13 May, 2006

Greetings from Ocala, Florida

First thought on my mind: I want to the best me I can be without feeling obligated to prove myself to anyone.
Second: I should really go to bed. I have to get up for a flight at 7...
Third: Is my bed tomorrow night gonna be comfy? I'm living in a church-owned old motel. I should pray that I get enough sleep and that it doesn't make my neck sore.
Fourth: I can't believe I actually finished that song for today. My friend Heather got married today and requested that I write a song to sing at the wedding. Without ever hearing it, Heather put my name on the program and trusted me with a portion of her wedding. I finished it today...about 2 hours before the wedding. Here are the lyrics:

You Are the Love of My Life

Vs. 1.
We started out as simply friends
Didn’t think it would be more
But now today we join our lives
This is the day we have waited for

And Now I stand here
Gazing at you
I scarcely believe my eyes
After all of this time
I am yours and you are mine

2nd ending: You are the love of my life

Vs. 2
This is a love that some dream about
This is a life that we will share
This is more than a feeling
But a commitment
To serve and care

Generations have come before
And we will not be the last
And now we come before God’s throne
Requesting to be blessed

Fifth: It really is wild to think about when you're in college and you meet hundreds and hundreds of new members of the opposite sex that at some point you will choose one.

Just one.

Not that the others are faulty, or that it couldn't possibly work out, but at some point you choose one. One best friend of the opposite sex. One person to be romantic with. To live with. To have children with.

To share life with.

Daunting, no?

And yet so amazing. Marriage is an incredible concept. And one most people on earth have the opportunity to experience. Our God is indeed amazing in his intricate plan of habitating the world and creating community and fellowship. I am so blessed to get to take part. And you know what else? I'm so glad the whole choosing a mate thing isn't completely up to me. I know God knows me better than I do. And I'm trusting Him to work out the details.

Trusting in God is indeed a peaceful place.
Can I get an amen?

05 May, 2006

I really don't have time to do this right now but I got so excited reading this I simply had to pass it on ASAP.
You know how I have this interest in passionate people? Well I do. I'll tell anyone, if you're passionate about something, I'll like you. (And if you're funny, well that's just an added perk.)
I was just reading in my writing book and this excerpt reveals that I am not the only one who finds an interest in passionate people. Zinnser says that passionate people make boring things interesting things. Here's what he has to say:

"Get people talking. Learn to ask questions that will elicit answers about what is most interesting or vivid in their lives. Nothing so animates writing as someone telling what he thinks or what he does--in his own words.
His own words will always be better than your words, even if you are the most elegant stylist in the land. They carry the inflection of his speaking voice and the idiosyncrasies of how he puts a sentence together. They contain the regionalisms of his conversation and the lingo of his trade. They convey his enthusiasms. This is a person talking to the reader directly, not through the filter of a writer. As soon as a writer steps in, everyone else's experience becomes secondhand.
Therefore learn how to conduct an interview. Often you'll find yourself embarking on an article so apparently life less that you will quail at the prospect of keeping your readers, or even yourself, awake.
Take heart. You'll find the solution if you look for the human element. Somewhere in every drab institution are men and women who have a fierce attachment to what they are doing and are rich repositories of lore. Find these people to tell your story and it won't be drab."

Don't you love it??? This proves the point that at the heart of everything is humanity. It goes to show that no big institution, or company, or university, or church is simply that--but they are all made up of people. Individuals with their own stories, personalities, passions, and spirits. And the even cooler thing?? Jesus Christ died for each of them. The one with the most boring, day in day out, monotonous job. And the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military in the world. The grandma who has been virtually forgotten and watches soap operas all day, and the vagabond 22 year old traveling the world.
This world is made up of millions, well, billions of individuals who have their own stories. And they are all passionately loved by a creator savior.

That is something worth writing about.

01 May, 2006

On Writing Well

I was just reading in the book, "On Writing Well" by William Zinnser and had to pass on what I read regarding audience. The question posed is "Who am I writing for?" Here is Zinnser's reply:

"It's a fundamental question, and it has a fundamental answer: You are writing for yourself. Don't try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience--every reader is a different person. Don't try to guess what sort of thing editors want to publish or what you think the country is in a mood to read. Editors and readers don't know what they want to read until they read it. Besides, they're always looking for something new."

Books on writing are fascinating. Did you know most published authors go through 5 drafts before a copy editor ever even sees a page?

Wrapping Up the Semester...and filling you in on "Smoke On the Mountain"

Hello hello and hello.

It is now MAY FIRST. Can you believe it? This semester has literally flown by...and with the help of my digital camera that I got for Christmas, I have been able to keep a photo-journal of my semester. Though every semester here at Liberty has its unique and fun aspects. This semester has been especially enjoyable. I feel like every semester here I gain one new dear friend, make wonderful memories, and learn new things. Oh how weird it will be when I go on to the time of life where it is no longer my job to learn every day...that's all I've ever known...

Highlights of this semester are as follows: Pirates of Penzance, helping backstage with Into the Woods, Going to Orlando for SETC, Spring Break in Chicago (&Nashvillekinda), learning in theology class, learning in basic acting class, writing tons and getting inspired for magazine class, Traveling back to Nashville for dad's anniversary, my birthday, and
Smoke On the Mountain.

Smoke opened this past Friday night. And would you believe how nervous I was? We (somehow) put this show together in only 2 weeks. And it went off without a hitch. Duties regarding my role include playing guitar (see above, haha :-) acting and singing. The synopsis of the show goes a little something like this: 'Smoke On the Mountain' is a show that takes place in 1938 at a little mountain church in North Carolina, "Mount Pleasant Baptist Church." The preacher is trying to help the church (which is played by the audience) progress along and thinks that bringing a family of singers in on a Saturday night would help. So the Sanders family are booked for the first Saturday night sing at Mt. Pleasant. There are 6 Sanders. I'm Denise, the younger girl who is twins with (who else?) Dennis. The whole show is a little bit tongue in cheek, poking fun at some baptist traditions, with stirring and sobering monologues by each family member throughout the show. So, for this show not only did I have to learn and memorize dialogue, music, and a monologue, but I also had to learn how to play southern gospel/bluegrass music, learn how to act like a TWIN, and learn how to blend with 5 other people as if we have genetically similar vocal cords and have been singing together for our entire lives.
It's been interesting.
And hard.
And fun.
Oh, in addition, we have had to perfect the appalachian mountain dialect of the souther accent--which you can not confuse with anything like what one would hear in Nashville. It's a different thing. And kinda hard to do, surprisingly enough.
AND not to mention that my boyfriend is playing my DAD! And I have to refer to him as "daddy" about 4 times throughout the show...now, THAT is not easy. but it is kinda funny...

So, the past few weeks have involved alot of time and focusing of energy. But have been a lot of fun. I have a few days off before we do the show again on Thursday. Hopefully in the next few days I will begin to finalize my living arrangements for next year. Which is easily the most annoying aspect of this whole college experience. Anyway, so basically things here are good. And I leave to go to Ocala in a week and a half. My mind really hasn't wrapped around the fact that this semester is practically done. That this is the last week of classes. I sure am grateful for the way my life is going these days...I'm definitely a very blessed girl.