Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy New Year



Happy New Year,

It is the middle of February and this is the first post of 2018. Lots of reasons but no excuse for not posting sooner. Tomorrow I am attending a writing conference in Livermore CA. I attended a two day class last year at the same location. I wrote about it in February of last year. This year is a one day course intended for more advanced writers. I do not consider myself advanced, but I am serious about learning and have a goal of publishing. If this year is anything like last year it should be very informative and helpful in the advancement of my writing career.

I will, Lord willing, give and outline of what I learned this year after the conference is over. I can say without any reservation that if you are a Christian writer and are serious about your craft, these conferences are the place for you to be. Compared to many conferences I have come across, they are very affordable. Last year was the first conference I had the pleasure of attending. I plan on making this a regular routine.  For more information you can go to the website (westcoastchristianwriters.com) and find out more about upcoming conferences and other opportunities that are available.

 Tell a friend about this blog. www.writetheway.com. There is more to come this year in the way of encouraging articles and update on my books. I am currently working a historical adventure that takes place in 1860, called Cherokee Clay. More about that later.

God Bless and keep writing
 
Cliff

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November, what a month!



Welcome friends,

The month of November is all but over. It was a good month for my wife and I. It was a month filled with travel, good food and writing, lots and lots of writing, and some sadness, and much joy. My wife and I have been looking forward to this month for close to two years. We bought our trailer in April of 2015 and soon after getting used to hauling, backing, cleaning and all of the other details of trailering we decided that we needed to make a big trip. So we made plans to travel to Arizona on our annual pilgrimage to see her mother and other relatives.

It took a year and half to build up the confidence and money to make the trip. Our original planes were to spend a month in an RV park near the town of Benson Arizona. Her mother lived in the small community of Pomerene Arizona. The reservations were made and we began to gear ourselves up for the trip which was never to happen. Shortly after we made the reservations my mother in law passed away. It was sudden and tragic and we all had a difficult time with it. After her death our plans were shelved. We even decided that we were not going to Arizona at all because it would be too painful.

Time has a way of dulling the pain of tragic events. A few months after her mother died we felt as though a trip to Arizona would be healing and would give us a certain amount of closure. But we changed locations. My wife is the best when it comes to doing research on RV Parks and came up with a park near the town of Camp Verde. It is called Zane Gray RV Park. We booked it from the middle of October to the middle of November. The only downer to the trip was that my son and daughter in law where having their third baby, and we would not be there to witness his birth. Yes, we knew that he was a boy and his name was already picked out. Daxon Cort Mansfield was to be born sometime in the middle of November. We promised to be back as soon as we could and give all of the attention we could when we returned.

The day finaly arrived and at 0600 we headed out to Camp Verde Arizona, excited and nervous, but ready to travel. We broke the trip into halves. The first half was from Escalon to Barstow where we stayed at a KOA near the Calico Mine and Hinkley the town Erin Brockovich put on the map. We pulled into the KOA at around 3:00pm and it was in the high 90’s. The evening was uneventful and we pulled out the next morning at 0600 on the second half of the journey. Arriving at the Zane Gray RV Park around 3:00 pm we backed into space 92 and gave each other a high five.

Our time was cut short because Daxon was in a breech position and Jill was scheduled to have a C-section on the 7th of November. Though our plans were changed we still were elated to have made the journey and was able to spend time with family. Mark and Denise, Gregg and Linda, Mike and Kim and Darlene and Ron, thank you all for making our trip very special. We were sad that we could not see Kitty, Sheila’s mom but felt like we could dedicate the trip to her. She was a wonderful women and will be missed.

So that is the trip, the sadness, the food, and the Joy the writing started on November 1st via Nanowrimo. No that is not a foreign language. It stands for the national Novel Writing Month. Google it if you have never heard of it. If you have ever wanted to write a book, it is a good thing to get started in. This is the fourth year I have taken part in it. The goal is to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. This will get you on the way to creating a book. It is a sobering lesson to learn that even though you write thousands of words and create a story there will not be a book until you have done hours and hours of editing. I have admitted in another article on this blog that I do not like editing, it is the hardest part of writing. It is also the most important part of writing.

Today is the 28th of November and I just wrote 50,217 words and completed the task. I still have another ten thousand or so before I have an ending, but I think I will give it a rest. I have another novel that I postponed for Nanowrimo and I will pick it up and finish it this next month. I hope to post excerpts of the book in the next few months. Well that was my November in a nut shell, and I wrote way to much as my wife is quick to add. But hey it is what it is.

God Bless and keep writing

 

Cliff

Friday, September 1, 2017

God Is Good


Walking daily with the living God of the Bible is not always an easy task. I feel your stare of doubt, but hear me out. There are times when he will lead you to places you would prefer not to go. Sometimes there will be a shimmering wall of fear and doubt that you must walk through. When you close your eyes and walk forward by faith and not by sight you will find that the path He chose was necessary for your growth in Him. Sometimes you may just fall down on your knees and humble yourself before the living God and cry out for strength before you are able to take that first step into the realm of the unknown. Whatever it takes you must do it. Christian, God is faithful and loves you more than you know. He has a perfect plan for you, trust him, and follow Him where he leads.

 Seeker, if you have stumbled on to this page and are reading out of curiosity, the emptiness you feel inside is a God shaped hole that can only be filled with Jesus Christ. The hole was created by sin. The bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of Gods glory, and that the wages of sin is eternal death. That is the bad news, the good news is that God loves you and has made a way for you to escape eternal death. The way is Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of the living God of the bible. Simply by believing that Jesus died for your sins, and placing your trust in Him you will be saved. That is the beginning of a new life. There is a link on the upper right hand corner of this page called Gods Simple Plan that will answer questions and present the plan of salvation. Send me a note if you make a decision for Christ.

God is good, live for Him.



Cliff

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

West Coast Christian Writers Conference



Hello All,

God is good! I had an epic time at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference in February. I met Christian writers from all over the globe. The Key note speakers were inspiring, and the classes gave me the boost of encouragement I needed to continue writing.  If you have not been to a Writers conference I recommend this conference. It was in fact my first writer’s conference, and I was not disappointed. The cost was affordable (I took advantage of the early bird special) and the atmosphere was Christ centered.

There were two key-note speakers, Michele Cushatt and Tosca Lee. Both are authors and public speakers. Michele’s testimony and life experience touched and inspired me to move past the disappointments of life, and cling to the promises that God has given us. He will be with us no matter what we go through. He is our strength, and He is our hope. Her web site is www.michelecushatt.com. I encourage you to visit her site. Michele spoke at the closing segment. She used Moses to illustrate how God sets people apart for specific things to do and prepares them for those jobs

At the end of her presentation she had us take our shoes off and visualize that we are standing on Holy Ground. The world desperately needs to know there is a mighty God who loves them and we must get the message out. Each of our feet and the legs that support us represent Gods Presence and Gods Purpose. She focused on the burning bush and how it was full of fire but not consumed, when we walk in Gods purpose and presence we will not be consumed.

Tosca Lee is a New York Times best seller. She has co-authored several books with Ted Dekker. Her web site is toscalee.com. She writes very interesting books with titles like, Demon, Iscariot, and the Progeny. As of yet I have not read her books. I plan on starting with her first book entitled Havah, the story of Eve. I read the teaser on Amazon, her writing is what you would expect from a NYT best seller. I am not sure this is her first book, but I believe it to be one of her earlier works. One take-away for me is the things in our life that set us apart from others and may even be considered as weird are actually our Super-Powers.  We should embrace the differences in our life and capitalize on them. She gives three cautions that come with our super powers:

1.       You shall not covet someone else’s super powers

2.       Own your super power, make it special and yours

3.       With great power comes great responsibility, use your power carefully.

Another thought that resonated with me is that God has poured a certain amount of talent into all of us. It is our responsibility to make that investment in us grow. Do not be like the man in scripture with one talent who hid it. Use your gifts for God’s Glory.

These presentations are a smattering of what was dished out over the course of two days. I attended 6 classes plus the four group gatherings where Michele and Tosca shared. If you are a Christian Writer or if you would like to know more about being a Christian writer there is a group dedicated to helping you be the best you can be. It is called Inspire Christian Writers. It is only fifty dollars a year. The web site is Inspirewriters.com. Check it out, who knows there may be a writer in side of you waiting to get out.

One last note, the ages of those attending were from teenagers to those in there nineties. You are never too old to start writing. The majority of the people I met were writing memoirs. One man I met was a survivor of the Killing Fields of Cambodia. He gave me the first chapter and offered to show me pictures from the Killing fields. More on that later. Thanks for coming by, Never stop learning and never stop seeking His perfect will in your life.

By his Grace, For His Glory

Cliff

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy February




 

Happy February,


     I hope this post finds you well and excited about the New Year.  This month I go to my first writer’s conference. I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with real writers, maybe some of the good stuff will rub off on me. In the November post I mentioned that I was working on a project I started over ten years ago. I began writing the story while flying to Texas for a company school. The idea came to me as I was flying over the Arizona desert. I thought what if I were stranded in the desert, how would I survive. The obvious title was Survival. But, as with most of the stories I have written since, it turned in to something different than my original plan. I believe there are a few chapter of it posted on this blog. It is the first story that I started and completed a beginning middle and end. It is not finished and polished because it requires a complete rewrite.


       I kept going back to it because there are some very good scenes and I became fond of my main character, Felix Carver. But, I decided to put this one in the drawer for a while longer. The number one reason is, and I am a little bit embarrassed by it, (confession is good for the soul, so they say) I hate editing! I am terrible at it and it makes my head hurt. So for that reason I have decided to move on to my third book, (the second book is in the percolating stage, I am stuck). I started this one a few years ago. It has less problems and will be easier to spruce up. I have had some good comments about it from my critique group so I have decided to take this one all the way to publishing. My goal is to have it completed by October. The title is Cherokee Clay. It is about a young man who was born to a Cherokee Mother and English father, and takes place in the mid 1800’s shortly after the forced removal of the Cherokee nation.

     The research has been fun and very eye opening. The most amazing part of the history of the Cherokee is there overall endurance and perseverance in reaching their corporate dreams. They were one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

     The Five Civilized Tribes is the term applied to five American Indian (Native American) nations: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. These tribes were considered civilized because they adapted to the influx of whites by adopting many of our ways, such as building schools, developing city government, and many Cherokee wore the clothes of the white man. This was in no way a sign of weakness but demonstrates the built in adaptability of the Cherokee. They were grossly taken advantage of by our government in a way that staggers the imagination. They were forcibly removed from their land and relocated in a foreign place where they were not wanted. The trip from Georgia to Oklahoma is called the Trail of Tears. Over 3000 died from starvation and the elements. If you have never read anything about the force removal of the Five Civilized Tribes, it is well worth the effort to do a little research.

     The theme of Cherokee Clay is forgiveness, and moving past hurt to reach attainable goals. The genre is Christian Adventure. I have had a blast writing this one. I might even take a trip to see first-hand where the Trail of Tears started in the name of research. Stay tuned to this channel, I plan on pasting a few chapters of the book on this blog. Next month I will give a brief report on the writers conference. Until then God Bless and Live for Him!



Cliff












Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have a Happy Bible year


Merry Christmas to all, Thank you for coming by this blog. I try to post something as often as I can. I know, it’s a pretty vague schedule. I am working on a more consistent approach for the coming year. This year past I finally met the challenge of reading the bible through in its entirety. The bible is the living word of God, written in a fifteen hundred year span by more than forty authors from many different economic categories.  Kings, military leaders, peasants, philosophers, fisherman, tax collectors, poets, musicians, statesman, scholars and Shepherds were all involved in writing down the single most important book in all of the world.

Some of the most notable authors include David, a king, poet, musician, Shepherd and warrior. There was Amos a herdsman, Joshua, a military general, Nehemiah a cupbearer to a pagan king, Daniel a prime minister, Solomon a king and philosopher. In the new testament there was Luke a physician and historian, Peter a fisherman, Matthew a tax collector, Paul a rabbi, and Mark who was Peter’s secretary. The Bible was written on three continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe. And it was written in three Languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Written in fourteen different literary styles, the Bible address hundreds of controversial subjects, and most importantly it is the revelation of the Living God made known to man through Jesus Christ.

 The number of Bibles sold is in the billions. More Bibles have been produced than any other book in history. In one year The United Bible Society reports that it distributed more than 20. 8 million complete bibles and another 20.1 million testaments. So far the Bible has been translated into more than 2500 languages. The Bible has withstood attacks by enemies set on its destruction.  The Roman emperor Diocletian ordered that the Bible must be destroyed and all Christians must stop worshipping their God, Churches were destroyed and Bibles were burned, yet Christianity prospered and grew, so much so, that less than a hundred years later another Roman emperor ordered fifty copies of the Bible to be prepared at the governments expense.

The Bible is the word of God, it shall last forever. I pray that you take the challenge this year and read the Bible through. I used the Life Principles Daily Bible by Charles Stanley.  It gives you Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament every day.  It generally took me about twenty minutes a day, and the most convenient time for me is in the morning.  I think that I missed about three days, which I made up for each following day. I took the Bible where ever we went so that I would not have huge chunks of reading to make up. My Bible has been to the far reaches of Alaska and the bottom of Arizona. The picture above is where I meet God every morning, and my cat Mia. She waits for me to make coffee and sit down, then she crawls on my lap and together we explore what God has to reveal.

The facts above concerning the Bible were taken from Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell. I am going to add its reading to my Bible reading this year. God bless and have a wonderful Bible filled year.

Cliff

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rejoice



Hello friends and family,

It has been a while since my last article, or whatever you want to call this stuff, so I felt the need to get busy and put down some public thoughts. I have been writing quite often, but nothing publishable, yet.  I am working on a novel I started almost ten years ago. My goal is to have it finished by March of next year and start sending out book proposals.
          I started reading the bible through this year and have been very successful so far, just two months away from completing the task. Once done I will start over and add other aspects of bible study. Last month while in Arizona my path through the bible led to the wonderful book of first Thessalonians. I found a couple of verses that I have added to memory. My mnemonic for remembering these verses is RPG. Rejoice, Pray, Give thanks. 1 Thessalonians chapter five, verses 16-18 says: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  What power and joy these verses bring.
My twisted little brain fumbled around with the acronym RPG and the first thing that came to mind was Rocket Propelled Grenade, a handheld weapon that is very destructive. My RPG is a weapon to be used against the enemy of joy, peace and contentment. It has been effective in my life when disappointment has raised its childish head. Or, when anger sneaks up and wraps its scaly arms around me. It is effective against anything that attempts to steal joy.
The rejoicing part has been somewhat of a conundrum in the aspect of what constitutes rejoicing. Does it look like snoopy when he does his happy dance? Or is it more benign, like a monk who gets a new blanket? And, what am I to rejoice about?  Yesterday in Church I got an answer. We are going through the book of Romans and have landed on Romans chapter five. To sum up a forty five minute sermon our pastor listed six things that we have reason to rejoice for. First, because of Jesus we have peace with God (vs1). Second, Because of Jesus we have access to God (vs2). Third, Because of Jesus we have Hope (vs2). Fourth, Because of Jesus the problems we face have a purpose (vs 3). Fifth, Because of Jesus we can experience Gods love (vs6). Sixth, Because of Jesus we have eternal security (vs 17-18).
I think the answer to what rejoicing would look like is most certainly Snoopy’s happy dance. I encourage you to memorize 1thessalonians 5:16-18 and apply it to your life. I believe you will find the joy you have been looking for. God bless and see you next time


Cliff