I wish all of you a very happy day today, be it Valentines Day, Love Day or Tuesday. I don’t for one moment profess to be an expert at any of the above (well, Tuesday I could handle, I guess), so I’m going to hand you over to the experts:
What Is Love?
For the Christ followers out there, here’re a few scripture verses from 1 Corinthians: (not only for weddings!)
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
Just a recap; this was written by Paul to the church at Corinth and is for all believers to remind them that Christ taught us to love one another. It’s a beautiful passage but it refers to the love of all people, not just romantic love. However, I still think it goes well with a couple starting a life together, don’t you?
For The Lovers
I’ve met this amazing speaker in person and had the privilege of taking a few of her classes at a writer’s conference. She’s a straight-talking Christian woman who doesn’t mince words. So if you’re looking for that little something extra today, well here’s Sheila’s award-winning book.
I was sick and you looked after me… – Matthew 25:36
February 11th is World Day of the Sick
This special day was introduced by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses.
Free Giving Ideas:
Collect empty milk bags and donate to a group who makes Milk Bag Mats, make the mats yourself, or start a group to make mats! *I will share about this idea in more depth in a soon-to-come blog post! I have enjoyed making mats myself and also with children at summer camp and church.*
Click on tabs dedicated to the sick at Greater Good.com. Every click makes a difference 🙂
$10 Giving Idea:
There are many items for sale under $10 at the Greater Good Shop. “At the GreaterGood Shop, every purchase gives back to a worthy cause, at no extra cost…
In my first blog about my transition from blogging about writing, I wrote about Discovering My Kingdom Purpose and how I discovered my Kingdom Purpose. In my second blog I wrote about how God created all of us with a Unique Design. So in this third and final blog in this series of my transition, I’d like to show you how God put both of those together to shape a wonderful future for me.
My Ministry at Church and in the Community
I no longer try to serve at church or in the community in a position I’m not gifted for nor have the natural talents to carry out. Having said that, if there is ever a time when no one else with the gifting or ability to do a certain task is available, I will do my best to muddle through because ‘Helps’ is one of my stronger gifts. But it will, most likely, be a muddle. I volunteered to serve in the kitchen once – and only once!
Coaching and hosting workshops is my ministry in the church as a life coach (my gift of encouragement) and workshop host on various subjects I’ve learned through the years. This utilizes my personal experiences to help others go through similar times in their own lives.
At my church, I started the SHAPE ministry using Erik Rees’ videos and study guide. I enjoyed this immensely, though I was not expecting to be the team lead and I don’t have the gift of leadership. But other leaders and helpers I worked alongside were wonderful and because of their patience with me we managed to work well as a team. I was overjoyed to see many participants realize God’s purpose for their lives too. The coach in me was thrilled to hear someone say she realized God had been calling her to the worship team.
I don’t like being a leader, (did you get that impression?) and I don’t like public speaking, but I know God wants me to share what I experienced with others so they may experience the same joy I have been blessed to experience. So I’ve led workshops at women’s retreats and women’s groups such as MOPS where I can sit on a stool, and it’s ok to speak from notes. I like to have the participants interact and have fun, and it saves them from listening to me ramble for an hour. God opened these doors for me to share and I’m happy to do that rather than be the keynote speaker.
My Service Through Business
White Rose Writers is a website for Christian writers and writing service providers to connect with others in the field. I started the business to help authors promote their work, and we now have talented artists, editors, social media experts and more, who use their natural talents to help authors publish their work. Starting this business was my service to God’s Kingdom here on Earth through helping writers. Our tagline is –
‘Spread God’s Word through your writing’.
I branded the business as Christian to reach authors and other writers who are Christian to help them write for God. A lot of their work is not about religion but all of their work comes from the heart of someone who seeks to bring God glory, and bring their readers joy.
My Long Term Assignments:
– Christian LifeCoaching
Coaching in an office was good training but turned out to be only a temporary assignment for me. I had offices in two locations, but God closed those doors after only 10 months. He had a broader clientele for me.
Now I coach here on my LynneCollier.com and through White Rose Writers, and occasionally host workshops through business and church venues.
I write about what I have a passion for; my Lord, my simple life in the country, my coaching. This is my second (actually more like fourth or fifth) career later in life, and it was a bit of a struggle at first to accept that this is what God is asking me to do now. I never saw myself as an author. But now I write novels of fantasy and fiction, and online courses to help authors tell their stories well. I can’t imagine not writing now. I get very cranky if I have to go a day without writing something. I would never have guessed.
I wonder what God has in store for me next. Do you know how God has designed you?
When I forget: 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” – NIV
Till next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
In the books I read and the classes I took at church, I came to realize I’m God’s unique design; a one-of-a-kind human being created in His image for a specific purpose at this moment in time. It’s no accident I’m here right now, writing these words, and knowing that makes a world of difference to how I live my life. God made me with specific intent – and you too! If you’ll bear with me for a while I’ll bring it full-circle.
So here’s who Lynne is in a nutshell, from my studies:
My Top 3 Spiritual Gifts
I have 4 supportive Gifts which aid me in using my top 3, according to most on-line tests which are an indication and not an absolute, and which we all need to try out to see if we agree and if others see these Gifts in our lives too.
To help people who are searching for identity and purpose, who may have lost direction or feel disheartened and hopeless.
My Natural Abilities
Here are my 5 strongest abilities:
I’d like to list them all but I don’t want to brag 😉
INFP – with a quirky twist, I’ve been told
My Personal Experience
Lay Pastoral Counsellor
Kingdom Purpose Coach
Helper in church ministries, community events and in public schools
I’ve listed only a few things here, but there’s a reason for that …
How I Discovered God Had Been With Me All Along
As part of my Kingdom Purpose Coaching, I help my clients bring all their attributes together to discover how individual they are and what they can do for God’s Kingdom by His unique design for them. I do this by asking them to take note of the repetitions in each category. Here’s what I learned about my own Kingdom Purpose:
‘To help others see the hope in Christ; encourage them to discover their purpose for God’s Kingdom on Earth, and equip them for their assignment’.
Do you see the repetitions?
So with that in mind, how did I apply it to my life moving forward? I’ll blog about that in Part 3.
Coaching Sessions on Kingdom Purpose
If you would like help discovering your own Kingdom Purpose, I’ll be offering my coaching sessions as an online course shortly, but right now I want to offer my blog followers a special one-on-one coaching session by email. The cost is $30 CDN – half my usual fee. I can only accept email bank transfer for this offer and I’ll need to close it by Oct 31, 2016. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
I now know about God’s purpose for my life, but in early adulthood, I attended a church which didn’t speak much about the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. The congregation was taught the laws and rules of ‘being a good Christian’ and entrance into heaven, it seemed, was by doing more good deeds than bad ones so the scales ‘tipped in our favour’. The atmosphere was one of perfection and judgement. I often thought God must be very disappointed with me and I felt that I let Him down constantly. The overwhelming feeling of falling short of God’s grace led me to fall away from the church and it was several years before I felt strong enough to try another church. Maybe you’ve experienced this too.
So I sought the Lord and He heard me. I was invited to a church for a dedication of a newborn, a baby born to friends of the family, so I happily attended. The difference between my previous church and this one was like night and day and I was drawn to follow Christ again. This new church spoke about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Trinity works together. They also had classes I could take during the week to study my faith more and find a deeper relationship with my Lord.
It was at one of these classes I learned about Spiritual Gifts and I was astonished to hear I had been given special Gifts by God and didn’t know it! I took every class I could to learn about God and spoke often with believers who had been involved with the church for many years. Through their guidance and mentorship, I gradually realized the unique way God has designed me for a specific purpose. I’m not just here to live then die and hope the in-between is good enough to get me into Heaven. I’m here for a reason! We all are. God has a royal assignment for me and every believer. Yes, royal; He is the King of Kings and we are His children, princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God on Earth. How cool!
I learned to realize my Kingdom Purpose by studying about my Spiritual Gifts and how God, my Heavenly Father, has also given me a heart passion for his work for me, a personality that works well with what I need to do, natural abilities which help me to carry out specific tasks, and life experiences to help me grow in my faith and calling. These are all in a book I studied at church, called S.H.A.P.E by Erik Rees. This book has played a major role in every aspect of my life, as you’ll come to know if you follow my blog. Another great book to study is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
I tried to fit everything I could into one blog, but there are so many areas of my life I had to work on to find my Kingdom Purpose I’ve decided to blog about each aspect separately, so you don’t need to read a ten-page blog. I hope you’ll join me as I share with you how God brought clarity and purpose to my life.
My next blog was going to be about compiling a playlist to inspire you as you write your fantasy novel. Instead, I’m letting you, my fellow bloggers, know I’m switching my focus on this site. I’ll let you know how you can still read the playlist post later.
I’ve completed the series of posts I wanted to share with you about Writing Fantasy and the steps I’ve taken on my own journey writing my first fantasy novel. I’m very excited to start the actual writing process this November for my second NaNoWriMo! If you’ve followed my posts over the past few months I hope you’ll join me in November as we fire out 50,000 words together.
As most of you know from reading my profile, as well as being a writing coach I’m also a Christian Life Coach and Certified Lay Pastoral Counselor with many years experience coaching and encouraging believers in their walk with God. This will be my main focus on this blog going forward.
I’ll be blogging about Your Sacred Path, Finding Your Life Purpose, Hearing God’s Voice, Choosing Careers and possibly sharing a few gardening tips along the way. I love to network so I’ll be giving you links whenever I can for you to explore further.
My newsletter will be about the books and courses I’ll be writing, plus I’ll let you know when I’m launching something new, and I’ll have giveaways and social media events exclusively for my blog readers. If you choose to continue following me here that would be lovely, if however, you’re interested in continuing to follow my posts on writing, head over to White Rose Writers and follow my posts there, along with branding and marketing tips from my social media partner, Kirstie Shanks.
Thank you for taking time out from your busy life to read and comment.
So you’re ready to start the first draft of your novel – great! What if it’s so epic that a huge producer (as in hugely famous) wants to make it into a movie? That’s even more fantastic! Some of you reading this may have to do that one day. How awesome would that be? Have you already been daydreaming of who you’d cast in your movie? Let’s face it; most of us envision our stories on the screen even before we put fingers to keyboard. This is actually very helpful when considering how your characters will respond to events in your story with their mannerisms, quirks and personalities. Here’s an exercise to get your producer juices flowing.
If Steven Spielberg called for advice on casting for your movie, who would be your first choice? #CastingCharacters
Is your story a swashbuckling adventure with a shot of rum humour? Maybe Jonny Depp is who you have in mind for your hero. Or do you see the dashingly romantic Orlando Bloom as your protagonist?
Are you writing a sci-fi novel? Do you see Leonard Nimoy as your strange wise man, or perhaps he fits the role of a High-Elf wizard in your fantasy novel?
Who would you just love to cast as your main Protagonist?
Who would be perfect in the role of your main Antagonist?
By now most of you know how much I love to play around on Pinterestand create secret boards for what I’m working on. I create boards for my character roles, costume ideas, writing tips for the genre I’m currently writing in and so on. After my book is published, I make all the secret boards public to, hopefully, gain readers from my boards. (This a little sneaky tip I learned about social media marketing from a lecturer at WriteCanada, the annual writer’s conference I attend in Toronto).
Do You Need To Fire A Famous Actor?
As you write each scene, ask yourself if the actor you’ve chosen fits the role you’ve cast them in. If the actor isn’t working for your character – cut them loose! Don’t feel too bad. I’m sure Brad Pitt can find employment elsewhere. I find this casting exercise very helpful and inspiring. There’s freedom in ‘hiring’ professionals to play around in your imagination. And it’s so much fun!
If you missed my other blogs on writing characters, you can catch up here:
Apart from the actual storyline, our stories need to include other elements for them to hold our reader’s attention. Look for ways to incorporate some of the things you find interesting and entertaining when you read a novel or watch a movie. Your voice will come through in your own writing.
Creative Elements #WritingTips
What Are 4 Of Your Favourite Books? Why? #AmReading
This is an exercise in finding Creative Elements for your novels. You’ll write best what you enjoy most because it will come easier. Your story will take on a life of its own as you write so let it flow naturally and don’t think about getting it perfect the first time. You’ll probably find that you automatically write the elements you’re attracted to and, if humour is one of your favourite elements, go ahead and laugh out loud. If anyone’s listening and asks you what you’re laughing about, tell them they’ll just have to wait for the launch date.
As you read through your first draft later, look for lapses in your storyline and see if you can add more of your favourite elements. Creative elements also serve to bridge the gaps between scenes and break up long dialogue. Have you ever noticed how some movies are good at throwing in humour right in the middle of a battle scene? One of my favourite franchises for this is the Avengers. Iron Man is always cracking me up right before he clobbers someone!
#WritingFantasy #CreativeElements #ShowDontTell
How do you write humour, for example, into fantasy? A favourite of mine is the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, where misunderstandings of the English Earth language stumps the character Drax through the entire movie, but the movie is packed with other elements such as adventure, romance, battle scenes and chases. And let’s not forget Groot! He doesn’t say much, but that’s half the humour. And we all loved the baby Groot dancing. Remember to show, don’t tell. The key to making your story memorable is to engage your audience. Be yourself and you’ll write with your own voice and use your own creative elements.
Who is going to tell your story? The answer to this question will play an important role in the tone of your entire novel. We listen to other people probably every day in one form or another; in personal conversations, a lecture at school, a boss, or characters on a TV show. Notice how the tone of their voice influences you. Are they interesting, funny, lively, friendly or quarrelsome? The characters telling the story have their own unique voice and, depending on that voice, will tell a scene in a specific way. Have you listened to your characters?
8 Points To Ponder For Point Of View #WritingPov
Have you thought about what tense you’ll write in? Will your story read better in past tense or present tense?
Past Tense – “Suzie shopped at the mall”.
Present Tense – “Suzie is shopping at the mall”.
When you sit to write each scene, who do you hear talking in your mind?
First Person – “I love donuts”.
Second Person – “You love donuts”.
Third Person – “Suzie loves donuts”.
Omniscient (aka all-knowing) – “Suzie loves donuts but she doesn’t realize they’re laced with a powerful hallucinogenic”. Use this voice sparingly, as when none of the characters know something but your reader needs to know.
Choose Your Narrators #AmWriting
Just like in a movie audition, test your characters’ voices to see which point of view sounds best for each scene. You may want to do several viewpoints throughout your story, but remember to not switch viewpoints in the middle of a scene or chapter unless you make a specific break in the narrative. It confuses the heck out of the reader. If you’re new to writing fantasy/fiction keep it simple and write one POV for each scene. You may feel like you want to write the entire story from one POV, but test other voices to see if you can spice things up, add some humour or simply add a different perspective to delight the reader.
Voice Test #WritingPOV
Write a paragraph from the author’s POV. This means you just write out the paragraph as it happens, without emotion or opinion. Then write it out in all the voices of your chosen characters. Let them say what they feel and what they’re thinking.
Who sounds good for this particular scene?
Who has an emotional investment in what’s happening?
Who will it influence later in the story as your plot unfolds?
Who sees something no one else does?
“Suzie went to the mall again. I hope she’s not spending all her money. She still has two weeks before her next paycheck”.
“She went to the mall again. Who does she think she is, buying all those fancy expensive clothes? They look ridiculous on her anyway.”
“Suzie went to the mall this morning. She needed to choose a dress for her grandmother’s funeral”.
Do you see how each character changes the tone of the scene? What were they thinking and feeling? Ask them why. Draw the scene out from your chosen character’s point of view.
Your characters have a backstory, a personal history that will shape their life in your novel. They have childhoods, education, loves, conflicts, careers. All of these must be present in your character building for you to see where you need to foreshadow an event. When the event happens, your reader should be able to look back and think, “Oh ya, I kinda saw that coming”, but still be blown away when it happens.
Keeping Track of WhereYour Characters Have Been
One way to keep track of timeline in your novel is to use a paper calendar with large squares, create one online, or use sticky notes. If you have room, put these on your office wall. If something epic happens to Lucy on Friday, you need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs (metaphorically) or have Lucy experience something similar before the epic event. Put a few breadcrumbs in the days, months or years leading up to the event. This gets the reader anticipating something and committed to turning the page.
In the story of The Two Towers, Frodo says he needs to know that Gollum will come back from the pitifully evil person he saw him becoming. This foreshadows Frodo later succumbing to the evil power of the ring.
So, it doesn’t matter that your protagonist was a ballerina as a child unless she’s a ballerina when we meet her in the story as an adult, or there was a traumatic dancing accident which will haunt her throughout her life and shape her future. The foreshadow leads to an event or a realization in her life later.
One of my favourite old movies is Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? A nasty crotchety old woman is just plain mean to everyone. You have to know there’s something in her past that made her change from the beautiful little girl she used to be. As the story progresses, we see her relationship with her sister whom she lives with and cares for. It’s in the dialogue and flashbacks that we learn what happened to Baby Jane.
By far one of the best movies of foreshadowing is Sixth Sense written by M. Night Shyamalan. The entire movie is leading the viewer creepily towards a shocking truth. I didn’t see it coming until near the end. I believed everything until then and was blown away by the ending. I had to go back and watch it again to get all the clues that were left like tiny breadcrumbs. Now THAT’s foreshadowing at its best!
Where do you need to add a breadcrumb of information that will have your reader saying, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming! Wait – yes I did!”