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Rated: E · Book · Biographical · #2107312
A journal/blog about my journey as a human being, a Christian and a writer.
I have decided to change things up a bit. So, in the process of re-organizing my port, I am also redoing my blog. Instead of only being about my journey as a writer, I am also going to make it about life - as a human being, as a writer, and as a Christian. What you will find in here may not always be happy-go-lucky, but it is the true glimpse into my life and into my mind and heart. In this blog, you will find out all you need to know about me other than what you read in my poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, and other writings. I am making it a goal to update this blog at least once a week, if at all possible. However, as we all know, sometimes life can get in the way of our best-laid plans. I can only promise to try. So, without further ado, here is the real me.
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October 7, 2017 at 11:08pm
October 7, 2017 at 11:08pm
I finally got internet back at home, so now I’m able to update my writings. I am playing catch-up since I was offline for almost two weeks. I never thought it would pile up so quickly, but it did.

On the other hand, I’ve seen so many blessings from God in the last couple of weeks that I am still doing really well. There is so much to praise Him for – it would take years to go through it all. Suffice it to say, He has blown my mind each and every day for the past several weeks in His grace, His providence, His provision. It’s absolutely amazing!

I will be extremely busy this month with OctoPrep2017, my weekly blog entry, my daily Bible studies, Bible college, and I’m going to try to get set up with Give It 100 again, since I wasn’t able to complete my 2nd one due to no internet. As well, I volunteer at church every Sunday, and I have two small groups from church that I attend each week. I am also preparing to lead a small group for church next semester.

Seeing all of the opportunities that God is opening doors for, the provision He is providing to make sure that I can do what He has called me to do, the people He has put me in contact with that I can share my testimony with, I can’t help but be thankful, even when things don’t go the way I was hoping they would.

One of my poems was nominated for a 2017 Quill Award for Medium-length Free-Verse Poem, and I am thrilled! I am continually amazed by the folks here on WDC, and their constructive advice and reviews of my work. WDC is the best writing community I’ve found, and I am so blessed to be a part of it!

Write on, my friends – and don’t forget to see God’s hand in the little things – if you look, you will find Him. Not only do I guarantee it, but He promises that if you look, you will find Him.

God bless each and every one of you!

September 29, 2017 at 9:34pm
September 29, 2017 at 9:34pm
Wow - what a week it has been! So much has happened and God has been so good to me!
I will share at some point, but right now, suffice it to say He has blessed me so much more than I deserve and I am so grateful for all I am seeing Him do!

However, let me just be clear about one thing - it came at a price. He didn't start moving in my life as quickly or as much as He has this week until I finally gave up ALL of me. There was a sacrifice - a surrender that He was waiting on and me being stubborn, took too long to give Him what He was wanting in order to do what He wanted to do. It took a total surrender - a surrender of my wants, a surrender of my desires, a surrender of everything about me in order to get to this point.

That being said, let me say how glad I am that I gave Him that surrender He was looking for - complete and total surrender. I have been a Christian for a long time, but never before had I given Him ALL of me. Now that I have, and I see the results, I wonder why I waited so long.

I will say that the biggest change I've seen is my perspective - my situation isn't what I thought it should be, but how I see my situation, and the hope I now have - the fire I feel in my soul, is a new perspective and now I see things through the lens of hope in God and TOTAL trust in Him for everything.

So, until next time, consider fully trusting Him and fully surrendering to Him - and be totally blessed!!!
September 22, 2017 at 10:00pm
September 22, 2017 at 10:00pm
Okay, I'll admit I'm falling further behind in my writing every day. Life has been really tough lately. Finances are a mess and I'm losing around $900 a month in income. I may end up losing my home, my car and my internet access if I can't get things figured out really quickly. I'm still fighting for custody of my kids, my husband is in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and yet I'm here trying to piece my life back together and getting more and more lost every day.

However, with that being said, let me be the first to say, I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!! I will keep fighting the good fight, following God's path for me, and depending on Him to see me through each day. I've seen His hand at work, and although my life is a mess, I know that He makes beauty from ashes. So, with His help and guidance, I know I will make it through this.

Life is hard. Life is painful. Life is heart-wrenching. However, I still have faith that in the end, it will all work out for my good and for the good of my family. That is a promise from God. He never promised an easy road. In fact, He promises that there will be trials and tribulations - but what He does promise is that He will be there to carry me through.

So, while I am going though hard times, I will lean upon my God to get me through, one day at a time. They say that God allows his strongest soldiers to suffer the toughest battles, and if that's true, then I know He has a HUGE calling on my life - and I can't see where He takes me from here.

Come what may, I will stay faithful to my God, my family, and the call that has been place on my life.

My only request from my friends here is that you pray for my family - my children, my husband, and myself - that we would feel God's love,
that we would follow His guidance, and that He continues to see us through each day.

Thank you all for your kindness and your support and your prayers. They mean so much to our family.
September 18, 2017 at 8:23pm
September 18, 2017 at 8:23pm
To Whom It May Concern:

Let me begin by saying that I salute the brave men and women who serve in our nation’s military, as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. We, as a society, are forever indebted to these brave souls who defend our freedom, our country and our communities. I always have and always will stand behind these folks.

I believe that society as a whole has forgotten that there is another group of brave men and women who also protect our communities. Little regard is given to these individuals who daily put their lives on the line to protect our homes and businesses. Often times these individuals must endure being ridiculed, harassed and treated poorly. Many times they work too many hours for not enough pay. More often than not, these brave souls must work unarmed, with no form of weapon for defense except their bare hands and the training they receive. I am talking about our nation’s privately employed Security Officers.

Many are trained in First Aid and CPR. Most have received academic training as well as on-the-job training. All Security Officers must pass a background check, drug tests, be fingerprinted and they must be licensed in the State they work in. Despite being treated poorly and ridiculed, these officers proudly put on their uniforms and go to work every day to make sure our businesses and communities remain safe and secure.

The next time you see a Security Officer, how about thanking them for protecting our homes and businesses instead of making fun of them. It’s high time we solute these folks as well.

A Proud Security Officer
September 14, 2017 at 1:16pm
September 14, 2017 at 1:16pm
Okay, so I wasn't able to keep up with my July 2017 goal of keeping up on my blog. But I believe it was because I had originally limited my blog to only my journey as a writer. As I have learned over the past several months, is that my life is tied so much into my writing, that I needed to take that limitation off my blog and make it about me - the real me, a human being, a writer, a Christian, a disabled American. So, hopefully I will be able to keep up on this better, with the hope of being able to add an entry every week. My hope is that as you travel with me through this journey called life, that you will learn, laugh, cry and experience life through my eyes. I look forward to your comments, questions and hope that you enjoy reading!

Thank you,

B.M. Ray
July 13, 2017 at 12:12am
July 13, 2017 at 12:12am
For those of you who have been following my blog, I apologize that it's been 5 months since my last entry. Life has been extremely crazy. However, I hope to have my blog back up and going within the next week or two. I appreciate your patience and I hope you enjoy what's to come! For now, have a great day and I will write here in my blog soon!

*Down* Fun Auction *Down*

*Down* Encouraging C-Note Shop} *Down*

February 15, 2017 at 2:27pm
February 15, 2017 at 2:27pm
As a writer, one of the issues I have to deal with is how to handle distractions. It’s difficult to try to write when you have so many other things trying to get your attention. Just remember, what works for me may not work for you. Use what works for you.

Instant messenger apps on the cell phone or on the computer can be a HUGE distraction. I’ve learned that if I allow these apps to run in the background, it allows me to work on my writing and check them as needed. For some folks, turning off the instant messenger may be the best option. If it distracts you and keeps you from writing, then do what you have to in order to prioritize your writing.

For me, my worst distraction happens to be noise. Certain background noise is fine and even helps me write. But there are other noises that distract me so much, I can’t write. If I can’t concentrate, I can’t be the best writer I am capable of. So for me, I have to schedule times to write when I know those noises won’t get in the way.

Another thing that can keep me from being able to concentrate on my writing is when there are other things that need to be taken care of such as housework, grocery shopping, car repairs, etc. My best option is to minimize these. Take some time to make sure that chores are done, groceries are bought and that my car is running top notch. By addressing these before I sit down to write, they no longer become a distraction.

For many people, family can be a distraction. Kids need to be fed, spouse needs attention…you know the routine. For me, I encourage my family to write with me. And I try to write when the kids are at school so that when they are home, I can concentrate on them. My family is priority one, writing is secondary. But I have learned to work it so that I can concentrate on both.

You know what distracts you and keeps you from writing. Learn how to work around them. Find ways to minimize distractions so you can concentrate on writing.

Until Next Time,
B.M. Ray

January 30, 2017 at 8:50pm
January 30, 2017 at 8:50pm
Two years ago, I learned a very valuable lesson. With the best of intentions, I set a goal of completing three entire manuscripts and beginning the submission process on all three by the end of February, 2014. I set this goal on December 22nd, 2013. However, I failed to take into consideration how difficult achieving this goal would be while simultaneously raising three children under the age of nine, taking care of our home and caring for a very ill fiancé. Over the course of a few days, I came to the frustrating realization that no matter how much effort I put forth, there is no way I would reach my goal by February 28, 2014.

This year, I got back to my writing and decided that I needed to set goals, so I needed a plan on setting realistic goals. Logically, the first step would be to identify the goal. The key here is to be specific. Simply stating that I want to write a book is not enough. I need to decide the topic of the book, how many words or pages I want it to be and have specific dates to have the rough drafts and final copy done. I also need to identify my target audience – who do I want to read the book and why I am writing the book in the first place.

I will then need to determine a way to measure my progress to reaching this goal. Using the example of writing a book, I can determine progress by word count, page count or by using the goal dates. One option would be to set a daily word count goal and keep track of each goal daily.

The first two steps are a good way to help insure the goal is obtainable or reachable – in other words, realistic. However, I must remember to take into account the possible obstacles to reaching my goal. Such obstacles could be poor time management, interpersonal relations, or an outside job – basically anything that could get in the way of reaching my goal. These need to considered carefully. This is the third part to setting realistic goals. It covers both attainable and realistic goals.

The last thing to do when setting a goal is to create a time frame – a time line, if you will. If there’s no specific date set, then there is no sense of urgency to completing the goal, thereby opening the door for complacency to set in. By setting a time line, the unconscious mind is set into motion to begin working on the goal.

These are strategies that I have begun to use in my goal-setting. I also use worksheets I’ve created to help me measure my progress in reaching my goals. This is a personal choice, so I encourage you to experiment and use what works for you.

How do you set and reach your goals?

Until next time,
B.M. Ray

January 13, 2017 at 10:04pm
January 13, 2017 at 10:04pm
Time management is simply what we do with our time, how we plan our activities and allows us to keep track of how we spend our time.

Time management is good because it allows us to allot our time to specific activities, helps us keep track of how we spend our waking moments, and affords us the opportunity to evaluate whether or not our method of time management works.

Some people like a strict schedule – in fact, there are those who thrive on such structured time. Then there are those who – like me, are unable to keep to such strict regimens despite our best efforts.

Some writers – myself included – do better just to keep a time log of the time we spend writing, and keep all of our appointments in a portable calendar, whether it be on a smartphone or otherwise.

There are others who prefer not to keep a schedule at all – just to try their best to fit writing into their lives. For these folks, this works for them. However, I personally can't use this method because it lacks any form of discipline to write.

Then there are the little things like distractions – life, telephones, and appointments – anything that gets in the way of your writing time. You must learn how to deal with these effectively in order for time management to work. I have created my own little chart of different distractions and how I can deal with them so they don’t interfere with my writing time. This type of chart may or may not work for you.

This, like finding inspiration or finding a writing ritual, is a personal decision. Try out different things and see what works and what doesn’t. Once you find a method that works for you, use it.

I would love to hear what works for you!

Until next time,

B.M. Ray
January 7, 2017 at 3:06pm
January 7, 2017 at 3:06pm
Have you ever heard the term, “Writing Ritual?” What does that mean for those of us who are writers?

A writing ritual is a tool that can used to clear your mind of clutter so you can work your craft without anything to hold you back. It is a step or series of steps that you can take just before you sit down to write or right after you get done writing. Or you can use a writing ritual both before and after you write.

Before you decide on a ritual, there are three things to consider. They are your environment, the time you write best and your behavior before, during and after you write.

Let’s start out with your environment. What helps you concentrate? What helps your creativity soar? Is it music? Silence? The sound of a waterfall? You don’t want an environment that is so stimulating or distracting that it puts you on edge or makes you jittery. You also don’t want an environment that is so dull that it lulls you to sleep. Experiment with different variables in your environment such as the place you write and the sounds that are around you. If it works for you, use it to your advantage.

What time of day are you the most creative? Is it in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes up? Late at night when the moon is full? The middle of the day? Again, take some time to think about this and write when you are most creative.

The hardest part of this is to pinpoint behavior. Take a few minutes to reflect on behaviors you exhibit when you write. What do you do while writing and being creative? These certain behaviors become part of your “writing ritual.” Do you drink coffee? Do you write with a certain color pen on a specific type of paper? Do you sit at the computer and type until you can’t type anymore? Do you set a timer and write until it goes off?

My personal writing ritual varies based on the type of writing I am doing. If I am doing a nonfiction piece, I start out doing a half hour of research to get my mind thinking about the topic at hand. While working on a short story, I reread the story to get my mind into character. With poetry, I write when the inspiration hits me. When writing a novel, I read the last chapter I have written or go over character profiles before I begin to write.

So tell me, what’s your writing ritual?

Until next time,
B.M. Ray

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