A Letter to My Future Self

Dear My Future Self,

For one of the first times in my life, I’m not in a hurry to be you. I’m content to be me right now, right here. I still have dreams I’m waiting for, goals I’m working towards, but I’m not in a hurry to grow up into you.

You have to deal with the consequences of the decisions I’m making. Please know that I didn’t make them lightly. Perhaps the one I regret the least now are the ones you regret the most. Or you regret not doing something that it never occurred to me to do.

I pray you are content. I pray your faith has grown and matured.

Hopefully you’ve learned to learn from the mistakes I’m making now. Perhaps by the time I become you, I will be better at facing failures and picking myself up afterwards.

I hope my dreams are everything you thought they’d be. Or perhaps you have moved on to a new dream. I hope you haven’t gotten too cynical to dream.

Most of all, I hope you’ve learned to worry less. Perhaps you have. You know all about me, but I know nothing of you. Still, I worry about you and where you’ll be all the time.

Sincerely,

The Current Me


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Inspiration for Dare – World War II

Only THREE WEEKS until Dare releases! Crazy how fast time flies when you have a book releasing!

To celebrate the book release, I’m going to look at a few of the things that inspired some of the themes or storyline in Dare. Dare is fantasy, so it isn’t directly based on any real history. But I’m a history buff. I like to explore the things I see in history in my own stories, even if I’m coming at them from a different direction.

One of my inspirations for the themes in Dare is World War II, specifically World War II as experienced by the Netherlands. About a year before I started writing Dare, I researched and wrote a nonfiction narrative about my great-grandparents’ life in the Netherlands and their immigration to Canada. My great-grandparents lived in the Netherlands during World War II, so I did a lot of research about what life was like in the Netherlands during that time.

World War II tore the Netherlands apart in many ways. Some people supported the Nazis. Some actively resisted in various ways, including forming the many groups that made up what is collectively known as the Dutch Resistance. Others didn’t like the Nazis, but felt they were the government God put over them and they should obey it. Neighbors were divided. Churches were divided. A person’s greatest enemies weren’t the Nazi occupiers, but their former friends, neighbors, and even fellow Christians who might turn them in. Thanks to the geography of the Netherlands, those on the run, whether Jews or Resistance members, had very few places to hide.

My great-grandparents were some of those that resisted. They were forced to flee their home to live in a different part of the Netherlands because of it. At the end of the war, the dyke protecting their home was bombed, and they lost everything they’d been forced to leave behind in the resulting flood. Because they chose to resist, they lost all their worldly possessions.

 Flooded Wieringermeer Polder where my great-grandparents lived.

If you’re interested in learning more about this time in history, Corrie ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place tells the story of her family. Another book that I highly recommend is Liz Tolsma’s Snow on the Tulips. While fiction, the book is based on a true story and very historically accurate. I’m also partial to it because it is set in Friesland, the province in the Netherlands where my great-grandparents spent part of the war.

Have you researched World War II? What do you find fascinating about it?


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Why Should Christians Write Fiction (Part Two)

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The fifth word in the Bible is created. 

We don’t talk about that a lot. We talk about the importance of the first 4 words: In the beginning God. But in that focus, we miss that God’s first action recorded in the Bible is the act of creation. The world we live in is the ultimate act of art, of imagination. God created the entire world as a beautiful piece of art for His own pleasure. The stars in the farthest reaches of space out of the sight, the sparkling fresh snow on a mountain top where no one but God will see it, the delicate flower that blooms and dies before any human comes across it…all of these beauties are enjoyed by God alone for His glory alone.

As humans, we have imagination. It is one of the things that separates us from the animals. When we create any art, we are mirroring God’s action of creation. We are projecting God’s glory back to Him. Art isn’t a waste of time. It is another way to give glory to God and show that glory to others.

As writers, we have a special kind of art. Words are a special part of God’s creating act since He created using speech, using words. He communicates to His people through the Bible, His Word. Jesus Himself is called the Word.

Few other types of art come as close to creating something out of nothing as writing. Writers take something as wispy as ideas and as intangible as words and uses them to build stories and worlds and characters (For more thoughts on this, check out this blog post).

When we write fiction, we are mirroring God’s work of creation. We are displaying the glory of God’s creation in our small and human work of creating. I think this is especially seen in writing speculative fiction stories. I could write more about this, but while I was brainstorming this post, Nadine Brandes wrote this beautiful post on this topic that sums it up much better than I can.

How do you mirror God’s act of creation in your writing?


Posted in Christianity, Writing Advice, Writing Life and tagged , by with 1 comment.