New Pages

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After dwadling for much too long, I have at last added the pages about my writing to my blog.

Please check out the new pages on the tabs at the top of the page; As a Pencil and The Purpose.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

The Lord Jesus bless!

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I asked myself….

I wonder….

“Memories, however, are not dangerous unless one is a coward and allows them to be. I should have faced my past and been the man I was…or thought I was.” 
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while,
or knows me a little (but not in person)
will probably know that I love to write. 
And will probably know that I love to write historical fiction – 
always with deeply spiritual backgrounds.
Anyone who knows this, will probably know too that I pray much 
as I write…and that my goal in writing is to serve the Lord Jesus, and to bring honor 
and glory to His Name – and perhaps lead others through my writing
into His Salvation, or into a deeper Knowledge of Himself.
These are my reasons for writing.
“Everyone has a chance at life, sir. Some people are given their chance much more easily than others – and some of those people choose to throw their chance away as if life were all the better without it. Everyone has a chance – and he deserves the opportunity to make use of his!”
The nun ~ An Unlikely Love
I thank Jesus for the gift of writing. 
I began writing when I was about 10 or 11 years old. 
I thank Jesus that I’ve always had some sort of story going since then…
and through each story He’s taught me, molding my hand and my mind to follow Him more fully.
After a great battle within myself and my spirit,
I consecrated my writing to Him at 15.
From then until now writing has taken on a new meaning to me…
a new depth…and I have learned many, many things which would have been impossible
to learn if I had not chosen to rely on Him for the words to put on my pages.
“I’m scared….really….I’m scared…I don’t want to do this….”
Alice ~ An Unlikely Love
I love to write.
I love the feeling of putting a picture into words…
and knowing the characters…like I would know someone in real life…or even better
than I would know someone in real life….
To be completely honest, I am closer to the characters in my stories 
than I am to 99.99% of real people in my life.
I love to sit and watch as things come together…events manage to fit together –
where I didn’t expect them to…characters begin to develop…in a way I hadn’t expected….
Scenes begin to come to life…I can feel them, touch them, see them, smell them, taste them….
I don’t know how else to express it other than
that I love it.
I love to write. 
“They saida’ they was still born – but Jelisa, young girl there been ‘elpin’ ‘em labor, tolda Forbes the truth – them girlsa jus wana’ rida’ ’em youngins – an’ theys don’ta’ care how.”
Ravelli ~ An Unlikely Love

I know why I write…
and I love writing….
for the reasons I do it – and because I love writing…
not for itself, but because of what it is to me.
But there are still moments…
days…
weeks…
when I asked myself that awful question.
Why?

Why do I write?
Why do I spend hours…days…weeks…months…even years…
bent over a story…
my mind always occupied – consciously or subconsciously – 
with some form or facet of it?
Why do I labor…why do I write – even when I’d rather just lay down and sleep…
or spend time doing other more enjoyable things –
why do I do this?
Its not all fun.
Most of writing is hard work – truly hard work.
Studying out facts…writing the mundane…editing…filling in parts you’ve read a million times…reading and re-reading…trying to make things work when you know its hopeless…going back and 
re-writing…or completely tossing your whole week’s worth of work because it is not good enough….
Writing is beautiful…the outcome is beautiful…the characters are beautiful…
but more often than not writing is a job; a burden.
So why do I do it?
“I have seen some acts of cruelty in my time, lass, but this surpasses them all.”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

Sometimes I wonder if ever I will see these long hours of work…worry…fatigue…
ever come to the point where others have read it…
and been truly blessed and encouraged by the experience. 
Years of work have so far proved nothing more than stacks of paper piled in my
closet…characters lying lifeless, morbid…encased in dust and time.
So why do I keep adding to this?
Why do I keep adding to this pile of useless paper?
Why do I keep tormenting myself over something that gives so little return?
Why?
“I bent close to her…my hand cupping her delicate chin…the silken, hazel curls around her neck swept softly by the ocean winds brushed my arm…I could see the glow of the evening sun in those dark eyes…and I claimed her lips with my own….”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

I never have the answer to these questions…
I never see the end of this long tunnel I am going through…there is never any glimmer of light to
ban the darkness I seem to be surrounded with.
There is only comfort…a degree of comfort…
comfort….but still pain. 
The comfort is in and only in my Jesus.
My trust in Him.
My trust in Him to keep me…keep my soul…and direct my words.
“Give thy heart’s love and labor, and that which grieves thee most,
Into His faithful keeping Who guides the heavenly host;
He Who to cloud and tempest a great highroad doth show
Will find for thee a footpath, a way thy steps may go.

Trust God if thou desirest that it go well with thee, 
And on His doing ponder if firm thy work shall be.
The sorrow thou dost treasure, thy pain close cherished,
Leave Him no room to enter: Oh thou must pray instead!

Through all our ways Thou takes Thy way, all means are Thine;
Thy hand moves but in blessing and all Thy footprints shine.
Thy children’s need Thou knowest, and what doth best befit,
Unhindered and unresting, Thou shalt accomplish it.

Let Him dispose and govern, He is a Ruler wise
And will unfold His wisdom to Thy astonished eyes,
When He, in wonderous manner, with foresight and with care,
That work of thine shall finish of which thou didst despair.”
Paul Gerhardt 
I would not love writing if not for my Jesus Who is my Talent, 
and I would not love writing if not for my Jesus Who is my Life….
I could abide myself…
writing on my merry way without Him…
because writing then would be very empty…
a very empty and desolate world indeed.
It is because of Him that I can not but write…
though my flesh indeed is weak; though my eyes indeed are dim.
I cannot see what He has planned for me…
I cannot discern what His will through all this is…
sometimes I just want to give up…because my flesh sees no profit in all this struggle and pain…
I just want to give up.
Be a normal person….
“Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. 
But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
Jeremiah 20:9
This is why I cannot but write…
I cannot contain all the things He gives me to put down on paper.
I cannot bear holding them all inside….
It has to be written.
“Its tiny, blood-stained limbs flailed and beat the air weakly…its tiny hands were still crumpled into distorted fists and its toes and feet were bent and misshapen from the long months it had spent inside its mother’s womb…tiny strands of jet black hair were pasted wetly onto its tiny head…and its little face was wrinkled in unhappy wailing. Completely lost, I held it close to me…felt its cries against my chest….”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

A Scene

Its been quite sometime since I wrote a scene for my blog.
I like to do that sometimes; especially when I can’t concentrate enough to really write.
I’ll write a short, shaky-type scene that isn’t polished or perfected.
Sometimes it will actually get fixed up and incorporated into the story,
or either the Lord will use it to give me some idea for a later scene.
I only have a few minutes tonight (less than half an hour),
but I’m going to try to write a scene anyways, if the Lord will allow,
and Lordwilling I’ll schedule it for Tuesday (this is Sunday evening).
“What’s troubling you, lad?” I knew something was bothering him…Heimler had not been himself for days – testy and short tempered, he was acting more like a rash sailor than the well-mannered soldier I had always known.
“Nothing, sir,” he wouldn’t look at me. 
The young man rested back in his seat and pulled a small timepiece from his pocket.
“Where’d you get that?” I watched him.
“Bought it before we left London,” his words were short, “Savings from the card table at White Rock.”
“You’re on your way to being a professional gambler, Heimler,” I shook my head, “As professional a gambler as I was a professional criminal.”
“I’m not on my way to being a professional anything,” the young German grumbled and pushing his seat back angrily. Rising, he took a few steps cross the little room.
The dim flame of the candle in the lantern which hung against the dark wall cast a dull light in the tiny compartment I was now permitted to call my cabin, but Heimler was beyond the reach of this weak flame – across the room he looked more like a dark shadow than a man.
“I’ve never known you to act like this, Heimler,” I tossed my feet onto the table top and rocked my chair back on two legs, “What’s happened – loose a game of pharo?”
“Certainly not, sir,” the young German’s gaze was fixed on the aquatic blackness outside my cabin’s tiny window.
“Dice?”
Heimler only grunted.
“Bridge then,” I insisted.
“Can’t you blast think of me in any light except a gambler!” I had expected an explosion – but not quite so violent. The young German was more out of sorts than I had known, “I am human, sir, for heaven’s sake!”
“Then tell me humanly what’s the matter!” I slipped my feet off the table and stood from my seat, “What in the – “
“Abigail.”
The name was spoken so quickly and so low that I hardly caught it.
“Abigail?” I walked over to him, “You’ve quarled with her?”
The young German finally faced me, “Yes we’ve quarreled.”
I watched those German-blue eyes for several moments. Resting my shoulder against the wall I took a breath, “What about?”
Heimler looked back out towards sea, “She’s pregnant.”
“She’s what?” I was shocked – Abigail Reynolds….
“She’s pregnant,” Heimler growled, and his words which followed were not worth repeating. 
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I put a hand on his shoulder, “Heimler wait a minute; if she’s carrying your child then -“
“My child!” the young man snapped, stomping across the room again, “My child! That wench won’t let me see her with a shift on – much less get anywhere near to having a child by her!”
“And how do you know she’s pregnant?” 
Heimler turned round to me, “She told me is blast how – she told me herself! Started off with all these apologies – then she tried a crying jag before she finally confessed the -“
He was interrupted sharply by the sudden entrance of Norman Howe.  
The young German pulled a pistol on him, “Don’t you know how to knock, you fool!” he barked at him, “The master’s cabin is private quarters – not to be barged in on by just any tramp!”
“Any tramp except the Royal Navy,” Howe responded calmly, “Put that gun up, if you would, boy,” he took a seat at the table. 
I watched him. 
Howe was a man of quick sense, good reason, and a decent share of wit, but he was conceited – he was rich, filthy rich, and he had a name for himself in the Navy and the British court; besides being a very active member of Parliment. 
“Sullivan,” he spoke to me as the inferior he felt that I was, “Your Captain is pushing my patience, I advise you to do something about him.”
“Bennet is a man of his own manners,” I responded coolly, “As long as he doesn’t do anyone a harm there is nothing you can accuse him of. I’ve tried to talk to him, but he will hear no reason.”
Howe grunted and helped himself to my tea, “And this young chap,” he nodded towards Heimler, “I’ve seen him about deck picking fights with my men; if I were you I’d have him horsewhipped at once. The worst thing you can have on board a ship is men fighting with each other – demoralizes your force and divides them seriously.”
Heimler gave a short laugh and knocked my china tea cup out of Howe’s hand with the muzzle of his handpiece. It shattered in the captain’s hand, shower him with bits of glass and a good dousing of strong tea.
That’s all I have time for tonight. 
Its not very good…its based on the second book which is yet to be begun. 
Can you get any idea from this scene what the setting for the story is? 
I welcome any and all comments!

Thoughts on AUL – and the Nun

This last day of September sees me spending more time on my computer
this morning than I have for the past two weeks. 
Work, appointments, household tasks, and farmyard chores all
put a tight restriction on my free time at the computer,
and what’s more, I like to spend a good deal of my morning/evening ‘free’ time
in reading my Bible and praying, so my time for 
computer work is very limited – 
especially when I fit in writing to an already tight schedule! 
But I like it that way. 
I’m planning on writing a few posts today and scheduling them for the week.
So…I hope you’ll be able to see more of me here –
even with our tight schedule! 🙂
Of course my mind always bends towards writing when I have a chance to 
share here, but I try to add-in other things as I can stand to so no one will get bored. 
I know not everyone likes fiction – or would understand the background of 
my story – like I do, or some of my close family (sisters 🙂 who read my blog,
so I don’t want to bore y’all. 
I plan on a post soon to update everyone about our farm,
as things haven’t been quiet at the barn, 
but this morning I was looking over my collection of old pictures,
and thought I would share this one – 
since it reminds me so much of the nun in An Unlikely Love.
I’ve noticed that several newcomers have begun following my blog. 🙂
I might be a quiet person, but I have noticed y’all! 🙂
Usually I look over blogs a good deal before I follow them, and I suppose 
most people do to some extent. 
So y’all probably have some idea of what An Unlikely Love (or AUL as I 
refer to it often) is, but just for clarification…
I love to write historical fiction. I write for the Lord Jesus only, 
so the stories He gives me are always themed towards Him and for His Glory.
I pray I may be His pencil for His use; and that the stories I write will be
through His Hand on me, only, and not for or of myself. 
AUL is a story He gave me a year back now set 
sometime in the mid-1700’s in the world of a very successful pirate ‘captain’ 
(referred to in the story as the ‘ship’s master’).
Sullivan is a very troubled man – haunted by memories of the 
faults and errors of his youth he has struggled for years to 
forget and to live above his burden of guilt. 
But the introduction into his wayward life of a young woman and her 
mysterious Spanish company begin to pierce the defenses he has constructed,
and his carefully-guarded world begins to crumble all round him,
as he becomes the man he has fought to destroy.
This nun – as she is known until late in the story – is the woman to whom
I had reference to when I said the picture resembled her.
Currently, where I am working in the story, she is a very active character – 
though not seen as often as she will be later. 
She is a girl of some personal beauty – one man in particular thinks so – 
but the greatest part of her beauty does not lie on the outside.
Her own past, as Sullivan’s, has helped to form her into what she is;
though, unlike Sullivan, she has had the benefit of a Lord and Father higher
and greater than herself to use the events He created in her life to
further her relationship to Him and her usefulness to her fellow beings.
Her courage in the face of this great peril she and her friends 
have lately found themselves intercepted by 
(Sullivan and his force taking down their vessel and holding them captive)
is unlike anything Sullivan has ever seen.
A woman, but a woman of amazing courage – she is not in-human however,
and under the weight of Sullivan’s gun against her chest she does break. 
Yet, the more she sees of him, the more she understands him – even without 
really speaking to him – and the less and less he can fool her with
his fronts…his attempts at intimidation.
If only he could be enlightened as to what sort of life she has had to endure
prior to his ever setting eyes on her….
She is a very constructive, hard-working young lady 
with a great deal of determination. 
Quiet stubbornness and faith has won her many a triumph over her
violent captor and she has become almost as free among the 
pirate company as any active member of the company ever could be.
This will prove to be the greatest trial to Sullivan’s wayward life 
that he has ever faced.
And he will suffer a crushing defeat.

Thinking….

I find it very difficult to see through the eyes of the nun in An Unlikely Love. Most of you will have noticed the story is told solely through Sullivan’s (the main character) view. But the nun is a very great player in this story. She is everywhere…doing everything…not saying much yet, but always there all the same.
I find it very difficult to imagine myself the victim of a pirate attack…and then held prisoner, with no idea of what my fate is, for over half a year (and probably much longer…I’m not sure yet! 🙂 surrounded by the very basest of society…men who don’t give a lick what people think of them, don’t think twice about shooting and killing someone, and certainly would not care…would even relish…the thought of hurting a woman…. To be stuck in that sort of violence and danger, and then finding oneself, through tragic circumstances, raised from the position of merely a prisoner to an active…visitor…if not member of this riotous community once the company anchors at their rendezvous….
I can only just fathom what she is feeling…suffering.
It would make a wonderful story in its own right. Maybe the Lord will bless and I can write it one day….
Maybe.

Writing Equipment

Writing Equipment.
The mechanical part of writing is something I give a lot of thought to.
Mainly because I like my writing to be mobile.
It is not often that I can write steadily in one place for above a week.
I need to readily be able to move my entire operation to a new setting.
If that setting is just from my desk to my bed,
or so far as my desk to the woods,
I need it all to fit into some sort of satchel so I can take it all with me.
That is not easy.

Turn the Page please…..

Of Struggles in Writing

Looking for pictures for my post for Monday morning, I chanced to cross this one;

Which I did end up using for my post.
It was taken six years ago, while I was writing on some 
day trip we made.
It got me to thinking…..
about my writing (naturally!)
and about the years that have passed,
in respect to that.

Turn the Page please…..

A Post that’s ended up a little different than I intended…

"Oh…. Lord….Why can't I write!!!"
These sorts of sentences are sprinkled through
the pages of my manuscripts….
And I recently wrote such a sentence just the other day.
My diary is speckled with;
"Worried about story…."
"Praying much about story…."
"So pressed to write…"
"Can't write…."
"So tired."

Turn the Page please…..

A Scene

“Thank you, Heimler,” I nodded at the young German as he 
laid my luggage on the floor next the small, round table that stood in the
center of my chamber.
“Is there anything else I could fetch for you, sir?” he asked dutifully.
I looked at him – in my opinion, the young man was being more-than-helpful,
but I gave him the benefit of the doubt….
“No, lad,” I turned back to my work, “That’s all. Be off and enjoy the evening – 
there’s not much left of it.”
“Thank you, sir,” Heimler bowed and left me to myself – at last.
Looking over the mountain of pages upon pages of notes, receipts, and 
letters from my agents abroad I felt a thorough sinking within.
As if I would never be done with all the work that lay ahead of me.
I enjoyed being preoccupied during the weeks we lingered inland, 
and generally, so much work did not discourage me.
But at the moment…my mind was wandering.
I glanced at my things Heimler had brought in for me.
That basket.
Through the night in the jungle, I had forgotten…..
that basket.
Unable to stay my thoughts, my feet led me over to the little table, and my 
hands slipped the cording off the top of the moldy basket.
I pushed the top off and those pages….
I’m running away to sea, Sally….
Those words, scribbled in a drunken hand on the shredded remains 
of what must have been a back page of a London paper,
stood out to me above the blur of ink and water stains that covered the yellowed
pages filling this infernal basket. 
I picked up the scrap, and looked closely at the words.
I’m running away to sea, Sally….

The memories of that night came rushing back to me.
Memories which had not so much as crossed my mind for years….years….
I crushed the yellowed page I held and slumped into a chair at the table.
Swears simmered on my lips as I strained to read the 
fumbled words.
Don’t look for me.

Don’t look for me.
What a brother I had been!
What a son!
The words were scrawled after that sentence –
the effect, no doubt, of too many bottles of London whiskey. 
But….at the very bottom….
smashed between the black, printed words of the paper itself….
I killed Alice.

My chest tightened.
Alice.
“I’m scared.”
Her words were seared into my mind…like no one’s words ever had been…
or ever would.
“I’m scared.”
“I’m scared.”
I closed my eyes….cursing the day of my birth, I stood to my feet,
supporting myself with both hands against the table,
I bowed my head under the pressure of these memories….
but the words only grew louder…the ghosts of my past….the faces….the locations….
the scenes….the voices….the voices…..
the voices.
“I’m scared.”
My chest locked…the fury built to such a height within me, I gripped the wicker 
basket and slung it with strength across the tiny room.
Pages took flight wildly; like snow they covered my entire chamber….
the basket itself crashed against my desk…
I slumped into my chair again and held my head….
a painful knot had formed in my throat…..
But the voices had vanished.

The Frustrating Dilemma Solved!

Despite all the excitement going on round here, the Lord Jesus has been so wonderful and has still blessed me with time to write! 
It has been such a blessing to write, even a little, every day.
I know I may not be able to do it always, but I pray that so long as it is Jesus’ Will,
this program will keep going steady!
As for the frustrating dilemma  I mentioned Wednesday,
the Lord Jesus blessed me that evening, through His Wisdom and Grace,
to mount that trouble and push forward.
I’m six pages and 3,797 words ahead of that place now. 
(Don’t you love Microsoft Word? It makes it seem like so much more to count the words! 🙂
The trouble at that piece was of getting Sullivan to cool off enough,
in a matter of a paragraph, 
where he could appreciate his Captain’s concern for him. 
I had ended here;
“Just go, Bennet,” I turned away, stepping a few yards to the side, “For God’s sake in heaven just go and take the rest of the hooligans with you!” he followed me and I lowered my tone, “The rain’s stopped; I’m sure you can make it to camp by nightfall.”
Bennet perceived my intention quickly, “I’m as sure as t’ devil we ca’, but it’s near on dusk now, Sullivan. Ye ain’t about a’ stay ‘ere all night ‘r ye?”
“I am,” I informed him firmly, “I, Heimler, these two women, and that powder monkey you struck a bit ago.”
Bennet ignored my accusing comment, “But ‘ats about as fool a move as ever I’s heard, Sullivan!” he was as serious as I was, “T’ere’s more’n jus’ beasts ye’ve gotta werry on out ‘ere! Ye’ know as well as I do at night ‘is place’s crawlin’ wi’ t’em savages.”
I nodded, “I know that.”
Here is what became of the finish;
Bennet jerked his pipe from his lips, “An’ ye think I ca’ jus’ leave ye ‘ere an’ ‘ead on ta’ camp?” he watched me, those sharp, pale eyes piercingly incriminating. 
I did not respond. 
Turning away, I supported myself against a large tree with one hand. I closed my eyes for a second and breathed in the quickening spirit of my terrestrial home…it did little to revive me. The atmosphere hung heavy with moisture, and the heat was bitterly oppressive…
“Ye need more’n Heimler an’ ‘at boy ‘ere,” Bennet added pensively, “’Is place’s murder.”
I nodded, but still was silent. I could not help appreciating my captain’s concern. Bennet was a very coarse character…inhumanly coarse so many times…but he had a rough vein of humanity lost somewhere deep inside him, and I could see it…scarcely…but I could see it. He knew the blackness of this haunting forest just as intimately as I did…. 
“Ye sure we cain’t push on wi’ t’girl?” he asked, putting his musty pipe between his fat lips again, “I’s seen many men walk miles wi’ righ’ good grapeshot mangles.”
I shook my head and turned to rest my back against the tree, “No Bennet,” I looked at him, but couldn’t so much as drag even the smallest level of severity into my voice, “That’s out of the question,” my mind resonated with scenes from long ago…years ago…on the Thames…that face…. 
I swallowed these thoughts. My Captain had never known…he never would – not if I had anything to do with it…, “A woman in that condition cannot endure what this march demands,” I muttered.
Hmmm….
I can’t really technically describe what happened here.
I find it difficult to put writing technically.
But maybe I can try to say just what I’m thinking….
Bennet’s opening statement really did everything for turning Sullivan’s feelings.
The rest of the scene only serves to iron it out. 
The Captain’s jerking his pipe from his lips was decisive, the way he demanded 
an explanation from Sullivan, and the way he watched him after he’d finished his statement,
all worked wonders on Sullivan – being the type of man he is,
and in the situation he was in. 
So…really in one sentence, the Lord blessed the dilemma to be solved! 🙂 
The rest of the scene only irons things out…letting Sullivan calm down enough 
to respond to his Captain, while moving the plot as well. 
I feel like this post has been rather lame….
I’m at a loss of words this evening!
Does anyone else have thoughts here?