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Doubt – The Writer’s Killer

I was writing. A lot. Too much perhaps. Drowning in an endless sea of fictional stories and characters all crying to see the light of day. Sometimes I was writing for myself. Other times I wrote for my future fans (I can dream). Occasionally I wrote because that’s what I do. There were days when I wrote only a few words and days when I scribbled notes and days when it was entire sections of story. Yet in each of these instances, there was that little sense of discontent that lingered in the dark recesses of my writing. Stalking every thought process. Every idea. Every word.

It didn’t stop me from writing. No. It merely created a sense of doubt to my writing. As though something was wrong with my strong female protagonist, or not enough depth to my wandering male character. The world I built wasn’t rich enough. The plot – not enough sustenance. How my previous works were written by a distinct version of me, in a different mental and emotional state. A literary genius with a fantastic grasp on what he was creating or a bumbling fool trying to sprint through oceans in baggy clothing.

Dissatisfaction rearing its ugly head, telling me “Your writing will never be good enough.” or “Stop this madness, you’re just another sub par writer.” Quit-since-your’re-behind kind of thought process. It can really be crippling.

It would be easier to lower your standards. To pass it off as a hobby for fun and nothing too serious. To give up.

But that is a mistake.

Writing is my passion above all other things. One thing I can claim as my own. That I embrace. To not write would be to die. Not because I have spent so much time and effort and energy into writing and to give up now is foolish. Rather because if I did not write, where would all these stories in my head go. How would I be able to express the feelings that rattle through my bones? To live vicariously through created characters and have the ability to alter their destiny with a couple of letters put together to make logical sense.

Doubt, like hope, can be fickle but powerful. I once wrote this beautiful, meaningful story that resonated with me on so many levels. Doubt snuck in once and I deleted it. I regret it so much, there’s not a time that doesn’t pass when I don’t think about that story. All that potential. Gone. What a waste.

I also, currently, have a story that is brimming with life and potential. I have random bursts of inspiration that mold this story into a masterpiece. Hope spurring it forward to completion because I think it’s a great piece of writing. If only I could have the time and energy and effort to sit through the whole thing and complete it and raise it above the masses like Moses splitting the red sea. Okay maybe that’s pushing it, but that’s what hope does.

I won’t sit here and tell you it’s easy to push doubt away. Or that you can simply manufacture hope on the spur of the moment. It takes sitting down and putting in the effort. To write. To take a break. To enjoy the process and hate it. To take long walks or lie in bed soaking up music or watching your favourite series. To work through your story and write even when it feels like it’s not doing anything.

I know the doubt will pass. I know hope will not be enough. What will remain, however, is every word I have written. So I will continue to write.


How do you deal with doubt in your writing? What has been the most crippling moment in your writing? Have you ever deleted a story and do you regret it?

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Afraid

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I wrote a message today.

Didn’t press send.

Too afraid of what it would entail.

 

I thought of something to say.

Kept it to myself.

Too afraid of how it might sound.

 

I felt something in me.

Pushed it away.

Too afraid of what it would mean.

 

I keep losing every day.

But it’s fine.

I’m not afraid of the same hurts.

Spring Death Week 4 – Phobias

A guide to Pantsing_Edited

Hey all, welcome to week 4 of Spring Death month (Wait… week 4? And next week is… week 5? Of one month. Right….. Well less deadline pressure so I’ll take it!) and although I haven’t posted any short stories or excerpts, I’m still writing. There’s just a lot happening all around and I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m not complaining or giving excuses, just informing you that the writing is going despite challenges. Also, I’ve written the 5th of 10 stories so in the next 8 days I’ll have to write 5 more.

Theme

This week’s theme (I know it’s Thursday, this week is practically over haha) is Phobias. Things you’re afraid of… or rather things I’m afraid of. Not that I’m afraid of red roses but did you know that Anthophobia is the fear of flowers. Imagine with me the poem Seeping Scarlet Screams from my Tuesday Poetry thing.

You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling because you can hear the quiet shuffle of vines against your wall. You’re sure they are moving but everyone insists it’s just the wind. Just the wind. Eventually fatigue drags you into the silent depths of sleep, dreamless quiet that encompasses your entire being. It blocks out the constant scratching sounds outside your window, the rasping of wood that seems to be coming from the inside. Until you awake to the shrill sound of crockery smashing onto the floor from beyond your shut door. Staring wide eyed at the ceiling, you wonder what has happened. Your mind tries to both persuade and dissuade you from investigating the sound.

Inner You 1: “It’s nothing. Just the wind.”

Inner You 2: “The wind inside the house? And can you hear that?”

Inner You 1: “It’s outside. Against the wall. That’s it. Just. Outside. We can go check. Open the door and check.”

Inner You 2: “It sounds closer. Outside the door. We should grab the tennis racquet? Maybe a pair of scissors too.”

Inner You 1: “Rubbish. It’s. Nothing. It’s nothing okay. Let’s just sleep until…”

The scratching noise is undoubtedly outside the door, then against the door, then past the door. You can hear the slithering scraping sounds. You imagine the thorns on the twisting emerald vines weaving their way to the bed. The riiiip of cloth you imagine to be your clothes strewn over the floor. You hope they hinder whatever it is. The sheet under you begins to shift slowly. The tearing sound rises from below the bed as more of the sheet slides out from you. By now you’re aware of what is climbing the side of the bed. You’re aware of the sound of your heart beating just below the ominous grating drawing closer. And then you feel the first set of pricks wrapping around your ankle like tiny teeth.

Dun dun dun *Cue music end ending credits


What phobias do you have? Have you ever had to battle against your particular phobia? How did you do it? How did you feel? What brought you to that situation? I would love to hear it.

Trade Mistakes

5-things

 

Trade mistakes is a topic I do not feel entirely qualified to write about. Nonetheless whatever insight I have managed to procure over my years of writing may prove useful to you. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, some of which I only discovered in the last month. I’m always learning something new and I hope I will help you along too. I always think of mistakes as a personal trainer at the gym, employed to cut the bad habits and whip you up to shape with better habits. And this is what my PT told me to cut out of my diet. Bear with me… it’s quite long.

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” ~ John Irving

Bad Habit #1 – Laziness: The buttered toast that could have been a proper meal.

I’ve experienced it sometimes; I’m so hungry I could eat a horse but it’s so much easier to prepare toast than to prepare an entire horse. Not that I eat horses but… ahem. Sometimes just the idea of turning on the laptop/computer can be a drag, especially when you think of what it entails. Or you go as far as turning it on and end up browsing the internet because it is easier than opening that WIP. Writing is work. It can be fun but it’s fun work. Don’t be lazy. Just write!

Solution: Make a meal.

The hunger will not abate. Trust me I know. Similarly your writing will never happen. You will always experience the depressing, discouraging, frustrating pangs of not writing. So take the time to make a small meal first. Write a word a day. A paragraph a week. A chapter a month. Get out of the “making toast” habit and start making meals; you’ll enjoy them more and be far more satisfied.

Bad Habit #2 – Procrastination: The “one more thing…” before the exercise.

There will always be one more thing to do or see or try or or or. Those things may seem more important or more doable than writing, but they do nothing more than delay the inevitable – writing. You can’t turn around and complain about not getting any writing done if you continue to put it off for other “important” things. Writing is like exercise, the more you do it, the better you get at it. It’s still work but you’ll be better in the end for it.

Solution: Just do it

Nike has it right. Just do it. Don’t put it off. Don’t talk yourself out of doing it. If it starts slow then go slow but go. Write. Do it. That one more thing will be there when you are done. Rachel Poli had a great idea for overcoming procrastination: If there’s a movie or a game or a TV series you want to watch, reward yourself with it after doing a certain word count or reaching a specific goal. Rewards are a great motivation for anything but in the end you must just do it.

Bad Habit #3 – Self-Demotivation/Fear: The “I can’t do it coach.”

I’ve stared at my screen and uttered these words to myself plenty of times. I just can’t do it. This story is too big. This story is boring. I don’t have time. I’m not motivated. I have the writing skills of a cat. My niece who is eight wrote an expository memoir on her snail and I just can’t compete with that kind of talent. I’ll never be a published author.

Solution: Just do it.

Sometimes that’s just what you must do over and over again. Just do it. Get over yourself and whatever fears are preventing you from writing and just do it. If you continue to put yourself down you won’t ever get up. You won’t ever do anything. Do you want to be a failure without even trying because you didn’t think you could succeed? No one is waking the athlete up at 5am and singing words of praise to them as they jog through the cold morning before another day at the office. No one is going to utter words of encouragement in your ear as you sit and write. And discouraging yourself isn’t going to help either.

Ask yourself “why do you want to write”

Bad Habit #4 – Time: The “I don’t have time to do this.”

Isn’t that a fact of life. In fact, we don’t have time for half the things we do but guess what… we make the time. Sometimes we make the time because we know we won’t have a job, or clients, or money at the end of the day if we don’t. So we consciously make the time. At other times the entertainment value of what we are doing allows us to willingly make time. If you have time to watch one more episode or play one more game etc, then you have time to say no and write instead.

Solution: Time Management + Discipline = Writing

Plan your time out. What time do you get home? What are you doing between getting home and going to bed? How many of those activities are a must or necessity? How can you fit in your writing around these necessary activities. And by necessary I’m talking about cooking (or you won’t eat), a previous engagement you made which you must attend, and so on. If you have six hours of “free” time when you get home, set aside just an hour to writing and stick to it. If you only manage to write 50 words, then that’s fifty more words than you had before. If you’re cruising and have written 3000 words in that hour, stop. Jot down the ideas but stop because…

Discipline is the next step of time management. If you can’t manage your time, you will always be too far behind or too far ahead. How is being ahead bad? You’ve just used up time for something else in place of your writing, taking everything else out of schedule. Now perhaps your’re sleeping later, making you tired the next day and when you get home you don’t feel like keeping your schedule. And everything is out of wack again. Discipline goes a long way.

“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.”

Bad Habit #5 – Comparisons: “I’m not as good as (insert author here)”

It can be a writer’s default demotivating statement before, during and even after writing. You suddenly compare yourself to the greats in your particular genre or field, or even worse, a fellow writer you personally know. Suddenly your writing seems inadequate and . You feel it was a waste of time and energy and effort to ever think you could write something decent. Perhaps it is better to quit now while behind.

Solution: Perfect your craft.

“Writing is an act of ego, and you might as well admit it.” ~ William Zinsser

There it is. The truth. Writing is an act of ego and it will either be lifted or dropped; anything you do falls into this category. Also, let’s not confuse the ego with egotism. Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance while egotism is the fact of being excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself. I think William Zinsser makes this distinction as well in his “On Writing Well” book (yes, yes I know I refer to it a lot okay!).

Being an act of ego, it means you are fragile to its criticism and shortfalling, you are blaring aware of it’s inadequacy; but you are also aware of its strength, its potential and above all else, you are aware that it is your writing. You are not J.K Rowling nor have you experienced her life so why try to be her? What you should do is see what it is about her writing that you like and enjoy. And then read others and read more and just read read read.

Make a habit of reading what is being written today and what has been written before. Writing is learned by imitation.

Nobody becomes Tom Wolfe overnight, not even Tom Wolfe.

~ William Zinsser

Following that, perfect your craft by writing often. Your own writing voice will flow eventually as you write. You will grow in confidence as you write because, as Angela Meadon always tells me, your next piece of writing is always better than your last because you have learned more by writing. As you read more and write more, you improve. You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone except yourself. Don’t let other writer’s fame and fortune deter you from becoming the writer you are and have potential to be.

 “I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.”
~ Stephen King,

Life of a Writer

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I sure do want to be a writer. Just the idea of it gives me butterflies. I see myself looking out from my window at an azure ocean, listening to the lull of the waves while landscapes form before my eyes which I then paint with words onto the blank canvas in front of me. Each typed letter giving life to people and creatures both normal and fantastical; and then sharing them with the world.

However from a realistic perspective, that doesn’t seem probable. Will I really be able to provide for my (future) wife and children and live on a cottage by the sea listening to the rolling waves lulling creativity into my tranquil mind? Or will life knock me down with each rejected piece of writing, while publishers wait for me to produce something that will get my foot in the door in the writing industry. I have no idea. What I do know is that at this moment, being a prolific writer seems as plausible as deep sea diving in a public pool.

One of my biggest struggles in writing is procrastination.  Why do today what you can do tomorrow kind of mentality, which results in late nights, attempting to churn out creativity from a fatigued mind running on coffee and pressure. And the thing is- I like it.

Quite recently I applied for and was “employed” as a Game Reviewer and News Editor for My Xbox Live (http://myxboxlive.com) and even as I read the requirements for what would be expected of me, the enormity of the responsibility sunk in heavily; I felt overwhelmed. Nonetheless, I accepted the position, knowing that every kind of writing I do and exposure I can get will help me along the path towards being a better writer.

And so I write.

The Golden Thread

sunrise1

Once again the world is awakened to the rising sun, glorious in its stead; punctual. We glory in it’s warmth and beauty, gladdened by its presence as it overlays the land in gold. Its light washes over the darkness of night and sweeps our fears away with each ray of its golden light; rejoicing in its ability to give life to everything we see.

And yet

Often we are awakened to the rising sun, indifferent to its punctuality. Greet it in contempt and dissatisfaction. At times we take in it’s warmth and ignore its beauty, its presence merely a constant reminder of how fleeting time is in it’s relentlessness; the gold it overlays across the land only illuminates the repugnant inconsistencies and frailties of life. We’d rather wallow in the darkness, shrouding our objectionable desires and motives below the cover of darkness and obscurity, regardless of the fear that rattles our bones. Hiding from the light that reveals our life so no one sees everything about ourselves.

And even then

Is this not so even with God? Each morning we awaken, by His grace. Rising, we should glorify Him for his steadfastness and consistency. We ought to glory in His warmth and beauty, the God of love and creation who has continually blessed us with many things that should bring gladness to our hearts; His presence overlaying our lives in the gold of His majesty. His Light washes over the darkness of our hearts, sweeping away our fears, softening our hardened hearts and washing away our sins. We should be rejoicing in His ability to give life to all that we see but also to those who are dead in their iniquity, disobedience and sin.

Junk Yard Angel

JunkYard Angel: courtesy of Jason Chan: www.jasonchanart.com

JunkYard Angel: courtesy of Jason Chan: http://www.jasonchanart.com

The Outer Edges

A dreary, grey sky draped over the metallic hulks that lined the outer edges of Chatarra City. Dark looming shapes that etched the sky in jagged patterns; husks of old cars, machinery and all things scrap. I stood outside the junk yard,  in front of its rusted entrance gate that was now nothing more than a bent frame. I let out a puff of smoke from the cigarette between my lips, watching the tendrils of smoke dissipate into the air.

Cool. Calm. Collected.

I let the words play over in my mind as I walked into the yard, aware of the silence that emanated within the compound. No junk yard dogs. No junk yard owner yelling inquisitions at me. Just the silence of rusted metal. I walked through the alleyways of the compound, looking at the familiar junk piled together haphazardly. Apart from the nervousness caused by the eerie silence, there was a rising belligerence from irritation; this isn’t what I wanted. With one final puff of smoke I threw the stub of my smoke  down and crushed it with the heel of my shoe.

Cool. Calm. Collected.

Why I was here was simple.  I’m an inventor of sorts. I love to tinker with all kinds of machinery; building contraptions and gizmos. A rather fulfilling and exciting hobby I took up at a young age, when I realized that banking wasn’t for me like it was for my dad. No. I found my joy in dismantling toys, calculators, toasters and radios, and once, my dad’s old computer. It sure didn’t end well but it awoke in me a desire for more. Not merely dismantling…but building from scratch.

I frequented junk yards from then on. Collecting all kinds of scrap metal and mechanical components to the point where my backyard became a scrap heap in itself; but I was never satisfied. I then started to travel from city to city, junk yard to junk yard, searching and never satisfied, until finally I found myself in a dilapidated, smoke hazed bar, drowning my dissatisfaction in warm draughts of cheap beer. My companion, whose name I could not recall nor where I’d met him, endured my ceaseless babble with nods and grunts and the occasional “sure”. We sat across from one another on creaky wooden chairs, the bright yellow globes overhead illuminating my companion’s dark wiry hair and thin somber face.  I loathed the look of pity engraved on his face but I endured it as he endured me.

It was as I ordered my next round of warm ale that my companion shooed the attendant away and dragged me up to my feet, pulling me away from the smoke filled room towards the back of the bar. He dragged more than led me out the back door before shoving me out into the cool night. I landed onto the dusty ground on my back, drunkenness rendering me incapacitated.

“I know what you seek…I know where you can find it” He said to me in a thick Spanish accent. From his flannel shirt pocket he pulled out a thinly rolled cigar and from the back pocket of his faded jeans he pulled out a lighter.

“There is a place…in the Outer Edges” he began to say, as he placed his cigar in his mouth, “it is a quiet place…a secret place” He flicked the top of the lighter with his thumb, producing an orange flame that cast an unnatural glow across his face. His eyes flickered with the flame and I felt a chill crawl up my spine.

“This place is…different” he continued, taking a drag from the cigar before blowing a plume of smoke up at the purple sky “…Chatarra City…it is not like the other cities…but no city in the Outer Edges ever is huh?” He chuckled softly to himself.

“…it is there where you will find what you are looking for. It has everything that you could possibly look for. A haven for people like you.”

He looked down at me, giving me a wry smile before turning around and disappearing through the door, heading back into the bar and leaving me to sober up outside. With set mind I headed out towards Chatarra City, hoping that I would finally find what I was looking for.

Now here I was, disappointment and dull anger vying for my emotions as I perused through the familiar junk. There was nothing special about this place; it was like every other scrap heap I’d wasted my time and energy on. I grabbed a loose piece of metal, anger overpowering every other emotion and diverting all of that energy towards my arm.

Cool. Calm. Collec

With a thrust, I bashed the metal husks in front of me. Then again. And again. And again. Still in my fit of rage, I turned around and hurled the rod across the yard as hard as I could.

She caught it.

“Are you calmed down now?” She asked. Her voice drifted across towards me, sinking into my head and echoing melodiously. She nonchalantly pushed the fringing tresses of her white hair behind her ear.

“Who are you?” The words rolled off my tongue yet I was sure I hadn’t said a thing. I could still feel a dull anger radiating through my twitching arm as she walked towards me, the metal pipe in her hand swinging lazily.

“Does it matter?” She asked. I shrugged. She shrugged back, mocking me. With a light chuckle ,she flitted about around me, bouncing on her toes with nails painted black. Her white hair flowed more than bounced with each skip she took, the cuffs of her grey sweat pants dragging across the floor. She smiled a devious smile, standing on the tips of her toes, holding the metal rod out towards me.

“Grab hold” she whispered. I tentatively reached out, grabbing hold of the steel rod. It was cool to the touch, tingling on the nerves; electrifying.

“I know what you seek…I know where you can find it…” she breathed. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end under her mischievous yet ethereal gaze; her eyes were gleaming dark orbs that pulled at me.

“This is the place…here on the Outer Edges. It is here where you will find what you are looking for…” The familiarity of her words struck a cord inside my mind, yet I could not pinpoint where exactly I’d heard them.

“…everything that you could possibly look for…”

Wait!… At the bar! My mind began to piece together the pieces. I tried to say something, but my voice died in my throat, coming out as nothing more than a raspy murmur.

” A haven… for people like you.” She grinned a devilish grin, pulling the metal rod out of my hands in a deliberate fashion. I stood transfixed as I was, watching a brilliant light emanate from behind her dark eyes. A whirring sound filled my ears as the rod slid out of my paralyzed hand.

“You are not hu…”

“No” She interjected, crackling mechanically while raising the metal bar above her head.

“And neither will you be” with a deft flick, she struck me across head. The pain shot through the side of my head, lodged itself right between my eyes in a searing hot flash. The world rotated.

Darkness.

************************************************

Thus begins my journey into a new genre, something different from the normal stuff I write. Sci-fi? Steam Punk? A combination of both? I’m not sure yet but the idea looping itself inside my mind sounds fun. If you have any ideas, see any loop holes or spot something I missed please let me know, comment and stuff I would really appreciate it!

In Need of a Saviour

A single plume of steam, slowly writhed its way up from the coffee mug, on the large wooden table she sat behind. Her hands were wrapped tightly around the mug, keeping her icy fingers warm. She sat silently, her convoluted thoughts bouncing back and forth in her mind. The kitchen was cold and gloomy. The winter sun remained hidden behind dark clouds yet letting in enough light, to illuminate the barren trees in the garden… and  the freshly dug hole. She’d been outside. Four in the morning. Robe and all. She’d held the cold steel handle of the shovel. With each hard thrust into the soft ground, her hair swung forward in disarray, swinging back as she threw dirt back behind her. Her once lime green robe turned a shade of brown, the same shade as her eyes, that stared blankly at the ground. Her mouth moved but no words formed as she ceaselessly worked the shovel into the soft earth. In her mind her past played out like a movie; the characters her family, friends and acquaintances, the protagonist herself and the story…her life. An endless loop of episodes past and present, all intermingled into one, making it difficult for her to distinguish between the time frames. There she was as a little girl, twirling in her yellow sun dress lined with white frills, her bare feet sweeping across the softness of the green grass below, the lace tied around her waist spinning along  behind her. The sun shone, making everything glimmer that fine spring afternoon. A shadow fell over her, making her look up to see who it was, squinting against the glare of the sun to see a manly figure. She could not make out the face of the man above her, but she knew it was her father..however, when she could make out features of his face…she became certain, that it was her husband. He proceeded to lift her up by the waist, making her giggle in glee then laughter as he spun her around..and around…and around until her twirling younger self spun fast enough to make the face of her father…husband… blur across her vision. Her laughter turned to screaming, the soft warm gleam of sun became the cold harsh beam of headlights and the crackle of bending, twisting metal swallowed up every other sound.

She raised the cup to her lips and took a sip of the bitter coffee. That seemed to soothe her slightly. Her thoughts began to dwindle into single occurrences, events that made her heart in her chest pang with regret and anguish. Her past was like a dark cave, hiding a malicious creature that thrived off the darkness in her heart. With each hurtful memory came that deep anguish, one that struck a cord so deep her whole body shivered; and that creature wallowed in her displeasure. She knew, wholeheartedly, that there was nothing she could do about those past events, no place to hide them both within her mind or in the world.  Even with her mud caked robe and dirt streaked face, even with all her husband’s possessions scattered haphazardly within the shallow grave, she would not be able to erase her past; she felt burdened and heavy-laden. Burdened and heavy-laden. The phrase sounded familiar, somewhat nostalgic yet foreign, like a familiar yet unrecognizable face in a dream. She grasped for it, something of it, yet her mind brought up blanks each time, no closer than she was when she started. She took another sip of her coffee, allowing the thought to filter out and into the dark abyss that was her mind. She was lost, well and truly lost.

Dennis van der Berg stood outside the large wooden door, smoothing his dark grey suit down with one hand. It was a habit he’d developed in the early years of his ministry, one he was yet to break. Nervousness, as usual before these kinds of works, filled his stomach with a queasiness that both excited him and made him sick. He recited his exhortation softly to himself, silently mouthing all the main keywords that would help direct his conversation. When he was satisfied, he raised his hand towards the doorbell and pressed it. Nothing. He waited a while, listening for any sort of sound that would let him know that someone had heard him. A full minute passed before he pressed the doorbell again. When no one opened the door he lightly rapped on the hard wood, knocking louder with each passing minute. Finally he heard the shuffle of feet behind the door and with practiced ease, placed a friendly smile on his face. The rattle of keys came from behind the door, followed by a soft cry of frustration, some more rattling and then the tell-tale click of a door unlocking. Dennis opened his mouth to greet, a smile still across his face, but instead of a greeting his mouth remained agape, his smile faltering then drooping into an “O” of shock at the figured that appeared before him. He quickly tried to cover the shock with a smile but he found it hard to smile at the ghastly, face that peered at him from behind the slightly ajar door. She was half hidden within the darkness of the house, yet he could make out the bedraggled locks of hair that draped wildly over her face, the streaks of dirt that lined her cheeks, broken by a clear trail leading down from what was most assuredly tears. The bags under her brown eyes added ages to what should have been a young face. Dennis’ face softened, the shock wearing off as quickly as it had appeared and in its place, sorrow took hold. He felt his heart drop in his chest, weighed heavily by emotion and without thinking reached towards the door and softly whispered within her hearing,

“You look burdened and heavy laden…come to the Lord for He will give you rest.”

Walking By Faith

Where do we go, nobody knows. We go wherever the wind blows.
~Faith – the spirited Adventurer ~

Faith hoisted the large, heavy backpack higher up on her shoulders, placing it in a more comfortable position on her back. She gripped the backpack’s dark straps firmly; they came across the front of her mud stained blouse, the blouse no longer a sunny yellow in colour but fading into a shade of yellow and brown. Her large straw hat hid her from the scorching heat, and the flow of long, light brown hair coming from it covered her ears, framing her demure face and reaching her shoulders. She looked ahead, her clear hazel eyes sparkling with excitement as she gazed across the empty, ridged landscape of the desert; there was a large tower ahead. It stood erect, rising from a sand dune that covered the bottom quarter of the immense structure. There was an eagerness within her. It seemed to bubble right through her as a large grin spread across her face and she began to rise up to her toes and drop back down to her heels in an energetic rhythm. She glanced down at her partner and snorted softly.Unlike her, young Aaron sat crossed legged on the coarse ground; despondent. His short golden brown hair lay matted to his head from sweat. The heat had taken every ounce of his energy, regardless of the short swim he had taken, at the oasis Faith had managed to direct them to. The mud had helped cool them off too but the prospect of traversing the sandy terrain with mud baking on their skin did not appeal to him at all, even if that would have cooled him down. He gazed up at the tower in the distance, shielding his light brown eyes from the sun so he could look at it without going blind. He sighed dejectedly; that was the last thing he wanted to do.

The travelers, completely unrelated, had been making their way across the desert for a week and a half now, each with their own personal goal. Faith sought adventure, yes, she lived with almost eccentric motivation that had led her to many different parts of the world. Yet this journey had become spiritual more than adventurous as she trekked through aesthetic landscapes varying from mountains and valleys to forests and jungles. Each region she traversed filled her with awe and wonder, a deep longing as well as a desire to know not only about its creation but also about its creator. Aaron on the other hand was an orphan, abandoned as a young boy by his parents claiming they were not ready for a child; he was pulling them down. He’d met his parents again later on and they had rejected him again. In his sadness and anger at his parents and a deeper bitterness for his unfair life, he lost all will and purpose to live. At the apex of the apartment building where his orphanage was located, he’d found himself on the edge of the building and gazing glazed eyed at the inevitable below him. Had Faith not appeared at that moment, Aaron would not have been alive this day. He found a new desire at that moment, a desire to figure out his purpose and know more about this ultimate Being that Faith spoke of so reverently yet so mysteriously about. Who indeed was the creator of those marvelous places Faith had traveled to? Where was He now? What purpose did He have for him? This journey had to have answers, just had to.

“Come now, enough rest let’s go!” Faith exclaimed as she grabbed the younger boy’s arms and pulled him up to his feet. Aaron grunted his disapproval but let himself be pulled up to his feet.
“Are we seriously going to climb that?” Aaron asked, unable and unwilling to alter his despondent tone of voice.

“Of course! This tower will challenge you beyond anything you have ever faced!” Faith exclaimed, falling back into her excited rocking, “In fact, there is a historical record of a young man, a little older than me, who not only climbed the tower but leapt from its top!” Aaron had a moment to remember his once strong desire to jump from his own high tower; so much had changed since then that the idea disturbed him.

“Not only did he jump, but he landed safely on a bale of hay at the bottom…he called it…the Leap of Faith. Exhilarating!” Faith’s face seemed to glow under her straw hat, her lips unable to contain the large grin that filled her face. Aaron, however, was skeptical…and fearful. It was as though Faith had saved him from one jump only to propel him towards another only this time…he was not looking forward to it. Not at all.


I hope you enjoyed the little excerpt from one of my short stories called Walking by Faith, playing around with that theme of walking by faith by having a character named Faith. The basis of this story is the idea of self discovery and also how God reveals himself in nature. Within the course of the story itself you will see that outworking of revelation through the eyes of energetic, optimistic Faith and the skeptical, despairing Aaron.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, message etc. Thank you for taking the time to read and visit my blog. May you have a blessed week!

Leap of Faith

I find myself on the edge, falling forward in what those who know of Assassins Creed would call, a Leap of Faith. It is while the balls of my feet still feel the solidity of the ledge and my toes dangle helplessly over the nothingness, do I understand the implications of such a leap. I flail my arms around trying to somehow push myself back, my toes push down on nothing but air and my heart catches in my throat as fear shoots through my whole body, paralysing me. I look down at the ineviatble and begin to wonder where the faith that had led me this far had disappeared to. Had it seeped out my pores in an increased adrenal rush? Had it escaped through my sudden gasp for air as I realized I would be falling head long into the unknown.

“Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”

Little faith is what I indeed had in that moment of fear and trepidation. It was not uncommon to have scripture suddenly overwhelm me in moments such as these and Matthew 8:26 went straight to the heart. I of little  faith…who lacked trust in the Almighty, Sovereign Provider. Was it not my faith in Him that led me all the way up this tower, trusting in His unfailing love, in His faithfulness, in His guidance! Indeed it was! So why then does my faith fail me now, in these last seconds when I need Him most. Why does my fear make weak my faith.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance”

Endrunce. It was with endurance that I had begun to run…feeling weightless and free, that is, until I arrived at this tower.  A dark presence, stretching  to the sky, looming over me with a menacing overbearance that immediately put my trust and faith in turmoil; and yet I stepped forward towards it. With great perseverance and a strength that came not from myself, I found myself climbing upwards over perilous broken beams, edging across millimeter thick ledges and reaching only half way, my faith began to waver. However, even during those trying moments I trudged on, climbing ever higher to reach the apex of this perilous dark tower. With a motivation that surpassed all earthly incentives, I arrived at the pinnacle of the tower, exhausted yet fueled with a deep desire to…to…to live by faith. I realize that my eyes have been closed; I see light penetrating through my eyelids to illuminate the darkness and I feel the rush of wind pushing up against me.

I open my eyes to see the ground rushing up at me. For a second I panic again, but a certain calm also rises in a deep warmth. It begins on the left hand side of my chest, seeping down into my abdomen and up into my lungs; spreading. Radiating. I spread my arms out like an eagle spreading its wings, feeling a grin stretch across my face and the refreshing gust of upward wind as gravity pulls me towards the ground. I exclaim a shout of ecstasy as I tumble my body forward, watching the ground below transition from the mud-caked earth to the dark stone of the tower and finally to the blue of the sky. There is but a second to grasp the true height of the tower before I land into the softness of hay. Safety.

I lay within the warm confines of my hay sanctuary, wondering why I had lost faith right at the end of my perilous climb when all I had to do was trust. Indeed it was by faith that I had climbed the tower, reached its apex, stood at its ledge and fearlessly began to lean forward. It was by faith that I knew I would be safe even when I knew I would be falling headlong into the unknown. Indeed my faith was in Him who provides, who watches over His own, who is Sovereign over all. Indeed it was in Him that I walked by faith.

***********************************************************************************************

This tower represents challenges, obstacles and sin that overwhelm the body and mind, causing a weakness and wavering of faith and trust in God. I found myself climbing up this tower, reaching the top and thinking that I had made it. Then I was told I need to jump and that if I trust, I’d find safety at the bottom. Guaranteed.I  am currently free-falling down my tower and awaiting to land in the safety of whatever lies at the bottom. I’ve had moments of pure fear and moments of pure faith. Indeed my mind and heart has been in turmoil however the Word of God has been pulling me back up to my feet and pushing me along to run with endurance. I will end this post with this:

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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