Category Archives: Writing

swirl

verb – move in a twisting or spiraling pattern

It’s Monday, which means I’m supposed to blog.  I’ve tried to adhere to habit of posting every Monday, Wednesday (book review), and Friday. My mind right now, however, is swirling with thoughts and none of them can I pin down.

This little blog of mine which is read by somewhere around 30 people on any give day can dominate my thoughts. That number is obviously lower than I would like, but every time I think of giving the blog up, someone sends an email or message letting me know how much something I wrote encouraged them. So I keep up with the battle of thoughts.  What’s that you ask?  Take a peak in my brain for any given day:

  • “I need to BLOG!”
  • “Ohhh, that’s a great idea for a blog post!.”
  • “I can’t wait to tell my readers about this book on the blog!”
  • “Ugh, it’s Monday, and I need to blog.”
  • “Shoot, it’s Saturday and I forgot to blog yesterday.”
  • “I need a piece of paper: I gotta jot down this idea for my blog.”
  • “Does anyone even read my blog besides my Dad?” (Shout out to Dad whose comments always encourages:)
  • “Can’t I just blog something random that I write on the spur of the moment? I mean, all this planning, revising, and editing is making me crazy!”
  • “I NEED to blog!”

So as you can see, my brain spends a lot of time thinking about the blog even when I’m not writing one.

I’ve been in a weird kind of season in my life right now that keeps my thoughts swirling. Keith and I have been discussing “life dreams” and “life goals” and all of that heavy stuff that I think people in their 40’s start to discuss when they see that the years are coming at the speed of light. I’ve been reading books on finding your dream, how to live that dream, and how to make Southern Biscuits. Okay, so the last one doesn’t seem to fit, but in my swirling thoughts, it fits right in with what God is dropping in my heart. (Have fun finding that connection.)  

In the midst of all these discussions with Keith, I’m learning to let go of my need to be perfect-at-whatever-it-is-I’m-doing. This obviously explains the need that every post be Pulitzer Prize worthy. So…. that’s what today is. It’s letting my faithful readers out there into a blog that was written “on the fly” and not perfectly outlined and edited. Basically, I sat, I thought, and then I wrote.

I’m in the process of reading a book that I wish I had written, or better yet, a book that I know I could write. It’s just my style, and it’s so powerful in a simple way.  I won’t tell you what it is yet because that’s a post for Wednesday Reads, and as I said earlier, it’s only Monday:) Reading this book has reminded me that it’s the simple writing of personal thoughts and experiences that touch a reader’s heart and binds them to you in a way that can’t be explained. I want to write like that.

In order to write like that,  I have to take my swirling thoughts and force them down on paper. I have to let go of my “try-hard life.” When I do, I find a freedom that makes me want to pursue dreams that are way to big for me, but not too big for my God.

So although today’s post was not outlined and throughly revised and edited, you read it. (I hope you stayed till now.) So here’s my thanks for joining me each day. I really do think of you guys a lot ( as evidenced by the earlier brain insight.) Keep the comments and messages coming and I’ll keep blogging even when the thoughts might not find their place in an outline.

Happy Monday,

~a

Wednesday Reads Edition: “number-one”

c3307862cede44aeab479c06950d9e7aadjective – the state or position of being first, the best, or on-top (That’s from the Alicia’s Dictionary of Words and Phrases that Don’t Appear in the Dictionary, which is affectionately known as ADWPDAD.)

So I’m a huge fan of books. Duh, right?  But recently I began a book (Stardust by Carla Stewart) that reminded of one of my favorite things about a good book: a powerful and enticing first line.  Whenever I’m in a bookstore, the first thing I do is read the first line. If it’s intriguing, I snap up the book. But I’m not such a snob that I won’t continue reading to see if it gets any better. However, if it doesn’t have me by the first page or so, I’m done.

So today in honor of Wednesday Reads, I’m presenting the number-one books with perfect number-one lines. (Did you catch that double meaning;)?

 

“My marriage to O’Dell Peyton was already over when he washed up on the shores of Zion.” Stardust by Carla Stewart

“All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“Sister Justicia Marie thought it was going to be a beautiful day in LA, full of mercy and grace, until she had to break a man’s finger at lunch.” Force of Habit by James Scott Bell

“One generally steps into a chapel to pray, not to kick someone’s butt.” Force of Habit 2: And Then There Were Nuns by James Scott Bell

“It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed.” The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Hadden

“Clare: It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.” The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

‘Where’s Papa going with that axe?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

“Daphne Sweeten’s knees buckled beneather her, but Sophie, her maid of honor, kept her from reaching the marble floor.” Scent of Rain by Kristen Billerbeck

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“All children, except one, grow up.” Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

“Not every 13-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.” The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, I had two things on my mind, Paul Newman and a ride home.” The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but just some that I’ve experienced in my reading journey. And note this disclaimer: just because the first line is good, doesn’t mean the entire novel is equal to its perfection. However, it is an excellent indicator that it could be a great book. Happy reading!

Read any great first lines lately? Please share.