A Guest Post on Positivity

So today I am sharing with you a guest post written by my friend Irma and I hope you enjoy her words of wisdom.

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Positivity. What is positivity?(Insert sarcasm here) I think everyone in this generation has some sense of the word. It means happiness and good vibes right? (what does that even mean?)

I think everyone in this generation has some sense of the word. It means happiness and good vibes right? (what does that even mean?)

I have been on a journey, and have been learning the power of positivity, but not necessarily in the way you might think.

There are two types of positivity: with and without realism. Let me elaborate.

The former is what we constantly see. Its intentions are good, very honorable. It is colorful and bright, with words like “express yourself!” and “You’re enough!

Now before I start a blow up online I would like to say that I believe in these things. But without context and without anything deeper, they leave us void and meaningless. They are pretty words without depth, blind to the pain and brokenness of the world that we live in.

“If we’re going to fight a disease let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all… indifference.”   -Robin Williams (as Patch Adams)

I came across a tribute video to Robin Williams the other day, with some of his famous movie quotes. I quite like the one above.

Positivity with realism. Now that is a challenge. But this is real positivity, it is what we call Joy. It is able to look into the world, see the despair, the hurt, the brokenness and the pain. It does not refute the fact that there are wars, starving people, and women being raped. It acknowledges the presence of the evil in the world and yet looks beyond. Joy chooses to stand in the face of fear and darkness, and say no. Not today. There is still goodness, and I choose to hope. It is having the ability to see the terrible things and yet still be kind, still be encouraging, still be happy, and still have compassion, instead of sinking into despair.

Positivity is not the absence of negativity. It is standing in the midst of it and choosing who you want to be.

 

Here is a snippet about Irma’s blog from her ‘About’ page:

 CaptureLife is a crazy beautiful ride, and every day is a new adventure. I’m excited to share with you all that God is teaching me, as well as the crazy, random moments of my daily life. This blog is a hodge podge of the things that make me, well… me. My hope is that in it you will be encouraged, inspired and that you’ll go out and share your own story.

You can check out Irma’s blog by clicking HERE.

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Loving People Like Jesus

Hello there!

I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. My priorities have been to focus on my upgrades for college and now that those are done it’s a waiting process to get my marks back. Since that’s done I’m hoping to be able to put a bit more of a priority on my blogging and novel writing. But today I’m gonna work on writing up some posts and finishing up ones I started so today my friend Cori has written another guest post so I’ll let her share what she’s written.

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Growing up I learned that people are not always the easiest to love all the time. I was taught that you have to love everyone, even if you don’t like them.

One of the most important commandments is to love your neighbors as yourself. God said that himself. Treat others the way you would want to be treated is something my youth pastor would say often. Although not always the easiest route, it is the way that Jesus lived himself.

Jesus hung out with people that you wouldn’t really expect. He made friends with the liars and cheats. The outcasts. The people nobody wanted to be. I think He did this to set an example for us today. He didn’t have to love on those people. But he chose to show them the love and respect every person needs.

Now that doesn’t mean that Jesus took crap from people either. He would correct them when they were wrong, in a very polite yet clever way most of the time.

Don’t think I’m telling you to hang around a murderer and be best friends with them. But I am telling you to love that person no matter the sins they struggle with because, in the end, his sin is the same as mine. Even if mine seems minuscule in comparison God sees all sin as the same.

When I was in grade school the teachers would always pair the new kids or the weird kids with me because In my house you treated everybody the way you would want to be treated, therefor I was always the nice one in class, even when I didn’t want to be I was paired with them. Now I was a very shy kid. It was pretty hard for me to do this. But I felt the call that God put on my life to follow him at a young age and I knew it was the right thing to do.

There was this one kid who nobody got along with. I’m not gonna share her name but she was a nice kid. Just a bit strange. Once one of my friends asked me why I hung out with her so much. I simply told them that she deserved to have friends too. At the end of the school year, we went our separate ways but her mom came up to me and thanked me for being so nice to this girl. She was a bit hyper and talked A LOT but I did enjoy her company and learned to love her very much.

I wish more kids would give each other a chance rather than judging a book by its cover. It’s so hard for me to see all the bullying and abuse that goes on In schools these days. It’s sad.

I learned pretty young that it’s honestly so rewarding and worth getting to know a person no matter how much they annoy you.

Now I know we aren’t all in grade school here. That was just one example. I have another. Take homeless people for example. I have worked and served homeless people for as long as I can remember. But some people won’t even look in their direction. Some Christians don’t even see them as people.

I’ll never forget the day that I went up to a homeless man and gave him some food and he looked at me with tears in his eyes. He said nobody would even look at him that day. He searches in his bag for a ring he had made and he gave it to me saying that he wishes there were more people like me in this world.

I’ve given people on the streets Christmas presents that haven’t gotten anything for 25 years and they’ve broken down and asked me to watch them open it. It wasn’t much just some essentials and little things and a book but he was so thankful for his gift. He said that maybe there really is a God that loved him all because I treated him like a normal person for a few minutes.

I love these experiences. Ones with people who think they don’t even deserve it anymore. Broken people. I see them as a beautiful creation of God and it’s almost magical seeing these moments.

If people could just open their eyes and see them as people in a bad circumstance the world would be a much more beautiful place. But let’s move on to another example.

Now we’ve all had that one neighbor that everybody hates right? I have anyways. Those people are one of the hardest to love. Just the meanest most annoying people you’ve ever met right? Well God calls us to love even them. I know crazy right?! Well, I know for a fact that Jesus would have gone up to that guy and said: “I love you no matter what the sin you are struggling with.” So we are called to do the same. That’s not always the easy thing to do but sometimes the hard choice is the best choice.

So many times in the Bible the Pharisees would scold Jesus for hanging out with “that guy” like why would a guy like you hang out with a guy like them? Love, that’s the answer. Unconditional unfailing love.

I know these words aren’t really something easy to read but it’s very important. So next time you just can’t stand someone, pray for them. It not only changes them but it changes your heart towards them. I’m not saying you have to like them, but you must love them.

“Lord help me to love like you do. Help me to love my enemy’s and pray for them. Help me to go up to the weird kid and be their friend. I thank you for your love and grace on us. We don’t deserve it but you made us deserve it by dying on the cross for us. Help me to spread love through out the world and shine your light through me. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen”

Loving Who God Made You To Be

Hello there lovelies!

Today we have a guest post from my friend Cori. She was one of the first people to volunteer to write a blog post for this new blog post series I wanna do throughout the year and I LOVE what she has to say.

I hope you all receive some encouragement from this lovely gals words of wisdom.

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Well, it’s a new year again and our social media is filled with “New year new me” posts and new years resolutions that will last a couple of weeks.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with trying to better yourself, but when its all about me, me, me I think we might just be missing the point. My resolution is to grow closer to Christ and to love who He made me.
        The world tells us that it is all about you. You do you. You only live once. I agree to make the most of your life but when your life revolves around you and you only that isn’t exactly what God has planned. God tells us to live humbly and to always put your neighbor before yourself. He tells us to give a homeless man the clothes off our backs if he doesn’t have any. He tells us to pray for our enemies and love them no matter the harm they’ve caused you.  That may not be very easy, but that is what we are called to. There is a difference between loving who God made you and being a self centered jerk
        Now my life hasn’t been that easy. I was sexually abused, I’ve harmed myself and did for many years, and I even attempted suicide. Growing up I’ve had major self esteem problems.  I would look at myself in the mirror and hate everything about my reflection. I would cry at night because I wasn’t good enough for society or even myself. It wasn’t until recently, actually, that I realized  I wasn’t living how God had planned. It took a mental hospital being waved over my head for me to finally get my act together.  My point is this: God made you who you are for a reason and you are perfectly and wonderfully made. He planned out every inch of you, beautifully, inside of your mother and God, the God of the universe, does not make mistakes. (Psalms 139:13-18)
        Now I pray that in this new year you learn to love yourself for who God made you. Not for what the world wants you to be. Serve your Lord with all your heart soul and mind and love every bit of yourself because the creator of everything there ever was and is to come made you and that is pretty amazing if you think about it.
    Now I still deal with all of these things today. I am not saying that life is gonna be a bundle of joy on a sunny day. Life sucks, there’s no other way to put it, but it is so much easier to have hope and to love who God made you to be then to dwell on things and to try to be this perfect person society makes the standard out to be. You will never be perfect. You will never be “Good enough” , but you know what? That’s why Christ died for us. So that in Him we are good enough and always will be. God doesn’t look at us for all the bad things we have done.  He looks at us as perfect, just as He made us perfectly.

“Lord help me to love who You made me to be. Help me serve you in any way that i can in this new year. I pray that in the new year i grow spiritually and grow to love others more than myself, thank you for all these blessings, i pray that my self esteem will be high this year. In your name I pray , Amen.”

Yours Truly,
Cori Heck

Standing Out in Your Writing {And What Not to Include}

 

Standing Out in Your Writing {And What Not to Include}

 

Hujambo! (That’s Swahili for hello!)

Thanks to Adriana Gabrielle for allowing me to post on her blog! I feel blessed for this opportunity!

So I went back and forth a few times while debating what to write about. I mean, there’s so many options. But I had to settle on something close to my heart—it’s one of my passions. Something important. Something that needs to be thought about.

But first, so you know where I’m coming from, let’s play a get-to-know-Rachel-game!

I’m going to list five things about me below:

1. I am in love with Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Creator.

2. I am called by God to make a difference through the written word. A favorite term I’ve heard is Warrior of the Pen.

3. I’m an army brat. I’ve moved about ten times and they’re still racking up. I’ve been to nine schools (and homeschooled for a few years). I’m about to head to my tenth this fall (and hopefully the last…)

4. Jazz is my jam.

5. I could eat rice and beans three times a day…every day. But I don’t.

So today’s post is about standing out in our writing and being different. And, if we want to stand out and be different and make a difference…what we should leave out of our writing.

There’s a lot of popular fiction out there, aye? We’ve got contemporary YA, dystopian, steampunk, apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy…the genres go on and on.

And I have a problem.

A lot of popular fiction that people rage about (in a good way) is filled with worldly ways. Chock full of swearing, drugs/drinking, and inappropriate relationships…and these things are viewed in a good light.

I don’t know about you, but this stuff bothers me. Last year I tried to pick up a popular YA book that I really wanted to read. I wanted to see what everybody was going on about.

Let me tell you. I read about five pages and I had to put it down. There had been at least ten swear words (hint: not darn) and a few times where God’s name was taken in vain.

And I found out later that there was definitely some pre-marital inappropriateness going on in the book. I’m relieved I didn’t read it.

But there was a catch in my spirit, y’all. I wondered how my God-loving friends could be reading this and celebrating it. I wondered why they weren’t bothered by this blatant immorality.

As a Christian I’m supposed to be different than the rest of the world. My life is an example. What I read, listen to, watch, and write…should be monitored so that I’m not filling my head with the junk that’s already so prevalent in the world.

Words are influential. They impact people. They can save lives. They can also destroy them. It’s our duty to ensure that our words are full of worth. That our words are full of truth. They should encourage and speak life and love. They should stand out like a lamp on a hill.

Under no circumstance should they blend right in with the rest of society’s words.

That’s a red flag.

We have a responsibility to the people reading our stuff. We have a responsibility to tell them about our Heavenly King. We can’t let them down. We can’t let the lost continue in their brokenness just because we want to fit in and not cause a stir.

Jesus went into the temple with a whip, y’all. He wasn’t afraid of making a stir.

We can save lives.

If our writing glorifies anything on this list…we’re doing something wrong:

 

1. Swearing. Okay, people are already surrounded by this continually throughout their days. Do we really want to give them more? Are we going to look like the rest of the world? God’s Word says to keep our tongues from filthy talk, and to keep our minds on things pure. {2 Timothy 1:16; James 5:12}

2. Sex. Really? Really? Do you need to have inappropriate scenes in your books? Is that going to make anybody feel better? Are you going to stand out and make a difference? No. You’ll be just like everybody else. And trust me, that isn’t a good thing. The Bible has all the answers you need about this one. From staying pure before marriage to steering clear of sexual immorality. It’s chock full of warnings and cautions.

3. Drunkenness. The Bible doesn’t say it’s bad to drink. Jesus drank wine. But it does say we shouldn’t get drunk. Don’t support this in your writing. {Ephesians 5:18}

4. Drugs. Why? Just why? Drugs don’t bring good. Solomon talks about trying all the stuff under the sun and how it came to nothing. I’d say drugs definitely can fall in that list.

 

If your writing portrays any of things, be sure the characters receive consequences from their actions. Be sure the things portrayed are known to be bad. Make sure readers don’t perceive that you are pro these things.

I have characters who partake in lifestyles I am against. But I don’t glorify that. It is known that these things are wrong. There are definitely consequences.

Being a writer means we get to dabble in things we’d never be able to do in real life. But that isn’t an excuse to dabble in things that go against God.

There are ways to express real life without gory details. There are ways to express real life while still retaining the innocence of yourself and your readers.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Basically, if there’s something in your writing that goes against what God’s Word says, there’s a problem. If you’re glorifying something that’s wrong, you aren’t making a difference. You’re just adding to the noise. And I’m pretty sure most of us want our writing to stand out.

If you’re not sure, check your Bible.

God Bless! I hope to hear what you think!

 

Rachel Lester is a daughter of the King. Soon she’ll be off to college to follow God’s call on her life to be a writer and missionary. Rachel has been writing since she was a wee thing, but only during the past few years has she really delved deeper into the realm. She’s fought battles, especially with fear, but Christus Victor! She enjoys reading, almost anything outdoorsy, rockin’ out to jazz, and eating rice and beans. She has a passion to reach those who are broken and tell them the Truth. Rachel loves Jesus Christ, her Author and Redeemer.

{2 Timothy 1:7}

You can find her writing blog here: http://waterandpen.blogspot.com/

And you can find her young women’s Christian blog here: http://nolongerstone.blogspot.com/

Find her on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/waterandpen/

 

Indie Author Looking For Friends || Guest Post by Author Mariella Hunt

Dissonance Cover Img Front

 

Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met. Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her.

It isn’t long before Allie suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll change her very identity. But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

The meaning of the word dissonance is inharmonious or harsh sound. Ever since publishing my book on June 1, I’ve been in a state of disharmony trying to get a marketing plan together.

It’s not that I’m panicking. I’m excited–because my book is out there.

It took a long time to shape it up enough that I could share it with my friends. I reached a point where readers connect with characters, or a single line is recorded in their memory. Even if they don’t like the book as a whole, I’ll feel I achieved something if there’s one memorable detail about it–because I’ve invested so much of myself into this story.

Dissonance is available on nook and Kindle right now. Soon it’ll be out in paperback. If you want to help me make some coffee money, the $2.99 really does help.

But if you can’t buy it right now, or you just don’t think it’s the kind of book you’d enjoy, I’d still love to be friends! Say hi on Twitter or follow me on Facebook. The more the merrier! I want to know your stories just as much as I’d like you to enjoy mine!

I hope you’ve had a good summer so far, and that it only gets better. Thanks for listening!

Links:

Twitter- https://twitter.com/mariellahunt
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/mariellahuntauthor
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YITZO8W?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dissonance-mariella-hunt/1122054810?ean=2940151652896
personal website- http://mariellahunt.com/
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25618865-dissonance

 

Creating your Characters || Guest Post by Cait Potter

So, here it is! The official start of The Librarian Files Blog Takeover! You can keep up to date on what posts you can expect in this next week by taking a quick look at this post. (It is still being updated but all the info will be up later today)

 

Hey! I’m Cait I’m going to be guest posting while the lovely owner of this blog, Adriana, is away.

My magical topic of this post is how I go about creating and developing my characters which for me is usually a process that takes months.

A lot of the time my stories sit with me for months, sometimes years. During this time they evolve from single cells, they grow and they become almost like living, breathing creatures for me.  My characters are much the same.

 

Pinterest is my tool of choice and the images allow me to ‘build’ a character in a more visual way. The images, while making it easier to translate the scenes happening in my head also makes me feel like i’m connecting the dots easier. It’s my visual sounding board. Other tools I use are Tumblr and 8tracks and as much criticism as social media gets they’re actually wonderful tools for the modern writer/artist. Why? Because where else am I going to find large groups of unique people from all over the world in one place all throwing in their own brand of creativity.

 

I like to think of it as a skeleton, each idea that I expand on, be it the character’s job or a hobby or some special traits, adds a new layer of flesh, A slightly morbid comparison but let’s ignore that ;).

aa7c5156ed493f7eb6afa15358ce8ee1For my more recent stories the characters have been my own versions of Frankenstein’s monster. I’m constantly finding parts to stitch to the whole, hoping that finger (personality trait) or that kidney (Physical feature) will juxtapose with all the other body parts i’ve dug up from Pinterest.

 

I like to think of my stories as character driven so the story wraps itself around the characters and works with them rather than being something my characters are put into.  If that makes sense outside of my brain? The only thing that completely overrides the wishes of my characters are the worlds in my stories. They’re not stopping for anyone least of all my characters.

 

I’m always looking out for interesting things. I have a list of tastes, smells, bad habits, words that have power in them. Everything little thing I find interesting either ends up in my room as something i’ve found or it’s a scribble in the current notebook or it’s a doodle on a sticky note that won’t stay on the wall.

These are the things I base my characters on.

 

For example:  Smoking. Smoking is something i’ve been concentrating on at the moment because a lot of my characters do it.  It seems kind of boring until you realise that there are many different ways people smoke and many more reasons why.

One of my characters smokes because he feels like it could kill him even though he can’t die. Another does it because he wants to piss off his brother and even again, another smokes because the love of his life does and he doesn’t have anything else to remind him of her.

I apply this to everything, I expand and I describe it. Even the simplest details can make a character unique.

 

For me, the process or writing, worldbuilding and character creation isn’t something I want to rush. It’s my time to experiment, develop my style further and push myself to become a better writer. So my tips are;

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when it comes to your writing. All of your writing.
  • Spend some time getting to know your characters, you’ll be better for it.
  • If you’re stuck with them try putting them in a different setting or put yourself in a different setting.
  • Talk to people, don’t just stare at them. Lol. People are infinite sources of information and experience don’t be hesitant to use that.
  • Research!! I couldn’t stress this enough. Research everything and research doesn’t just have to be a trip to the library or searches on google it could be for eg. going into a forest and walking through taking note of things that you can later put into your own work.

Ok so this is me signing off, hoping this hasn’t been as confusing as I think it is. Thank you for this opportunity Adriana and thank you for reading guys!