Watchers

kkbeastcollageWatchers are a type of angel, high in the hierarchy of angelic beings. The most frequently mentioned watchers in the Bible are the ones first mentioned in Genesis chapter 6. They are the fallen angels. They came to earth and began “taking women” impregnating them to produce giant babies, the nephilim. The word nephilim means the “fallen ones”,  further indicating that their fathers were fallen angels.

The particular word for the “watcher”, who gives King the message from God in his dream used in Daniel chapter 4 is used no where else in the entire Bible! There must be something different about this watcher, or type of watcher, since it is a different word. I have spent hours researching and still know little about because surprisingly, to me at least,  no one seems to know much about them? In Daniel 4:23 KJV it says, “the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven”. I can only deduce since the watcher was issuing the decree of God that unlike the others, this watcher at least, did not rebel against God, and was not a fallen angel. The good part about this particular kind of watcher being so mysterious is that is leaves room for imagination🙂 There are several other cool things about this verse that are a mysterious as well like why does the KJV have ‘and a holy one’ implying that there was a watcher and a holy one?

There are also fascinating connections between the time of Noah in Genesis 6 and the end times according to Matt 24: 37 – 39, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Of all the distinguishing points to make about the end times, Jesus says it will be as it was in the days of Noah. And the only unique thing about the days of Noah compared to many other times in history is the watchers getting women pregnant and the children being part fallen angel and part human. Author, Speaker & Researcher LA Marzuli believes that the increase in alien sightings and human abductions is the watchers coming again to create more nephilim. He has created films and books, and has many you tube videos chock full of proof gathered from all over the world.

Here is a short introduction on the fascinating topic – check it out!

Who do you think the watchers are?

Are the watchers of the Bible returning now as aliens? Tweet This

Pin it!

Pinterestking

One of my favorite things about reading is that I get to use my imagination to see the characters, places, and events that happen in a story. One of the main things to help me decide if I am interested in reading a story is if I can visualize some part of it. Perhaps it is set in a place I’ve always loved, or I am curious to visit? Perhaps the main character has curly hair, like me, so I already feel a connection,… you get the idea.

As a writer, using pinterest helps me to compile pics of different people, places, things, and animals which I then combine to create the characters, scenes, and props in the story. Plus, before I started using Scrivener, it was a very fast way to go back and double-check if the horse is supposed to white, roan, or dapple 75 pages later! Now that I am using Scrivener, I simply pull the best from pinterest into my chapters.

So without further ado – welcome to the pinterest page for King.

I have boards like;

  • Music to inspire – featuring music from that time played with traditional instruments, nice to listen to while writing or reading
  • Characters – a collection of pics used to create each character
  • Connection to Now – there are many connections between ancient Babylon and now (Bagdad, ISIS, current events etc,..)
  • Neighborhood Finds – Scenes from around the palace, Ishtar Gate, Hanging Gardens etc,..
  • My Style – snippets of accessories and fashion for different characters
  • Favorite Places and Spaces – pics combined to create fictional locations in the book
  • Everyday Things – collection of artifacts that would have been used during the story
  • Books to read – other great books that inspire my writing

Explore, enjoy and happy pinning😉

How do you use pinterest?

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I use pinterest for __?  Tweet this

Guest Blog – Aaron Gansky – Ten Story Building Techniques

What an honor to have novelist, teacher, and writing mentor Aaron Gansky share his wisdom on the process of story building. He is the author of The Bargain, The Hand of Adonai, (a YA Fantasy series), and two books on the craft of fiction; Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and Write to Be Heard (with Diane Sherlock). To find out more about his books go here.

Aaron is also the co-host of an informative, well-produced and  unique podcast called Firsts in Fiction. In this episode he is joined by Alton Gansky and his co-host Steve McLain. Listen here as they discuss Ten Story Building Techniques. You can also see their notes and subscribe to be reminded when new podcasts are available.

Some highlights for me as I listened;

  1. Recognizing ideas as they come – an awareness of an idea that leads to a “what-is” question, which then leads to more “what-if” questions = you might be on to something.
  2. Outlining vs. Discovery writing
  3. Originality is 3 deep – the first answer that comes to mind when asking why, and even the second answer should usually be discarded in favor of digging deep and finding an original answer.

Simply-Harris-Compressed14Stay tuned for a review of the audio version of Aaron’s latest novel,  The Bargain (available for free) including my perspective as voice-over talent.

Question

How do you recognize ideas as they come? Or are you where I am lately which is having more ideas than time to write?

Tweetables

10 story building techniques to help find your next story from Firsts in Fiction Tweet this

Guest blog from Aaron Gansky & Firsts in Fiction on how to build your next story Tweet this

 

Discovery in writing

His HandsThere is a moment in writing – several hopefully – where the reader gets to discover something for themselves. “I love the moment where people realize that there is a twist,” Jennifer Nettles shares about her latest song, His Hands, sung as a duet with Brandy Clark.

Even in songwriting, there are moments for the listener to discover what the song is really about, especially the way Jennifer Nettles writes them. She is a prolific and gifted song writer who knows how to lead the listener through the experience of being touched by a song. It is the kind of thing that separates a good writer from a great one. “Discover” for yourself and listen to His Hands here!

Discovery is vital to any great writing because it invites the reader to participate in the story. One of the challenges as a writer is giving the reader the space to explore and discover for themselves. Discovery also often involves a deeper layer of meaning, there is the surface level that everyone gets, and then there is the deeper layer that only those who work for it understand. Listen to Jennifer explain what it is like to be on stage when the audience “gets it”. When they realize that there is more to the song than what they originally assumed it was about.

I have learned much about writing through listening to good music, especially from Jennifer Nettles who has been one of my favorites since I had the pleasure to work with her as her career began. Not only teaching me about how to invite readers into the story, but also character development, and what it means to have a voice. More to come on those… Thanks Jennifer!

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Why discovery in writing matters. Tweet Me

What do writing songs and novels have in common? Discover here! Tweet

Inhale – Exhale

Exhale – a release of breath, a necessary part of breathing. But there is another kind of exhalation – the release that comes with letting an emotion (sorrow, anger, even laughter) out.

I see a strong juxtaposition between Daniel and King in the story when it comes to exhalation.

Daniel is a rock, steady, able, faith-filled, and faithful. He takes breath in and exhales it, using it to his advantage and keeping it controlled.

King on the other hand is a firecracker, an explosion waiting to happen, a mass of energy tightly coiled like a spring ready to explode at any moment. he is so tense, and full of anxiety he doesn’t ever take deep breaths nor experience the satisfaction of a long exhale. The way he exhales is by exploding.

Rather than bringing peace and restoring his body for another breath and more life – his exhalation brings violence and destruction, sometimes even hurting himself in the process.

It makes me think of the connection between what we take in and what comes out of us; air, food, words, thoughts… If you take in life, truth, oxygen, good food, kind words you feed your body and you remain strong and healthy. If you take in lies, death, negative words, bad food, smoke, and destruction you are hindering your body’s ability to restore itself and you are killing yourself.

What are you exhaling?

Tweetables

Does what you inhale impact what you exhale? Click to tweet

Are you more like Daniel or King Nebuchadnezzar? Click to tweet

Five Minute Friday is a  flash mob of words. Five minutes on one prompt. No overthinking or editing.  Check out Lisa-Jo Baker and link up with Five Minute Friday to join us and learn more.

 

Lost – #FMFParty

What does being lost even mean? Not found? Not aware where it is? Is it only about location?

There are several things lost in this story; the biggest is in the first sentence of the elevator pitch – King Nebuchadnezzar’s mind is lost.

lost_in_my_mind_258275But is it really lost if it is found later?

Apparently time has something to do with the definition of being lost because while something can genuinely be lost – it doesn’t have to stay that way, and can genuinely be found again, thus making it found🙂

How can someone lose their mind and then find it again? What is that like? Do they have help? Are they even aware their mind is lost?

What do you think? Did King know his mind was lost? Would you know if yours was?

The most important thing I ever lost was? Tweet this

Is a mind ever truly lost if it can be found again? Tweet this

Five Minute Friday is a fantastic flash mob of words. Five minutes on one prompt. No overthinking or editing.  Check out Lisa-Jo Baker and link up with Five Minute Friday to join us and learn more.

 

Five Min Party – take 1

vs85_15[NOTE: I’m incorporating a new writing challenge called Five Min Friday. Each week a topic is given to inspire a 5 min blog post. This week the topic is ‘messenger’. I’m adding the challenge of using each of the inspiration words for the book only. I think it will be a cool way for me to think about the book in different ways and for readers to learn more about the characters and story.]

As I thought about how the word “messenger” relates to the book, (click here to learn about the book), I realized that the sign that the actual story itself comes from is a messenger! King Nebuchadnezzar himself wrote his story which was duplicated  and posted all over Babylon and the surrounding territories. That sign then became Daniel chapter 4, which in turn became this story, (along with several other sources confirming its validity). King’s letter even begins, “to all the people, nations, and languages of the world…” There were no phones, billboards, TV or radio, and definitely no Facebook, e-mail, or Internet in 560 B.C. so his written words being duplicated and posted all over the kingdom was the means of communicating his message to everyone.

The most amazing part is that his message is still relevant today!

Amazing how a message from 560 B.C. is still relevant today! Tweet This

 

 

#BRMCWC

ChristianWriters_Logo_2014_withDateI’m still recovering from the whirlwind, drinking-from-the-fire-hydrant, otherwise known as Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. There is still much to process, I haven’t even looked over my notes, received my Dad’s, or the audio recordings of all the courses neither of us were able to attend. Yet, there is already a clear take away, two actually, settling in.

The first is simply a word, albeit an important one. IMAGINATION.

Not just my imagination either, but more important – the reader’s imagination. I’m seeing that one of the best things about story regardless of format is that the ‘consumer’ of the story interacts by using their imagination. In a written or audio story they often know more about what is going on in the character’s heads and hearts but they need to use their imagination to piece together what everything looks, feels, and smells like. In a movie they know what things look like but need their imagination to piece together what character’s think and feel. Either way, their imagination is a critical component of the story, so I need to write with them in mind, not just the story itself.

The other take-away is that the craft, skill, art, and talent of story telling is just as important as the story itself. If you want your story to actually be heard, there is attention to the craft of storytelling that needs to be applied. This isn’t new information, I’ve been taking writing and creative writing classes since I was a child. But there is a new level of freedom in knowing that editing and re-writing is a part of writing, and that the pressure to get it finished needs to come under the desire to make it the best I can possibly make it. So bring it on, edit number four – now it is time to apply what I learned, and make this the best I can.

Always interesting to see what others came away with as well – feel free to share

Point of View

It started with realizing this was how I was approaching my revision

everyone-has-their-own-point-of-view_258994-600x

So, I went back to the drawing board and re-evaluated the basics

Point_of_View_Flow_Chart

Which looks more like this in my brain

point-of-view

While this is helpful for many, it is not for me!

Then it dawned on me that perhaps I need a new point of view ON point of view.

So, I did this

364

And it hit me.

No charts, procedures, or complicated formulas.

Writing is simply a strange blend of getting out of myself and letting the story grow and be naturally while also being very much aware of myself as I’m weaving each thread of the story with the others. It is like painting, except with words instead of color.

For me writing is simultaneously losing and finding myself. Much like the kingdom actually🙂

So now what?

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of when I completed the story. Many people have been asking now what? When can I read it? (Thank you by the way, I so appreciate it) To answer that requires a bit more than a new date. First of all, I realized that it is LOTR long, and that makes for a harder sell. I also realized that it is a perfect length for a trilogy, how convenient, since trilogies are quite popular. First I edited it into a trilogy, and worked on titles, covers, and the ever important inter weaving of each book into the others. Thus King – the series was born.

Then, I finally had some people read it, with critiques and edits, I submitted a chapter into a contest, and continued to learn, read, go to workshops and edit more. During that process I came face to face with the lovely challenge of not only telling the story but telling it in the best way possible. Particularly I realized how much better it could be if I changed the POV (point of view) of king from first person to third AND changed the POV of his granddaughter Eanna from third to first. It completely shakes up the story, giving the reader a glimpse into what was previously unseen, it allows the reader to be more deeply engaged with the story, and to come to conclusions themselves. Ultimately it goes much deeper in the proverbial “show don’t tell”. I’m also learning that there is a genre called speculative fiction, that seems to much better define the style and vibe, rather than historical fiction.

So now what? Now, I’m in my fourth, yes, fourth re-write of book one at the moment, and have been for some time. Since I’m not yet able to write full-time, food must still be procured as well as heat, water, and a roof😉 I’ve let go of a time line, even of the idea of time. My goals now revolve entirely on quality. It was a hard pill to swallow at first, but I’d rather take the extra time to do what I’ve already spent years working on ‘right’ rather then just get it ‘done’. I’m seeing, that much like most of life, it truly is more about the journey at least as much if not more than the destination. It’s good though, it’s a labor of love and like babies it’ll be ready when it’s done😉

Lastly, I just want to say THANK YOU again to all of you for your continued interest and checking in with how things are going. It really is like a ‘baby’ to me, yet unlike a pregnant woman, the rest of the world can’t see that I’m preparing to give birth to something. So it means a LOT when I’m asked how it’s going and when it will be finished.

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