Honestly, this Friday caught me with a troubled heart. I've handled trials on many fronts since my last post. On top of it all, due to the worst hail storm in the year and a tree, I and my dwarves have spent the last four hours getting icy water out of the cave. Fire dragon doesn't like icy water. Dwarves are chilled to the bone and my back is killing me. All this and a headache that has persisted for three days don't help the celebration mood. Nonetheless, I'll still celebrate two things.
1. Today is Mother Dragon's birthday. I'll make my best to make of this a special day for her in spite of everything else.
2. Today I have Nancy LaRonda Johnson as my guest. This is her first stop in the blog tour for her book Salted with Fire. She prepared something special and I would have loved to have something special for her but sometimes not even dragon magic seems enough to take care of everything. Please help me in making it special for her by giving her a warm welcome. I leave you with Nancy and many dragon hugs.
Salted With Fire is from Mark 9:49-50, in which Jesus directs that we must continually transcend ourselves to be more like him. We all go through trials, but we should never lose the “salt” or flavor that makes us who we are. Instead, through the formative forces of these trials, we must become more as God made us to be while maintaining peace in our hearts toward ourselves and each other.
This book is a representation of how this process shaped my writing. Starting from stories meant only for entertainment, my writing later expressed how I began to move toward God’s outstretched hand.
I was fortunate to have church as a foundation in my youth, and have always had a strong feeling of God in my life. My favorite books at that time were a ten volume set of Bible stories. Yet, it took decades to understand how much God was with me and loved me, even while I yearned to know who he was during my difficult pre-teen and rebellious teen years.
Writing, however, was a good way for me to look into myself and give those confusing emotions a voice. Journaling thoughts, goals, dreams and poetry helped to keep me sane, as they were an outlet for the turmoil that raged within.
Story writing came later, along with my interest in reading books that were too adult for my young, impressionable mind, including the sexually explicit books by Jacqueline Susan and Harold Robbins, the violent worlds created by Mario Puzo, and the salacious and entitled lives of Sidney Sheldon’s characters. Still, the creative flame was lit, a flame ignited long ago by God and that is still being stoked by him.
My understanding of God’s will for me as a writer has been long-coming. My endeavors into story writing were first represented by developing the craft, including expounding on emotion, creating a concise storyline, fine-tuning dialogue, and of course, the never-ending journey of grammar and flow. Despite the technical part of it, creating lives in stories was magical and fun.
Then came God’s nudging me to write for his honor. This meant writing stories that bring people a greater understanding of his love, of life and of others. Although my writing often has a dark edge to it, I believe God allowed me to develop that interest to reach those who otherwise would steer clear of Christian theology.
I am still God’s work in progress. Salted With Fire, with its myriad of flash fiction pieces and poetry, is a journey of my growth as a storyteller and sometimes poet. Starting from writing what was for pure enjoyment, to me opening my ears to God’s directives, later came my desire to write about God’s influence in the lives of those who reach out to him.
As a growing child of God, I am constantly salted with fire, for he never fails to mold me into who I am meant to be – someone who pleases God.
Anticipation of the Penitent & Salted With Fire