Sunday Salon: October 26, 2014
Well, those of us who are Royals’ fans are suffering from whiplash. We celebrated a glorious win in the third game of the series, only to be walloped in the fourth game last night. The World Series is now tied 2-2. We choose to think this is fate – as the teams are guaranteed to return to Kansas City for the winning game at home.
Reading: While I still desire to read more Middle Grade historical fiction/time travel novels, and I have added to the list of possibilities… I have focused my reading on two books that have impacted my life in a marvelous way.
Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore is a 70 day focus on prayer. I have participated in several Beth Moore Bible studies over the years, but this book is different. I find Beth to be quite knowledgeable and wise, but I often find my concrete/sequential mind befuddled by her abstract/random lessons. In this book, however, I found each daily message helped me to focus my prayers in a personal and global way.
I decided to accompany this study by writing my prayers rather than verbalizing them, which has greatly helped me focus and maintain a consistent discipline. I learned that limiting myself to one page made the process manageable and duplicatable. At the end of the seventy days I find myself looking forward to this morning prayer time rather than viewing it as a daily duty.
My Bible study group is currently studying Gideon by Priscilla Shirer – and I must confess it is one of the best studies I have read. She has a way of presenting Biblical truth in a practical, 21st century way. The story of Gideon is found within just three chapters of the book of Judges, and yet she gleans six weeks worth of in-depth, thought-provoking study.
Once we finish this book I plan to read many of her other Bible study collections. I like the way she challenges us to grow in a positive, encouraging spirit.
Writing: I spent most of the week trying to play pretend. This is a HUGE stretch for me, but I am learning that it can be fun (another step outside my comfort zone).
NaNoWriMo begins this Saturday, and while I am only revising a manuscript, rather than developing a story from scratch, I know that I must fully develop my characters. Some find creating the fictional world the best part of the novel writing process, but I am overwhelmed. So I decided to start within my comfort zone: research.
I began by researching images of what I thought each character looked like. I printed a copy of each character and pasted it in my journal. A visual reminder helps me to connect to them in a deeper way.
then I researched the 16 Myers Briggs personalities, reading the descriptions as well as investigating famous people who exhibit those traits. I discovered, for example, that my female protagonist, Phoebe, is an ESFP (the Entertainer – think Mary Lou Retton) while the male counterpart, Jean-Luc, is an ISFP (the artist – think Kevin Costner). The one who creates the most conflict in the story, Marie, is an ENTJ (the Executive – think Candace Bergen).
Once I knew their personalities, I wanted to flesh out their particular characteristics… quirks… special talents that make them unique. I found an extensive list of over 600 characteristics divided into positive, neutral, and negative categories. I discovered that Phoebe is amicable, honest and easy-going, but she can also be naive and a bit clumsy. Jean-Luc is charming, loyal, and helpful, but at times he is a tad pretentious. And Marie is ambitious, polite and well-organized, but she is also quite jealous and deceitful.
I have a long way to go in developing these characters (as well as my right-brain creativity), but I plan to continue having fun in the process.
Blogging: I completed the series on finding your Soul’s Agenda by posting my Writer’s Manifesto. I still cringe a bit when I declare, I am a writer, but I am learning to embrace this new chapter of life.
I know that I want my writing to proceed in three directions: historical fiction to hopefully help educate as well as entertain elementary students; Memoir and other non-fiction genres to leave a legacy of what I value and have learned in life; and continuing education, where I can encourage others to document their life stories for future generations.
Other endeavors: I have continued to practice my knitting, progressing from dishcloths to slippers. I made myself one more pair of booties, realizing that stitching them together wrong-side out makes all the difference. My son and daughter-in-law even liked them and asked if I might make them a pair. So I am now armed with more yarn – enough to keep me busy should the World Series extend to seven games.