Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are You Critiquing My Work?

Right now I have run across the opportunity to have a Critic Partner.  A CP is something new to me.  After reading the books I have on writing, I knew I would need to find a group or partner to help me along.

Years ago, I joined an online group that offered the opportunity to have your work critiqued. It was not a Christian group, which was quite an obstacle.  After submitting a few flash shorts, I received some hateful comments that weren’t at all helpful in furthering my work.  I decided to move away from this group since it wasn’t healthy critiquing. 

I haven’t been sure about how to go about finding a critic group and/or partner.  Most of those that meet at the local library are a mix of genres.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but I would like them to be Christian.  I want feedback from another Christian on my work and I don’t really want to read things that aren’t in a genre I prefer.  If I do, I worry that my critique wouldn't be fair to the other person.

Recently I ran across another author requesting a CP.  So, I responded and now I’m in prayer over if this is the right person and situation for me.  First, I’m going to send off my first chapter to her to see how it goes.  I guess we’ll find out if it’s right for us or not.  I’ll keep you posted on this new and exciting opportunity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Birthday Present

Last Tuesday, I celebrated my 34th birthday.  It was a nice day and my husband helped to make it special.  In the morning, he presented me with my card and gift – 2 tickets to the Chris Tomlin concert that was Saturday!  How excited I was.  We’ve seen Chris in concert 3 times before and it had been years since the last time.  Then later that evening when I arrived home, a Cookie “cake” was waiting for me.  Know that cake is not my favorite, my wonderful husband buys a large decorated cookie for me.  They are the size of a large pizza and YUMMIE!!  It lasts for quite a while.

Waiting for Saturday to come was difficult.  We don’t get out often, just the two of us.  So, this was a special treat.  We dropped our son off at grandma and grandpa’s house at 5 and headed to the concert.  This was the first time we’ve been to the new venue at NKU and were greatly impressed upon arrival.  Nice on the outside, parked extremely close and easy to find our seats.  Our seats were on the top level, and even though it made me dizzy walking up the steps, they were good seats.  We could see the stage really well.

The concert started promptly at 7 with a new group from Ireland, Rend Collective Experiment.  Very high energy and so enjoyable to listen to.  Especially enjoyed the last song they performed.  Oh, and love the use of innovative instruments… one being a trash can!

Then after a really short intermission, 15 minutes, the church service began!  If you’ve never been to a Christian concert, it’s so much more than just a show.  Yes, you get to see one of your favorite artists perform in person; but, you also get to worship with the church.  You can feel the presence of God all around.  And what an amazing sight to see so many people worshipping with hearts wide open.  In the row ahead of us, there was a group of about 6 teens who just all out worshipped.  What a blessing to see the younger generation loving God and not afraid to show it!

After an awesome worship time, Louie Giglio came out to speak.  He centered his talk on all of us making music for God, including nature.  You have to hear him to know how awesome it was.  To hear the “music” that the stars are making – AMAZING!

Chris came back on for a final worship time and it brought tears to my eyes seeing a cross being carried to the stage.  A poignant reminder of the reason we were there.  The only lights fell on the cross making you focus on our Lord and Savior!  Praise Him!

I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to experience this church worship with my brothers and sisters.  However, not only did I get to join this time, I had inspiration for a new novel!  Who would have thought that at that moment, God would bring this new idea to me?  AWESOME!!!  That’s what I truly am... in awe.

If our God is for us… who can be against us?!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What I'm Reading

Over the past week, I’ve been reading The Shack by William P Young.  It’s one of those books that I heard and saw a lot about for quite a while.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into a book like this or not.  Then last year at the library sale, I saw it for $1.  So, I picked it up and added it to my “To Read” pile.  Now it’s actually made it around for reading.

If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s focuses on a man who is dealing with the disappearance of his youngest daughter.  He “meets” God at the shack where she was supposedly murdered.  A very heavy topic; and having a young son myself, a difficult one to read about it.

I’m just under halfway through and have formed some opinions already.  One is that I have to remember that this is FICTION.  Everyone who reads it needs to remember that.  DO NOT take the words in this back as scripture or God breathed.  Second, going along with number one, I do not agree with his representation of God and the trinity.  Interesting response as to why they are that way, but I still don’t agree.  Third, there are some really interesting insights.  Such as the one on how God listens to us with limitation like we would listen to our child.  I have no idea if it is even close to the truth, but it gives you something to think about in your relationship with God.

I’m curious to see where it’s going and will finish it even if I disagree with some of the ideas of Mr. Young’s.  I’m sure there will be some other great insights to come from the book, but it will be difficult to get past his idea of what God and the trinity are since it disagrees with Biblical scriptures and what God says about himself.

I found an interesting article by Chuck Colson supporting why you should not read this book.  I do agree with some of the things he says; but I still say, if you decide to read this, remember that this is fiction and not God-breathed scripture.