Posted in a bit of seriousness, Muse, Reading, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry, tagged Abel, Adam, beginnings, Bible, biblical, Cain, Cain Abel, ghosts, horror, Horror fiction, HWA, Lucifer, monsters, Mummy, muse, stories, Tree of Life, Writing, Zombie on March 5, 2013 |
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English: Cain and Abel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From a Biblical standpoint, horror entered existence with the story of Cain and Abel. Two brothers. No inherent conflict hinted at until—both made offerings to God. Abel’s was accepted and found good, Cain’s lacking. Why? Because Cain didn’t put his best effort into it. He held back. I imagine he did this with a lot of things in his life. Being secretive doesn’t just happen one day, it’s part of a person’s character. Can’t you just see Cain skulking around, upset that his parent’s paid more attention to his younger brother than him? Jealousy can run rampant and well, violence erupts. No one envisioned that one day Cain would slay his brother but the roots had to have been there since Day One of Abel’s birth. Perhaps Eve noticed this when the two siblings played some game, or Adam when he taught them each the job they would undertake (Abel—farming the land, Cain—taking care of the livestock).
You can be sure that tempting Eve in the garden with the fruit from The Tree of Life wasn’t the last time Lucifer entered the family’s lives. Can’t you just see him there, hiding, playing on Cain’s fears that Abel would take everything that he loved away? Pushing him, prodding him, planting the seed that would cause him to one day murder his brother? Evil lies in wait for good. It always has. That I think sums up why the genre is both appealing to its readers and repulsive to others. Those who are drawn to it want to confront this darkness in whatever form it comes in (clowns, terminators, corpses, etc.) and destroy it. We want to see The Mummy blown back into the tomb it came from, the silver bullet take down the fearsome werewolf, and the little girl freed from the devil’s possession. It’s a sense of closure for us, to know that the good guy/girl does win in the end which doesn’t always happen in real life.
Since the dawn of time, many people have sat around campfires telling stories. About ghosts. Monsters. Hitchhikers. We listen with bated breath because we’re all looking for a way to protect ourselves, to shine a light down into the pit to expose the evil that lies in wait. It’s about survival. Some of us are looking for a way to beat back the zombie apocalypse. Every country, every group of persons, every religion has its beliefs. To me, horror isn’t about fanning the flames and showcasing the grotesque. It’s about standing together when things go south, having a goal in common, and when everything’s said and done, killing the virus before it becomes airborne.
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Posted in Writing and Poetry, Reading, humor & fun, a bit of seriousness, tagged Kenworth, Jesus, Bible, Lord, Psalm 23, Sheep, Jesus Christ, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 on April 10, 2012 |
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Cover of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
Book Review: a shepherd looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
A Zondervan Large Print Book 1970 Christian non-fiction
Hook sentence: The Lord!
“But who is the Lord? What is His character? Does He have adequate credentials to be my Shepherd—my manager—my owner?
And if He does—how do I come under His control? In what way do I become the object of His concern and diligent care?”
This book was written by a shepherd and talks about the life of one and how they care for their flock and would be willing to lay down their lives for the sheep. It explores what happens when tragedy befalls the animals and how their owner comes to their aid. It talks about downfalls and triumphs. And the watch of the shepherd over his charges.
I found it fascinating to what length a good shepherd goes versus one who show neglect over their own. Carrying only his rod and staff, he will move among the sheep, checking this one and that one for any sign of danger or need. In the same way, the book summarizes, Jesus Christ walks among us, serving, protecting, rescuing us from the brink of danger.
Citing Biblical verses throughout, the author tells of his boyhood to adulthood and working with sheep, why humans are often compared to as Jesus’ sheep in The Bible, and how we can follow his lead unafraid and unharmed by the traps set in life. This book deepened my faith at a time when I needed it most. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to delve into the reason behind, Psalm 23. Enjoy!!
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Posted in Writing and Poetry, writers, a bit of seriousness, tagged Traci Kenworth, fiction, Kenworth, short story, Bible, Darla, James N. Frey, How to Write a Damn Good Novel on March 22, 2012 |
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Image via Wikipedia
The Three Types of Premises
As stated in How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey, premise is a statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the core conflict of the story. Today, we’re going to discuss 3 types.
Type 1: Chain Reaction: This is simply a series of events that blast the character toward the finale. For instance: Darla, out on shopping rounds, finds an envelope of money with no identification to the owner (or perhaps there is and she’s just not saying), and no one but her conscious to tell her what to do. So she keeps the money, spends it even. Later, she learns of a young couple with a three-year-old daughter who has cancer lost their money at the store and is unable to pay for their daughter’s treatments. She is torn between what to do. Should she return the funds from her own pocket book, ignore the situation entirely, or admit that she took it and has no way to replace the money? The answer to this puzzle is the climax or solution. Let’s take this one step further and suppose that $5.00 from that envelope landed Darla the winning lottery ticket/ Now what is her dilemma? Will she make the “right” choice?
Type 2: The opposing forces: Love vs. hate. Wealth vs. poverty. Death vs. life. An example may be: a man of Biblical principles, in applying them to his life, finds himself challenged by the very things he believes. When a woman and her children enter his life under a false set of circumstances, he must decide whether to turn them in, part ways, or help them the best he can. Let’s say he learns she stole to provide for her children, he knows the family she stole from, and his conscious impresses upon him to expose her for the crime. And yet, his heart is at war because she did so to feed her children, to keep them off the streets, to give them a chance in life. Which set of values will win out? Will compassion cause him to cover for her and help her to get a new start? Will they all become, in turn, a new family?
Type 3: The Situational Premise: This is where the same problem affects all of the characters in the story. Example: Each character searches for an anchor. It destroys some, but saves others. This type can easily become a snag if the story becomes too convoluted. Because each might have their own story, you could end up telling too much of one’s and not enough of another’s. Your main protagonists become less. The story has to be cut carefully, set into type just so, if it is blossom into a beautiful tale. The story is Bill’s and Andi’s not the entire cast. That’s not to say the story doesn’t apply to all the characters, it just has to be more Bill’s and Andi’s than the town of Montville.
So how do you handle the above types of premises? I find most of my stories to fall under the situational premise. I just love to bring a problem to a town and drop it in everyone’s laps. Of course, my hero and heroine who have the most to suffer must embrace their strengths and bring about the downfall of the villain/disaster. It’s a tricky balance to keep your minor characters just that, but in the end, the story shines because of it.
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Image by Images by John 'K' via Flickr
Life is Fragile Handle with Prayer
Prayers are very important to me. They’re a lifeline in times of despair. I realize not everyone shares my outlook or beliefs, sometimes this blog is written just to remind me of what’s in my heart. I went to a Century Village church growing up. I’m talking what looked like the Little House on the Prairie version. I used to light the candles each Sunday up front along with a friend of mine. We had basement Sunday school sessions.
On Wednesdays, I attended piano/choir lessons.
Even when I went my way after high school, church was a big part of my life. It was probably my saving grace through my dark days. A time when I thought I lost everything. But God is good and he allows us to find our way home to him. My life isn’t perfect, but it’s blessed. I wake every day, ready to start the day, because of the strength he gives me, because of the hope and determination he extends.
There’s nothing I like better than to study The Bible, to learn from it. It helps me grow, chases the blues away, and gives me a hug I sometimes desperately need. Prayers, in particular, have been a real treasure passed down through the generations of my family. It’s always the first thing we do before meal times, a gathering to see loved ones off, and any other time we just feel that extra need. There’s such an outpouring of strength in a group like that.
Not that it can’t be effective done individually, because I can tell you most of the gut-wrenching prayers in my life have been done between me and Jesus. In the times I have felt my most heart-ache, he has answered with comfort. He has lifted my face many times when I thought I couldn’t bear to go on. So, yeah, I love the saying, “Life is Fragile, Handle with Prayer.” It makes sense to me, it reminds me of someone who walks alongside me, undemanding, ready to lift me up and carry me if need be.
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