Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Observations from the Hurricane

So, my family and I were in New Castle County, DE when Hurricane Sandy touched down. We lost power at noon Monday and got it back Tuesday around 5:30. Here's some quick thoughts. 
  1. Prepping for a storm is like prepping for the zombie apocalypse without the aching moral questions.
  2. Losing power is not the end of the world; it is simply an invitation to do things from which electronics distract us.
  3. Just because wires are down in your backyard does not mean they are live and will kill you, but operating under that assumption is still wise. 
  4. Books on paper are still wonderful. 
  5. Walkmen and normal AM/FM radio still have their place in modern society. Who knew?
  6. You can survive for some time with sterno heaters and a few cans of soup. And, of course, water. Stock up now.
  7. Writing by candlelight is just as romantic as the movies make it appear.
  8. Evening passes more slowly when the power is gone, and the constant movement of flashlights will make you feel like you live in a post-Se7en horror film (or CSI). This is not conducive to feeling safe.
  9. The Delmarva power company is efficient--those in their care are in good hards.
  10. Those who have lived without power for any extended period of time are tough--much tougher than the average 21st century suburbanite.   
That being said, we made it. Thanks for your prayers and concern! Here's hoping some time passes before we experience that again!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A brief update, well as brief as I write, anyway.

October is almost finished. November is about to begin.

And it will be a doozy. Major changes are coming to the blog, though I am still unsure of what they will be. October has not been slow, but it has been focused. November will be much more varied. I will likely begin a part time gig, finish the fourth draft of one novel, complete the first draft of another, submit a brand/theme to a toy company, and possibly land a full-time job. This is just how the dominoes are falling. I don't know if I can do it. In fact, of my own strength, I'm sure that I can't. I need to put all of this into a priority listing; and once I do, I need to stick to it.

Needless to say, the old schedule is done (not that I was able to keep it as well as I wanted, anyway). I still plan to role with a 6-day workweek followed by Sabbath, but I think I will need to drop a few peripheral things and ensure that I keep my eyes on point. "Point" being "Jesus, above all else".

It's funny. I feel I am working twice as hard as I did at my salaried finance job, but I am getting no pay as of yet and feeling the pressure of lacking that income. That's not to say I feel I'm off track. I'm not treading water, friends. I'm swimming upstream in the cold in the mountains; but both my wife and I are where God wants us. I still have no doubts about that. My peace is constant; my joy is apparent.  Right now some things are not where we want them to be. That's the reality of it, but not the truth. The truth is that we are okay for now, and things take time to develop. Transitions like the one we've made are hard. Life can be difficult to navigate. But I believe God is getting glory through what we're doing; and therefore, every day is a good one.

November will be rough, but I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses

People say I am nice.

If they spent 20 minutes in my brain, they would realize I am narcisstic, megalomaniac. Not kidding, either. But for the grace of God I may very well have become some sort of Bondian villain--and not a cool specialist like Oddjob or Jaws. I would have been the henchdunce that falls into the vat in of acid. (Ha ha "henchdunce" [I should be TMing that])

But I digress. They say I am nice, and perhaps the Jehovah's Witnesses with whom I met Monday would agree. But I don't feel very nice. In fact, I feel rather foolish and rightly so. Let me tell you what happened.

A knock came at the door. A knock. And voices. These walls are thin. I answered in my writing suit (that is, my pajamas), to find two find two women carrying what appeared to be Bibles.  They asked me how I was, and I responded that I was well and hid the fact that I was very inconvenienced by their arrival. One was named Babi, and she was visting from India and also doing some evangelism.

It's hard to say no to a woman who has traveled across the world to share her faith, and it's more difficult to do so when you believe her doctrine is inaccurate. I considered the best way to respond. I thought of some of the stories Christian have told me over the years of how they treated Jehovah's Witnesses, and I also thought of I John 4, which I am trying to memorize. The incongruence between these recollections was of such level that my brain turned to vapor. I simply thought, "It cold. Ask in." which I did, though with slightly more eloquence than my brain had used during the inner monologue.

When they entered, I directed them to two specific seats, and they sat wherever they wanted. I grabbed my cup of tea and did two things incorrectly. The first was that I sat comfortably, which meant that the fly was open on my jammies, and my stripey underpants were, for all intents and purposes, no longer "under" but available for all to see. Second, I offered them nothing to drink, though I enjoyed my lukewarm tea.

I should add that during our introductions on the porch I was forthcoming that I believed in salvation by Christ. They affirmed all I said and claimed they agreed, making me feel I had missed something in my statement of faith and also that I knew little of Jehovah's Witnesses.

So, that stage being set, we chatted. They claimed their own position as being a type of Christian. They offered me a book. They read the Lord's Prayer and presented an interpretation, to which I expressed a differing viewpoint. They discussed the importance of the heavenly kingdom on earth, and I did the same with more qualifiers. Overall, we had a cordial time; even when I was firm on the fact that they were not to come back to this house.

Why then do I feel like such a failure? Was I supposed to shut the door in their face and get back to writing without a second thought?  Was I supposed to, at the very least, keep our conversations outside in the cold?

Last time evangelist's came to my door, it was my apartment in Cali, and they were Mormons. When they came knocking four years ago, I answered, informed them that I was ill,  and told them to have a nice day--but not before making some pithy remark about the Biblical canon's completion at the council of Nicea in 323--a fact set that was sure to show them I knew less about church history than they did. I have thought of those two young men at times, and I lament how I handled that situation. I wish I would have sat with them, let them speak, and shared my faith in return. Instead I told them I had far less interest in their eternal plight than they clearly had for mine.

I wanted to do this one better, and I am unsure if I did. Two things specifically lead to my self-abasement. First, Peter tells believers how to engage in dialog, by answering with gentleness and respect. This is hard, especially when you're me and say things like this, "I appreciate your offering me this [100-page reader with pictures], but I would hate to mislead you ladies into thinking I am on the market for a new faith system when I am not. In light of having these [multiple Bible translations] on my phone and throughout the house, I won't be reading this book; and I would hate for it to sit gathering dust on some shelf after you paid to have it printed."  Of course, then they just handed me leaflets. Or there was this doozy when they asked if they could come back Saturday, "I feel very uncomfortable about your doing so, for this is not my house. This house belongs to my parents; and while I will enjoy in these discussions, I certainly do not want to impose them on anyone else at this residence. You are more than welcome to tell me where you are located, and I can come there if I want to dialog, but I would ask that you not return here in the future." Plus, remember how I failed to offer them beverages.

But maybe in some circles, the above text qualifies as having "gentleness and respect". But that is not what bothers me. In hindsight I realize that regardless of my demeanor, my second issue is the major one. I missed the biggest question for each of these women, "I understand what the text says, but what do you say? What do you believe, deep down? Did Christ pay the ransom for you personally or is that just a tenant?" Had I really cared about the plight of these women and not fulfilling my own needs to be kind (or, at least, try), I think that this question would have sprung to mind. I think it would have been the first thing I thought to ask, but it wasn't.

I am in a weird head space. Part of me thinks I improved over my prior encounter with door-to-door folks, but another part of me is burdened with my own lack of concern for them as well as my selfish conceits. So, dear readers, I have a request! If you have stories about your own experiences, anecdotes on how to respond, or links to those who do, please share. I have this aching suspicion that if I continue to write from home, I am going to be navigating these waters with frequency; and I think some more reflection for such encounters will be useful.

As far as my posts go, this was a Sir-Hiss-level long one, so I value your reading all the way through it. Thanks as always,


Monday, October 22, 2012

Expectation, Reality, and the Grey in between.

That "grey" of course, being earl grey.

For that is what I am drinking. After a cup-and-a-half of coffee, seeing my parents off for their trip, and telling my wife good-bye for her first day at a new job, I am sitting on a couch in my boyhood home, sipping the grey as autumn leaves fall within view out the front room window. It's just me, a cup of tea, and the wonderful silence. The honest silence.

I love the silence. There was a time I didn't. At one point in my life I needed the noise, the din and hum  that kept me the quiet, for the quiet is void without distraction where one must meet the still, soft voice.

As a Christian, I believe in the Holy Spirit, the imbued seal of God on the hearts of Christ's followers, who speaks when they will listen, oftentimes in the silence. I realize others have a very different experience--they hear the nothing, a reinforcement of emptiness, an affirmation of being dust on a cosmic carpet. For some that brings peace, for others, anxiety. I lament for both, for I wish they experienced what I do--that soft, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking into the soul.

The reason that his presence is so pertinent today is because I am at a crossroads where the voice is most needed. My expectation of how I would feel when my wife left for work is finally meeting reality. The collision was imminent; now it is fulfilled. Frankly, I expected this morning to be hard. I was prepared to feel like a derelict, to let all the jests of my "doing nothing" cut to my heart and wound me accordingly. I was ready to sit in the silence and weep, to feel like a failure whose faith was misplaced.

However, I experienced none of this. I have peace that transcends the cares of the world and a reminder of Christ's words in the gospels not to worry. I have been full of anticipation for the days to come and a sense of tranquility over the days thus far. I have a Holy Spirit sense of being where I need to be, at a place where a dark expectation exists but the Lord flips it onto its head for his glory.

I am not one for prophecy but the following may qualify. I am assured that someday, maybe two months from now, maybe two years, someone will have a copy of my novel--the one on which I'll work this morning after this is posted. How that person acquired it I do not know, but I know that he or she will read it; and they, too, will have a moment in the silence not unlike the one I had this morning. In that moment, the text will prove useful--how I don't know, to what degree I'm unsure; but a reader will by changed by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, through my mediocre words set against a white backdrop. That's why I set out to write it my novel in the first place, and that endgame is coming. That expectation will become reality; and for that reason, today's expectation didn't.

Thank you again so much for reading and for joining me on this journey. I hope that these thoughts and ideas encourage you, and that you, too, find time in the silence.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Work stuff

So, as many of you know, I have been looking for work since my move to Delaware in August. This has been difficult. This is not an employee's market. This is a hirer's market; and for every one job, hundreds of qualified applicants may apply. This is discouraging.

At least it should be to the sane individual. Luckily, I am a writer and, as such, do not fit into this category. Sanity is overrated after all, right? (don't answer that). Bottom line is, I am not discouraged; in fact, I am really excited (remember that bit about not being sane).

My lack of work or, rather, my search for work has lent itself to some wonderful realizations, not the least of which is my desire and ability to write as a profession. I have put myself on a fluid-but-productive schedule, and seen real results from doing so. I know that if I get a job that requires self-starting, editing, and deadlines, I can excel. I enjoy it, and it comes naturally. I seem to have a certain knack for self-imposed labor, which is real writing after all, is it not?

All that to say, November is going to be a big month for me creatively. Even as I continue to look for full-time work and interim "gigs" (as we writer's call them), I'll have a plethora of unpaid projects with earning potential in the fire. I will outline them in the beginning of November, when I explain my new blogging schedule.

So, what does this mean, really? Why I am prattling on about my status as unemployed, novice writer? Because I am grateful for all of you, I am thankful to have you on this journey with me, and I want to continue engaging you on it, even as it changes or becomes more difficult. Many of you post "likes" and comments on facebook, and you have no idea how much that drives me to excel, how much it gives me that midday adrenaline boost to edit when I want to stop, how much it means to me that anything I write means something to you. I hope to repay you with some more full works in time, but for now the blog will have to do.

Thanks so much for stopping by it again! More to come!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


For those subscribed to my RSS or checking-in daily to view my posts, I have a big apology and a little explanation. I apologize, for today I am not posting in full. I began developing one post but decided to withhold it. I then began a second explaining why I dropped the first. That too, however, had to be shelved.

Needless to say, I have much to tell, but I am uncertain this blog is the place. Once I assess further, I will post on the matter; but for now, it's all gotta stay in the basement. As my self-allotted blog-time has passed for this morning, I do not have time to develop something else. This is all that is coming until Saturday. Again, I'm sorry, as I value your visits.

Thanks for stopping by, I truly appreciate it; and I will have more as I decide what's appropriate,

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yesterday, I learned about the existence of "National Novel Write Month" (nanowrimo), a non-competitive writing event for hopefuls and professionals, wherein participants begin a 50,000 word novel on November 1 and finish it by November 30.  Individuals may begin to outline and pre-write in advance, but no part of the actual prose of the novel can be written prior to November 1 (a parameter that kills my "The king had three sons" idea, as I am not compromising that opening sentence). Apparently, over 200,000 members signed up for nanowrimo last year, but only about 37,000 completed their work. Whoa.

I must admit, that having required 8 months to complete my draft of STRONGHOLD (which is approx. 80,000 words), I have no idea how I will accomplish this next feat. Part of me thinks that signing up for such an event is foolish and, actually, detrimental to the writing/editing rhythms I've developed; however, another part of me thinks that nothing could be more invigorating or useful for me than such a divergent, wholly new challenge like this one. If I decide to run with this, the blog is gonna look a little different come November, but we can cross that bridge when the time comes.

So what does this mean for STRONGHOLD...well, that's the scary part. I think it means I need to complete my fourth draft and send it to readers by November 1st, so that I have a good reason to be working on novel number 2 rather than editing novel number 1 during that month. That is a feat in and of itself, and I suppose if I want to hit that deadline, I had better get back to editing now.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Memorization: I John 3:10 - 24

So, I am trying to memorize I John 3:10-4:21. After two weeks, here's what I got. No commentary needed, I will let the passage speak for itself.

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 
For this is the message you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should to be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's, righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the wold hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in talk and word but in deed and in truth. 
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our hearts before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandment abides in God, and God in him. By this we know that he abides in us,  by the Spirit whom he has given us. 

Okay, a little commentary. First, I'm feeling convicted--lots of solid exhortation in there. Second, I had a good number of errors during my first copy, looks like I have alot of work to do this week. Third, I find it interesting how much of the love in this passage focuses on Christian brotherhood and inter-church-love (or should it be "intra-church-love"), as though John knew of the splintered groups and denominations the church would form in the coming centuries. Food for thought.

Thanks for reading on a Saturday!

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Simple Sentences

Writing can be an exhilarating ride, and it can all start with a small idea. Sunday night, the idea was as follows:

"The King had three sons. The oldest was the youngest, and the youngest was the oldest."

I am unsure of what generated this idea. Perhaps it was the fact that I was at a family gathering, and two of the families represented each had three sons.  Perhaps it was because I had just seen my nephew's Lego crown a few hours earlier. Perhaps it was because I am reading The Brother Karmazov, a story of, well, three brothers. Maybe all of these factors played a part. I don't know. That's one of the conditions of being a writer--your brain just kinda grabs instances from life like a buffet and puts them on a plate for you to sort into a meal.

So, "The King had three sons. The oldest was the youngest, and the youngest was the oldest."  That was the beginning. Two hours and 2700 words later, I had the prelude to another novel/story--perhaps the next one I'll complete or maybe one for later. Nonetheless I have it. The story of a king, his kingdom, his sons, and their lives...all because of one sentence.

This is joy for the writer. To have a concept come to one's mind and drive itself for any amount of time is pure ecstasy. It is rare. It is oftentimes poor in both content and construction. It is almost always the promise of a dozen coming re-writes. But it is also one of the best moments as a writer. It is the myth of writing finally realized--a picture of the inspired mind typing away, creating Shakespeare without even thinking. As all writers know once we return to reality, this experience is actually just the discovery of a seed, a seed that will need to be planted and watered and cultivated over time through much work and attention, a seed that may blossom into a tree or wilt in the garden of creative energies.

But as of now, it is planted, and its potential is endless. It's an exciting time, and it all began with a simple sentence. Although, if you want to get technical, in this instance it began with one simple sentence and one compound one, just sayin'.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Eating Jesus

Sometimes the Lord blesses the reading of his Word beyond the expectation of the reader (or hearer). When he does this, the joy of his grace and truth abound in fresh, exciting ways, whether it be in a single verse or a book in its entirety.

I admit that I experience this sort of "living reading" infrequently. Many mornings I spend in the Holy Bible are spent in rumination, oftentimes identifying and affirming things I have been taught already rather than having a renewed vigor for  given passage. But at times the Spirit breathes new life into the text (or, more accurately perhaps, breathes new life into the reader encountering it).  I had such an experience this morning, and I felt the compelled to share.

I read John 6, from verses 22 through the end of the chapter. It is a long passage that I will not re-print here, but I will call attention to one of its aspects that was opened to me in an exciting way. In John 6, particularly verses 47-56, Christ refers to himself as the living bread and speaks of the believer's need to eat of him. He imparts to his hearers a stunning and controversial instruction about partaking of his flesh as food and his blood as drink. His words may seem cannibalistic to the modern reader, just as they were to some in the first century AD; but nothing could be further from his meaning.  What struck me today about this passage was its universal accessibility and extensive implications. Allow me to explain.

First, all humans eat, and Christ is tapping into a need--not merely a desire. When Christ speaks of his believers' eating him as "living bread" and "bread from heaven", he is not only carrying a Biblical motif. He is implying that relationship with him and consistent engagement with his truth is necessary for spiritual existence. He has already told his hearers that they must be born again, and now they must also eat new food in this new life, mainly Christ himself--his teaching, his example, and the truth that he reveals--if they are to be healthy spiritually.

Second, eating is not simply tasting and swallowing but digesting. What does it mean to digest?  To process and pull nutrients while dispelling that which is  refuse. What does this mean in regard to Christ's life?  When we eat of Christ, we take in his word, his teaching, and his testimony. But taking it in is the first step alone. Following the swallowing of it, we must engage it and pull from it the truth to nourish our spirit. But we must keep only that which is true and be ready and willing to cast off all the rest--the false interpretations, the ruinous ideas, and the blasphemous conclusions--many of which we reach ourselves. We must hold the truth of what he is saying and expel the rest (for example, we must keep the implications of eating but must cast off the literal idea of eating human flesh). 

Third, humans have various responses to eating. At times eating is done for pleasure; at others it is done as medicine. Eating is done alone, but it is often done with others. Eating requires preparation but can also be done "on the fly". Eating may even be done despite someone's desire to forego it. Consider the modern adage, "I am so busy I can't stop to eat, and yet I know I must so I do." This seems very transitive to our need for taking time aside with God to "eat of Christ", does it not? Along that same line, think of the way in which a human is nourished by fast food versus a diet of conscientious preparation and deliberate dining. What does this tell us about spiritual patterns? Needless to say, the idea of eating carries with it a great number of possible implication and applications (but note that these, too, must be digested in order to purge those ideas that are useless or damaging). 

Fourth and finally, Christ claims that those who eat of his flesh and drink of his blood will never thirst, but this morning I was convicted in that I often find myself eating and drinking elsewhere. What do I mean by this? Well, I go to other things for my satisfaction, for my spiritual wellness, for my self-esteem, or perhaps for my pleasure. And yet, I find that I always return to Christ; and only in him do I find peace and contentment. When I look to my accomplishments, my standing, my intentions, the culture, the community, or any other place for my spiritual meaning and fullness, I am found wanting. Sure they may satisfy for a moment, perhaps longer; but they do not last. I hunger again. I continue to thirst. And I return to Christ, and I eat; and I am filled. And renewed. (until I forget, and the process repeats, as it so often does [but that is a discussion for another day]). 

Christ told his followers to eat, and in doing so captured a great deal of our human plight, our inherent need and our desire to fill it. I love him for that. I love him for the accessible, universal picture he provides. I love him for choosing a picture with so many implications. And I love him for revealing it to his people anew, always to their benefit and his ultimate glory, for he is indeed the bread of life and food for the human soul.

There you have it, not quite a 3-point sermon but something worth sharing nonetheless. Thank you for reading, 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Memorization: Romans 14:22-23

I am a big believer in grace, and I feel that the Christian has great freedom to make mistakes while growing in Christ. This is good for me, because sometimes I make mistakes (and by "sometimes" I mean "often").

One such mistake is that I do things that I question--meaning I do things that I think might be sinful or, at the very least, unhealthy for my pursuit of holiness. A big example of this is making consumer purchases. Sometimes, I will be out and about; and I will see something I want, pick it up, and not think twice about it. I have no doubts that the purchase is innocuous or amoral or appropriate, and I have no concern over it. No worries. On the flip side, however, I also have times wherein I want to purchase something, but a soft tug inside me attempts to stop it. Whether it's a matter of fiscal responsibility, avoiding my own greed, or cultivating contentment, I get a feeling I should refrain. I have a rough time with this soft voice. In fact, I would say that I stumble 60/40, usually giving myself a pass to buy what I want, quieting the voice and moving on with life. Interestingly, the more I have worked on this area of my life over the last 3 years, the more the Lord has worked out the matter so (a) my choice has some level of consequence and (b) the voice is much louder than it used to be (there's too much to describe here, but sit down with me sometime and I'll tell you).

Accounting for this, I decided to memorize a passage from Paul's epistle to the Romans to help remind me that the little voice is not to be ignored.  Despite its brevity, this passage is FULL of truth and goodness. I love it. And given the current struggle I outlined above, I find the passage to be immensely helpful. In regard to the matter at hand, my understanding of the passage, based on both studying and ruminating on it, is as follows:  If a specific action is questionably sinful for the believer, then it is essentially a sin in that circumstance--even if it would not be for the person next door or even to the said believer at another time; in that moment, when the Christian thinks the action may be a sin, to him it is. I am off? Here is the text:

"The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."

Like I said, I am scratching at the surface of thing, for Paul is a saying a great deal in a limited amount of space (a skill I want cultivate). I am sure I glean a great deal more insight as I continue to muse over the passage, and I am glad to have it written on my heart for years to come.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What I've Watched 10/4

This morning, I wanted to make sure I provided some great content, but I thought it would be worth it to direct you to the wonderful work of others.  All are "safe for work" (though I cannot speak for any other links in the sidebars on YouTube). As is my personal custom when making lists, I have provided 7 vids to enjoy!

Taylor Madi - On the foolishness of noncommittal, postmodern speech (Comedy/Spoken Word)

One Gentleman analysizes Rock, Paper, Scissors. (Comedy)

Beautiful Eulogy's brief video for their song "Entitlement" and a trailer for their album, Satellite Kite. (Music)
[PLEASE get Beautiful Eulogy's album HERE. They are excellent, and several of their songs have become part of my present rotation]

Bruxy Cavey - On Conversation (Christian Living)

"Mr. Rogers Neighborhood [Remix]" - This is just plain wonderful (Culture)

"Who's on First", essential comedic viewing and a gift to humantiy. (comedy)

Oh, and a wonderful piece of advice from Pastor John Piper about the Christian's relationship to relaxation and mindful living. (Christian Living)

Monday, October 1, 2012


I am beginning to develop an aching suspicion that every time I read my work it gets worse. This fourth draft of my novel, STRONGHOLD, is proving the most slow of my revisions thus far.

Here's the scenario. I open the third draft and star reading aloud, as if I were recording an audiobook. Anytime I get hung on a clause, require a double-take, or hear something "off", I stop and re-assess the sentence. Simple enough, right?  Well, it is until you correct your first sentence and throw off the cadence of your paragraph, which requires the re-writing of said paragraph in its entirety...which of course must be re-read in conjunction with the paragraphs before and after it. And let's say that I hit another speed bump in that re-reading. Then the process resets itself. And so on.

Friday, I got caught on a single sentence for 90 minutes (yeah, that happened); and the best version of said sentence came to me not while at my desk but during a run that afternoon. I had to stop and dictate it into my phone so I would not forget. I have a feeling this is the way things will go in October.

I won't lie. This is taxing. I get pretty exhausted when it seems that not a single clause is up to par. Considering that this is just the rough draft compounds the difficulty. Once my proofreaders, editors, and samplers get finished reading it, they may discover a new host of problems--problems which will require my completing this task again on the fifth draft (which I hope to have done by year's end).

Man, what have I gotten myself into?

Well, that's easy. Writing. For others. For those to whom my novel may give a glimmer of hope or a construct by which to battle their own sin. Or for those who may find an insight regarding their relationship to the Lord. Or for those who want an entertainment that encourages their faith. On their behalf, draft four is kicking my butt.

Worth it.

Thanks for reading - C