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Thursday, June 30, 2011


This goes along with my earlier post...

APATHY ~ written by Charity Pence

Wake me,
Wake me from this sleep
Wake me from this slumber
Which I call apathy
Help me to not just care
To care is not enough
Please, Lord, give me courage
To do what needs to be done
Too many hurt, scared, and crying
Lonely, barely surviving
And we just turn our heads aside
So we don't see them while they're dying
All around and on city streets
In America and other countries
All around the world
They're calling
Do you hear them?

What does freedom mean to you?

With Independence Day quickly approaching, I have found myself wondering what the Founding Fathers would say to us if they were alive today.  What would they think of America? How would they view today's interpretation of the Constitution? Would they clap their hands or shake their heads? I don't have the answers to those questions.  I have always enjoyed American History; it was my favorite subject in school.  Last year I read a book called America's Providential History by Mark Beliles & Stephen McDowell.  I really enjoyed it.  I also started reading Original Intent by David Barton.  What I have read so far in that book is just as interesting, but my own writing has occupied so much of my time that I haven't finished that book yet.  They're worth reading if you are interested.

All that being said, the purpose of today's post is not to get into a political debate.  We can save that for another time.  I would like to ask you, though, what does freedom mean to you? Maybe freedom to you is the right to speak freely or the right to bear arms.  Or maybe you think of your right to worship however you see fit or to not worship if that's the case.  And those are all important.  But what about freedom from poverty? From abuse? From being bullied? What about the right to a good education in a safe environment? I could go on and on.  Think about it.

As we prepare to celebrate with barbecues and fireworks displays, let's remember those who have fought and those who are still fighting for freedom today.  Please note, soldiers are not the only people fighting this fight.  There are people all over fighting for the rights of others.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I do believe soldiers deserve special recognition for their service.  Many of my family members and friends have served in the military and I certainly don't want to detract from any soldier's bravery or sacrifice.

So let's remember everyone who has fought or is fighting.  Thank them.  Say a prayer for them.  Appreciate them.  They deserve it. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lake Michigan

During this time of the year, I often find myself thinking about Lake Michigan.  Many of my fondest memories as a child involve this lake.  I never lived more than a few miles away during the first few years of grade school.  My sister and I (and sometimes my brother) used to ride our bikes down to the beach.  Or we would occasionally walk.  We walked along the rocks or ran over the sand.  Swimming was a must, though never done for long.  For those of you who don't know, Lake Michigan is extremely cold! One of my memories involves my mom and step-dad paying us to get in the water; the water was too cold that day to just jump on in.

Other memories include boating and fishing.  One of the biggest fish I ever caught was on Lake Michigan.  However, I didn't know I caught it until we were done for the day and I started reeling in the line.  Was I ever surprised by the fish; it was almost as big as I was! I remember another time when our parents put our life jackets on and tossed us into the water.  Many good times!

Those early years, Fourth of July was spent at the harbor, running along the docks and watching fireworks.  Food from the hot dog stand and ice cream parlor was a necessity.  When I was older, my parents lived at a marina and held a party every year, which I always enjoyed.  My parents moved away from the marina about seven years ago so I haven't spent July 4th there since. I miss watching the fireworks there, and I'll be wishing I was up north this weekend! 


Monday, June 27, 2011

My 55lb baby named Tucker

Okay, before you become too concerned, my baby is a dog, a nine year old mutt.  Very smart, well-behaved, only barks when a stranger knocks on the door.  Never whines.  Doesn't get in the garbage or chew things he shouldn't.  But I do have one complaint.  When it comes to storms, he's the biggest baby I've ever seen.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my Tuckie very much.  However, when his cold nose in my face at 2am jolts me awake, I get a little cranky.  And having him get on the bed and lay down just to jump up at every rumble of thunder doesn't help me get back to sleep.  Last night was no exception.  It stormed all night long and Tucker couldn't get comfortable; he was much too scared. 

When it's storming, he can't get close enough to me.  In fact, during a storm a couple weeks ago he about pushed me off the bed.  Anyway, once I finally got up this morning at 5am, which is the time I get up every day during the week, Tucker stayed right behind me.  I always wear slippers and Tucker typically walks so close that he steps on the back of my slipper and makes me trip.  He follows me to the coffee pot, back to my bedroom.  After I took my shower this morning and cracked the bathroom door, Tucker's head immediately popped in.  Poor thing had to be right beside me.

Even though I get annoyed with him when it's storming, I really can't complain.  He's just too good of a dog.  And he's not exactly a puppy any longer, but he sure has a lot of puppy left in him.  He's so fun to watch.  Tennis balls with squeakers are his favorite toy and an occasional treat keeps him satisfied.  He gets his exercise by chasing the neighbor's cat and our chickens, plus an occasional rabbit if one ventures into our yard.  He doesn't get to run far, though.  We live in the country but on a very busy road.  I've seen too many cats and dogs get hit to let my Tuckie run free.  Some day we'll get a fence, and then he'll have more yard to play in.

As for the storms, I think the rest of the week is supposed to be storm free.  Crossing my fingers for a good night of sleep!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Today I would like to talk about a book I am reading.  The title is Heaven and it was written by Randy Alcorn.  This is the first book I've ever read about Heaven, not counting the Bible of course.  And I have to say, I'm pretty excited.

I was saved and baptized when I was twelve, and I have gone to church fairly consistently since that time.  Secure in the knowledge of where I am going, I have never been afraid of dying.  Sure, I have things I'd like to accomplish before that time comes, but if I died today, I'd be okay.  I'd be in Heaven! That being said, I used to be one of those Christians who felt guilty about not being more excited about Heaven ~ spending eternity worshiping God? Uh, okay.  I used to chalk it up to being unable to comprehend Heaven and eternity.  I told myself, "Once you're there, you'll get it."  After all, God certainly deserves to be worshipped for eternity.  But I just wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I thougtht I should be.  This book has changed my thinking quite a bit.

By using scripture, the author discusses what Heaven and the New Earth will be like, the food we'll be able to eat, relationships we'll have with others.  I'm not quite half way through the book yet, but a scan of the contents lets me know he'll be discussing the things we'll be doing, too.  It's pretty interesting stuff.  Much better than doing nothing but standing before God, worshipping (cringing with guilt for saying such a thing!).  Lord, please forgive me for my lack of understanding! 

A lot of people describe Heaven as something unimaginable.  I was one of them, and I still don't think I can completely comprehend what God has in store for us.  I always wondered if family members who have died would know me when I get to Heaven.  Would they really be waiting for me? Would I know them and would I have any recollection of my life on Earth? I wasn't sure, but I'm beginning to believe. 

I do have to throw out a disclaimer.  It's one book, one author.  It'd be interesting to read what others have to say.  There's plenty of books out there, and I might have to pick up a few more at some time, as long as they use the Bible to back up their research as this author does.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

So, all that being said, I may have to wait until I get to Heaven to fully grasp it.  And, if this book is nowhere close to what Heaven will be like, then so be it.  Regardless of what Heaven will be like, it'll be much better than the alternative.  Hell ain't got no hold on me!     

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trim and Tighten

Yesterday I finished going through my novel with what I thought was a fine toothed comb.  Ha ha, yeah right! Took me a while, but it turns out I only cut approximately 30K words, and it's still too long.  As I was going through, I had a feeling I would have to cut off what started as Part I.  Now I am positive it has to be done.  It breaks my heart to do so.  Seriously.  I love Part I.  In the grand scheme of things, though, that part of the story really isn't necessary.  Removing it will take off about 40K words.  If I remove another 30K words in addition to that, I'll be a lot closer to having a publishable manuscript. 

In case you're wondering how I managed to let a story get so out of control, let me elaborate.  I wrote a fairly long book, got to the end and felt the story wasn't over, and wrote a sequel.  But I didn't like the sequel as a sequel.  I thought it needed to be part of the whole story.  Putting the two together gave me a manuscript that was more than 200K words long! Slim to no chance of getting that published since I've not had anything else published yet! So began the trim and tigheten process.  And after cutting out 30K words, I can certainly see the difference.  The story is much better. 

Since last night, I've been thinking about what else can be cut.  There are a few things I can think of right off the bat now that Part I will be gone.  And I'm playing with a few other ideas, too.  Before I do anything else, though, I have to let the story sit.  I should leave it for a month, but I'm already chomping at the bit.  It's hard for me to take a break.  I need to be able to look at it with fresh eyes, though.  I'll wait at least a week, perhaps two.  We'll see.

Until then, I have at least ten fiction books on my bookshelves waiting to be read.  There's another eight non-fiction waiting for my attention, also.  Guess I'll get some reading done now! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Writing Fight Scenes

In my current novel, I have a main character (MC) who has been through something pretty traumatic and it interferes with her relationship with her fiance.  I've been working on a few fight scenes, and I have to admit, getting these scenes right is difficult.  It doesn't help that I have an MC who doesn't realize how often she's mad or that she picks fights with her fiance for no apparent reason.  To make the writing more interesting, the story is told in first person from her perspective.  I can't wait until I can pass the novel on to some betas (readers) so I can get feedback! But overall, I think it's turning out the way I want it to.  I'm been editing for a while and everything is falling into place finally. 

Writing~ it's such an exciting process! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Policeman

written by: (me!) Charity Pence

He chose his job to maintain the law
but the things he saw haunted his mind
not knowing what he'd find he answered the calls
not knowing who would fall, not knowing who would die

Sometimes it was easy like a domestic dispute
where all he had to do was settle a couple's fight
and there were more simple plights he could handle quickly
those times lasted briefly, he'd leave without a second thought

Other times he would go in dread
sure of death, scared of who it'd be
filled with grief 'cause it was always kids
and death always bids for young with lives to live

He would arrive to these scenes uneasily
they happened frequently and they made him sick
accidents so horrific he left weeping
and often praying it would never be his kid

The vehicles were twisted beyond repair
and in the open air he could smell the blood
the poured like a flood from ghastly injuries
forced on the bodies of the dead

Each tragedy supplied a home he had to go to
it was hard to do but at the door he would stand
with his hat in his hand as he told the parents
about the accident that took their child's life

He chose this job to maintain the law
but the things he's seen haunt his mind
never knowing what he'll find he answers the calls
never knowing who will fall, never knowing who will die

This Perfect Place

written by: (me!) Charity Pence

she misses this place, this perfect place
when she's at her city home
after a long day she walks out onto her patio
she sees nothing in the sky
the city is too bright
so she closes her eyes
and imagines herself at this place, this perfect place...

it is late, it is dark
with bare feet she walks over the soft green grass
she sits down by the pond,
the clear cool pond
and dips her feet in the water
oh this place, this perfect place
so quiet, so peaceful
she looks up at the sky
and the stars twinkle at her
oh so bright
how she loves the sky and the way the pond reflects its light
then she is distracted...

cars honking, people yelling
another night in the city

Preparing to share...

Last night I was going through my poetry and a few short stories so I could decide what I would like to share with you all.  Sometimes I forget how much poetry I've written.  I kind of miss it, too.  Writing poetry, that is.  Most of the poems I have were written in junior high and high school.  And I don't mind telling you they're pretty simple.  No need to decipher each poem's meaning! In school, I always hated studying poetry mainly because I hated trying to piece it together.  Just tell me what you want to say! That doesn't mean I haven't experimented with my poetry before, though.  But most of mine is pretty straight forward. 

So why don't I write more poetry? I have to be inspired.  That's what it comes down to.  It's really hard for me to sit down and say, "Okay, I'm gonna write a poem now" and do it.  I have to be inspired to write about something specific.  And after reviewing everything I've written in the past, most of my inspiration comes from how I'm feeling at a particular moment.  It could be feelings in general or feelings about a certain event.  In fact, when I sit down and read a poem of mine, I can remember exactly what I was going through at the time I wrote it.  And to be honest, writing poetry was always therapeutic, especially in high school.  Writing poetry was how I coped.

Anyway, I won't bore you with every single poem I've ever written.  Some of them I'd rather keep hidden! But I will share poems from high school and poems I've written since then.  I'm getting ready to post two that I wrote about six or seven years ago.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Introduction

Yay, I've finally gotten my blog started! I've been planning to do this for a few months, and now I've finally made the time.  My goal is to post at least once a week, if not more often.  Topics will vary so be prepared.  Since I'm a writer, I will write about...writing.  Imagine that! However, I am just as likely to write about family, friends, religion, my dog Tucker.  I might even talk about my chickens.  They keep my life interesting if nothing else.  Anything I feel like discussing, I'll share with you. 

The title of my blog came from a poem I wrote a few weeks ago.  I thought it would be an appropriate title since I'll be talking a lot about my life in general.  As time progresses, I'll share poetry and maybe a short story or two, just for the fun of it.

I am in the process of completing my third novel.  It isn't quite polished, but it's finally getting there.  The first two still need a lot of work so I'll be working on those next.  My goal is to go from writer to published author.  One day, I will get there.  And I'll share that journey with you, too!

And so ends my first post.  I think this has been a decent introduction.  I look forward to getting to know you all and hope to hear from you soon!