I recently planted a vegetable garden using those "as seen on TV" pods. It was the first time I'd attempted gardening. And it was exciting.
Each morning I'd check it and each early evening when I watered it I'd check it again. Like clockwork.
This continued over two months. Also over the same period of time life intervened: family problems and problems elsewhere sprouted like weeds.
But, I continue the garden routine. Finally, I was rewarded with basal, cilantro, dill, lettuce, and squash. But, no tomatoes. I wanted tomatoes. The problems at home continued and became more severe.
Then it happened. One morning while contemplating my myriad of woes as I inspected my garden, there they were. On the tomato plants where they had flowered now were tiny green spheres--the beginning of tomatoes. Finally!!
And for a moment the problems were forgotten. They beauty of God's work took center stage.
And I recalled that, like that tomato plant, I am one of His creations. And better yet, as a Christian, one of His children. Those little green tomatoes reminded me that if God cares for lowly plants, he certainly cares for me (see Matthew 6:28-30). Then suddenly, those problems fell into perspective.
Its been a month since then. The problems are still there.
But, so are the tomatoes.
Exciting news! My novel, FATAL IMPACT has just received a Compulsion Reads endorsement. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Compulsion Reads, this company specializes in reviewing independently-published novels, such as mine, and endorses those novels that meet its quality standards based on the fundamental qualities of good storytelling. Many books that the company reviews don’t earn their endorsement, so this is a pretty big deal for me. You’ll notice that my book is now sporting a shiny new Compulsion Reads seal. You can also find it listed in the Compulsion Reads Endorsed Book Library at www.compulsionreads.com/books. You can find me by searching my name or book title. Please check it out when you get a chance. As always, I really appreciate your support and well wishes. If you’d like to support my novel, please share this post/email.
Several weeks ago in Church, the preacher spoke on Peter walking on water. You know the story. The disciples are in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has stayed behind. Suddenly, a storm hits. The boat is tossed by wind and waves. Then they see Jesus walking on the water toward them. Peter, with Jesus' consent, gets out and begins walking toward him. Then... Well you know the rest of the story. (If not check it out in Matthew 14).
As I sat listening I thought back to my Coast Guard days. Small boat exercises in the middle of the North Atlantic. On a calm day there were ten-foot swells. That means the boat would drop into a ten-foot deep canyon of water so deep we’d lose sight of the ship. Sheer walls of water higher than a house. Cue the wind and lightning and you had the Peter moment.
Even on that calm day, I wouldn't have left the safety of that small boat. Not even for the winning Power Ball ticket. Yet Peter did.
I think the preacher was saying we don't need big water faith; we need a Savior who's bigger that any wave.
Oh, and did I mention that the water was like ten feet high?
There's an old saying in writing, "write what you know". The idea is you'll have greater verisimilitude if you stick to a subject you've mastered. Your voice will ring truer.
But, sometimes its good to venture off the beaten path of knowledge. To shake things up a bit. I did so with my book FATAL IMPACT. I know medicine, but had to read extensively on quantum physics to create the plot.
So, what do you do to shake off the cobwebs or pull your wagon wheel out of the rut?
Here are a few suggestions to help pull you out of your comfort zone:
· Take a night class at your local community college in a course that has never held your interest
· Wear a color you simply abhor. For me it would be pink.
· If you're a movie freak go see a play, or better yet, a musical.
· If you the quiet type, take a road trip with the radio cranked all the way up and sing along at the top of your voice
· If you're a rocker wannabe always playing the air guitar, sit quietly in a park for an hour.
· If you're a cat person volunteer at an animal shelter and work only with the dogs. Of course if you're a dog person, vice versa.
· Go skinny-dipping.
Go ahead try one or more. It may be just the thing to get you out of your comfort zone, to start writing what you don't know.
Who knows? It could set you on the path to become more creative; more well rounded than you ever thought possible.