Monday, March 21, 2011

Fictional Character Development

So, a couple of blog-friend people are doing this monthly thing for writers to further develop their characters. They're giving a list of questions each month, and fiction writers can answer the questions about one of their characters. I thought it sounded pretty fun, so I'm gonna give it a shot :-)

What is your character's full name?
Brandon Tyler Austin. He is the main character in a novel I've been working on for... oh about 5 years or so :-)

Does his/her name of a special meaning?
Yes. He was named after the town of Brandon River where his mother grew up. The town has a special significance in the story.

Does your character have a methodical or disorganized personality?
I'd have to say more disorganized. He's a 17-year-old guy who gets into trouble and wants his own way in life... definitely tends toward disorganized.

Does he/she think inside themselves more than they talk out loud to their friends? (more importantly, does he/she actually have friends?)
He does have friends, but this story doesn't show him interacting with them much. In his current circumstances, he's spending more time than normal "thinking inside himself," although he does have plenty of interaction with the people around him.

Is there something he/she is afraid of?
Facing the past. Being seen as weak.

Does he/she write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?
Not really any of the above. If he was a girl, it would be different, I'm sure :-) This is really my first story in which a guy has been my main character, so it's been different.

What is his/her favorite book? (or genre of book)
He's not really the reading type.

Who is his/her favorite author and/or someone that inspires him/her?
Again, not the reading type. But someone who inspires him would be his Mamaw. When he really begins to get to know her, he's kind of taken in by her sweetness and gentleness, and she starts to really have an effect on his life.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
He's a teenage guy. He'll eat pretty much anything!

Favorite season of the year?
Summer. No school, more time to hang out with buddies.

So there you have it. Character development. And maybe one day I'll actually finish this novel... it's one of those things that just gets put away until I have occasional free time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

oh lovely weekend!

Friday! :-)
Gorgeous day
Getting the word out about Camp Job Fairs
Helped a coworker/friend with a fun project
Banana pudding milkshake from Chik-Fil-A
Drove home for the weekend
Home with my family
Slept in till 11:45
Another gorgeous day
Played in the back yard with my 9-yo sister
Soccer game!
So thankful for weekends full of little blessings :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

the pursuit of love.

I've been visiting a new church for the past 3 Sundays... still praying about if this is where God wants me. I do like it. Just want to be sure, ya know? Because church is a pretty big deal.
Anyway, the pastor is currently doing a short series on marriage and relationships. Two of his statements that have really stood out to me are these:
"Marriage is a spiritual issue. It is intended to bring us closer to God."
"Love happens when someone decides to pursue the well-being of another person."
Wow, that second one especially makes me think. Love is not feelings. Love is not passive, and it's not self-centered. Love is active and it's hard work. It's intentional. It's pursuing the well-being of another person!
In a romantic relationship, of course, feelings are involved. I don't know how all that balances out. But I do know that true love is not based on romantic emotions. It's grounded in God's love... which definitely has nothing to do with feelings!

"Love bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things."
(1 Corinthians 13:7)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


In a recent post, I mentioned that God had spoken to me through chapters 31 and 32 of Isaiah, and I shared from chapter 31 about how God alone is our steady Rock. In this post, I want to continue and share with you the treasure in chapter 32 that He opened my eyes to. I had never read this passage before last week, but when I read it, it really grabbed me.

Isaiah 32:1-2 says, Behold, a king will reign righteously and princes will rule justly. Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.

Do you see what I see? I believe that God is telling us how He wants us to be in this world. If God is our King, then we, as His children, are princes and princesses in His kingdom. We are His representatives in the world. So this description in Isaiah 32 of the princes… it should describe you and me!

This has really affected how I’m thinking and how I’m relating to people these last couple of weeks!

Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm. Think about this -- you’re outside and the wind is blowing like crazy. It’s messing up your hair and blowing things out of your hands, and it’s cold. You’ve experienced that, right? How nice does it feel to finally get inside or into your car? You get out of the wind and give a relieved sigh. Maybe you’re still annoyed that your hairstyle is destroyed for the day, but you’re glad to be out of the wind.
And the same situation when you get caught in a sudden rainstorm. You get soaked, but it’s such a relieving feeling to make it to shelter. I experienced this just the other day. I walked out of the mall to find rain coming down so hard it was like a thick gray curtain. By the time I made it to my car, I looked like I had just showered with my clothes on. I hopped in the car, shut the door, and let out a relieved -- and slightly amused -- laugh. My car was a safe place, out of the rain.

Like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. This portion of the text has much more of a personal significance to me, because of my experience last summer in working as camp staff. We had some very, very hot days last summer, and there were many days that I was -- like others -- out doing physical work in the heat for hours at a time. I would be totally drenched in sweat, and so thirsty that a bottle of water would become the sole motivation for finishing my work.
Think about the hottest and thirstiest you’ve ever been. Not a good feeling, is it? You’re sweaty, the sun is beating down on you mercilessly, and you’re parched. Can you image how amazing it would feel at that moment to jump in a cool stream? What a blessing it would be to sit down in the shade, and maybe feel a gentle breeze?

Isaiah 32:1-2 is telling us that this is how we should be to the people around us -- that place of shelter from the wind and rain, that refreshing stream of water, that shady spot out of the blazing sun. What kind of feeling or impression do people leave with after they’ve been in our presence? That’s a question each of us has to ask ourselves. Am I a safe place, a place people can be comfortable and feel relief from stress and troubles? Do I give out Living Water? Am I refreshing? Do people leave my presence smiling and feeling more rested, more peaceful?

I could name just 2 or 3 people I’ve met who are like that. You know, those people who make your day better just by being who they are. I want to be that kind of person… an Isaiah 32:2 kind of person.

Like I said, this Scripture has been affecting me the past few days. I’ve been trying to take into more careful consideration, “How can I be a shelter or a shady spot to this person? How can I make their day better?” Ultimately the question is, “How can I show God’s love to this person?” Because that’s the basis of it all. It definitely won’t always be easy -- sometimes we don’t feel like it, and there are some people who are just hard to be nice to.

But in the end, the goal is to point people to God. It’s NOT to get attention for ourselves… it’s not ONLY to bless people and make them smile… it’s ALL about God’s glory.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


At what point do you just decide that the friendship is not worth the effort anymore?