Get Over Your Limitations

Last week, I was at a youth conference, one that I go to every year. One of the speakers, however, came up with a point in his message that made me think about it, not just regarding my walk with God, but in the case of my writing as well. His point? "Get Over Your Limitations."

It is ok to say "No"

Throughout the timeframe of twenty-four hours, there are several different things we say. Yes, I can’t, will you help me? Mom, dad, and the list goes on. But what about writing? Usually, when I sit at my computer with every intention of putting my thoughts on paper, my brain clicks off and I end up just binge watching a tv show or get into a good conversation with other writers. I have, therefore, turned my deadlines into maybe's, my urgencies into extensions, and my yes’s into no’s.

I wasn’t facing writer's block, I had several ideas, thoughts, and plot twists that I wanted to explore and put in the paths of my readers and in my own story that I’m currently working on, so what happened? Why couldn’t I just sit down and make my mind work so that I could write? I like to kinda explain it this way……..my brain went to outer space to take a nap. There was complete oblivion, darkness, silence, and a dark emptiness that I couldn’t control. It was like my brain hit a kill switch and the breaker box blew all at once. To put it simply, I said no.

It was just easier to say no and call it a day.

Why It's Important to Share Your Writing

One of the hardest things for a writer (other than writing), is working up the courage to start sharing our work with friends, family, and strangers. It’s scary, because we wonder if maybe everything we’ve worked so hard on isn’t as good as we thought. It’s something that’ll help you grow, though, and today I’m going to tell you why.

The beauty of spoken poetry

As a writer, I love reading and finding other works in the same genre that I’m working on at the time. The same is for poetry. I have found that it is one thing to write poetry, and another to hear it being read. So if you do it right, the imagery is beautiful and can leave pictures in your mind as the one reciting it takes you on the said journey. I first came across this poetry piece below on Facebook as one of those “caption this” clips. And therefore with my curiosity piqued, I found the full version on YouTube. It's titled Explaining my depression to my mother: A conversation and rightfully so. Below are the words or “lyrics” to the piece, and then the video from YouTube. The request I have is that you first read the poem and then watch the video as Sabrina Benaim brings this piece to life.

Never Give Up


“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7(NIV)
Never give up. I am sure that you heard these three words plenty of times, but sometimes you feel like the words, “Never Give Up” are not helping, especially if a family member or friends tell you this.

Are you discouraged?
Are you frustrated?
Are you doing something to please someone else?
Are you having a hard time figuring out how to balance your time to accomplish something that God has placed on your heart to focus on?

Standing Out (Open Pen Critique)

This is an open pen critique. If you have any thoughts or comments, be sure to write them below!

I started up from my bed. My room was pitch dark. Everything was calm and quiet, but my heart was racing. The cold, clammy fingers of fear began to wrap around my mind. "Why did I tell Altam? What if he tells everyone else?" Giant cold drops of sweat began to trickle down my face. I passed the night in silent misery.

At the crack of dawn, I was up and dressing. I was anxious to get to the university to see if Altam had told on me. After racing through the early morning rush traffic, I walked into the university. I was somewhat relieved when the receptionist gave me a cheery "Good morning." But it didn't help my suspense much. I just had to know. I just had to find Altam.

Don't Stress Over Not Writing

As some of you may have noticed, I have not been writing/updating on here.
 I unintentionally dropped posting a few weeks ago (on both my blog, and here), partly due to VBS, which took up a lot of energy, it left me not wanting to do much else. And one last thing. The. Heat. Peoples. It sure gets hot here before monsoon (this summer is worse).
Back to the point.
The first week or so I stressed out about how I should be writing and posting it (I post twice a week, so that seemed like a lot to miss).
But I don’t always need to post without fail.
It’s always good to recharge, take a break from, well anything, really.
While I still feel  bad for not posting consistently, I just didn’t have any motivation to write for anyone else.
Take note.
-Sometimes you need a break
-Not everything you write has to be posted for public viewing.
-Not everyone will care (not that people are heartless, mind you)

What should you do while you’re taking a break and feeling very unproductive?
-Maybe that thing that needs to be done, you’ve been avoiding? Yeah, that one.
-Read. Everything!
-Go out, do something, have an adventure. Drag someone along with you.
-Do something creative that has nothing to do with writing (food, paper crafting, etc.,)
While I’m sure this doesn’t even scratch the surface for reasons you should take a break when you need to, or what to do in the meantime, these are just a few ideas to keep your creative “juices” active, and ready for your next writing endeavor! Till next time!

-Kirstie Rhys

Yes, God Can Still Use Another Writer

As Christian writers, we are sometimes filled with a desire to write for the Lord, to use our words to share His love, whether that is in a direct or indirect way. The only problem is that the next thought that fills our brains is often doubt, because there are simply so many other writers doing the very thing that we wish to do. While this is encouraging and uplifting to see others who have accomplished our own dreams, it is also a bit intimidating. We wonder, if there are so many others, does God really need me?

The Excitement of Filmmaking


It was fall of 2014. I was four weeks away from my college’s production of the play The Robber Bridegroom when I found myself in our auditorium filming one of the scenes for the movie Amelia 2.0, which is set to be released on Friday, August 4th, 2017. But my love for movie making didn’t start there at the filming, no. That was just a once in a lifetime experience. It started when I was a freshman in high school, reading biographies to play scripts, to thick “The making of….” with behind the scenes stills and cast member’s remarks, to the actual film schedule of one of my favorite Civil War movies, God’s and Generals.

But what does all of that have to do with writing?
Everything.

You see, to make a good movie like God’s and Generals, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Amelia 2.0, you first have to do the casting before the filming process even starts. But before the casting, you have to have a script, and before you have a script, you have to have a story. And if you can guess by now, to have a good story, it first has to be written. Once that is done, and the story is chosen to be made into a big screen deal, everything else falls into place. Then once the filming starts you have the set and scene schedules that have to be written, you have to number or categorize the costumes, and such.

So why do I love the excitement of filmmaking and watch the process of good movies come to the big screen? It's because I believe in the project, and from being part of a small scene myself a few years ago, I appreciate the “man hours” it takes to make a project of that caliber. It's the fact that the end project, the polished piece, that several thousands of people see on the screen and the responses, emotions, and how they react to the project, makes everything worthwhile. Even in a play, I had a glimpse of what the actors, actresses, directors, and the rest of the crew on any acting project go through to put an enjoyable piece of good entertainment together for everyone to enjoy.

Now you may be wondering what exactly is Amelia 2.0? It's a sci/fi movie on robotic technology.

After his wife Amelia suffers an aneurysm that leaves her bedridden and slowly dying, police officer Carter Summerland searches for a way to revive her. He's approached by Wesley Enterprises about allowing Amelia to be the test subject for an experimental program that will place her mind in an artificial body.




The Conquering Inconsistency Challenge - What I Learned

Last week, I felt that I wasn't writing consistently enough. As a result, I posted a challenge: Write 200 Words Every Day

What I didn't realize when I started that post was that this week was going to be absolutely packed, what with the 4th of July and all. In fact, I was camping in a tent without a computer for 5 of those days.

The 4th of July

That date comes around only once a year. So does every date really, if you think about it. There's only one New Years Day, one April Fools, one Memorial Day, one Thanksgiving, and so on for that entire year. Usually, without a doubt, I have this crazy thought of what would happen if our for fathers never signed the Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence. I've always wondered what would happen if they had the chance to see what America has become and made their decision based on that alone. I had written this poem a few years ago, but I still think it rings true today because I still wonder what would happen. Hope you enjoy.
OUR FATHER'S VOICE
Seasons come, seasons go,
America's grown, that we know.
But she's forgotten
Forgotten our past
The past we need to remember.

Our past there is `92,
When Chris sailed the ocean blue.
The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock,
For them, it was a shock.
Since they survived the winter `20,
We now have a feast of plenty.
As they signed the Mayflower Compact,
They only knew it wasn't a contract.

Now we jump a hundred and fifty years,
England's oppression only nears.
As we find in the `70's,
Old towns are now new cities.
King George kept his power and might,
And he wouldn't leave without a fight.

But what would happen?
What if one of our father's jumped?
Jumped that thing called death,
Traveled in that place as time.
Saw America today,
What would they do?
What would they say?
They would likely say:

For you, we lived
For you, we died
For you, we breathed
For you, we cried
For you, we up and grew
For you, we fired and flew

For you, we were hunted
For you, the spy Hale was hung
For you, he bled "I regret"
For you, Franklin said, "Together or Die"
For you, we joined to tie.
For you, Paul rode,
Rode to tell town, village, and farm,
To tell men up and arm.

For you, we said no more,
No tax, no king, we're on our own.
For you, Lexington saw a war,
The day that the Green turned red.
Red with blood,
For you, Jeff wrote,
Wrote for you till he could no more.

But why do you choose to ignore?
Ignore our cry, our pleas, our wants,
Ignore the two great documents.
We didn't write them as a Decoration,
But a Declaration.
We didn't write them as a Contradiction,
 But a Constitution.
So as I go, will you remember?
Will you choose to tell your friends,
Your family, your neighbor?
Tell them about what we did so long ago.

How we fired and fled,
How the grass turned red.
How we did it in the face of death,
When we knew it would mean our last breath.
So let me tell you to tell near and far,
Tell one and all.
I wasn't for us what we did that day,
It was for you,
For you we signed.

I Challenge You To Conquer Inconsistency

Take a poll of hobby writers, and almost all of them will say that they don't write as often as they want to. I'm in that same boat. I will catch the "writer's bug" for a few days, but afterwards, I don't write for weeks on end. However, I have realized that my sporadic writing is doing very little to actually help me improve my writing ability.

So I'm going to change that.

I'm issuing a challenge to everyone here at Elysian, and everyone out there who's reading this:

Write 200 words every day this week.


It shouldn't be hard at all.

Two hundred words is just a couple paragraphs.

This challenge could jumpstart you into writing growth.

So will you join me in writing every day?

If so, say so in the comments, or on our social media pages.

~James