony surrender everything to save the woman nobody believes in?

Ronie Kendig is my favourite author.  I admit that it has taken me a while to get to the point where I could say definitively who my favourite is, but I’m there now.  I can say with certainty that, while I have many authors I enjoy thoroughly, Ronie never fails to keep me on the edge of my seat and desperate for the next book release date!

‘Beowulf’ certainly didn’t leave me wanting.  In fact, Beowulf had an intenseness that I didn’t really expect.  Now, with a title like ‘Rapid-fire fiction’, you can be assured that it’s going to be fast paced and ‘Beowulf’ is no exception.  This story also puts the reader into the inner-workings of a terrorist cell. I found this to be quite a different story from the others in this series.  Each story in this trilogy deals with war, but this one impacted me more with this point of view.  I was fascinated and saddened at the same time.  I can’t imagine how hard this point-of-view must have been to write.

The main characters are awesome!  This is no surprise to you if you’ve ever read a Ronie Kendig book before.  Tony is an amazing hero.  I’ve been a huge fan of Tony ‘Candyman’ VanAllan since he first appeared with his swagger and taunted Timbrel.  Timbrel Hogan is a strong, tough woman.  She needs no one and nothing except her explosives detection dog, Beowulf.  Timbrel, who seems beyond strong, is so soft for this dog of hers.  She lets no-one in to her space except Beowulf.  Tony isn’t one to give up easily, and is up to the fight or so he thinks.  Both dog and handler seem to want nothing to do with Tony. Can he get past Timbrel’s defences and, harder yet, Beowulf?

Timbrel and Tony have to work together in spite of the tension between the two of them.  There is much more at stake than Timbrel’s pride and Tony’s attraction.  A search leads to failure but Timbrel is behind Beowulf and knows something more is going on.  Tony is hit with something that threatens all that he is and Timbrel is desperate to prove both herself and Beowulf.  Will they both be able to see past themselves to what they need to do and what God has in mind for them?

‘Beowulf’ is a fast-paced, adrenaline ride! He will draw you in with the first bark and he will not release you until the final page, and then you’ll be begging for more! If you’ve read the first two in the series ‘Trinity’ and ‘Talon’ then you need to pick this one up! If not, you can start here and then I know you’ll want to read the first two!  (Click on the names of the books above in order to read my reviews of the first two.)

Ronie Kendig knows how to write!  Boy, is that an understatement!  You can almost feel the sweat drip down your neck as you scour buildings in Afghanistan and feel the numbing cold of mountain passes. Once you go Rapid-Fire Fiction, you’ll never look back!

***** (five out of five stars for sure)

˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜Ronie KendigYou can get ‘Beowulf’ (and his Military War Dog pals here):

AMAZON

CBD

BARNES & NOBLE

CHAPTERS

Also, you can find the awesome Ronie Kendig on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and on her website!

I also must note that I cannot wait for RAPTOR 6 by Ronie to arrive in May!!  I’m so excited to read this one!
Raptor 6.1