Patty Kyrlach is a freelance writer and editor in
She serves as a writer and design editor for Cookies & Milk, a children’s page in Cincinnati, Ohio SW
Ohio newspapers. She is webmaster for the ,
an international group of Christian writers. Writing Academy
The following two devotions were reprinted by permission from Daily Devotions for Writers, edited by Patricia Lorenz and published by the
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My first grade teacher, Miss Glass, is an amazing woman. She plays the piano without looking at her hands, and she knows all her numbers up to a hundred at least. But this morning she amazes me even more when she tells the class, "Today I want you to write a story."
Write a story? I have barely learned to make my crooked little letters, and here is this madwoman telling me to write a story.
Still I pick up my thick black pencil and begin writing on the lined manilla paper. It's kind of scary--putting down words without knowing what happens next. It's like swinging upside down on the bicycle rack--you might get dizzy and forget how to breathe.
To my surprise, a story begins to form on the page--a heart-rending tale about a little girl who comes down to breakfast one morning and finds that her father is missing.
"Father has gone far, far away," says Mother.
I pause to read what I have written. "Far, far away. . . ." What drama! What melancholy!
Other children are sighing and fidgiting and making crumbs with their erasers, but I am having the time of my short life. I have just discovered creative writing.
Lord, we grown-ups over-complicate the creative process. Let us rediscover the joy of smearing words like finger paints on paper, just for fun.
Only the most mature of us are able to be childlike. --Madeleine L'Engle
Mmmm, just one more cup of coffee. Hey, I’ll watch Good Morning America while I plan my day. As a writer, I need to keep up with current events. Like Barry Manilow’s reunion concert and--say, what’s this?--a woman who sells hand painted girdles on eBay? Amazing. . . .
Whew! Got the groceries unloaded, and I need a short break. I’ll check my email and play a little Solitaire. Dang, why can’t you get a red ten when you need it? Just one more game—honest--and then I’ll outline my novel, if I can still remember the names of the characters. But no, I should probably alphabetize the spice rack. . . .
Wait, is that my stomach growling? How about Bob Evans for lunch? It will get me out of the house, and maybe I can work on my novel. Or, you know, I could just read a novel instead. Yes, that would be relaxing. Solitaire made me kind of tense. . . .
Home again. Got my toenails polished--Fuchsia Fluorescence. Time to fire up Word Perfect and start writing. Oh--hi, Sheryl. Glad you called. I was going to call you. . . .No, I couldn’t believe that dress she was wearing. And who ever told her she can sing? . . . Nah, nothing new here. Just can’t seem to find any time for writing. Busy, busy, busy. Well, gotta go fix dinner. . . .
Lord, help me to use the writing time you’ve given me.
Seize the day. --Horace