Letting Go: How I Learned to Step Into My Dreams

Perfection has a price, but I cannot afford to live that life. It always ends the same; a fight I never win. Oh control. It’s time, time to let you go.” -JJ Heller

A few years back, on my birthday, I woke up after having an incredible dream. The dream was prophetic for my personal future. It hit straight to the core of some inner struggles I had been having. It gave me a greater hope for the future that I am now living.

For several years I had felt like I had fallen into a dark well or a completely lifeless creative downward spiral. Sure, I had been making art, commissions, and though I was pleased with the outcome of each, I have to say they were indeed lifeless … to me.

I was so detached from these paintings that I didn’t even really bother archiving them for my own portfolio. That says something. It says a lot.  My writing was like swimming through mud.

I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

Spiritually, I felt like I had been traversing a craggy wasteland, always walking forward in the direction of the sun (Son), waiting for this storm of torrential rains and floods to come, but I was always waiting, always walking, and there was never a drop of rain in sight nor a cloud in the sky.

I began to grow used to the desert, both the spiritual and the creative. Oddly enough, my inner spirit man never really felt like it was in a drought, just thirsty, content, but never satisfied. No matter how much I fought to be satisfied.

As years passed in my reality, circumstances not changing, my hope for a better future, for the flood rains in my creative life and spiritual life to come, became like an old plane ticket in my hand. It had no expiration date, but neither did it have a date of departure, and so I ceased looking for one.

I was a desert-wanderer. This was my reality. But on my 31st birthday, waking up from that hope-reviving dream, remembering other dreams that partnered with it, I began to smell the scent of rain in the air again. A change was coming and it was right on the horizon. Christ Jesus even led me to a verse in the Scriptures to solidify this newly revived hope and expectation.

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing what is new, let it now spring forth. Do you not know it? I am even making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Now, for several years I had been having a connected series of dreams about living in a trash bag tent in the desert amongst many others who were fearful of a coming flood.  So when I read this verse, and the images of those old dreams of my desert lands being flooded out with enough water to fill the oceans,  I knew it was a Word of life for me from Him.

This, however, is where faith gets tricky. People of faith LOVE a word about CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH, but they never take into consideration what CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH really mean.

Simple analogy, think of how a child who has come to the end of his or her stay within the womb feels when they are are BREAKING THROUGH to their new place. It is not a comfortable transition.  The very fluid they had been thriving on for nine months is squeezed out of them as they pass through from one existence to the other.

Isaiah 43:19 is awesome, but there is a verse that comes before it. This verse was the training breakthrough verse from me.

Isaiah 43:18 Do not remember the former, nor consider that of old.”

STEP 1: Confront your past disappointments.

In order for me to move forward out of my desert, I had to forget the things that were behind. I had a lot of disappointments and false starts,  a lot of heartaches, a lot of wounds, and all of those things not only blocked my creativity but stifled me spiritually and emotionally.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows.

I was in agreement with ‘forgetting’ all of those things. I had buried them for a reason, but I had not healed from them. I was still carrying them with me, and the load was rotting lot gangrene and affecting every creative part of me.

I began to think I was a failure because I could not make myself forget these things that Christ Jesus had let out of the bag. I cried. I didn’t understand until He gently and lovingly told me a simple truth.

In order to forget what is behind, you have to confront it, heal from it, so that it never has power over you again.

You know what it is like when a clogged pipe has been treated and all that grime comes out before the clear water flows? That is what had been taking place with me ever since. I began to allow my pains to be redeemed, and I am talking about those old pains, the-school-bully-that-scared-you-when-you-were-nine kind of pains.

STEP 2: Embrace your unique path and timing.

Then there were the pains of not feeling good enough and trying to achieve those superficial plateaus that society has put in place, but failing every time. And why was I failing? Because these things are not part of His design or rather they were not part of His design for my life back then. Striving for those things (marriage, children, nest, 9 to 5 job … not really on the 9 to 5) at the WRONG time was creative suicide.

Because of my wounds, the ones that were sneaking up on me even though I had pressed them down, I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

STEP 3: Divorce yourself from perfectionism.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows. I was trying to control all of these things because I could not control the pain that I refused to confront. But now I know better. I was blessed with the chance to journey far away from home, away from the familiar noise and get a glimpse of the creative woman I once was and am in the process of becoming.

I leave you to take another listen to the song that makes my heart dance. It’s one of my anthems. It comes from the “When I’m with You.” Album by JJ Heller. The song is called “Control.” I have let go of the control now. I have ceased to clip my own wings out of fear and the need to control something, anything, just to feel secure.

I gave Jesus permission to heal my hidden hurts and to draw out the creativity that had been backed up.

BONUS: LET GO OF THE NEED TO CONTROL!

I gave up control and I am getting to know me again and you don’t need control for that. It’s actually best to let it go.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams?
  • What were some things that were holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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Learning as You Go: The Art of Having A Teachable Heart

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ~PABLO PICASSO

We’ve all heard the blessed saying, “Vision is 20/20 in hindsight.” More times than not, it is used to buffer the harsh blows of bad decisions made. But what the phrase is really speaking to is the ability to truly learn from what has already taken place and glean something of value from it in order to create a better present and future.

Gleaning value is never a negative thing, just like looking back doesn’t have to be as a result of a bad choice.

The art of learning and growing is mastered by the ability to take stock of what has taken place behind us, what is currently unfolding, and having the ability to discern possible outcomes in our pending futures.

Part of growing is seeing where we have made our mistakes, where we could have done better, and applying that knowledge to future acts for improvement.

When we pause to assess our current places, we are better equipped to create or continue with our plans and goals for our future. Using the tools of hindsight, as well as her sister, foresight, gives us the gift of recalibration.

Practicing these two things is like using our GPS. Every now and again we get off track and slowly coast off course. Pausing to practice foresight and hindsight will give you the insight to know how you need to readjust your position in order to better aim for and hit your desired targets.

The thing about being a Creative, especially if you are starting something new, is having to:

  • Resist the urge to jump ahead/ skip steps in the process
  • Resist the urge to not move until you have everything ‘perfectly’ mapped out
  • Resist the urge to ignore the voices of those who have been where you desire to go

JUMPING AHEAD IN THE PROCESS

Anytime you make the decision to leap over steps, you are asking to get bruised shins. I don’t care how agile or athletic you believe yourself to be, every one of us has fallen at least a time or two when we’ve jumped steps. And do I really need to say that we have all regretted the consequences, especially when we know they could have been avoided?

Here is the truth. Learning is going to take time. Growth is going to take time, but time is all its truly going to take in the end.

There are reasons we are made to learn how to do things, step by step. It enables us to become better acquainted with what we are working with so that we have the knowledge and understanding to know how to take what we’ve learned and soar beyond limitations.

When we learn the steps, then we truly know how to skip over them in the future.

NO MAP IS GOING TO BE PERFECT

To wait until everything is ‘perfect’ is to make a conscious decision to never move at all. To never do a thing.  This is why we have our friends foresight and hindsight, they act as our margins in our process.

The reality is, in life (our creative journies) you are going to slip and stumble, same as you did when you were learning how to walk for the first time.

The process of doing so didn’t look perfect. Often times you used what was available to help you on your path of growth (tables, furniture, the leg of your parent), but your destination always remained true, and that was to be able to walk.

Take what tools you have now and step forward on your path and make the necessary calibrations as you go!

PUT YOUR LISTENING EARS ON

There is nothing quite as unfortunate as watching someone with potential fail to take flight, or encounter avoidable delays in their process because they refuse to be taught by others.

It kind of puts me in the mind of a toddler who refuses to let you show them how to tie their shoes.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning….Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. ~PROVERBS 9:9; 12:1

I think the book of Proverbs makes it as plain as possible. When we have teachable hearts, when we allow others to instruct us in our way, we grow wiser and increase in learning.

In other words, your potential becomes powerful!

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” ~PSALM 15:22

The converse to that truth is that to reject instruction/correction is to prove yourself…stupid.  Sounds harsh, but harsher still is having to look back at our lives through the lenses of regret because we refused to be shown the way.

Being a Creative is such an inherent blessing, one that shouldn’t be treated as common. Deciding to learn all that we can as we create is the purest way to show our thanks and gratitude to the Lord God Jesus Christ, Who created us to be creative in the first place, and that begins with having a teachable heart.

*What are some ways that hindsight and foresight have helped you in your creative process? Share your wisdom and grace in the comment section below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Mountain Sketch in Progress

It has been a week since I began this drawing. However, Wednesday is the only day that I really have to sit down and truly give it time to develop.

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Now that I have finished a very hefty amount of editing on my debut novel, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal, I have a bit more time on my hands and I plan to use it building this piece.

I have taken some liberties in how many peeks and valleys are in my drawing versus the original image. Really, I am more interested in learning how to build color with color pencil than anything. I am still in the layering stages, applying different colors on top of the others in order to achieve the tone that I am looking for. This is a practice in patience as well as growth.

Stay tuned for more as she grows!

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

“Anything You Can Do I Can Do”…But Why Should I?: Creating My Way

First, the title of this article is not necessarily true in and of its self, but I am trying to paint a picture with words here, so follow along, will you?

I am not sure if you are familiar with the old musical “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. In the movie, there is a song that they sing to each other. It’s more two people shooting arrogant verse at each other as if they are bullets. “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

As creatives, we are all looking for our own place in the world, our own voice. Even when and while we are inspired by and appreciate the expressions of others, we can sometimes find ourselves looking at fellow creatives with competitive eyes. “I can do that and I can do it better. Maybe I should try.

Being human, no matter what we are aiming to do, we can all go ahead and admit we’ve  done that once or twice. 

In an older post, I quoted Octavia E. Butler on how she became a science fiction writer. (Did I mention she is the winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Awards?) Anyhow, she said that when she was twelve years old she watched a dreadful science fiction flick. It was so bad that she was determined to write “good” science fiction. And she did, obviously.

…I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make. ~Candice Coates

But her attitude was “I can do better than that.” And that attitude paid off. (If you have not read any of her work, check out Wild Seed.) The thing is, not only did she set out to write ‘better’ science fiction, but she did it her way, in her own voice, without competing with the voices that were already out there.

Since ICFTS began, I have been on a constant journey to identify my voice as an artist. Truth be told, I have been on this search since I have been an artist. I have always been very eclectic. But one thing that has come to mind with all of this is that I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make.

As I have said for years, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. That is when you get stuck in ruts of hollow, soulless work, be it writing, visual art, whatever it is. Always create what you care about.

I am on a hunt to find what it is that I care about. I love doing oil paintings, I love writing (writing will ALWAYS be my thing. I love to tell a story.) but with visual art, it just all depends.

I find that even with oil painting, though I have a talent for it,  I am exploring more pencil work, with ink and colored pencils. And there is always the option of mixed media illustration.  There are so many options.

…just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.” ~Candice Coates

I remember, years ago, in undergrad during a departmental review, my professors telling me “All your work is amazing, Ms. Coates, but it looks like the work of twenty different artists.”

On one hand, this is not a bad thing at all. It’s like being multilingual. I speak twenty different artistic languages. On the other hand, it begs the question, are you perfectly fluent in any of them? Jack or rather Jacqueline of all trades and master of…only a few.

 

 

 

We need to create on purpose, with purpose.”

CREATING WITH CONSIDERATION

There are 3 verses that come to mind in this regard. I will pluck at each. One is Philippians 4:13,I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

It is comforting to know that if I set myself to do things that He, Christ Jesus, has placed in my heart to do, that no matter what, if I trust Him, He has given me the strength to do them.

I want to make art. He has given me the gift to do so and also the strength for it.

I Corinthians 10:23,You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is helpful. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” but not everything is beneficial.

With the creative strength and gift given unto me, I need to operate in wisdom. So what I can, sculpt. I don’t feel ANYTHING when I am sculpting apart from a loss of time. Dash the great reviews of my audience. (Just using sculpting as an example.)

Where is the benefit of doing something just because you can? You won’t benefit from my efforts and in the long run, no one else will either. The work is void of any life because your heart was not in it. This is arbitrary actions at its best.

Both of these verses bring me to Isaiah 30:21,and your ears hear a word behind you, saying “This is the Way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or whenever you turn to the left.

BE CREATIVE, NOT COMPETITIVE

What is the point? The point is not to be arbitrary, not to be competitive. Art, to me, creation and creativity, is sacred. It needs to be treated with respect and care. We need to create on purpose with purpose. Not in a way to “out do” the person next to us. There has to be meaning involved. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

In conjunction with this, we should not only create what we care about, but we should create on subjects or themes that we care about.  If you are not interested in what you are doing your work “on” you are still going to get the same empty results, a pretty picture with no life to it, even if you are doing it in a medium that you love.

My creative path is still winding forward. I am discovering more about me and what I want out of my career as a visual artist. I am ever on the hunt to uncover my “niche” and voice.

But even where I stand now,  I can be confident in creating what I am curious about and care about, and leave all the competitive  “I can do better than you” mess behind me. And best of all, so can you!

*This article was originally published on February 12th, 2014 & Updated February 19th, 2018.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Do you ever feel like you could be making better use of your creative time, or that you’ve lost yourself in a creative competitive race? Talk about it in the comments below.

A William Adolphe Bouguereau Study of “The Bather”

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A 40 min sketch of William Adolph Bouguereau’s “The Bather”

The first month of 2018 is nearly done, but blessedly new habits are just beginning. As I sat and listened to a teaching from FreshLife Church, speaking on how the habits we make today create the life we will have tomorrow, I took the time to sketch.

It has been several months and maybe even a year since I have done a sketch. It has been at least five since I have done one in plain, old, graphite. Over the past few years, I have either focused on the colored pencil sketches or those done in vibrant and messy strokes of ballpoint pen.

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WilliamBouguereau-TheBather-(1879) {PD-1923}

Today, I felt the Lord challenging me to sketch in pencil.

As bizarre as it sounds I felt a bit of trepidation and even found myself erasing and starting again as the work that I had done was sorry to say the least.

Why? I was working from a place of fear, that ugly fear of failure that still tries to make its home where it has been forevermore evicted.

It took several long minutes for me to finally loosen up enough to just…draw. But I am grateful that the Holy Spirit placed Himself at the exit of my creativity and refused to let me leave without facing this challenge head-on.

I wouldn’t call this my best work by any stretch but I give it high marks for effort.

I have a burning thirst to sling some oil paint. I am comfortable there. I can do so without much thought, but I need to gain my confidence back with the pencil.

Here is to a year of growth and conquering!

~Candice

Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

Learning the Beauty in Less being More: Musing Moment

I am truly learning and embracing the joy of ‘less is more.’ As I intentionally take the time to build the life that I imagine for myself, I am living the truth that I can create without hustle. I can be a success without embracing the lie that I need to be stressed to do it. I don’t have to do ‘it’ the way everyone has shouted that ‘it’ needs to be done.

The wisdom is to perform for an audience of ONE (Yeshua Jesus) and to learn how to be better than the person you were the day before.

I have no need to keep up with the Jones…I don’t even know who the Jones are, which makes it all the better. My life is unique and designed by Christ. It is my honor and privilege to discover that path and walk it in faith in His hands.

My hands and knees may get messy along the way since the path is cleared by each step I take. There is grace in this way, hope, peace, and the fullness of joy.

Our lives are a blessing and a gift to be treasured. What we each have to give individually strengthens the whole.

Less striving to be like everyone else allows more of me to shine through.

Less is more!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Coming Soon!!!: New Features ahead on ICFTS #Change #Writer #Musing

Hello, fellow Creatives!

April is just a week away from blurring into May and with that in mind, I want to give you a few updates on what is going on here at I came for the soup….

For over a year now I have been going back and forward with shifts and changes here on this platform trying to figure out what I needed to do in order to breathe the freshness back into this creative space.

I tried on different blog themes, I renovated my menu, I removed certain weekly posts…

It wasn’t until the start of April that I finally began to feel the heartbeat of this creative space beating more strongly, and that was when I discovered and embraced what I was missing here.

What was going on, you ask?

Well, I was trying to hold on to something old while attempting to blindly take hold of something new. The thing is you can only get the clarity to grasp the new thing when you leave the old thing in the dark where it belongs.

Needless to say, I’ve let go and I have taken hold. The winds of Spring and the creative life is bubbling again!

WHAT’S NEW:

First: There has been a shift in the brand here. What used to be a platform for me to journal my growth and nourish my own creative soul has now shifted into a platform where you the reader are central and me the creator and author is now the support.

I came for the soup… was once about nourishing the faith art and fiction in MY soul, but now it is all about nourishing the faith, arts, and vision in yours.

The first three years of this creative space was about building up my creative muscles and vision and now I have the strength to help build yours.

. . . you can only get the clarity to grasp the new thing when you leave the old thing in the dark where it belongs. 

I want you to help you take hold of your creative voice like never before!

More of what that will look like will be coming soon.

Second: Some things that were discarded while I struggled through my cocoon of growth and change, will be coming back again.

One of those is Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt. Actually, it will be making it’s second debut in just an hour from now!

Nourishing the Arts in you begins with helping you find and stretch your voice. For writers, this is done through writing prompts and I have to say that I not only enjoyed creating this weekly prompt, but I also enjoyed doing it myself.

Third: The art of platform revision continues. Now that I have a clear and solid view of where this creative space and brand is headed, I need to begin implementing the necessary changes.

Bear with me.

My goal is to have this ‘machine’ running at top performance before the end of Spring. I am working on new content to help you take hold of your vision and find your authentic creative voice, while I revise older material that I feel is very relevant even for this current moment.

There are even non-fiction books under works, all geared toward drawing the light out of you and helping you to conquer!

I am super excited about this new season and the changes that are taking place and I hope you are too.

Thank you for sticking around while the dust was still flying. Great stuff is ahead and I can’t wait to share it with you.

~Candice

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

Blog Novel & Future Plans: What’s Going on in March #AmWriting #Writinglife #Novel

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There’s a way to do it better-find it.” Thomas A. Edison

For over a year now I’ve been coming up with plans to reinvent this creative platform in a way that makes my soul sing like it did from the very first moment that I gave birth to it.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post regarding this topic, my creative needs have changed and so have the ebbs and flows of my musings. What was once just a space to journal my creative growth, has morphed into something different and it continues to change even as my vision for my writing future becomes clearer.

With the recent launching of my author site: www.candicecoates.wordpress.com, and the promotion of my Battle of the Books, my time is divided as is my creative focus, all for good reasons.

This blog was created to harness reawakened creativity and it has certainly met its goal and continues to.

That being said, I am trying a new thing here…again…with how I manage this blog space.

FIRST: SCHEDULE

I have visited this topic several times and have come back to the same place.

  • 3 posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday

…That seemed easy enough.

The more difficult part of this was/is determining what to continue here on this platform.

SECOND: BLOGGING TOPICS

  • Creative Writing
  • Blog Novel (MORE ON THIS BELOW)
  • Musings and Creative Inspirations
  • Faith
  • Art

If you have been following this blog for a while, you are probably wondering what happened to Wisdom From the Writer’s Journal, where I give writing tips, encouragements, and host interviews or guest posts? If not, then you should be, but I digress.

What I have decided to do, after mulling it over for the last three months, is move WFTWJ to my Author Site. Because this is where I will be highlighting more of my indie Publishing journey and focusing solely on the craft of creative writing, it only makes sense for me to move WFTWJ to that platform.

So if you were digging Wisdom From the Writer’s Journal, FOLLOW MY AUTHOR SITE!

I will still continue to share writing inspirations and encouragements in more of a conversational way, hence the bullet for musings and creative inspirations.

THIRD: THE INFAMOUS BLOG NOVEL,  ASCENSION GRAVEYARD

Our greates weakness lies in giving up. The most certian way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~Thomas A. Edison

For going on four years this June, I have been writing and rewriting Ascension Graveyard. I have made it to a good, 90k words, only to turn around and rework the peace. I have shared chapters here three times going all the way up to over 30 chapters at a time.

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I have worked hard…and I have found that though my labors have not been in vain, they haven’t yielded the desired fruit.

That being said, a fourth rewrite is in order. By this, I don’t mean just another round of editing and weeding currently existing chapters, but completely rewriting the book at least 85% from scratch.

I will be honest, I have had this idea for over a year and the thought of actually giving it a shot makes me a bit skittish, but I have to trust my creative flow and give it a go.

When will new and hopefully improved chapters of the paranormal science fiction suspense thriller be available? I don’t quite know yet.

I hesitate to make a time commitment as I have done so several times already only to have to push it back.

SO JUST A RECAP:

  1. Blogging Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  2. Creative Writing, Art, Faith, and Encouragements for topics
  3. Rewriting Ascension Graveyard to share soon!
  4. BONUS: Follow my author site and partake in the Battle of the Books!

Thanks for sticking with me this long and continuing on this road with me. Creative is indeed a winding road of its own and the scenery it lends often changes!

See you Wednesday.

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

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“You’ve gone quiet,” Their words weren’t condemning, still it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid.

Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.”

“No?”

“No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest.

“Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.”

This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.”

“Like a sapling through the soil,”

“Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.”

“Spring is right around the corner you know?”

Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.”

THE BEGINNING…

A Moment for Musing

Hello there friends! If you haven’t figured it out the above story would be my conversation with creativity and my work here on I came for the soup. I’ve struggled with my blogging rhythm here, yet again and it has produced a level of anxiety.

There is so much I want to say, so many stories I want to tell, and yet only so many hours in a given day.

I want to thank all of you who have stuck with me as I build up my Author Site and prepare for Indie Publishing. If you haven’t already, please swing by http://www.candicecoates.wordpress.com, follow, share with others, and partake in reading the sample chapters of two of my novels, Warden and Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal. After reading, cast your vote for the novel you think should be published first.

Polls for voting will be available February 20th through March 25th.

I will have more information about what is going on here in the soup bowl, especially in regards to my blog novel Ascension Graveyard, coming soon.

Stay tuned!

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Click HERE for more about the Battle of the Books! The Battle is already on. Be sure to read and cast your VOTE today!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

Third’s a Charm, Right?: Revisiting Ascension Graveyard & Blog Theme Change #Writer #Novel #Revisions

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Third’s a charm, right? Right! I suppose that is true if this is indeed the third time that I have sat down to write AND finish my blog novel, ASCENSION GRAVEYARD.

Part of me, however, feels like this is the FOURTH time and that I left my third attempt somewhere to die a slow death in 2016…these things happen, I’m cool with that.

I suppose that I would have wallowed in frustration over each unfinished reboot if it weren’t for the fact that other creative happenings weren’t successfully occupying my time. It’s not at all that I have been just trying to fill failed space with projects that would massage my ego, but truly I’ve been working on building up my dreams.

To everything there is a time and a season…” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

As I announced earlier this year, I have officially launched my Author Site, and I am gearing up to do a ‘Battle of the Books’ Monday, February 20th, 2017. The battle is a match between the first two novels that I completed during my summer sessions of NaNoWriMo. More information about that will be coming soon.

Ascension Graveyard is my third attempt at summer NaNo and has been like a very needy child for going on four years! As I’ve said before, I encourage myself about the time it is taking to complete this novel with the knowledge that it took Stephen King forty years or so to properly write Under the Dome. He began in the early 70’s and didn’t have her on the bookshelves until 2009.

Some aspiring writers may cringe at that length of time but here are two encouraging things I want you to take away from this:

  1. Anything worth having is worth the work and wait: Our lives and experiences influence the work that we produce. Stephen King started with an idea, but time and influence gave greater life and vision to the work…which also led to a T.V series…which leads to take away number 2.
  2. To everything there is a time and a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1): Some ideas are born in the moments of today but will only be ready for life years from now. The time in between is all about the preparation. Like a fine wine or cheese or a really great stew, long hours, or in the case of some pieces of fiction, long years are what’s required. (I wrote a faith post about waiting. You can find it here.)

Ascension Graveyard has taken me a long while and many moments of frustration, but I feel like the time to really get from the starting line to the end is upon us. I know that I must ‘kill many of my darlings’ during this third or fourth attempt but I am ready.

As a reminder, chapters will begin going up again starting in March 2017.

This leads me to my change in blog theme. Really, I find changing or finding the ‘right’ theme to be much like mall shopping for clothing. It is exhausting, somewhat disappointing, often times hit-or-miss, but when you need new clothes you just have the bite the bullet and step into the fitting room.

I’ve changed my theme after a year because, for one, I felt like I needed the change AND because of the simple function of having my PAGES visible in the body of the text and NOT somewhere floating around after the adds, share buttons, likes, etc.

This theme has the next pages of my post right there after the final period on the previous page. Easy-peasy. I want this process to not only be a fun and easy adventure for myself but a more user-friendly experience for my readers.

As I’ve said before, my writing can only improve with your constructive criticism. So, read along with me, turn those lovely pages, and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also, don’t forget to stay tuned for the Battle of the Books! Your votes will determine which novel will be published and promoted first! You can stay connected and on top of updates by following my Author Site.

Thanks for tuning in!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!