Writer’s Blog Hop & New Pen Friends

Enthusiastically Dawn sent me a characteristically enthusiastic invitation a couple of weeks ago. I was honored that she thought of ME.  She thought I’d be game for an intriguing blog hop for writers: to encourage, inspire and introduce us, one to another, with answers to four questions on our writing life, and our introduction of three blog writers into the blog hop fray.

writers reverie, logo

Normally, I’d be super excited about the prospect. But, at the time I was super focused on preparing for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference – that was shortly upon me – see my review of the adventure HERE. I didn’t think I could commit – especially after a blog friend gracefully bowed out as one of my three writers to introduce. She had been mastering the anointed use of the word “no,” so as not to overload herself.

Seriously considering that I, too, would have to defer in the negative, I hated to disappoint Dawn. She’s such a joyful soul and I truly did feel blessed that she had asked me. Then – a brilliant idea occurred to me! In just a week I would be heading to a writer’s conference taking a six hour blogging clinic over a three day period and meeting scads of writers and bloggers up close and personal. Why not find and introduce three NEW blogging friends I would meet there, with the opportunity to build our relationship online – IN PERSON – first? Bloggers don’t often get such luxuries. We tend to grow tight with our blogging kindreds in our virtual Blogland, knowing we may never meet them in person this side of Heaven.

So, I told Dawn I was in, and she introduced me on her post, THUS.

NOW – it’s my turn!

Kathryn Ross. writers reverie

Miss Kathy

I’m posting just a couple days later than I ought. Forgive me – so much to follow-up on from the conference! To begin, here are my responses to the four writing questions which I had the opportunity to really fine-tune and get firm direction for at the conference:

 1. What am I writing or working on?

Two things with the same theme. It’s been a cathartic exercise that I only really became aware of recently. The theme is “broken shells” – or breaking out of a shell that has bound you, into an authentic, intentional, creative life of purpose and influence in the Lord.

The first project is a picture book series, Fable Springs Parables, where I explore themes inspired by the devotional writings of classic Christian authors. In the first book of the series, C.S. Lewis inspired me with a little quote about hatching out of our egg or going bad. What happens when the chick inside refuses to hatch out? What would keep him in there? This is explored in a multi-layered metaphor that speaks to “children of all ages.”

I Contend: If you’re too sophisticated to be touched by a children’s picture book presenting profound truth, you might just be too sophisticated for a God who requires that all who desire to enter the Kingdom of God come as “little children.”

But, the picture book part is only half the story. Using my background in Principle Approach Education and literature/history curriculum writing, I have seven study guides for multi-generational discipleship use for family devotions, homeschool, children’s church, small group women’s studies, parent workshops and more. My illustrator brings my words on the page to life!

writers reverie, fable springs parables

My second book is just for the ladies: The Cameo Christian: Becoming a Work of Art Raised Up and Set Apart to Shine!

I can’t be more excited about the message and purposes of this book! I’ve been living it for a number of years, and now I’m pouring it all out on the page!  God is so good to redeem every cut and scrape and broken moment for His glory! In essence, I’m exploring the work of God in our lives to make us more like Him for greater purposes, as metaphorically compared to the fine art of cameo carving. This is a heart-tugger, my girls. Oh! How I pray it blesses and transforms lives stuck in the layers of a hard shell!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I am a professional storyteller, used to taking large concepts and breaking them down into manageable terms. I do that using poetic language with the richness of figures of speech and metaphor/allegory. It is the ancient form of storytelling – like Jesus used in the culture of His day. Parable – word pictures – speaking directly to engage the heart. Much of Western Civilization teaching grew to engage the intellect first, prior to knocking at the door of the heart. Communication in older civilizations used story to the heart first – then understanding that came together in the mind had a greater power for transforming the life. This is how I have always learned best – this is how I write best. This is the clarion call from editors to writers: SHOW, don’t tell.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I clearly remember the day I “got” the bit about “sounding out” a word to be able to read. With that amazing skill under my belt, it never occurred to me that the purpose of reading was disconnected to writing. I read so I can write! My youthful manuscripts were plentiful – and I still own many of them. I write because I was created to do so. God put a passion for the written word in my mind and heart and I have always loved toying with words and phrases, exploring their meaning and impact. Before I knew the Lord – I was a writer. When I came to know the Lord some thirty years ago – I became a writer with purpose, walking in my calling!

4. How does my writing process work?

Back in the day, I kept a steady supply of canary yellow pads in the house. I filled them with all manner of notes and partial manuscripts. They, in turn, would be filed into folders according to project or theme. The electric typewriter would then be employed to bring all those random notes – and all the highlighted markings in my myriad of book resources – together into a finished manuscript.

Oh! What a paper and time saver the computer has been these past twenty years!

I am a very visual person. THINGS inspire me. God’s Creation. Thrift store finds. People watching. Antique shops. My strong suite is play writing – I’ve written, produced, directed and performed countless plays and drama productions since I was a kid. When I’m working on a play, I find my era and do my research. I collect THINGS – props, costume bits, etc – that may be used. Surrounding myself with them as part of my home decor for the time I’m writing, they inspire me as the tangible world I am creating. I’m currently doing this with the works I’ve outlined above – worked into the decor of my office/studio are vignettes featuring THINGS represented in my books.

And, speaking of books – there is no end to them in my house. Oddly enough – I use them all! Most have been collected over years of personal interest, teaching and homeschooling. I am largely formed by the works of 19th century writers – and classic, ancient authors. Yeah – not so much into the modernist stuff.  So, I read . . . then, I write.

And, take a break to go thrifting/antiquing for inspiration at least once a month!!

Well – that’s enough about me! How about my new blogging buddies

I met at the conference last week!!!

Toni Campbell – Can I just say “kindred spirit” – yep! She has a theatrical background, too! If she lived closer – I’d cast her in one of my plays. She’s got great delivery, sings and has ‘character actress’ written all over her. Leading ladies are easy – it’s filling the character roles that are usually tough. I loved her warm heart and thoughtful way. Here’s what Toni has to say about herself by the lakeside . . .

Toni Campbell loves God, her kids, baking, chocolate!, and walking along the shores of her beloved lake – the setting for her blog. She shares the lessons God teaches her through the stories of everyday life and also writes devotions and (very) occasional poetry. Toni’s passion is equipping others to show God’s love through practical acts of service (Gal. 6:9) via Community Connections the outreach ministry of her church. Her life and ministry are living proof of the truth found in Ephesians 3:20 as God continues to do abundantly more than she could ever imagine. Find Toni at Lakeside Lessons, and on Facebook  and Twitter.

Susan Panzica – The first words that popped into my mind when I saw Susan were “grace and elegance.” Her inviting personality made me want to sip a cuppa and hear her story. Alas – there was scant time for a proper tea to be found at the conference, but what moments I did spend with Susan showed me a gentle woman with depth and a heart for ministry. Her passion for encouraging women is readily seen through her warmth – and in her words . . .

Susan is a wife and mom who manages her chiropractor husband’s office by day and writes by night. She writes a personal blog called Eternity Cafe that brings an eternal perspective to earthly matters by sharing stories of everyday life that reflect the eternal truths of God. Susan is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Justice Network which raises awareness of human trafficking and support for organizations locally and globally that are already on the front lines fighting this heinous evil.

Jewell Utt – Sitting across from Jewell for lunch one day, we realized the hour break for eating was not nearly enough to explore all the interesting commonplaces we shared – not the least of which was blogging and a heart for enriching women’s lives. Jewell’s expression welcomed me at the first – her face is set with a smile and a joyful glint in her eye as though she knows something wonderful and can’t wait to share it with you. Which she does through her speaking and writing . . . and blogging . . .

Break my heart for what breaks your. Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause. (Hosanna by Hillsong) Jewell Utt is the Director of a community food pantry. Her passion is to share words of encouragement through writing, music and teaching. She is the Women’s Ministry Leader at her church as well as Community Events Coordinator. Serving God is a family affair. Her husband of 35 years and three grown sons are partners in ministry. Find her blogging at Jewell Utt: Passion-Purpose-Promise!

jewell utt

Jewell

So, there you are! Do hop around and meet my gals and lets expand our blogging buddy borders!

Blessings to one and all who visit here . . . and there!

Miss Kathy, writer's reverie, butterfly

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I too wish I was closer – what fun it would be to work with you theatrically :) I especially enjoyed reading about your writing process here. Blessings!!

  2. OK, so as always you blow me away with blessing! Well, that sounds dramatic! First off this: “If you’re too sophisticated to be touched by a children’s picture book presenting profound truth, you might just be too sophisticated for a God who requires that all who desire to enter the Kingdom of God come as “little children.” I LOVE THAT! Beacuse I love children’s books…great lessons can come through the beautiful stories and pictures from children’s books! ANd yes, I am so honored to have this – I just need a bit more time to get to the reading…and honestly, I prefer in hand books – but I will get to it, Miss Kathy. Now about Toni- I really adore Toni. I hope we can meet someday. Her and my dear bloggy friend Pam are friends and Pam led me to her and well- Toni is just a fave of mine. I will be sure and meet the others…even though I am limited on computer time. I also look forward to your woman’s book! How lovely it will be…can’t wait for all of your shared blessings, wisdom, and insights shared in the days ahead! Love you, Miss Kathy!

  3. Your post is inspiring and makes me want to go back to blogging. It’s really funny how you can meet people face to face that you only know virtually (and only by blog site, and not by their names!) I am looking for inspiration (again!) to find the right niche for me that will really make my insides happy, and the readers as well.

  4. Tickled to have stumbled upon your writers blog hop post Kathryn. I really enjoyed reading about your love of the written word and you current project about breaking out of our shells sounds fascinating. Thanks for introducing your new blogging pals too. It is always lovely to hear people’s stories.

  5. This is my first visit to your blog and it totally enjoyed perusing it :-). As a child of God I first and foremost appreciate the Christ centered content and perspective of your writing. I also loved reading about your insights on why you write and especially enjoyed your statement about what inspires you because I too am incredibly inspired by God’s creation and all that is beautiful! I look forward to visiting your blog again soon, God Bless you and keep you and smile His face upon you – always :-)

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