Grad school doth be no joke

7 10 2014

Just kidding. So, I’m in graduate school now and it’s great. I’m a grad assistant so the college has basically decided to pay me to go to school. I think I’ve officially become a professional student. But we all knew that was gonna happen, right? By contract I had to give up all my other jobs, 3 or 4 of them. I think. I stopped counting a very long time ago. I actually don’t get out of bed before 8am now. WHO KNEW SLEEPING IN WAS A THING? And yes, 8am is sleeping in. I’ve also seen more of my family in the last 6 weeks than I have in the last 8 months and it is glorious. It’s amazing the things I now have time for. family, friends, sleeping, writing, HIKING, and thinking. I have certainly missed just being able to sit and ponder things.

I am now also a member of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. But I may have told you that already. I don’t remember. Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting some of my picture book ideas peer reviewed and hopefully will find an agent for them. There are so many possibilities swimming around and I’m very excited about it all.

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hey. If any of you are working on something new, feel free to share in the comments box. I love making new friends and sharing ideas!

~Cheers

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Community

12 02 2013

Community… not to be confused with the awesome TV show by the same name, is defined by Merriam-Webster as:  “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.” One of my favorite poets, John Donne, has a few words to say on the subject. You’ve probably heard it before but read it again.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

One of my favorite Biblical passages can be found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 whhiiiich states:

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

No one should live their lives on their own. Sure it can be done. And solitude is a blessed thing to escape to every now and then. BUT it’s not healthy as a permanent situation.

One person has the power to change the world. But TWO people, two people don’t double those odds, they more than double them. Basically the influence of  1+1=10.

One can create a community. You’re probably a part of several without fully realizing it. Your family, co-workers, church group, bingo partners, college classroom,  knitting club, gamer enclave …etc. You have influence in these circles. But just as importantly, they have a strong influence on you. I have several jobs and full time school. I’ve been in a lot of social situations. However these communities were not life giving. This kinda left me out on a limb. Working and going to school and working and going to school with some power naps in-between. I was around people all day long but the social interaction was very draining. Creative juices ebbed. Something had to change.

So I seized what bare-bones spare time I have to involve myself with others in what I consider two very important areas of my life. 1. My faith. 2. writing.

I’ve joined a new Bible study. It’s awesome! I only knew one person in the group to begin with but it’s a fantastic group of ladies, we’ve all connected and I’m loving it. We are studying the book of Daniel, which to be honest has a lot more to it than I’ve picked up on in my previous readings. Reckon that’s why they call it a Bible study. Anyway we’re using Beth Moore’s Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophesy. It’s all about being culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant. And it has been such a blessing.

The second community is my poetry group. And as I promised to you in a previous post here I am telling you more  about it, or rather us. I recall telling you that we now call ourselves the Jones Valley Poetry Company. I even set us up a cool new blog site which I will now shamelessly promote. Check us out at jvpcompany.wordpress.com. Boom. Now that’s where it’s at. We started out just attending poetry class together studying under the incredible teacher I’ve mentioned before, Adam Vines. But then we started hanging out together. And poetry infused all of our meetings. Things just kinda went from there. We’re a fairly diverse group, however, our love of poetry and the city of Birmingham (which resides in Jones Valley) binds us together. We’re working towards cultivating love for these two topics within the Magic City (which has so much potential yet is widely misunderstood. Birmingham is trying to change it’s stereotype. A lot of times it gets a bad report. Don’t get me wrong it does reside within the top ten most violent cities within the US. And it by no means is the most gorgeous city out there. It has more the rustic or rather rusty charm about it. But against all odds, it’s trying. And we’re gonna help as much as we can.)

Communities, when faced with a common challenge/goal, get things done. When there are people there to support and encourage you, laugh when you laugh and cry with you when the world busts you in the face… it’s this human interaction that builds a home, a nation a world.

My communities are important to me. Be it my family, best friend, close friends, church family, writing group… they all have influence over who I am and how I’m interacting with the world. And Lord willing we’ll produce fruits that will touch and influence the lives of others.

That’s all for today,

Cheers!








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