05 March 2020

...and breathe...?


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Good morning, Reader! Happy Thursday.
...Can you tell the coffee kicked in… 
And there’s another reason for my good mood: I don’t remember how much I’ve written about this in the past, but over a year ago, I started on an adventure. I decided to sign up – at the encouragement of a few close friends – for a Creative Writing Specialization online. I had no idea where it would take me, and I certainly didn’t think it would take this long to get this far. But, as the saying goes, ‘If you wanna make God laugh, tell Him your plans!’

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It’s an amazing thing to sit here, while I wait for my friend to come get me for Mass, to be able to tell you that your girl is this close to becoming a Creative Writing Specialist. What’s my next goal after this? I don’t know yet. I haven’t given it much thought, but I’m on the very end of my Capstone, and I know that I’m just itching to get it finished. What does a Creative Writing Specialist do? We write. We write well. We write all the things.
And it just looks really sweet on the ol’ resume. Let’s be honest. Plus, it’s nice to be able to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘I did a thing. I set out [however long ago] to do the thing, and I’m exhausted, battered, bruised and my brain is goo, but I did the thing. I finished something.’
When I was talking to a friend of mine about this, when reality really started to sink in – never mind when the e-mail came letting me know days ago that I was less than 13 hours shy of being finished, it’s closer to six or seven now, thanks be to God! - a verse came to me, it’s from one of St Paul’s Letters to Timothy:
finish-line | OU News BureauFor I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have completed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.’ - 2 Timothy 4.6-7
On the other side of this, I am going to be cheering, gasping for air, and my heart is going to be pounding out of my chest, my legs will be wobbly, my fingers will feel like overcooked noodles, but you know what? I have fought the good fight, and I am winning this race set before me. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the encouragement and love that my friends and family have given me, and I wouldn’t, absolutely at all, be able to do it without a LOT of petitioning my Beloved, and all my brother and sister Saints, including my own two little Saints, for their help!
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The story I’m working on for my Capstone project, the idea was given to me by my friend/mentor, and I ran with it. The way it’s been going, this person was impressed and told me, ‘You know what this means, right, Rea? You have to make this a full-blown book now, and you have to publish it. I insist on a copy when it’s done!’ Never mind that this person’s been telling me, ‘Yeah, you need to get to work on that Capstone of yours, I need another installment, I need answers!’ Ha.
Writing has always, always been a joy to me, and it’s always been something that’s not only been an escape and a way of soothing things, processing through something I don’t quite understand – or in some cases, like – but at the end of the day, it’s a way to contribute my own herding of the words to the reading world. I grew up with books, some might even say I was born with a journal and pen in my hands and a book to read, but they probably wouldn’t be wrong, either.
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This year, this November, actually, I can’t pinpoint the exact date, but I know it was right around Thanksgiving (of all holidays haha), will be 40 years I’ve been writing. Apart from the four-year-long stint of Creative Laryngitis, I never stopped creating things in my head and wondering, ‘What if…?’ I just didn’t have the gumption to write anything down for that four years.
I’m grateful beyond words to be able to write, to send my brainbabies out into the world and I’m equally grateful and humbled when it touches someone in the way I’d hoped it would, and even more than I could expect.
I hope to continue on this journey for years to come, and even if I write until my hands fall off, I hope to keep writing, if it means typing with my nose or writing with a pen in my mouth.
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Y’all, I’m almost finished, I’m almost a Creative Writing Specialist. I can’t wrap my head around this, and I don’t know when I get that letter in my e-mail that I’ll be able to fully wrap my head around it. Even when I have it, printed and framed – because, of course – that I’ll ever be able to fully accept, ‘I did that thing.’
For you who’ve been aware of this long journey, and you’ve been encouraging me and praying for me, thank you. Please keep those prayers coming, though, y’all, I’m not quite finished yet! My goal is to have this done by the weekend. Hopefully. Just about six hours of work on my end, and waiting for the peer reviews from my classmates on my own stuff to come back (that’s going to be hard to be patient through! Haha!), and then the congratulations from my instructor… WHAT IS EVEN REALITY right now! I can’t believe this… SO CLOSE! SO! CLOSE!
And...breathe...?

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