Are You Committed to Writing Everyday?

Our guest speaker at the monthly gathering of writers hosted by the Writers Guild of Texas (of which I’m a Board Member),  gave the crowd a number of fabulous ideas geared to helping individuals write every day. Nathan Brown, former writing instructor at the University of Oklahoma and Poet Laureate of Oklahoma, shared a number of insights and helpful tips to help writers write every day.

Writing everyday may seem like an ominous task. In several one-on-one conversations I had before the Monday night’s meeting, a number of people in attendance expressed their daunting sentiments concerning sitting down and putting words on paper daily. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that they don’t want to write. To the contrary, they claim to have the desire, but lack two things 1) time and 2) ideas.

Nathan Brown definitely helped give each of us a means to write when inspiration seems to be avoiding us. He suggested making lists, exploring our memories, and recalling our senses. Through listing, you’ll always have something to write about. Think about those great family stories that get told at every gathering or better yet–what about those stories that nobody talks about but everyone knows. For inspiration, try recalling memories of your annual vacation spots, where you spent your summers, or where you grew up and writing them down. What are some of your strongest sensory memories? Maybe for you, it’s the smell of the apple pie that Granny baked or the taste of that first kiss. Mr. Brown’s pointers certainly were solid and offer opportunities for each of us to put pen to paper–or in our modern 21st-century–fingers to the keypad on our laptop. His insights prove useful if you’re a fiction or non-fiction writer.

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Carving out time, I think, is a bigger challenge for many of us, myself included. I find if I don’t set aside time to write, then it won’t happen. I’ve also had to schedule out blog posts an editorial calendar as a way of keeping me on schedule and posting regularly. I have to set daily word goals and make a point of finding time to write consistently. For me, that’s usually before I head out the door. But, I find myself writing at different times throughout the day, not just first thing in the morning. There are numerous nights that you’ll find me burning the midnight oil, sitting in the glow of my laptop screen, punching out words. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts—a lot of my writing the past several months has been academic in nature as I finish up my graduate degree.

I’ve found, the more I write and the more I focus on actually sitting down and producing material, the more opportunities to write present themselves. Writing is not for the faint of heart. There are days–even weeks–where it can be a very discouraging pursuit. Perhaps that’s why so many great writers simply write for themselves first, rather than an audience. Writing is something you have to do because you love it–and dare I say it—enjoy. This may seem like a rather sadistic endeavor–because in many ways it is. But there’s really nothing much better than someone being encouraged or entertained by the words you’ve written or by the story you’ve told.

Keep writing. Lord knows the story won’t write itself.

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Monday Morning Memories: Scarborough Renaissance Festival®

The weather the past couple of weeks has been a crazy rollercoaster. Sunday morning, Terri and I were blessed with a beautiful sunny day perfect for venturing down to Waxahachie to visit the Scarborough Renaissance Festival®.  We had a great time touring the fairgrounds, people-watching, enjoying turkey legs and sausages, laughing with the German Brothers, and exploring the Dungeon. Festival diehards were fully decked out in Renaissance gear, Lords and Ladies donning full regalia and decked out in beautiful costumes. The multitude of artists is almost overwhelming and covers unique ground.

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is an interactive experience for everyone, harkening back to the 16th Century. There are full combat armored jousts, Birds of Prey, and the popular Mermaid Lagoon. The festival grounds feature 27 stages and 200 village shoppes complete with artisan demonstrations. There are also rides, games of skill, and tons of food and drink.

Festival Facts

Began in 1981.

The festival runs 8 consecutive weekends and Memorial Day Each Spring (April & May).

One of the largest and most popular Renaissance festivals in the country.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is a Renaissance themed festival set in a re-created 16th Century English village.

The “village” of Scarborough is 35 acres (larger than most shopping malls) set within a 167 acre site.

More than 20 tons of the Festival’s famous Giant Turkey Legs are devoured annually during the eight week festival.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is one of the largest outdoor “juried” craft shows in the country.

Source: https://www.srfestival.com/

150 Members of the Scarborough Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) make up the performing company that become the “characters” of Scarborough including Queen Margaret of Scotland and the Isles.

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Accolades

Best Place to Escape Reality – Dallas Observer

“Top (#2) Family Friendly Renaissance Faire in the U.S.” – Family Vacation Critic

Best Seasonal Event in Ellis Co – Waxahachie Daily Light

Top 5 Things to Do in D/FW – Dallas Morning News

Top 6 Events Not to Miss in D/FW – Dallas Child

Top 10 Things to Do – Fort Worth Star Telegram

Best Bet – Dallas Voice

Source: https://www.srfestival.com/

The annual festival is a fun adventure worth the drive and great for family-fun, a day out with friends, or the one you love.

Dates & Times

Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day Monday, April 7 – May 28, 2018 10:00AM – 7:00PM

Psalm Saturday: Psalm One Devotional

Psalm One is one of the best known and most beloved psalms, summarizing the two roads of life people can choose: a) the way of the righteous and b) the way of the wicked. There is a right way and a wrong way. The right way leads us closer to God. The wrong way leads us further and further astray the longer we remain on it.

As we are often reminded viewing the nightly news, there is a Good and an Evil that exists in this world we temporarily call home. The battle between Good and Evil is certainly nothing new. It has existed since the earliest beginnings of time; perhaps even longer. We can choose to follow Good or fall prey to a lifestyle of Evil. 

Psalm One reveals the importance of how we think about God, describing godly living contrasted against the hazards of an ungodly lifestyle. For the original biblical audience, Psalm One serves as a reminder of their hope in the Mosaic Covenant. For you and me, it reflects a picture of two roads. One road produces blessings. The other road results in the bitter fruits of sorrow and destruction.

Psalm One

Living a life of obedience yields blessings, provides good spiritual health, and transforms our character and actions into something that is pleasing to the Lord. Without a healthy root system grounded in the Word, we are as sure to die spiritually as a tree is certain to rot. Following God leads to good things. 

The wicked have no concern for the things of God. They do not live to please the Lord.  Instead, they live to please themselves and satisfy their own passions. They have zero regard for living the spiritual life. A life lived simply to feed our own desires falls short of God’s plan for us. 

Psalm One ends with a warning of a future day of judgement in which the Lord will separate the godly from the ungodly, the righteous from the wicked, and the wheat from the chaff. It offers a stern warning reminding us to live our lives with the knowledge that one day we will be asked to give an account of the road we chose to travel. The road we choose is up to us. 

Psalm One makes it abundantly clear that a life lived trusting in the Lord and in full obedience to all He commands is the more profitable path to take.

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Are you ready to choose the right road?

I pray that you are.

God loves you. He does not wish anyone to perish. He gave His only Son so that we could be restored on a right path leading to a life lived in His presence forever.

Prayer:

Father God, I love you. I thank you for the grace and mercy you have bestowed on me and for giving me a second chance to follow You on the right path. Father, I pray that Your truth would be revealed to others and that they might come to know You as I have come to know You. Thank you for the truth of Your Word and the Wisdom it provides. Thank you for Your Son, through whom I am saved. Amen.

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