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Word Doldrums November 17, 2008

Filed under: thoughts,writing — writetools @ 9:55 pm
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wow1I’m back… back from the doldrums that frightens even the most salty writers… not writers block…more like the word blues. I have a myriad of excuses (my nemesis laundry included) that I will not bore you with. Thank you to those who wrote and encouraged me to get back on, it’s for you and me that I am. So…what’s on the docket? A Tribute to Mr. Darcy, Church with the Lights On, A Write Tools Tip including a new tool you are going to love… and a few slices of life thrown in for a laugh. Since my worldview is decidedly angry and grim right now, I am steering clear of politics for a little while…but never fear, I am sure come January it will flare with color.  But look for a couple new regular features including On the Road Again, travels the world over. Thanks for reading again! Amie

 

Souls Don’t Have Color April 29, 2008

I was raised in Seattle. A city known for it’s integration and acceptance of people, no matter color or creed. My parents taught me, and I teach my children that in this nation… in this world, we do not “judge people by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”…it’s whats inside that counts. I truly believe that this world would be a boring, flat existence if we were all the same. Every note of the eternal symphony composed by our Master Craftsman is meant to be there…without omission. So why do I feel so insulted, so wronged by the newly touted Right Reverend Wright? The sacrifice that my husband and hundreds of thousands more have paid for in blood… profusely shed… for his right to to yell from a bully pulpit… God Damn America… feels trodden upon like a filthy rag. Well that infuriates me.

Why are you trying to divide America down lines that don’t exist for most of the people that I know? We are all God’s children, “black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics”… instead of dividing, why not try to “join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

The paragraphs above are as far as I got in this essay.

I can’t go on… I don’t have the words. Tonight, I am eternally grateful for better writers than I. Specifically for,  John Moody, Executive Vice President, News Editorial for FOX News

Memo to Reverend Wright: Do Souls Have Color?

 

I’m white.

I’m Christian.

 I’m American.

 I’m not a racist.

And I’m offended by Jeremiah Wright. The Trinity United Church’s former pastor put on nearly an hour of smug mugging for the cameras at the National Press Club in Washington. Among other things, he repeated with a kind of glee that the attacks on 9/11 were retribution for America’s sins. He tried to distinguish African-influenced Christian churches in the United States from those that are not. He said, in part, that his recent plunge into the limelight “just might mean that the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible.”

What reality is that, reverend? How is reality visible or invisible? Is it a different reality from my church? Who says so? God? Or just you? What the heck, to be polite, are you talking about?

Let’s be clear: Reverend Wright has the right to say what he wants; that is the beauty of this country that he believes has so wronged him. His remarks are protected, even if they offend me, which they do. I, too, have rights, including the right to offend the Reverend, which I expect this will do.

I attend a Roman Catholic church where the pastor and most of the congregation are white. Yet my pastor would no more speak of white America, or the white church, or the hardships imposed on white people by the U.S. government because of affirmative action, than he would say “Goddamn America”. This does not mean that there is uniformity of opinion in my church. I know that my pastor and I disagree on issues of politics. I know that because we have talked outside the church, not because he preaches his politics from the pulpit. I would find it impossible to attend if he did this, because that would be an abuse of his position. His job is to help me in my quest for eternal salvation, not to tell me the kind of world he wants to live in until he and I achieve that goal.

He does not preach in order to divide. He preaches to bring comfort and hope to those in the Lord’s House.

Wright speaks about white racism while espousing the kind of hateful, bitter (yes, I know that word’s been used before) division between white and black that is the essence of racism. Do I know what goes on inside his head? No. But neither does he know what thoughts I secretly harbor.

“Be not deceived, God is not mocked,” Wright said, quoting Galatians 6:7. Reverend Wright, who dislikes being judged by sound bites, omitted the first passages of that biblical book. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.”

Whose burden were you bearing when you spoke, Reverend? If Americans have sinned, are you ministering to them in the spirit of meekness? You speak of the black church, yes. But what of the white church? Do churches have colors? Do souls? Are you and your church superior to mine? Allow me to tell you: you and it are not.

Your words, reverend, were an affront to me, but of far more importance, to the Almighty. You can still atone, but remember, God is not mocked.

John Moody is Executive Vice President, News Editorial for FOX News.

Please take a moment, and thank Mr. Moody for his poignant and appropriate words. They were heartfelt, honest and fair. He spoke for many of us that don’t know how to express what we feel. Thank you, Mr. Moody.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 

American Idols Shout to the Lord April 14, 2008

First Off….

Praise God! Christ was preached.

I had to rewind my TIVO several times before it sunk in, then I called a bunch of friends to verify. I have mixed reactions to it…and I have heard downright Pharisee”ic” reactions to it. The bottom line for me is this, American Idol is the biggest venue and “pulpit” on the planet these days. Take it for what you will, but one of the most powerful testaments to the majesty and redemptive grace of the Living God was sung in front of a needy and spiritually dry world. I was praising!

Let’s invite people to jump into this fantastic adventure with us, instead of walling them off with spiritual piety. Christ came to the sick… needy, downtrodden, unloved, unworthy… hmmm…us. When did we as Christians stop making Christ accessible to all?

When God is glorified, it is worship. If we won’t, God will raise up rocks… or tv contestants?

Christian music falls into two categories for me…Worship to God…singing directly to Him in praise and adoration… and Songs about God… Songs about God, stir the heart, talk about how great and wonderful He is, testify into our souls….and can serve as a wonderful evangelism tool. Shout to the Lord, in my mind, falls into both categories…

and who knows if that song wasn’t written…for such a time as this. 

I don’t know the condition of the souls that sang it. I don’t know the motivations of who chose it. (I would have liked to be a fly on the wall in the production meeting when it was selected.) I am not going to “judge” the musicality. Only God, is to judge the heart. What I do know is the Bible says:

Philippians 1:15-18 (NLT)

15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

And, if you are looking for a great read about making Christ accessible check out Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis…highly recommend it!

I didn’t hear the “Idol gives back” track, so I am just going to lay a shout to the next evenings full version, check it out….and hey, leave a comment…taking all comer’s.

 

Instant Art-ification April 9, 2008

Bolero by Maurice Ravel 

My friend David sent a great quote that got me percolating. Maurice Ravel said “I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces.”

Instant Art-ification, is it even a “term”? If not, let it be said that I invented it. My definition, “the satisfaction one receives from creating art instanteously.” Hmmm….or something like that. Think of it as a strawberry pop tart vs. a slow baked pie bubbling out of a homemade crust. Instant Art-ification is what artists… writers… do instead of the long term, laborious, drop by drop pies-de-resistance they should be working on.  I find if I have smaller creative outlets, they allow the juices to trickle a little so I won’t dry up…but not so much that it consumes me. 

I am afraid of consumption, of having to tear words out of myself.

I fear that I don’t have enough to accomplish the size of my work. 

I fear robbing those most near and dear of my best time and imagination. Of being there, but not quite present.

Instant Artification is margarine to the butter my hips can’t handle anymore. A slightly reminiscent substitute, not as grand as the real thing, but will do for now.

So, I should be working on my book. Actually, I should be doing housework… However, since I can’t stand housework and haven’t met my writing goals for the day… I sit writing my blog. A friend suggested a blog would be a great way to develop a daily writing habit. A brilliant thought…

This blog should excuse the piles of sneering, sandy towels from last week’s beach trip and dishes that seem to pile on their own accord around an already overflowing sink…right?

This blog counts as “real writing”…right?  

This blog could excuse the daily delinquent writing goals that have been posted on the white board above my desk for the last year….right?

Blogging is writer’s crack. There is a high to having hundreds; perhaps thousands read your words and respond (sometimes almost instantly) to them. It is a snapshot of feelings, ideas, words and thoughts.  Writing my book or painting (which I love to do), on the other hand, requires vast reserves of energy and time that I feel I do not have.  As my wise husband often points out to me, I have the time. I choose to spend it on other things. I choose the pop tart over pie. I would rather have the pie, but the pop tart is so much quicker and meets the need.

A character flaw perhaps? I do the same with money… nickel and dime myself out of the things or experiences I would really like to do. I wonder what holds me back. You see, I really would rather…in the depth of my heart, live my best life and create my best art, but I seem paralyzed by the “drop by drop” process that it requires.  Ironically, I am speaking at a women’s retreat next month on living an “Overcoming Life” — conquering the fear, stress, obstacles and past waylay us…as most things in life are…easier to preach than practice.

This is just a brief musing, probably not well thought out. There are those who will knock it…there are those that will call this entry trite…there are those that will advocate the blog as high art. There are those whom will agree, and perhaps…like me… will take instant art-ification for what it is, instant satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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