The Epic Undoing of Haley Ann Ewing

The epic undoing of haley ann ewing

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

I’m not much of a reader of fiction.  I’ve read the first 175 pages of Crime and Punishment three times.  For some reason, I just can’t make it to the end.  When I do manage to finish a novel, it usually takes me a few months.  Vanda laughs as me because she’ll read about seven books before I finish one.

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True Colors (Guest blogger: Emma Knickerbocker – 12 yrs. old)

One of Emma's drawings (Not from her project. That hasn’t been graded yet.)

One of Emma’s drawings (Not from her project. That hasn’t been graded yet.)

So it`s first period at my school, and I`m sitting in Mrs. Zitkovich`s class, minding my own business and trying to focus over Martin`s and Billy`s usual “trying to beat Billy up” sort of thing. We’re working on this poem I love called “The Highwayman”, and I`m checking over my homework.

The bell rings, and we all sort of quiet down a bit, not that much. Mrs. Zitkovich walks in saying, “Take out your homework.”

After we check it over Mrs. Zitkovich says we`re going to have a choice of projects about “The Highwayman” and all of them but one include drawing! I decide right away that I`m doing a wanted poster, but then Mrs.Zitkovich convinces me to rewrite the poem with another character`s perspective, which includes drawing.

So I take it home to work on it.  Then I take it in to school, SUPER excited, and I hand in the paper. Mrs.Zitkovich takes a look at it with a questioning look. “Why didn`t you color it?” she asked.

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Words of (too much) comfort

Comfort

Comfort (Photo credit: clumsy_jim)

Praying hard is hard because you can’t just pray like it depends on God; you also have to work like it depends on you.  You can’t just be willing to pray about it; you also have to be willing to do something about it.  And this is where many of us get stuck spiritually.  We’re willing to pray right up to the point of discomfort, but no further.  We’re willing to pray right up to the point of inconvenience, but no further.  Praying hard is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but that is when you know you’re getting close to a miracle!

-Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, p. 112

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Emma got a Scholastic Writing Award, and I had a pitty party.

Emma and the Golden Line from her short story.

Emma and the Golden Line from her short story.

Emma was one of 17 kids ranging from 7th grade to high school senior to be awarded honorable mention at Kent State University last night. We’re in the Northeast Ohio Writing Region for the Scholastic Writing Awards.  Nationally, more than 80,000 students participate. Fifteen percent get honorable mention, ten percent are given a Silver key and five percent are honored with the Gold Key Award. Emma’s friends, Alexandra Morar and Madison Lucansky, joined her on the ground floor with honorable mentions. Her friend Anna Sherman shot right to the top with a Gold Key award!  Kudos to their teachers, Joyce Zitkovich and Marli Brocker.

As the kids were walking up to read the Golden Line from their work that had been chosen by the judges (great idea!), I experienced a mixture of great pride and a tiny bit of envy.  Maybe envy isn’t the right word.  Basically I was feeling sorry for myself.  My daughter was getting an award for writing at the tender age of 12, and I hadn’t written anything that wasn’t a mandatory assignment until I was 39. If only I had the same encouragement that these kids have.  There are so many skills that I need to develop – so many circles of influence to help foster my dream.  If God really wants me to be a writer, why didn’t he get me started much earlier in life?

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It’s been a year, so time for a blog makeover (not “dog” makeover, silly).

“Today, the part of Blitzen will be played by Winston.”

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year since starting this blog. February 25, 2012, I began on this trek, and things have changed a bit. I was unemployed without benefits back then, and would be for another five months. I also had never been published, and now there’s a number of devotionals and an article under my belt. There’s great potential for a church plant in a coffee shop or two in the future, which had been a dream I had given up on.  Things have changed for the better, proving once again that God’s goodness knows no end.

So, I thought I’d change the blog a bit as well. I’m not sure why I like grunge themes. Maybe it’s because there’s a sense of getting down to the nitty-gritty of my Christian experience. I don’t even know if that makes sense. “Grunge” has a nitty-gritty feel to me. Anyway, I hope you like it.

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Thanks to WordPress, visits to my blog are going through the roof!

Wow.  My blog hit the Freshly Pressed on WordPress today.  Lots of great comments are popping up, but I’m on retreat this weekend without my computer.  I’ll be checking in to approve comments so that they’ll show, but I’ll have to reply to them when I get home after the weekend.  I plan to reply to every one.

Thanks so much!

Being chosen is pretty cool

WordPress Logo

WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Phil Oakley)

There are 59,421,522 WordPress blogs in the world as of this moment.  Sixty-six percent of them are in English.  That means that 39,218,205 are in the language I write.  So I was amazed while opening my email last week to see that my most recent blog about a Toyota Prius and New Years resolutions (December 27) had been selected to be featured on the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress Dashboard.

Pretty cool.

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Go for it!

I’m registered to go to the Christian Writers’ Conference near Indianapolis in a couple of weeks. I went last year for the first time and came away with some great insight. It’s hard to believe the difference a year makes.

It all started when my wife encouraged me to write a book about topic that weighs heavy on me. Check out my first chapter posted on this blog. I believe that church shouldn’t be a bore. Take a look at the Bible. Our God isn’t boring, so we shouldn’t be either. I’d never written anything outside of papers for school. But, I thought I’d give it a go. I was a bit scared but, as my Vanda reminded me, I’d just planted a church. What could be more scary than that? So I wrote the first chapter and had a few (very honest) friends critique it for me. They strongly encouraged me to write some more.

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42 – The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (film)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the teenagers at our High School group at church last week were asking their iPhone some crazy questions. Siri, the name of the computerized personal assistant included with the iPhone, has been in commercials with John Malkovich, Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel. The goal for the kids eventually became getting Siri to give the answer “42”.

Apparently, it’s a “thing”. Just another one that I’ve missed. So, I Googled it with the hopes of fitting in just in case it comes up again this week. At least then I wouldn’t have a blank smile on my face – trying to be in on the joke and not letting on that I’m out of touch. Here’s what I found: Continue reading