All posts tagged: writing

The Almighty Quarter: 3 Ways to Make Creative Time in a Busy Day

Quarters are amazing! You can do so many activities with quarters. You can do laundry, you can play a game at an arcade with enough quarters (are those even a thing in today’s world?). You can purchase a cheap, hot cup of liquid motivation on your way to work with quarters. Once upon a time, you could make a phone call in a phone booth with a quarter. Packs of chewing gum used to be a quarter! I mean I could go on and on about how great quarters are! My favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have twenty-four hours, forty-eight half hours and ninety-six  QUARTERS! Nintey-six! Now, you are probably thinking, “What is the big deal?” “Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.” Here it is, as creative beings, who have full-time commitments away from our crafts, finding the time to cultivate …

Seeing Through the Fog of Fear

*Revised from January 6, 2014 “If you are willing to go where God leads, He will see you through the journey.” ~PASTOR JESSE DUPLANTIS Writing is what I love. Sharing is what I love. Creating is what I love. However even in the face of things we love there can at times be a cloud of fog that blinds our direction. We start off heading one way with excitement and hope, and somewhere down the road, we end up choking on the fog of fear. For many years I battled with the foggy fear of failure. I knew that I was capable as a writer and storyteller. I knew I had many great stories to tell, but I had stumbled on the stones that said, “What if you don’t tell the story right?” or “What if you mess up that really expensive piece of cotton rag artist paper you just purchased?” The fear was paralyzing. It kept me still and inactive in my creativity for far too many years. I wished I had pushed through …

Fire Through The Window: The Season of Preparation

  The Fall By Candice Coates, written September 28, 2015 The world looked like fire from the view of her bedroom window. The leaves on the trees had been set ablaze by the match called Fall. Life as she had known it, of thin layers and barefoot days, was slowly burning to smoke, leaving behind ashes of leather boots, sweaters and the scent of earth in the air. “I love the fall,” she said. “There is something lovely about it. It reminds me of the perfect kiss; sweet and intimate, zestful with the shock of chilled lips that slowly ebb into a warmth that leaves you hypnotized, never wanting to let go.” She closed her eyes to the warm caress of the sun’s rays sliding over her eyelids like the softest silk before she pushed away from the window. She wrapped herself within her own arms and smiled brightly. No one was there with her, no one except God, the One who had created the Fall with her in mind and heart. The Beginning. THE BLESSING …

Renewing Your Vision

*Revised from April 15, 2016 “Worse than being blind is to see and have no vision” ~HELEN KELLER Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no VISION the people PERISH…” (Emphasis mine) To be able to see is one thing, to have a vision is another. Vision is the driving force that calls us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Vision is the crown that causes us to press even in the face of repeated failure because it’s given you hope for the future. To be a person who has lived and not simply existed, you must have a vision–a goal. Although vision and sight are different, they are not mutually exclusive. To maintain your vision you must keep it ever before you (Habakkuk 2:2) Put it down in the simplest of words as a reminder of what you are aiming for. It is very easy to allow the challenges of life to stifle our vision. In faith, in Christ Jesus, we are called to ‘renew’ or minds, that we not be conformed to the …

Why The Bird Sings: Faith for Creatives

*Revised from August 3, 2015 “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” ~Maya Angelou We, as the artist and writers, the dreamers of the world, creative beings, fashioned in the likeness of our loving God and Father, share a beautiful thread of comradery with the birds who so sweetly sing. We write because we have a story to tell. We create because we have a vision. We dream because we have been blessed with a hope so gloriously written by Christ’s hands that we know it will not disappoint (ROM. 5:5). We don’t need to have the answers for every step we are led to take or the exact ins and outs that lead to our future goals in order to share something beautiful. We just need willing hearts to follow His lead and our voices ready to sing in the symphony of song that He has orchestrated for us! Lift up your voice, lift up your faith, and sing. “He has given me a new …

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. I am so grateful that this thought process is not based on the truth. Years ago, I was presented with the converse of that false ideology. I learned that there can be great wisdom in resting… or 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 …

Simply Beautiful: Micro-Fiction by Candice Coates

It was a simple room, done up in a simple state and yet it was nothing short of simply beautiful. The wood floors were well worn and just as well loved. The darkness of the grain showed signs of wear but also echoed with the song of yesteryear that tickled her ears and made her heart dance with each click of her low heeled shoes. This was a blessing. She had prayed for a place of her own, no matter how grand or small and God had answered her. Her prayer, much like King David’s, “Not too much Lord, lest I forget You. And not too little that my hands itch to steal.” Those were her words and He had answered ever plea of her heart. “Thank You,” she whispered with a sigh as the lacey sheer drapes blew into the room on the gentle spring breeze as if the hand of God was hidden within their folds welcoming her to her new abode. “I’m glad you are pleased,” the older woman, Ms. Mcnaughten, answered …

On the Mend: A Short story by Candice Coates

Written April 14, 2014 I got something for you.” Milly smiled at the threshold before entering the room and walking toward Garnet’s bedside box in hand. Garnet studied her curiously, mouth slightly agape. Milly’s smile only brightened. “May I?” she asked, pointing at the bed. “Certainly! Have a seat, Milly.” Garnet tried to offer her a smile in return but he just couldn’t get his face to work that way. He was still too astonished by her being there…on his bed…in his room. Technically it was their room but he had used it alone for so long that he had forgotten how to let her in. He had forgotten how to let her into his heart as well. Milly had been guilty of that as well. The box made a hollow sound as Milly moved it about in her hands. She wanted to be comfortable but not so much that she bumped Garnet’s leg. He had broken it and broken it good. His femur bone was split right in two! It was going to take …

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

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 …

Coin Toss: A Short Story by Candice Coates

Heads or tails?” “What? You can’t be seri-” “Heads? Or tales?” Quarter sat at the ready, balanced atop the smoothness of his thumbnail, Josiah cut off her words. It wasn’t so much his words that eased her into silence, but the glint in his eyes and the smile that curved his lips. He was serious, deadly serious. Severin pressed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling nervousness roll up and around her belly. Had she actually eaten the lunch he had packed for them instead of anxiously pushing it around with her fork, nibbling it here and there, she would have had no room inside for anxiety to fill her guts in the first place. At least the plate was neatly stashed away in the cooler for later if she survived to eat it later. Of course, the coin was two-sided so there was the other option that didn’t involve leaping to her death, but it did have a “leap” all its own. As it were, Severin Hastings, true to her name, had …