I am an island…

In Everything Give Thanks
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.                  – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

 

Originally, I started this post very differently…

Of course, I deleted it and started over when I realized just how whiny and annoying I sounded – and I decided I was going to try again, with the RIGHT attitude!

Yes, most of my family thinks I’m a freak, a sponge, a big fat cow…

Yes, the people in most churches we visit look at me with their head tilted to the side and a look of intense pity on their face…

Yes, I pay A LOT of money to belong to an organization that is supposed to be full of other authors who are there to support each other – and when I need something, most of the others don’t have time for me…

BUT…

NONE OF THAT MATTERS!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psalms 107:1 – O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Colossians 3:15-17 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.   (Read More…)

James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks [be] unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Psalms 106:1 – Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Psalms 105:1 – O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Colossians 4:2 – Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Psalms 118:1-18 – O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: because his mercy [endureth] for ever.   (Read More…)

Psalms 20:4 – Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

Psalms 30:12 – To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Romans 1:21 – Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I AM THANKFUL for the WONDERFUL author and friend who has shared her time and her expertise and her experience so we would not have to learn these things the hard way (the way she had to with a lot of things). She has encouraged me on every step of this crazy and wild journey through writing and publishing and I would not be where I am… right now… if it were not for her! Bless you Rachel! I could not ask for a better friend or mentor!

I AM THANKFUL for the AMAZING author who not only gave of her time but her own praise – and not just to my mother’s book (which is AMAZING and TOTALLY deserves all every single bit of praise it gets) but to me, for being such a great daughter. Suzanne, you are AWESOME! and such a blessing!

I AM THANKFUL for the wonderful readers who have jumped at the opportunity to read my mother’s upcoming release and I can never adequately express my thanks for how much you are appreciated!

I AM THANKFUL for our wonderful and amazing friend who sent us to our very first writer’s workshop! Without that, we would never have embarked on this particular branch of the journey and we would not be about to release a book- in just 11 days – WOW! Thank you Pam! You are an amazing friend, a terrific “adopted” grandma and we are so blessed just to know you!

I AM THANKFUL for preachers who are not afraid to speak TRUTH! I pray God continues to bless their ministries and that they reach countless lives and plant the seeds that God needs to work in people’s lives!

I AM THANKFUL for the opportunity to reach out and share my thoughts and my feelings and my FAITH with anyone who happens across my blog.

I’m sure…REALLY sure there are so many more things I could list. I could probably write forever and never list everything!

One of my favorite singing groups sings a song about counting your blessings. They say when you get to the end, just start again – but I don’t think we can ever really get to the end. God is boundless and His LOVE flows over and around us each and every day.

His blessings are over us, under us, next to us, and right in front of us and there is absolutely no way we could ever list every single one… and especially no way we would be able to start over and count them all again.

so the last thing is this:

I AM THANKFUL for JESUS! He gave me life. He gave me rebirth! He has had more patience and affection and understanding of me than anyone else is capable of and I would not be here today without HIS saving grace!

Have you accepted HIS saving grace?

YOU HAVE TIME! …but only so much. DON’T WAIT! DO IT NOW… TODAY!

GOD BLESS YOU!

~ Rachel

 

 

© Rachel L Miller 2015

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Christmas for writers… (With a Cute Little Surprise For You!)

You would think that taking the Christmas season off from writing would make for being less busy… you would be wrong. If anything, it’s even more busy.

When you have writing to do, you make time to just sit…and work. But when you don’t have to find that time, there are suddenly a thousand more things that will crowd into your schedule and make you feel as if several days of to-do lists are attacking you at once.

The good news -I have found so many terrific Christmas gift ideas for writers (not that I’m getting any of them – but it’s fun to wish).

And in that vein, I’m writing a little cutesie “12 Days of Christmas” for Writers.

 

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, their family gave the writer – 

Twelve Days of “Vacation”

Eleven Pounds of Coffee

Ten Candy Bars

Nine New Notebooks

Eight Book Signings

Seven Starbucks Gift Cards

Six Packs of Paper

… Five sharpened pencils! …

Four clean erasers

Three Research Books

Two Memberships (to writer’s organizations)

And One Manuscript Critique!

 

 

Have a Very Merry Christmas! (writer or not)

 

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

A Not so Parallel Universe…

 

It has to be the strangest part of being a writer…

I sat at my laptop, watching the trailer for the movie “Interstellar” the other night and thought about “Life After E.L.E.” and “The Taken”… my Dystopian and speculative novels (the ones I write under my pen name).

 

It is quite possibly the most surreal part of being a writer…

As my “other” self, I write Speculative and Dystopian Christian fiction, so I find “myself” in the midst of intergalactic wars and I find “myself” running for the gates of the city because to be locked out means death.

I say other because JC Morrows is my pen name. But in many ways it is really my true self. The Speculative and Dystopian are my first love, the “REAL” me.

 

So then I come back to the other side of my writing – where I write Amish fiction and the biggest concerns I have are whether I am using too many Pennsylvania Dutch phrases and am I making the described emotions too realistic and sensual to be believable for the Amish?

 

It is certainly the most insane part of my life as a writer…

All I can say is that it’s a really good thing I write Speculative because most days it’s like I live in two completely different, totally NON-parallel universes.

 

On the one hand I have… teenage girl watching her father die and then repeating the same mistake he did. Will she die horribly or find some way to survive on this planet that has become hostile to our very species?

On the other hand I have… widowed mother of two who is kidnapped by aliens, changed, memories wiped – trained to fight in a war she knew nothing about, did not volunteer for and had nothing to do with!

And on the other hand I have… young woman whose mother died when she was 5 – will her father ever remarry? Will she be able to accept this woman as her new mother? Will she ever find love herself?

 

Go ahead… tell me that’s normal for a writer.

Life and Death

Love, Loss, War, Aliens

The Buggy Brigade

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

That dangerous pedestal. (Yes that’s spelled right… I checked…I know though – it looks wrong)

Recently I have witnessed two different men, whom I held in high esteem for many years, knocked off their pedestals… so to speak.

Aside from being quite upsetting, it was very eye-opening as well. There are several morals to these experiences but I am only going to focus on two of them.

Let’s see if you can figure them out before I tell you…

 

Experience # 1: (Due to the sensitive nature of this event and to protect an innocent man from further abuse, I will NOT be using any names.) 

In the first instance I speak of, I watched a great, devout man of God fall from his pedestal – or it might even be more accurate to say that he was pushed.

And isn’t it interesting that all it really takes in these instances is the whisper of impropriety to get people guessing and after that, all it takes is one (weak or not) accusation to make everyone 100% sure they’re guilty… unless you tend to be good at reading people and KNOW the person well enough to KNOW they’re not guilty!

It took years and it took lots of whispers but it really only took one well-placed, well-timed accusation to put an end to this man’s career and ministry. And though he is still living, I would imagine having your purpose snatched from you, the only thing you’ve done for more than half your life, feels a bit like dying – only he’s stuck here in this world while going through it.

No Heaven for him yet… just the half-life that is left here on Earth.

JUST FOR THE RECORD: I believe this man is innocent of what he was accused of! I know he’s just a man and men make mistakes but I do not believe that was one of them!

Nevertheless, he has been knocked from his (figurative) pedestal and there will be no getting back up on it – no matter how anyone tries.

 

MORAL 1: When you are in the public eye, you must be careful of every word spoken and every action done. You even have to be careful of your thoughts because they quickly become words and those words become your philosophy and that philosophy defines your character.

 

 

Experience #2: (and this one was very personal for me – in this case I feel it is important to actually keep their name confidential in order to protect myself from potential backlash)

For years I was a fan. This was someone to look up to, someone who had been through the type of beginnings I had and come out the other side successful and prosperous! A hero! A role-model! Someone to inspire me!

I can do what he did! Or can I?

No. In fact, I can not and will not. I won’t! I won’t! No matter what the world wants from me – GOD is leading my words… NOT the world!

This was a tough one for me. And this one was even more difficult because the pedestal he fell from in this instance was very personal to me. The world at large still has him up there and they show no sign of demanding he step down – in fact it may be that his behavior pushes him even higher in their eyes…

In the interest of anonymity, I will only say this – the writer I am referring to has a façade and then they have the truth. And in discovering the truth, my illusions have been destroyed because the  façade is their outward appearance – a claim that they follow and believe the teachings of CHRIST!

The truth is that they are one of millions, absolute millions, that have decided for themselves that God is not quite as all-powerful as the Bible paints Him to be so they pick and chose what they want to believe and their lives (and writing in this instance) reflect that.

MORAL 2: Writers have to be very careful about what they write – especially where that writing disagrees with their beliefs. Writers are held up as heroes so many times and what we write has an effect on our readers.

If we are peddling nonsense, it WILL cause problems with someone, somewhere, at some point. And eventually, enough people are going to see through to the truth and knock you off that pedestal.

Or else… one day… you will see the error of your ways but it will be too late to do anything about it because the generation who grew up reading your work has now passed that on to their children with the admonition that YOU KNEW what you were talking about!

 

 

OK. I’m done. Rant over. Please don’t be too angry at me. I had a very rough day yesterday and in the wee hours of the morning amid sleeplessness, these thoughts were going over and over in my head and I just had to get some of it out so I could get some writing done.

 

Have a GREAT weekend and Good Day!

GOD BLESS!

©Rachel L Miller 2014

Don’t ALL writers have ADD… or something like it.

Recently I read an interview about up and coming author Dawn Crandall (which you can find HERE). In it, Dawn talks about writing while dealing with ADD. Now I have my own ideas about ADD, ADHD and all those other handy diagnosis but I’m not going to get too far into that here.

I’m simply going to say… if ADD is just as everyone thinks, wouldn’t it make sense that almost every writer in the world has it!

Common adult ADD / ADHD symptoms: Trouble concentrating and staying focused

Adults with ADD/ADHD often have difficulty staying focused and attending to daily, mundane tasks. For example, you may be easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds, quickly bounce from one activity to another, or become bored quickly. Symptoms in this category are sometimes overlooked because they are less outwardly disruptive than the ADD/ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity—but they can be every bit as troublesome. The symptoms of inattention and concentration difficulties include:

  • “zoning out” without realizing it, even in the middle of a conversation

  • extreme distractibility; wandering attention makes it hard to stay on track

  • difficulty paying attention or focusing, such as when reading or listening to others

  • struggling to complete tasks, even ones that seem simple

  • tendency to overlook details, leading to errors or incomplete work

  • poor listening skills; hard time remembering conversations and following directions

Zoning out – Don’t we do that constantly? I know I do, every time an idea comes to me for a good story, every time something I see reminds me of something in my story that needs tweaking or adding. I go to that place in my head where the characters live and I “zone out” to everyone real around me.

Extreme distractability – Didn’t we just go over this one? Everyone we meet, everything we see, everywhere we go – there is SOMETHING that distracts us and makes us think about THE STORY… or gives us a new idea for a story… or reminds us of something we didn’t do when we were last immersed in THE STORY!

Difficulty paying attention or focusing – Does it seem to anyone else like this list is repetitive… and redundant? Paying attention, focusing… well, except for the current story in our head. THAT we never have trouble focusing on.

Struggling to complete tasks – Not THE STORY, never THE STORY but everything else that we’re supposed to do throughout the day… YEAH! Especially when we get sucked back to the computer to work on THE STORY!

Tendency to overlook details – Can anyone else say THANK GOD for spell-check! And proofreaders! And critique partners! And ARC readers! And then for double and triple checking the manuscript!

Poor listening skills – I’m sorry, what were you saying? Because I was thinking about THE STORY! And again – I KNOW I’m not the only author who does this!

 

So it begs the question – is it just me? Or do all Authors have ADD… or something like it?

 

©Rachel L. Miller 2014

BTW… The scientific info above came from HERE.