St.Louis Amigan, 11th Anniversary

I have a great friend, one who is a talented writer, composer, and a great encourager.

For the 11th anniversary of his newsletter St.Louis Amigan Billsey asked if I would write about something that often gets in the way of me and God.

I am greatly honored to be featured in his newsletter. You really ought to take the time to read his article and especially his hymns. 🙂

To view it, click here. Or copy the link and paste it into your browser: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bx5lJdNg2WEYa0JxZ2dxUmtMTEE/edit

 

~Ellie

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Help from my Writing Buddies (and everyone else)

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I have come up with several story ideas. They are a bit depressing, probably mushy, and will take a lot of research. But I really want some ideas and input. They all have problems.

Here’s the first:

The Main Character is a 23 year old young man wants revenge on his father. Between ages 1-13 his father only showed up randomly when drunk and abused him and his mother. He blames his father for his miserable childhood and all problems since, and for all his mother’s health problems. When he was 13, his father went to prison for 10 years. While in prison his father wrote MC, but MC always burned the letter without opening the envelope. Now his father is being released and he is getting ready to hunt him down and kill him for all he did to him and his mom.

Possible Opposition –
His mother is still alive begging him not to?
His father is fierce and dangerous?
His father is defenseless and harps on MC’s conscience?
His father is now a Christian and begging for forgiveness?
MC becomes a Christian?

Obviously, the problem with this story idea is that I don’t know which way to turn the story. Any help? You can throw out as many ideas as you have. I’d love them.

 

Here’s the second:

Leny is a 14 year old Mexican girl. Her family, which includes grandfather, aunts, uncles, 2 siblings, and 10 half siblings or cousins, live in three small shacks on the edge of the city. Her older brothers have each grown up to work for the cartel. Her brother Carlos who is 15 will be working for them in just a matter of time. They don’t have much of a choice.
She takes care of the small children and goes to school when she has time. But she has only a few changes of clothes, usually not enough food, her grandfather, father, and uncles get drunk regularly.
How does she get out of this situation?

The problem with this story idea is that while the situation is heart wrenching and gripping, I don’t know how to get her out of it. And even more difficult, how does one get the whole family out of such a situation, especially when this has been going on for generations? The most depressing part of this story is that I’ve met Leny personally, she’s a real girl, and her situation is only one of many like it.

 

Here’s the third and longest idea:

This idea is actually many combined. It could even be joined with the second story idea.
The MC is a single Mexican mom near the Texas/Mexican border. Her teenaged son has duo-citizenship. For this reason he feels out of place in both countries. There are several cartels in Mexico, some kill and kidnap, some stick to distributing drugs. The son went to the “good” cartel to work for them and get their protection for him and his mom. His mom is kidnapped one evening by the “bad” cartel and questioned about her son’s activities. She knows nothing so is let go. She fights with her son about it, and they determine to leave suddenly and swim the river.
They do. Right now (believe it or not) if you are caught as an illegal alien, you are given a check up, all your shots, food stamps, maybe more—which is more than you get if you come across legally. Then you are released and told to show up for a court date. No one ever does. The system is wack! Obviously, I’ll need to do more research. But anyway, the mom and her son can also get help from a charity organization to make her legal.

2nd part of story: The mom gets training as a nurse and gets a job at a Planned Parenthood clinic. She loves her job and is finally providing for her family.
But her son struggles hard with depression. He can’t fit into the school system very well, and doesn’t have a community or any friends. His mom tries to help him with grades, but it only serves to make him believe her love is highly conditional. His grades improve, but his depression is deep.
Someone finds out his mom is an abortion clinic nurse and tells him about all the horrors of abortion. They spare him no anger or accusation. Again, his depression grows stronger.
Finally he finds out that in order for his mom to counsel women to get an abortion she tells them that she wishes she had had the resources to get an abortion when she wasn’t ready. (Horrifically, such things have been said.)
So he kills himself. 😥 See why these are so depressing?
He would probably leave a note explaining to his mom why he killed himself, and also explaining to her the horrors of abortion that have been told him.
She quits her job and becomes a pro-life activist in honor of her son. Through that, she meets a church and finds a real community for the first time in her life. And this is so sad, because her son never lived to find a community, nor acceptance in Christ.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on that story? The thing might be mushy and depressing, but with good research and a lot of work, it can reveal a lot of the problems in Mexico and in abortion that aren’t common knowledge.

 

So what I want to know is

  1. Which story would you most likely read and refer?
  2. And what ideas do you have for that story?

 

Thank you SO much! If I don’t get help for one of these I might go insane!

~Ellie

Long for Home, Critique Wanted

This blog was originally made to get feedback from people who took time out of their life to read it. So….do I still have any of those readers? Hmm, good question.

I am getting close to self publishing a short story through Createspace.com. I’m getting closer every day, and I can feel it in my bones. It’s almost ready….almost.

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A brief synopsis is on the back of the book cover. The first draft (a lot of editing has been done) was my original profession and explanation of my faith, written right after I was saved in 2010. Right now I am looking for people to review the book and tell me what fine-tuning is left to be done. The story is about 16,000 words long.

If anyone is interested, let me know in the comments and I can send you an email.

 

Thanks!
Ellie

Conforming to this World, Romans 12:2

For school I was prompted to write about a time I conformed to someone else’s standards and ideas. I mind immediately jumped to the time before I was saved when I constantly tried to be like my friends. It was peer pressure, not freedom, but I’ll let you read the essay. It’s another side of my conversion you might not know.

I grew up in a Christian home. That meant that heavy makeup wasn’t worn, just because it wasn’t. Dressing modestly was something we all wanted to do, and were sure to do, because it simply was the right thing to do. Looking to God for direction was what life was about.

I was pretty happy in my home and church until age 11 or 12. I knew by then that those little prayers I had prayed before hadn’t really saved me. I knew that I wasn’t saved and wasn’t a true Christian, but at the moment, I wasn’t too concerned about that. My days were filled with finishing school as quickly as I could so that I could run up and play with the neighbors. At their house, even though I was not allowed inside, I learned things that I had never learned at my house. I saw and heard things I had never seen or heard before. The neighbors knew better than to speak colorfully or talk too bluntly about their situations, but I learned enough to know that they lived a lot differently than we did.

I became a rebellious young girl. I liked my church just fine, but I didn’t want to stay there all of my life, and I did not like the restraint of a family. I felt like I had been stuffed into a box of rules, but one day I would actually be free. I told myself, “I’ll be free to do my own thing. I can live my own life.” What I imagined was everything that my friends talked about, boyfriends, phones, facebook. It was something I didn’t see until years and years later that the “freedom” of the world came with drama, heartache, hardening, peer pressure, and depression, and was not really “freedom” at all. In truth my vision of “freedom” was conforming to the codes of this world.
During those preteen years I went as far as I could to be like my friends. At the store, I first used my saved money to buy makeup. Makeup wasn’t a big deal at our house. There was no hard set rules, it was just an unspoken rule that too much makeup was frowned upon. I reached for eyeliner and my older sister stopped me. “Oh, don’t get black. That looks so dark. Get brown. Black looks so unnatural.” She left me and walked around the corner, leaving me along with the makeup. I looked from her retreating figure back to the eyeliner. If I got black now she would be mad once she found out, she might tell my parents, “I told her not to get black”, but brown didn’t show enough. I wanted something bold. Instead of black I got blue. Of course she wasn’t happy, but it was already bought and soon I spent a long time in front of the mirror with my makeup. Every day I applied a little more.

Next I bought some clothes. I had found a lovely dark gray t-shirt with a pink guitar dripping with dark liquid. “Exactly what my friends would wear!” I thought. I was placing it in the shopping cart when my dad stopped me. “You really want that?” he asked. “Doesn’t it look a little….grunge?” “That’s the point,” I thought, but I didn’t say that, I just put it back and settled with another with birds around a keyhole. Dad looked at it a little hesitantly, but he let me buy it.
I read whatever I was allowed and even things I wasn’t allowed. When I wasn’t at my friends’ house, I buried myself in books. I learned that “Christian” books and “Non-Christian” books sometimes have very little or no differences to them. “Christian” books saturated my head with romance and visions of running away. And some “Non-Christian” books were set aside because they were boring and moralistic.

Perhaps the most harmful thing I did in an attempt to fit in with the world, with my friends, was to listen to secular music. I don’t remember my parents ever telling me, “Do not listen to those radio stations,” but as soon as I did, I knew they would not approve of what I was listening to. So I didn’t tell them. I have always been an absorber of music. I can remember anything in the world so long as it is set to music. In a couple days I had the songs on each radio station practically memorized and hummed them silently to myself, the lyrics running through my head at all times. They did not free me from my life of worship music, they simply captured me into their own themes and romances. I was truly addicted.
There was times when I was convicted of my sin, or I coveted the peace of the Christians I saw. One time I can specifically remember preparing myself to get up out of a meeting and find a place to pray and give myself over to God. But as I was convincing myself to stand and leave, a woman at the church asked a question on her heart: should their be a difference in the music Christians listen to and the music that the world listens to. She began explaining that she didn’t want to be legalistic, but she saw a problem with a lot of the music she saw her friends enjoying. I was cemented back to my seat. I could never give up my music! I lived in my music. I dwelt in it, and gloried in pictures of making it myself one day.

When God saved me I was in the thick of it all. Dad had given me a talk about my makeup and I had been told to wear less, but it was discreetly being built back up. I visited my friends and talked about boys and music with them. I soaked my head in books of romance. I wore clothes as much like my friends as I could, and they still would have called me a “good girl”, which I hated. I acted like a Christian on one side of my life, though I did a bad job, and a heathen on the other side, and again I did a bad job. My life might have been “fun” but it wasn’t fulfilling in the least. I was depressed often. The more I fit in, the more I was pressured to fit in more, not by anything that anyone said, but by my own mind that looked at them and looked at me and saw myself lacking. What I really dreaded was the thought of not being famous and important. More than anything, I wanted to be admired.

To be saved, God had to show me, rather dramatically, how useless and faulty all those things were. I had chained myself so fully that when He shook me loose from the boys, phones, and the books, I fell into a despair and darkness until I took His hand to let Him pull me out. He showed me that apart from Him, I was headed for destruction. A few of those things were left behind immediately after I was saved, and it had all lost its flavor, but the pattern of my thinking and lifestyle was gently changed by God’s faithfulness and through much tears on my part. The first two and three months after I was saved I felt that I had not changed enough, that I could not really be a Christian when these awful song lyrics were still running through my head, but God’s word, Romans 12:2 pointed me to keep reading the Bible and praying and one by one I saw those battles won. Gospel music finally made sense to me. Constructive books finally found value. Modestly finally had a reason. I even found myself looking better without so much makeup.

Perhaps I didn’t really know I was chained and still imagined myself with a will of my own. Perhaps I had felt the chains of the lure of this world before I was saved, but I would never admit it. But my mind and affections had truly been captured. Freedom came from having a truly wonderful master. God has turned my life from conforming to this world and is continually transforming me into the likeness of His Son. Depression has finally left my everyday life. I am truly happy.

Yours truly,
Electric Bubbles

Read My Story!!!!

I must apologize for not blogging. I am very busy, believe me!

My brother is engaged! He is planning on getting married October 13th, 2013.

Thus, I am busy!

Second, I go to Wisconsin tomorrow! I am terribly excited and I will try to take all the pictures I can! It’s the awesomest place I’ve ever been! We are still trying to get packed, get food ready for the 10-11 hour drive, and pack the van.

Thus, I am busy!

But I haven’t completely forgotten my blogger friends. I do have pictures I have drawn, but the picture I am working on I cannot show you. Not yet! 😉 Instead, I have something for y’all to read. I found and read over one of my old drafts, from June 2013, Camp Nanowrimo. I think it is my favorite draft that I have. I made a cover for it awhile ago….

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To be sure, I have plans to change some things in it, but I want to let y’all read it and critique it. Please be ruthless with the story, and please be kind to me!

If a doc. doesn’t work for you somehow, let me know and I’ll try to email it to you, but it will be after I return from Wisconsin.

NOTE: If an italicized sentence or portion is not expressly a thought of a character, then it is subject to removal and is italicized just for me. I’ve also written notes for myself, just ignore them, if you want.

1 The introduction to the family of Adofo, and how misfortune befell them in the cozy town where they lived and what became of their misfortune.
2 Leaving the town and journeying on
3 Dividing 
4 The fates and fortunes of Hanson and Westby
5 The fates and fortunes of Mireille and Hurlee
6 The Placing of Hanson and Westby
7 Living in the place
8 What became of Westby’s place
9 What became of Hanson’s place
10 Hanson’s captivity 
11 Westby slipping
12 The Capture of Mireille
13 Westby’s search

Part Two

14 Hanson’s escape
15 Hurlee slipping
16 Mireille and Westby’s Captivity
17 As a Captive
18 Captive and more
19 Breaking point
20 Rescue
21 No Rescue
22 Preparing for Change
23 Escape
24 Betrayal
25 Westby’s rescue
26 The end
for those who wondered

Enjoy!

Chill Peeps!

Electric Bubbles

Beginning Writer and some team work

First, by way of introduction….

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This is Jimmy!!!!

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Alright, so now that you know Jimmy, I can tell you he’s a new writer! He is writing me a lovely story about a “dee” (bee). Today he was super excited to do it–give me a story to edit and revise for him.

He is smart you know! Today he told us, “Lighting bugs must eat the sun.” When I told him it was too cute he said, “I mean, they sit out in the sun so they can glow at night. That’s like their food.” That’s why he should be a writer. I told him so and that is where this started, but obviously he’s had this idea of the bee in his head for quite awhile, since he learned about them in school.

So here’s his story.

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Translation: “Once there was a bee, but he didn’t have wings or a pattern. He was a little worm shape. One day he woke up. He was shaped like a bee, but he did not have a pattern like a bee, so he ate furious but they….”(I’ve only received one page. He’s still working on the second.
After he proudly gave me his work–I revised it. Here’s the second draft:
“Once upon a time there was a bee, well, he was not really a bee, not to himself. To himself he saw only a little worm shape, and honestly, he really was just a little worm. No wings, no stripes.
He waited quite awhile, depressed because he never thought he would be a bee. Not now, not ever. But the day came when he found that his head was shaped very finely, and his body as well. But he was not a bee, and he knew it, because he had no stripes, no pattern.
He went on with his life, admiring his head and eyes, but not doing much else–except eat honey of course; the real bees above poured it down on his head constantly….”
Watch out Washington! Look out Times Square! Here we come to rock the nation!
Happy Writing!
Electric Bubbles