Posts filed under story

belief in this place.

My twitter bio knew before I did. Or maybe when I wrote it, there was a moment I chanced upon that tiny little place inside where the deep dreams rest. Regardless, I wrote it almost as an after thought and I echoed it on my Facebook profile - this thing of learning how to tell my story and helping you find yours.

This belief that your story can change the world.

Because I do believe it - I’ve seen it.

When I saw the phrases plastered there next to my name, I had to laugh. Who says platform and branding is planned? For me, it was spoken for in the very beginning. Story.

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In case you missed my announcement earlier last week, I started story-coaching sessions. For November and December, these hour-long sessions are pay-what-you-can. When I hit publish, I didn’t know what I was doing, really. I just knew there was this instinct telling me to go for it - that now was the time, not later. By last weekend, I already had four sessions on the books.

A few days ago, I had my first session. All day long I really wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go through with it. This wasn’t the doubt that comes with some dreams, like the doubts I feel with writing. This was just the common cold rearing his big fat ugly head and well…skype isn’t that forgiving with sneezes and coughs. But, I did it and the whole hour I listened so intently to this other person who trusted me with her words - her story - her dreams that I completely forgot about being sick. I did. It wasn’t until I got off the computer and walked into the kitchen that I could feel everything sink back into place. The achiness, the chills, the need for sleep.

I couldn’t help but smile though, because in the midst of this experiment I’ve stumbled on something that really makes sense for me and guys? It’s exciting.

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There are doubts. Just yesterday, staring at our bank account, the old fear creeped back in - the one who sat on my heart for so long just a few weeks ago - the one who whispered lies so strong I believed them. What am I doing?  Where is the safety-net? How will this work? Who is going to sign up for this anyway? And then I got an email requesting more information. And then I got another one. And then a friend on twitter expressed interest. In the space of a few hours, I went from five to eight possible sessions and it was all my heart needed to breathe a little easier.

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So here I am this morning, typing in disjointed thoughts because most of my words for the day are being spilled in an imperfect novel for NaNoWriMo. But, underneath it all - the words, the sessions, the fear that this won’t all work out - underneath it is a belief in this place and space God’s brought me. It’s been years in the making: from stories4stories with my sister, to dreaming of writing mentorships with inner city high school students, to actually mentoring students, to feeling the shift and pause of a dream in order for it to percolate and express itself in a completely different form. I can’t wait to see where it goes,

Are you interested in story-coaching? Fill out the form on my story-unfolding page and I will get back with you ASAP.

Posted on November 15, 2012 and filed under story.

come alive :: the launch team

179236336 Come Alive releases in thirteen days.

That's less than two weeks.

For the past three years, I've fostered this story - letting it grow, allowing it room to breathe, pruning it back only to let it bloom again. And now it's time for me to give it away.

Surprisingly, this part has nothing to do with writing.

For the next few weeks, I'm working furiously to get the word out about my book. I'm realizing it takes a lot more than just one person standing up on her virtual soapbox begging for people to buy her words in order for a book to do well. It takes a team.

(Here's where you come in, dear reader.)

I'm launching a team to promote Come Alive and I would love for you to join. The specifics?

By signing up, you'll receive ::

  • a free digital copy of my novel
  • an invitation to a conference call with my agent and myself where we brainstorm ideas about marketing and talk about the release of the book
  • access to a private facebook group where I will be available to answer questions and you will be able to network with other members
  • a personal Skype call
  • opportunity to guest post here on the blog
  • lots and lots of cool points. lots.

What I'll need from you ::

  • a review of Come Alive on amazon and/or your blog
  • on September 18, a massive and unabashed tweeting and facebooking and pinning - getting the word out about the novel in any way possible. Shoot. I'll even support sidewalk chalking.
  • all of your creative juices and marketing power joined into one brilliant push for Come Alive's release
  • any and all ideas. even the silly ones. even the big ones...especially the big ones.
How do you join? Well. I'm only taking thirty people. So, if you're interested (and I really hope you are) fill out this form by midnight tomorrow and I'll get back with you as soon as possible.
Posted on September 5, 2012 and filed under story.

the world needs your story.

i read a post the other day that caught my attention. does the world need stories? the article's title asked, and based on my last post and my finding and telling your story series in october, i obviously sat down to read what the author had to say. it's an obsession, this love of story.

imagine my disappointment when i realized tim parker wrote this piece to argue against our need for stories. he ends his article with

Personally, I fear I’m too enmired in narrative and self narrative to bail out now. I love an engaging novel, I love a complex novel; but I am quite sure I don’t needit. And my recently discovered ability, as discussed in this space a couple of weeks ago, to set down even some fine novels before reaching the end does give me a glimmer of hope that I may yet make a bid for freedom from the fiction that wonderfully enslaves us.

i realize a majority of the premise focuses on fiction, but flannery o'connor prided herself on speaking truth in her fiction and emily dickinson charged writers to tell the truth but tell it slant. 

bottom line :: fiction or not, stories are stories.

and we need them. desperately. 

in daniel pink's a whole new mind, he says that story is one of the leading modes necessary for the future. businesses are starting to shift their thinking in how they market products, nonprofits are changing the way they share updates and every second another blog {or a few hundred} pop up on the internet.

obviously, story is here to stay. 

yet, so many hesitate to share. there is power in storytelling, whatever your medium. secrets and judgment and fear completely fall away when someone opens his mouth to speak out against what binds him.

this, i have realized, is my purpose.

there is a tendency to stay tight-lipped with that which shames us - especially in the church. even pieces of fiction that celebrate redemption are vilified if it doesn't include some type of altar call. what we are left with are stories that weaken our creativity and bore us with good intentions.

and friends, we gotta stop this.

i'm in the middle of a new project - a manifesto, if you will. it's time we embrace stories. it's time we fling wide the doors of freedom and turn from shame and fear. knowing our story - the whole and dark of it - will only bring healing.

and sharing this story, even with quivering lips, will pave the way for others to experience the same.

 

i'm serious about the new project. want to stay updated? sign up for the mailing list - you'll receive a free copy of my eBook when Beauty pursues you and a first look at what i have up my sleeve...

Posted on March 29, 2012 and filed under finding{and telling}your story, story.

when time stands still.

if you blink you may miss it. the moment where quiet takes over and the hush of glory leaves you breathless.

it happened to me today.

totally unassuming, i went about my day. by early afternoon i found myself in the counselor's office explaining to her some ideas left simmering for professional development. in the middle of our conversation, a colleague ducked in and congratulated me on the latest news of my novel. i debated sharing on facebook the change of publication - going straight to paperback instead of the stage of e-pub. but i did, and he saw, which brought us to a conversation about the topic of my book.

i hesitated saying anything. i don't like being "debbie downer" and not everyone likes to hear reality. but this time, i breathed deep and told him anyway. the smile didn't freeze awkwardly, there was no throat clearing or a sudden need to go pick something up forgotten in another room.

instead, he engaged in dialogue. his hands started moving and instead of looking for escape it was like something was unhinged - like thoughts swirling found their voice.

you know, this whole penn state thing? they say the worst isn't even over. they say rumor has it there could be trafficking involved. like the guy used his organization to pimp out kids or something. 

my stomach rolled in knots and my breath quickened. i could feel my vision blurring as we spoke and i fought to stay in control. and when he dropped the bomb - when he shared the latest development that still leaves me reeling - i felt the hold of One who knew all along.

in one simple conversation, one side comment about brokenness swept under, i was left undone. 

and it was in the sharp intake of breath i found a clarity.

there is a moment in all of us where our stories crash against the world's brokenness. 

and this is where we find our calling.

i'm learning mine. more importantly, i'm learning how to own it.

because there are a lot of things that excite me, and a lot of things that spark my interest. but there's only one that causes me to lose sleep. and this penn state thing? it sickens me. i probably won't sleep tonight.

but it's also reminded me of the stories that need to be told. 

and it took today for me to realize just how ordained my steps are - just how purposeful my pain has been - and how amazing it is to feel right in the center of His will. 

Posted on November 10, 2011 and filed under story.

the shattering of heart-bones

over the past month, you've heard from some of my closest friends about creativity and rest. while they took up this space and shared their words with you, i completed the second draft to my novel and got some of my own rest - a sabbath of sorts. it was healing and calming and all-together the most beautifully chaotic experience of my life. but what i learned was something that doesn't go down easy.

story shatters.

at least, it's supposed to.

you see, i haven't just been working on my novel. i've been working on the dark places in my life - those moments i'd rather forget. and although i'm beginning to glimpse the light of redemption, i'd be lying if i failed to let you know most times that light feels like an oncoming train.

but.

i'm discovering the beauty of story. i've always loved it - i've always been obsessed with where you've been and where you want to go. there's nothing that will get me more excited than sitting down over coffee and talking about the parallels of story and the gospel. and it's only been this year that i've realized the importance of story {and Story} for myself.

my pain - my darkness - is essential to the story Christ is writing in me. and the destruction around me, the shattering of heart-bones and the pieces left unmended?

well. that's just the Master Architect at work - redesigning my life and heart and soul to its original purpose.

and let's just be honest, shall we? some days, this hurts. a lot. other days {like today} i can look you straight in the eye and tell you of my shattering and not shed a tear. and to be even more transparent? my not shedding a tear doesn't necessarily show strength. often times, it shows detachment.

because deep down, there's this refusal to own my whole story. 

to own it means to risk the labeling. to own it means to understand the necessity of sharing and healing. it means vulnerability.

and have i told you this yet? i don't like being vulnerable.

for the next 31 days, i'm going to try. 

i didn't know i'd be doing this until this morning. and when i thought about the concept and considered what my topic would be, the truth of story {both in fiction and nonfiction} wouldn't let me go.

so here it is. my first 31 days post. last month we talked about creativity and rest. this month, we're tackling one of the biggest struggles in the Christian faith: finding {and telling} our story.

i hope you join me.

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Posted on September 30, 2011 and filed under finding{and telling}your story, story.