Please be Safe!

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Short, sweet, to the point. Be safe from east to west, north to south. More hurricanes on the way. Please give this information to all you know out there, in another path!

Strengthening Hurricane Maria a threat to Irma-hit Caribbean

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How Can I Offend Thee? Let me Count the Ways. Or show from one beggar to another.

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Christ the Reedemer.jpgYES, this may very well offend some of you. Well, darn. But it needs to be said, shared, because we do not live forever.

I hear all the time these are the End Times. Feels like it. But… they said that every age. Crazy people actually name the day and time. Maybe not insane, just misled, overly hopeful, not to mention, arrogant. Sadly, this causes such disappointment in those who believe that, they fall away. Others mock, rightly so.

Today is a come to Jesus moment. In actuality. Not because of hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, economic distress, crazy plagues.. okay. Maybe a bit. It’s throughout the Torah. The Bible. Most folks say Jesus was a Christian. Not. He was 100% Jewish. Born in Bethlehem. Others believe He wrote the Gospels. Not. He taught everything from the Torah. Every. Last. Word.

Which brings me to the point. Jesus freaked everyone out. First, he told everyone they had to be perfect, better than the Pharisees. Then, He claimed to be God. OH the elite religious went nuts!

Can God become man? That’s sorta like asking how many angels can dance on the end of a pin. Or, can He create a rock so big He can’t move it… The Torah says nothing is impossible for God. So then. He is the only perfect man, not a shell with God inside, but fully man, fully human. Gave himself, not ‘one for the team.’ Not (as the Pope says) just be good enough…(works), but Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah gave us, covered us with His sacrificial Passover blood of the perfect lamb. Freeing us. 

There is no other religion that frees us from our wrongs (sin) with the one time sacrifice for us on the Cross. Every other religion relies on works. Work hard enough to be good to make it. 

Here’s an analogy. The best swimmer in all of the world stands on the beach with you and a 99 pound weakling. Your goal? Hawaii. Everyone jumps in. Yet, will anyone make it? NO. You and your swimming buddies will have to dodge the sharks, the cold, the lack of food. The desire to get to Hawaii desperately, hoping, not sure. Eventually realizing they need a ship to save them. Take them to Hawaii.

That is all of us. We all fall short of the glory of God. What does that mean? We don’t got no chance, because we don’t have a clue, nor the capability.

     

 A lot of folks say it’s crazy. How can a Trinity exist? Oh, really this is so simple a child can understand. From my point of view.

Pretend for a moment you have never read the Bible. Not even Genesis. But in the first book of the Bible, Genesis,  He said… let us make man in our image (man is also woman…). OUR. Let’s go on.

Angels cannot be God(s). There is only ONE God, not many. So, if One God is US, what does that mean? First, let me start here. I ask you, you want an egg? You say, sure… I say, which part? The yolk? The white? The shell?

So what’s with the egg? The yolk is ‘like’ the Father. The white is ‘like’ the Holy Spirit. The shell is ‘like’ Jesus, and the shell holds all of the egg together, the fullness of the egg when I show it to you. HMM. Because the Bible says Jesus was with God in the beginning, and then … lived among us, the fullness of God, His very image. As an aside, some believe Satan was his bro. Ah, no. A fallen angel. Became the devil.

Let’s move on. He said in Genesis, let us make man in our image. Take the egg concept. Our most inner soul or spirit was created to be an image of the Father. Our brain is our mind, in the image of the Holy Spirit. And our body is what you and I see … yet without all three, we aren’t there. That may not be perfect but it is the best I can do.

So … why do we need a Savior?  Well, there’s that whole apple (persimmon tee hee?) debacle. Woman wasn’t standing there all alone. Mmm, mmm. Adam stood right next to her. They didn’t die… but they were booted from the garden and their spirit died, laid dormant, and that has passed onto us.  

The Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt was a picture of the future. The blood of a perfect lamb on the doors of those who believed. They were saved. The death of Christ was on the day of Preparation for the Passover. Sunday, He was alive. Death and the law nailed to the Cross.

My final point. We don’t know anything about the date or time. We recognize only the signs. We don’t know if we will live through tomorrow. We don’t know if our friends or family know. Time is short because our years are limited. So.. if you don’t know, if you don’t believe, here’s the short version:

1. Admit you believe in yourself as a god (idolatry, which is a sin), that you have lied even once … or stolen … even a pen … have lusted … wanted someone, something not yours … have hated/murdered (war doesn’t count, different Hebrew word). Have not loved your neighbor as yourself (the Golden Rule). Have not respected your parents… !

2. Believe that only Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the only way to saving you from your sin.

3. Confess with your mouth (speak it out loud!) that Jesus (only) and believe in your heart (not lip service) that Jesus is Lord, and you will be saved. This is NOT by works. It is by FAITH – the belief  in what we cannot see that He gives you through GRACE, so no one can boast.

Then, grab a Bible. Recognize that mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. This is your salvation.

Want some verses to prove that Israel is the land of the Jews, that in the Torah Jesus is there? Where in the NT Jesus is the only likeness of God Ask me. Get into a good church. Ask me. There are some that lose sight. Blind leading the blind. Get a Bible, not one specific to a religion. You can ask me that, too. Want to know where to start? Ask me that one, too!

Praying for Hurricane Harvey Victims

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I am praying for those in Texas who have lost family members and homes. Beyond that, I won’t politicize or make any offensive statements, because neither are deserved.

That being said, Texans are a tough bunch. Cowboys rustling cattle to higher ground through streets. CajunNavy from Texas and LA to the rescue in boats amidst bullets from looters. Everyone and their bass boat rescuing folks (saying to wives or husbands, see it WAS a good purchase! Search and Rescue!). Some putting up tents on their roof -‘we got this-‘

They do.

We’ve been through tough times, and the tough come to the rescue. New York and 9/11. Montana, Wyoming. Well, pretty much all the time. LA through every hurricane thrown at them. Oregon during each fire season or flood, mountain rescues and sea rescues. The Revolutionary War. The Civil War. WWII. Every war we’ve ever fought, with soldiers from all states. Not to mention the (good, non-corrupt, violent) cops, and the majority are good. Firefighters.

Citizens putting themselves out there to brave whatever elements to save children, adults, elderly, animals from distress or death.

I’ve missed much. I can’t hit every point, but am willing to hear from anyone who has a hero story (not divisive political, please).

People have come from every corner of the nation to help, and that is America, and many who sacrifice time, money and safety to help other nations is crisis.

Right now, our eyes are on Texas and Louisiana. We need also to look at the plight in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Hong Kong.

In the meantime, I’m waiting for the floodwaters to cease and things open up. I need to try a Whataburger. At least once.

whataburger

 

 

 

Characters. Bigger than Story. Bigger than Perfect Grammar

I read a book that reports story is greater than structure. Oh, how I agree with that!

YET…

Have a great story? Pitch-perfect structure?  Awesome.

Cough. Blink. Cough. 

Those rejections hurt, don’t they? Each agent is the Benihana of agents who shuts… you… down. No answer. Publishing houses write you – but not what you wanted to hear. But WHY? you cry. Angry, you stomp off to self-publish. You are a genius! They miss your point, and boy, won’t they be sorry! I’ll hold my breath! I’ll stare at the sun! Wont they be sorry! 

A lot depends in what genre you write. But, publishing houses and agents who troll the internet for good work, they look for 1. good writing 2. good characters 3. Likelihood of sales.

Think Fifty Shades of Grey (I keep harping on this book probably because the author walked off with $95 million… Am I jealous? NOOOOOO, not at all). Bad writing. But great kidnapping and BDSM (oh wait, since he’s stinking rich, it’s not kidnapping).  Author laughs all the way to the bank.

But, not even story is greater than structure.  Characters rule. Write about perfect people. Why did it get rejected? Because no one overcomes a flaw or several within chapter one. Who can relate? And on the opposite side, make that main character so whiny and pathetic  throughout, and agents will toss that novel.  Why? They aren’t trying to change. They aren’t falling into old habits and climbing out of a rut.  Hey, it’s ok to remind agents time to time of the obstacle. Agents  and publishers (not to mention readers) need reminding.

Then, fill those plot holes. Make sure you have a really good editor. Share the final draft with a group of readers. Find out if they can relate to your MC. If you get thumbs up, get ready for more rejections.

WHAT?? What is hot today is already past. The publishing world changes faster than a bullet train, and your novel is shredded under it. What can you do? GIVE THE STORY A MESSAGE. Shock ’em with twists not expected. How does your new and improved MC deal with a more horrific obstacle? OVERCOME. Don’t forget that antagonist, are they too vague? Too stupid? Make sure you hate/relate with them.

Take a serious look at your flaws. Those around you. Have you written about those? Well … that, too can hurt. What if someone criticizes you? Develop thick skin.  THEN, send that new and improved MS out. After more rejections,, keep working. If your first MS is not accepted, put it aside, work on your craft -and your second novel. Don’t quit. If it’s in you (bitten by that itchy writing bug), make sure you never stop what makes you happy. But don’t be lazy, don’t quit working on those characters. Make ’em loveable.

Don’t hire a vanity press. No one should pay to read your work. When you just HAVE to be published, then self publish. Average sales? $2000 for the work. Forever. A bunch of great writers make the coveted New York Times award. But not necessarily YOU.  

So make your characters real. Then, stick them into that cool plot. Make the agents weep. As the Firefly saying goes: ‘Sigh, baby, sigh. Make your mama cry.’

You’ll get there. In the meantime … you get to cry… Keep on writing.

A Laughing Matter … No Really

What qualifies me to write ‘Edit Zombie,’ anyway?

NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.

*Other than the million websites, books I pile next to me as I edit. Makes … me … crazy*

Of course, my hope is to condense every possible rule(s) down to one simple book, smaller than the Chicago Manual of Style. Easier to deal with, updated from Strunk & White. Maybe a table or two.

Too much stuff comes my way, like a bullet train without notice. Much of the material seems overwhelming, and heavens above, I need those books/sites to quote from.

*Weeps*

I am finishing Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis. The synopsis and proposal complete. One more pass through and in the mail it goes. Yes. This time, not email, but whosoever -oh wait- too Biblical. Whomever accepts snail mail because I am computer-illiterate. Yes.

Sure I can get onto a few sites. There are a lot I haven’t heard of ’til recently. Reddit. Instagram’s been around, but … er, I am on social media, so much so that my writing, editing and reading time gulps blinky like a Pac Man. I am that old.

When it’s done, it may look like the image above, that which will haunt your dreams…

your edit zombie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we remember …

Americans today are to remember the Revolutionary War to separate from oppression.

Do you have a DOI? Read it. If you don’t find it online!

Today is the day, we in the United States celebrate the declaration to tear ourselves from the oppression of a king. Penned by John Adams, we find exactly how the states were treated. Why after years of near-slavery, terror at the hands of the oppressors, the law that held us bondage, our Founding Fathers sat down at the 1st Continental Congress, basing it on the Old Testament and the Providence of God.

This reminds me of Exodus. The Hebrews were freed from Egypt after a great struggle and the plagues God sent to Pharaoh. Hebrews were protected from death by lamb’s blood, to pass over those who believed. Became one of the first self-governed country, accountable to follow God’s teachings called the Law. A nation.

It also reminds me of the Cross. The ultimate sacrifice from the Law that kept us in bondage to sin, the yoke of slavery broken, offered to all, giving those who believe on Christ the freedom to self-govern, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Is it any wonder the Revolution was preached from the pulpits? Freedom from a ruthless king who pressed law upon law, pressed into service of the king?  Those who believe are a NATION — one that spans the globe.

Yet many wanted the old law. Freedom from England was much like faith. They had free will.

A small ragtag band took on the second-most powerful nation in Western civilization, England. We also bankrupted France with their help, however that is a story for another day.

So what do we do on Independence Day? (I read first the Bible), well I do every day, but I thank God for this nation. Before any celebration, hamburger, or hot dog, I read the Declaration of Independence. Watch The Patriot. Then the fireworks representing the battle to be free. 

England tried again. Again, they were repelled. Our nation kept vigilant, kept to  the promise of blessings of freedom, and faith flourished.

Now we celebrate what has long been lost – freedom of our nation (Independence Day is symbolic – we again are in bondage, if you haven’t noticed) with rare remembrance of the loss of so many lives in sacrifice, then and today.

Today, read about the freedoms we have in Christ, the freedoms we fought for, and the true freedom our nation is supposed have. If you don’t own a copy of the Declaration of Independence, you can find it online.

Do not give up freedom for the promise of peace and security by laws that will ultimately turn into  bondage. 

Later … we stop slavery, having fell into the sin of bondage of those pressed into service, oppressed and a truly evil thing – and hatred, as evil, still continues. But that war, again is for another day.

Today, it is freedom in Christ and freedom from the bondage of a king who taxed citizens – many to death, and restricted the freedom of religion that many escaped earlier.

We crossed a treacherous ocean, and many still do, to reach the shores of freedom.

Let’s celebrate these things, the blood spilled in sacrifice, and pray for those who put their lives on the line, still.      

 

Today …

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Sunday! Day of rest. Uh. Okay. I already know Who is my Sabbath Rest, every day.

Well … I arose too late to make it to church (this seems to be a routine problem…) but there is a plethora of reading that, every time I read through, shows me something New. Must always be discerning and test, compare with Hebrew and Greek and seek the wisdom from well-trusted pastors.

I don’t want to be an illiterate Christian in any chapter, Old and New Covenant. I mean, everyone in the NT spoke and taught only from the OT. Jesus never baptized anyone. He didn’t write a Gospel. He taught. He healed. He forgave everyone and those who would believe were sons and daughters of God. So yes, I am a bit preachy today. Did you know there is no category for Christian(s)?

To say this may seem weird, but who was the most anti-religion in Christ’s time? He was, and the reason? Religion was a perversion of works. Pretension. The elite who looked down on the lost. The arrogant. Everything the Church, collective, is today. He looks into our hearts. The lost (everyone) needs Him, but not everyone believes they do. How many rich rich rich people ‘need’ the Savior? They have everything they want. Good works won’t do it. Au contraire. It’s the recognition of falling short (all that we do against God), realizing His words in the OT, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Then, asking for the forgiveness only He can give and turning away. Then accepting it, and realizing that God is alive, and He wants a relationship with you (me, and everyone).

I suspect this will turn a lot of folks off (no, I know it will…). But there it is.

Today then, I am happy to say I have reached another edit of Forget Me Not, and my word count is up…I may have to cut and slash, but for now, am filling in the work with the timeline. Have asked my hubby to find my corkboard (which was conveniently moved into a secret place only he knows of…) so I can print my novel timeline and the crime timeline. Not my food/weight/health chart.

After I finish my social media flyby, I will put on my headphones, listen to music, and fiddle with the next chapter. Hopefully hubby will bring me that corkboard.

Ya, it’s old-fashioned. But I like it, so there.  🙂

Have a great Sunday, rest if you wish, dream about the characters (don’t forget paper and pen), stroll about, and watch human behavior.

If you are curious, visit my website (under my pen name – Claire O’Sullivan) http://cmahoneyfnp.wixsite.com/claireosullivan I tend to write on every subject that hits my fancy.

Twitter: @authorclaire1 – and I follow back.