When I started this year, I had a few goals in mind: Get a job, finally finish Full Moon Chronicles Book 1 and start my social media presence.
Well, I did two of those things. I started this blog, got on most social media platforms and also I got a job. A few small ones and one with a salary. It was named Movie Tavern, or as my coworkers described it, a crash course to being a server. And it was insane. Insanely fun, in how exciting it was working with people I liked to talk to who liked to talk to me. But it was also insanely… insane. For me, being an introvert who keeps to herself and only gets tired out at small dinner functions, to serve dozens of strangers a week was a challenge to be sure. But I’m definitely happy I did it. I learned a lot, and grew as a person, learning how to roll with the punches and deal with whatever came.
Writing is hard. In fact, it can be downright impossible at times. There’s always pressure to finish, always questions. Always annoying arguments from your characters, that no one but you seem to believe is real.
The Man Who Invented Christmas seems to profoundly understand that. For Charles Dickens (played by the brilliant Dan Stevens) is having a problem we all face: writer’s block. After the success of Oliver Twist and the failings of three smaller books, he’s in debt, he’s out of ideas, and his publishers want another story.
So he decides to write a Christmas one. But what to write? And his main character won’t appear.
What writer doesn’t have this struggle? Which one doesn’t sit for hours, or stare at themselves in the mirror trying to get the name right? Or who doesn’t think “my favorite author would never have these problems,” which was asked in the movie as well.
When I went into the theater to watch this movie, I knew it was a writer movie, I knew it would have plenty of relatable moments, but what I didn’t know was that it would be that extra push, that extra bit of motivation that I needed to finish my story.
If Sam and Slayer ever had a house, ever found the time to stop the war waging on all fronts and learned how to battle the demons raging in their minds, this would be it. Because for The Leader of the Legercharms and her Protector, they could never have a real house. They would always have battles to win and monsters to beat.
So they would find a house, deep into the forest and carve a home with Sam’s magic and Slayer’s strength. Windows would be added, to see the outside world, but no welcome mat would be placed in front of the blue door that Slayer kept telling Sam wasn’t blue but brown on the stone steps molded by Sam. Sam wouldn’t listen about the color of the door and would attempt to hang up a police call sign; Slayer would keep taking it down because they were in hiding. For that would be the only way they could live as happily ever after as they could.
They would have to be alone. Hiding from the crowded world and trying to hew out a piece of some semblance of a life. Some moment in an infinite number of seconds to try to, one day, live as comfortably and peacefully as any good Baggins should.
Quite a while ago, Randie Garrick listened to me rambling on about my writing and how much help I needed. She suggested that I ask Abby for help. As someone who is OCD protective of my work and wary of meeting new people I rather shyly caught up with her outside of church that very day (yes, that day, I’m weird like that) and asked her if she would read three of my chapters. She agreed instantly and even asked me a week later for it. I brought her the handwritten chapters and her advice and editing was truly amazing.
Abby continued to assist me with my writing, coming at least once a month to hang out with us for several hours and give me kind advice, given in such a way so as to not discourage me. She suffered through some 3 or 4 books of mine, all handwritten and at a early stage of the editing process.
Abby is a true friend. Not only do we share love for so many fandoms, be it war/action movies, books or heavy metal, just to name a few of our favorite things, but her help in my storytelling has been incredible. She started a writers group which has continued to provide me with the advice and suggestions I need in my writing. Even though she is the not there currently, her spirit is and that means more to me than she could know. She is giving, she is brave, she is quirky and cool. She has greatly influenced by creation of good female characters because of this.
I asked her last January to write a graduation speech for me and I have it to this day, reading it often for encouragement. I want to share some of the things that she said because I think it really shows what an incredible woman Abby is:
You stand at the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood with adventures, battles, sufferings, and great joy ahead of you.
One of your favorite quotes is the well-known line from Robert Frost: I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood an I – I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.
So, what do I say as a woman with a few more milestones under her belt, to you a woman about to face them? What do I say about the ‘road less traveled’?
The true road less traveled, and more important than any career, friends, dreams, aspirations, life goals or your family is your church. All around you the world is screaming to at you to pursue happiness, pursue your dreams, live life, get out there and be a roaring woman.
What you need to do is invest yourself in your church. Look, listen, pay attention, and figure out how you can serve your body. Value the preaching of the Word. Make this your life’s priority and you will be on the narrow, less traveled road.
This is more important than a boyfriend, romance, true love, getting married, having kids, your sisters and your parents. Your church is your first thing. Not second. Not third. First.
After that and only after that comes everything else.
You have faced trials already—health issues, relationship issues, life issues—and, I hate to tell you, you will face many more. Life here on earth is a constant battle, constant hand-to-hand combat between our remaining sin, the sinful world, and following Christ. But God, who is rich in mercy, is working all things for our good. Each trial, each bit of stress, each battle is working to make us more like Christ. More battles are coming in your life. Cling to Christ and his word.
I hope and pray that as you end one stage of your life and sort through what you want the next stage to be that you’ll be a faithful church member, feed on the preaching of the word, and grow in wisdom and grace.
She is such an inspiration to me in my life. Her writing is stunning and I love whenever she shares some of them with me, at times asking me to edit them, as if I could somehow help her even though she’s a far better writer than I could hope to be. Her faith has been used as an awesome means leading me through many a valley. I am so happy to spend whatever time I can with her, be it watching a movie or letting me sit with her during Sunday school which I know must be a little trying to have me there every week!
Such a role model and I’m happy to have met her and to have her in my life. Abby, if you’re reading this, thank you for being an amazing, funny, smart and truly awesome friend. You really are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Yes, I finally got to use that in a sentence!
Mothers day today! Time to celebrate my mom for a moment.
In one sentence, I could honestly say that she is awesome. But my mom is such an amazing person it’s hard to describe what awesome means in one sentence. Or several. But try I shall.
My mom is smart, funny, emotional, and opinionated. Very opinionated (I mean she’s an ENTP which should be completely understood if you talk to her for 5 seconds). The MBTI test said that it would take roughly 12 minutes to complete. My mom took 5 minutes, knowing almost every answer instantaneously. So when I say opinionated, you can understand what I mean.One cannot just walk by her without noticing something amazing about her. That is, if she doesn’t stop you to complement you. She loves people, and really enjoys spending time with them. I’m fascinated with how much energy she has, (how she could possibly find the time for all these people).
Not only that, but she’s a writer. An amazing one at that. And an extremely brave one. She fearlessly brings her rough/once edited drafts every month to writers group, when I’m so critical of my quadruple edited version. Somehow she makes hers feel nothing like a rough draft.
My mom is also wickedly cool. She is a fangirl and is right beside me watching my shows or grinning at Benedict Cumberbatch or any of the other plethora of actors I love. She loves most of the movies I enjoy. There are times when I wonder who is the bigger fangirl. Then I realize that she doesn’t binge like I do so….We also share the love of the same music, so much so that she is often asking me what band or song is being played. Not only that, but she fuels my passions. My love for writing, my fascination for stories, and my weirdness with everything else has been strengthened by her. She read to me when I was little, she builds up my passions by giving me things that remind her of my fandoms.
She loves stories, and loves to talk for hours but she also listens too. For someone who is not afraid of speaking in public, I have seen that she will be silent and let me rant when she thinks I need to. She is so passionate about life and all of its infinite mysteries, so inspired and honest with the world. She truly is an inspiration to me, and, because she is so very willing to share herself with the world, she should be praised and appreciated for everything that she is.
For, above all else, she’s my mom, and I wish to always see her smile and happy, and no matter what, that will always be important to me,
Thanks to my mother, I have been exceedingly blessed and am humbling praising God for her everyday.
In Hebrew, Patricia means “noble”, which is certainly fitting for her. Her middle name means “grace” or “God has favored me.” Well, I know why that’s my middle name. I have been blessed with an awesome family and an truly incredible mom.