Posted tagged ‘writing’

Writing A Book

August 14, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                              August 13, 2016

                                           

I’m trying to write a book!

If James Patterson can spin out about a book a month I should be able to write one in a year…or two…okay, maybe three!

I, however, am not a mystery writer. I did read a lot of Agatha Christie novels in my earlier years. They were always intriguing. I often felt compelled to have a spot of tea as I read them. Murder On the Orient Express, Three Blind Mice, Death On the Nile…I enjoyed them all. But in terms of writing a mystery novel…not me!

I did write Lassie stories when I was in the third grade…longhand, and almost legible! I can’t remember what the plots of those Lassie stories were, but I’m sure I had him leaping over fences and saving chickens from foxes.

When I was in my forties I wrote two books of mini-dramas that got published by my denomination’s publishing branch. They did not make the New York Time’s Best-Sellers List. In fact, they didn’t make any list, but it was pretty cool to see my name on the covers!

Now I’m trying to write a feel good story that combines high school basketball, innocent teenage romance, an unlikely friendship, and the admirable qualities of integrity, honesty, and fairness. It’s a good story, but some days I feel like the words are coming to me about like a “Sally, Dick, and Jane” first grade primer!
See Sally run. Dick, see Sally run. Spot, run like Sally. Run, run, run!

Other times it seems like the words flow through my mind like a fine culinary recipe progressing without a hitch.

Some days I get constantly interrupted, other days I wish I would be interrupted.

And all this for the very, very, very real probability that no one will be remotely interested in publishing the end result. Unlike James Patterson, I do not have someone who has advanced me a million. But I sit in front of my laptop and peck on with two fingers on my left hand and one on my right…and the word count keeps climbing as the story slowly unfolds, characters get further developed, the past gets illuminated and the possibilities of the present get played out. I read a Harlan Coben mystery at night and write about a red-headed pastor’s kid named Randy Bowman during the day.

Writing is my release, as well as what grips me. It’s something I can’t seem to not do…all those years of writing sermons for Sunday mornings at church, but then having so many other things to write about that never seemed to fit into a Sunday message.

Today I sit at my perch in Starbucks with the question, “Well, Randy, where will our story take us today?”

600 Posts!

July 8, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                             July 8, 2016

                                              

Today I’m writing my 600th Words from WW blog post. It’s been an adventure! The first post emerged on December 30, 2008. There have been times of writing frenzy, like in June of 2014 when I took on a challenge that wordpress.Com presented of writing a blog post each day for the entire month. Plus, they gave you the subject matter.

I’ve written about death…greatly on my mind when my mom passed away Labor Day weekend of 2013.

I’ve written about grace…and how it so often is lacking, oddly enough, in the church.

I’ve written imagined coffee conversations with Jesus…stressing that things are not always so cut and dried as people think.

I’ve written about personalities…people who have greatly influenced my life in various ways.

I’ve written about how weird people are…or should I say we all are!

I’ve written about stories in Scripture and what they teach me.

I’ve written about the church…my hope for it, and my frustration with it.

I’ve written about life…normal life and life moments that have a sense of sacredness to them, like my daughter’s wedding and car rides with my granddaughter.

I’ve written from a stool at Starbucks, my home study, and a cubicle at the public library. There’s been many occasions where I’ve sat on my Starbuck’s stool, looking out at Pike’s Peak, with no idea what I would write about and then God gives me a thought, an idea, a moment of remembering something from the past…and the words tumble out. With my earbuds in, tuned to the Coldplay station on Spotify, I go at it.

And the thing is, I write and trust that God will take it from there. He’s like the paperboy for my blog. I trust that he hits the driveway to whomever he sends it to, and it doesn’t end up underneath the shrubbery.

A couple of weeks ago someone I least expected told me that she really enjoyed my “Words.” “It is so where I live!” she exclaimed. I greatly appreciated that. I’ve never been one for high academia, as my college grades would attest to! I’m more like “The Hardy Boys”, rather than “The Brothers Karamazov!”

One of my best friends suggested that I try to get money for my blog. He knows someone who does. My mind can’t fathom that. My writing is kind of like my baseball card collection. It keeps getting bigger, but I never sell any. I’m just thrilled that people seem to enjoy reading it. According to WordPress I have 128 followers. I’m not sure what that means, and, quite honestly, I don’t know ninety percent of them. How closely do they follow? Are they more like stalkers who are following me, or readers who are looking for a chuckle in the midst of a ho-hum day?

And so I write as I sip on my Pike Place brew. Perhaps someday I’ll be on The Today Show…not!

What or whom might be the subject for #601?

In A New Place

January 1, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                January 1, 2015

                                            

Today is my first official day as a retired pastor. Coincidentally it meshes with January 1, a day linked with new beginnings. Numerous people have congratulated me and asked me what I will be doing in this new part of my journey. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and have come up with some possible ways to invest my time. Here’s a few:

-Become a gamer! I have a PS2 in my study (currently covered up with books) that I have used about…twice in the past four years since my son-in-law passed it down to me. I bought thirty games for it at a garage sale three years ago for a dollar a game. I could hunker down and strengthen my thumbs.

-Get a job! Actually, I’m applying to substitute teach. But another possibility is being one of those people that puts cheese spread on crackers at Costco for people to sample.

-Watch all the TV shows I currently have on my DVR!

-Cook!

-Start a lawn mowing business! I’m thinking “Pastor to Pasture” Lawn Care!

-Take a class at Pike’s Peak Community College.

-Hang out with the retired guys drinking coffee at McDonald’s.

-Get a personal trainer and become a muscle-bound phenomenon.

-Sit in Starbucks writing Words from WW.

 

So many options!

My “hope” is to read, reflect, meditate, and write. I have about ten years of Leadership Journal issues, piles of past copies of Time, the daily newspaper, and a lifetime of books. Reading is one of the main ways that influence my reflecting. Something appears on paper that resonates with me and causes me to think about what is and what could be.

Retirement will give me a chance to pause and reflect, sit and ponder, and meditate on scripture.

My ability to write is intimately linked to reading, reflecting, and meditating. The clearer my words get pecked out the more I’ve been able to ponder. January 1 is a great day to say that I will write a blog post each day of the coming year…but also a little unrealistic. But I will think and write, say some things that are taken as profound and most as ordinary.

Ask me how things are going in a couple of months and I may be able to give you a better answer. Right now it is simply dreams of what might be!

Thirty Days Writing Challenge

June 1, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                       June 1, 2015

                                       

I’m taking a challenge once again to write a blog post each day during the month of June. Some of these posts will be “head scratchers.” Others will cause you to ponder and consider. Some will be about as deep as mustard on a hot dog (I have no clue what that means but it had some flow to it when you say it to yourself.); while others will be so deep you may need to read it out loud to understand it.

What I hope happens in the midst of this is, first of all, a renewed commitment to writing on a steady basis. In the rush of life it is easy to push it to the side and focus on something else…like Dukes of Hazard reruns and such.

Second, I hope that if you’re reading it that you’ll pass it on to someone else, or recommend it to someone. Each year for the past five years the readership of my blog has increased. Sone have suggested that I write more. When a writer sees that he’s not just shooting blanks out there, but has some written words that are touching a nerve, healing a hurt, causing a chuckle, or resurrecting a memory…it’s encouraging, and causes an increase in attention and efforts.

So do me a favor…and read it! Respond to it! Even give me an idea of something you’d like for me to write about.

Thirty days begins now!

400 Posts

November 10, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  November 10, 2014

                                                   

This is the 400th post to the Words From W.W. blog! Four hundred…a four followed closely by two zeros! To many it may not be that big of an event…but considering I write a post for the blog on average about one and a half times a week it means that I’ve been going at it for six years…like an ultra-marathon runner seeking to make that next mile!

My first post was on December 30, 2008. It was entitled “Missing Mary” and dealt with a nativity scene that had the mother of Jesus get stolen. What’s a nativity scene without Mary? Awkward!

In the next 398 postings I wrote about my parents, about troubling cultural situations, bad theology, people that have influenced my life, children, three year olds, misplaced priorities, and personal confusion. I wrote a few on growing older, getting my senior discount card, and camping with a bunch of young guys.

It’s been fun! I ponder and figure out things best by sitting down in front of a lap top and pecking out about five hundred words. When I say peck I mean peck! I use three fingers in my typing. Don’t ask me where I learned that. I have no clue, but oddly enough I use two fingers on my left hand and one of my right.
Weird!

Here’s another weird thing. I flunked my first quarter of English Composition at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I guess I didn’t compose very well! I also didn’t go to class very well! Since then I’ve had two books published, written several magazine article, and now do this “blog thing.”

Some day I want to write a third book. I’ve started and flushed it several times. Currently, I’m back in the starting phase again and it is hidden deep within my files on this lap top.

Speaking of lap tops, when I started Words from W.W. I had a Dell. About two years ago it had to go into lap top hospice care and the tech repair guy advised me to say my goodbyes. I watched it cough its last and then headed to the Apple store. Grief does not run deep when you are dealing with Dell!

Later this week I’ll write post #401. It will deal with something that God puts on my mind. I don’t know what that is yet. With the election over there’s not much to write about…false! My next post may deal with falling gas prices, raising expectations, why did God create beets, or Starbucks…which is where I’m writing these words!

Time for a refill!

The Last Sprint

June 30, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  June 30, 2013

 

The Last Sprint”

 

Back in high school and college I was a distance runner…one mile, two mile, and the hardest race of all the half-mile. As a miler I had a very good kick at the end of the face. If I could be close to the other runner, or even ahead, with 300 yards to go I knew I had a good chance to win. The last sprint had the finish line in sight and I was usually able to put it in a different gear.

This last month I’ve written a “Words From W.W.” each day. June 1 started with the challenge, filled with anticipation, but also a little anxiety…kind of like the beginning of the mile run. It proceeded through the first week. I established a kind of  “expected pace.” If I needed to write a post in the evening the TV was off and the headphones on. There were a few days where the energy level was low…and as a result, probably the quality of the writing.

But I stayed with it. Some of you gave me ideas for blog postings. Some had questions that they wanted some words of wisdom about, or at least, words from WW.

The last week of the month was spent in the Dominican Republic as part of a mission team. Usually the biggest hurdle in terms of that was to try to take one happening from the day and write about it. I could write a book about the experience…literally!

And now today is Day 30 of 30, the final sprint.

Some people ask me why I do it, why I write? After all, people are more visual now. Newsweek bit the dust in terms of hard copy. The Gazette newspaper is almost small enough to be a newsletter now. So, why write?

It’s a hard question for me to answer. I think I write because it makes me think and ponder. In terms of my spiritual journey, without sounding arrogant, I grow the most as I write. My blog might be my version of journaling, although I never really liked doing that in the usual way people think of. As I write I slow down to meet God. I hope…I pray…that his hand is guiding my fingers over the keys of my laptop, that when I’m struggling for a word he draws it out of me. That when something doesn’t feel right he takes me to the delete key and begins me again.

So now I come to the end of a month. Perhaps someone has heard some words in a way that has made them think, or laugh, or even cry. I think of the Apostle Paul as he was closing his second letter to his young charge Timothy. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

The last sprint.

I’m not seeing this as a final post, but it is the final stretching for the finish of this race. As July enters I’ll look to write more, perhaps more than one day in a row, but I’ll also give the reading eyes of those who have taken the time to ponder brief breaks from the “Words.”

Thanks to all who have encouraged and told me to keep pressing on. Time to cross the line and take a warm-down lap.

Thirty Days of Writing

June 2, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                         June 1, 2013

 

People have often told me that I write good…I mean, well!

Although I have a hard time remembering when to use “it’s” and when to use “its”, I seem to be able to peck on my laptop…well.

Thus I’m beginning a challenge that may cure me from ever wanting to write again, or give me the urge, like I have for a cup of dark roast coffee in the morning that now seems strangely natural.

The challenge is to write a post for my blog each and every day for a month. Thirty days…from the first to the last, or thirtieth.

To do that will require creativity on days when creation seems to have disappeared; and discipline on days when I hate the thought of the word.

It will require that someone cares.

That would be you.

To help me out a little bit I encourage you…I beg you…to send me some ideas as to what you would want me to write about. I don’t care whether it’s (there’s that word again) about peanut butter, or dental floss, or the New Orleans Zephyrs. (Google it!)

Whatever you ask me to write about I will try my utmost for his highest to bring in a spiritual principle.

I will, however, not surrender editorial powers of veto, knowing that some people are already thinking of something that would make me cringe just sitting in front of the computer and writing about.

Perhaps you have a spiritual question…or concern…or confusion…or even a confusing question that is a concern.

Let the challenge begin! I need coffee!