Jodi Thomas continues to make me laugh out loud, cry and sigh. Great read.
Jodi Thomas continues to make me laugh out loud, cry and sigh. Great read.
MaryLu Tyndall is an excellent author. I love her Christian Pirate Romance books. Yeah, really. Too cool and so full of God’s grace, mercy and power. Try at least 2. She Walks in Power or The Reckoning. Hopefully, MaryLu will have an ebook on the Liberty Bride.
For the past year, I’ve had the joy of editing a book for our Pastor, Mark Forrest from Lakeside Baptist Chuch in Granbury. Dickey and I have learned so much from Mark and pestered him to extend his ministry in book form for several years. Today, Mark’s first book, Soul Beginnings, came out on Amazon and in the next few months, there will be book signings and celebration. Tonight, I reflect on my journey as a kid who couldn’t even read in third grade, one who overcame Dyslexia and learned the craft of writing. Mostly, I’ve reflected on the journey God has carried me through. I’m so grateful Mark Forrest has trusted me to help with this book. I pray he continues to bless us with his illuminations of God’s Word.
A decade or four ago, I was forced to work in a special needs school. But I wanted to write Christian literature…especially the Sunday School literature for our church. So God sent me to learn from Matt. Below is the story of learning from Matt.
The Miracle of Matt
By Peggy Purser Freeman
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
“Just what am I doing in a place like this?” I had turned down this job assignment two years before, but now it was this job, as an aide in the school for the severe and profoundly disabled, or no job. This was the oldest building in the district. The walls reeked with fifty years of sweat, vomit, and vermin odor. It had been one of the city’s most beautiful facilities; now it warehoused the kids some administrators wanted out of sight and out of mind.
The small bathroom smelled of urine and human waste. The hard tile floor cut into my knees. I slung the jeans I had just pulled off the thin, braced legs of my nine-year-old charge and grumbled aloud.
“I wanted to write songs and stories for you, God.”
I had spent most of my three weeks at this job with Matt, trying to get him to go to the bathroom on the potty, put a block in a can or at least make eye contact.
To get him to look me in the eyes proved to be the most difficult. His eyes seemed to be the only thing he was able to control. He had no verbal skills, little motor control. All he had was the ability to look away or squeeze his eyes shut, anything but eye contact.
As I took the soiled underwear off Matt to clean his legs and bottom, I dropped the feces-covered underwear on my dress. “Oh, Matt, look what you’ve done!” I screamed.
He gave his soundless laugh and smiled a grin made toothless from the many falls his wobbly legs had taken. Most days that smile would have melted my heart, but not today. My love was stretched thin, and my patience broke. “God, I hate this.”
The small room grew still, and I felt Matt’s stare. I glanced up and met his eyes. Large and luminous, they looked into mine, staring into my soul. In the quietness of the moment, I heard words with my heart — not Matt’s voice and not mine.
“I didn’t ask you to rewrite Sunday school literature. I didn’t ask you to write songs. I said if you do it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” Then Matt looked away.
God spoke to my heart in a most profound way in that smelly bathroom. In the years that followed, I learned to listen, and Matt taught me so many things. You don’t have to be capable of seesawing to sit on one and enjoy white clouds in a blue sky.
Soundless laughter and silent tears often communicate better than words. Life in its most simple form is sometimes life at its best. Probably the best lesson I learned: God talks the loudest through the weakest.
Life Tips: Teach your children to look for the good in disappointment, even when the plans are not those we would choose. Then take them with you to do for others—especially the least of these. Listen and to search for God in all situations and in all people. As you teach your children, stay teachable.
Chicken Soup for a Sick Scene and Sequel – A Tool to Engage Your Audience
I love family stories. Remember sitting around the table, telling stories, often the same stories year after year. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing–it can be a historical thriller or a book for your family. Chicken Soup story is a good way to study and practice writing a scene and sequel. If you sell your story at www.ChickenSoup.com, that’s great. If not, you have a great chapter for your family book. If you do sell it, you’re $200 richer. Have a question? Leave a comment.
If you teach writing to children check out the games in Teach Writing Without a Pencil
There’s 3 in a play…
It’s something you paint or take a picture of…
It’s what your child creates at your mother-in-law’s dinner party
A scene is the major part of a story.
A story is a narrative of events, a recounting of something that’s happened—either in the real world or in the fictional world.
Like a Play
A play can be broken up into three acts: beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is the setup, it creates the tension. The middle of the scene builds up and intensifies even more. The ending breaks down into two parts: climax and resolution.
Acts are broken down into scenes
Something you paint or photograph
You don’t tell about a scene
You have to show it.
A girl sits by her father. He slumps to the ground. He dies. She cries believes her life is over.
A scene is a conflict lived through by character and reader. Dwight Swain says that there are two functions of a scene –
To provide interest and
To move your story forward.
A scene can:
Can raise a question to intrigue your reader
Can be used to build characterization.
Can provide information.
But it always moves the story along
How long is a scene?
Swain says that time holds a scene together. A character lives through a scene, and there are no breaks in the flow of life.
A teenager arrives at Prom. He dances with the girl of his. When he stumbles on her dress, they fall. He leaves and the scene is over.
Use action verbs
Keep the internal thought to a minimum
Use a great deal of dialogue if possible. Dialogue is a nifty way to show how people feel without telling the reader.
Feel free to post it and I’ll give you an edit on it.
Chicken Soup asking for stories here…
Please, please don’t let your kids or grandkids eat candy corn. Don’t even buy it. And never consider putting it in a drink. It can kill your child. One of my favorite VBS kids ( 5 or 6 year-old) swallowed one with the tiny point down. Parents knew procedures to save their child from choking but nothing worked. EMTs were there within 3 or 4 minutes. They could not save her. This is not a harmless candy. Don’t take a chance.
Act out or tell stories of our hard fought American Revolution. Like Ggeorge Washington and the 4 bullets.
With men and officers being shot down all around him, George Washington rode forward to take charge of the collapsing lines at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755. While riding along the ranks looking to steady the men, Washington had two horses shot out from under him and four bullet holes shot through his coat.
This is a picture we took on the way up Highway1 long ago. I wanted to stand but the surf and wind were so powerful, I could not. That’s the way it is when we realize the mystery of God’s love for us. We can comprehend. We can’t only fall on our knees.