Monday, November 19, 2007

Novel Update

Word count: 5136. I sit 11 days until the end of the month. I'm a hair past the 1/10th mark. I know I should be just past 25000 to be "on track." Oh well. I'm happy with the small progress. This thing is a jump-start on more to come. If I'm this far by month's end, it's more than I had at the beginning.

Writing is taking one step at a time.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recapturing the Wonder

The title of this blog is such a cliche. You've heard it countless times, used in different ways, for different reasons. It can be cheesy and overly sentimental. However, I thought of these exact words this morning when I realized something.

Laura was reading to me. It was the lesson she had prepared for the Garden at church (our children's ministry). She was talking about how there are many good people in our lives, but that Jesus was different, in that he was more than a merely good person. She spoke of the Transfiguration. I remembered hearing about that when I was young. Who knows when I first heard it (probably in Sunday school in elementary school)? She spoke of Jesus being the Son of God. She spoke of how we are invited into a friendship with Jesus and how special that is.

And I just felt normal. "Yeah, yeah, that's true," I thought to myself.

I told her it was good and well-done (which it was). But I was sitting there thinking about how nonchalant I had become. Yes, I know all these things and I believe them. But, I sit there hearing all the facts and it doesn't move my heart. All these magnificent things don't cause my heart and imagination to soar. It worries me.

Is it because I've heard it since I was a kid, surrounded by it at home and once a week at church (or more if there was VBS [Vacation Bible School; I don't want to assume everyone knows] going on that week)? Is it because I'm not connecting to God through the Holy Spirit as often as I should? There's nothing major in my life that has disappointed me recently. There's nothing I'm bitter at God about that I can put a finger on. Is it just a collective bum-out at life, in general?

I don't know.

I want to recapture that sense of realizing who God is, day to day. Sure, I know it's like any relationship, to a degree. You don't live in a constant state of high. But, I remember a time when I was young (junior high) and there was a girl who I noticed. I remember knowing about her and wanting to meet her. I remember finally forging a relationship, to the point where if we saw each other in passing, she would say 'hello.' I remember the thrill of realizing that I had come from a place of not being in relationship at all with this girl to being in a place where she actually knew who I was. It made my spirit leap. My head was dizzy. It was the greatest thing in the world.

If I can just have that light dawn on my heart again, I know a revitalization will take place. It's not all about feelings or living on mountaintops, but these things are an integral part of a vibrant walk with Christ through life.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Novel Progress

2060 words. That's where I sit early Monday morning. It feels great to be writing. Words are flowing and characters are becoming more concrete, through words and actions. Mr. Thelonious Monk and Mr. John Coltrane have provided the sweet background music tonight. Things are good.

Although I'm behind on my word count (should be up to 6670 by now), I'm happy. Coming off a busy weekend of coffee shop work and helping around the house with a not-feeling-so-good wife, this is what accomplishment against the odds is all about.

Bottom line is I'm writing a story, finally. The pressure of deadlines and word counts is an awesome motivator. This story and these characters have been rolling around the landscape of my mind for a decade now and they're starting to get bored in there. I'm glad to assist their escape.

This week, we enter into "Holiday Time" at work. Things will become busier and busier. God preserve my mind.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Listen Up

So, in the spirit of NaBloPoMo, I'm writing a post today. Thank the Lord I didn't sign up for it! However, several of my friends and fellow blogmies (surely some of which are reading this now) have taken this challenge, for better or worse. I have, for some crazy reason, decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo (see post below). I'm excited and encouraged because I did start off the month-long challenge with a bang, by writing 1303 words of the novel last night. I would love to keep up the pace each day, but that will take a miracle. It was thrilling to see the words coming from the tapping on the keyboard and characters coming to life on the page. Even if I don't write the full 50,000 (!!) words by month's end, I'll have more than I ever would without the deadline setting.

As I was thinking about writing a book, an image of Barnes and Noble came into my mind. I love the place. I could camp out there all day and read stuff (I actually used to camp out there for 8 hour blocks at a time...but I was employed by the company and had to curb my reading on the job. But I digress..). I'm amazed when I go there at all the books which keep coming out. Even more astounding is the website. Millions of books. When you look at media, in general, there is a gluttony of words and information. With iTunes, cable TV, bookstores, the internet, TiVo, Netflix..... we are gorged with talking from all sides. I think, if all these people are talkng, who's listening? Andy Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" theory plays some part in this seemingly massive quest for significance that all these authors/artists are pursuing. But, hey, I'm in the race, as well. Trying to write a novel. Switchfoot has a song, "Adding to the Noise." It seems like I'm doing just that. I hope, like all these other writers, that what I have to say will make some difference or have some effect on people.

Since we, collectively, are "the audience" for all this media, then we are the listeners. So, yes, there are those that talk (so many) and those that listen. But we that listen have so much to listen to. It can seem like we're just trying to keep up with all the important things that we should know. How often does God get drowned out in all this ocean of sound? I need to stop and listen to the still, small Voice.