In which I discuss being a Child of God, a Christ follower who fights depression,

who writes Spec Fic, makes photographic images, and is studying art and illustration,

who is a STEAM lover, math and computer tutor, and a 2A supporter.

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About Me

About Me

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Study. Practice. Learn. Draw. Write. Live.

Gathering and uniting the Forces of STEAM with the Warriors of Spe C'f Iic.
Bringing understanding. Lighting the darkness. Defending mankind from ancient evil.

Art DRΣΔ7XΛZ Youtube Channel

My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
and horror hath overwhelmed me.
I will call upon God;
and the Lord shall save me.
Evening, and morning, and at noon,
will I pray, and cry aloud:
and he shall hear my voice.

Sometimes, way too often, I fail God, but He picks me up, cleans me off, and helps me to continue on the journey of living life and writing for Him.
My childhood home was Alaska, where I had a fair share of adventures, and misadventures, including surviving the largest recorded earthquake to hit the North American continent.
I attended college in Oregon, and currently reside in the Seattle area. Many of my Works in Progress take place in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
In 2nd grade I became an avid reader, and in 7th grade I began the struggle with myself, and God, of whether or not I wanted to accept the title "Writer."
Since JAN 2016 I've been taking Prozac and I use this blog as a way for me to get myself to work on self-assigned writing projects, a way to encourage myself to get on with the adventure of being a Spec Fic writer.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the King; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. - Psalm 45:1 King James Version

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands. -Psalm 90:17

And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
To devise cunning works, … to work in all manner of workmanship.
… and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom,
that they may make all that I have commanded ... - Ex 31:3 King James Version

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. - Psalm 19:1 King James Version

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. - Psalm 33:6 King James Version

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. - Psalm 90:1-2

Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. - Nehemiah 9:6 King James Version

For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name. - Amos 4:13 King James Version

10 June 2013

2013 NCWA Writer’s Renewal Conference Jesse Florea, Editor Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr. -- Begin and End with a Bang

The opening notes of your story need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it long enough to get them to the end when the final notes are heard.

“So where should I begin?” you might be asking yourself.  Your opening must grab the heart instantly.  If your story has too much of an introduction and doesn't start in the middle of the action, the editor will probably never get to “the good part.”

Start where the action is, and work backwards.   Sometimes the lead is the first thing you write; sometimes it is the last thing you write.  Find your opening and get it out front where the reader will see it in the first 20-30 seconds, that’s 4-5 average length sentences.  If you are writing for children you have about half that time to get a child’s attention.  Do whatever you can to hook your reader as soon as possible.

First impressions are inevitably the strongest.  The first two or three paragraphs act as bait, enticing your audience into reading the entire story.  They should guide the reader smoothly into the rest of the story, conducting them to the finale.  You want to stop your story before it actually ends. Indeed, the story may end before it gets started if you allow yourself to engage in a lethargic beginning and assume the reader is automatically interested in what you write.

Make your lead creative and compelling.  Study and practice making openings attractive, so that your editor, and the rest of your readers, will reach the end of your story, where the tone leaves the reader listening to a satisfying symphony tinged with some dissatisfaction.  Be conclusive, but not completely.  Let your reader hear the echoes of the final notes fading away.

My NCWA Blog Article is Here

20 May 2013

2013 NCWA Writer’s Renewal Conference – Day 2: After Action Report

The worst part of the deep-sea adventure we called the 2013 NCWA Writer’s Renewal Conference was saying my good-byes when it all came to an end. Since Saturday evening I’ve spent some time in the decompression chamber preparing to surface back to reality.

Two years ago when I went to the conference I volunteered some, and I went to editorial sessions, and workshops, but I spoke to no one outside of those event, except to friends from NCWA.

This year I tried to be involved with helping out even more, and I actually spoke to Jesse Florea, the editor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. several times outside of the workshops and editorial sessions.

I asked Jesse if I could email him and get a copy of the submission guidelines, and also asked him how many people also asked for the guidelines. He said not many, usually only the ones he meets at conferences.

I also spoke to Jesse about getting a copy of the Story Bible for FotF’s Adventures in Odyssey and he told me I could email him with a reminder that we had talked and he would forward my email and name to the person in charge at Adventures in Odyssey.

We talked a bit about how they’ve recently redone Odyssey and so they have a new, shorter, Story Bible, and we talked some about some of the old characters and how the authors who created them used Easter Eggs for their names, etc. I may not be ready to start trying to write for them, but at least it is a target I now have to aim for. Jesse also told me that a published NCWA author is also just beginning the process of writing for Odyssey

Also Jesse told me that he does accept true-life stories, so after I get the submission guidelines I will see about re-working some of my true stories of growing up I Alaska, and all the various ways we tried to kill ourselves as kids. Tonight is the last NCWA fiction writer’s group, and our last monthly meeting will be June 3rd, and so I will try to get a couple of my short stories to my critique group to get some feedback to work on until I get those submission guidelines.

I never intended on being a children’s author, but then again I have ran from my writing desire since 1972. As I said in a recent post, if God doesn’t stop sending me to these writing conferences, and if He doesn’t stop arranging these divine appointments, I might just start thinking He wants me to pursue this writing stuff.

18 May 2013

2013 NCWA Writer’s Renewal Conference – First Day’s First Thoughts

The squirting-sea snail floats to the top of the classroom aquarium, it’s orange and black shell glows softly. Nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care how it got there. That classroom is mine, I notice I care. I line up the students to race out the door on my command, past the poisonous sea creature that has mysteriously appeared in our classroom aquarium. I tell the children “no dawdling now. When I tell you to Move! You MOVE!”

I awaken. It’s 5:15 AM – O515 HRS. The sky is showing signs of morning crawling over the eastern horizon. The birds are chirping. I moan. It’s far too early to get up. “Get up, get up,” an inner voice tells me, “Jane Kirkpatrick is up by 4:00 AM and writing by 5:00.”

“UGH!” I lay in bed, thoughts racing through my head from the first day of the conference yesterday. One more day to go today.

“Get up and write,” that inner voice screams at me, over and over.

I try to silence the voice by rolling over and ignoring it. It doesn’t work.

I find myself standing in the shower, but it’s hard to tell with my eyes still glued shut. Somehow I have stumbled to the computer and have started writing something called 2013 NCWA Writer’s Renewal Conference – First Day’s First Thoughts. Where did that come from?

Jesse Florea editor for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines quoted from Finding Forrester where Sean Connery’s character tells the kid “write first, think later.” OK, so I am writing first, thinking will come later when I am awake. It was 6 AM when I started writing, it is now a quarter after, and this morning’s alarm is going off. I have about an hour to get ready and get out off here to get for day two of the conference.

I must write. For I am a writer.

01 May 2013

The Harpies Mugged my Muse

The Harpies mugged my Muse.  They pushed her down, knocked her over the head, tied her up in a gunnysack and tossed her in the Marianas Trench.  It’s taken awhile, but she’s back now, back with a vengeance.

On May 7th, 2012 I moved into my car, where I stayed for 7 months.  I was working at Bellevue College at the time.  Try teaching two computer programming classes while staying in your car with your cat.  It was, to say the least, interesting, and I have to be careful about what I say about this.

I missed that evening’s NCWA meeting, but I continued to write.  After Spring term ended, I took my Qosmio laptop to the local Starbucks, and library, and wrote, edited, re-wrote, and read and took notes for other writing, until the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut on December 14th.  Slowly but surely the Lord has put the desire back in me to start up my writing again.  My friend Gigi Murfit from NCWA did a devotional at the April 1st, 2013 meeting which really helped me to not give up altogether and throw my writing in the trash bin.

Shortly after writing my previous post some two years ago, I was gifted with a Writer’s Renewal Conference scholarship by the NCWA board.  Last year I was asked to volunteer at the conference, and I would have gotten a 50% discount off the conference cost, but because of moving into my car so close to last year’s conference I ended up not able to go and help.  Recently my friend Judy notified me that an unnamed someone had provided another conference scholarship for me. (The title of this article comes from a workshop at the conference.)

About the time I started digging through some of my writing to find an old short story to take and get critiqued, my Qosmio started dying again, and I don’t think I can resuscitate it this time.  I have to once more go through old files to move and sort them.  I gave a talk on March 18th, 2013 about using Google Drive, and am making a concerted effort to get some cloud services set up so I can keep from having to do this in the future.

While going through these old files and trying to get cloud technology set up I started re-reading my old blog posts, and this was the final straw and I got the itch to write again, and once I get the itch I have to write. 

My last word?  If God doesn’t stop dragging me off to these writing conferences I might just start thinking He wants me to work on being a writer.  I told Him I would go where He wants me to go, never thinking it might mean something like this.  Maybe I’ll be able to fend of the Harpies a bit longer this go ‘round.