Posts

The Butterfly Effect by Georgie Tennant

Image
According to the infallible authority that is Wikipedia, “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in a large differences in a later state.” Clear as mud?  I’m with you on that one.
Even if the obscure wording of Wikipedia doesn’t enlighten us much, I think most people are familiar with the concept of ‘The Butterfly Effect,’ - the idea that a small, seemingly insignificant event can cause ripples and effects we could hardly begin to imagine.

Ray Bradbury’s chilling short story, ‘A Sound of Thunder,’ approaches this concept from a more sinister angle.It is 2055 and a time travelling company runs a commercial operation, taking groups of people back to the time of the dinosaurs to hunt them.The three men who take the trip in the story are warned to shoot only marked dinosaurs and to stay on the path provided.Failing to follow both these rules could change the p…

Giving ourselves a break By Claire Musters

Image

Writing our Lament - by Liz Carter

Image
Writing can be full of fun, hope, spark and mischief.
But it can also declare the very depths of the human condition.
I was reading an article written by a person who didn't feel church was for them because the songs didn't seem to reflect the wide realities of life, capturing only the hopeful and joyous sides of faith without admitting to the hurting. I know what they mean, and yet I've been heartened in the last few years to note many worship songwriters producing songs which share raw pain as well as turning to hope. And that's been reflected in the Christian writing community, as well - with many writers feeling able to pour out their rage, their sadness - their lament, at last, instead of donning masks and sticking to a saccharine kind of pretence about life with Jesus being all joy and no depths.
But writing lament is difficult. It rips pieces from us as we plunder the depths of our own pain and sorrow, and leaves us exhausted, spent. It's a vulnerable place …

Going Nowhere, Feeling Grateful by Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Image
This time of year there are a lot of writers’ and illustrators’ retreats, open days and conferences happening. If you are sick, housebound or strapped for cash, as many of us are, it is easy to feel as though there is a great deal of fun passing us by, and maybe just as importantly, that we are losing out on opportunities to make friends, learn more about our craft, and even pitch our ideas to publishers.
This is when I feel most grateful for the internet. Stuck at home, I can still send out words and pictures, stories and ideas to the world and play my little creative part. I can submit to agents and publishers via email, and enter competitions just by using my keyboard. It all seems miraculous, especially when I think how much harder all this must have been for someone in my position even as short a time as twenty years ago, when everything had to be typed or printed and mailed, and there was no way to chat with a group of like-minded people as I now can every day with the Associat…

BORROWED WORDS by Liz Manning

Image
It’s ironic, isn’t it, as a writer, to run out of words?


But there are times when events overtake us and life becomes overwhelming, emotions beyond the limits of mere language.


As a writer, and a Christian, where words are what I turn to for expression and connection, both to others and to God, these can be the times when this lifeline deserts me and I am left drifting out on a sea of feelings and circumstances on nothing more substantial than a Lilo.


That’s when I need a lifeboat manned by other people.


That’s when, like the crippled man on the mat, I need to be carried by others’ faith.


That’s when I need other people’s words to borrow.


It’s often songs that help. The added benefit of music, which expresses more than lyrics alone, speaks directly to my heart and lets me expel the anguish of helplessness and longing as I sing along. Often I find a particular song ‘fits’ so I play and sing it repetitively, holding on to its truths for dear life. Secular or sacred, I believe God hears…

A Jolly Decent Story-Teller for Children

Image
By Rosemary Johnson
The ACW Writing for Children Competition finished on Monday 30, September.  Seventy-three members and non-members entered.  A big thank you to all of you.  You will now be sitting on the edges of your seats waiting for the results of the judging.  As is usual with our comps, we have a very strong field.  On Tuesday (8 October) Nikki Salt wrote about discerning which children’s authors will stand the test of time and which won't.  The BBC did not rate the author whose books I read compulsively during my primary school years.  The BBC banned all her stories and plays from the air for thirty years because they were lacking in “literary value" and "such very small beer" and her dialogue “both stilted and long winded".  Despite the BBC, she has sold 600 million copies worldwide.  She is the fourth most translated of all authors and the most translated children’s author.  I’m writing, of course, of Enid Blyton.  Uncool?  Too right! The language …

Books and Mental Health by Wendy H. Jones

Image
I wasn't expecting to be writing a blog today so apologies for the lateness. In some ways it has worked out well, as it means I can write a post for Mental Health Awareness Week. Yes, I know it's a writing blog, I'm getting there. Like the population at large, there are many writers who have mental illness. One of the most high profile must be Stephen Fry, who is open about the fact he has bipolar. Christian writers are no stranger to this either. Also, as writers, surely we have a responsibility to write about mental illness and to include characters with mental health issues in our novels. Many of our own members have brought out books which support or reflect a whole range of mental health issues, so I thought it was worth covering them during Mental Health Awareness Week.  These are in no particular order. 


Claire Musters has been involved in writing several of the Insight Series by Waverley Abbey. 


Crying for the Light: Bible Readings and Reflections for Living with D…