Friday, December 21, 2007
Without going into too many details, we found out yesterday that I am having a miscarriage. When the signs first appeared, and especially after my trip to the emergency room on Tuesday, my first reaction was anger at God. How could He do this to me? How could He seem to answer my prayer for a baby and then jerk it away? Why was He toying with me? How dare He? I know those seem like horrible questions that no God-fearing woman should ask, but pretending that I didn’t ask them would be dishonest on my part. (Also, I figure that those questions are mild compared to some of David’s Psalms…)
As I sat there in the hospital bed, angry at God, I thought about a couple at my church who had trouble conceiving and went through a few miscarriages and tubal pregnancies about 20 years ago. I was just a child then, but I remembered how sad they were. I thought about how happy they must have been when they got pregnant, and then how crushed they must have felt when they lost their baby—multiple times. I realized that they probably had the same questions for God 20 years ago that I was asking on Tuesday.
Then, I thought about what would have happened if they had conceived. They would probably not have adopted their two sons, who might not ever have heard about Christ or had the opportunity to grow up in a home with loving, stable parents. In a sense, God chose those two little boys. He rescued them from their situation and put them in an environment where they could be nurtured and learn more about Him. How special are those two boys to God and how special is this couple to Him as well! And I’m sure that at the time when they were enduring the loss of their unborn children, they would never have known that God was preparing them to adopt their two sons.
hey also would not have known that 20 years later, their story would comfort me and help keep my own faith in God strong.
I know it’s so easy for us to ask why bad things happen and to blame God for allowing them, but one thing I’ve discovered through this is how many messages God sends us to comfort us during times like this. The nurse in the hospital had a few miscarriages, and she offered me words of comfort that only a woman who had gone through what I was going through would know to say. My mother lost a son three months into her third pregnancy. Did she know then that she would be able to use that situation to comfort her own daughter? Once we left the hospital, we ran into a friend we hadn’t seen in years along with her daughter. When this friend heard what had happened, she told us her story of her own miscarriages. What comfort to see someone who had a miscarriage still be able to have children. Another friend of mine went through a miscarriage just a few months ago, and she has been so helpful. And that night, we turned on the sitcom, Scrubs, just as a doctor and a nurse were arguing about the existence of God and whether or not things happened for a reason. At that moment, the CAT-scan tech discovered a tumor in a girl who had been stabbed, and made the comment that they would never have found the tumor if she had not been stabbed.
God does not promise that when we believe and follow Him that our lives will be perfect and trouble-free, but he does promise that He will not give us anything we can’t handle. I firmly believe that these instances are God’s messengers and messages to me, telling me that He is still there and that He loves me, and that though He cannot take away all bad things, He can engineer a few little “coincidences” to offer me comfort.
So if you have stumbled on this blog, and you, too, are going through a miscarriage (or something equally as horrible) and you’re wondering about what it all means and if God exists, and why He would allow this to happen, I understand exactly how you feel. I’m there with you right now, waiting for my own miscarriage to take its final course. And I can confidently say that yes, God exists, and yes He loves us, and yes, all things happen for a reason. Signs of His existence and His comfort are there, and I encourage you to look for them. Maybe I’m going through this in order to help you.
This is my favorite praise song, and I think it would be appropriate to show the lyrics (out of order) here.
Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful,
Where the streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place,
Though I walk through the wilderness, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me,
When the world’s all as it should be, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering,
Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name.
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say:
Blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be Your name!
Blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be Your glorious name!
You give and take away. You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say: Lord, blessed be your name!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Disciplinary technique: I'm still working on this one. I think my biggest problem is that I want to be the perfect wife, the perfect business woman, and the perfect writer. Unfortunately, this means that I tend to put writing for last because it's "fun" and do the other stuff (promotion, cooking, cleaning the house) first. To solve this problem, I've begun developing a "to do" list, in which I spread out all of my non-writing to do things across the days so I can leave time for writing. For instance, every morning, I answer my e-mail instead of doing it throughout the day. I'm also a "big blocks of time" person, so I always try to make sure to schedule all my errands in one day to leave me the other days for just writing. I'll schedule coffee with a friend, grocery shopping, and a doctor's appointment all on the same day instead of getting interrupted by each one of those things every day of the week.
Concentration: I was born with this. It's a gift and a curse at the same time. It's a gift because I can focus out almost anything and write for hours without moving. It's a curse because I tend to ignore the people I love, and I also tended to walk around in my own little world when I was a kid. (Who knew that would be something that I use now?)
- Strunk and White's Elements of Style--a must for any writer.
- Steven King's On Writing. (If you're going to learn, learn from the master.)
- I also recommend Syd Field's The Screen Writer's Bible, but that's only because of the format he gives for screenplays, which is a good format for novels. It also teaches a lot about “show, don’t tell” in a way that most novelists don’t really portray. In a nutshell, your inciting incident (your central conflict) should occur one-fourth of the way through your novel. The point where your novel spins spins toward the story's climax (not the climax, but the point where the story starts heading there rapidly--kind of a point of no return) should occur three-fourths of the way through the novel. All movies use this format, and I use it in my writing. The difference between screenplays and novels? With screenplays, these rules are gospel and cannot be deviated from. With novels, they are like the Pirate Code--more like guidelines really.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Don't forget that I've changed my official blog to www.mbwestonblog.com.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Here is a list of my author events this week:
- Open Mike Night: Barnes & Nobe, Waterside Shops, Tuesday, December 4th, 7:00-9:00pm
- Osceola Elementary School: I'll be speaking to the students at Osceola Elementary School all day on Thursday, December 6th.
- Book Signing: Barnes & Noble, Waterside Shops, Friday, December 7th, 7:00-9:00pm
- Book Signing: Hudson Library Author Fair, Saturday, December 8th, all day.
Inside Heaven’s Realm
At the end of A Prophecy Forgotten, Salla and Davian find themselves in need of officers—especially majors, colonels, and seraphs. Promoting from within, their only option, will force inexperienced soldiers into positions of power within Elysia’s military. Will Elysia remain strong, even with inexperienced soldiers taking command? And could these impressionable young men be easily swayed to follow someone sinister? This should leave readers with something to think about as they await Out of the Shadows, the newest installment of The Elysian Chronicles.
Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles Publication Delayed
Fans of the Elysian Chronicles will be disappointed to hear that ArcheBooks has pushed back the publication of Out of the Shadows a bit. It is expected out early in 2008.
If you want to receive a postcard, notifying you as soon as it’s released, click here and fill out the form!
Final Updates to the Sample Chapters of OOTS
To check out the final updates to the prologue and first chapters of Out of the Shadows, click here.
New Fan Club Website & Contest!
A new fan club website is in the works. It’s so new that we haven’t even secured a permanent domain address yet. Check it out by clicking here. Please let me know what you think and give me a suggestion or two by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a free signed copy of Out of the Shadows once it comes out! You’ve got to e-mail me by the end of December to be entered in the contest.
Schools: I’ll be speaking to these schools in December:
- December 6th, Osceola Elementary School
- December 11th Somerset Academy
- I’ll also be making a surprise appearance at the Corkscrew Elementary School Book Fair to sign books. Ask your teacher when I might be in!
- Barnes & Noble, December 7th, 2007,7:00-9:00pm
- Hudson Library Author’s Fair: December 8th, all day, I’ll be at the Hudson Library selling and signing books.
Young Writers of Naples
I’ve canceled the Young Writers of Naples this month. Please join me and other high school students at Barnes & Noble from 10:00-12:00 on the 3rd Saturday of January.
Open Mike Night @ Barnes & Noble
Come join me at Open Mike Night at Barnes & Noble Naples on the 1st Tuesday night of each month! Bring your writing, your singing voice, or your instrument (or any combination of the 3), and let’s have some fun!
Hey everyone! I've updated the Prologque and Chapters 1 & 2 to Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles on the Elysian Chronicles website.
To find out what happens next, you're going to have to wait for the book!
A few things I've done while I've been away:
- I visited schools: Thunder Mountain Middle School, Corkscrew Elementary School, First Baptist Academy, Pine Ridge Middle School, and Brandon High School to be exact.
- I visited the USS Midway: The Midway is a decommissioned aircraft carrier located in San Diego. I visited it with my in-laws, where I did research for Book III of the Elysian Chronicles.
- I enjoyed Thanksgiving and went camping: Very fun, and yummy. I'm such a foodie.
- I sold books at the Hillsborough County Book Fair: I just returned from that trip yesterday.