Adventure at the Library - no, really!

Today, I want to write for the fun of it! I won't worry about the writing rules. I'm just going to start writing and see where the words take me. An adventure awaits - new worlds, new characters, new discoveries. It will be a fantastical, rollicking good time - a journey of amazement. I'll be hanging out at the Glendale Library if anyone wants to join me. Wish Me Bon Voyage!


I begin my journey at the library. I haven’t been here in a long time and I had forgotten how much I enjoy being surrounded by thousands of books – each one boasting of adventure within their covers. Places I have yet to visit, people I have yet to meet, stories I have yet to step into.

Around me, people quietly peruse the rows of books or sit silently hunched over their keyboards, while a cacophonous din of voices call to me from the abundance of surrounding books. Whether it is the voices of authors or the characters they have created, I cannot tell.

 All are clamoring for my attention, voices beckon to me from all directions at once. And then, one rises above the rest. Not in volume, but in mysterious seduction. A whisper, really - enticing me toward row 37 of the fiction section. ERD-FOE says they label at the end of the aisle. I feel myself being pulled toward something. I know not what, but I cannot resist. I recall a quote by John Muir, “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” Yes, a forest of long-ago felled trees that have been transformed by imagination and story, yet they still retain the magic and mystery of the forest. 

And into the forest I go. Past Fleming and Fitzgerald, Fielding and Fitch, past Bridget Jones and Fanny Flag, deep in conversation. I long to eavesdrop, but the voice calls me onward. A faint glow draws me deeper into the wood. The path grows dim and narrow. Underbrush snags at my legs. The canopy above weaves its branches together and blocks out all but sporadic flickers of light.

The greenish glow intensifies as does the voice, now raspy and crow-like. An apparition forms in the shadows – a tall form with sinister good looks. A black patch covers one eye and a rattlesnake tattoo curls around his right wrist and onto the back of his hand. “Welcome,” he breaths, and the stench of his fetid breath churns my stomach.

 A novel near his shoulder slides half-way out of the shelf. “Take it,” he croaks.

 The title jumps out at me; You Don’t Scare Me by John Farris. I feel a faint bit of courage well up within. “No. I will not.”

Slowly, his claw-like hand reaches up to take hold of the patch over his eye. He rips it off to reveal a smoldering eye with a lightning bolt where a pupil should be. An involuntary gasp escapes my lips. 

Again the title calls to me, “Be brave.” It dares me to stand up to the evil force that’s sucking me into its darkness. I mustered all the courage I can. My sweaty palms clench into fists. The back of my neck stiffens and my face flushes hot. I will not let this entity ruin my adventurous day. You don’t scare me was on the tip of my tongue, but what came out was, “You scare the crap out of me!”

I take a step away from him. “This is not the adventure I had planned and I will not let you pull me into your vile world!”

At that moment a delicate, shimmering blue light illuminates the path as another novel slides from its place on a shelf near my feet. I pick it up. Kissed by Shadows, by Jane Feather, reads the cover. A calm sweeps over me, replacing the jitters Farris had caused. “Now, this is more like it.”

The darkness fades and takes the apparition with it. I flip open the cover of Kissed by Shadows and read the promise of sizzling seduction, dangerous intrigue and passionate adventure. Heat rises in my throat and quickly spreads the blush to my cheeks. “Oh, my.”

Miss Feather, while I’m sure this in an intriguing tale and while I am sorely tempted, I'll pass. Otherwise I will need to take a cold plunge into the waters of repentance in order to wash away guilt from my seared conscience. I re-shelve the novel and push on.

Sunlight breaks at the end of the tunnel where large picture windows open onto the desert landscaping. A peacock struts regally through the shade of ironwood trees. It stops, turns and looks directly into my eyes. It fans its tail into a brilliant display of shimmering emerald and cobalt.

The glass between us begins to waver and swirl into a pulsating circle, “Come,” beckons the peacock. With heart pounding, I step through the portal, feeling a bit like Alice stepping through the looking glass. I know not where this might lead, but if it was adventure I’d wanted, it was adventure I’m getting.

The scene before me morphs into color and warmth, light and melody. A breeze caresses me as my feet leave the ground. I am in flight, soaring over vast valleys and mammoth mountain ranges. Beyond them, a lush forest spreads before me and when I reach the edge of the forest a small village nestled beside the waters of a wide, but gently-flowing river appears. Thatched-roofed houses and green pastures come into view. Flower gardens dot the landscape, boasting a patchwork of various colors.

 As I descend, a marketplace comes into view. People are bustling…no, rushing…no, fleeing from some unknown disturbance in the middle of the town square. As well as I can calculate, the trajectory of my decent will put me smack dab in the middle of the melee.

I don’t know what’s next and I momentarily question my desire for adventure, but whatever lies ahead, I’m sure it beats sitting at home wishing I had something fun to do, so bring it on! 

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Woman's World Magazine - My New Goal

Someday you'll see my stories
published in Woman's World magazine!
I love the short romance stories published in Woman's World magazine. I also love writing short fiction, so this is a marriage made in heaven, right?

My new goal is to get my stories published in this weekly magazine, so I've made up my mind to submit one story a week from now on.  Last week I submitted my first story - a sweet vacation romance and this week I submitted my second story about a writer who learns first hand all about happy endings.

Can't wait until I make my first sale to Woman's World!

Happy Writing!

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What does God think of your writing?

I feel so challenged right now by an article by Allen Arnold. that I just read on Novel Rocket..  The title of the article is "What Does God Think of Your Writing?"


I mean, I don't write erotica or anything remotely like that, but still, I've never stopped to really think about that question.  As I scanned the article, I quickly realized that this is one blog post that needs to be printed out and taken into my quiet time with the Lord.

The author challenges you to take 7 soul-searching questions to the Lord and seek his answers to them.

I know what I'll be doing in my next quiet time!

Here's a link to the article -

I'll be posting what I learn from this exercise and I'd love to hear what your comments if you take this challenge.

Happy Writing!


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3 Acts 9 Blocks 27 Chapters - How to Outline Your Novel

I just watched a fantastic video by Katytastic, explaining how to outline a novel, step-by-step.  This is an easy to understand process for someone who writes by the seat of their pants (a pantser), like me.

I can't tell you how many books I've started, but somewhere between the 4-7th chapter, I get stuck. I don't know where to go next. I've finally realized that I need a road map that points me in the right direction, so when I found this video, I watched it, then watched it again, taking down notes almost verbatim and printed it out so that I can use it for all future novels.

Here's the video.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Reading Leads to Writing

The more I read really great Christian fiction, the more I want to write really great Christian fiction. Fiction that tells the story of characters who loose their faith, then find their way back to God. Characters who don't preach to their friends, but live out their faith in a way that speaks so loudly of God's love and faithfulness, that those around them can't help but yearn for a relationship with God. Characters who, no matter what they face, are strengthened and lead by a God who loves them without condemning them for their mistakes and doubts.

I love the settings, the conflicts, the romance, the adventure, but mostly I love how authors allow their own faith to color the character of their heroes and heroines so that their writing glorifies God and points readers to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thanks to all you Christian writers for allowing God to use the talent He's given you to bless others!

I pray that God will use me to bless others, too.

From a grateful reader and aspiring writer.

PS - the same goes for all those great Christian non-fiction writers who help me grow and grow in my spiritual walk with Christ!

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Are you Called to Write?

I just read a great article by Mary DeMuth that listed 10 ways to know if you are called to write.  Do you like to write? Do you wonder if God wants to use your writing for His greater purposes?  Take a minute to read through this list and see if you might be   called to write.
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Abscond with Joy - Excerpt from Running From a Crazy Man by Lori Roeleveld

Today I'm tickled pink to feature an excerpt from the new novel of one of my favorite bloggers, Lori Roeleveld.  Lori's writing is like biting into the most delicious pure milk chocolate you've ever eaten, and then realizing that the center is filled with life-giving medicine that you didn't even know you needed!

Here's a sneak-peak into Lori's new book, Running From a Crazy Man

Abscond with Joy

Following Jesus into Refreshment

Imagine receiving a wonderful gift and leaving it unopened on a shelf day after day after day.

Christians do that.

Most of us don’t even realize we’ve done it because the world, like a cruel stepmother in a fairy tale, has lied about the gift our Father has bestowed on us. Have you ever had days when you felt like Cinderella? You know you have a place in this world. The father you lost was a nobleman. But right now, you’re stuck cleaning ashes off the hearth.

Life on this planet can be ugly, demanding, soul-crushing, disheartening, and cruel. It hurts to be human. We’re soft and breakable. We lose heart. We live without joy.

The world believes joy is a product of optimal circumstances.

The world believes we can be joyful only when we have everything we need and life is going right.

That’s a lie.

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Every Jesus-follower has access to that fruit. It’s a gift from our Father. This gift can be a source of refreshment and restoration in the midst of tribulations.

Jesus-followers can be joyful amid destruction, devastation, dashed hopes, destroyed dreams, and even death. Joy is like a juicy pomegranate we can rip apart and feast upon when our souls are famished for beauty, hope, or encouragement.

But, like a hot item in an infomercial, joy is “even more”! Joy is also a tool at our fingertips. It can build bridges between lost souls. It can repair broken relationships. It can restore hope and heart.

Even more than a source of refreshment and a powerful tool, joy is also a weapon against the darkness. Satan seeks to destroy us—his revenge against a God who has left him out of the plan of redemption. When our laughter emerges from concentration camps, courtrooms, hospitals, shelters, or flood-ravaged towns, his plan is foiled, his power diminished, his imminent destruction re-proclaimed on the waves of our merriment.

Joy is a silver stake in Satan’s lifeless heart.

Joy is no frivolous add-on to our lives. Joy is a source of strength:

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our LORD. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:9-11)

So, this is my word to you, loved ones, you hearth-cleaning, ash-sweeping displaced children longing for your Father’s return. Remove the gift from the shelf. Tear off the wrapping and break the seal.

Appropriate joy.

Access joy.

Abscond with joy.

Let it be your refreshment, your restoration, your rebellion against the world. Dare to be joyful even for just a moment in the midst of adversity and pain. Let joy be your raised fist against the powers of darkness.

Dance. Laugh. Smile. Snatch the fruit of joy from the open hand of the Holy Spirit and let the juice of that fruit flow down your face and pool at your feet. Guzzle joy today and feel the strength of Jesus Christ ripple through the muscles of your faith.

Ponder the Perplexities:

This chapter isn’t something you ponder. It’s something to try and see for yourself.

Watch a funny or uplifting movie or video clip. Go fishing. Play with the grandkids. Sit by the lake with God. Turn on the kind of music you used to listen to when life was easier and dance for ten minutes. Don’t just seize joy, abscond with it.

Remember: Abscond with joy.

 Lori Roeleveld
Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored a disturbing blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). Lori has published newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, and plays. Her novels, short stories, and Bible studies have won awards but are, as yet, unpublished. Besides degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori earned her Masters in Motherhood homeschooling her two children through graduation. Now, she draws amazing energy from helping writers find their voice and see God’s vision for their work. In her day job, Lori writes the stories of real families in crisis so others see their strengths and values, not just their problems. You’ll find Lori at her website or on her front porch writing. If not, know she’s somewhere slaying dragons.

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