Wednesday, April 30, 2014

snip-whippets of old

via pinterest
As I'm not exactly working on any writing project at the moment, and as it's been such a long while since I've done a proper snippets post, and as you haven't had very many close peeks into Cry of Hope,  I thought it rather clever and grand to present you various sneak-peeks into my book.

snippets of cry of hope

Hope gazed around the 'tween deck of the Mayflower  as she cowered in a secluded corner. How crowded it was! And yet half of the crowd was full of those she knew not with queer rough ways and troubling language. Off to seek their fortune, John had told her, and were not part of the homelike congregation Hope had known all her life.

Hope wished them to the bottom of the sea.

:::

With a heroic sigh, John sat down again. "What deep subject must we speak on this time, little sister?" he asked, leaning his elbows back on the step behind him and assuming a most comfortable air.

:::

Hope's eyes scanned the horizon, and she shivered. 'Twas dark, and only a mere line traced where the ocean met the sky far off. She squinted, trying to see any sign of life or light, but none appeared; she dropped her eyes to the water directly below. It lapped against the ship, seeming to jeer the boat with a taunting laugh--a reminder that it  could swallow the ship with little force, it  had the power to overcome such a tiny vessel.

:::

"Hush, child," the man replied sharply, as he closed the heavy door behind him. "I am  the ship's surgeon."

:::

John grinned and leaned his elbows on the railing next to her, his eyes sweeping over the land before him. "It has been a long time since I saw this country last," he said wistfully.

:::

The figure turned, revealing a pair of haggard bloodshot eyes. A sudden pang shot through Hope's heart as she recognized Captain Standish. His usual red, cheerful face had vanished into the winter storm that was quickly shrouding them all in gloom, and from then onward, Hope's fears dared not leave her again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

break my heart for what breaks Yours

Life is so much more than me.  I have found that selfishness is one of my greatest faults.  Pride goes hand-in-hand with that, and I've been falling into a pit lately.  It's a pit of laziness and drudgery.  A pit where everything but my own comfort is tossed out.  Including God.

As a young Christian growing up in a sheltered Christian home, the hurt and pain of the world hasn't touched me very much. Elisha's death brought horrid feelings to this family, but I feel like I grovel under the fact that it didn't break my heart as it should.  Did he not mean as much to me as he should have?  I didn't know him.  He was such a tiny human being that I never met; and I hurt more under the fact that I don't hurt enough about losing him.

I watched October Baby tonight.  For the first time, actually.  And right now, my heart is wrestling.  It's wrestling with so much emotion and tears.  I need God to show me.  To show me who He is.  To show me what is important in life.  To break my heart for what breaks His.

I need His faith.  I need Him to give me the faith He holds that I could never obtain on my own.

I need His perseverance.  I can't.  I can't on my own.

These words may look obvious to you.  But I have struggled and struggled with letting myself go.  With needing God.  I need Him.  I do.  If anything, I need Him to show me that I need Him.  And right now, in this moment, I feel as if a tiny shaft of golden light is shining through.  A hint of the beauty in dropping one's self at His feet.

Feelings don't dictate one's relationship with God.  And one of the hardest things in the world is separating one's feelings with God's will.  With God's plan.  With God Himself.

I don't know the answers.  I don't know how God works.  I don't know why God works that way.  I do know that I have been in a drudgery that I never want to return to, though I may be but a fraction of an inch out of it at the moment.  I want God.  I want Him.  I don't want me anymore; I want Him.

My life feels messy right now.  And I know life will always be messy.  Life is messy.  We can't put it in a neat little box.  And to be quite honest, I prefer the messy.  I prefer God's crazy messiness to any ideal neatness we could wish for.  I prefer to have God for who He is rather than who we want Him to be.  Because He is bigger, and He is better--oh, how much better!--than we could ever imagine Him to be.

My life is physically messy, as well as spiritually messy, however.  I could organize my schoolwork.  I could organize my room.  I could organize my messy, unorganized independent publishing sales.  I could study for the ACTs.  I could get that drivers' permit.  I could wake up at a decent hour and go to sleep at a decent hour.  I really could.  I really can.  I need to step away from the world's distractions, away from the things that hinder a healthy life.

I think what I'm trying to gather together in this moment is my life.  To restate the worn statement that life is beautiful.  All  lives are beautiful.  The life of Elisha.  The life of you.  The life of me.  The life of those people who we couldn't imagine wanting to forgive or wanting to love.  Life is beautiful.  Life is broken.  But it is beautiful.

I want to live it the way God intended it to be lived.  I don't want praise anymore; I want God.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

life isn't a cupcake

A random little piece of writing partly inspired by Katie's vignette from a while back and partly from a thought that popped into my head a couple months ago and was never pulled into blog shape.

Sometimes it feels good to just sit and write...

:::

I threw my bag onto the counter. Reaching over, I grabbed an oreo from the half-opened package and stuffed it in my mouth.

"Hungry?"

It was Jonathon.

I grimaced. "No," I replied.  "Full."

He cocked an eyebrow, folding his newspaper deliberately.

"I meant full of life.  I need something... dead."  I almost choked and trotted to the refrigerator to grab the milk carton.

"Sounds tasty," he replied with a smirk and stood up, strolling to the cracked window.  He squinted as he gazed into the golden sunlight, and I slammed the door of the fridge unintentionally.

probably via pinterest
I drank straight from the carton.  Today was a day of laziness and the nonsensical.  I wiped the mustache off my face and slumped onto a stool, haphazardly draping my arm over the ledge and letting the milk nearly tumble out of the carton and onto the floor.  "Why can't life be a cupcake?" I asked.  I sounded grumpy, which didn't surprise me.

Jonathon was silent.

"Why aren't 'the icing on the cake' and 'the sprinkles on top' a part of everyday life?" I complained.  "Why do they rarely exist at all?  Jonathon, why can't life be a cupcake?"  I sounded whiny, which didn't surprise me again.

"Because life's a muffin."  Jonathon turned suddenly.

This surprised me; I was impressed.  "What does that mean?"  (Jonathon rarely spoke intellectually.)

Jonathon pushed back his baseball cap, and his deep dark eyes looked searchingly into my face.  "It means life is not light, flippant, and sickly sweet like a cupcake.  It is hardy.  Mildly sweet.  Wholesome.  Real."

I slowly rubbed a strand of hair across my chapped lips.  "Like a muffin?" I asked, a half-smile teasing my expression.

"Like a muffin," Jonathon replied.  He cracked open the cracked window and let a gust of winter air drawl inside.  It sent a tingle up my spine, and I took a deep breath.

"A muffin?" I asked again, uncertainly.

"A muffin."

I wasn't sure I liked that.

"A blueberry muffin?" I grinned, widening my eyes innocently in the true little sisterly fashion.

Jonathon stuffed his hands into his pockets and rolled his eyes.  "Now you're pushing it," he said, but the teasing in his voice sounded like music to my ears.  My spirits lifted just the slightest.  I heard a jangle of keys outside the door and knew Dad was home.

"It's a blueberry muffin," I declared, bouncing from my seat and spilling milk on the floor.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

she's all fire and spice

via pinterest
A long, long while back, Abigail posted an interesting post (which isn't at all surprising).  She compared her characters to elements and was inspired to do so by some show or another, which I care little to nothing about and is completely unrelated to this post itself.  The point is the characters and the elements.

Give me a moment to catch my breath.

Anyhow, I thought it would be loads of fun to do so with the characters of Cry of Hope.  Please bear with me as I hammer out my ideas.

Abigail compared these traits with these elements, and I think she did a quite fine job, so we'll use her method:

fire - impulsiveness; quick temper; passion; magnetism; ambition

earth - stability; strength; stubbornness; dignity; pessimism

water - constancy; loyalty; sensitivity; idealism; discretion

air - imagination; humor; optimism; spontaneity; enthusiasm

Hope Ellison - fire.  I would have to say fire.  At first I wasn't so sure I liked this comparison, but she possesses most of the traits of fire.  She's rather impulsive and passionate.  Ambition, not so much, but she can be drawn into an ambition of somethin' fierce if she's been properly inspired.  As for magnetism, I cannot say she draws others to herself as much as she is drawn to others.

John Ellison - water and air.  He is most definitely constant and loyal.  And he is sensitive, I believe, though he handles himself quite well.  He has ideals.  Just look at his glowing visions for the New World.  And as for air, he is quite the optimistic fellow; rather enthusiastic on most occasions; and as for humor, oh, yes. ^.^

Joshua Mansforth - earth.  Definitely earth.  One of his key traits is stability and strength.  And he's pretty darn stubborn at times, too.  He is more dignified than John, I suppose, but dignity is not the first thought that comes to mind regarding him.  Pessimism is not his cuppa tea.

Patience Danford - . . . air.  Explanation will not be made.  You must read the book.

Constance Robinson - water and air.  I've always thought there was some sort of connection with she and John's personalities.  It just now occurred to me that they are very much alike.  How funny.

Father - fire.  Rather interesting discovery.  He and Hope are rather a lot alike.  Too much alike.  Oh, this is making perfect sense!  (You know I'm having loads of fun with this, don't you?)

Mother - fire and earth.  They rather cancel one another out, I suppose.  Who would have combined a flighty personality with a strong, stable spirit?  I created a queer character . . .

Squanto - earth.  Definitely earth.

I hope to use this method to help develop my new characters' personalities in my next novel as well. ^.^

what elements best fit your characters?