Monday, September 5, 2016

writing tips.

Kathryn Grace Photography
Greetings! Today I would like to share a post that I wrote for Aaliyah's blog a while back. I hope these writing tips will help you in some way! :)

***

I’m a writer. I don't claim to be a fantastic one, or frankly, even a good one. But I'm a writer.

I love creating my own worlds. My own people. My very own little people that I can love, mold, mother... And then put them through the worst agony possible without killing them (well, most of the time), only to have them emerge stronger than before.

Being a writer is having power. You see it in your head: the epic scene in which your character defeats the antagonist, or is reunited with her lover, or suffers a horrible accident, one that will change her life forever...

But then it happens. You start typing. It looks like a 5th grader wrote it (with those spelling errors and run-ons), the characters feel about as warm and fuzzy as a robot and the dialogue sounds like it's from a B movie. What on earth happened to that scene in your head?

If this has happened to you, don't worry. It happens to every writer. It's called... Never mind, I don't know what it's called. But we all know what it's like. So I'm going to humbly attempt to give a few Dos and Don'ts on how to make your scene turn out more like the one that was in your head.

 1. Don’t be too anxious to get to your climax 

I know, I know. You’re dying to get to that part where the good guy kills the bad guy and the day is saved. But it means so much more if you slowly build up to it. Make your reader sit on the edge of his couch in anxiety.

Don’t: I headed down the dark alley, holding tight to my gun. Suddenly, a loud crash sounded and I jumped around the corner, meeting Hal Barkley, the murderer, face to face. In an instant I pulled the trigger, and the man fell to the ground, dead.

Do: My hand rubbed against the rough brick of Jenny’s Bakery as I crept down the dim alley. In my right hand I gripped my ever-faithful partner, my .38. She had gotten me out of countless jams. The smell of rotten garbage and sewer overtook me and I had to pause to breathe into my handkerchief. If Officer O’Hara ever teased me again about working the easy beats, I was going to brain him. It was when I was using the same handkerchief to wipe the sweat off my brow that a loud, crashing sound echoed through the alley. Trash cans. Someone was here; it was either a maid emptying her sweeper or it was my Hal Barkley. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling I was going to find out soon.

2. Avoid awkward and cheesy dialogue 

Don't: "This is it, Hal. Your days of murdering are over."
"That's what you think."

Do: "Move a muscle and welcome hot lead to your mangy carcass."
"You, the rookie cop? Get off your high pedestal. You're more scared than I am."

3. Show, don't tell 

Don't: Dirt and garbage were all over the ground. Laundry hung from the windows. A rat scurried past.

Do: I stepped closer to the muderer, my shoes crunching broken glass. Barkley backed up. With my right hand I held fast to my revolver, and with the other I pushed away a floral dress out to dry. A whiff of soap floated past me, a welcome smell. Rotten food was sickening.

4. Vary your sentence lengths 

Don't: Hal's eyes bulged. His lips were cracked. Sweat was on his palms. What would he do? He was trapped.

Do: It was the only way out of the cavernous alley. Hal breathed deeply, a combination of bad odors filling his lungs. He fingered the knife in his pocket. He would do it. He had to.

5. Avoid unecessary words or conversations 

Some formalities are necessary, but don't bore your reader.

Don't: "Hey Parker, how are you?" Officer O'Hara greeted.
"Great, thanks. How are you?"
"Just fine, just fine."

Do: "Parker!" Officer O'Hara greeted. He slapped me on the back and laughed. "Heard you had a little trouble on your beat today."

These are just five small ways that you can improve your scenes. As writers, we should always be on the lookout for ways to become even better writers. We should never stop learning. :) I hope this helped or inspired you in some way!

Hugs, Kathryn

goodbye braces.

Hello out there!

Apologies for being practically non-existent in the blogging world. I hope to be posting more frequently. Thought I would give you an exciting update... After two years, I finally got my braces off! Yay! :)


Hope to have some new posts up soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

Hugs,
Kathryn

Monday, July 11, 2016

sowing seeds for Him.

Today I want to talk about sowing seeds for Christ.

It's not easy sharing the gospel, I'll be the first to admit it. I'm an extrovert, and even I find it hard to walk up to someone and hand them a tract at times. Because more often than not, they look at me like I've just flown in from Mars. Some people immediately throw the tract in the trash. Others awkwardly thank me. Some don't even say anything. It's uncomfortable. But then I am reminded of this verse.

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."


You many not think it means much by handing that Starbucks barista a tract. Maybe she throws it away. "What a waste," you think. But did you stop to think about the janitor who sees it in the waste basket? The trash-man who finds it when it drops out of the garbage can? You see, God uses His word in amazing ways. Ways that we could never think of. Sometimes God has already been working in a person's life (someone has already planted a seed) and He can use you to work in this person's life even more (watering the seed).

1 Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

Did you know that by handing out just one tract, or telling just one person about the gospel, you have the possibility of changing generations?

Don't believe me? Let me tell you a true story.

On March 23rd, 1912, in Gate City, Virginia, a boy named John Carter was born. When this boy was 10 years old, his father died. John went to school like all the other children, but only until fourth grade. When he was a teenager, his mother left his family. John and his eight siblings were left to fend for themselves.

John had made a profession of faith at the age of 12, but it is unknown whether it was genuine. If it was, he did not grow in the Lord or choose to live for the Lord. In his teens and early twenties, life grew very rough for John. He drank. He gambled. And he was always running from people who wanted to get him on drugs. He owned a piece of a pool hall. He even went to jail for a time.

Sometime in his 30s, John went to a prayer meeting. During that prayer meeting he heard the gospel and was convicted... And John either accepted Christ as his personal Savior or rededicated his life to the Lord, depending on whether his profession at age 12 was real or not. From this point on, his life changed forever.

When he was 34, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and began attending church there. He met a woman named Marilyn in July of 1946. Two months later, they were married. John had a deep burden for sharing the gospel. He wanted so badly to talk to people who had been like him - drunks, gamblers- and show them that there is hope. For around 40 years, he would go to the city jail every Sunday morning and hold a service there. In the summertime, he would go to University Park in Indianapolis every Sunday afternoon with his family and preach there. He was even put in jail for a time for "disturbing the peace", though the charge was soon dropped and he was released. Not everyone appreciated his preaching.

John helped start the Good News Mission, which still exists today, and was even president of it for a while. Even before that, he would go to Indy restaurants at night and take their left-over food to the mission. He would participate in many evening services there during the week, where rough people would come and the smell of alcohol lingered in the air.

John even traveled back to his hometown in Virginia simply to share the gospel there. While on vacation, he and his family would toss tracts out the window of their car (before littering was against the law).

John was a witness to his own lost family and many of siblings were saved. He died in 1995. But his wife Marilyn is still living, at the age of 91. She continues to be faithful in sharing the gospel by handing out tracts to doctors and nurses and restaurant workers. She puts a tract in every bill before she mails it.

Why do I tell you all this? To show you that sharing the gospel is no small matter. Someone chose to tell John about the love of Jesus. And even though he went through years of drinking and gambling and sinning, his life was changed forever when he accepted Jesus. Not only his life was changed,but his family's as well. Generations were literally changed.

How do I know this? Because I am a member of one of those generations. John Carter was my great-grandfather.

Though I regret deeply that I never was able to meet him (he died a few years before I was born), I have known my Grandma Marilyn my entire life. I have seen their children serve and love the Lord, and their children's children. I want to follow in their wonderful example. I cannot wait to meet Grandpa Carter one day. Right now he is rejoicing and serving his Lord. :)

Friends, never forget what sharing the gospel can do. Obeying the Lord will never be a waste of your time.
Grandpa Carter preaching
Grandpa and Grandma Carter
Grandma Carter <3

I hope this was an encouragement to you in some way.
Hugs,
Kathryn


Saturday, July 9, 2016

kitties / birthday / independence day

Mellow greetings, yookie dookie!

It's been a while since I've posted, so here are a few things that have been going on.

After our twenty-year-old cat died in December, we got two brand new kitties! They are siblings, a boy and a girl. Their names are Oswald George and Harriet Louise, from you guessed it... The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (if you haven't seen that darling show, you must). Our kitties are known as Ozzie and Harri around here, unless they are in trouble. Which is actually a regular occurrence.


Secondly... I aged on the 17th. (Which means we had a party, whoot whoot!). I turned 17.

Papa found a friend.




How to make a girl happy: Give her clothes and chocolate. YES.




Ma frere and I.


 I blew out all of the candles but two. *sigh* And it keeps getting harder every year! ;)



Lastly, here a few pictures from our Independence Day celebration. :)


My Great-Grandma. Always doing some sort of puzzle from the newspaper. :)




Second cousins. :)


My little buddy Maddax. What a sweetie he is!





That's it for now! I'm trying to get back into posting more regularly. Hopefully I'll be back soon. :)

Hugs,
Kathryn

Sunday, January 24, 2016

5 Tips to Improve Your Novel Scene



Hey-ho, people of the blogging world!

Anyhow, the lovely Miss Aaliyah over at Growing in His Image asked me to guest post for her 4th Blogaversary. :) The post is 5 Tips to Improve Your Novel Scene, and can be viewed here! Please go check out Aaliyah's blog, you won't regret it. :)

That's it for now!
Later,
Kathryn

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

captured.

Back in June, my parents graciously gifted me with a DSLR Canon camera for my 16th birthday. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic...

It was a big upgrade from what I had been using, so I'm still learning how it all works. But here are a few of my favorite pictures so far.


Later,
Kathryn

Saturday, September 5, 2015

thank you.


picture courtesy of google images

Every person has hobbies they enjoy. Mine are music, photography and writing.

As a writer, I do a lot of research. From bilge pumps to 1800s fashion to plane diagrams, I read about a lot of subjects. But one of my favorite subjects to study has always been World War Two. Sometimes I get thick books from the library full of pictures of battles, camps and soldiers from the War. As I flip through it, I become sobered. So many young men-covered in blood and dirt and sweat-giving their all for their country. I can't help but think of what happened to them... Did they survive? And if they did, what became of them?

This reality check got me thinking. Thinking of veterans. Not just from World War Two, but from Korea, and Vietnam... and others.

I had never noticed or paid special attention to them before, but when I started becoming aware of them, I realized... They're everywhere. At the grocery store, at Wendy's, at the library.

So I started thanking them. It's sounds easy, but it's another thing to walk up to a total stranger and talk to them. Even for me, who is no shy person. But what I found when I started doing this, broke my heart.

They were surprised.

Nearly every time I have approached a veteran and thanked them for their service, they looked up with shock written on their face, stuttered, and then said, "Why... You're welcome. Thank you."

Why should it be this way? Why should it be such a shock to be told thank you? Our society has become so focused on ourselves-it's all about me, me, me-that we forget to look around us. We're too busy to stop and talk to that elderly Korean War veteran sitting on that bench at Walmart or the disabled Vietnam veteran down the street.

My urge to you is to look around you. Thank your local veterans. Show them we care... But why not take it a step further? Why not give them a gospel tract-the good news of Jesus Christ-as well as a word of thanks? It's the most important message anyone can ever hear or read. God can do miraculous things with a small piece of paper with the Salvation message written on it. You're never too old or too bad to have your life changed.

So let's stop sitting in our comfort zone and start making a difference.

And to all our veterans: Thank you. 

Kathryn




 

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