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Writing Flash Fiction

Task: Write a story.

Limitations: Use 100 words (or fewer). Include the words: may, play, whee, brie, and quick. Submit within 48 hours.

My take on the task:

Daddy, quick – watch me slide! Whee!
Sally, four. All giggles, sloppy ice-cream kisses.

Daddy, please may I have Jaimee over to play?
My daughter, nine. Nudges and whispered secrets.

Daddy, I love you. Father’s Day, thirteen. No more under-the-table cubby-houses…

My own car? Thank you, Daddy! Squeals; hugs of gratitude.

An aisle; a walk; a bride on my arm. Tears, threatening, choked back. My heart too big for my chest.

These memories should be treasured forever.

But they’re ones I’ll never have.

The tiny limp body in my arms? My Sally?
Stillborn.

I curse the day brie was created.

 

Response by Flash Fiction contest judge and Queen of the Known Universe: Shortlisted!!! WOOT!!!!!

 

Happy writing, everyone 🙂

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Writing up a storm…

Well, a sequel, actually. And that heading’s a little misleading, because there’s no storm in the book. So far, anyway.

But this blogpost is late (read, 11 hours later than I’d wanted) and that’s solely due to Mother’s Day. As in, the day last year when I finished JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. So half way through last month’s #AtoZchallenge, I decided I was going to finish JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE FAERIE DILEMMA  by Mother’s Day 2016.

Considering I had just 4 chapters done, because I’d inadvertently deleted 6 others, this was probably pushing it.

And Mother’s Day 2016 came and went, with nary a ‘The End’ in sight. It was close though, and getting closer.

But I was a little disappointed, because I was *really* hoping to get it finished within the year anniversary.

Enter a google search, just completed, prior to starting this blog post. Mother’s Day, 2015, was celebrated on May 10th here in Australia.

Today, the day after Mother’s Day 2016, is the 9th!!!

So I have just under 28 hours to complete this thing, and still ‘make it’ within the year. WOOT!!!!!

I’m heading off to type some more now. Wish me luck!!!

And have a great day, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

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And now back to our regularly scheduled program…

Wow! What a month it’s been, huh?

FullSizeRenderTwenty-six posts, for the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Originally, I’d planned a 26-instalment story. But the draft version ended up far too violent to publish here, so at the last minute, I changed to ’26 metaphors for God’, inspired by a cross-stitch Mum made for me. Praise God for Mums, and for friends who make suggestions like “why don’t you use your Mum’s cross-stitch?”

But that being said, it was a huge month. And although I participated, I’m glad it’s over. It took a lot of time away from my ‘normal’ writing, so I’m quite a bit further behind than I wanted to be. And as for my Goodreads challenge, that’s looking like a TKO at this point. Because although I *have* been reading, it’s been on blogs, not books!

My favourite blogs this past month have been:

https://kdjames.com/ (A fascinating story over the month of April)

https://johndavisfrain.com/blog/ (26 stories, each 6 sentences long. Chilling stories.)

http://julieweathers.com/blog/ (American history? READ THIS!)

http://www.colindsmith.com/blog/ (100 word stories inspired by the songs of Paul McCartney. So clever!)

http://denapawling.blogspot.com.au/ (Military definitions from A to Z; enlightening to say the least)

https://alleysiande.com/ (stories, and beer. And dragons…)

https://wordwacker.me/ (clues in haiku for the word of the day)

http://katelarkindale.blogspot.com.au/ (New Zealand movies from A to Z with gorgeously written reviews)

and

http://romancespinners.blogspot.com.au/ (on writing, and writer’s life)

I thoroughly recommend, if you have the time, drop by and have a read.

And for any A to Z challenge participants stopping by, THANK YOU for your encouragement and support, and YAY!!! We did it!!!

(Heading off for a well-earned nap now…)

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #26

And we’ve made it to Z! The final ‘metaphor’ of God: King of Zion.

Each of these posts was inspired by a cross-stitch made by my Mum. The picture of the ‘z’ square shows: a crown of thorns (although in reality apparently the thorns were approximately 6 inches long!); the phrase ‘King of Zion’; and the verse Matthew 27:37. This verse reads:

Z

“A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Now you’ll notice that the word ‘Zion’ isn’t included. In fact, the word ‘Zion’ isn’t part of this verse in Matthew at all, in any version.

Rather, the designer of this cross-stitch pattern used this verse to emphasize Jesus’ kingship. The bit about ‘Zion’ comes from Psalm 2:6: “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” And some translations use the word ‘Jerusalem’ instead of ‘Zion’ as well.

So what *is* Zion?

Well originally, it was a place. A fortress in fact, which David captured in 2 Samuel 5:7, and later built the royal palace there. His son, King Solomon, built the temple there too, and the word ‘Zion’ came to mean the whole temple area. Later in the Old Testament (as in, before Jesus’ birth) the word Zion is used to refer to the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judah, and even the nation of Israel as a whole.

In the New Testament (from the birth of Jesus onwards) the word Zion refers to God’s spiritual kingdom (See Hebrews 12:22 and 1 Peter 2:6).

So the Romans who were crucifying Jesus, and who then hung a sign above his head showing that his ‘crime’ was being ‘King of the Jews’, incensed the Jews watching the spectacle. John 19:19-22 records that the Chief Priests ask for the sign to be changed, from ‘Jesus, King of the Jews’ to ‘Jesus, who claimed to be King of the Jews’. Pilate (the Roman governor) refused.

And so Jesus, the King of the Israelite nation, was killed. His death was sought by the leaders of Israel; and sanctioned by the leader of the Gentiles (non-Jews).

And he died.

And yet, God had decided that He would install his King on Zion, on His holy mountain.

So Jesus didn’t stay dead. God raised him from death, thus conquering its hold on us, should we choose to believe in Him and follow Him.

Jesus, is now, and will remain forever, King of ‘Zion’: which is God’s spiritual kingdom.

And I’m a part of that kingdom, if I choose to be.

And I do!

So with that, we conclude the lessons for this month of April, and this, my first attempt at the annual #A-Zchallenge.

What a huge month it’s been!

Thank you to all those who’ve supported me along the way; your company and encouraging comments have truly made this journey a memorable one! I never would have realised how blessed this experience could be. Thank you!

So where to next? Well, back to my regularly scheduled once-a-week blog posts… for the month of May, at least. Who knows where after that; what with #blogJune an’ all…!

Anyway, time for me to stop rambling. Have a lovely day, dear reader – and thanks for stopping by!

May God richly bless you today 😀

— KRidwyn

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #25

Welcome to the second last post of this series on God’s metaphors. Twenty-six different names God uses to describe Himself- all in one handy A to Z cross-stitch that my Mum made for me a few years back. Each letter has a name and a Bible verse… all except this one, Y.

Y is for Yahweh. In Hebrew, YHVH.

The name of God.

The first time this name is used is the book of Exodus, verses 14 and 15. The version of the Bible verse in the quote below, uses Hebraic language, rather than the Anglicised words. [In the overwhelming majority of English Bibles, the different names of God are translated as the word ‘LORD’ – the capital letters indicated that it is one of God’s names.]

Y“And Elohim said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, you shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. And Elohim said to Moses again, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, Yahweh the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever , and this is My memorial from generation to generation.”

I mentioned just above the Bible verse that God has different names. This can be a little confusing for us Westerners, in modern times, to understand!

But basically, the different names for God refer to different aspects of his character. Thus “Elohim” emphasises His might, His creative power, and His attributes of justice and rulership – whereas in our English Bibles it’s translated to the word “God”. Likewise, the Hebrew scrolls have names such as “El Shaddai” (LORD God Almighty) and “El Elyon” (The Most High God) and “Adonai” (Lord, or Master). Names can also be lengthened, so “YHVH Tzva’ot” means ‘Lord of Hosts’, where ‘hosts’ refers to military groupings.

But this post is about “Yahweh”. And this is the name that God gives of Himself.

In this passage above, we see Moses speaking to God, who has appeared to him in a burning bush, and has told him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharoah to let the Hebrew slaves go. Moses, understandably sceptical, and probably not wanting to go and be laughed at by people when he tells them that he saw a bush on fire that didn’t burn up, and heard the voice of God coming from the bush, he decides to ask God directly, “Who should I say sent me?”

And God replies, “Tell them that  I AM sent you.”

This is the name that He gives himself. Yahweh. In Hebrew, YHVH. They know it as the Tetragrammaton. And for any readers who are also writers, you may be interested to know that this name is *indeed* related to the verb ‘to be’ (to exist). Cool, hey! This name was incorrectly translated into English as ‘Jehovah’, by a German scribe back in the sixteenth century, and the name has since found common usage. Personally, I prefer the original.

And did you know that observant Jews consider this name to be SO holy, that they don’t even write it out in full? This is why, rather than writing ‘God’, they write ‘G-d’. Some believe that this is to lessen the risk of ‘taking God’s name in vain’ (one of the ten commandments) however it could also be because Judaism prohibits erasing or defacing a name of God. So if the name of God is written out in full, then at some point in the future, this writing could become erased or defaced. And to prevent this situation occurring, they avoid writing it.

So. Quite a bit more information in this post than in the usual, but then again, it *is* Day 25. And it’s such an interesting topic, in my opinion!

So what, then, is the take-away lesson for today? For me, it’s to reflect on the name/s of God, especially the One Name that He gives of Himself. YHVH. “I am”. It reminds me a little of what I was thinking when I wrote about ‘the Alpha and the Omega’.

Writing this post, and thinking on the different names of God, also had me singing the Amy Grant song ‘El Shaddai’, so here it is for your enjoyment too 🙂

So. That’s it for today – and almost for the entire month too! Tune in tomorrow for the final post: “Z is for King of Zion.”

See you then, and have a lovely day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #12

I had originally planned to write a 26-instalment work of fiction for this #AtoZchallenge. Titled “The Daughter of EmGeen”, it ended up being FAR too M+ rated for me to feel comfortable publishing it on this site. So I have other plans for that story.

But the “B” entry for ‘The Daughter of EmGeen’ was ‘B is for Black’. And it is that which I wanted to write about today.

An online friend and writer, KD James, is also participating in the #AtoZchallenge this year. She’s part-way through her story, a mystery involving her main character Zoey, who befriends a dragon amidst her other adventures. Her description of the dragon’s cave really invoked for me what ‘dark’ feels like. It’s here: A to Z challenge: D

LContrast that to what the Bible says in John Chapter 8 verse 12. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I like that. The opportunity to NEVER walk in darkness. To never worry about barking a shin, stubbing a toe, or spilling hot candle wax on yourself…

So today’s metaphor? Light of the World.

Used for? To never walk in darkness again.

How to receive? Follow Jesus.

Okay 🙂

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #5

I’m fortunate enough to have two parents still married to each other. They’re in their seventies now; still healthy, still happy. My Mum is inspirational, and I love her to absolute bits, and I’ll post ‘why’ on here at some stage.

But this post is about my Dad.

I’ll be the first to admit, our relationship hasn’t always been smooth sailing. And some – maybe even most?! – of that, was my fault. But that’s life, and I’m older (and maybe wiser) now. And now, we’re doing well.

You see, my father’s a retired lecturer. His area of lecturing? English. Literature, and creative writing.

As in, yes. The same topic that has me up late nights, or in the early mornings, as I struggle with the whole “I want to be a published author” path I’m on.

He’s one of my guides on this journey. And through him, I’ve learned SO much; far too much to even contemplate, let alone relate here.

But I’m also aware that time is limited. As much as I’d like to ignore it… the reality is, he’s only human. He’s not eternal. So it’d be wise for me to receive as much guidance as I possibly can, now, before the inevitable happens.

Yes, this is sad. Writing about it like this may portray me as callous and mercenary. Am I? I’m too close to the situation to answer reliably. I’d like to think I show my appreciation to him, for what he does – whether or not I’ve made that clear here. But that’s not the point.

The point is, that although I fail at things constantly, and my Dad is there to help fix stuff and guide me in the right ways, I also have a Heavenly Dad who fixes stuff and guides me, too.

And the difference is, this Heavenly Dad is everlasting.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

[Aside: As soon as I read this verse, I immediately get Handel’s Messiah in my head. Do you?]

God is my Everlasting Father. I don’t need to worry that at some point in the future, He will cease being there for me.

I can continue to stuff up, to fail, and to need guidance, every single day until the day I die, knowing that God will continue to be there for me, every single day, leading me and guiding me, and helping me to fix the stuff-ups that I make. And I like that idea.

(I’m also thinking that my Dad would have a field day with that run-on sentence that I just wrote! Not to mention following it with a sentence fragment which started with a conjunction!)

FullSizeRender (1)So that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 5 of this A to Z blogging challenge. God is our Everlasting Father, so I don’t have to worry about there being a end-point. Which is pretty cool!

Have a great day, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #4

By day, I teach classroom music in a primary school. By night, I’m a shy, retiring woodland creature who swims on the reef presided over by Her Sharkliness herself, also known as the Queen Of The Known Universe [QOTKU]. And for those of you saying, “Huh? What’s a woodland creature doing on a reef?” I’m referring to the website that WritersDigest listed as ‘Best of the Best’ just last week, the blog run by New York literary guru Janet Reid. (Hi, any visiting Reiders who were also convinced by Colin to do this #AtoZchallenge!)

The Reef is her blog. And the majority of the people who follow are writers. Most of us are shy and retiring. Woodland creatures.

You see, entering the world of writing and publishing is nerve-wracking. I’m the first to admit that I’m a writhing bundle of nerves when I hit ‘send’ on an email query to a prospective agent. Even clicking ‘publish’ on a comment on her blog has my heart racing, for fear I’ll show the world what a complete and utter fraud I am; and how exceptionally laughable it is that I’m aspiring to be a published writer.

But Janet gets that. She understands us. And the Reiders who swim her Reef are honestly the most supportive group of online people you could find anywhere. Bar none.

“So how does that relate to God’s metaphor?” I hear you thinking.

Well, the QOTKU delivers writers from the depths of despair on a daily basis. Needing advice on querying? How about contracts? Pen-name conundrums? Thoughts on self-publishing? We Reiders are treated to fascinating insight into the publishing industry; we absorb the latest in relevant information; AND we get to derive comfort from companionship with other reef dwellers. Because of her, we have a better chance of negotiating the tricky waters of the writing industry.

And that’s what God does. He’s our Deliverer, too.

Psalm 18 verse 2 starts: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer…”

We don’t need to worry about any fearful situations we get ourselves into; God can deliver us. He already has.

When He died on the cross almost 2,000 years ago, he delivered us from the consequences of our sinful lives. He gave us the opportunity to come back into relationship with God again. He paid the penalty for us, so that we might be delivered. We can stand strong; Jesus has done the work for us.

FullSizeRenderAnd that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 4 of this A to Z blogging challenge. God is our Deliverer. Which – for me – means I can hold my head high; because Jesus Himself paid the price for me! And you know what? He paid the price for you, too! 😀

Have a great day, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

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26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #1

I think I was born with a book in my hand. I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. The joy of opening a front cover for the first time; the anticipation, not knowing where it would take me; the thrill of discovery that a favourite author had written a sequel – or better yet, a series! And woe betide anyone getting in between me and that final page…

Recently though, I’ve started looking at novels from the other side of the cover. I’ve been writing. The change of perspective has brought with it a far deeper appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship of the story.

It’s crucial to know where the story I’m writing is heading. Equally important, where the story should start. And to craft it well, I must know my characters intimately. But I can’t inhabit my characters’ world with them. Rather, I sit apart, outside their time dimension.

Likewise with God. The book of Revelation, chapter 1 verse 8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God.  “I am the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come – the Almighty One.”

If I was writing a letter to my characters in my novel, I think those words above, is exactly what I would say. I existed before them, and will continue to exist after them. They have ‘life’ only because of me. To them, I am all mighty.

And that’s what God is, for me.

God is the one who wrote me into being. He created me. He knew at exactly what point I would enter the story, and at exactly what point I will also leave it.

How then, could I do anything other than trust Him?

FullSizeRender (2)And that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 1 of this A to Z blogging challenge. God is the Alpha and Omega. So I’m going to trust Him.

Have a great day, dear reader!

-KRidwyn