Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

It was early, before sunrise, the morning of Wilbur’s funeral, and Grandma was awake, moving about in the kitchen, in her pajamas and bathrobe. She asked me if I wanted come coffee, and from a fresh pot already made, she poured me a cup. I sat at the kitchen table, and she joined me with her own cup of coffee. For the next hour, Grandma told me stories of how she and Grandpa had met, of barn dances, farm life, young romance and hard times.

It was just the two of us. As she talked, I entered with her the stories of her life with Grandpa. Although Grandpa had died more than a decade before, my own memories of Grandpa combined with the stories Grandma was telling.

A few months after that conversation, I found some genealogy documents about the Healy family, and there hidden away in the details of marriages, births, deaths, and hundreds of names of parents, siblings, children, out of nowhere a name leapt to my attention: Clifton Dwight. The name, Clifton, quite literally, appeared out of nowhere among all names listed in the genealogy. Next came Clifton Arthur. Finally, there was Grandpa: Clifton Fitzroy. I knew the rest. My dad was next. I had always been told I was the fifth Clifton. Grandma and Great Aunt Bessie were good to remind me of this all through my childhood. Here, in my thirties, I discovered that chain of names.

Shortly after my father died a year ago, I began to pray the memorial prayers for the dead. These prayers end with chanting, “Memory eternal.” It is a prayer. A plea not simply for everlasting renown, but for everlasting well-being.

Stories and memory, these are the things that make us persons. We do not know who we are apart from stories, the memories of our own lives, and those memories we inherit through story from our parents, our grandparents, our larger families. We do not merely remember events and feelings. We weave those memories together in a narrative. We are the stories we tell ourselves.

The Gospel does not come to us in propositions and syllogisms. It is not a summa, it is a story. Indeed, it is the Story. That is to say, it is the Story that transforms all stories. Our lives are the same group of events, the same set of dramatis personae, but now the plot has changed. In the muddled Middle, there is a twist, a surprise. We see our story differently. It is now part of a larger Story, a subplot that has been woven into the whole. Our memories are reordered. We see things differently.

It is not simply that our own personal stories are reordered and retold. It is that our own stories change. Our plots go in a new directions. We, and all who are ours, become stories in a larger whole. We become part of a community, a community who has its Story. The Story of the Church, the community brought into God himself, the Holy Trinity, by grace. A Story whose beginning stretches from the foundation of the world into a future we do not now see, and a way of everlasting well-being in which our memories, and our stories, will never fade.

Read Full Post »

I’ve posted a new entry on my writer’s blog. Please take a look.

The Obligatory Post on Using Outlines.

Read Full Post »

New Blog: A Writer’s Journey

I have begun a new blog over at Clifton D Healy: A Writer’s Journey. It’s devoted to what I’m learning about the craft of writing. I invite you to take a look. If you like what you see, subscribe to it; put it in your reader feeds; or just bookmark it. At this point I’m not sure how often I’ll post, though I intend to put some focused energy to it. It’s still being developed. Feedback is welcome.

I have reposted some original blogposts from here on the topic of writing over at the new blog. I may also repost the Kansas blogposts over at the new blog. I’ll continue to post theological, philosophical and socio-cultural reflections here.

Read Full Post »

What’s Presently Working for Me

A couple of year ago, I took a month and attempted to write as many words on a single project (a book I was working on) as I could. My goal was to write 2000 words per day. At the end of the month, I had written about 45,000 words. That included a weekend where the goal was to write a many words as I could, and I wrote about 9,000 words in several hour or hour-and-a-half bites.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

More Scrivener tips wholesome goodness.

Gwen Hernandez

Want to know how many words you added to (or deleted from) your MS today? Need to see how close you are to your total word count goal? My favorite way to do this in Scrivener is via Project Targets, especially now that it’s more customizable than the 1.x version.

The Project Targets feature lets you set an overall project target (of words, characters, or pages), as well as a target for your writing sessions.

Set Project Targets

1. From the Project Menu, select Show Project Targets.

2. Under the Manuscript Target progress bar, click in the number box after the word “of” to enter a target for the entire manuscript. To change from words to characters or pages, click the double arrow button and select your preference.

3. Follow the same steps to set a session target.

4. The progress bar will fill and change color (in graduated…

View original post 586 more words

Read Full Post »

Blog planning with Scrivener

This is an amazing post on how to use Scrivener to work flow your blogging. Who knows but what I may start blogging more?!

Blog planning with Scrivener.

Read Full Post »

Here We Go Again (Again)

If you had an activity, healthy, non-addictive, which did not involve an over-dependence upon others and did not harm them, in which you could make a contribution to others, that gave you a huge sense of accomplishment, which gave you deep contentment and pleasure, which you had been doing off and on all your life, which didn’t cost anything, which you could do almost anywhere under almost any conditions–if you could do that activity, wouldn’t you? Merely for the sheer joy of it?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »