Tag Archive | writing

Bible Study on Vocation, Pt. 1

I started a study on Bible verses helpful for running an online business. What I found is suitable for any job a Christian is employed at, but I direct this specifically to small businesses of all variety. 

There is a wealth of knowledge to be found in the Bible, and tons of stuff that can help you in your small business or regular job. But here’s what I’ve figured out… so far.

I take a look at a verse or passage (always in NIV translation), and then, if I find another translation interesting, I share that as well. And then, because I love to know the meaning of words, I occasionally look into that too, and will share how the verse can be related to running a business as a Christian.

So, here goes.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” — Proverbs 1:7

“The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshipping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but arrogant fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline” — Amplified version

“Fear as a response to God and His deeds is so important an aspect of Biblical living and faith that Fear actually occurs as an epithet of God Himself. Jacob describes the Lord as the “Fear of Isaac” his father (Gen. 31:42), and suggesting that Isaac had such reverential submission to the Lord that the Lord, to him, was the embodiment of fear. Usually, however, the fear of the Lord is an inducement to obedience and service: to fear God is to do His will. This equation appears most prominently in covenant contexts, especially Deuteronomy, where the appeal is to serve the Lord as evidence of proper recognition of His sovereignty. The Lord as King demands and deserves the awesome respect of His people, a respect that issues in obedient service.”  —- Eugene H. Merril

“The word most often translated in the Old Testament s Fear is the Hebrew word (transliterated as yirah) which can possibly mean fear, but also means Awe, Reverence, respect, and Devotion. A closely related Hebrew word (transliterated as yare) which can mean fearful, but also means to stand in awe, reverence or honor.”

“Knowledge: A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas. Learning; illumination of mind.” — Webster 1828 Dictionary

“Discipline: Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, comprehending instruction in arts, sciences, correct sentiments, morals and manners, and due subordination to authority. Correction; chastisement; punishment intended to correct crimes or errors” — Webster 1828 Dictionary

“Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what we must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and wilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honorable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us.” — Matthew Henry

Proverbs 1:7 related to business: to fear (reverently respect) the Lord is how you can expect to gain wisdom. Everyone wants to succeed in life with as few failures or difficulties as possible.

I always found it interesting that, if you want to gain knowledge, you need to fear the Lord, and give Him the honor and respect due to Him.

Proverbs 1:5-7 says: “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Therefore, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding anything worth knowing about.

Furthermore, fearing the Lord and understanding His word and will is how to learn what is worth understanding, and what is a waste of time. This can be understood elsewhere in the Bible.

“Fools despise wisdom and discipline”… is not only an indication of what you are if you do not fear the Lord, it also suggests that if you do not fear the Lord, you are in direct opposition to the Lord. There is no in-between. Again, this is evident elsewhere in the Bible (Mark 9:38-41)


Chapter Endings and Cliff-Hangers

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. To do a brief catch-up, I am doing camp NaNoWriMo this month, and my novel is titled, for now, Three Ways to Death. It’s about an assassin person who is sent to retrieve a deadly weapon from inside the minds of three comatose people. (I know, it probably sounds like Inception, but I actually have more of Interstellar on my playlist)

I haven’t been very easily inspired to write here, and I especially like it when I can write about some curiosity in writing that I feel like talking about. And I have just run into one, and so I gladly took the chance to write here, sense I’ve been wanting to do another post, but I’ve been unable to come up with something to write that I would be interested in reading.

I was just finishing my first chapter (a bit later than I liked) at the point when my character was going to go into the shared mind of the three people. I came to an interesting dilemma of how to end the chapter. Actually it wasn’t a dilemma, because I had automatically wanted to end the chapter when he left the real world, and before he was going to enter the ‘dream’ world. However, here is where I could have easily ended the chapter:

“Are you all ready?”

“You tell me,” Anear said. He then suddenly asked, “What can I expect to find when I get there? Will I actually see and communicate with Proven, Kindle and Merrick?”

“I really don’t know. Alright, if you’re ready…” she started typing on a keyboard.

Anear clenched his jaw, and closed his eye, uncertain of what to expect.

“I’m switching you over,” she said, hesitantly.

Anear heard a final button pushed and then all reality seemed to change.

The chapter could have ended here, creating a nice finish in itself. You’re left wondering what ‘reality’ will change to and what will happen next.

However, after I’d considered ending the chapter here, I decided that it didn’t actually create the tension I wanted. For one thing, it is already technically known what’s going to happen next- there can’t be that many options when you go into a shared brain thing (speaking in science-fiction terms, of course). There was also the fact that it sounded too much like many of my other chapter endings. (also, being the writer, I knew there was a twist coming later on, when the chapter would begin as I planned)

So, I went ahead and continued the chapter, finishing with:

He had experienced such a thing once, a long time ago, when he was a kid and had fallen from his family home’s balcony. When he’d woken, for several minutes nothing had made any sense; he didn’t know who or where he was and the world didn’t seem real. It was like that, only it had occurred all at once.

What followed next was the world fell away, and a drowsiness came over him that was so powerful and unexpected that he gave into it immediately.

The blackness that came afterwards was of kind unlike even the deepest sleep. There was complete nothingness with no thought. It lasted to the point that Anear could’ve been dead.

Then Anear got past the blackness, and he found himself in a different place.

Now, I’m not actually sure if it creates the same tension the other ending would have had. Finishing with a statement that Anear was in a different place is a little obvious- after all, what else would you expect? But I feel that it doesn’t expect the reader to be amazed at the change. By adding this, I have got the reader past the ‘cliff-hanger’ and now on a comfortable ledge; I’ve gone further by introducing the fact that, at the very beginning of the next chapter, he will be elsewhere. And, though I haven’t said it, the blackness is compared to being deeper than sleep, practically death, and then Anear got somewhere beyond that deathlike nothingness.

The question is now, is beginning the chapter with:

He looked around, and saw that there was a vast, stormy sea around him. It seemed to be sunset, and the light was spreading all across the sky, great powerful clouds alight in orange, deep gray and pink that seemed almost to reach the sea.

– a disappointment, or is it a good disappointment, making the reader want to go on and understand what’s happening?

My Love of Writing

I’m sure it’s confusing for anyone who reads this blog consistently (or as consistently as I write here, anyway). Actually, consistency is a good way not to describe my writing here for the time being. To tell you the truth, this is the first time I’ve actually been inspired to write a post.

I know. I probably shouldn’t admit that. I should make all my readers, or anyone who stumbles on this blog, feel like reading more. Well, I’ll let you know straight and forth (apparently I’m being creative about my phrases) that I do want people to read this blog, and I like writing here. Unfortunately, my creativity just doesn’t lie in this direction. It tends to fizzle out.

A fellow writer and blogger I know of recently said, if you don’t like doing something (blogging being the example) then don’t, because sometimes the fact that you don’t like to do it is really obvious. I do like to blog, as a matter of fact, as long as I have something definite to talk about. But when she said that, it made me realize, if I can’t think of something to say, or if I don’t feel like blogging, then don’t because forcing yourself won’t help. And that is one reason why I haven’t been blogging lately, even though I feel like I really should be doing as much as I can to further my writing career- in the same way someone who is sinking gasps for air and panics before being pulled down.

Now, to get back to what I was saying at the beginning of this post, anyone who reads Felicity Prose on a regular basis is probably confused by now, because I am repeating myself. I have said all this before. I’ve told people repeatedly that I love to write, life is crazy, I don’t know where I’m going to go with my writing career, and, more recently, that I’ll have to put it on the back burner for the moment due to other creative endeavors. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if what I’m unintentionally telling people is that I’m very confused, uncertain and I certainly don’t like writing, but, if anything, I’m only delaying something inevitable.

Well, let me get it all explained now. I’ve heard quite often, and even seen on blogs recently, that sometimes a person can a gift to understand or see the world in a way that no one else can. Musicians, painters, writers, mathematicians- you name it. Even my sister, who paints, kind of does it. I’ve seen writing blogs where the person says that writing is necessary to them. Well, that’s probably one reason why it took me a while to realize I like writing, because I kept expecting there to be some moment when I would walk into a room and start creating whole stories around the people in the room. It never happened.

And then, I’m sure people really wonder about me when I say that I ‘decided’ to write a story because I felt like writing about some ‘subject’, as though I had suddenly caught a craving for chocolate. To me, that does not sound like I’m serious about what I’m talking about.

Well, writing is not necessary to me. Not as necessary as the air I breathe. But I love doing it. Sometimes it hits me. It’s not just a hobby. It’s not just something that’s caught my fancy. I actually really like doing it. Believe me, I’m lazy. I wouldn’t have even got this far, or thought about getting further, if I didn’t actually really like it. And as to writing about some subject that suddenly caught my attention, well, I don’t really have anything to say about that. I guess it’s just my method, and partly based on why I started writing in the first place. I will say that these things I ‘pick up’, I take seriously.

This is my statement of my love for writing. It’s a little odd. Inspiration for blogging doesn’t always make sense. I will say to any fellow writers (or want-to-be-writers) out there. If you’re expecting a moment when you’ll walk into a room and see characters and stories rather than a real people (basically have a genius moment) don’t wait for it. It may happen, it may not. However if you see a strangely cheerful man in a suit walk by, and you suddenly feel like writing a Ballad of the Happy Businessman, that’s good enough reason to try out writing.

Happy writing all!

And Now It’s Done… And Now It’s Started (alternative title: I write)

I’ve seen a lot of 2014 in review: celebrities, events, news, and of course personal looks at the past year. Well, for me 2014 has been an interesting year. And I would say it’s been a good year. I still feel like I’m not a proper writer, probably because the distance between here and successfully publishing (in any sort) can prove to be fatal to my career, so like a mother sending her child to school for the first time, I am hesitant to put my ‘career’ out there to weather the wind of society. However, the difference between this year’s end, and last year’s, is that I am definitely saying I’m a writer. I’m trying my very best (usually unsuccessfully) to ignore whatever shyness and uncertainty there is that’s kept me from going forward in this career, and it feels good. True, I’ve not published anything- but I’m getting there- but simply knowing that I’ve picked something to do feels just about as good (okay, I’m sure actually publishing would be even better, but still…)

So there’s been this decision, and I think that makes this last year quite important! And then there’s this blog, Felicity Prose (or Feli Pro as I’ve occasionally called it in my head). To be noticed you have to do things- I think that’s been the case in just about any situation- and I wasn’t sure what to do about my love of writing, which was part of the reason why I could never call writing my career, because I simply didn’t see how someone could manage to put a novel on a publisher’s desk and they’d miraculously decide it was wonderful. When I found out a few months ago that you have to do things, usually write a blog, that at least helped me understand what direction I was supposed to go in. And, having started a blog and written several posts – and more importantly I have people actually following it! – I feel that I’ve accomplished something. I feel that my writing might eventually go somewhere. And that gives me hope for the new year.

I don’t know what 2015 will bring, and I know it’s better not to plan ahead for something you don’t have any control over, only to plan for what you want and need instead of pretending you know what will happen in the next day. Basically: I’ve decided to write, but I cannot possibly say that one of my novels will be published and unbelievably popular.

So, keeping in my mind that I have no control over what happens in the big picture, I’ll try to give a little account of what I’ll be doing. Here on Felicity Prose, I don’t really know what will happen. There are backstories and ‘interviews’ one can give your characters, which I never do (it’s a part of my process) but it’s quite possible I will get into that. In several of my stories there are whole sections that I had to include in the draft because they helped develop the characters, but made the story messy. Now I may be able to include it as background information that doesn’t necessarily have to actually exist. And the ‘interviews’ are supposed to help one figure out your character by asking them random questions, and I may as well include them here.

As for what I am planning for writing in 2015, again I’m not really sure. I was concentrating so much on my Civil War story that it will take a month or so to come up with enough to write a story, but there’s something coming. So far it doesn’t really make sense- I love it that way! So far, it’s a little more fantasy, possibly medieval, involving a magical necklace and a situation where some characters have to wait to see if something was successful and a group of outlaws who live in the woods.

Now many of these things are inspired by things that I wouldn’t mind doing. That’s basically how my love of writing started- by simply creating situations or things you want to do or, as in the case of it being set (possibly) in the medieval time, there’s the problem that I’ve never written a medieval story.

Now you know the basis of my new idea, which I will probably write for one of the Camp NaNo’s, but it will most likely sound completely different when I’m actually writing it and when I get to the point where it’s done, it will be so changed I will probably be able to use the original idea somewhere else.

This is what I have planned so far, but it is by no means the only thing. I need to edit several stories, which will take a great deal of concentration. (don’t I sound so professional)

So I am ready for the new year (yeah right) . I am ready to find out where I am going and what will happen. Life is always an adventure, and I am interested to see where this new path is going to go.

I hope 2014 was a good year for all of you. And more importantly, I pray 2015 will be a good year for you.

And I guess that’s it for me. I won’t be able to get on tomorrow, so this will be it – the last post of 2014. And that is not a great accomplishment, nor anything worth taking note of. But the fact that I am here doing this – not something I would have expected in the least- is amazing. I have been bless in this strange year. it might only be a hopefulness that’s based on wishing, but I think 2015 will be an even better year, and I hope to get a lot done in my life, Lord willing.

I only have one final, admittedly dramatic thing to say: I am a writer.

Part 2 of The Melancholy

Well, I’ve published the second part of my story The Melancholy onto the page Online Reading. I put it at the top for convenience. By the way, believe it or not, today was the first time I took a look at my blog (crazy week) and saw that the Online Reading page was not visible in the front. I’ll go on looking around and try to figure out why it’s not there, but until then just search for it. Sorry for the inconvenience!

As for my story, I still haven’t finished yet. As soon as I do, and as soon as I have a good picture for the cover, I’ll upload it onto Wattpad, as was recommended to me by someone quite brilliant. That will- hopefully- be in a few days, but I’ll still put the last part up here next Wednesday so no one has to read silly blog posts on Christmas.

Christmas story coming up!

So, I usually want to write a story for Christmas and then life gets too crazy. Well, I thought that would be the case again (actually life is really crazy) but I’m just going to go ahead and try it. Further more, I decided I will publish it online, and it will be about 3,000 words long. This will be a challenge for me, and it will most likely be quick pace in a not-very-nice way, so I apologize in advance if it doesn’t make sense. I will publish it 1,000 words (or so) per Thursdays.

Something interesting happened today though. An update (I think) was disagreeable to the computer I’m using, so I was unable to get to the story today and I didn’t work on it yesterday either. I was hoping to be able to write it all at once and then edit it. But I couldn’t do that, so I’ve decided to be even more daring and publish the 1,000-words parts before I’ve finished the story! I think it will be an interesting experience for my readers to look at something written Panster-style, and how I usually write, where I don’t properly know how the story is going to end. Therefore, I apologize again because this means it may be even messier and more confusing.

Now, to explain the story. It definitely needs background, but I don’t really want to do it in the story, so here’s my opportunity to explain it a little. That’s what blogs are for, after all.

It all started with a dream. I don’t have many interesting dreams- but one prompted this story. I dreamt there were zombies (of a not very gory type) who were trying to get in the house. Then he gradually lost interest, even when I had to open the door for my dog, and then he started to die. After that, my sister was intent on naming him. I think it was Chris.

So, here’s the result: The world is post apocalyptic (just ruined cities, no proper businesses, stealing and killing is perfectly normal. No burning skies or anything extreme), and there are 3 important groups of people. There are the Zombies, who are basically random groups of people that have gone crazy, and their craziness is contagious, but they’re not literally zombies. Then, as in my dream, when they are dying, they become more human.

Then there are the Christeners, who go out of their way to find out the names of the Zombies, who were usually people who had gone missing. There are lists of names, sometimes just rumors, sometimes it’s just facial recognition.

Then there are the Fighters, who deal with threats, which is usually the Zombies. There’s one particular Fighter who is intent on getting enough to live on and be happy, which would obviously take a lot. And there’s a particular Christener who’s especially good at what she does.

Then there’s the EPT machine (which stands for Emotional and Physical Transmitter. I’m not very good at coming up with such names, so I’ll probably just call it EPT). This machine, of which origin I’m not quite sure of, allows one person to connect their correct brain areas to someone else and allows them to feel something. Example: The ‘host’ listens to exciting music that makes them think of running or dancing etc. and the ‘guest’ feels the rush and excitement. It’s generally used as a kind of final wish for people who want to feel something nice or happy, or else for former Olympians or runners who can no longer do their sport

I think that about covers the explaining. Of course I haven’t figured everything out yet, such as how it’s going to be a Christmas story. Of course I can put in that it’s late December, but that’s not the same as it being a Christmas story

Finally, this is a sample of my writing and I would love to hear what everyone thinks of it, both fellow writers and others. I would love the advice and thoughts. Thanks and I hope you enjoy it!

A Horror Story for the NaNoWriMo-ers and All Authors

Something came to mind as I was about to start writing, and I thought I should let everyone know about it. At first I thought it would be good for just writers, but actually a lot of what people do can be effected by mistakes like the one I made.

On Thanksgiving day a couple years ago (yes, it is possible to write on Thanksgiving) I was using my sister’s laptop to write on and my story was on my thumb-drive. As I was pulling myself out of my couch (which likes to eat people slightly) the laptop slipped from my hands and my thumb-drive was broken. Fortunately the laptop was OK, but several stories I had been working on, including my first NaNoWriMo novel- a sentimental favorite and turning point in my writing- were lost. Fortunately the novel I was working on that year was up and so it was OK, and actually my sister may be able to retrieve the other documents (I’m kind of confused about that).

The main tragedy of the event was that I’d lost my other stories- I mean, I hadn’t backed them up somewhere else, even though I had had plenty of time, I just didn’t think it was necessary. It is necessary though! So always, always remember to back up your work onto something else, maybe even several other places!

If you know someone, maybe doing NaNoWriMo, and they never pay attention to the ‘back-up your novel day’, please tell them about this or show them this post. It is very important. (actually I’ve forgotten to back-up what I’ve done so far too. oops)