Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the tag “writing”

Italy or Surgery

Photo courtesy @iStockphoto

Back in May, I had a dream come true when I won a scholarship to a writer’s retreat. In Italy. They gave one prize and I was to leave this Wednesday. For 12 days I would see Paris, consume decadent food and wine, and live, laugh, write and love in Liguria, Italy. I had reserved a gorgeous room on the edge of a cliff in an Italian Villa. Heaven.

But, and there’s always a huge but isn’t there? If you remember back to this post,I had some interesting medical problems the day before I left for Mexico. While I was on the mission trip, I received an email from my doctor explaining my benign condition and told to make an appointment to talk about the options. I filed that email and put it in the “someday I’ll call them maybe” category.

Suffice it to say that although the condition is benign, it’s had it’s way with me. I’ve had a couple weeks where I felt kind of okay and the rest have been a battle to function. I wondered how I would trip around Europe; eating, praying and loving, when I couldn’t get out of bed. So I made the dreaded call and subsequently even showed up for the appointment.

Italy is now a thing of the past and incredibly, a chance trip in the future. And now I have surgery in December, one week before Christmas, which really, is what every woman wants. Am I right ladies? Sorry guys, I can’t prepare a turkey or even a honey baked ham. Decorations? Don’t think so. But opening presents? Sure, I wouldn’t want to get rusty on my love language.

What astounds me though is that God equips me for all things. This includes and is not limited to the ability to find joy in serving in difficult circumstances and in times where I’m not doing what I had planned. I always thought being joyful was up to me, and it’s a choice to be sure, but it is God who fuels me to experience joy.

Instead of the Italian coast, we venture as a family to a nearby pacific beach. The same beach house where we took our son Mason to the hospital when his appendix was going awry. We know the way to the two nearest hospitals and more importantly we know the only way to joy.

I’m trusting and choosing to find joy in all things. Italy will be there when I’m healthy again, so I’ll do my part to make sure I am!

What about you? How do you find joy when your dreams are put on hold?

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New: Why I Write

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

I write so people feel loved, understood and encouraged.

New: Why I Create

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

I just returned from three weeks by the sea. Three weeks of relaxing like I haven’t since I was a child. Three weeks of minimal technology. It wasn’t announced or predicted. It just happened.

Sometimes in the path of social media, my thoughts are contained in a straight and narrow box. I have to busy my mind with trending topics, garnering invites to Google, forcing this square peg into new “circles” and keeping my thoughts to 140 characters. Unless I want others to share my thoughts, then I have to somehow keep them to 125 characters.

But a funny thing happens when your face isn’t updated every half hour in an electronic book and when you listen for live birds tweeting as they freely fly by.

Other thoughts have their way, and they simply come.

I’ve thought a lot about why I create, namely why I write. So I’m doing a series on the why behind the artist.

I write so people will abandon cultural beliefs, which carves out an honest space for simple truth and good living.

Why do you do what you do?

 

The Boxing Writer

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I box to be a better writer.

For most, writing is very emotional. Sometimes I have so much feeling, that it prohibits good writing. 

When we were young, we were taught to punch a pillow when we got angry. I thought that sounded stupid. Now I wish I'd tried it.

Kicking and punching the heavy bag brings out emotions I didn't know I had. After burning 600 calories in 30 minutes, you feel depleted on every level, everything is stripped away.

When I'm down to the bare bones, it's time to write. I still have the emotions fresh on my mind, but because I have dealt with them, my craftsmanship can come through. I use my experiences to carefully construct meaningful dialogue with a powerful takeaway. 

Boxing allows me to get out of myself, which puts my focus where it should be.

On you, the reader.

Teachable aside: if you want to laugh your you-know-what off and need humorous material for your column, drop by the gym and you'll see a spaz trying not to bite someone's ear off. 

I never said it was pretty.

Write Reasons

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photo courtesy of iStockphoto

In writing, as in anything worth doing, it's important that we know why we're doing it. 

I write, so no one feels abandoned. Going a little deeper, I write about the struggles of living, never wanting to minimize, but to give a powerful voice to it.

Deciding and naming why you write, gives you a roadmap, direction and purpose.

Writing reasons:

To be relevant

To be excellent

To address temptation

To encourage

To teach

To remind

To share wisdom

To bless 

To answer a calling

Why do you write?

Editing in Vegas

“There’s just no quiet in Vegas.” – Barry Manilow

I noticed Copyblogger uses this same quote today, but their post is the opposite of mine, it's about Internet noise.

Steve and I get up to Vegas at least 4 times a year. Ironically, the City of Sin is a haven for us. 

Vegas isn't the first destination the average person thinks of when they need some serious R & R. 

Our trips our refreshing though. We sleep late, eat incredible food, relax at the pool and go to two or three shows.

Not this time though. We are leaving this weekend; booked a great one bedroom suite high above the strip and will be…..editing.  Yep, a working vacation to edit the novel I wrote in November. 

Somewhere in the city billed as having "no quiet," we will be in lovely, complete silence. Where the only sounds are the clicking of a computer keyboard and the occasional popping of a cork.

I can't wait.

Where do you like to write and/or edit?

Need U Now Eye in the Sky

Oh boy kids, what we've got here is what you might call a situation. An assistant to the group Alan Parsons Project is claiming Lady Antebellum ripped off Eye in the Sky with their smash crossover hit, Need You Now

Watch the video below and be amazed-

 

And to all my fellow WriMos out there, be careful of what you write and publish. The world doesn't need "The Twilight of Harry Potter".

Or do we?

When Fear Wants to Spoon

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Remember when fear used to be different? Back in the day it was a gangly teenager, all knees and elbows. We tucked ourselves around the sharp angles and edges, bent ourselves to conform to childlike worries.

As we grew, so did fear. It became a young adult, and we wondered where it would show up next. And with energy like that, we could conjure it up at any given time. Sometimes it was better to sleep with fear than to sleep alone.

And then fear became a mature adult. An obese, dark monster, who nightly pulls up a chair and waits. We smell and feel it's hot breath before we've even opened our eyes. When we do, fear doesn't wait for an invitation. It curls around us, taking up all the air and consuming us from the outside in.

When fear wants to spoon, I pray. I write as if my life depended on it, I spend time with my loves and I focus on the moment. 

Living in the moment reaps a heart of thankfulness for all I do have; taking the focus off of what I'm afraid I won't.


Book Stuff I Like

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 Run, don't walk to get this one friends. Jonathan Acuff's Stuff Christians Like is laugh out loud funny. It takes a lot to get me ROTF laughing, but this book did it. Sometimes I would have to stop reading because I was tired from laughing! A huge thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a review copy.

Sometimes, we fall in love on mission trips even though we know we’ll break up when we get back. Sometimes, you have to shot block a friend’s prayer because she’s asking God to bless an obviously bad dating relationship. Sometimes, you think, “I wish I had a t-shirt that said ‘I direct deposit my tithe’ so people wouldn’t judge me.”

Sometimes, the stuff that comes with faith is funny.

This is that stuff.

Jonathan Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like is your field guide to all things Christian. In it you’ll learn the culinary magic of the crock-pot. Think you’ve got a Metro worship leader-Use Acuff’s checklist. Want to avoid a prayer handholding faux pas? Acuff has you covered.

Like a satirical grenade, Acuff brings us the humor and honesty that galvanized more than a million online readers from more than 200 countries in a new portable version. Welcome to the funny side of faith.

Being convicted has never been so much fun.

Here is an interview with Jonathan on writing:

How did you get involved in writing?
A teacher in the third grade laminated some poems I wrote and I fell in love with it then.

What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
Finishing a piece. Starting is so much easier.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?
The brainstorming part. 

How do you find time to write?
I get up at 5AM before anyone in my family is up.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?

Pick a time to write and then do it. Don’t debate whether you will write each day, just write. 

Click the cover to purchase Jonathan's book at Amazon.


Cecil Murphey Appreciation

June has been declared Cecil Murphey appreciation month. He has written or coauthored more than 100 books including the New York Times best- seller 90 Minutes in Heaven

I love his books but appreciate his teaching most of all. I'm in an online Writer's Group where Cec is a moderator. In the interest of keeping my inbox clean, I delete hundreds of emails per month from that loop. But not the ones from Cecil Murphey. I keep those carefully stored and read them at least once a week. 

You see, he took the time on several occasions to respond to my writing personally. I have been most encouraged in my career, by him. He speaks about allowing God to hold his hands and pour into him, and as the Father of Writing, Cec turns around and freely pours himself into hundreds of writers. 

You know that question people love to ask, "If you could meet anyone who would it be?" My dream is to meet and take a class from Cecil Murphey. (Number two is to meet and sing with Phil Vassar, but I digress.)

I'm so honored because in July, Cecil will be writing a guest post here at Krellfish. I will also be reviewing his latest book, When A Man You Love Was Abused.

Thank you for everything Cec, you are deeply appreciated.

CecMurphey_2
 

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