What Moves You

rainy days, clouds in the sky again
my limbs protest but my fingers rage
pen and ink, feathers on the floor
find me something to live for

what pretends but never apprehends
the apathy my soul seems to bleed
pen and ink, breathe life into me
find me something to live for

can you feel me
can i even breathe
pen and ink, sink to the ocean floor
find me something to live for

poor poets crush their hearts on
cement floors, dark halls, blue ghosts
pen and ink, make my words dance
find me something to live for

Thursday Thoughts: Will You Run?

What are you here to do? Are you here to make money? Are you here to make friends?

Are you here to crawl or run? What’s your cause? What’s your purpose? Is it worthy of eternity? Is there an eternity?

Are you here to crawl or run? Will you run so you’ve got nothing left, so the sweat is soaking your face? Will you run and try to beat the wind, the speed of light? You’ll run to cure cancer, but will you run to cure death?

Are you here to crawl or to run? Will your legacy be apathy or making waves? Will you cast a pebble into the lake, knowing that’s how waves begin, or will you say ‘they’re just ripples’? Why are you here? Will you be known as the one who wasted time, or the one who fought a battle?

Will you do instead of try? Will you run? Will you run?

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Why I Write

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Is it ridiculous, do you think, that I dream of finishing and publishing my novels? Is it ridiculous that I hope to be at least a little successful? That I think people might want to read my books?

Maybe it is. There are hundreds of thousands of people who want to be authors. Who write. Who actually write and are good at it. Not all of them will be published. Not all of them will even stick with it. And very few will ever become famous. That isn’t the point.

I write because I love writing. I write because I love my characters and I love the story and I am passionate about the journey they take. About how they change and develop and grow into themselves. I write because I love words. And whether or not anyone believes me, the main reason why I want to publish my books is not to get money. Yeah, it would be great to be able to pay the rent with book sales. Highly unlikely. No, the main reason why I want to publish my books is because I love my characters and my stories so much that I want to share them with people. I want other people to know them and grow to love them. I want other people to be inspired. I want to be a little part of what makes people happy and encourages them.

And I write because, from a very young age, that’s how I deal with things. I don’t know, call it a coping mechanism if you want, but some of my greatest breakthroughs in life have come by writing. Because writing forces you to stop running away from the issues. In your head, you can block out your thoughts. But when you’re writing, you realize that there is nothing more authentic than the starkness of ink on paper, and you can’t hide from yourself any longer.

Why do you write?

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Passion

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It’s funny, as you’re growing up, how you jump from passion to passion. It’s like we know that we are created to feel passionate, to have passion, to live with passion, but because we’re not quite there yet we fill that space with different things. You sort of decide to feel strongly about something. And you see people around you living with so much passion that they are almost defined by it, and you have passion FOMO (fear of missing out).

But then when you get older, things come up on their own. And you start fighting for certain things, and speaking up about certain things, and suddenly passion starts to feel real. Suddenly, you understand why being passionate can drive a person to do anything, give up anything, go to any lengths, to see the thing they’re passionate about become real, or become free, or become better.

I’m passionate about God. I’m passionate about writing. I’m passionate about fantasy. I’m passionate about women who are downtrodden, and ending violence against women, and protecting children from the same thing. I’m passionate about language and about every person being able to read the Bible in their own heart language, because yes, it matters. And I didn’t go looking for any of the things I’m passionate about – that’s the funny part. I used to read fantasy as a kind of “this is cool, it has dragons” thing. I used to avoid the news so I didn’t hear about women being raped or abused or killed by husbands who apparently don’t have time to invest in a divorce. I used to argue with anyone who said I should write. I used to say the one thing I would never do is become a missionary. And I used to find God boring.

Our passions arise slowly, like a fairy emerging from a flower, like a baby being born, like a beautiful, unexpected summer morning after weeks of chilly spring. We don’t go looking for them; they find us. They are not man made or something we can control or make decisions about. And that is precisely why they are passions. While passion isn’t everything, and hard work plays an enormous role, I can guarantee you that you’ll work that much harder if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

Passion: a strong and barely controllable emotion. An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

What are you passionate about?

All We Can Do Is Keep Breathing

In the grand scheme of things, things don’t actually matter very much. I mean, if you really think about it. What really matters? It’s hard to put yourself in the position of really figuring this out without, I don’t know, electrocuting yourself, which I don’t recommend, but I think we can kind of narrow it down at least.

If I think about what drives me to get up in the morning, about what makes me get past my ever-present twelve year-old side who’s all afraid and wimpy and lazy, and get out there to do LIFE, I can narrow it down.

1. God. Jesus. The love He has, the life He gave, the price He paid for my freedom, my joy, my peace. Knowing that not everyone out there knows His love or His peace, and knowing that because He is in me, I have to tell people about Him, because if you had something like the cure for cancer or the solution to war and crime, wouldn’t you shout it from the mountaintops? Well, this is better.
2. My family. My parents, who’ve given up as much as they could and more to get me where I am, and who keep on doing it…and my sibs, who occasionally drive me up the wall but who I always, always love, even when they talk amongst themselves for an hour straight about cleaning supplies.
3. Best friends who you tell everything to and who you kind of made an unofficial pact with to never fall into a rut, or get all stagnant and smelly, or stop dreaming.
4. That unexplainable, indescribable, pulsating, vibrating thing that is LIFE and that keeps on tugging at me to freaking go and live it. I believe some synonyms for the LIFE I’m talking about are passion, hope, exhilaration, enthusiasm, ardor, vigor, and spirit.
5. The thought that we have to count for something. All the humans before us, all the things they did wrong and right, all the mistakes they made so we wouldn’t have to, all the ones who died while fighting for something worthwhile, all the discoveries and inventions and hard work and sweat and blood and all the history we’ve been through…it should count. I know it counts eternally, but here, on this earth, in this life, it should count.
6. The possibility that somewhere out there, in the big, wide world, is someone who fits me like a puzzle piece. Someone who I’ll love in both an epic and a daily kind of way, who I’ll love even when they’re senile and smelly (I wish I could say I came up with that one by myself, but I had a little help from Grey’s.) Someone who will get me and not want to change me, or dress me, or tell me what I can and cannot do, or dismiss the things I do as insignificant or unimportant. Someone like that.

The things that make me get up in the morning are, I think, fairly basic. God, relationships, and not dropping the ball in the long, long legacy of human. Knowing this list, just like knowing anything, only helps if I apply it. Knowing isn’t doing. So I’m going to prioritize and do what I know. I would hate to come to the end of my life, whenever that may be, and be sad about how I got bogged down by all the stuff and forgot to LIVE.

Love Jesus, laugh with the people you love, work your hardest, and love your enemy like you love your friends like you love yourself. I think the rest will work itself out.