Hide and Go Seek — and other Things that Make me Scream

writing for children

I am not a scaredy cat.

I love to hike and wade in mountain streams.  I love to go to places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen. I like to watch documentaries on foods from other countries and want to visit those countries one day. I like to make new recipes! I’ll even try new foods – even if it’s with an upturned lip and wrinkled nose to show my displeasure. But I do it! (Ask my mama. She’ll tell ya!)  I throw parties for my girls (with kids… lots of them), host sleepovers and haul my kids with me all over the state of NC (and other states)… even if I don’t know where I’m going. We just GO!

I have picked up frogs (the frogs and I both shivered) and even held a giant snake one time at a reptile show… JUST for my kids. (and y’all know how much I dislike snakes!)

Life is an adventure and I’m here to explore! With God on my side, who do I have to fear? No one!

Unless, of course, you ask me to play the Cordova version of Hide and seek tag. Its variation is called, “Ain’t No Booger Bears Out Tonight…”   And if you don’t know it, you don’t want to. It’s played just as the sun is setting. The player who is “it” hides. Then other players have to make it from point A to homebase (without being tagged by “it”) while chanting, “Ain’t no booger-bears out tonight… Grandpa killed them all last night…”. ARRRGH!

I hate that game. I always have. Knowing that someone is out there, waiting for me… waiting to hunt me down and say, “Tag! You’re it!” makes me want to hide under my favorite blankie and eat a brownie or three. (yes, I am 41 and have a favorite blankie. Doesn’t everyone?)

Frankly, any variation on hide and seek scares the hummus out of me, especially the one I played as a child. And all those zombie movies and books? Just glorified hide and seek/tag games. For real. Think about it.

Isn’t that the way it is in life, though? We have hidden, unseen, and sometimes really ugly things that are chasing us. Sometimes they are temptations. Sometimes the hidden things are physical or emotional sickness. Sometimes, it can even be the overtones/undertones from people and relationships we encounter.

And maybe that’s why I hate hide and seek. Maybe, deep down, that stupid game reminds of the unknown crap that we all have to fight. Because, let’s face it…. life is full of battles. And those battles are often battles that sneak up on us… hunting us down when we aren’t looking.

But there’s HOME-BASE. Yep. That’s the saving grace part of the game. It doesn’t matter if someone tags me when I’m there… it doesn’t count. I’m not “it” and I don’t have to take their place. If I’m on home-base, then I’m SAFE. And the Bible says that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS. It also says that God is my home-base! Well, maybe it doesn’t use that particular phrasing – but it does guarantee that I am SAFE in the presence of God. Need proof? Read Psalm 91. I’ve pasted the first five verses below… you’ll get the idea!


1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”

3For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.

4He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

5You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;

So if you are feeling like something is chasing you down – I get it. I really do.  Life is an adventure – and we’ll face battles and monsters along the way. But be encouraged! You don’t have to face them alone. God has promised to never leave you.

And if you are one of my in-real-life friends… call me. We can go to lunch. We can pray for each other. Encourage each other. Laugh together! Face those fears head on!

Unless, of course, you want to play “Ain’t No Booger Bears out tonight”…

then you’re on your own.

Love ya. Mean it. I’ll be hiding under a blankie eating a brownie.

REVOLUTION

writing for children

REVOLUTION HAS COME
which side do you choose?

our world moans and groans
under the weight of “progress”
while our trees die from acid rain
and our rivers, once teeming with wildlife,
are suffocated by our excess

The future of our world,
our children,
are abused, silenced and tossed aside
like pieces of trash
with no value

Yet piles of true waste
are upgraded and “upcycled”,
and valued more than their original costs

but God sees His children
They are not hidden
from Him
He sees their plight
and their despair

Revolution has come
which side do you choose?

The God of the universe
sees
and hears
and knows
Even that which is done in secret
in secret meetings, with whispers and
bloody promises

God sees.
He knows.
And He is not pleased.

God is not moved by the cud of rhetoric
that rolls around in the mouths
of seemingly high-powered politicians,
Those that seek power,
that yearn for it,
more than they yearn for Him

He is not impressed with the
never-ceasing speeches
from the leeches
that suck the life
from our nation
and chain the lives of the
their brothers and sisters…
the ones they claim to protect

They would do well to remember
that they are God’s children
and He is a protective Father

REVOLUTION HAS COME
which side do you choose?

God’s ways are not our ways
His thoughts are not our thoughts
His Power has no bounds
His truth, mercy and Love
strikes down wickedness
and strips it of every disguise,
disintegrating mountains
into dust

There is no one who compares
No one who rivals His great deeds
The One True God

And yet He, the God of the Universe,
sees His creation…
and is moved – NOT by the words of those who
believe they can change His mind with their
perfect posture -

But rather -
He is moved by those
who humble themselves
before Him
seeking His forgiveness,
His direction,
His mercy…
believing and knowing that His promises are true
and His Love is everlasting

“But God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong…”

A young girl
A manger
A baby

REVOLUTION HAS COME
Which side do you choose?

19 years and counting…

writing for children

Sean and I are two different people.
We knew that going in.
And you know what? It’s okay.

Matter of fact, it’s more than okay.

He likes NASCAR (last name, duh). But me? I don’t watch it.
I believe Sasquatches exist. Sean thinks I’m a little loony for thinking that.
He likes tea. I think it tastes like dirty bath water… and that he needs new tastebuds.
I like walking/jogging. He likes cycling.
He likes lots of olives on his subs. I like a few olives on my subs.
(Okay, maybe that last one is kind of similar. Woohoo!)

There are days that he and I argue. Usually over stupid stuff.
There are days I’m right. And a few days that he is. (bwahahahahahah!)
We tease each other about our graying hairs. .
And when we play poker together, I win… mostly.

And by God’s grace, we are still here… 19 years later!
We’re wading in the deep end, raising our three beautiful girls together.
And some days our parenting styles clash, other days we are in perfect sync.

But through it all?

We love each other…
And we are growing together.

We love each other…
Even when we’ve messed up – or got it right.

We love each other…
God’s working on us both.

We love each other…
and that is something to celebrate!

He’s my Pookie Bear.
I’m his Punum Bear.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you, Sean Earnhardt!! Happy Anniversary!

Writing contest — deadline in two days!

writing for children

Writing contest — deadline in two days!

First Annual Summer Writing Contest

Write2Ignite! is pleased to announce the First Annual Summer Writing Contest

The winner will receive:

    • a tote bag of goodies especially selected for writers

    • announcement of the winner’s name and story title on the Write2Ignite! website

    • an interview with the winner posted on the Write2Ignite! website

    • recognition at the 2015 Write2Ignite! Conference

 

For Submission Guidelines and more info —  http://write2ignite.com/writing-contest/

Long time…

writing for children

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m terrible at blogging. Obviously.

I’ve been focusing on my health again. I’ve started walking at least a mile a day (day 7 today!) and have been upping my intake of daily water (cut out all soft drinks, day 6!).

I’m also in waiting mode for a lot of writing related things.

What’s going on with y’all?

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“To love at all…

writing for children

KANSAS CITY

writing for children

My heart hurts for the families and communities in Kansas City. It was a senseless crime. And it was crime that originated in a heart filled with hate. If you haven’t seen the news, you can see the story here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/us/kansas-jewish-center-shooting/

Thus, this my reply:

RESPONSE TO FEAR AND HATRED:

Winter can’t stop Spring from blooming
anymore than fear can stop Love from living.

There’s a Light that breaks darkness.
There’s a Truth that stops hatred.
There’s a Love that is second to none.

There’s a Peace in the chaos.
There’s a Hope in the waiting.
There’s a Joy that can’t be undone.

And Night can’t stop Day from dawning
Anymore than hatred can stop Love from winning.

I should get an award or something

writing for children

Not sure why scientists are so ga-ga over figuring out what black holes really are. I’ve already done that. And I know how they are formed.

Revisions = black holes

Revisions are formed when first drafts become second drafts, third drafts, fourth drafts, etc. An endless loop of deletions and additions that suck the writer in further and further.

There. I’ve solved the mystery folks. Sheldon would be proud.

Deadline extended!

writing for children

Do you know someone who wants to attend Write2Ignite! 2014, but he or she missed the deadline? Good news for them! It’s not too late to register.

 

We’ve had several requests since March 15, to extend the deadline. So, we did. Spread the word to any writing buddies who might like to join us. We are accepting registrations through Midnight, Sunday, March 23, 2014.

 

Inspire, Educate, Facilitate. That’s what we seek to do at Write2Ignite!

LAST RESORT

writing for children

I wrote a picture book over a year ago.

I love it.

But it has never felt “right” to me.

I’ve revised countless times. My kids are tired of hearing me read it outloud. And my critique partners are ready to put it to bed.

But still… it felt like something was wrong. I didn’t have peace about it. I had the opportunity to submit it somewhere, but I couldn’t. It just wasn’t right.

The other day, my hubby said something about a different picture book – but I disagreed with him about it. I still do.

BUT… he got me to thinking. And then I did something I never thought to do with the picture book that just doesn’t feel right.

My MC was a boy, now the MC is a girl.

I wrote the story thinking all the things he was doing were “boyish” things. And yes, they were. But in this case, they are TOM-BOYISH things! And the flow is much better, at least to my ears. The opening and ending images work SO much better. And the relationship between the MC and others sounds natural, where as before it sounded fabricated and out of place.

Even though I’ve suggested this very thing to others for their characters, I never thought to do it to mine in this particular story.

After I made the change, I was finally able to cut down on the word count even more, use more vivid adjectives in the opening scene and find just the right words for the closing scene.

Have you ever had this happen?