In November I wrote a post about the notion that each of us, especially creative writers are a "pencil in God's hand." While I have struggled for 10 years, as a blogger, to find my place in the blogosphere and build an audience, God knows where my creative journey will eventually lead me, even if I do not.
As I wrote, then, I’ve begun to think about new ways to wield that pencil, thanks to the advice and encouragement of friends, and believe I was meant to relocate from CA to TX to build a new life, personally, career-wise, and creatively.
Every once in a while a pencil needs to be sharpened, and books I’ve read over the past year and a half, and continue to read, by “pencil sharpeners” as diverse as Julia Cameron, Glenn Beck, Norman Vincent Peale, Seth Godin, Chris Gardner, C. S. Lewis, Dinesh DeSouza, David Brog, and now Joel Osteen (whose church I've attended since October), have inspired me to think and write in new ways. Other such “pencil sharpeners” are writers and bloggers I am encountering, especially my friend Amanda Socci, the Creative Idea Gal.
As readers know, I have decided to see what I could learn from the February “chapbook challenge” being written by Khara House. Day 1 was “an encouragement to participants to dig out their material, from the recent to the long forgotten, and beginning the task of organizing it in some way.”
Well, I focused on my poems and song parodies, over 100 of them, then I decided to organize my 100 word musings and 100 word cat stories as well. All are on Word Docs, and in folders on my computer. There are many other things that can be similarly saved and organized, but I’ll leave them for other days.
When I bought more bookshelves the other day, and finally put all my books out for display, I was reminded that this pencil had been collecting pencil sharpeners (books on writing, poetry, and related prompts) for a decade, but had only put a few of them to any use.
Now comes this: I had an interesting encounter during the Lakewood Church service, the evening of February 2.
As I let a nice black lady into my row, and she sat a couple seats away, she looked at me and asked if I was a book author....I told her no, but I was a writer with hopes of someday publishing, why did she ask?
Before things got a tad too, um, rambunctious for us to hear each other she said I looked like someone she'd met there a few weeks ago. After the service we met in the lobby and I asked her again why she thought I'd written a book. She said she'd encountered a guy, also carrying a book bag, who said he'd recently published an e-book and was trying to sell it on Amazon. I said, nope it wasn't me! I'm a writer, a recent transplant from Ca., with a couple of blogs and a decade of material a friend is encouraging me to organize into possible book worthiness, but I am nowhere near ready for publication yet. I said that I hope to be maybe someday, and she laughed and said that maybe God meant for her to mistake me for the other guy as some sort of encouragement to me.
How the heck do I know? I'm the last guy to be trying to figure out what is in the mind of God!
Articles and websites referenced for this story:
1. 30 Days of Gratitude Writing Challenge #25: A Pencil In God's Hand.
2. Chapbook Challenge 1: Challenging Myself to Move Forward
3. Amanda Socci
4. Khara House