Welcome to summer fine readers of this blog! Doesn’t that picture above look lovely?
Summer. When I think about summer, I am reminded of long, lazy fun days out of school…whether as a kid or now as an adult. For me, summer represents the chance to do anything you want. It’s a chance to try something new. It’s a chance to get back on track. It’s a chance for fun.
And, it’s not only for the students and teachers who are out. Even you too can have a great time this summer. 🙂
Here’s some things you can expect to see here at The Recreational Word Slinger this summer:
- Starting next Monday (June 4th), I will begin a new series called: “The Pioneer Woman Experiment.” If you don’t know who The Pioneer Woman is, shame on you. Go here to learn more. Each Sunday night in June, I will be experimenting with a recipe from her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which I bought myself for my birthday. I will include my own pictures and comments about the food…I can’t include the actual recipe because that would be a breach of copyright law, and I’m in no mood to go to the big house anytime soon. 😛
- Once a week, I will do a series called: “Ask the readers.” This will be where I…you guessed it…ask you guys a question! This is an example of what it won’t be: what is the meaning of life? Nope. This will be more along the lines of giving me a thumbs up or down about a recent movie.
- Finally, I want to try and do 2 more author interviews like this one I did in January. I’m starting to build some relationships with fellow authors, and I think it’s important that I help promote them, so they might do the same for me when the time comes.
So, that’s what we’ve got coming in June and for July. I hope you will enjoy the ride!
I hesitated about naming this post Encouragement Wednesday because normally I like those posts to have a humorous spin to them. Today’s E.W. has no hint of humor. In fact, it is laden with sadness.
When I logged onto to Yahoo this morning, I saw a story about a Yale graduate who had written this amazing essay to all the recent graduates of the school. In a gut-wrenching twist of fate, Marina Keegan (the author) was killed in a car crash just two days after commencement.
I took a chance and read her essay, knowing full well that it could easily bring me to tears on this fine Wednesday morning. While I did feel the occasional wetness in my eyes, her writing actually inspired me. Check this out:
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
Today, I challenge you to take these words to heart.
On Saturday, a good friend of mine will be leaving for South Africa on a mission trip. (To follow along on her journey, click here to go to her blog.) I can’t wait to hear the many stories she will share when she returns to the States in July.
But this got me thinking…you don’t have to go a million miles away to be on a mission trip. We have a mission field that starts at our back door. (Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying…I think overseas and out of country mission trips are awesome.)
I think we can get too caught up in doing GREAT and BIG things away from home. What we don’t realize is that there might be people even in our own home who are hurting that we need to love on. Our tunnel vision prevents us from seeing them. The routines of our daily life keep us from noticing when our spouse or child or friend or family member has a difficult day.
I know it can be hard to share how you feel…I’m no good with verbal communication, but give me a pencil and paper and you’ll get more than you wanted to know! But, it’s important to reach out and accept the love that our close relationships want to give us.
So, how do we do GOOD and BIG things on the home front?
- Ask questions and listen to the answers.
- Free Hugs! (No, I’m not talking about finding those creepy guys at concerts and ballgames who wear those shirts…weird.)
- Smile 🙂
- Laugh…even if that joke they just told wasn’t too funny (I know this could never be said about my jokes, but I hear this is a real issue for some people)
- Just be there…offer silence, sometimes that’s all they need
Your turn: what’s another tip for living a missional life at home?
Last week, I had a kid throw up in the class where I was subbing.
That same day, I got my first e-mail rejecting my book proposal.
Talk about an awesome day. Not.
My brain went haywire…trying to reason with the situation. Well, she DID say that she liked my manuscript, I thought. It’s not that she didn’t want to publish it…she couldn’t because it has a male lead character, I told myself. I tried to make myself feel better because it hurt to think about the reality:
This company is not going to publish my book.
I just had to face the facts. I could try to rationalize it or stroke my ego, but I needed to see that not everyone thinks my book is awesome. I mean hey, you might not even like it if you get to read it.
This forced me to face a difficult truth: my book might never make it onto the shelves at Barnes and Noble. It might never be for sale on Amazon.
I am still wrestling with this fact, and I’ve been asking myself a difficult question ever since: is it worth it to still write if I never see the hardback?
When I have the answer, I’ll let you know…
1. Editing is rough. I keep finding stupid mistakes that I normally do not make. It’s so frustrating to have to re-read the whole manuscript, but it is necessary to polishing my writing. I don’t want to send something to agents that has a million little errors.
2. Planning on printing out a copy to pass around soon. I went ahead and printed one out to give to my mom for mother’s day, but I want to have another one to pass around if you want to check it out. So, let me know and I’ll put your name on a list! It might be towards June when I finally get done with making it nice and pretty, though. 🙂
3. Prayers are appreciated. I honestly have no clue if I will ever see this thing in a bookstore someday. I need your prayers for the wisdom to know which path to take in order to make my dream come true. They are very much appreciated.
I had a revelation this weekend. It’s on your 24th birthday when the thrill of the birthday starts to disappear. Gone are the fun times of having a character-themed party…gone are the milestones that you reach and feel good about. I actually had a moment yesterday when I groaned at the realization that next year will bring with it the tag of being a quarter of a century.
But I have also come to realize that presents are not important. Do I appreciate them? Absolutely. Do I have to have them in order to celebrate? Nope. There’s one thing, though, that I’ve found matters more to me now than presents.
Presence. The presence of people around me. My family. My friends. If I get to be around the people that I love, then that is enough for me to have a great birthday. It took me long enough to figure it out, but I think I’ve finally got the hang of what it’s important and what’s not.
Due to the threat of creative burnout, I’m going to take a brief break from posting on this blog. I plan to return next week on Monday, May 14. I am in the process of going back through my book and fixing the many, many errors that I originally wrote. This takes a lot of time and energy, so I need all that I can muster to go into my book. I can assure you that when I resume posting that I will be refreshed and the posts will be better than ever. 🙂
I hope you all have a great week!