After the Breaking – What?

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Melting…that’s what. Something bad happened, and you were broken. Something bad happened and I was broken – eight years ago. That was an extreme disappointment, which caused me to look at myself pretty hard. Why had it happened.

Then I started chocolate. And I discovered that the process I put chocolate through is much like what we call refining fire. We all go through refining fire. It’s the HOW we go through that matters.

We could be bitter, angry, or vengeful. But that doesn’t do us any good at all. But in the midst of all this, we feel like we’re melting, don’t we. Just as I melted this chocolate. I had a physical break in March. My melting, manifested as “meltdowns.” Sometimes, even more than one day – as my frustrations grew.

These frustrations – what were they? Little things…little things I couldn’t do anything about at the time. So, I vented. My poor husband got to hear it all…bless his precious, sweet heart. Read More

Fiction or Non-Fiction – That is the Question

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Today, we’ll digress a bit from process, but there is a process of choice in this post. Like Hamlet when he gave his famous speech, what you read took thinking, based on your preferences, your tastes, and your genres.

Is there a war between fiction and non-fiction? There doesn’t have to be. I’m encouraging you to read both in this post. It will help you to be more well-rounded.

Why do you read what you read? Are you a reader of fiction or non-fiction? Or both? I believe it’s important to know and recognize that at different stages of our lives, we concentrate on different things. To give myself as an example, I grew up reading fiction, and the probably the only non-fiction I read were biographies, and those were few. I’m gonna get spiritual on ya, but that’s just me. If you disagree, that’s OK.

Somewhere in my late twenties to early thirties – for a period lasting probably twenty years, I read a lot of Christian non-fiction. Why did I switch?

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In the Middle of Process

in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Fountain in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Writing a novel is a l-o-n-g process. Life interferes, at least mine did, and I had to stop altogether. My interference was a broken wrist. The bones have healed, but it’s taken weeks and weeks, and I still don’t have full mobility or strength back.

In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Israel, I fell and broke my wrist. And already, I’m thinking of going back. I wanna go back to Jerusalem, where I fell, and see what I didn’t get to see the last time.

I’m finally typing two-handed now. It took weeks…and a couple of thick books to elevate the keyboard for awhile. I’ll try to post more often now that I can. I said in an earlier post, I could do all kinds of play-on words for the word “broken,” but I wasn’t going to. Maybe in future posts I will, one at a time.

Suggestions for changes in my novel, Meghan’s Choice, from a mentor have to percolate like coffee brewing. To tell you the truth, in the last month or so, I wasn’t sure I could make necessary changes to improve the story and the writing. But I think I can get started.

Because you have to start at the beginning, I’m thinking of changing my first sentence.

What’s on your heart? Write it down. Somewhere. Share it. Enrich someone else’s life with what you write. That’s my goal for this blog. Show process, bring encouragement, hopefully, enrich your life.

Let me know if you like it. Share it, comment. I’d love to hear of YOUR process!

Chocolate – Breaking is hard

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Wow. It’s been a month since I posted. I’ve been my broken wrist to heal and get some use back. This is my first day back at typing two-handed. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. I lost total use of my left hand. It is my assist hand, and it couldn’t assist me in any way, shape or form for many weeks. I’m in my ninth week of physical therapy, and have regained some use, but not all – but ENOUGH to type two-handed again. Feels good.

Where are you in the process? The first part of any process is brokenness. My wrist was broken in three places. I broke this block up into many pieces – so I could melt it, temper it, then use it however I wanted. Read More

Progress is a Process

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For all you chocolate lovers out there, this melted mass is not quite in temper, but it’s close. Depending on the chocolate manufacturer, it could be in temper, but generally speaking 91 degrees is still a bit warm for dark chocolate. How do I know? I was a chocolatier for the last seven years and I learned a lot about process. Now I’m learning a lot of other processes.

Chocolate, real chocolate, and not the candy melts. must be in a certain temperature range in order for it to set correctly, with gloss and snap. The tempering process, when done right, assures that the chocolate will set without what is called “bloom” (discolored streaks in the chocolate).

The writing process and the road to publication is long, with many revisions and rewrites. My novel is still in that process before I even try to find a publisher. I want my novel to have the greatest chance to be published by a royalty publisher.

Life is a process. From before we are born, we are constantly changing and growing. If we don’t continue to grow, we drift, then begin to die. Eventually we will all die. But for now – what stage of life are you in? What challenges have you overcome? Where are in the process (changing) and the progress (growth) of life are you? Read More

A great story is not enough – write it well

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I’m shining a light on something, just as this shines on a section of the original temple wall in Jerusalem. Part of my writing journey is reading. In the last year and a half since getting my kindle – I’ve probably read nearly 200 books. I see a pattern emerging.

Because the publishing world is so difficult to break into – everyone can now publish a book. All you have to do is pay for it.

But I’m noticing a trend. Self-published books can have grammatical and spelling errors, they’re too wordy, and there’s too much “information dump” – which is part of too wordy. Let’s look at these separately. Read More

Spring Process – Progress

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My tulips haven’t bloomed yet – but they are growing. And yesterday, I had my first physical therapy session for my wrist. The evaluation: no grip, no strength – but I knew that. But this stage of my journey has begun. I have a l – o – n – g way to go, but I am determined to stay the course.

My emotions trip me up more than I’d like. If you’ve seen my picture, you can see my red hair. I have a temper. I wish I didn’t. I’ve been losing it more than I’d like. Just goes to show me I’m not perfect. I wish I were – but I will never be in this life. I will never always do everything right. But I also don’t have to do everything wrong, either.

Therein, is my challenge. I’m glad our life tests aren’t graded except pass-fail. Although I feel I may be flunking, I rely on God’s grace and forgiveness to see me through.

How about you? What tests in life are you going through right now.

Spring Always Comes

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We’ve had an incredibly long and hard winter. When March came, we were sure spring was just around the corner. When it was delayed by more cold temperatures, we wondered if spring would ever come. In this part of Pennsylvania, sometimes it seems we go almost directly from winter to summer, without much of a spring. But my daffodils never lie. They bloom every spring. They haven’t missed one.

When you’re tempted to give up, give in, or walk away from your troubles because it’s hard – just remember – breakthrough IS coming. I’m preaching to myself here. Nearly four weeks ago, I broke my wrist. I’ve had to choose a hard thing – for me – because I ultimately knew surgery would help me recover faster. Twelve days after surgery, my splint was taken off, and I’m wearing a brace.

Believe me, I need this encouragement as much as anyone. Typing one-handed takes a lot longer. But yesterday, the splint/new cast (not much plaster done in U.S. anymore) was replaced by a brace. When I’m tempted, and it’s almost a daily thing, to rant and rave in frustration, I’m choosing to tell myself that Spring IS here. Because I know that summer is on the way. And when summer comes, my wrist should about be back to normal.

Have a great week – and know that Spring Always Comes.

Life Springs – a Journey

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It’s a small place. Too small, it would seem, to be able to so separate 300 men from ten thousand. And yet, that’s what happened. This is Gideon’s Spring, the place in Judges where God used a method of drinking water to separate those that fought to free Israel from those who were told to go home.

What battles are you fighting today? Are you using overkill methods? As for me, I’m still fighting the battle of the broken wrist, typing one-handed. It takes me awhile. But my battle won’t last forever. My fingers wiggle well and I’m straightening my elbow. These are things we so take for granted. Not me, not for a long while.

Have a great day, and know that in the midst of the battle, God is there. Now, if I can only remember that when I get frustrated at how long everything takes. In this season of my journey, well, I’m trying to learn patience, but it’s not easy.

Another Process has begun for me

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I was recently in Israel on a tour. It was great except for breaking my wrist the day after I got there. People told me they thought I was a trooper, continuing on the tour for most of the activities. I tried to be. It wasn’t always easy, and the next few months is a healing process for the wrist. It’s not my signature hand, thank the Lord, but I am typing one-handed. I expect to learn more patience and perseverance through this humbling experience. I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient, but my husband and others have been taking good care of me.

Actually, some good has already come out of this. More later. Have a great Monday, and pray I heal quick. Nothing more frustrating to a writer who can type fast to have to type one-handed. But I’m doing it.

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