Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrate....Salted with Fire

Celebrate the small things is the brilliant idea of VikLit. Each Friday we post something we wish to celebrate achieving or doing during the week. It can be writing/reading or life related. You can find the list and join us  here.

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.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson
Anticipation of the Penitent & Salted With Fire    
   Goodreads                 Blog 


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  1. I'm sorry for the trials you're going through. I will send prayers your way, and request God's fighting angels be sent to your protection. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your home cave. Happy birthday to Mother Dragon, and here's to wishing you all a wonderful day of pure fun. Writer’s Mark

  2. Lovely guest post from a lovely blogger!

    Sorry to hear about the Dragon cave--I hope the dwarves can get it patched up for you so you can celebrate Mother Dragon's birthday in style! :)

  3. Hi Al .. happy birthday mother Dragon - I sure hope she has a few treats out at the weekend .. while the icy cave sounds a little frustrating and extra work for all dwarves, dragon ones or otherwise .. hope life is easier now ..

    Happy Birthday to one and to the other enjoy your time together .. Hilary

  4. Sorry about your troubles at the Dragon Cave. Hope Mother Dragon manages a happy birthday. Best wishes to Nancy and her new release.

    Hope things improve for you and the dwarves real soon.

  5. Nancy - I think it's great that you're using so much of your own life in your book. It's said the best books come from inner truth.

    Al - Sorry to hear about the Great Flood. Yuck. I hope everything gets back to normal soon. :-)

    1. Thanks Lexa. I think it speaks a significant amount of truths.

  6. Best wishes for a very Happy Birthday to Mother Dragon!

    And best of luck to you, Nancy!

  7. Nancy, God has a great purpose for you and your writing. Just let Him lead you.
    Al, very sorry about the ice storm. Odd season for such a storm isn't it?
    Remember your own words - let others share in your heavy heart.
    And tell Mother Dragon happy birthday!!

  8. Happy birthday to Mother Dragon, I hope after all the problems you will all manage to have a happy day. I am so sorry to hear you have so many problems and the headache - that has got to be miserable. Mull yourselves some wine, it'll help to warm you up. I don't think of Mexico and hail together.

  9. Happy Birthday, Mother Dragon.

    Sorry to hear about your storm troubles, Al. That's no fun. :(

    I enjoyed reading about your writing journey and Salted With Fire, Nancy. Love the title and the cover! :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Melissa. Hope people will enjoy the inside as well!

  10. I'm sorry you've had more troubles, Al. But I wish Mother Dragon a very Happy Birthday!! I hope you all enjoy herspecial day and that perhaps the dwarves will do one of their special dances for her.

    Nice to see Nancy here!

  11. I'm sorry you've had a rough week. Hope today is better with Mother Dragon's birthday.

    Nancy, sounds like you have a lot more writing to do for God.

    1. I'm hoping so Diane. Since I can't shut up, I want to do so for God.

  12. Sending you hugs, Al! And happy birthday to Mother Dragon!

  13. Happy Birthday to Mother Dragon!
    And best of luck to Nancy with her new book!

    Happy Weekend :)

  14. Poor Father Dragon is having problems. Hope the problems go away. Best of luck to Nancy.
    Btw...Mother Dragon and I share a birthday :)

  15. Al, I had this dream last night that I thought was for me and me alone, but maybe I was meant to share it with you, too. I was walking with someone and the road was familiar until we came to these steps that were new. I said, "These weren't here before." The steps were steep. Each step was knee high and the climb seemed high. We started up. By the time we were done, my heart was beating fast. I said, "That was hard."

    The other person said, "Yes, and we could have walked a little further and avoided it altogether."

    I said, "Wouldn't that have been better?"

    The other person said, "That wasn't the path you were meant to take. It was a path. No path is good or bad. You learned more on this one."

    I nodded. That was true. I did learn more from taking the hard climb then I would have from avoiding it. I knew that there was a message in there about my life and all of the hard climbing I had already done. I was never on the wrong path. No path was good or bad. I learned more on the hard path. I was where I was supposed to be all along.

    And so are you.

    Be well, my friend.

  16. Sorry to hear that! I hope you feel better now! Hugs!

  17. Happy Birthday! Mother Dragon.

    Al, hope the ice has been cleared and things go a bit smoother for you.

    Nancy, congratulations! Such a lovely testimony!

  18. Happy Happy Birthday Mama Dragon :)
    Congratulations, Nancy :)

  19. Happy birthday Mother Dragon!
    And I hope that you feel better Father D! Keep the spirit! I'm sending positive vibes all the way across the globe------- WHOOSH---------

    Nancy, congratulations on the book tour! I wish you everything of the best and pray that you sell loads and loads of books. God bless you!
    Writer In Transit

    1. Thank you Michelle. Hope all your blessings come true.

  20. Sorry to hear that you're going through a rough patch, but keep those dragon wings spread wide and keep breathing'll be fine!

    Hope Mother Dragon had a great birthday, as well :)

    Oh, and congrats to the awesome Nancy...wishing her nothing but the best!

  21. It's been too long since I've ventured here! So sorry for struggles... but HUGE happy birthday to Mother Dragon yesterday. That is wonderful. Great to have Nancy here today--love her!

  22. I am sorry for your struggles, but happy birthday to Mother Dragon and a big hello to seeing Nancy here!

  23. Love the title Nancy.

    No, I can't imagine a fire dragon liking icy waters. Flooding is no fun. Hope the cleanup goes well and you didn't lose too many treasures. Happy birthday Mother Dragon.


  24. Happy Birthday, Mother Dragon! And that sounds like a sweet read, Nancy. :)

  25. thats just like you to celebrate amidst troubled waters! hope the process and headaches fly!

    and happy birthday, mother dragon!

  26. Hi Al,

    Humble apologies for the lateness in my comment. I hope my response was worth the wait.

    And beyond your troubled heart, the latest situation you endured, the waters clear and your positive focus through sharing your valid thoughts and feelings, inspires you ever forward.

    A belated happy birthday to mother dragon

    And Nancy, bless you for this. May your inspiration through your faith continue to be your guiding light.

    Al and all your friends, when we help each other, we help ourselves.

    In kindness, peace and goodwill,

    Your friend,

    Gary :)

  27. Awww Happy belated birthday to Mother Dragon ;)

    Loved learning more about our dear Nancy, I wish her the best of luck!

  28. By now, may your cave be dry, your back be healed and your dwarves content. I'm sure you made Mother Dragon's day special in spite of all that was happening.

  29. So sorry to hear about the icy water, my dearest dragon. Hope you and the elves are sufficiently recovered.

    Nancy, this book sounds fantastic and you are going straight to the top of my must have list. :)