During this historical and monumental time, it can be easy to get lost in the news, social media, and your own mind and heart. It’s hard to find the correct voices to listen to in a sea of opinions, pain, and information. The world feels like a stormy maze where around every corner is another piece of advice or something to grieve over.
But perhaps the most difficult thing to do is figure what your place will be in history.
My desire is that everyone finds justice, peace, and hope this year. As an Enneagram type eight, I tend to stand radically and forcibly on the side of justice. I advocate for speaking out. My instinct is to listen to Alexander Hamilton and make Lin Manuel Miranda proud.
Hey all! In the spirit of #BlackLivesMatter, I just wanted to share some awesome blogs to follow, all with incredible Black authors!
Oneika is a travel blogger and you’ll love seeing what she shares! Media personality, journalist, and keynote speaker Oneika Raymond is the host of Travel Channel’s One Bag and You’re Out and Big City, Little Budget. She’s also an on-air travel and lifestyle correspondent for NBC New York and CTV Canada. A bona fide travel junkie, her adventures have taken her to over 115 countries on 6 continents.
Don’t forget to check out Mattie James, faith and lifestyle blogger! “Creating this site has been years in the making. After style blogging for 7 years, I decided it was time for a change. While blogging about my daily outfits was fun, quite a bit changed over the years. I became a mom, started blogging full time, and grew in my faith. Hence why it was time to graduate to MattieJames.com.”
Those words fill my eyes with hot, burning, shameful tears. I’m not an emotional person but George Floyd’s story, and all the stories that are so maddeningly similar, make my head pound with grief and anger and shame.
Passivity here is not an option. Turning your head away so you don’t see knees on necks, guns in faces, blind racism, is the same as allowing it to happen and being on the side of this happening.
It’s time we KNOW their names. George Floyd, Michael Brown, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, Yassin Mohamed, Finan H. Berhe, Trayvon Martin, and more. Unfortunately, you can find dozens of examples and names in many places, including here.
“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”
“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usuallyrun from”
That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale. Continue reading →
I don’t know what sort of faith Adolf Hitler had. He was born to a practicing Catholic mother and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. From a young age, he expressed disbelief and hostility to Christianity. And he obviously was hostile towards Judaism. Hitler wanted to reduce the influence of Christianity. It seems to me, he didn’t need God because he wanted to be god. His faith was in his own power.
Sometimes I don’t know what sort of faith I have. I think I do, I hope I do, but I’m always wondering. I visit the faith I want, treating it like a vacation destination. When I’m in pain, I tour a church. When I doubt, I read the plaque of faith, hoping it will give me all the answers. But I’ll leave and return home to the place I know well. Where I don’t need God because I can be god.
This is part two of the last blog posted! Here are the next 8 mistakes I’ve seen writers make, or have made myself, over the last few years of writing and editing.
8. Weak Introduction
First impressions are everything. Especially in writing. Readers will decide if they’ll keep reading within the first paragraph. (More avid and gracious readers may give you a couple pages). And once you get to publishing, this is even more important because agents get HUNDREDS of queries and if you can’t hook them in the first sentence, your book is in their trash.
Often, writers will start with a long description of the setting, or a mundane event like waking up from a dream or talking to themselves in a mirror (for the love of Harry Potter, don’t do this. This is the LAST way you should explain what your character looks like). Continue reading →
If you’ve read and enjoyed ANY of my blogs, then I think you’ll love this book. Especially if you’re favorite posts are the more personal/vulnerable/emotional ones.
A quick history of Talitha Cumi…
In early 2019, I did a 3 month school with YWAM Orlando where we studied the Bible in-depth. During that time, I wrote a series of essays (like blog posts) that I felt the Lord was telling me NOT to post.
Because of this, I ended up writing about some really personal and vulnerable things that I would never have shared on my blog. Continue reading →
Through many years of school, researching, editing, and writing, I’ve learned a lot about the world of writing. Here are 15 of the most common mistakes I see writers make. (Also 15 examples of a book or author I think exemplifies the correct way to do these.)
1. Telling, Not Showing.
People read because they want to fall into a new world, be distracted by their own, experience something they haven’t, or learn something new. If they wanted a straight forward list of facts, they would go to Wikipedia. Whether you’re writing nonfiction or fiction, you need to pull the readers into the story. They should be completely enveloped by your world. Continue reading →
I guess I’m at the point where I’m writing one blog a month. Big bummer but it’s better than nothing. I trust you all have also been in seasons of life when doing your normal things is just too hard. You don’t remember how you did everything six months ago because now going to the store is pretty much an all-day activity.
Anyway, life goes on and the cool thing is, God is always the same. He doesn’t go through those seasons of life. He is constant and always God.
I was talking to a friend of mine about John 2 the other day because she was planning a talk for her church. At one point, she asked “How do you understand John 2:24-25?” and I had to consider that for a moment. Continue reading →
I have had a difficult few months. It’s like I’m walking through a house while a tornado is roaring around me. Maybe I’m able to duck and miss a flying pillow but when I stand back up, a chair hits me in the face. The bathtub was ripped from the ground so I can’t hide there. And when I finally get to a closet, the door is pulled off its hinges.
I cower in the corner and watch the storm destroy my house, the world I’ve known. Everyone else feels it, too. The wind stings their faces and fear fills their hearts.
Maybe the tornado will take me to Oz. But the splintered wooden floor beneath my feet isn’t changing. I don’t see a yellow brick road. A blanket over my head, eyes screwed shut, I whisper “there’s no place like home” until the storm calms down. Continue reading →