Category Archives: plays

Plowing Together: Summer Reading — Please Comment

What is your favorite thing to read in the summer? Have you ever considered writing in that genre? How does your summer reading inspire your writing?

Please comment. You may inspire someone else.

Heading Into Summer

Memorial Day has come and gone. The summer season is in full swing. It’s a time for pool parties, barbecues, family vacations, summer camp, and all the other fun that summer brings. It also inspires a lot of writing ideas.

What’s different about summer? What does it inspire?

Parenting

How can you help parents prepare for their children’s summer break? How can you help working parents juggle their children’s summer schedules? How can you help families build stronger relationships during the summer?

What do parents need to know about summer camp? How can they choose the right one for their child? How can you help parents prepare their children for summer camp? What can parents do if their child become homesick?

How can parents make the most of a summer vacation? How do they choose the right vacation spot for their family? How do they budget for a vacation? How do they handle a child who doesn’t want to go on vacation? How can they take creative photos that capture the essence of their family vacation?

Summer Parties

How can your readers throw a fun summer party? How can you help them cook great food? What can you tell them about decorating for a summer party? How can they help their guests have fun? How do you build relationships through a summer party?

Summer Activities

What can you write about gardening? Hiking? Bicycling? Cooking on the grill? How can you help your readers protect themselves from ticks? Mosquitoes? How can they recognize poisonous plants?

What health issues arise from summer activities? How can they prevent injuries? What do they do after they incur an injury? What about allergies? How can they keep themselves healthy in the summer?

What can you write for kids? How can you help them embrace summer activities? What stories can you write for them? What devotions can you write? What kind of personal experience article can you write? Who can you interview?

Enjoy the summer. But, always look for writing ideas. Most publications work several months out. Have fun. Gather ideas. Then, write when the weather gets colder.

© Deborah Christensen

Plowing Together: Is It True or Not? — Please Comment

In this age of “fake news,” many writers get their ideas from the news and current events. How do you assess whether it’s true or not?

Please comment. Your insights may help someone else.

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

The Value of Work

hibiscusYesterday, we celebrated Labor Day. Many of us took a break from work to celebrate the “end” of summer. But, we may not have thought about the work we do. It can bring us joy and purpose.

God worked when He created the universe. He also works every day in our life and in human history. He considers work an honorable pursuit.

As writers, we can address the issue of work in our fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Finding Purpose in Work

How can you view your work in a way that honors God? How can you work as if you’re working for the Lord? How can you make the most of work you don’t enjoy? How can you see your work from God’s perspective?

How can you teach your children the value of work, even when they’re young? How can you help them view their work from His perspective? How do you balance work with your marriage? How do you keep your priorities straight?

How do you find the right job for you? How can you discover your gifts so that you can pursue work that fits who God created you to be? If you are a stay-at-home mom, how do you view your work as valuable?

Unemployment

What do you do if you lose your job? How do you handle the emotional pain from job loss? What is a good process to find a new job? How do you write a resume?

How do you know if you should look for a job or if you should start your own business?

God created us for a purpose. As writers, we can help our readers find their purpose and value their work.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NLT

What makes you afraid? How do you turn your fear over to the Lord? How does that help you to not be afraid? What makes you feel discouraged? How do you turn away from discouragement and focus on God? How does that help you to not be discouraged? How does God strengthen you? How does He help you when you feel weak? How does God hold you up? How do you learn to trust God? How can you live a victorious life, even when you feel weak?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article? What tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, politics, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

hibiscus

Plowing Together: Inspiring Olympic Stories –– Please Comment

Yesterday, I talked about using the Olympics to inspire your writing. What Olympic stories have you heard that inspire you? How can you use them in your writing?

Please share your insights. You may inspire someone else.

The Thrill of Victory

Olympic_Rings_clip_art_mediumThe Summer Olympics 2016 opened on Friday. Did you watch the opening ceremony? How did you feel when Team USA walked into the arena?

As writers, we can view events like the Olympics through different eyes. We see stories to tell, we find character qualities to share, and we find inspiration to help our readers grow in the Lord and as people.

Athletes Who Put God First

Numerous articles have come out about Olympic athletes who are Christians. Can you interview any of them? What would you highlight about their Olympic journey?

Look for stories you can tell. Get below the surface of the Games themselves to how their faith influences the way they approach their sport.

Even if you don’t have the opportunity to interview the athletes, you can still use the way they play their sport as a testament to their faith. Those stories make excellent anecdotes in how-to articles and devotions. This means research. Read what you can on the athlete to make sure their faith story is real. Christianity Today and the Christian Post have run some of the recent articles on Christian Olympians.

Courage, Humility and Perseverance

Last night, I watched the medal ceremony for the 4×100 meter relay. Michael Phelps was on that team. His comeback story provides an example of overcoming bad choices. He trained harder for the 2016 Olympics than he did for the 2012 Olympics.

But, there was another story on that podium, as well. Ryan Held swam in his first international competition in that relay. It was the only event he entered in the Olympics. During the “Star Spangled Banner,” Held broke down in tears. He clearly felt humbled by the honor.

But, the story doesn’t end there, Phelps, who is the most-decorated Olympian ever, reached over and wrapped his arm around Held. This is an example of humility from both of them.

Other stories introduce us to athletes who summoned courage to overcome obstacles: One of the refugee athletes practiced for her race as she ran without shoes. An American swimmer started swimming after facing a life-threatening illness.

Look for examples of character qualities that come out in the Olympic athletes. You may not focus on the athlete but you can use their story as an anecdote. It can inspire your fiction and poetry, as well. And if you write for children, look for ways you can teach these things to them.

As you watch the Olympics and cheer your team, let the stories inspire your writing.

© Deborah Christensen

Plowing Together: What Character Quality Inspires Your Writing? — Please Comment

All people possess a variety of character qualities. One usually stands out. What character quality in you or someone else inspires your writing? Why? Please share your insights and/or story. You may inspire someone else.

The Good in Goodness

hibiscusWhat does goodness mean to you? We know it’s a Fruit of the Spirit, but we need to look at how we can cultivate it in our life and use it in our writing.

Some people view people who live out goodness as “goody-two shoes.” That’s now how God sees it. He is good and He calls us to be good. That means He wants us to do the right thing, to obey Him, to love Him and to love others. It means we choose His way and turn away from the world’s way. We practice justice, use honorable speech, encourage others and live a pure life. We spurn evil.

Living a good life pleases God. After we give our life to Christ, goodness grows in our life. It shows we belong to Him and that He makes a difference in our life.

Encouraging Others to Goodness

It’s easier to sin. Cut a corner here, make a compromise there, and soon you’ve forgotten about goodness. But, goodness often requires sacrifice. In Galatians 6:9, Paul tells us not to become weary of “doing good.” And as writer, we can pass that message on to our readers.

When was a time you grew weary of doing good? How did you find the strength to keep going? How did you choose to do good instead of giving up?

Tell your story in a personal experience piece. Offer tips you learned in a how-to article. Give your readers practical advice that they can follow. Get them thinking about the importance of goodness.

Write a devotion and give your readers verses that they can turn to. Goodness pulls in issues of perseverance, trust and loving others. Find verses that encourage your readers in these areas, as well. Open the devotion with an anecdote.

Interview someone who works with the poor, fights for persecuted Christians, saves the unborn or helps the elderly. What can they share about goodness? How do their good works make a difference in the lives of the people they serve? How does God use them? How did they decide to make goodness the focus of their life?

Children need to grow in goodness, too. Help them see the value of making the right choices and making God happy. Guide them in the struggle to do the right thing.

Other Writing Arenas

Poetry is the perfect vehicle for a discussion on goodness. Poets have a way of viewing something from a different angle. You can offer a unique perspective.

In fiction, you can write a character who struggles with goodness. Put obstacles in your character’s way that prevent them from choosing to do good. How do they overcome it? You can feature the classic fight of good against evil in your fiction.

God values goodness. We can value it in our own life and help our readers see the importance of it for their lives, too.

© Deborah Christensen

%d bloggers like this: