Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

Works of Fiction: Chapter One

Okay, so I will probably stop prefacing my fiction posts, but I thought that I should do so with this one to let you all know how much I love you to be posting this right now. And also to apologize for how short this chapter is. Hopefully the ones in the future will be longer. Many of you are unaware of this fact, but I am actually writing this story as I go. It is all plotted out and everything, but as any fellow writers know, the story usually takes us in completely new directions as we write it. Anyway, as a friend pointed out, I should have probably gotten a few chapters down before I started posting, but I didn’t, and now I shall pay the price! I’m determined to have a new chapter posted each Thursday, so that you get something every seven days, because if I don’t I know that someone (*ahem*youknowwhoyouare*ahem*) will not be very happy with me. So, without further ado….

Chapter One

Jade sat by the window, sunlight pouring in as she sipped her latte in the corner of the small coffee shop. Her hand instinctively shielded her eyes from the foreign, natural light that they weren’t used to. The sun hadn’t been out, not really, for as long as Jade could remember. It would attempt to peak through every now and then, but clouds would always appear out of nowhere and provide a covering. Today, however, the sun had been out for nearly an hour, and people weren’t sure how to react.

It was weird to see her golden red hair shine in the light, or the faint sparkle that played at the corner of her green eyes. The all black outfit that she wore daily appeared so odd in such weather, attracting the warmth to her. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore, and she got up to move to a table in the back corner of the shop. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a man and noticed that he, unlike everyone else around her, was not wearing black. His pants were a sort of off white and his shirt was an odd shade of red. She could see that he had a large smile on his face, though why she couldn’t say. Didn’t this man know the law? If he did, he was surely stupid. He could be put in jail indefinitely for wearing such colors. Creperum held extremely strict rulings, and Jade could only hope that this man wouldn’t get caught.

She found a table in the back, untouched by the light, and sat down. When she looked back up again, no more than a minute later, the man had vanished. The bell on the door had never sounded, and she could see no indication of him anywhere. She began to ponder how strange this was when she realized that the sun had once again vanished. With relief, she sighed, leaning back in her chair and once again began sipping on her drink, all curiosity forgotten.

She was unsure of how long she had spent in the cafe before heading home, as time didn’t really exist in Creperum. There were clocks if you really felt the need to see the hour, but as the darkness never really left, one could sleep whenever they chose to. Time never passed at the same rate, anyhow, so clocks were rarely of any help.

Jade walked slowly, wanting to take as much time as she could to get to her house. Most would find her insisted use of the word “house” as opposed to “home” strange, but she would simply tell them that a home meant having a whole family, not just a fraction of one. Some would look at her funny, but others would give her a knowing look, all too aware of what she meant.

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Write Your World: Letting Go, Moving On

Alrighty, so at this point I am coming to realize that you guys are truly on a life journey with me. There has never been a year where more has happened to me or changed in my life. While these things set in motion at the end of last year, it has all pretty much happened in 2012. As of the moment I started this post I realized just how much I’ve been baring my soul to you all, even if it doesn’t seem like it to those on the outside. Pretty much everything big that has happened in my life has been shared right here, even if I didn’t describe it in great detail. The inner changing of my soul has all been revealed to you, and I will probably continue doing so, as I hope that others will learn from my life. And I’m a writer, so I like to write stuff.

Last night, while watching Father of Lights with a few friends, I realized something. Well, actually a lot of somethings, as that is the way of my mind. It would never dare let me just realize ONE huge thing at once, because that would just be too easy. One thing I realized, and at first dismissed, was that I had never (since choosing a relationship, not just a salvation) said the “Salvation” or “Sinner’s” Prayer (I know people call it different things). I’m sure I said something along the lines of it when I was younger, but at that time in my life I wasn’t pursuing a relationship, just salvation. At the time it seemed normal, because God seemed so impersonal, but now, as I type that, I realize how ridiculous it is to merely seek salvation and nothing beyond. How selfish is it of me to accept the gift that God so freely gave, but not even love Him in return? I thought I loved Him, but I didn’t even know what that meant. In all honesty, I continue to learn every single day what that means, but now I’ve gone off on a tangent (per usual).

So, point is, I wanted to be saved a place in Heaven, but I didn’t want to have to bother with getting personal. I even tried to read my Bible and all the stuff a “good” Christian should do, but it never made sense, so I gave up. I believed, so what else was there?

Over the past seven and a half months my relationship with Jesus has grown and I’ve learned so many new things, but something has just been not right this whole time. I know that I love Him now, and that I want to know Him, desperately. I want to know who I am to Him and what He wants me to do with my life to honor Him. Over the past couple weeks I have desired to grow closer to Him in such a way that it has even caused a physical pressure in my chest whenever I think about it, a sort of panic that I will never know all there is to know until I get to Heaven. That was when I knew I was going in the right direction. Problem was, I was continuing in my old routine. To be honest, I was being lazy and, even worse, my faith had plateaued.

So, last night as we watched this movie, so many things went through my head. I thought of the trip to the UK that I have been considering taking. I thought of school. I thought of all of the church activities I’m involved in. I thought of the hobbies that take up my time at home. I thought of the person I am, and how that person differs depending on the person I am with. I thought about whether or not I’m doing what God wants. That’s just a short list of it all.

The first thing that stuck out to me, as I said, was the prayer. I’d asked God into my life a long time ago, but had I ever truly given over the steering wheel to Him? Had I ever asked Him to COMPLETELY take over my soul and wash out all of the filth that is my sin? Had I ever gotten past my fears and unforgiveness toward myself enough to give everything to Him? No, not really. And this is when everything fell into place. When I’ve been prayed for by some people, I have felt a wall that has kept me from having an encounter with Jesus to the level that I should have had. I have known that wall was there for a little while now, but I had no idea how to tear it down. In all honesty, I don’t entirely know if it’s completely gone now. But as I prayed, I knew that I meant the words for the first time. I knew that I REALLY wanted all of that baggage gone and that I really only wanted Jesus. This fell into place alongside the couple in the movie that sold and gave away everything to go to China because God told them to. I was jealous of them! I wanted to do that. It got me thinking about how much I would be willing to give up if God asked me to. Yet again, another area I’m working on, but as I prayed it was on my mind, and something that I put before the feet of Jesus.

In “The Art of Hearing God” John Paul Jackson talks about how God gave us power as a gift, but authority is only gained through seeking and growing a relationship. He talks about how even satan has power, but our authority beats out his power. Having power was no longer enough for me. I wanted authority! Satan has been attacking me all of my life (a sign to anyone else experiencing this that God has something big for you!), and I’ve tried to get by with power, but never authority. I knew that my mom had something that I didn’t. I knew that when she prayed over me for the enemy and his demons to leave that they trembled. Why didn’t I have that? Now I think I’m understanding. I feel a renewed sense of strength in God. I feel a renewed faith.

Oh, and to add a little icing to the cake (because, uh, icing! duh!), I cried. I sat and sang along to Jesus Culture, prayed, and CRIED. It’s a pretty big deal if you realize that my ability to cry has been very limited due to anti-depressants. It’s a pretty big deal because I know why I cried: giving God your burdens is hard. It sounds easy, but it is one of the hardest things to do. Another really hard thing to do? Forgiving yourself. And, last but certainly not least, telling Someone that they have complete control over your life to do their Will..well, it’s tough stuff.

Anyway, it’s a good day, and I’m excited for this new chapter that God has started in me!

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Write Your World: Boiling Point

Okay, so I know that I have, yet again, posted a title that doesn’t exactly sound inviting. While I am struggling, it is in fact a positive thing. Yes, a struggle can be a good thing on occasion. Basically, it is literally boiling inside of me, and will until I get up the nerve to turn the stove off, or more accurately to simply embrace it and jump in.

So, what exactly is bubbling, you ask? Well, this will sound strange to anyone that wasn’t at College Group last night, but…the Holy Spirit. Yep, He’s alive and well and quite possibly trying to drive me insane. It’s out of love though, so it’s all good.

So here’s what happened. Last night there were five of us that felt like we hadn’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit yet. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am a Christian, and have been for a very long time. I have believed in God my entire life and have had a personal relationship with Him for a while now. I kind of see it like this: Before He would stand right by me, holding my hand, walking with me, etc. Now He lives INSIDE of me. That’s probably not really how it should be explained, and I have no pastoral skills to teach it correctly, but fact of the matter is, it hadn’t happened yet. So, I stood up there with four friends and we were prayed over hard core. While speaking in tongues was not the ultimate goal, it is a sign of what is happening. It had never happened to me before, and for the longest time I didn’t really care. I knew I had gifts and God and that was enough. I wanted it last night, though, REALLY wanted it. And, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to speak in tongues for the sake of speaking in tongues, I wanted to truly be filled. Speaking in tongues was simply confirmation and a way to out pour my joy and love for Him.

I’m really explaining this all wrong, but basically, I was still standing there and nothing was happening. Well, not nothing, God was moving in me for sure, but  not the way I expected. You should know this about me  – I don’t really ever cry. I used to cry all of the time, and I’m a highly emotional person, but anti-depressants tend to suppress the ability to let such emotions out in the form of crying. It happens on occasion, when I’m alone in my car, but very rarely. Last night I cried, or rather sobbed, right there in my friend’s living room surrounded by people. God was breaking through and speaking to me. It was pretty amazing, but I still wasn’t speaking in tongues! “What is wrong with me?” I thought, “Why don’t I let God in completely?” Well, my friend’s spiritual mother had a pretty good answer for me, and she had never even met me before. Because I’ve been hurt by so many people, including my earthly father, I am terrified to trust God fully. I’m afraid that He will let me down or hurt me. I would have denied that until I was blue in the face before last night, and I wouldn’t have been lying, because I had no idea that I had this fear inside of me. Fact of the matter is, I still do. It’s on a back burner, but it’s still there.

So, continuing on. After prayer I sat in a circle on the floor with some close girlfriends and, well, we got wrecked in the Spirit. I imagine most of my fellow Christians know what that means, but in case anyone is reading that doesn’t know, imagine being drunk and you’ve got it. This went on for one or two hours. It was epic. Well, there was a moment when we were praying for one friend and, under my breath, I spoke the words in my head that were not words I had ever heard nor understood. While praying for another friend a little while later, I did it again. Both times it was very much under my breath, unlike those around me, and in fact this is probably the first any of you that were there last night know of it.

On my way home last night I just had a solid flow of words that were not of this world flowing through my head. I was in my car. Alone. Just me and God. And you know what I did? I refused to let them out. I prayed the entire way home, and a couple of times had to stop talking (I was praying out loud) because I almost let these strange words out. NO ONE was around. It was after midnight. In my car. Alone. Just re-iterating. If it hadn’t hit me before that I have a fear of what God thinks of me and a fear that He’ll let me down, it hit me in that moment. Who was I going to look like a fool in front of? God was the only one there. I couldn’t even speak this language that HE had gifted me with in front of HIM.

I got home and spent the next two hours confused. I tried to talk it out with my mom, but it didn’t help. I finally fell asleep and when I woke up the words had stopped, or at least I had stopped hearing them. Then I head over to prophetic art class, and the moment we walked into the sanctuary to soak before painting, it started again and has been going nonstop! I’d love to tell you that I have finally given in and let these prayers out, but I haven’t. I know that this means a part of me is believing the lies of the enemy, and I hate that. It’s horrible to KNOW you are believing a lie, and yet still believe it. It’s pretty much unfathomable.

I know that this is going to continue on until I put my faith in God and just let it out. I don’t know if speaking in tongues will be a regular deal for me or not, but *deep breath* I doknowIhaveit. I have to admit something to you now: writing that last line of words is causing me a bit of panic, hence it all being one big word. I’m horrified to admit to this, and horrified that I’m horrified! I’m in a hamster wheel!!

So, unfortunately I don’t really have a moral to this story, because I am in the middle of learning something myself. But hey, now you all get to learn alongside me, or at least watch the show as it unfolds rather than hear about it later.

 

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Works of Fiction: First Taste!

Okay friends and family, this is where it all gets real! You know how I’m a writer? You know how I’m always talking about how I love writing, and how I’m always writing, and how I’m going to be a famous writer one day? You know how you’ve never once seen a piece of  fiction by me? Yeah, true story. Some of you have seen non-fiction, and by some, I mean two of you and my mom. A few of you have also seen my poetry, although that is all very dark and I have yet to really embrace happy poetry as a talent. So, moral of the story: Katie is a chicken that has never shown her fiction to anyone (not counting her mother). Well, and teachers, but does that really count? Nope, didn’t think so. Okay, my rambling has reached an all time high right now, because you see, I’m about to press “control” + “v” which you know is the cool way of pasting stuff. That stuff is the short prologue to a story that I am hoping to start working on alongside ANOTHER work of fiction I started last month.

Maybe you guys don’t want to see it. You don’t? Okay, I will just wait then… OKAY OKAY, I hear you all yelling at me right now to just do it already. *Deep breath* WhatDidIGetMyselfInto…Heregoes

Prologue

She stood there, on the edge, unsure of what to do. Before her was a blinding light, more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen, but behind her the darkness beckoned like an old friend that she couldn’t leave behind. It whispered lies to her, telling her that the promises in the light would never last, that she would come crawling back more broken than before and beyond restoration.

As she looked back and forth, ahead and behind, her heart rate grew. She felt as though she was being pulled in two directions just like a rope in a vicious game of tug-of-war. She was afraid that if she stood there much longer, she just might rip in two. She wanted freedom more than anything, but how could she leave behind the life that she had known for over two decades?

She couldn’t help the feeling that each side was alive in and of itself. She heard, or rather felt, the little whispers from each side. Both sides seemed to offer her freedom and joy. She knew that one had to be lying, but which one could she trust?

As she looked into the light, one of her dear friends waved at her, calling her over. If only it were that simple, if only that could be her deciding factor right there. Behind her, though, she saw her other friends and most of her family. A group had gathered, she realized. They were all here, wanting to know what choice she would make. What if this decision, her decision, became the deciding factor for all of these people? There was so much pressure on her by now that she could no longer think. All she could do now was feel and do what she hoped was the right thing. As she looked back and forth one last time, she made her final choice, letting everything else fall away in that short moment.

Aaaand that’s a wrap, or whatever the equivalent is for books. Wouldn’t it be really awful if I just left you hanging there and never finished the story? Oh  man, it’s a good thing I would never do anything like that…

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Write Your World: Passion Waning

Why hello there! The title for the day may not exactly seem positive, but no worries, that is the point of this post! I am planning to fix it! Just like the moon waxes and wanes, I plan to get my passion back to waxing! Okay, that just sounded weird, but y’all know what I mean!

When I was about ready to dive into 2012 I had every intention of reaching the finish line of one million words on December 31, but then life got in the way. Things happened, they changed, and my goals changed along with it. The lucky thing for me (and the odd thing, as I am always super hard on myself) is that I never felt bad about the fact that this goal wouldn’t be reached. There were moments when I contemplated working extra hard to get there, but mostly there were moments of realization that it just wasn’t going to happen. Is it possible? I imagine it probably still would be (I’m well into the 5 digits already, if not 6), but it is no longer my passion to do so. My passions this year took a pretty quick turn toward my relationship with Christ and my sisters and brothers in Christ, and that is a much more important passion for me. However, I can be quite narrow minded at times (I know, you’re pretty shocked right about now), and I tend to let all other important things in life fall to the sides. When my pursuit of God became my main focus, I forgot that I could still have other things going on in life. I forgot that writing is my future career goal and the gift that God gave me! Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but how can I fully pursue Christ if I’m just snubbing the gift that He intended for me to use?

You all know how much I love writing, but here’s the surprising truth – writing is exhausting! There is planning, plotting, THINKING. You have to choose your program, choose your genre, and then you have to realize that whatever the plot is that you choose has to be yours. As a deeply spiritual person surrounded by spiritual friends, my ideas may sometimes seem a little risky. Take my current work-in-progress for example. I am currently writing about a deeply religious world that realizes the existence of magic. When this idea first cropped up in my mind, I was worried what my friends would think. How could I write it and then not show it to them? I couldn’t! I then thought, though, of authors like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis that also wrote about magical realms. That didn’t make their faith any less real! So, okay, that fear was mowed down. But let me tell you, the fear of failure can be a real and scary one! Now, let’s say you have gotten past all of these things… You’re probably thinking, phew, it’s smooth sailing now! Wrong! Now you have to actually get your idea out on paper/computer. With blogging this can but much easier, as I’m essentially just rambling about what’s going on in my mind at any given moment, but with fiction you have to actually make it make sense to some degree! You have to get inside of another person’s mind and, man, just thinking about it all makes me tired! Point here is that, while writing is my passion, gift, and something that I entirely enjoy, it can be hard to discipline yourself into actually doing it. That is where my gift fell off to the side, mostly forgotten.

SO, while sitting here and listening to “Pursuit” by Kim Walker on repeat (thanks for the suggestion, Blake!) I just feel like God has re-inspired me. I really feel like He said, “My child, don’t you realize that I gave you this gift for a purpose? I didn’t give this gift to all of my children. I chose YOU. Please don’t forget that I have a reason for everything I do, and giving you this gift was no accident. DO use it.” I feel like I’m insulting God by not using it. There are so many gifts that I wish I had that I wasn’t blessed with. What I wouldn’t give to be able to sing as beautifully as some of my friends. How would I feel if one day they just decided that it was too much work and stopped? I’d be pretty upset, and I’m not even the one that bestowed that gift upon them! I imagine there are plenty of people out there that wish they had the passion and gift of writing, and I’m slapping them in the face by just sitting on it. It’s time to put this gift to good use. I don’t know what exactly God has planned for it yet, but I’m excited to find out!

What is your passion? What is the gift that God gave you? I know we all have a lot of gifts, and there are gifts that can be developed, but what is the one that just stands out? The one that you’ve known you had since you were little? Are you pursuing it? Using it? If not, get out there and remember that God didn’t make a mistake in giving you that gift!!

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