Showing posts from June, 2016

Plea of an Unborn Child by Trevor Thorn

This, surely needs to be one of the most voiced themes on behalf of the coming generations - and probably even more so after the result of the UK referendum. The present government has sadly not lived up to its then Prime Minister's promise to be the greenest government ever. But the message is one for the whole world

Dearly beloved Mother, you are, just now,  the only person to whom I can talk. You are my sustenance, my comfort, my very life; and it will be much the same up to and beyond that special day when I can walk.
Today I want to ask you that you will do all you can to ensure the world into which I will be born will sustain me and your grandchildren, and not be so hideously transformed that we will find it impossible to live without fear of disasters, even wars, brought about by too much or too little water, violent winds, extremes of cold and heat: and a probability of having to weep all-too-frequent tears.
Please,please, listen to discerning, careful, forward-thinking scientists and whene…


by Fiona Veitch Smith
I woke up early this morning wondering what the date was. I looked at the calendar and saw it was the 26th with a circle around it and the words ‘ACW blog’ scrawled beside it. I had a sinking feeling when I realized I had not written the blog.            My plan, you see, was to come back on Friday from a life-giving three-day spiritual retreat on Holy Island, and allow the words of truth that had settled in my heart there to gently spill onto the page. My blog was to be about peace and taking time out and oh how beautiful is God’s creation and the pilgrims I met and the wonderful people who served me. But, in my last hours on the island – despite my best efforts not to (I didn’t read a newspaper, had no internet access, and had no radio or television) – someone I bumped into said: ‘Have you heard? We’re out!’ I am not exaggerating when I say I nearly fainted. I spent my last hours on the island crying. First at the altar in St Mary’s church, then I clambered over …

When Life gets in the Way, by Fiona Lloyd

I have a confession to make: I’ve not done much writing recently…at least, not the sort of writing I’d like to be doing. I’ve written a few school reports (still plenty left to do, though), and I’ve done some musical arrangements for work. My two main WIPs, however, are feeling sadly neglected.
It’s not that I’m short of projects. I’ve had helpful advice regarding both the bigger items I’m working on, and I’ve plenty of other ideas for articles I’d like to write. But those chunky pieces need a fair amount of rewriting (gulp!), which means I not only need time to write, but also space in my head to think through the changes I’m going to make. I’m hopeful that once I get to the end of term I’ll be able to get back into a better (and more productive) writing routine, but part of me doesn’t want to wait that long.
Before you start passing out the virtual tissues - or a virtual kick up the derrière if you feel it’s more appropriate - let me share something that has helped me through this dry…

Reaching the bottom

At the ACW weekend at Scargill House recently, I wrote this as my 300-word writing exercise (it’s a bit longer now).

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-14469 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Berlin, Boykott-Posten vor jüdischem Warenhaus.jpg Background... It’s not easy looking back to take in the fact that thousands of kind-hearted, well-motivated Germans, many of them Christians, believed that the Nazi programme was for the good of their country. They didn’t anticipate the ruthlessness and cruelty of the people they gave their support to. When they woke up, it was too late—their liberty was gone, and worse, their faith was drastically compromised. This piece highlights that realization.  You will probably know by now the outcome of the EU referendum. This piece may or may not be relevant. I rather hope not.
I’ve reached the bottom drawer of Goldberg’s desk now. Seems to be just the one book there…
This week, I’ve catalogued, recorded, and audited the whole of his company accounts. I’ve been through every drawer an…

Me and the moon: a conceit - by Helen Murray

I am the moon.

I look down on the world from on high - but all my light comes from you. I glow only because the you shine on me. When I was younger I thought that I was all the light that I needed, just me, shining brightly, but as I've grown older I realise that I have none of my own at all.  I depend on you.

You are the only light.
Sometimes, occasionally, people see and comment on my unique beauty - but that too comes from you; it's all because of you. Most often I am not bright enough for people to notice me at all. Without you to illuminate me I'd be completely dark; the world wouldn't know that I was there. Now and then when there's nothing between you and me to get in the way, that's when I'm best; reflecting your light. On those occasions I shine. Your light bounces from me - I am occasionally a source of inspiration, but always I fade and give way at sunrise.

When I can't see you I am in darkness. The side of me upon which you don't shine i…

It’s All About The Angle (or what writing taught me about editing...)

In the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a moment when one of the leading characters, Hermione, gets to see herself from behind. Despite all the time travelling and world saving that’s happening at this point of the story, her one comment is “is that really what my hair looks like?”
That’s what being edited is like - you suddenly get a chance to see something you know intimately from a completely different angle. I’ve had my writing edited more than once - I think I’ve said before on this blog that being edited is the most devastating yet productive experience I’ve ever been through.
I’ve recently moved sideways from writing into editing. I have to admit that I’m learning on the job, but of one thing I’m certain - being a writer and having been edited is one of the most important training opportunities I could have had. Here’s what I always keep in mind:

1 - When I’d finished the first draft of Secret Scars, I really did think it was done, and as open as I might hav…

The greater the trial the bigger the pearl by Ruth Johnson

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matt.44-46

God recently highlighted to me the above verses. Jesus knew that the treasure of the Kingdom was hidden, and that the Kingdom was like a merchant who was looking for pearls.What a beautiful picture of Jesus the servant, merchant King, looking for those pearls, those people created in the image of God, who He so values and gave up His life for.
As I sat before Him and considered those hidden pearls I came to believe there are still many hidden that He desires to unearth. Are they those who have known Him, but turned away, perhaps hurt by Christians they trusted, or that the world seemed a better place? Are they those held in captivity: physically, …

From there to here, part 3 by Sue Russell

With the publication of the first volume of my trilogy, 'Leviathan with a Fish-hook' in 2009, things started to speed up in my journey. The sequel, 'The Monster Behemoth,' was already written, and edited in line with what I had learned from the inestimable Donna, among others. Towards the end of this book I realised that Eileen's story wasn't over;  a third volume would have to be written. 'The Land of Nimrod' was the fastest yet - six months - from first thoughts to first draft. 'Behemoth' was published in 2010, 'Nimrod' in 2011. I used the same self-publishing company, which was small, family-run, well-established, honest and efficient, and didn't charge the earth. I kept costs down by doing my own proof-reading, asking my most literary friends to read and critique, and providing my own cover designs.

I made lots of mistakes, of course. I still had little idea about publicity and marketing, and at the beginning I ordered far too man…

'Lazy' is a four letter word, by Veronica Zundel

I hate to say this, but there is a small town in Austria called Fucking (pronounced in a northern way). Yes, it's embarrassing. As a German word, however, it's just a combination of consonants and vowels denoting a place. Why am I sharing this less than enlightening fact with you? Well, like several others who write for this blog, I was recently at the ACW writers' weekend at Scargill House. And hardly were we there a few hours, when a discussion arose about using 'bad language' in  fiction.

Now I've been around the Christian writers' scene for around 35 years, and I am sick and tired of this topic. Is Graham Greene a Christian writer? Yes, he's a novelist who was a Christian. Do some of his characters swear? Yes, when appropriate. Is J K Rowling a Christian writer? Yes - she holds a lay office in her church. How can anyone read the final scenes of the last  Harry Potter and not see profoundly Christian themes? But Ron Weasley says 'bloody' a lo…

How looking back can help us move forward by Joy Lenton

Writing a memoir looks quite daunting as more years unfurl and a life is viewed with the benefit of hindsight and perspective.

Tons of junk and gleanings of gold wait to be sifted through as our memory begins to recall past times with greater clarity than what happened yesterday.

What do you focus on: scenes, themes or dreams?

What should have the preeminence in the whole gamut of one's experience?

Where do you start (or finish) the story of your life?

Can you appreciate it for the gift it truly is?
"It holds joy and pain, laughter and tears, success, defeat, triumph and disaster" ~ Marion Stroud 'The Gift of Years'I'm not entirely sure how to answer those questions, but they (and others) have preoccupied my mind since I decided to get my life down on paper.

Inspiration and guidance have come from reading memoir and books about the art of writing it, including William Zissner's 'Writing About Your Life'.

I had a stab at it with 'Seeking Solace', w…

Gratitude for those unexpected moments by Claire Musters

A smile from a passing stranger..
A beautiful blossom that has opened overnight…
Conversation with a friend who just ‘knows’ what you need…
Inspiration for a piece of writing…
Interest from a publisher…
A good night’s sleep…
A wonderful and timely gift from a precious couple…
The chance to be stretched in leadership…
Laughter with family…
There are so many ‘little’ moments that we can overlook every day. But God has been reminding me of something He first taught me during a rather frustrating walk with my then toddler daughter. We were walking into town, but it took a good 10 minutes just to walk to the end of our road. She was totally distracted by everything around her.
She noticed a little flower growing through a crack in the pavement, a ladybird crawling up a lamppost, a cat sitting on a garden fence. I was getting more and more impatient, urging her to hurry up and pulling her along with me when God spoke to my heart. He told me to stop rushing her, to get down to her level an…