• 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

Magic & Fantasy: Part 1 – Overview

art by John Howe

art by John Howe

As fantasy grows in popularity and people become enthralled with stories such as Harry Potter and Twilight, Christians become more and more suspicious of the fantasy genre as a whole.  Stories with wizards, witches, dragons and magic have been labeled as secular and evil.  I understand why a lot of Christians are cautious about fantasy and letting their kids read/watch it, but I don’t agree with the modern stereotype that’s been applied to it.

Fantasy is not evil no more than rap or pop music is evil, the problem is how it is used.  Most Christians dismiss fantasy because it has magic, but (and here’s a bomb shell for you) magic is not the issue.  Now don’t freak out, just stay with me.

NOTE:  Every section will be expanded on in it’s own post.

Spirit-ism and Fantasy/Blurred Lines

Fantasy is not real life, the rules are different, the way the world works is different.   One big difference is the boundaries of the spiritual realm.  In fantasy the lines between the physical and spiritual are blurred or none existent (hence, there is magic or “miraculous” powers in said world).  Because of this you can show the battle between good and evil more clearly, through a bigger picture.

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

I’ve noticed a lot of Christians are uncomfortable talking about or getting into the spiritual.  Sure we talk about being spiritual and the good spiritual creatures (angels), but when it comes down to the spiritual, that’s a different topic all together.  There is a good and bad side to the spirit realm and most of the time we only remember the bad.

The Rules are Different

Fantasy doesn’t really work without magic. Magic is to fantasy what science is to science fiction. The magic is what makes it a fantasy, just like futuristic science is what makes a science fiction. I tried writing my first fantasy without magic because it bothered me, but it didn’t work. It was incomplete and nothing fit together properly. Now, eight years later I’m rewriting it with magic. Finally the puzzle of the story is fitting together because I have the missing pieces.
Magic in a fantasy world IS NOT the magic in the real world. It may be modeled after it, (another reason why we are so leery of it) but it is not the same. The point of a fantasy is that it is not real. It’s in a different world with different rules. Usually this other world magic is a power that flows through every living thing. Magic is that worlds science. In science when you mix baking soda and vinegar together it creates a chemical reaction, in other world magic, when you combine words with elements, you get a “magical chemical reaction”. (A cheesy example, but you get the idea.)
When you put magic in the real world, that’s when the rules change. It is no longer other worlds magic that doesn’t actually exist, it’s real world magic. There is an evil power in this world, there are real witches and wizards and they are not good. Real world magic is a force, as Christians we should avoid. (There are exceptions when it is stated that the “magical abilities” of the character comes from God.)

Context is Important

Context is what makes all that difference when dealing with magic in fantasy. Real world or other world, good guy or bad guy. Context matters. Even the context of where the magic comes from. For example, in The Lord of the Rings wizards are beings known as Istari or Maia spirits in human form, sent from Valinor (the Undying Lands) to protect the children of Middle-Earth (or the Children of Eru aka God) from the Dark Lord Melkor. Symbolically, they are angels in mortal form there to protect God’s creation from great evil. For those of you who are familiar with The Lord of the Rings, Sauron is an Istari, but one that chose to follow the fallen Melkor, what does that sound like?

Magic and Spiritual Power

God’s power is “magic”. At least magic as we might interpret. His power described often as “supernatural” or “miraculous”, could be properly labeled as magic.
Magic in fantasy is in basic terms the ability to harness spiritual energy to complete a task. Magic is a spiritual power and because there is both good and evil in the spiritual there is good and evil magic users.

NOTE: I just want to say that I am not supporting or advocating for the practice of magic. I AM NOT. This blog series is about magic in Christian Fantasy (literature), a Other World setting, NOT about magic in the real world or it’s use.

Want to read the rest of the series?  SUBSCRIBE! so you don’t miss any!

Click here for part 2 —>  Good vs. Evil

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Writing for His Glory (New Page)

The literary world has changed drastically since authors such as Tolkien and Lewis first published their manuscripts, and it hasn’t necessarily changed for the better.

As I look through book stores at the suggestive covers and careless content of popular books I’m filled with a sense of dread.  This is what young people and adults alike are reading?

Have you ever stepped back and really looked at today’s modern fiction?  Both Secular and Christian?  Continue Reading

Choices Scene: That Awkward Moment…

I first say chapter 2 of Choices has one big awkward moment between Kate and Terren, and let me tell you, it was fun to write. 🙂  Why did I make it awkward?  Well, it’s awkward for Kate because here she is, suddenly dropped in another world, rescued by a handsome stranger and not exactly sure how she’s suppose to explain where she’s from or how she got there.  Plus, she doesn’t even know she’s in another world until Terren says so.  How would you react?

As I was writing I put myself into Kate’s shoes.  What would I be thinking?  What would my general feeling of the situation be?  Well, I think it would be really awkward… especially for me who is just awkward with strangers anyway.  So, their first meeting became one big awkward moment… at least for Kate. 😉

Here is a clip.

“Where are we?  I’m… um… kind of lost.”

Terren looked up at me.  What was he thinking?  I lowered my gaze.

“The Northern Wood.”

I frowned, I had never heard of the Northern Wood, “Where’s that?”

Terren stared at me; I could see the firelight reflecting in his eyes.

“The north-west of Aeden.”

Aeden?  That wasn’t a place that was someone’s name.  Now I was really confused.

“Aeden?”

Terren wouldn’t stop staring at me. I reddened.  Good thing it was dark, he couldn’t see how scarlet I’m sure my face was.

“Yes, Aeden.  Where did you think you were?”

I didn’t answer.  I looked away and rested my chin on my hands.  More silence.  I didn’t try breaking it this time.  Aeden?  The Northern Wood?  I had never heard of those places.  Was I in another country?  But how could that be?  I couldn’t remember what happened before waking up in the woods, but I was sure somehow, I was still in the US. 

I stole a glance at Terren.  He was rotating what looked like a skinned rabbit on a spit over the fire.  I took in his clothing.  It looked like something Aragorn would wear in the Lord of the Rings.  Something stirred behind him, a shadow… no, a horse.

I looked at Terren again.  He couldn’t be more than twenty-five; at least, that was my guess.  He seemed thoughtful, faraway.  There was something about him, something in his face that I liked.  I wondered what color his eyes were.  I hoped they were blue; blue eyes would suite him.

What does it matter what color his eyes are? Are you seriously thinking about that?

“Oh shut up,” I mumbled, though I didn’t mean to say it aloud.

“Did you say something?”  Terren glanced up and caught me staring.  I blushed, averting my gaze.

“Um, no.”  Shut up Kate!

Aeden’s Call book 2

So, since I am editing Choices, and book 2 is in development… I’ve decided to reveal the title and rough synopsis for book 2!  Are you ready for this?

*drum roll*  Introducing, Aeden’s Call book 2!

It’s been two years since Kate said goodbye to Terren and returned home to our world, and she’s wondering if she’ll ever see Aeden again.  To keep her memories of Terren alive, Kate has written them down in a note book, but her family doesn’t know her scribbles are not just a story.

While she is on a retreat with her best friend Amy, Kate stumbles upon a message from the most unlikely of people; Connor.   Terren is missing and Connor needs Kate’s help to find him.  Will Kate get another chance to return to Aeden and save Terren?  What would they do with a second chance to be together?

© 2012 L.E.R. Jenkins

So?  What do you think? 🙂

Angel Wings

My fourth short story for Fiction Writing Class.  The assignment was to write a story inspired by a song.  My inspiration was the song “Angels” by Owl City.  (You can listen to it here.) 

This story is loosely based on an event in my life.  The sound of the wind pounding against the window during storms always terrified me.  I knew that God had angels around me, so I would have tea/pizza parties with my guardian angels and that helped me calm my fears.  I like to believe they played along with, someday I’ll get to ask them. 🙂    

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The indications reveal, that few of us realize life is quite surreal.
So if you’re dying to see I guarantee, there are angels around your vicinity.
“Angels”
Owl City

For Elliannah

Ellie buried her head under her blankets, trying to block the sound of the roaring storm.  Wind hammered against the house, shaking the oak tree outside her window until it shuttered as if freezing in the fall wind.  Ellie peeked out from her downy hiding place and gazed at the bedroom wall.  Shadows from the dancing branches skipped across the white surface like a swarm of dark fairies throwing themselves to the storm.  As another assault of wind crash against the window Ellie threw herself under her quilt, trying to block out the elemental battle.  She hugged her stuffed puppy close to her heart.

“Don’t be scared Puff-Puff, it’s only wind, it can’t get in,” she whispered in the dog’s ear.  “It can’t get in…” 

Her little heart beat wildly.  She hugged Puff-Puff tighter as if the stuffed creature could keep her safe from the raging gale that wanted to come through her window.  Ellie squeezed her eyes shut and buried her face in Puff-Puff’s fuzzy body.  The storm raged on, the wind throwing strike after strike against the house.

Ellie.

A sweet voice whispered, competing with the wind and drifting to the frightened child. 

Ellie.                  

Ellie opened her eyes and looked around her room.  She could see no one.  Her night-light flickered for a moment, its little glow winking at her in the dark.

“Hello?”  The little girl said, still gazing around her room.  The night-light blinked out. Ellie shivered.  She could still hear the wind raging outside, but the sound seemed distant now. 

Ellie

The voice echoed in from the window.  Drawn by her child curiosity, Ellie slid out of bed and tiptoed to the window.  Light from a street lamp filtered into the bedroom, illuminating the floor and white walls. As she padded across the floor her bare feet sank into the thick carpet and her night-gown twirled around her ankles.

Ellie crawled up on her window seat and peered outside, pressing her palms against the cold glass.  Down below shadows of the oak tree casted by the yellow street light danced on the lawn.  Ellie watched the leaves blown by the wind skip and twirl in the air.  They looked like feathers blown about by the breeze.  One drifted up to her, sailing towards the window to press its soft veins to the glass.  As it traveled, spinning in the air, it changed, becoming a brilliant white feather.  A blue glow surrounded the feather and like a stone sinking in water, it passed through the window. 

Ellie moved away from it, sliding to the floor and watching intently.   The feather drifted down until it came to rest on her carpet.  Ellie leaned towards it, not sure what to do.  Still curious, Ellie crawled towards it on hands and knees.  She stretched out her little hand and brushed the white silky object with her finger tips.

As she fingered the velvety plume a laugh, like that of bells suddenly danced into the room.  Ellie jumped back.  The feather flashed white and they whole room filled with light.  Ellie covered her eyes, burying them in her hands.

Someone touched her head.  Ellie looked up and met the gaze of a woman with silver hair and golden eyes.  

“Hello Ellie,” she said smiling down on the little girl. 

That voice, Ellie had heard it calling in dark.  Ellie started at the woman.  She wore a gown of pure white that shimmered whenever she moved.  Her whole body shimmered as if lit from within by some unseen radiance.  Behind her stretched a pair of white wings haloed in a blue glow.

“Are you an angel?”  Ellie asked.

The woman laughed, “Yes.  I came because you were afraid of the storm.”

“Oh,” Ellie stood up, Puff-Puff tucked under her arm.  A big grin spread across her face.  She had a real angel in her bed room and she had an idea. 

“Do you like tea parties Angel?”

Angel smiled, “Yes, I do.  Do you?”

Ellie nodded and reached for Angel’s hand.  “Come with me.” She lead Angel to a little table set with a tiny porcelain tea set.

“Here,” Ellie said, guiding Angel to one of the little chairs.  Angel tugged in her wings perched on the edge of the offered seat.  Puff-Puff sat on the table.

As Ellie poured some imaginary tea she looked at Angel’s brilliant wings.

“Do all angels have wings like yours?” She asked.

“Some do, every pair of angel wings are different in some way.  No two are alike.” 

“Do you like pizza?”

“Yes.”

“Great!  I have some, and chocolate chip cookies, they’re my favorite.”

“Mine too.”

Ellie put an imaginary slice of pizza and a chocolate chip cookie on hers and Angel’s little porcelain plates.  Angel smiled and took a bite.

“Mmm, this is the best pizza I have ever tasted.”

Ellie grinned.

A blast of wind slammed against the window.  Ellie dropped her plate and it clattered to the table top.  She rushed into Angel’s arms.

“I don’t like the wind.”

“There is no need for fear Ellie.  I am always here, watching over you for someone who loves you very much.”  Angle wrapped the little girl in her wings.  “Do not be afraid.”

Ellie nestled into the soft feathers of Angel’s silken wings.  Soon she was asleep.  The wind forgotten, her eye lids sagged and she slipped into slumber.

When she awoke the next morning she was in her bed, Puff-Puff beside her.  There was no sign of Angel, but when Ellie went to look out the window, she found sitting on her window seat, was a white feather.  She kept the feather, holding it close whenever there a storm hammered at her window, but Ellie no longer feared the wind. 

The End

A little scene from CHOICES — Chapter 6

I love this little scene, it’s one of my top favorites in the whole book.  Just thought I’d share it.  Let me know what you think.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Understanding

After the evening meal I sat outside the pavilion with Terren, star gazing.

“That one there,” Terren said pointing at a cluster of stars off to the right.  “Is Valiant, the warrior.  Those stars there make up his helmet, and three there are his hand, and the four aligning with those, make up his sword.”

“We have one that’s similar in my world,” I said.  “He’s called Orion the Hunter.  He has two stars for his shoulders, two for his feet, three for his belt and three for his sword.”  I drew Orion in the air as I spoke.

“I would like to see that someday,” Terren commented.

“I don’t even know if I’ll see it again someday.  It was my favorite constellation, though it’s only out in the winter time.  I always looked forward to seeing it up there in the sky.  Then I’d always be sad when it was gone again.”

“Stars can seem like close friends sometimes.  My father loved the stars.  He always told me they were all set in a special place by a divine hand for a season and it was up to us to discover their secrets.  That one there,” Terren pointed to a group of stars that looked like a crooked ‘S’ with two sets of four stars giving it wings.  “That one is called The Dragon; it was my father’s favorite.” 

 “It’s beautiful,” I played with my hair.  “What… what do you believe about divinity Terren?”  The question had been burning in my mind since we had come outside and I finally mustered up the guts to say it.

“Well, for one, there is no such thing as luck.  Everything is set in motion, nothing happens by accident, He causes it all.”

“Who is ‘He’?”

Terren looked at me, “Abir, the Mighty One.”

I looked away.

“Do you know Him?”  Terren asked, placing his hand over mine.

“I… I think I do, but not by that name.”

“My father told me Abir as many names.”

I nodded.

“But weren’t you… weren’t you angry at Him, when your parents were killed?  I mean, why would He do that?”

“I don’t know,” Terren sighed, “Perhaps I will never know or understand until the day I stand before Him.  To answer your question, yes, I was angry at Him, very angry.  To the point where I was a completely different man, but He held on to me and brought me Connor.  Connor helped me to understand that Abir had not abandoned me.  He has been the truest of friends.”

“I still don’t understand,” I mumbled.

“Understand what?”

“What I’m doing here?!  It contradicts everything Terren!  Places like this are not suppose to exists where I come from.  But here I am!  What is He doing?!”  I rung my hands in front of me.  It felt so good to finally say that out load to another human being.

Terren took my hands in his, “Kate, I am not going to pretend I have an answer for you, because I don’t, but I do know that somehow you were meant to be here.”

I looked into his face, he was sincere, so sincere.

“Thank you Terren, I hope you’re right.” 

He smiled, “It’s getting late, we have an early start tomorrow.”  He stood and helped me to my feet.  “Good night Kate, sweet dreams.” 

“You too,” I said.

He pulled me into an embrace, “Hold on Kate.”

My heart swelled and tears formed in my eyes and rolled down my checks.  I pulled away, hiding my tear streaked face.

“Thank you, good night.”  I ran to my room, shut the door, flung myself on the bed and cried.

Welcome 2011! Books, Movies, and the Best of 2010.

Here we are in a new year!  2011, can you believe it?  I remember New Years Eve 1999, the year 2000 just sounded so futuristic and strange, we thought we would never get use to it.  Now it’s 2011, eleven years later and well, we’re use to it. 🙂  This year, for me, has been one giant rollercoaster, but a good rollercoaster, (and that’s saying something since I don’t like rollercoasters. 😛 )

 Recap:  

I had the second sugary on my foot; I finished draft II of HEART OF HOPE; I got to go to Kansas and meet, in person, some amazing people; my little sister turned sixteen; my little brother turned thirteen; my niece celebrated her first birthday; I had some amazing times with close friends and family; I started writing CHOICES; I bought a car; my oldest brother asked his super awesome girlfriend to marry him (she said yes, 🙂 ); and I turned twenty.  Not to mention all the little things that happened in between.  (Not to mention Doctor Who. 😉 )

As for the books I read and the movies I saw in theaters, (I’m adding movies this year.):

Movies:

  • Extraordinary Measures (rating – **** Great story, ruined with language.)
  • Robin Hood (rating – ** Interesting story, content, not so good.)
  • Toy Story 3 (rating – ***** Great family movie.)
  • Megamind (rating – **** Hilarious and very entertaining.  I think I remember some rude comments, hence only four starts.)
  • Tangled (rating – **********  Awesome!  Perfect family movie!  One of my favorites.)
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader (rating – ***** Fantastic!  See it.)
  • Tron (rating – **** Awesome action and adventure story set in a super cool digital world.)

 Books:   (!=good !!=great !!!=favorite/must read)

  • The Candlestone – by Bryan Davis (!!!)
  • The Circles of Seven – by Bryan Davis (!!!)
  • Tears of a Dragon – by Bryan Davis (!!!)
  • A Prisoner of Versaillies – by Golden Keyes Person(!)
  • Swords – by Ben Boos (!!)
  • Favorite Medieval Tales – by Mary Pope Osborne and Troy Howell(!)
  • The First Four Years – by Laura Ingals Wilder (!)
  • Just Friends: Guarding you heart for a wonderful someday – by Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt (!!!)
  • I know why the angels Dance – by Bryan Davis (!!)
  • By Darkness Hid – by Jill Williamson (!!!)
  • Fable Weaver – by Carlie Gernhart (!!!)
  • The Sword of Shannara – by Terry Brooks (!)
  • The Hobbit – by J.R.R. Tolkien (!!!)
  • Vienna Prelude – by Bodie and Brock Thoene (!!)
  • The Eagle of the Ninth – by Rosemary Sutcliff (!!)
  • Starlighter – by Bryan Davis (!!)
  • Comma Sense — by Richard Lederer and John Shore (!!!)
  • So Long Insecurity – by Beth Moore (!!!)

Unpublished Books: (All of which were awesome. 🙂 )

  • Night of Shadows — by Daniel Beals
  • Becoming Human — by Jared Schmitz
  • Messenger — by Sarah Ulrich

 There were lots of good books this past year, and a few good movies too. 🙂

What’s up for this year?  Tons!
I start college; my brother’s wedding; another Kansas trip; my other brother and his wife will welcome to the family another baby and much more! 

I’m super excited about this year.  God was so good and faithful through 2010, I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me in 2011.  My hopes for this year is that I will get HEART OF HOPE to a point where I can send it to publishers, finished CHOICES and do the same and just keep writing and becoming the person God wants me to be.  🙂 

May God bless you all in this new year!

-Laura

One thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining foward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 3:13-14

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