Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yourtown Directory

Whether or not you're planning to write a series, having a phone directory for your characters and the places they shop can be handy for you. Think-about your town's phone book. It will not only have the name and phone number, but also the address, the town (if it covers more than one metropolitan area), and sometimes the zip code. While I don't advocate using something that could be an actual phone number (in case anyone ever gets hold of your directory), the ever-popular prefix 555 can be a substitute that won't get you in hot water with real people.

You may want to divide your character phone directory into categories, just like the real thing: White Pages for home listings, Yellow Pages for businesses, Government Pages for things like City Hall, the Fire Department, Police or Sheriff's Department, etc. You can get as creative as you wish, but you don't have to get elaborate. This is just a guide for you, the writer. I do suggest putting letters in (A, B, C, etc.) for the surnames, and, just like a real phone book, put Surname first, followed by First & Middle names or initials.

I've started one for my small town where I hope to set a series of books. I have all of the above. My "Yellow Pages" aren't yellow, but I did divide the business listings from the personal listings. I scoured my manuscript, and every time I ran across a new name, I listed it in my directory. (That's one neat thing: you don't have to worry about having unlisted characters!) That way, they're there for future reference. I also added surnames for just about every letter in the alphabet, so I have plenty of room to be creative in adding future characters.

While you're in the process of creating your town or city is a great time to start a directory. However, if you already have several books in your series, it isn't too late. It may be a little more time-consuming, adding in the characters and their addresses and phone numbers, but it will help you in the long run.

Happy world-building!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Today is Mother's Day in the United States. I've been thinking a lot about motherhood. It's something I've missed, and that sometimes makes me sad. I've missed a lot of joy. A lot of sorrow, too, I know, but in this life you have to take the bad with the good.

I have a wonderful mother. She's a good friend, not only to me, but to everyone who knows her. She's always been a great example, not only of motherhood, but womanhood in general. She taught me what it means to be a friend, to live my faith, to hold on to what's important... I hoe you have a mom like mine. It's a blessing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Our RV is finally back in the place where it belongs. Our cousin helped us get it set up properly, perfectly aligned (probably for the first time in its life), and hooked up to the water & electricity. There was only one thing wrong: no power.

When we moved here, we had the lines set up to run from the old house out to the RV site. Everything worked just fine. After our last trip, however, something was wrong. I checked the power cord, but there was nothing wrong with it. I checked the circuit breakers. Again, they were all in good shape. The fuses looked fine. I decided the problem must be at the source.

When I went over to the house, I opened the breaker box. Sure enough, the breakers had flipped. So, I switched them back on and plugged in a lamp to check. Still nothing!

When I called the electric company, I was sure the problem was with the line. We'd had a horrendous thunderstorm last year that took out our transformer, which they'd replaced. The man who called back checked the line. It was hot. Power was going to the house. It just wasn't doing anything when it got there.

We thought we'd have to hire an electrician to come out and work on it, since I couldn't find the master switch anywhere. I thought I'd have to replace the circuit breakers because something had to be wrong with them. I also knew there had to be a master switch somewhere, because otherwise, it wouldn't be safe to work on the wiring.

Today, some linemen came by. The electric company is going to be replacing the power lines through the valley, and they wanted to let us know about it, besides asking which was the best way to get down to the pole. While they were here, I told them about our problem with the little house, and they agreed to look at it for me. Sure enough, they were able to find the master switch just fine and flip on the power to the inside of the old house and the RV site. I switched on the two newest circuit breakers, and the power was back on! Amazing! After we'd thanked them, they went ahead to check the wiring down the valley.

I went on over to the RV and checked. Sure enough, the lights were on! (I turned them off.) While I was there, it struck me:

What I'd done was a lot like religion.

  • I checked all the connections.
  • I made sure all the fuses were good.
  • I turned on all the appropriate circuit breakers.
  • Everything should have worked. And there was only one reason why it didn't: no power.
In the same way, we can be doing all the right things, making sure everything is plugged in and turned on, and trying to psych ourselves into having a connection with God or whoever we worship, but without the power to make it happen.

The Creator of the Universe designed things to work in a particular fashion. He planned from the beginning how to correct our lack of judgment and rebellious natures. He decided to become one of us, cramming Himself into a tiny embryo in the womb of a virgin, the "Seed of the Woman." Only by bypassing having a human father could Jesus be born without sin. Sin is in our blood. Science has proven that we get our blood from our father, not our mother. We have our father's blood type. We get our DNA from both sides, so Jesus carried His mother's human DNA, and His Father's divine DNA. In order to rescue us from our impossibly sinful nature, He chose to become human, only sinless, so that He could become the sin-sacrifice for us, cleaning us once and for all in ways other blood sacrifices never could.

Jesus became our power switch, our connection to the Father. Without Him, we can play church and do all the right things where people think we're all right, but there's nothing to back it up. The lamps are all there, they've got lightbulbs, but there's no light. He's our light, and the power for us to shine as He does.

If you're just going through the motions, attending a church or some other form of religious activity and thinking that's all there is, plug into the Power Source today. He's just waiting to supply all your needs, especially to drive the darkness away and bring you into His eternal light.