• 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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    November 2017
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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

It May Not Look like it, but I am Living my Dream

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Every child is asked this probably about a billion times.  If someone else isn’t asking them, they are asking themselves.  I spent a lot of thought on this topic as a child, mostly coming up with answers for the many adults we asked me.  First it was a nurse like my mom, but I decided I hated needles too much for that.  Then (of course) it was a ballerina, but I didn’t like the costumes.  (There was also the “secret agent” stage where I desperately wanted to learn martial arts, travel the world and kick bad guy butts. 😛 )  Next a musician, but musical theory was like taking math and math and I were not on good terms.  For a while I thought about being a singer, but voice lessons were not really an option financially.  Then I discovered writing, but that’s not the dream I am talking about.

Even through all the indecision of childhood reasoning and dreaming, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was the only thing when I thought about my future that made sense to me, that I could see myself doing, the only dream that made me smile with excitement.  But it wasn’t a suitable answer when adults other than my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was as if they didn’t see it as a real dream/job to have and I didn’t understand why.  What did I want to be?  A wife and a mom.

Yes, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up, a wife and a mom.  From a very early age I just knew that’s what God wanted me to do.  My baby dolls were precious to me, and I would swaddle them and hold them like they were real, to the extent I usually didn’t let other people hold them. They were my babies and I was their mommy.  All my Barbies and stuffed animals had a family with a mommy, a daddy and children (or more accurately, a mommy, a daddy, a teenager, a little sibling and a baby.)  I made families out of everything, from buttons to the different sized rods we used for math. (You home-schoolers know what I am talking about.)  I loved it, but whenever I gave my honest answer to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, nobody seemed to take me seriously.

When God also called me to be a writer, one of the things that made me excited about it was that I could do it and still be a stay at home wife and mom.  I could still home-school and be a writer.  I didn’t have to go to school or get a degree, I didn’t have to commute to a job, I could be at home.  I didn’t realize how much I loved being at home until I got my first true away-from-home job (babysitting/nannying didn’t count).  Like any young adult I wanted to get out of the house and away from my family (nothing against my family, they are awesome and I love them).  We’ve all been there, when we think it’s time for us to spread our own wings and leave the nest.  I worked four days a week and for a while it was nice not being home, but it didn’t take long for me to miss it.  I missed having time to play in the kitchen, I had to actually catch up on what was going on instead of being a witness (that felt weird).  It made me feel out of touch with home and my family even though I still lived there.  I wanted to be home again.

When I graduated High School I was bombarded with questions about college, degrees and careers.  It drove me crazy.  I didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t feel God leading me toward college or a degree, but that just wasn’t the norm.  I took a couple of classes just because it’s what I was “supposed to do”, but boy was I one happy girl when I walked off that campus for the last time.  After that, when I was asked if I was going to school and I answered no, I’d get looks that to me said, “That’s strange”, “Is she just not smart?” “Poor lost soul”, even from church members.  It was sad and a tad discouraging.  I was just trying to follow where I thought God was leading me.  I didn’t need a degree to be a writer, a wife and a mom, but I was the only young woman I knew who wasn’t going to school and pursuing a career.

Now however, all those odd looks, wondering and seeking, all those voices whispering and telling me to just go with the status quo are all things of the past.  They are silent and gone, not because people have changed their view, but because I chose to stop hearing and seeing them.  I may not have a degree, but I am studying to be a Godly wife and mom.  Staying home may look boring on the outside, but I have time to pursue my interests, whether they be cooking, reading or writing.  I love being here when my husband walks through the door.  I may not be the most amazing house keeper, but I love keeping house and the satisfaction of looking around a room I just finished cleaning.  And now we have a growing collection of tiny pink clothes, diaper packages and baby bath soap.  My little at home world is growing, and I couldn’t be happier.

It may not be what this world views as the norm, but this is my dream and I am living it.  To you young woman who is seeking God’s will for your life and may being going through that same stage in life, don’t for a minute think that being a wife and a mom isn’t a dream worth having, or a career worth pursuing.  It is.  The path that God has planned for you is more worth while, more fulfilling and better than anything this world has to offer.  So tune out the controversy, set your sights on Him and keep dreaming.

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Food and Writing

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A little piece of trivia you probably don’t know about me, I love to cook, and more specifically, I love to experiment with food.  I like to consider myself a hobbyist foodie.  (Foodie by hobby?)   If there is a recipe out there that everyone says is the best, I see it as a challenge to make it better, or just make it my own.

My most recent kitchen challenge has been grain free, sugar free cooking.  Grain free, sugar free living has transformed a lot of lives – one of them being my mother-in-law’s – by changing their health.  One of my baby-prepping goals is to experiment with recipes to replace my favorite grain and sugar loaded foods.  I want my children to grow up with better food choices and a different attitude when it comes to “real” food. It’s a real feel good moment when you find an alternative recipe for things like pancakes or chocolate chip cookies that you make yourself.  It’s like a little personal victory, one with spoils.

So what does food and cooking have to do with writing?  Believe it or not, a lot.  Both take the basic know-how of what you are doing and creativity.  Both can be over done and boring, or original and exciting.  They both take time, patience, practice and even some editing.  With alternative cooking, we are taking something everyone knows and changing it to make it better and surprise people with the results.  In writing, we want to take our favorite genre and turn it into something new with surprises around every corner.  Also, perhaps, we want to leave a better literary option for the next generation.

Cooking is an activity that inspires me.  When I’m stuck in writing, I turn to the kitchen.  Writing makes me want to cook, and cooking makes me want to write.  They both challenge my skills and my creativity.  Like in writing, when I play with a new recipe, I want it to be original, something I can be proud of and something other people will enjoy.  But sometimes I doesn’t turn out the way I want it too.  Sometimes it doesn’t work the first time and I have to go back, change a few things and start again.  Sometimes I think it could be better, improved with this spice or that.  Even though my husband has gone back for thirds, I’m still not satisfied.

It’s the same in writing.  We want to be original, not cliche.  We want to be proud of what we’ve done.  We want readers to be hooked and fall in love with our characters.  But there are those times when it just doesn’t work.  You can’t find the write ingredient to fill that plot whole and it’s just a big non-cohesive mess.  But then there are the times when it is where it needs to be.  Others enjoy it, it works, but we want perfection and to us, it is still lacking.  As writers we need to give ourselves permission to experiment, to write badly and not care.  We need to learn to step back, put aside that critical inner editor and leave things be.  That recipe is fine the way it is, could it be better? Probably, but to change it any further would ruin what it was meant to be in the first place.

So get in the kitchen, roll your sleeves up, make a mess, have fun and see what happens.

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If you’re interesting in my food experimentation, follow me on Instagram!

A sneak peak at some of my creations.

Coconut flour breakfast crepe.

Coconut flour breakfast crepe.

Almond meal/coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!

Almond meal/coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!

Winter Inspiration

Winter days are perfect for curling up with your favorite hot beverage and a good book – or work on your own book.  A warm mug, some fuzzy slippers, a soft blanket and a laptop or pen and paper.  Maybe it’s the cold, maybe it’s being forced to stay indoors, but something about snow and winter weather seems to bread inspiration.  Whether plotting, writing or character developing, cold days are perfect days for writers.

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What kind of weather inspires you?

Outlines and More Outlines

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I might not always follow them once I’ve made them, but I’d be lost without them.  Outlining is a great way to get your thoughts in order and on paper, from figuring out your characters to mapping out your world.

(Jill Williamson has some great outlines and worksheets on her website.  You can find them HERE.)

Outlines make great road maps when you’re lost or stuck in a plot hole.  You don’t have to follow them to the letter, stories can change and evolve as you write, but they help keep you heading from point A to point B.  Even if you’re a seat of pants writer, on outline would be helpful, especially if you have a complex story.

I’m a spread out writer, I need lots of room on my outlines for notes and lots of details.  I’m also a character first writer, so a novel outlines helps me locate plot holes before I even start writing.

However you use outlines they are a great tool to have in any writer’s tool box.

I’m Seeing Pink

It'sAGirl

If you couldn’t guess from the title…

IT’S A GIRL!

It was so surreal, seeing her and her tiny hands and feet moving around on the ultrasound.  I’ve felt her move everyday for the past couple of weeks, she’s so active!  Crazy to think I’m already half way through!  Only four and a half more months and I will be holding my daughter in my arms.

To Give Up or To Not Give Up

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You have a story that you love, one that’s been around – either on paper or in your head – for a long time.  You’ve pulled it out several times, but each time the plot and character puzzle pieces never really fit together.  So you put it away and work on other projects until one day more of the puzzle falls into place.  Out it comes once more, you think you’ve got it.  Things are finally working and the whole things is outlined and ready to go, but when you sit down and start typing out the fourteenth rough draft the puzzle falls apart.

This is where I am (and have been) with my first novel, Heart of Hope, that I wrote back in 2005.  I worked on editing it on and off for a couple of years before finally putting it aside for I-didn’t-know-how-long.  It sat in my folders for a few years gathering virtual dust until the plot began to reshape itself in my mind.  Everything got a much needed over haul and the story finally began to grow up to a more un-cliched work of fiction.  I was excited to be working on it again.  Even though it had been a headache before, I still loved it and wanted to make it work.  I thought it was finally there, but as I began to construct the new rough draft it just stopped.  I fell once more into a gaping plot hole.  Once I finally crawled out of it I tumbled right into another even larger one.

I had lost count of how many times this had happened, of how many times I had excitedly pulled it out thinking it would finally work to watch it all fall apart over and over again.  When do I just call it quits?

Let it Go and Give it Up?

This story is nearly nine years old, it’s just a first novel, maybe it’s time to just let it go and give it up…but…I don’t want to.  I’ve been going over and over the debate of forgetting about it and moving on or just letting it sit for a while again or working on it anyway.  I know from experience that forcing it will only make things worse, but is it time to say goodbye?

I think we all have a soft spot in our writer’s hearts for our very first completed book.  It was our first baby, our first great accomplishment in our journey to becoming writers.  We love it, we hate it, we want to throw it away, but we stick with it.  We feel this way about most if not all of our stories/novels.  So what do we do when one just doesn’t work even though we’ve sweat blood and spend countless hours perfecting it?

Let Yourself Move On. 

I’ve come to the conclusion with this book that it’s time to just move on.  It’s not like I don’t have an army of other stories waiting to be written.  But part of me doesn’t want to move on because I think by “giving up” that I am failing in some why as a writer.  But that mind set is wrong.  When a story doesn’t work you haven’t failed, it’s just not working and we need to accept the fact that no matter how much we love it, it may never work.

For now Heart of Hope will be the story I may dabble with here and there when I need a break from something else, but I won’t beat myself up if it never fully works or ends up as a paper back in Barns and Nobles.  I’m still learning and I am far from perfect.  We don’t have to “give up” on a story that we love, but there comes a time when we may need to let it go and move on.  Don’t feel like a failure when that happens, even though you don’t have a workable draft you’ve gained that much more experience you can apply to another project.

Writing is hard and ideas don’t always pan out and that’s okay.  As writers we just need to keep trucking ahead one story at a time until something does work and we get to write those two satisfying words – The End.


Have you had any stories that just wouldn’t work no matter what you did?  Let me know in the comments. 

Like what you’ve read?  Check out other posts on writing and subscribe! 

Keeping a Journal

Want to know a great way to write every day?  Keep a journal!

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, I know I have, but it’s a good thing to be reminded of.  I use to keep a journal every year and even if the entries were rather sporadic at points it was a good exercise and it’s fun to look back on who I was that year.  One of my writing goals for this year is to keep a journal again, (or make a really good effort to keep one 😛 ).  I want to remember what my thoughts were as this new little one grows inside me or as we prepare to move into our house once remodeling is finished or what it’s like the moment I hold my child for the first time.

Keeping a journal isn’t just a good writing exercise, it’s a good way to capture memories.  When you write down what your thoughts were on a certain day, during a certain event in your life, then go back and read it months or years later, the memory is fuller, crisper, because there are details written down that you may have forgotten.

Give it a try this year.  Pick out a special looking note book, or type it out on your computer.  You don’t have to write much, you don’t have to write everyday.  You can write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or all of the above.  Just put some thoughts down on paper, even if you think they are silly or embarrassing.

Just go with the flow.

New Year and New Goals

It’s a new year and we’re back home from our holiday travels.  I have my 2015 planner out and have already started to fill in the blanks.

A lot happened in 2014, and a lot is coming in 2015.

It’s still sinking in that this year we will welcome a new member of our family into the world.

15 weeks. #pregnancy #secondtrimester

A post shared by Laura Beals (@laurastorie) on

Now when I think of the future I think of tiny toes and hands, being mommy to my husbands daddy.  It just makes me smile.

Even with a baby on the way and all the planning and decision making that comes along with it, I still hope to get back into writing regularly this year.  Even if that just means blogging and reading books on writing.

The beginnings of my reading list for the year. #writerslife

A post shared by Laura Beals (@laurastorie) on

God has taught me a lot this year.  He’s pointed out things I’ve been holding onto and not trusting Him with, changes I need to make and places where I have a lot of growing to do.  He also blessed us so beyond what I had imagined, and continues to.  It still blows my mind when I think back.  I know I’ve probably said this a lot, but I will say it again, His provision is just inconceivable sometimes.  I’m looking forward to seeing the blessings that 2015 may hold.

It’s a new year with new plans and new goals.  What was your favorite part of 2014 and what are you looking forward to about 2015?

Count Your Blessings

It’s December and time to break out the Holiday movies.  My favorite Holiday movie is White Christmas.  It’s been a year since I watched it and I’ve probably seen it at least once (actually probably more) for every year I’ve been alive, I basically have it memorized.  Even still, every time I see it, it’s always new and fresh.  Always makes me smile and laugh in the same places, always brings back memories of Christmases past.

One of the song that stays fresh is the one Bob and Betty sing together, “Count Your Blessings.”   That is a song that stays with me all year long and it’s one I’m thinking about now.  I’m the kind of person that tries to find something to be thankful for even when it’s the last thing I really want to do… or… even if I don’t %100 believe it.  Life sucks sometimes, but when it really comes down to it, those of us who are covered in the blood of Jesus Christ have nothing to complain about, no matter how much we want to.  Yes, just like you I am guilty of complaining.  I was complaining today even, but when we truly think about the gift we have been given, how can we complain?

One story that has stayed with me about blessings is one involving Corrie ten Boom.  When her and her sister were in the concentration camp they held a secret Bible study where all the women slept.  The place was infested with fleas and Corrie hated them, but her sister said that they needed to be thankful for everything, even the fleas.  It turned out that the fleas were keeping the guards out of that area, allowing them to have the Bible study without being caught. In any situation we can find something to be thankful for, even if the only thing we can thing of is the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ.

Finding something to be thankful for is defiantly a lesson God had been teaching me this last year.  From big things like what happened last month to small things like being thankful for hot water and the ability to washing dishes while I don’t have a dish washer.

How many blessings can you count even through the times when you don’t believe there could be any?

When the Road Gets Bumpy

The week was going so well.  I had my first ultrasound and saw my baby and heard his/her heart beat.  I had plans with my mother-in-law to go maternity cloths shopping and pick out things like counter tops and ceiling fans for our remodel.  My husband and I were going to see Big Hero 6… but life is tricky and things don’t always go as planned.

It started Tuesday (November 4th), my left leg started cramping.  I didn’t think much of it.  The weather was cold and my left leg tends to cramp in cold weather.  By Wednesday evening it felt like I had pulled a muscle in my upper leg.  Okay, pulled muscle, no big deal.  Thursday it hurt, but that was all.  Friday I woke and it was killing me, but as I walked and moved around it got better so I didn’t cancel my shopping plans with my mother-in-law.  A two hour car ride into the city and a dressing room visit later told a different story.

The pain was worse and my leg was swollen to twice it’s size and turning purple.

In the emergency room I was given the news… I had two blood clots.  All day, through the pain and the freaky reality of my purple swollen leg I was able to stay calm, but there, laying in a bed in the emergency room, unable to walk or move my leg, my hormone heightened emotions got the better of me and I lost it.  Because I’m pregnant I can’t take blood thinners by pills, I have to take the shots, (and those of you who know me know how much I just “love” shots aka, I. Hate. Them.)  And I get to do it for the next six months…

After the diagnosis I was transferred by ambulance to the high risk pregnancy ward at a hospital in Oklahoma City.  On the way over I wanted to ask God why, but part of me thought it was pointless.  He had His reasons, I just needed to trust.  The baby was fine, I was so thankful for that.  Over and over the words of the Lord’s Prayer kept repeating in my head.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psalms 23)  And “He will never leave me nor forsake me…” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Thankfully I only had to stay the night at the hospital and was released the next morning.  (Thank you to everyone who was praying for me.)

Now, two weeks later, my leg is getting better, my mom showed me a trick that makes giving myself shots bearable and baby is still fine.  Even though this was something I would rather not have experienced I just keep reminding myself that baby is fine, and it had nothing to do with baby.  Yes I have to give myself shots for the next six months, but baby is fine.

It’s actually a bit of a miracle we caught it when and how we did.  We were suppose to have been done remodeling by now and moved, but between unforeseen old house problems (that took forever to fix) and crazy uncooperative weather we’re still remodeling.  The maim reason my mother-in-law and I were going to the city to shop was because the boys needed more lumber and insulation.  If we hadn’t been at this particular stage in the remodel, at this particular time, I would have never been in a car for two hours then walking around for several more.  My husband pointed out to me that my leg probably wouldn’t have swollen the way it did other wise, (and I wouldn’t have gone to the emergency room with what felt like a pulled muscle).  If we had already finished and moved I would have stayed off my feet because my leg hurt and most likely would not have found the clot(s) until it was already in my lungs.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but whatever happens, “He knows the plans He has for you, plans not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Today, on my Birthday, I am thankful the clots were in my leg when we found them, I am celebrating the life of the little one inside me and rejoicing in the hope I have been given through Jesus Christ my Lord.  Yes I was scared and pitied myself, but “His ways are not our ways,” (Isaiah 55:8) and whether this is part of the Refiner’s Fire or just a result of a blood condition I inherited from my Grandfather (or even both), I know it’s all in His hands and He will see me through.

P.S. Thank you so much to all of you who prayed and are praying for me.  Your prayers have very much been felt.

P.P.S.  And this kind of killed my NaNo.  I will not be finishing. 😛

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