• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

The 2012 OYAN Summer Workshops

I don’t think there is any way I could do justice to how amazing last week was through any amount of blog posts, but I shall try.

Last week has got to be one of the most amazing, inspirational, empowering, inciting, truly incredible weeks of my life.  I thought last year’s Workshops were beyond believe, but this year’s Workshops surpassed it.  I learned so much, and most of it wasn’t about writing.  God was truly at work in the lives of each and every OYANer there and it was amazing to see.

When I arrived at the site for the Workshops, the MidAmerica Nazarene University, about five seconds after walking through the doors I was tackled by the girls from my critique group the previous year.  I couldn’t have asked for a better greeting. 🙂   That first night was filled with wonderful reunions, laughter, Ninja (the official OYAN game), and long awaited hugs.

The speakers for the week included the amazing Mr. S, (Daniel Schwabaurer, creator of OYAN), English Professor Mark Wilson, Marcher Lord Press editor Jeff Gerke, literary agent Amanda  Luedeke (I got the meet with her) and author Stephanie Morrill.  Even Mark Twain showed up! (Yes, Mark Twain, beat that. 😉  He arrived by TARDIS which was sitting on the stage in the theater.  Oh yeah, we had a TARDIS too. 😀  )  They all did a fantastic job and were so inspiring and beneficial.

I was a critique group leader this year.  We had 21 critique groups to accommodate the 174 students.  Yes, 174 OYANers!  What a number!   Quite the difference from the 87 students we had last year.  My group was the Ostentation of Peacocks.  As what often happens when you but OYANers together in a group, we ended up changed our mascot to the Peacock Dragons. 😉  Our room was labeled as the “Grammar Nazi Interrogation Room and Torturer Chamber.”  I wonder what the university staff thought when they found that sign…  We had a great time in critique group.  I enjoyed getting to know a new group of OYANers, we all made a good critiquing team.

The main highlight of the whole week was the people.  I have never met a more incredible group of people in all my life.  The amazing thing about OYAN is we all truly love each other.  You would think when you put a bunch of artists together there would be allot of competition, but with OYAN, there isn’t.  We are all there to help, support and encourage each other succeed with their dreams.  If one person stumbles there are a hundred hands there to pick them back up.

We had a totally spontaneous time of student testimonies the last day.  It was so incredible to hear these students come up and talk about how God had changed them through that week.  The Holy Spirit was at work in all our hearts and you could feel it in the air.  So many of us had come to the Workshops for selfish reason, but God got a hold of us and turned it all around.  It became a week of otherness.

The theme of this year’s Workshops was “Bigger on the Inside”.  (All you Doctor Who fans out there know where that one came from.)  All of us, we’re bigger on the inside.  God lives inside of us and He is bigger than the universe.  We are filled with Him and His holy spirit, making us bigger on the inside and filling with a love that bursts from our hearts.  After this week OYAN has taken on a whole new layer meaning.  When I think of it I no longer think of a writing curriculum, I think of an amazing group of people who are filled with God’s love.  OYAN truly mean love.

Friday, the last night, is a night I shall never forget.  A small group of us, about twelve, gathered together for a prayer circle before we all headed off to bed.  We all sat down in the parking lot, arms around each other and began to pray.  As we poured out our hearts to our Lord tears flowed freely.  It was a truly amazing experience.  A group of weeping teenagers and young adults, filled with the Holy Spirit, gathered together in love and prayer.  We sat there praying from 10:45 – 12:40 (about that).  When I looked up after the last amen, our small group of twelve had turned into forty (or more).  It was beautiful.

I have been so blessed by the friends God has given me through OYAN.  This year we become bonded in a deeper way.  We became a body of Christ, we became the Church of OYAN, (name given by an OYANer in the prayer circle).

We all got the feeling that God was beginning a great work through all of us.  I am so honored to be apart of it.  Can’t wait to see what He does with the rest of the year and with OYAN. 🙂

Getting tackled by friends

The TARDIS!

Mark Twain 😉

The Peacock Dragons

Critique group leaders.

All 174 of us.

Critique room sign

The beginning of the circle…

Minutes later.

Another view of the prayer circle

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3 Comments

  1. godsgirl95

     /  June 29, 2012

    *hugs*
    I don’t think I can say anything – you’ve said it all, my dear. ❤
    I miss you all.

    Reply
  2. Rana

     /  June 22, 2013

    A lot of people say the forum is depressing. Is it the same at the SW? It sounds really amazing… 🙂

    Reply
    • No, it’s not the same. The SW is really a different world from the Forum. (At least in my opinion, but bare in mind I haven’t been on the Forum for a couple of years now.) It is amazing. 🙂

      Reply

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