Friday, April 12, 2013

Stories, Poems, and Devotions. Oh MY!

I restarted this blog thing a while ago because I wanted to write devotionals, based on the Bible, with substance. What is a devotional, you might say? Yes, it is a word from the "Christianese" dictionary. It is simply a written or spoken mini-sermon, a short message that is meant to encourage, instruct, or challenge believers in God. My hope was to write devotionals unlike many I had tried to use in the past, especially with young people -- so many were trite and fluffy and trying really hard to be cool.

The thing with me is I never have to try to be cool because I simply am - Cool. (snort, smerp, chortle, simper, cough!)

Today I am battling a lovely lung infection or whatever, it makes me weak, tired, and my breathing is shallow and my heart is beating a little too fast. Now, don't be alarmed, I'm quite sure it's not pneumonia. I know, because I've had THAT thing twice. Which is why what for some people is a run-of-the-mill cold or flu, for me can be actually debilitating.

All That To Say.....

I noticed I haven't been writing devotionals lately. First, I'm in a bit of spiritual rut. A low point. Kind of muddy and well, low. Have I lost my faith? Oh no, not at all. I've been in these ruts before. It takes some serious horsepower to blast out of one, sometimes, and I haven't got the jam. Trouble is, the longer you stay in a rut, the deeper it gets, sometimes. If you could experience the Spring road conditions in Alberta right now you would know how appropriate this imagery is!

Second, I'm distracted by thinking up and writing stories. Plot lines and characters pop into my mind all the live-long day; it's like living in a parallel universe. The writing is going slowly as I feel discouraged a lot of the time, thinking that it's all garbage. It may very well be. The last thing I want is someone to read it and say, "Wow, yeah, amazing! I'm enthralled, really, I am!" while inside they are thinking "What-on-earth-was-that-even-about??" As in when a child shows you a painting and you rave and rave, it's beautiful! A pretty red flower on the hillside! but actually it's a helicopter filled with zombies that are spurting out red blood as they devour the passengers.... awkward....


The trouble with the stories I want to write is I have to be dead before they are published. The situations I want to write about would be too real, too obvious. It's a no-win situation! The proverbial Rock and Hard Place that my little ideas are stuck between.
I know how writers do it, they stick the character in but change the name, the age, even the gender, and then have them do the idiotic things that another heavily disguised character loathes and exposes.

For example, say a person you know lives in complete denial of an obvious problem. Let's stay very general, no reading between the lines, I'm actually not thinking of anything or anyone. Well, you change the problem, you change the person, but you take enormous delight in having them deal with it, vicariously through another character. A writer can even take a modern issue and transfer it, say, a few hundred years backward to the French Revolution, and deal with it there. Or take a hypothetical situation and thrust it forward fifty-odd years. What would the world be like, IF? Take Orwell's 1984.

The other writing I do is poems. Also rather obvious. Now I know why Emily Dickinson hid all her poetry in the dresser. No one needs to know how crazy I actually am! So what is the point of writing them, you ask? It's like condensed feeling. Like putting oranges, bananas, pineapples, mangos, and apples into the juicer, and all the pulp and peelings and unnecessary, fruity trappings are left in the bag and you have.... a small glass of pure flavor.  Writing a poem is like letting some air out of a too-full balloon, like hugging someone you love but haven't seen in a long time, like a loud laugh outside after a 4-hour silent examination in a stuffy room.  It has to be done. It brings relief. Simile number four...it's like exposing a festering, painful wound at last to open air and clean water.
Regardless of the readership, poems get written.


I've wondered if I should have three blogs,  Devotions, Stories, and Poetry. Maybe in future, if I keep this up. I don't think I'm brave enough, though, for the Stories and Poems. Maybe that's a good thing.

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