All posts tagged: writing

Handful of Hope: A Short Story & Encouragement

She wanted to see if they could float so with faith she tossed them across the sackcloth that would be the sky and watched as her handful of hope like diamonds suspended themselves and twinkled as stars. She wasn’t the King Creator, nor His Glorious Son, but she was born of His Spirit, and thusly imbued with the authority and call to create. She was learning how to do so with a voice and song uniquely her own, a song she longed to sing to please only His ears. So she tossed up another handful of hope and watched it twinkle and grow in light until the inky darkness bled away yielding to the brilliance of life. The cold uncertainty that had once made her limbs stiff with immobility began to retreat as her being grew warm with the fire of expectation and joy. Handful after handful of hope and dreams and faith jettisoned from her vibrant fingertips and ate away at the dreadful nothing that sought to blanket her with fear. Laughter erupted from her …

I Promise: A Short Story…A Testimony

“They’ll be safe here, I promise.” His smile bloomed like the radiant sun coming from behind a cloud, and with the same tenderness, it warmed her face and bathed her heart with gladness. She exhaled and hoped that the worry lines would ease from between her brow even if she couldn’t stop the fluttering that tickled beneath her chest. It was hard to leave them there. She had done this before so many years ago, but then… Reading her thoughts, His gaze turned tender, His scarred hand kissed the crown of her head before sliding down to cup her cheek. The feel of it washed through her like a gentle summer wind. He whispered again, “I promise.” And the storm within her ceased. She dared to gaze back upon them, the tiny, fragile seedlings that she had planted with hope within this heavenly soil. It was excellent soil, He had told her, and the words bubbled within her belly as if they were a child come to life in her womb. It made her giggle …

Words…Use Them Wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives. Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power. Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ spelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day. “Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.”   God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it came to be. Our Lord Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1). He, too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25). He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead, (John 11: 38-44). Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, …

Why do you Create?: Questions About Our Creative Reason

“Do you write (Create) to impress or do you write (Create) to improve?” ~Candice Coates The thought suddenly came to my head. It is always a good thing to go back to the beginning, remember the plans that you first had when you began your creative journey. For me, as an author who has recently published my first work of fiction, and being conscious of the ebbs and flows in sales and follows, I have to continue to ask myself am I doing what I am doing to impress or improve? If my goal is to impress, who exactly am I impressing? And if it is to improve, who and or what am I improving? What are my reasons? Actually, we all need to ask ourselves these questions. For me, I write, because I have fallen in love with the people who live in my head. No, I don’t need medication. I am talking about the characters that grow out of nothing but have such amazing stories to tell. At least to me, their stories …

Before you Take Flight…: The Icarus Syndrome

“You gave me wings to fly, and I melted them in the sun.”~ Candice Coates Just the other day I had a thought about false starts, creative false starts, in life, great attempts that reaped no rewards, and foiled efforts that had been torn asunder by the whirlwinds of life. I thought about my efforts and I how I began many projects with great zeal, ran into obstacles and then after becoming winded and wounded by “failure” felt like I had blown another chance. “…each failed attempt in our lives is not a matter of flying too high too soon or too low. Sometimes they are just training sessions to strengthen our tenacity muscles.”   The quote above came to mind, and I spoke it aloud. Immediately afterward I had a vision in my mind about the mythological character Icarus. He was given an opportunity, an open door if you would, but with it came two instructions: Do not fly too low to the sea because your wings will grow wet and it will be …

Fear of Change: Learning to Grow

Your palms sweat, and grip tightly to the plastic as if it is the only lifeline you have, the only thing that will keep you from drowning. But you have to make a decision. You have to decide. Change is imminent. There is no turning back. You feel the slickness of your hands pulling away from the surface and you draw it closer to your face, your eyes ever widening. Your focus doesn’t improve. Instead, it becomes worse, blurred, jumbled, more lost in the sea of confusion as you stare anxiously, fearfully at…your menu. “…fill up of the satisfying familiar and lose nothing in the process except for a new experience.” Isn’t it just like that? Okay, maybe not as intense, but there is still that pressure when you go to your favorite restaurant, one that you have visited for years. And somehow, no matter how many times you have gone you have faithfully ordered the same meal, too afraid to branch out and try something new. We tend to hold on to the familiar …

It All Begins with a Dream

*Article updated from August 25, 2014 “I sleep to dream, I dream to be inspired, and through inspiration, I live. Jesus  is my Inspiration.” ~Candice Coates I came up with that little ditty when I was sixteen or seventeen years old.  It was then that I created the image of myself resting and dreaming yet holding onto the Spirit of Peace.  For years I have been gleaning inspiration from the dreams that I live in each time I lay my head on my pillow at night. But even though I understand the importance of dreaming, I often encounter people who have no concept of dreaming at all. Not only do they shun the concept or idea of dreaming one’s way into a tailor-made future but they scoff at the idea of dreams born out of rest. “…dreaming is the pinnacle of imagination and thus the root of creativity.” What many fail to realize in their efforts to remain ‘practical’ is that dreaming is the pinnacle of imagination and thus the root of creativity. Authentic creativity …

The Art of Stillness: Creative Motivation

 Sometimes using your time well or wisely is really just a matter of  being still.” ~Candice Coates via the Lord Jesus I, by nature, am a woman given to hard work. I have an inherent urge and drive to be productive, to seize the moment and bear fruits from my labor. Being still, not producing, often leaves me with an anxious feeling that I have wasted my time, time that I will never get back. The deception of that ideology is one that plagues many of us, I am sure; being still means you have wasted a moment. Years ago, I was presented with the converse of that ideology. I learned that there can be great wisdom in resting…simply being still. All too often we confuse stillness with the lack of productivity. We in the west have been conditioned to believe that if there is no movement then nothing has been done. This is actually an enemy of faith. Faith, as the Bible puts it in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things NOT …

Taking the Scenic Route: Moments of Creative Clarity

“…The race is not given to the swift…” ~Ecclesiastes 9:11 I am, by nature, a person who is all about using every second of every day to my advantage, constantly working out in my mind how to squeeze as much into a moment of productivity as I possibly can. I like to map things out in order to ensure that I have taken the shortest route but achieved the greatest return. I especially held this way of thinking in the world of my fiction writing. So when I set out for the third time in my writing career to complete the writing of a novel in thirty days, the first thought, besides what I would write about, was in how many words would I need to produce in a day. If you do not know, what makes a novel an official novel is the word count. This is the same with Novellas, Short Stories, etcetera. To have a novel, your manuscript must be made up of 50,000 words or more. Trusting God often means taking …