Tag Archive | poetry

Some Things Just Come Easy

I was listening to a podcast this morning that I’m really growing fond of. The host is a Christian single woman who’s found herself in her mid 30s with her life looking nothing like she thought it would. Sound familiar? Well this morning’s interview was with another woman who has a strong faith but got married, and I suppose, has kids, yet still found herself waiting.

Still found herself comparing.

I was intrigued when she talked about her longsuffering. Unlike yours truly, her longsuffering came in the form of waiting to publish her first book.

She shared that she first had this inclination some 20 years ago, and did not get to see its realization until her 40th year of life. Wow. She would watch from the sidelines as friends, or peers, spit out their novels and transported their crafted stories into published works of art, when all the while she would wonder, “When will it be my time?”

Can you relate?

I know I can. Except not with book publishing. You see for me I have this knack for churning out content almost effortlessly. One of my close friends has even told me how much she admires how quickly I am able to produce written work. She too is a writer. A really good one I might add.

My very first book was short and sweet. I published it within months of writing it. My second book was a little longer, and required a tad more work. I had to conduct interviews and transpire what I was told into stories that made sense. Still, I conducted all said interviews, then typed up those stories, and again, published the finished product within a few months (whew!).

Now I am working on my third book, and first hand at fiction. It will be well over 500 pages according to Amazon’s handy template manuscript. I am so looking forward to this work as it has brought both joy and healing in a season of difficulty. And even though technically I started writing some of these stories in 2017 (when I lived with a roommate, and was still a W2 employee) the bulk of it was written during this here pandemic. The bulk was written in the last 9 months.

The funny thing is, even though writing tends to come easily for me, and ideas swiftly converge into thoughts on paper, I was always leery about writing a full novel. Honestly, I was downright intimidated. It sounded like such a large feat! Well, not only have I written 500+ pages of a compilation of short stories and novellas (sprinkled with poetry) but I also simultaneously wrote my first novel (which will be over 400 pages). Crazy right? I know.

And yet, there are others out there who do not have this grace to produce writing so quickly, for whatever reason. Whether it be time, resources, or a lack of inspiration, it just doesn’t happen for them.

Even recently I was presented with a freelance writing opportunity by one of my BFFs. I’m really excited about this position because it will give me a broader audience and an opportunity to continue enhancing my writing skills. There are some particular rules for writing for this online magazine, and as a result, I’m more challenged, but thankfully I always appreciate a good challenge (within reason).

So anyways, I submitted my first pitch for my first article four days before the deadline, and guess what? I already have the whole article written, and it’s not even due for two more weeks. I know. I know. Crazy.

But what I realize is, some things are just easy. Some things are really easy and some things are really hard, and depending on who you are, and your lot in life, the things that are hard and easy can vary drastically.

It took 20 years for this woman I heard on this interview to churn out her first book, and I have written two in the last year. Two. Now quality of course is more important than quantity so that’s not really saying much, but my point is, we all have our own graces.

The Creator knows our purpose, and identity and our end result. He also knows how to get us to “said end”. He knows the weaknesses that prune and humble us so that we bear more fruit. He knows the graces and strengths that offer us hope and encouragement. The ones that cause us to soar over the darkness that combats us in the valleys. He knows.

And even when we do not know, we know Him.

And that is another thing that has come easy for me.

Knowing His love.

Knowing His affection.

Knowing His intimacy.

SHALOM.

The Problem With Stereotypes

About a month ago I took a poetry workshop downtown. I love how my city offers these free opportunities to learn and grow in writing and I find it interesting that I have a gift of writing poetry. I never thought of myself as a poet. I never thought of myself as a writer either…

At the workshop I made note, it was a diverse group. A mixture of blacks and whites, young and old. Then the facilitator came. She was late and entered with her body mostly hidden behind an occupied stroller. She was dressed in jeans and an old Tee and I was surprised she was the teacher. There was a young man in the group who seemed to be “off” and I figured he had a mental illness. There was another woman in the group, older, black and talkative. She told a lot of jokes and seemed (in my opinion) a little “off” as well. I made a conscious decision to be open and receive because I know from experience God can use anyone. We shared our writings and our hearts and the man who I thought was “off” was actually pretty “on”. Turns out he had a syndrome that caused him to seem different but he was intelligent and articulate and his poem revealed the gift that he is to the world. The woman who was talkative brought me to tears with her heartfelt letter to the Lord and I feel myself tearing up right now at the memory.

And our instructor, who appeared to be uneducated (in my opinion) was very knowledgeable and skilled in her craft.

I recognized the Father showing me my own stereotypes in this group and how inaccurate they can be.

I too was being stereotyped. I was dressed in a collared shirt and showed up with my mac computer while everyone else had pen and paper. The instructor made comments about my preferences and social life. I knew that she thought I was “middle class” and did not really know my story. On paper I’m sure it would look the way she assumed…

I recently met a man who challenged more of my thinking. In this climate of racial tension and social injustice I thought those who would be most aware (or “woke”) and sympathetic to these issues would need to share the same color of my own skin. Certainly they would not come from “privileged families”. But then I met him and he did have that background but had a heart to help urban communities heal and transform. We spent 2 hours talking about such things and I realized I had misjudged him.

In my career I have always been favored. I have always been “seen” and valued for who I am eternally. But then I wasn’t. I was met with the stereotype and a picture was painted of me that couldn’t be further from the truth. I learned a valuable lesson that day, when someone doesn’t know you they can easily misjudge you.

The problem with stereotypes is that they keep us from getting to know the true identity of someone. We like to categorize and put people in boxes because it makes us feel more comfortable, but sometimes those boxes limit us in expanding our mindset and views. We miss out on opportunities to learn and evolve as a result of interacting with someone who is different.

It’s easy to fall into using stereotypes. It’s kind of our default. But the Father has intentionally made us all diverse because He is diverse. And I believe the only was to truly see Him is when we all express our diversity.

I look forward to that day of seeing every tribe and every tongue worship together the One Eternal Being who created them. It will surely be a sight to see.

Revelations7:9

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

In other news, congratulations to my best friend who recently got engaged!!! More to come on that front😊😉. #newseasons…

SHALOM

A Company of Poets


I remember last year I was invited to an open mic night by a friend.  When I arrived I was asked if I was performing.  I’m sure I looked like a poet, with my retro hair and high waist pants (I love vintage style) but I let the woman down easy. “Nope,” I said with conviction,  “I’m not a poet!”  I made my entrance and met my friends.  After a few acts in the show I realized that much of the content people were sharing was anything but truth and light.  I grieved for my generation, praying for the Father to send someone up there with truth!  That’s when I knew.  It was me.

“What’s in your hand?” He said to my heart and I was reminded of Moses.  Well all I had was my first book on my kindle app.  My phone’s battery had been dying at the time and I didn’t even think the phone would last long enough for me to read from the first chapter.  But my friend gave me a charger and I courageously took the stage.  I read and felt the anointing and knew that though on the surface I was sharing about overcoming heartbreaking, in the Spirit I was releasing light, truth and hope.

I shared that experience with my (very prophetic) fellowship and one woman wrote on a pad, “Nicole, the poet”.  We talked about becoming all things to all men.  I tucked that little nugget in the back of my mind not thinking anything of it.

Fast forward about 6 months and I find myself signed up for a poetry workshop, writing short stories with poets in them and receiving a loud round of applause from experienced poets who heard my first poem.  I was shocked to find that my writing was not just confined to non fiction, but apparently…I was a poet.

I had my first poetry slam this weekend and shared the pieces He had given me.  Poetry has been a great way to express deep pain as well as deep desires.  Writing has been a vehicle to reveal the hidden things in my heart.  Funny thing is all of my short stories have manifested in multiple ways.  I actually keep meeting people in real life who have the same name and descriptions as my characters!  It’s been cool to see the Father confirm His hand in my writing in this way.


I want to encourage you not to limit yourself.  Don’t think because you haven’t done something yet or walked in something it is not meant to be.  Be open to how the Father wants to use you, your gifts, and all that He has put in you.

He is the Maker.  You are the clay.  And your story is still being revealed…

SHALOM

 

Poetry Slam!

Hi guys! I think I’ve mentioned I’ve been branching out in my writing more. One of the ways I’ve been growing as a writer is by taking a poetry workshop. To celebrate the completion of our class we are having a poetry slam this Saturday!  If you’re in the area I’d love for you to come! Details are below😊.


SHALOM