Archive for the ‘Controversies’ Category

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Simmer Starters – July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016

Brace yourselves!  After missing it last week, I have a ton of Simmers to catch up on. 😀

Hospitality and the Holy Imagination (Zach Franzen) – Some fascinating, worthy thoughts here (it takes a bit for the article to really get going, so stay with it). “Artists should be good hosts. At the very least they should serve a meal they are willing to eat themselves.”

How Worry Steals Your Magic (K.M. Carroll) – “I’ve spent the last decade learning to be afraid. Learning to worry. Learning all those dark, negative things that help you survive adulthood–but they cut off your shining Neverland. In its place, I built a narrow, dystopian world of darkness and fear.”

Thinking Biblically About Worry (Paul David Tripp) – Speaking of worry… “Worry and rest always reveal the true treasures of your heart. You will rest the most when what you treasure the most is secure, and you will worry the most when what you treasure the most is at risk. What does your world of worry reveal about the true treasures of your heart?”

Teaching Jaded Characters How to Trust (Angela Ackerman) – “[Our characters] have suffered pain, emotional wounds that leave them paralyzed when it comes to trust. Somehow, we must help them move past their pain. We must convince them that a willingness to being vulnerable by trusting another will lead to something deeper and more meaningful than they ever imagined.”

Homosexuality in Christian Fiction (Elijah David) – Whether you agree with this post or not, I believe this is a very important conversation for Christian writers to have. “Thus we approach this issue as we approach any other delicate issue regarding a character’s traits and motivations. We write them with excellence and complexity. We show these people are not forced to represent all women, all people of color, all blind people, all the LGBT movement. Stereotypes and generalizations get us nowhere as writers, as storytellers, as students of human nature.”

When Motherhood Squashes Your Talent (Courtney Allison) – This is applicable beyond the topic of motherhood! Comforting words for those who yearn to write but are “stuck” in a difficult phase of life for it. “In the middle of my nausea. When my life was reeling with surprise and sickness. When my chief avenue of processing, thinking, and meditating (i.e. writing), was cut off to me. God knew that would happen. So, I quietly closed my journal, logged out of my blog, and walked into my every day.”

Women, Trade Self-Worth for Wonder and Awe (Jen Wilkin) – YES! “You can tell me that I stir the heart of God, that I am sung over and delighted in, that I am beautiful in his eyes, that I am set apart for a sacred purpose. You can tell me these things, and you should. But I beg you: Don’t tell me who I am until you have caused me to gaze in awe at ‘I Am.’

Why Single is Not the Same as Lonely (Sam Allberry) – Because friendships are a blessing! “A friend is someone who knows your soul. Someone who doesn’t just know lots about you, but knows you. And, Proverbs shows us, we cannot hope to live wisely in God’s world without such soul-to-soul friendships. All of us need them, not just those who are single.”

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Simmer Starters – June 11, 2016

June 11, 2016

Lots of fantasy links and a couple of cultural ones this week! 🙂

Love and Comfort in Fantasy, or Why George R.R. Martin Isn’t the American Tolkien (John Adcox) – While I eschew Game of Thrones for the porn-fest it is, this article is beautiful and excellently illustrates why Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, and other authors have written books more likely to be enduring and loved for generations.  It’s all about the love.

The Gospel Was Given for a Time Like This (Tim Challies) – I can’t stand it when Christians panic and go around flailing their hands over the state of the world “these days,” so I loved this calm and comforting post.

About Those “20 Minutes of Action” (Ann Voskamp) – Beautiful words from Voskamp about the rape scandal that’s been in the news so much lately.  “Son. When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage. And that is never the heart of God.”

The Real Reason That Christians Don’t Read Fantasy (K.M. Carroll) – My friend Kessie muses on the root cause for the poor sales of Christian fantasy books.  “…Mostly kids are allowed to read mystery, talking animal adventure, and historical fiction. These kids then grow into adults who prefer to read the same things. They’re not interested in the darker, edgier fiction out there.  However, the Christian spec fic authors want to read and write adult books. They want sex, swearing and blood–all things that aren’t appropriate for kids books.”

Why We Need Christian Fantasy (E. Stephen Burnett) – Several reasons why there is value in the “Christian fiction” subculture.  Personally I am in favor of Christians writing for the secular market as well, but there is a place for Christian fiction too!

Why Your Character’s Goal Needs to be 1 of These 5 Things (K.M. Weiland) –  This isn’t a new post, but I happened across it and found it really useful.

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Simmer Starters – May 21, 2016

May 21, 2016

Our Respectable Sin – Laziness (David Prince) – Hard-hitting words here!  “We have come to believe that the reason we work is so that we can rest. Work in this way of thinking is a necessary evil, and that is too often the story we tell ourselves. But thinking in this way turns God’s work and rest rhythm completely on its head. Biblically, we do not work so that we can rest; we rest so that we can work.”

Beware of ‘Trans Movement’ as Patriarchy in Disguise (Pia de Solenni) – This! “Yes, some individuals suffer from gender dysphoria, but I am very hesitant to say that their struggle gives them the right to identify with the sex of their choice. As a woman, I cannot concede that being female simply means that one wears makeup, sexy lingerie, and a hair-do.”

Six Ways to Self-Edit and Polish Your Prose (Kristen Lamb) – Good self-editing tips to consider.

Why Referring to “Screen Time” May Not Be Helpful (John Charles Dickey Dyer) – A thoughtful article showing how there are different uses for screens, some more beneficial than others. It lists several categories of thinking “that can help us think more deeply about how we’re using our happy little glowing rectangles.” 😀

How To Write Faster (And Why Maybe You Shouldn’t) (K.M. Weiland) – K.M. Weiland presents a typical formula for becoming a bestseller, and then explains why the formula might be a good or bad idea for you to follow.

This is a Jar Full of Major Characters (Time Machine? Yeah!) – Great metaphor illustrating why it makes a huge difference to write diverse casts of characters into our stories.  This really stuck with me – good food for thought!

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Simmer Starters – May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

Since I missed my Simmers last week I had a lot of saved links to choose from!  There are some really good articles here. 🙂

Don’t Let Your Girls Grow Up To Be Moms (Gretchen E K Engel) – Don’t be turned off by the provocative title of the post.  There are really important things to say here (and they are things I intend to tangentially blog about in the near future).  “What happens when your daughter dreams of motherhood but is faced with its impossibility? What if she’s dreamed of marriage but finds herself alone?”

Why We Should Jettison the “Strong Female Character” (Alastair Roberts) – Very long but well worth the read.  “Within the kickass princess trope lurks the implication that, to prove equality of dignity, worth, agency, and significance as a character, all of a woman’s resolve, wisdom, courage, love, kindness, self-sacrifice, and other traits simply aren’t enough—she must be capable of putting men in their place by outmatching them in endeavors and strengths that naturally favor them, or otherwise making them look weak or foolish.  Herein lies a tragic failure of imagination that weakens both men and women.”

How I Gained My First 1,000 Followers on Twitter (Brianna da Silva) – Good Twitter advice be here.  I love Brianna’s tweets for her humor and encouraging advice – she’s definitely a good account to follow, and to get advice from on how to use Twitter.

Real Men Love Strong Women (Paul Maxwell) – “The real question we need to ask is: Do we want women to be weak? And the answer must forever be, on the basis of Scripture, ‘May it never be.’  Strong women are as vital as strong men to God’s purpose in the church.”

How Indie Novels Can Beat $4 Coffee and Chase Joy (E. Stephen Burnett) – This is a continuation of E. Stephen Burnett’s ramble against the “buy books and support indie authors” style of marketing – here he offers some great, positive marketing ideas.

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Simmer Starters – April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016

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I Love Teenagers (The Eventure Project) – YES!  Love this.  I grow oh-so-tired of the derogatory way people speak about teens, making fun of their immaturity when they’re just at the very beginning of their journey, or scorning their attempts to be adults when this is their time to grow into adulthood.  A good read!

A Response to ‘An Open Letter to Rey’ (Mirriam Neal) – I enjoyed this one for several reasons, but I especially loved the explanation of the term “helpmeet” and what it breaks down to in Hebrew: “Ezer Kenegdo – a military ally who goes before you. A helpmeet is a fellow warrior, designed specifically to ride into battle alongside someone else.”

Why I Write Scary Stories for Children (N.D. Wilson) – Good food for thought here!   As usual, I appreciate N.D. Wilson’s perspective.  “I’m not interested in stories that sear terrifying images or monsters or villains into young minds—enough of those exist in the real world, and plenty of others will grow in children’s imaginations without any help. I am interested in telling stories that help prepare living characters for tearing those monsters down.”

GMC – A Stupidly Simple System for Great Character Creation (Rachel Bach/Aaron) – Tips for creating a character based on three things: their goal, underlying motivation, and the conflict that prevents them from getting their goal.

Spiritual Drafting and the Danger of Christian Complacency (Tim Challies) – A thought-provoking analogy.

Our Needs Point Us to God (Christine Hoover) – “I have lost the childlike instinct to simply ask my Father for my needs to be met by him. When my sons have a need, they immediately come to me. When I have a need, I veer toward shame, frustration, and guilt. My boys aren’t above otter-like begging, but I have somehow grown accustomed to muting my needs through attempted self-sufficiency…”