Friday, January 31, 2014

My Life in Deep POV: Sharpening My Writing Craft


Welcome to the world of writing. 

I've always loved a good story. Loved to read one, loved to write one, listen to one, dream one up. Good times. Good times.

When it came time take that step to cranking out a novel, I soon found out I had some learning to do about writing.

So, I began asking for advice from authors and writers, who by the way, were all very kind and willing to help people in the world! Francine Rivers and Beth Moore even took the time to respond to my questions (SQUEAL!). Everyone kept telling me, "Keep writing. Join a critique group, and read craft books."

Me: "Okay. Keep writing. Check. Critique group. Got it." Fist pump. "Craft books? Um, like knitting or soap making?" How was that going to help?

The confused author answering me probably rolled her eyes into the computer screen.  "No. Actual books on the craft/process/skill of writing. Not soap making or knitting."

Me: "Oh." Blush. Head scratch. "Did I mention I'm a natural blonde?"

So. Needless to say, I hopped onto Amazon, ordered me some WRITING craft books and dug in. Deep POV, or Deep Point of View was one of the writing craft concepts that had me pulling my hair. I could tell a story, I could, but how did I make it deep? What did that mean??? Oh the insanity!!

After much hair pulling (metaphorically speaking, of course), I learned that Deep POV is simply writing as if you were the character, so much that the reader will actually experience the ups, downs, ins and outs of the book as if he/she were the character. Deep POV attaches the reader to the novel, and it may or may not cause the writer/author to need therapy after typing The End. :)

Deep POV is cutting out "he said, she said" as much as possible. It's inserting comments, and snippets that the character would say, think, feel. It's expressing mannerisms, physical and emotional responses and reactions. It's A LOT OF WORK, especially since I'm just learning how to wield this new writer's weapon.

Practice makes perfect, so I've been practicing, and practicing. And practicing. STILL not perfect, lol! But I keep on keep'n on!

One of the tools I've found VERY helpful is a short little book by Jill Elizabeth Nelson, called Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View. She offers several exercises on learning to write in Deep POV. Using her exercise template of Shallow POV vs. Deep POV, I'm going to show you examples of my life in Deep POV. Afterward, you can show me your own! Fun, FUN!

Shallow: With smug satisfaction, she tossed the empty laundry basket aside.

Deep: She smirked, and tossed the basket aside. Take that empty laundry basket. Conquering Mt. Pile O' Clothes was quite an achievement.

See the difference? I'm not telling you what I'm feeling, I'm showing you, letting you experience it as if you were me!

Let's do another!

Shallow: She knew the toilet ring wasn't going to disappear by itself, and she sighed knowing she'd have to be the one to clean it.

Deep: "It has to be done." That toilet ring was severe. She snapped on a pair of gloves and sighed. With any luck, it wouldn't take too long.

Okay, my Reader Friends! It's your turn! What are you examples of Shallow vs. Deep! Make me laugh! :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Family Goals: What's Yours?

Over dinner we discussed our family goals. Interesting conversation. My hubby and I heard everything from winning a top five spot for Minecraft creations to dancing with My Little Ponies. Hmm. Not sure the kiddos were getting the concept of "family" goals. SO! With a little coaching--a lot of coaching--we were able to come up with the following 2014 Conway Family Goals: (Drum roll)

  • Family devotion & prayer time everyday: We understand life happens, and we'll forgive ourselves if we forget to do family devotion time, but we want to keep it a priority in our house.
  • Go on vacation: Don't care where or when, but carving out this family fun time is a must.
  • A game night at least once a month: We have pizza and movie night every Friday so this will be fun to mix it up a bit.
  • Complete at least one pinterest family fun idea each month: Craft, game,'s wha-ev, I just want to stop pinning things that I haven't done yet.
  • Give the Kiddos more responsibility around the house: It's good for them; they need to know how to do "stuff," and I need to stop doing it for them for the sake of getting it done faster (ugh,  it's just easier to do that when it's bedtime and they're taking FOREVER to pick up toys!)
  • Keep the basics going strong: Lot's of love, hugs, kisses, playtime, smiles, laughs, reading books, cuddling, listening, kind words, sincere apologies--all musts to carry over into 2014 and the years to come.
So, there ya have it, the Conway Family Goals! Not many, and we may add more, but it's a good start for the new year.

What about you? What are you family goals for 2014?

Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Creation: More Than Your Pinterest Worthy Self

Something Old, Something New. Something or Someone Refurbished, Maybe...Like You?

“You want me to what?” My Dad listened as I tried to explain the vision I had for an old window found in my in-laws attic.

 “You know, Dad. Make it look old.” Not to brag, but my Dad’s a pretty swell carpenter. “Hit it with a hammer…put a few holes in it.”
It couldn’t be the first time someone had asked him to antique something.
He scratched his head full of greying hair, obviously baffled at my request. “You want me to take this old window, clean it up, and make it look old again.”
“Yup.” He totally got it. “It will make a perfect picture frame.”
“But it’s a window. An old window.” Maybe he didn’t get it.
Maybe old, but definitely beautiful. Solid, long, and outlined with squares of stained glass, this window all but begged to hold my family photos. Should I put it above the couch or in the kitchen? I’m still not sure. Either way, it will be GORGEOUS!
Compliments of L Photography
God helped restore our marriage
and make it MORE than Pinterest-Worthy
Give me rust, chipped paint, broken, bent, dented, and dinged. It’s not old, it’s full of potential. Dilapidated barns. That fixer upper starter home. A cracked rocking chair. I can’t help but see the beauty in the run down, thrown out, and pitched. Don’t you?

I think you do. I think we all do.
It’s sweeping the nation—that refurbished Pinterest worthy artifact. Recycling is now up-cycling. Twenty five ways to reuse mason jars, which, by the way, make the BEST tumblers (Check out my how to make your own). How-to videos on distressing furniture, antiquing techniques—they’re all the rage. The old look is now the new thing.

It’s like, America’s junk pile has become the place to find that chic, shabby, trendy item for our home, and to be perfectly honest, I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!
You know why I love it? The same reason you do. There’s something redeeming, deep, and strangely familiar with taking something old, and creating something new.
It’s what God did for us. He looked at us, a junk pile—broken, dirty, dented, and distressed. He saw potential. He saw what we could be with Him, and He extended a hand. For those of us who reached out, he picked us up and turned us into a new creation, something more than Pinterest worthy. All things restored, the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Beautiful, right?
Have you reached out to grab the hand of your Creator? I'd love to hear your new creation story, or what God has restored in your life. Maybe a relationship? Maybe you've experienced freedom in Christ for the first time? I'd love to hear!