Posts Tagged ‘joy’


When I draft a novel, I DRAFT a novel. Free-writing is my mantra. I don’t let sensible thoughts weigh me down. Why bother? They are chains on my creativity. This process works, it really works, for me. Writing tip: if you are trying to edit while you are writing, you are a hundred times less likely to enjoy the process or finish the story.

And then the muses sweep me in a different direction… (Thanks, muses. I love you anyway.)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote two scenes that were to take place in the medieval fortress of Saphree. Saphree is of great significance to one of my characters so there were lots of specially crafted phrases describing its architecture and its emotional impact. All of this was powerful writing, until the muses decided my characters should be at some legendary waterfalls in the middle of the open woods instead.

Usually, relocating is not too much work. A wall is a wall so change bricks to wood or wood to stone and, poof!, you’re done. But relocating from indoors to outdoors is a major project. And relocating from one significant place to a place that is significant for entirely different reasons… Oy vey (which, by the way, is a “Yiddish exclamation of chagrin, dismay, exasperation or pain”). My brain hurts just thinking about it.

And yet… I admit. I find these kind of time-consuming changes fun. It offers a challenge that my typically sloppy free-writing does not. So here’s to finding a little fun in the journey and the work and the muses. May your challenges melt to joy today and the stories you craft–in pen or deed–receive a breath of fresh air,

Jessie Mae

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There is plenty to worry about. The tragic events of last week, of Hurricane Sandy, of what I read about in my Western Civilizations class are enough to prove that. I will not miss spending hours a day reading about death and the errors of our past. Nonetheless, the reading had a place. As Edmund Burke says, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Now that the class is complete, I may even be able to agree that it was worthwhile to take. But draining. Ever so draining.

We cannot run from the tragedy of life. Sometimes worry is that gut feeling that triggers us not to walk down the dark alley or tells us to get on our knees and pray for a friend. But worry does not have to dominate our lives and that, my friends, is liberating. I do not know how people without a Savior to trust in can be at peace, but I can be. I am. And that peace creates a joy that enables me to stop and enjoy a day like yesterday.

I dressed up as an Egyptian princess for my nephew’s birthday party. It was delight to hear him open every present and even if he couldn’t tell just what it was from the box go, “Oh yay!”. To the Hulk-gloves I gave him he kept saying, “This is just what I always wanted.” Positive, wonderful, happiness over a pair of $15 green gloves. If only we all could be so content in the simple things…

So Western Civ, you had your place, but saying goodbye to you might be the best Christmas present I get this year. Remember, friends, that this is the season to be reminded that God is working out a mighty plan. Never fear!

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