Random Trails: Ernest Hemingway

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

— Ernest Hemingway

Seeds of Truth: John 14:13

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

John 14:13, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about prayer? What about when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way you think He should? How do you respond to an answered prayer? How do you respond to an unanswered prayer? How can you bring glory to God through prayer? Through answered prayer? Through unanswered prayer?

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 the prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

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.

Mom’s Special Place

Yesterday, we celebrated Mom. Some people did it with picnics and cookouts. They laughed and hugged their mom. Others did it with tears, as they grieved a mom who is no longer there. Still others faced painful memories of a mother who hurt them in a variety of ways. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

What is a Mom?

What did your mom teach you about being a mother? Did you learn what to do, or what not to do? What did you learn about God, love, sacrifice, cooking, organization, how to handle money, how to balance family and work, grief, making choices, etc., from your mom? If you’re a man, what did she teach you about choosing a wife who would be the mother of your children?

What memories did she create in your family? What was unique about her that made you want to be a better person?

The Practical Side of a Mom

Moms model so many things as we grow up. Did she show you how to sew, start a business, create a budget, play music, speak in public, serve in the background, etc.? How did she model the fruits of the Spirit? Did you see her on her knees, praying for you? Did you watch her make time with God a priority?

How did she create a loving home? How did she love your dad? How did she show you that she loved you? How did she punish you? How did she defend you when someone wronged you? How did she show you to face the world?

Our moms influence our lives in so many ways. Use the insights that Mother’s Day stirred up and write about it.

© Deborah Christensen

Friday Fun Facts: Arabian Nights or Not?

Three of the most famous stories from The Arabian Nights or One Thousand and One Nights stories by Scheherazade—”Aladdin,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “Sinbad the Sailor”—did not appear in the original collection of stories. Antoine Galland, a French translator, added them to the collection in the early 18th century.

Random Trails: How to Use Pinterest for Writing Ideas and Inspiration | Writing Forward

Check out this article for creative ways to find writing ideas.

Source: How to Use Pinterest for Writing Ideas and Inspiration | Writing Forward

Seeds of Truth: John 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? How does it describe salvation? How does it describe a growing relationship with Christ? What does it say about serving God? How do we depend on God? How does He work through us? How do we make this a priority?

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 witnessing, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, singleness, relationship struggles, work, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, trials, etc.?

Plowing Together: The Difficult Talk — Please Comment

How do you talk to your aging parents about moving to an assisted-care facility or nursing home? How do you talk to them about giving up their lifelong home?

How would you write about it? What ideas can you share in an article or book? Your comments may inspire another writer.

Helping Aging Parents Navigate the Later Years

I am blessed to have my parents still with me. They are in their 80s and relatively healthy. But, they are slowing down. As their children, my sister and I help them with whatever they need. Other family members help, as well. A few weeks ago, their grandsons removed old railroad ties and pulled weeds from their back yard.

A couple of years ago, my mom was in the hospital. My dad walks with a cane and my mom occasionally needs a walker. Their physical limitations are growing but manageable. My mom still does laundry in their basement, refusing to allow us to help her with the stairs. They drive. And, they take care of my aunt, who lives in a nursing home. They want their independence.

How do you know when it’s time to step in? How do you help parents know when it’s time to stop driving, to move to an assisted-care facility or to get them in-home care? What are the healthcare options for aging parents? What do you do when you see signs of dementia? How do you help them without treating them like children?

We will encounter aging issues with our parents. How can we, as writers, help our readers know where to look for answers?

Share your own story. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What do you wish you had done differently?

Write a how-to piece. This will mean research. Talk to experts in the field and share their insights. Offer practical tips that your readers can use. Help them find the right government agencies, choose the right nursing home, find the best living situation that works best for their family.

Write a devotion. Use verses that talk about honoring parents and defending the defenseless. Help your readers understand that God commands us to care for our parents, forgive them for their mistakes and serve them until He calls them home.

Use fiction or poetry to share your insights. This is an indirect way to guide your readers as they deal with these issues.

Consider doing a tie-in to Mother’s Day. How has the meaning of Mother’s Day changed, now that your parents are aging? What are special ways to honor your aging mom?

As people live longer, more of us need direction to help our parents navigate the later years. Our parents took care of us. Now, it’s our turn. And, as writers, we can walk beside our readers because they’re navigating new territory, too.

© Deborah Christensen

 

Friday Fun Facts: John Keats — Five Short Years

On this day in 1816, John Keats’ first poem was published in The Examiner. He was 20 years old. His first book of poetry was published a year later. In 1819, he wrote many of his well-known poems, including “Ode to a Grecian Urn.” A year later, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and died in 1821.

His life was filled with tragedy. His father died when he was 8 years old. His mother and grandparents also passed away in the following years. He and his four siblings were cheated out of their inheritance and he lived in poverty. Because of his economic status, he couldn’t marry the woman he loved.

Even though he was only 25 when he died, his poetry lives on.

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