Vincent and The Moon Pies

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It all began innocently enough.

Two friends and a Jeep. Loaded to the gills. Headed to Nashville, Tennessee for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. They had plans to take their first year at the conference by storm, learning all they could, meeting new friends, and hugging those they’d only met online. They were determined to make their presence known in the best of ways. 

Their brilliant plan was nearly sidetracked, and their song of joy partially transposed into a melody of sorrow in a minor key only a couple of hours after they arrived in Music City. 

As they sat down to lunch, a short text that seemed innocent and sweet and the two minute phone call that followed changed everything.

 

“Hey, Mom, I just wanted to say I love you.”

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This picture was taken seconds before my son sent the above text. I showed that text to everyone at the table. It was just like my sweet son to send a loving note like that. The call that followed cast his message in a whole new light.

One of my friends was on the other end, wind screaming in the background, panic squeezing her voice. She told me there was another tornado plowing through our neighborhood. She was on the way to get my son, who was home alone. My brain shut down. My body went numb. I looked at the friend sitting to my right and said,

“I can’t do this again.”

When the last tornado hit in November 2013, it was bad. This time was worse. My seventeen year old baby was all alone. In the middle of the monster. Was he okay? Did he make it to the bathroom for shelter? Was that text his way of telling me goodbye? All these thoughts boiled my brain as it went into lock down mode.

I don’t remember much of Wednesday evening. Numerous calls and texts. The girls praying with me and holding me. Being kept off of Facebook and away from the news. We went to eat at a local restaurant. I remember the music. I remember standing on the balcony and watching the water below. I remember I did eat something, at my friends’ orders.

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Then finally those words came I’d been dying to hear all afternoon.

Everyone is okay. All the kids are accounted for and safe.

I wanted to go home, but was instructed by my husband and friends to stay put. There was nothing I could do, and my husband didn’t want me to have to deal with the mess at home a second longer than I had to. I fought them. I was two seconds from jumping in the Jeep and breaking the laws of the land and physics to get home to my husband and babies.

Then I met Dineen and Heather.

They found me roaming the lobby, I’m sure looking lost and pitiful. They prayed with me. They spoke peace and common sense into me. Both of them felt what I already knew but wanted to deny anyway: I was there for a reason. They refused to believe the timing was a coincidence. Looking back, I agree. I have no idea how I would’ve handled being in the middle of another storm, as I was still dealing with emotional issues from the first one. They convinced me, albeit begrudgingly on my part, I should stay and get what I could from the conference. Gain strength to take back home and share.

For once, I obeyed, and stayed put. I’m so glad I did.

I crawled into bed Wednesday night weary and hurting. It took me hours to fall into a fitful sleep. Finally Thursday morning dawned. It was then I noticed something I hadn’t the night before in my hurry to hide under the covers and wish it all away.

A concierge named Vincent had sent a basket of goodies and a note expressing his sympathy for what had happened at home and his hope my weekend would improve. In that basket, among other things, were two treats I adore and rarely get. One you can’t buy up North where I live now, and the other is hard to find.

GooGoo clusters and Moon Pies.

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His simple act of kindness, added to the love and prayers of my friends, were what propelled me out of my stupor. As I enjoyed a GooGoo Cluster for breakfast, I prepared myself anew for the conference. I became determined to milk every last drop out of the weekend. To fortify my armor. To be stronger than ever.

I began to push aside all the depressing, crazy-making thoughts and focus on where I was. It wasn’t hard. Being surrounded by friends, sisters and brothers, made it easier to shove my troubles back and find my joy. Throughout the weekend, especially Thursday, I had my moments. Ups and downs. But there was always someone by my side to pull me up and out of the down times. I am forever grateful.

 

Then came Friday morning. I’d signed up for a class I knew would be highly beneficial to me. As I sat down, the instructor immediately gave valuable information I could use to better my manuscripts. But something felt off. Not with her, with me. I had a nagging feeling despite what I could glean from this class, it wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

After about 10 minutes, I left. I roamed the halls, trying to decide where to go. Looking for answers. I passed a room with the doors wide open and heard the speaker, Allen Arnold, say something that demanded my attention.

“How can we experience miracles if we never need them?”    (Click to tweet)

Okay. I sure needed a miracle. One I didn’t want to need. Hmm. I had to hear what he said next. I rushed inside and chose a seat. That’s when he said he had something for us. Notebooks he’d prayed over and written messages in. There were no names on them, and he handed them out randomly. He was confident they would go to the right people and be the exact message they needed. When I reached up to take mine, our eyes met and he grinned and nodded. In that moment I knew. I was in the right place. That was only confirmed as I opened my notebook to read the message it contained. Tears flooded my eyes and I instantly froze. The first line said:

“Control is an illusion.”   (Click to tweet this.)

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My toes began to hurt from being stepped on. Yep. He’d nailed it.

The confirmation that this class, this conference, was precisely where I was meant to be just kept coming. That note? Only the beginning.

With each keynote, each class, I was challenged. Challenged to write with God. To see things from a different perspective, whether it be a storm I’m going through or the people and things around me. To become one with God, with the universe, and let myself be used as a conduit. To discover myself as I write. To write for the sake of my own transformation. That the only way to change was through a shake up.

I had to step out of the boat and into the turbulent sea, having faith He would hold me.

Another class that really resonated with me was called “Soul Care for Authors”. Boy, did I need that one! They talked about four aspects: Spirit, Soul, Body, and Community. I learned that God is not a teacher who fathers, He’s a Father who teaches. That He wants that deep communion and intimacy with each of us. That sometimes things would be beautiful and messy, but we had to be willing to say yes to the invitation. We had to be ready to jump on that ride God was inviting us on.

One thing that adhered to my heart like crazy glue was something my friend Kristy Cambron said. “Fiercely protect the moments of holy in your life.”  (Click to tweet.) They could come at any time, and we needed to always be ready for those God appointments.

I had plenty of those this weekend.

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So many crossed my path, some unknown to me before the conference, who became close friends. Allies. They saw the light when all I saw was darkness. My roommates Michele, Jebraun, and Terri. My friends Lauren, Ralene, Sara, Sarah, Morgan, Dawn, Naomi, JC, Ronie, Amy, Elizabeth, and Cynthia. So many others. Their paths collided with mine in what could only be these special God moments. People sent to me, to love, encourage, and hold me up. They were my Aarons and I am so thankful for them.

Aside from having my soul, mind, and spirit fed by a sumptuous buffet of instruction, and gaining strength from all I was given, there were multiple lighthearted moments that infused my heart as well. From the genre dinner to the awards gala, to dinners out on the town, to hanging out in the lobby talking about everything and nothing. These precious hours of fun recharged me. They steeped me in joy I would need when I went back home. Not all God appointments are serious and somber. He knows we need the levity to balance the heaviness. And He provided for me in spades.

 

 

 

Yeah, my trip didn’t go according to plan.

Really, when does everything go exactly how we planned it? I would’ve certainly preferred not to have to go through this particular storm and deal with the things I faced once I returned home. But I wouldn’t trade the rest of that weekend for anything. If I had to do it all over again, I would still make the choice to stay. God knew where I needed to be and when, and He put me there. He knew I needed these people, the teaching I received, the fellowship, the strength He gave me through them, and the conversations that forced me to think differently and stretch beyond my limits.

Yes, God can truly use anyone, anything, any situation, to do some amazing stuff and bring incredible good to us. It’s mind boggling how He knows each of us so well, and knows exactly how to nudge us along.

Who would’ve ever thought God would use a stranger named Vincent, and GooGoo Clusters and Moon Pies to be the final push I needed to give in and step forward on the path He’d set before me? 

 

 

~I always include a song with each blog post. I chose today’s song for several reasons. It’s been running through my head since conference. Instead of being burned by the fire, by the past and all the things singeing me in the present, I will instead BE the fire. I will be the storm. I will take what was given to me, what God infused me with, and I will fight.

Fire purifies. It transforms. I will allow it to transform me, to change my perception. I will be the Phoenix, rising from the ashes, stronger than ever. My greatest hope is that you will do the same.~

 

 

Ground Truth

The Armor of God

Belt of Truth

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Continuing our series on the Armor of God, today we are discussing the belt of truth.

~Ephesians 6:14: Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.

History

The belt is a small, yet crucial part of a soldier’s armor. Most other pieces of weaponry and protection depend upon the belt being in its proper place. Many times, it is the first piece of gear a warrior dons.

Historically, the shield was connected to the belt, which kept it in place. Other purposes were to keep the tunic tight, or obviously, to keep the pants secure, and keeping clothing tight to the body to prevent accidents or the soldier being slowed. This allows the warrior to move freely and confidently. This piece also held the scabbard, knives, and sometimes rope, among other things.

In Roman armor, and others, the belt often included strips of leather or sometimes metal and chain mail, which hung down the thighs, protecting the femoral arteries.

Even in modern military gear, the belt is vital. Communications equipment, rations, weapons, ammo, and various necessary objects are carried in pouches on the belt. This frees the soldier’s hands and keeps all their tools within easy reach.

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Encircled by Truth

The belt of truth mentioned in Ephesians 6 performs these same functions, in a different context.

A belt encircles the body. It forms a complete. never ending loop. So it must be with truth. It must be complete and strong, holding all we need for our battle and keeping all other armor in place. Our principles and beliefs have to be rooted in this truth, otherwise they are not useful. We will find ourselves unarmed and the rest of our armor sliding from its place, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to the enemy.

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What is truth?

Though there are different kinds of truth, they all flow from the same source.

~Psalm 33:4- For the Word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth.

~Absolute truth

     Absolute truth is defined as: Inflexible reality; fixed, invariable, unalterable facts.

Lately, absolute truth has fallen out of fashion. Not many seem to want to accept absolute truth, choosing instead to follow the idea of moral relativism; that truth is different for everyone and according to every situation.

This is not a good guidance system. If there is no absolute truth, then there are no moral absolutes, and therefore, everything is permissible. If we do not have a compass showing us true North and helping guide our way, then what are we to align with? What direction are we to go? Do we simply wander aimlessly, flitting from one place to the next, never having guiding truths shining like a beacon and pointing us the right way?

No. There is one truth from which all other truth springs. A foundation that keeps us secure. A belt to hold our weapons and armor in place.

~John 14:6- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

He is our foundation. Our starting point for all truth. Everything we need can be found in Him. His words are absolute truth.

~Ground Truth

Ground truth is a military slang term that describes the reality of a tactical situation. This may differ from the original mission plan. Now this is where we get down to brass tacks. This is the place where we apply those absolute truths.

Ground truth does not mean that the guiding principles have changed. It does not mean that the end goal has changed. What it does mean is that the plan must adapt. That the objective must still be achieved, using the foundational principles that are our absolute truth, but methods must be improvised.

In battle, unforeseen circumstances arise. You may encounter an ambush. You may sustain wounds that make your former plan useless. You may have followed wrong directions and ended up several clicks South of your target.  The enemy may be stronger in number than intel stated.

When things go awry and your original plan goes out the window, you have your guiding principles, your primary objective, and your training to guide you. You must adapt. Change tactics.

You can only do this if you are able to fully utilize the tools at your disposal.

It’s the same with spiritual warfare and our daily lives.

Let’s face it, life is a battle. We are constantly bombarded by the enemy. Often, things don’t go as planned and we are left wondering what we do next, where we should go, how we’re ever going to get out of this mess of a surprise that’s been tossed in our lap.

That is when our absolute truth, THE Truth, can shine the brightest. This is when our belt of truth really does its job, providing necessary support. Everything we need for any situation will be instantly at our disposal.  But, it can only function properly if we maintain it.

How do we do that?

His Word is absolute truth, given to us in detail and there for us to consume. If we constantly devour His word, and then apply it to our lives, our armor is kept intact and in top working order. Our hearts are strengthened, our minds sharpened. We keep the word, His truth, at the forefront of all we do, and it is there and ready for action when we need it most. So study the battle plans, implement them in your own life, and maintain constant communication with Him. Hold to His truth. That’s the only way you can ever hope to win the coming battles.

I must admit, there are times when I fail to maintain my own armor. I let my devotional time in the word slide down the list. And, boy, can I feel the repercussions. Situations arise that throw me for a loop and it takes me longer to get back on track because I don’t have everything I need to battle at the forefront.

Does this happen to you? Have there been times when you have been tempted to forgo what you know is absolute in favor of the relative truth offered by the world? How do you get back on track? Share with us below.

Keep Your Head In The Game

Welcome to Fight Friday!

As promised in Monday’s post, today is all about the helmet.

Monday, we talked about why every suit of armor should start with a sturdy helmet. (You know, so you keep your brain intact inside your cranium. Otherwise, well, not good things will follow.)

Our primary focus was not a physical helmet, but the helmet of salvation.

Today, we get to take a peek at some helmets through the centuries. And, okay, some from fiction as well. I don’t go into a lot of detail, since this is really just a fun post.

~Ancient Warriors

When we think ancient warriors, most of us probably think of Spartans, Romans, Persians, etc. Have you ever really taken a good, up close look at their gear? It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. No technology as we know it, yet they came up with some astonishing ways to keep their skulls protected.

3ce0c2c6bdc5da8b0066d0f94e29d39cThis is a rather ornate early helmet. Surprise, it’s Spartan!

fc152c55b4cd6730db49ec9e7e975f60This one is said to be early Viking.

e55da8c9507733bec195d1999f177c35Here’s an ornate piece. It was found in the ruins of the ship of a seventh century Anglo-Saxon King. I’m going to guess this probably didn’t see much battle.

~Knights and Dragon Slayers

The following are what probably pop into your head first when you think armor.  I’ve got to say, I’m not sure how they held their heads up to fight! These look heavy.

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I’m putting the Samurai Warriors in this section. Their battles were fought over centuries, with not much changing in the way of their armor. Beautiful pieces, and strong, despite being made mostly of leather, bamboo, and bone, sometimes different metals.

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~19th and 20th Centuries

f96b56dd73d6f181c6abb60b4c12517eAn American soldier, circa World War II. This guy was especially happy to have his helmet.

ef09d5c1facdc4cf1bbc952c3e58ef0eLate 18th Century, British.

3e7219e53d1784e87cd4142fdecf2a9cThis one is Russian, these particular helmets worn by commanders. How did they get this to stay on?

~Modern Warfare

Now, we get into the really cool stuff.

c89c8788043fd526d757b907ea79b81dModern tactical gear is a thing of beauty. Not only designed to maximize protection, but also communication, and visualization. Many have cameras mounted to them, so those back at base can have immediate sitrep. 46797b15d33f94b405af46a31fb32814

This one is my personal favorite. The head gear of a fighter pilot.33be83876cc3471b3bfc939d55e380ad

~Art Imitates Life

And now, for some rather well-known helmets.

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And, of course, a little homage to the man who is the inspiration for my character “Ryland” in REBIRTH. 7c137a66c824b606fed2249422698018

So, to close today’s post, I leave you with a word of advice. This bit of wisdom can be used in both spiritual and physical battles.

DON’T9930f441a96980f95b9b6db565d50236 BE THIS GUY!

Mind over Matter

Welcome to Monday!

Fellow warriors, I hope that your week is starting off well! It’s already getting busy around here. Today, I’m finishing up edits on REBIRTH. Tomorrow, the proposals go out! I’m also in the process of building my website and setting up a newsletter, so keep an eye out for that.

Setting the tone for the week.

Every week, we will have a different theme here on Guts on the Page. The theme will connect to the book I’m reading and reviewing for the week. Also, we’ll have discussion posts and lots of fun stuff as well.

This week, I’m starting a new series of posts, focused on the Armor of God.

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 ~Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13~

First piece, the Helmet of Salvation

Before any warrior goes into battle, one of the first things they put on is their helmet. Through the ages, helmets have been made from a variety of mediums (more on that in our Fight Friday post). Whether some sort of metal, or reinforced leather, the purpose of a helmet, as we know, is to protect the brain. Above all else, the head needs to be shielded. When a warrior loses their helmet, the head is left vulnerable, making it a prime target for the enemy. And that is the first place a smart enemy will attack.

Survey of the Battleground

6ef78a80c66bd42e3f531d39bb789c77The same holds true for battles outside of the physical realm. In Ephesians 6, verse 17, we are told:

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

In my opinion, it is no coincidence that the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit are listed in the same verse. As with each piece of armor, they work in tandem to protect, but these two more than any others. More on that in a moment. First, let’s get a better look at the battlefield, so we know what we’re up against and why this armor is necessary.

 Our thoughts guide our actions, our choices, our words, even our moods. If not brought under control, they can destroy us, maybe even physically. There has been much research done to support the idea that we have at least a modicum of control over our physical health, simply by using the power of our minds. The strength of the mind to affect our bodies and our lives is no secret. I’m sure we’ve all heard at least one of the phrases “Speak it into existence”, “Name it and claim it”, or “Think yourself well”.

A well-known quote that illustrates the power of the mind comes from Descartes. Cogito ergo sum, or, I think, therefore I am.

With the mind being one of the most powerful things in our human arsenal, it makes sense that this is where the majority of attacks would be focused. Our minds are Satan’s favorite target. If he can get our thoughts under his control, the body and spirit will follow. We are cautioned again and again in Scripture to shield our minds and guard our thoughts.

~ I Corinthians 10:5- Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

~Philippians 4:8- Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, mediate on these things.

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Prepared for War

Now the question becomes, how do we guard our minds? The first step: putting on our helmet of salvation. Salvation is the one thing God wants most for us. He has provided us a way back to Him, a rescue from the fall. When we are once again grafted into His family, He is able to arm us fully for whatever lies ahead.

~I Thessalonians 5:9- For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are reading this and you have yet to accept that salvation, I implore you, do it! Simply confess that Jesus is Lord, ask forgiveness for your sins, and ask Him to live in your heart, to guide your thoughts and your steps.

 You will take heavy fire. Satan will focus even more viciously on your weak points. But with the helmet of salvation strapped on, you have protection against whatever the enemy throws at you. The primary target is secured, your backup is guaranteed. You no longer have to struggle alone, under your own mental strength. Someone is now providing cover fire.

Maintaining the Armory

Once you’ve donned the helmet, you have to maintain it. This does not mean it won’t receive hits, get a few dings, or feel like it’s slipping off your head. No one is perfect. Romans tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. You will still have weak moments, and flashy decoys will attempt to sway your focus toward them. So, how do we keep this helmet on, keep it in top condition, and prepare for these attacks?

That’s where the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, comes in. You must have this to maintain every other piece of equipment, especially your helmet. When you take the words in to yourself, meditate on them, and live them, you are fortifying your armor and keeping it in shape for battle. When your mind is full of the word, it becomes more difficult for the enemy to breach the gates. 6278a2dff2d18c6f023f0d960261129a

Pre-mission Briefing

We all have those less than stellar moments. The times when our thoughts wonder into dark territory, places they should never go. With all the chaos and temptation around us, it would be so easy to let our minds go and get caught up in the excitement. Or, when our battle plans are blown to bits, it’s hard not to wallow and let the darkness consume our minds. I’ve been there, much too frequently, as I’m sure many of you have.

But when the blackness creeps in, in whatever form, we now have the power through Christ to push back. To send it packing in retreat. All we have to do is pull on our helmets, and fill our minds with His words of strength. We are no longer hostage to the enemy, or our own thoughts. He has released us. He has saved us.

If you would like someone to pray with you, whether for salvation or for strength for a particular fight you are facing, share your needs below, or contact me at: AmyMMcNew@att.net. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter. I would be more than happy to pray with you.

If any of you would like to share your battles and victories, feel free to do so below. There is no judgment here. We only seek to build each other up, and celebrate one another’s triumphs.

And, as is a pre-battle tradition here at Guts on the Page, I send you off with a song to ponder.

Timing is Everything

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It’s Fight Friday!

Here at Guts on the Page, you’ll be seeing a lot of things battle related, whether the warfare discussed is spiritual, physical, or emotional. Friday is the day specially set aside to open a dialogue on these subjects, and to arm you with tools to fight whatever enemy comes your way.

Today, I’m starting with an announcement!

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REBIRTH, my current manuscript and the beginning of the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles (tentative title), has won the OCW Cascade award for unpublished speculative fiction! I must admit, I was taken by surprise. While I believe in my work, I was up against some stiff competition. People who have been in this industry longer than I, with amazing stories to tell. But God saw fit to bless me with this accolade, and I am grateful. In thinking about this award and everything that comes along with it, the topic of timing came to mind.

~Battle Strategy

When faced with the possibility of a fight, on any field, planning and timing are key to a successful campaign. Even in a surprise hand to hand battle, if your timing is off, you provide your opponent with the opportunity they need to land that kick or punch, or take you down. This is true for large battles and the overall war as well. If you strike at the perfect time, with the most solid plan, you have the best chance of clenching the victory.

In my life, my best laid plans have blown up in my face. I thought I was prepared, knew what I had to do, and was confident it was the correct course of action. Unfortunately, I  left myself wide open for the enemy to swoop in and take advantage of my weaknesses. I’d forgotten a key factor.

Timing. Not just my timing, but God’s.

I thought it was time. I thought I had drawn the perfect map, planned the perfect strategy. I thought I knew exactly where I was to engage and thought I had all the equipment to do just that. I thought I knew what my mark was, and how to hit it.

I was dead wrong.

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God had another plan. I had jumped the gun.

~Refocusing the Attack

A hidden goal, one I had mostly given up on, was revealed. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. The dream I thought I wanted most, the battle strategy I’d created, had just been obliterated. I crawled away and wallowed in defeat, too broken by the crushing blow to see that there was something greater for me just over that hill I didn’t want to claim.

But God knew what I was capable of. He knew the strength in me, the strength He would fortify. An old, buried passion burst into my camp. An inferno ignited, searing me from the inside out.

That old passion made its presence know.

So, I embraced it again. I wrote, I fought, I cried, I fought. I nearly let fear consume me.

Then came my first skirmish. My first pitch and proposal. I was rejected. Defeated. Though it was done in a loving manner that left the door open for a fantastic acquaintance, my weapons fell to the ground and I hit my knees.

All I could hear from Heaven was “It’s not time.”

I dove back in to my work; polishing, honing, learning. The flames of passion licked higher. I would not be defeated. I would wait and work, listening for His word to go.

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Suddenly it was time.

I started meeting people, building relationships, perfecting my manuscript, and arming myself with everything available. I gained mentors in the craft that are second to none. Doors began to open that I never imagined. Still, I waited.

Then, the above announcement came.

Immediately, I received messages from others telling me that it was beginning. It was time. Even as I sit here, it hasn’t sunk in. People liked my work. That thing I had toiled over and questioned was accepted.

This doesn’t mean I will get a contract. This doesn’t mean that I will win anything else. What it does mean, is He has started something. He is putting things in motion and getting me into the exact location I need to be for the next strike, the next campaign. I will wait on Him. It won’t be easy. There will be disappointment. Yet, if I listen to His voice, and give each and every battle to Him, victory will be had, in one way or another.

I just have to stop, listen for His command, and then go.

Are you in a holding pattern? Are you surveying the land, staking out the enemy, and waiting for the command to move? Waiting for Him to say “it’s time”?

 Share with us. Let’s support one another, and prepare our army for the good fight.

And of course, I have a fight song for us!

Rebirth: Change is in the air

It’s time for something new.

We all get stuck in ruts.

In the case of this newbie writer, my rut was focusing single-mindedly on my manuscript and leaving everything else as it lay. Well, news flash: people will never know who you are, or want to read your book, or anything else you write for that matter, if they have no clue how to find you, or if what they do find is, well, less than thrilling.

So, I am embracing change and total upheaval, and listening to those who have been poking me with sticks to get moving.

It hurts. The to-do list is eating up my time like nobody’s business, and giving me a headache. But the more I get done, the less it hurts. I feel accomplished. Energized.

Ready for battle.75ddc6f7f6befd0dabf5d0b1e21ae652

In the spirit of throwing off fear and heading into the throes of the fight, I am updating my blog. This includes refining my focus, setting a killer posting schedule, and changing the name.

‘Tales From the Writers Cave’ has now become:

Guts on the page.

This phrase pops out of my mouth every time I discuss my writing. It stays in my head as I sit at my desk and pound on the keyboard. What does it mean?

No holding back. No barriers. No hiding.

It means pouring everything I am into what I write. It means feeling those things that I don’t want to feel, that make me want to bang my head against the wall or curl up in the fetal position and cry my eyes out. It means sorting through my battle scarred past to find truth and healing. It means letting God show me where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m headed. Acknowledging who I was and how it shaped me into what I am now. Giving it all to Him and letting Him teach me and prepare me for what’s ahead. Letting Him pull me out of this rut, out of all the deep, muddy, hollowed out tracks, and show me a new road.

It means you get the real me. Unfiltered, unfettered, and unashamed.

It means surrender.

Pushing past fear.

REBIRTH.

Becoming that new creature, donning new armor, and facing whatever comes with courage.

If you choose to soldier on with me on this new adventure, you should at least know a little of what you might be getting into. On that note, I’ve drawn up some ideas for posts and events designed to initiate conversation, educate, entertain, and allow us a place to join forces and strengthen one another.

So what can you expect?

More regular posts, and a method to the madness!

Monday- I will set the tone for the week. I will introduce a topic that coincides with whatever review I’m doing. And, I’ll give you any updates from my writing world.

Tuesday- This will be the day I do book reviews. Mostly, I will review Speculative Fiction, but there may be an occasional surprise. I read whatever strikes me.

Wednesday- This is the day set aside for interviews with authors and others I find interesting.

Thursday- Variety and surprise day! You never know what may be coming your way.

Friday- One of my favorites! Friday is fight day! What that means, is I will post anything from self-defense moves, to a peek at a certain martial arts style, and even spiritual warfare techniques such as keys to defeating addiction, fighting depression, and standing against spiritual attack.

I’m excited about the new direction for my blog and I hope you are as well. I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you and give you a look into my world!

And, since the point is giving people what they want and need, I want your input.

Tell me if there is something specific you’d like to see, read, or discuss.

I want to get to know you as well!