This is the first time I have take part in a blog hop so it is a new fun experience for me. Suzanne Lieurance, author of the new book, The Morning Nudge, has invited me to take part in the 4×4 Blog Hop. Thank-you for inviting me, Suzanne.
1. What am I working on?
Right now, I’m working on a few different projects. One is the third novel in my Jill Moss Adventures series. I like to have the plot and main theme figured out before I get started on the writing so I have a world map on the wall in my hallway that is covered in sticky notes with ideas for what I want to include in this story. My novels feature complex plots with lots of action and adventure so there is a lot of thought that goes into creating the story. I also write about deeper spiritual issues that most of us face or have questions about and weave those concepts into the story.
At the same time, I’m working on creating a book of daily inspirations, including creating the artwork for each page.
As well, I am working with my business colleague, Suzanne Lieurance, on a fun project called 50 Fabulous Food Tips, Recipes, and Ideas for Easy Entertaining, a lovely illustrated book of great ideas to simplify life.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
With regard to my novels, I write inspirational action adventure. This difference between my writing and others in similar genres is that both genders love my books and my writing. It is highly visual (not surprising from a visual artist) and has lots of action but also includes some humour, a little romance, and fascinating research into archaeological and Biblical history.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Mainly because I want to read these things and no one else was writing with the combination of a lot of high action, interesting plots, and a Christian worldview. Think of a woman who loves God but who is a character similar to Indiana Jones – she’s up for going anywhere.
I write for my other non-fiction projects because these are also areas of interest for me. As an artist as well as a writer, illustrated books that make life easier and more pleasant always appeal to me. It’s just a natural fit for me to create them and since I have my own publishing service, it’s also easy for me to publish them. (See www.summerbaypress.com)
4. How does my writing process work?
As a visual person, I have to see things to keep them moving forward. My husband bought me the world map to use to work out my plots for the Jill Moss Adventures books. I often have to do quite a bit of research and have a friend who volunteers to act as my research helper, which saves me a lot of time. Once I have the basic story idea in my mind, I start writing. I love the process of typing and having characters and worlds appear on the page. I don’t write everyday but once I’m into the story I write fast and go back and fix things later.
With my other projects, I try to concentrate on one at a time but I usually end up working on several at once, moving each one forward bit by bit.
Build your creative business at Just Imagine School.
For some time I have been a member of a social group that meets periodically. While I have enjoyed the group and the people in it I was finding myself frustrated by the lack of depth in the relationships and the lack of support when I was going through a difficult time.
After one meeting in particular, I seriously considered leaving the group. I went home feeling like it was over for me. Yet, many months later, I am still a member of the group and I enjoy the interaction more than ever.
What happened to change that?
In another instance, I was considering a certain program in my business and something just didn't sit right. Part of me wanted to move forward, yet I kept feeling like I was dragging my feet and wasn't sure why. I loved the concept and the planning but something in me didn't want to do it.
What was going on?
Once I gave both of these scenarios some thought, I realized that the problem was not with the group, or with the business plans. The problem was that my expectations of what I would get did not match what the situation had to offer. In the first instance, I was expecting a deeper relationship with the group members than anyone else expected or gave. Once I realized that I would never get the kind of support I had expected from these people, I knew I had to change my expectations of the group.
In the second case, I recognized that I had been looking at the business project as having to do it for the rest of my career, which I didn't want to do. When I saw that it was simply a means to an end that would support what I most want to do in my business, I changed my expectations and that foot-dragging feeling disappeared.
It's a bit like trying to get grape juice from a cow. No matter how much you want it or how hard you milk it, you're never going to get any grape juice from that cow. It's time to change your expectations and enjoy the milk for what it is then go to the vine for those grapes.
As much as we don't like it, adversity isn't always a bad thing. Without challenge there is no growth. Without resistance no strength is built.
Seeking a life of ease won't bring us happiness but choosing to trust God in everything will teach us how to be happy regardless of the situation.
Some people never learn the lessons of adversity. Some never grow through difficulty. We always have a choice how we will respond to any situation. I can choose the path of peace or I can go down the road to bitterness.
On the road to bitterness, there is no forgiving. The heart stores up the wrongs and feeds on them like vultures on carrion. The stink pervades the atmosphere and pollutes everything around it. On the road to bitterness there is no joy and there is no peace.
In contrast, all God's paths are peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Ask God how to respond in adversity. When you're faced with a difficult situation or must deal with a difficult, bitter person, God will show you how to stay on the path of peace in spite of your circumstances. I have found this to be true in my own life.
Where I share creative ideas, uplifting thoughts, and spread sweetness to help us all make life better.