Monthly Archives: July 2012

Random Trails: Writing Prompt

Have fun with this writing prompt from Writer’s Digest. It may inspire you.

Creative Writing Prompt: Something’s Wrong With This Wedding | WritersDigest.com.

Gleaning Inspiration from the Olympics

Over the next two weeks, we will laugh and cry and cheer for our team. But, we’re also going to hear stories of courage, perseverance and grace in defeat. As those stories inspire you, keep one ear open for writing inspiration.

Olympic Athletes

Obviously, the first place to get ideas is from the athletes themselves. If an Olympic athlete lives in your area, interview them. Do a personality profile of them. How did they get started? What keeps them going? How did if feel to go to the Games?

If there’s a special story in their life, focus on that. What do you want to tell your readers about this athlete?

Beyond the Athletes

You may not have access to an Olympic athlete. But, you do know other heroes. You may hear a story of an athlete and think of someone you know who has demonstrated the same characteristics. Who has shown courage or perseverance? Who has overcome obstacles to achieve their goal? Who is a winner in their realm of influence? How can you tell their story?

Personal Growth

What about inspiration toward personal growth? When you hear a story of courage, think about a time when God gave you the courage to face something difficult. When you hear a story of perseverance, think about a time God helped you keep going when you wanted to give up. When did you face obstacles? How have you learned to pursue your passions? How have you developed teamwork? How have you learned to encourage others?

These are all facets of competing in the Games. But, they’re also issues that we face in our everyday life. Look beyond the Games and see the inspiration of personal growth that you can use in your writing.

How can you address these issues in a how-to article? In a personal experience piece? In a meditation/devotional? In fiction? In poetry?

Physical Fitness/Health

What inspires you about the physical training of the athletes? How can you apply these ideas to parenting articles? To adult physical fitness pieces? To health articles? To articles that address injuries in children and/or adults?

Look deeper into the Olympics. How can you take what you see there and mold it into writing that will inspire or help others? You may not tell a story from the Olympics but the Olympics can inspire you to write something completely different and to touch your readers.

© Deborah Christensen

Random Trails: A Newspaper From the Future | WritersDigest.com

Here is a fun writing prompt from Writer’s Digest. How does this inspire you?

Creative Writing Prompt: A Newspaper From the Future | WritersDigest.com.

From the Idea Garden – Trials that Touch Our Lives

Three trials are in the news today: the Colorado killer, Drew Peterson and the sentencing of William Balfour (who was convicted of murdering Jennifer Hudson’s family). They touch us in different ways.

What issues arise from these trials for you? Marriage? Mental illness? Gun issues? Custody issues? Family relationships? Jealousy? Anger? What other issues?

How can you address these issues in a how-to article? In a personal experience piece? In a meditation/devotional? In fiction? In poetry?

Tragedy in Colorado

When I woke up this morning, I learned of the shooting in Colorado that took the lives of 14 people (as of this writing) and injured 50. The issues go much deeper than this one event.

What are the spiritual issues? What are the mental health issues? What about political/cultural issues?

How can you address these issues in your writing?

Creeping Vines of Persecution

In recent months, stories of the persecution of Christians around the world have been making news. And recently, persecution in more subtle forms has occurred in the U.S.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been imprisoned in Iran for converting to Christianity and preaching it. He lives under a daily threat of death. And now, his attorney has also been imprisoned.

Kuwait’s Royal Prince Abdullah al-Sabah converted to Christianity. He said, “If they kill me because of it, then I will appear before Jesus Christ and I will be with Jesus Christ forever. I will accept whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me towards the right path.” Even though he’s a member of the royal family, he still could face execution.

Coptic Christians in Egypt face death and brutality. Christians in China must meet in secret or face persecution.

According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is restricted.

It’s coming home to our shores. Atheists have filed suit to have a WWII war memorial in Montana, which is a statue of Jesus, removed, even though the Supreme Court has ruled that such statues are constitutional. Atheist groups also file suit to stop prayer and Bible study groups in schools.

Our Founding Fathers escaped religious persecution. When they established the United States, they made religious freedom the highest priority. However, the current U.S. government doesn’t include religious freedom anymore in the Human Rights Report that it releases every year.

In August, 2011, the Health and Human Services Department announced that organizations would be required to include contraception coverage for their employees, no matter what their religious beliefs. A broad spectrum of religious institutions began filing suit. The latest institution to file suit is Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

Write to Stand Against Religious Persecution

It’s easy to think we’re safe from persecution. But, that’s no longer true.

How can you use your writing to sound the alarm? What is your passion, worldwide persecution of Christians or the erosion of Christian liberty at home? How can you inspire other Christians to act?

The Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors are two organizations that are working to protect Christians around the world. The ACLJ fights to protect religious liberty at home. Consider contacting these organizations for interviews. What other organizations can you contact?

As writers, we can keep this issue in front of our readers. We can’t stay quiet. The lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ depend on it.

© Deborah Christensen

Photo: Courtesy of ACLJ.org

Wheaton College Joins Lawsuits Fighting the Contraception Mandate | Christianity Today

Many Christians believe, as I do, that this is a direct assault on religious freedom.

Wheaton College Joins Lawsuits Fighting the Contr… | Christianity Today.

What can you write on this issue? Who can you interview? What angle can you use? How does this issue inspire your writing?

Seeds of Truth – James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5, NIV

Have you ever asked God for wisdom? How did He give it to you? Why did you need wisdom? Did you face a major decision? How did the wisdom you received from God impact your decision? How did it turn out?

How can you use your experience in a personal experience piece? In a how-to article? In a meditation/devotional? In fiction? In poetry? In a children’s story?

Plowing the Fields on Twitter

You can now find Plowing the Fields on Twitter. Just look for @dcplowingfields.

Wedding Bells and Writing Ideas

My niece got married last weekend. It was such a beautiful wedding. We celebrated their union because we love her new husband and we know that this is truly a godly match.

Summer seems to be the season for weddings. You may attend at least one in the next few months. Enjoy the event but keep your eyes open for writing ideas, too.

How-To Articles – Planning the Wedding

Notice the little details that make this different from others you’ve been to. What special insights can you offer to brides-to-be that will make their own wedding planning easier?

Pull the wedding planner aside or get her contact information so that you can interview her later. Talk to the bride and find out what added stress to her life. What does she wish she had done differently? You might want to do this after she returns from her honeymoon.

What is the best way to choose the dress? What should a bride look for in a dress? How should a bride choose her color scheme? What’s the best way to coordinate the bridal party? What should the groom and groomsmen look for in tuxes?

How do you choose flowers? How do you know if a photographer is as good as you think he is? How do you plan the menu? What do you need to know about cake? How do you choose a venue? What is important to include in the vows?

When a woman begins to plan her wedding, she may feel overwhelmed. Your article may give her the information she needs to confidently move forward. You may help relieve her stress so she can enjoy the day.

How-To Articles – Planning the Marriage

Marriage is different from dating. It brings the relationship to a much deeper level. What issues will the newlyweds face? How can they make financial decisions? How can they negotiate the big issues: sex, children, discipline, where to live, etc.

How do they bring both families together? What’s the best way to handle holidays?

What is the best way to handle disagreements? How do they work with each other’s personalities? How do they love each other the way Christ loved them?

Other Writing Opportunities

How can you incorporate your insights into fiction? Can you model a Christian marriage in your novel? What about a short story?

The Song of Songs is beautiful poetry about the marriage relationship. How can you use poetry to honor marriage?

Personal experience articles can offer insights that you learned in your own marriage. Meditations/devotionals focus on the spiritual dimension in marriage.

A wedding is just the beginning of a marriage. Listen to the wedding bells but look for the writing ideas, too.

© Deborah Christensen

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