I was recently inspired by Liz Manning’s post on ‘LIVING THE WRITER’S DREAM’. There was the picture of a dainty writer’s study with a vintage singer sewing machine table holding her laptop and all her various writing stationery. From her study, she can hear the sea and be so inspired without moving from her home! She can from her bed watch the boats coming and going from the harbour! That is a writer’s dream for some of us! Other dreams are seeing our books being filmed, receiving over a thousand glorious reviews and writing glorious books, the world hankers for!
I made a list of all my writing goals:
Then, I came upon this scripture and realised that God was talking to me: “But be doers of the word and not hearers only – James 1:22a NJKV. Indeed, how will I achieve my writing goals and realise my dreams if I hear so much literary meat that is shared but not act on them?
Martin Luther King Jnr was inspired by his own dream and acted on it. Do you know of others who had grand dreams and worked towards it successfully? Tell us below! If you are traditionally published, have books with over a hundred reviews, receive book sales on three figures, I thank God for you because you are indeed blessed and are an inspiration. Please if this is you = Procrastination, Self-indulgence, Laziness, Creating invisible barriers, Excuses and Wishful thinking, tick off the list one by one ASAP and get on tracks! Some of us, like me, may have many distractions or genuine handicaps from life issues such as health, family, finance, work, etc.
As Christian writers, we have our faith which we stand on and trust God, the giver of dreams and inspiration by His Holy Spirit. I pray that what He has started in your writing life will be completed by His grace. Hebrews 10:35 says, “Don’t cast away your confidence; it will richly bless you.” This means we need to PERSEVERE so that we can accomplish what the Lord has laid in our bosoms to share to the world for His glory. Then we will attain our writing goals and accomplish our writer’s dreams!
#ACW #Christianwriters #inspiration #faith #goals #dreams
From the Garden of Eden!
In this article, I wish to explore how relationships should begin with the family so that when young people leave the nests of their homes as adults, they are equipped with relationship skills. They are ready to find their spouses and live confident and healthy relationships in their marriage. In the UK and in other parts of the world, there is a trend amongst the younger generation to relate more with social media than with their families and friends. It is very common in many homes to have families who are living in ‘estrangement’ with family members. Consider this scenario: Young adults stay in their individual rooms all day and night without any contact with other family members in the same house! Some may communicate with family members through whsap! In my novel, ‘Their journey on Earth to Heaven’, I explore a myriad of relationships: spouses, in-laws, grand parents, siblings, step siblings and friendship. For parents, it is putting their work lives or their careers before their family needs. There are many parents who do not know that their teenagers, youngsters, young adults or even their kids are in to gangs, smoking and drinking harmful substances or be there for their children at the time of their needs. My book shows the pros and cons of such relationships.
How did our Papa God, right from the Garden of Eden, show as examples how to relate with family members? This is the scenario in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2: 19 – 20. God was with Adam when he named all the animals, giving him the authority; building his confidence and showing trust and respect. These are important relationship skills we need to inculcate in our family members. Papa God was never too busy or preoccupied with creation to neglect Adam. In the evenings, the two of them would chat, have fun and get to know each other the better as we see in Genesis 3:8. How did Papa God prepare Adam for his future? In Genesis 2:15, Papa God showed Adam how to cultivate the garden. God was patient. This is equipping him with responsibility. We live in a world where some cultures still feel women should solely be in charge of the home in addition to their chores as a mother, wife and probably, a co breadwinner! My book explores how men should take a hand to nurture their babies, get to know their kids and help them in life. Finally, how did Papa God know that Adam was lonely in Genesis 2: 18? Through a good relationship with Adam which led to the creation of Eve! For any relationship to succeed, we need to be observant, responsible, patient caring, devoted and attentive towards our family members, our spouses and friends.
I hope you have been blessed. My books - ‘Stories for Older Generations’, ‘Turning the Clock hands backwards’ and ‘Poetry from the Heart ‘ explore relationships and will bless you.
Decorating for Christmas!
By this time, last year, I had decorated my home for Christmas!
It is not the excuse that my ‘babies’ have flown from the nest, save 2 still trying to stretch their wings for that final flight or are they too cosy in the nest to make the flight? I leave that to Papa God, our Creator.
Christmas, aside our celebrating our Lord’s birth, is personal to every one of us. For me, it is also the rebirth of another mile stone to achieve in my life. Because it comes towards the end of a year and marks the beginning of a new era, I set life goals and writing goals. I hope to finish a new poetry collection by Christmas, set from December 2021. Hopefully. For my life goals, I had planned house decluttering, to be more active in my Christian life and to lose weight. All will be a carry-over!
So all those years you decorated the house for Xmas, was it for the season, family or for Lord Jesus?
Searching my heart, I realise that for the past 30 years, I did the Xmas decorating. ALONE. Is yours a family thing? I know Donna Fetcher’s home is always heavily and beautifully decorated for the Xmas season [Judging from her last year’s December Newsletter] and maybe many of you as well. Have you done yours yet? Do you decorate lightly or heavily?
I have written one Christmas poem inspired from one of us writing one last year December in the MTW post. I haven’t yet written a Christmas story. The idea of decorating the home for Xmas can create an upbeat tone or mood and an atmosphere of excitement, no matter the genre. Have you done any Christmas writing?
Well, guess what everyone – I’m simply going to see what will happen in my home this Xmas season!! Will it get decorated for Xmas or not? Find out next month!
Does your book title whisper its genre?
Here are some ACW member’s books and some others that I have read. Can you tell from the titles what genre they belong to if you hadn’t known their author or read the blurb?
Sometimes, it is very easy to tell a book’s genre from its title. Other times, the title does not give a clue but the blurb will always let readers know what kind of a story it is. Sometimes too, the writer’s name gives away the genre, without even looking at the blurb. All this got me thinking. What if a book’s title or its author knocked off one’s interest straightaway, without their even checking the blurb? One’s preconceived notion of a particular writer can put one off the book’s tracks outright! I became twitter friends with Raelle who writes mainly pirate stories. I never knew a day would come when I would have a change of opinion about this writer and her writing until I read xxxx ! It was just for curiosity.
It boils down to the blurb of a book IF the reader’s decides to check it out. I make a deliberate decision when I create my book title. Do you as well?
Here are some names of God below. Some might help you decide which to use when you pray. Which is your favourite and why?
I love El Roi because it lets me understand that God knows me intimately well and in whatever situation I am in, He’s got my back. This has a great influence on my praying pattern. So titles are important. As Christian writers, we are a light to those still in the world of the flesh and sin no matter our genre preference. A difference maker. Matthew 5: 14 says –
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Hope you all had a good Christmas. My home was decorated as you can see! In my last post I wasn’t sure of this. Compliments of the season and wishing you all a very happy, healthy 2023!! Blessings!
WHAT WOULD AUTHOR DECLUTERING LOOK LIKE???
What in the world does that mean? I hear someone say! I know. I thought about it as well when I got out a pen and wrote out all my commitments and responsibilities as a writer and human in 2022. This is what it looked like.
And so back to decluttering, is it wise to do so? It is wise to do so.
Bible: Hebrews 13:6 –so that we may be boldly say, the Lord is our helper so we will not be afraid for what anyone can do to us.
Thank You Yahweh, our Shepherd, our Jehovah Rapha, our Abba, our God of - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our Adonai, our El Roi, our Papa God. We thank You for making it possible to gather as a family to meet with You. We thank You for being patient with us when we doubted You. We Thank You for our careers because it is blessed. We thank You that all our impossibilities will become possible by Your grace, power and favour. We thank You because You will make a way where there is no way. Thank You for defeating all the powers and principalities that came against us in our exams, schooling, travels, holidays, jobs, health, relationships and our blessings. Thank You for our salvation. Thank You for breaking the shackles of shame in our lives as a family. Thank You for the powerful name of Jesus You gave us. Thank You for forgiving us with Your mercy when we transgressed against You. Thank You for every day You give us. Thank You for all that You have done for us as a family, for every battle You brought us through, for every mountain You helped us climb, for the joy of the LORD which gives us strength, for Your peace poured out on us that passeth all understanding.
We thank You that our children will return to the throne of God physically and spiritually. Amen. We thank U because You are faithful, able to complete all the good work in us - in our healing in our bodies, for all that we are believing for because it will still happen by Your grace. We thank You because You make dreams and promises happen. We thank You because we will see ALL our children and grandchildren fulfil their divine purpose and destiny. We agree with You in belief and faith that Your favour over each of our lives will be awesome because in this house, we serve the LORD, our supernatural God of all creation.. Our hope is in You and forces of darkness can’t stop Your purpose and blessings for our lives. Thank You because we are blessed, fulfilled, victorious and loved despite any setbacks or moods we experience. Thank You for our amazing future. Thank You for the shift, new open doors and new levels of our destiny, the right people we are going to meet and the promotion in our careers that will be more rewarding than we imagined. We will be full of testimonies. Amen.
Help us to trust You when we don’t understand our circumstances, the unfairness, the complexities of life and setbacks. We know You will turn everything for our good. Amen. Help us to keep our LORD Jesus as the centre of all things in our daily lives to Your glory by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have prayed. AMEN!
How was Christmas Day spent in your home?
Did you get good xmas presents, meals or company? Was it a time to put away all thoughts of writing, editing, reviewing, drafts or publishing? Was it a day to remember the ‘reason for the season’ and put away all thoughts of life issues? Hope it was a day to celebrate our Lord and King; a day to ponder on His love for taking you so far; a day to be most grateful for the salvation package; a day for self-discovery or the miracles in your life; a day spent with friends and family; or a day not to look down at your weaknesses, nor look at the darkness that life might have thrown over you or that writing to edit but a day to look up and see the light of God’s Light! Hope it was a day that thoroughly blessed you by the best gift you were given by God –our Lord JESUS!
When I was a child back in the 60s and 70s growing up in Nigeria with my younger siblings, there was the usual Christmas tradition that was practised in our home. The Christmas season began on the first of December with the hanging up of Christmas cards sent to my parents on strings crossing the corners of the living room and sometimes, extending to the dining room. The mood was set. We spent the days leading to Christmas visiting the Kingsway Store to see Father Christmas in his grotto, decorating our rooms, making nativity boxes, eating chocolates and cakes in excess and listening to xmas records. It was a time of leniency; the cane was temporarily on break and we were in ecstasy and high spirits waiting for December 25th. It was a time to put up our best behaviours anyway and turn blind sibling rivalry, quibbling and irritations!
My siblings and I who believed that Father Christmas was real began to guess what presents we would each get. Before we were seven years old, we got fascinating gifts that little boys and girls usually get –dolls, trains, building bricks, etc but after that, ‘Father Xmas’ gave us books and educational stuff to help our learning. I remember the globe of the world gift to help my geography when I was 11, a ladybird’s times table book to help with maths, Janet and John books to help with reading, etc. Then as the years moved on, time grew us older, wiser and more discerning. We pretended that we were ignorant of how our parents stealthily went downstairs to drop our gifts [already secretly seen] under the tree and we faked sleeping when xmas stockings were put at the foot of our beds. An enjoyable deception game!
The pregnancy of Xmas Day finally came to its end. 25th December erupted with our waking up before the dawn had a chance to light the day and before Billy cock’s 6am crow! We ate special breakfast of eggs, sausages and bacons with richly buttered bread and warm Bournvita drinks. We wore new clothes to church and enjoyed looking, listening and singing special xmas songs to the new child born to be the saviour of the world! Back home, after service, we unwrapped our gifts [with faked awes of oohs and ahhhs] and ate the most special lunch feast of the year! - Jollof rice, with chunky portions of fried turkey, chicken and meat, garnished with fried plantain and salad. We didn’t drink water; we drank sweet wine or champagne if we wanted to!
Looking back at Christmas Past, once upon time, it was like ‘Christmas in Wonderland’! I clearly remember that ‘O come All Ye Faithful’ was my favourite hymn during the Christmas service because of how the two different choruses were harmonised beautifully together. I still look forward to hearing it sung in church on Christmas Day. I consciously try to make celebrating Christmas in our home magical. Hope you do. Our Lord deserves it!
Well, I hope you have been motivated and inspired to write your own story or poem of a day and time you celebrated the birth of our Lord significantly or a memorable Christmas! Wishing you all a happy and successful writing in 2023!
#iamwriting #christmas #ACW #salvation #christmasstory
Let’s play a game!
I had wanted to follow in the trail of writing posts that encourage, advice, up lift or hon our writing craft. I suddenly had the brain wave to write something that will serve as a comic relief sort of. A game. After all, all work and no play makes writers and ACWers dull!
So, I propose 3 games!! You will agree that any one game might not be a best fit for us creatives of different genres, nationalities, taste buds and ages.
I would love to see your own choices below.
BRINGING GOD’S KINGDOM INTO OUR WRITING
We know that God has the wisdom, knowledge, strength and grace we need by the power of His Holy Spirit. So we need to ask God for the words to write. Some of us are already doing this consciously and some of us too already acknowledge that whatever we write is from God the Author and Finisher of our faith and words. It is an act of surrender and humility when we ask Him what to write. We should consider Papa God as our business partner because we are labourers in His vineyard using our words, His tool, which He gave us to bring people in to His kingdom. Some of us rush into the deep waters of the publishing industry - agents, editors, contracts, publishing routes, etc and get drowned. I’m speaking from experience! I once submitted my manuscript to a friend to edit for me and the corrected version was returned to me but it got lost in the mesh of my documents and downloads. I ended up submitting the unedited copy! It was a nightmare! How organised are you? Papa God is not the author of confusion. Do share what strategies you use to get your files in documents and downloads organised. I should have let God know that I was sending my manuscript out and prayed for its safe return!
Let’s tell Papa God that we cannot do stuff in our own strength so that He can guide and lead us through the right paths thus preventing our making mistakes. Funding for our publishing needs – should all be made known to Papa God. David spoke to Papa God before he went into battle in 2 Samuel 5:19 – David asks, ‘shall I go and attack the Philistines?’ God answered him and gave him the go ahead! How difficult or complicated is that? Just a prayer to achieve the right results was all that was needed. I’m also speaking to myself and those who are in the same boat with me in this regard. For the PROs amongst us who have achieved huge strides in their writing careers, I still have advice for you. Be more alert and vigilant of strangers in the guise of ‘helpers’ who can scam or cheat you. After all, didn’t the Gibeonites deceive Joshua? Let’s just be wary that our writing business does not fall in wrong hands by always asking Papa God for advice and protection every step of the way.
I think some of us don’t achieve mega miracles in our writing and lives because we don’t ask God to fulfil our dreams. We may think that it is impossible or even selfish to ask boldly for £ 5,000 a week from our writing, for example! Dare to ask. It is faith being released. Are we asking for our dreams? We can ask God to bless us super so that we can be a blessing to others. In James 4:2 -3, it says, we ask but do not receive because we ask amiss. We can receive abundantly when our prayers of faith stir God’s interest. Our writing is meant to impact others and God is our business partner in bringing His kingdom on Earth.
Let us pray bold prayers such as, ‘Take my writing career where it has never reached before.’ Let us remember that with God, nothing is impossible. It is His good pleasure to bless us. But have we asked? Are we just asking in the usual, ordinary and normal prayer? Or are we asking in the bold prayer that fits the Almighty Father. Asking for the extraordinary?
#prayer #boldprayers #faith #miracles #iamwriting #christianwriterslife
Review of ‘ THE BRIDGE THAT CARRIED US OVER’
‘The Bridge that carried us over’ merits 5 stars!! It is a very heart moving, touching and passionate cry out from the hearts of concerned writers for the protection of a priceless symbol and ideal – “BLACK ANCESTORS MATTER” and this makes the read, a book for future generations, a legacy for the Black African race and a powerful tool for training young leaders on Equal Rights. It is a book that promotes inclusion, courage, truth and the ideals for justice. It encourages anti racists’ thoughts and actions, while yet pointing out the numerous atrocities and racial treatments against African Americans, who were helpless, vulnerable, victimised and abused. The contributions from the writers stand as a testimony to prevent ‘the history of crimes against African people erased’- Marsha Coleman Adebayo, PhD. It is an eye opener to why the burial ground of Black Ancestors is important to the unity and love of a people who were victims of racism - “it is necessary to state that equal rights apply not only to living African Americans, but also in terms of treatment of the burials of their ancestors” –Tammy Hilburn. Reading this book, I see the importance why historical burial grounds should be seen as ‘endangered species,’ in danger of extinction if people don’t bring awareness as the writers have done. “White structures that victimized innocents and exploited labour are canonized while the producers of wealth and culture are erased” – Rev. Segun Adebayo, PhD. This book is a great insight to the heart beat and goal of the collective writers. It is like reading a history book that reminds one of why the blood of ancestors cry out for justice. “Whose history is worthy of preservation and whose lives are important through the atrocities that occurred at River Road’ – Marsha Coleman Adebayo, PhD.
This book is well written. It is full of historical facts, illustrations and documents. It is an enlightening read and I highly recommend it!
Olusola Sophia Anyanwu.