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So, I officially got my first rejection letter this summer. As well as my first rejection “damned with faint praise”, which was made slightly less painful by my association of that with Emily of New Moon. Slightly. You can read all the magazines and books in the world “prepping” you for rejections by the hundreds, but there is still nothing like casting your eyes over those words, trying to gently tell you that your work sucks via a – well, what would have been a typewritten slip at one point and is now a generalized email.

This means I have officially reached a new status, though, right? That I have submitted to “official” enough places to actually get a rejection? Anyway. I have had more than one person tell me this story is good, so I am going to try again. . . only, I realized I am probably not trying for the right audience. I was pitching it as a literary piece, but it has definite Christian undertones (being, after all, a Christian) and, further to its condemnation in the eyes of the world right now, it ends happily. You know that everyone likes the dark pieces right now that give you shivers and make you feel kind of ugly inside and like you can never look at humans the same way again. I don’t get that trend at all. I like to feel uplifted after reading, even bittersweet if it is a sad ending. But I digress. So I realized I should be submitting it to Christian short story magazines.

Want to know something I didn’t know until this week? THERE ARE NO CHRISTIAN FICTION SHORT STORY MAGAZINES! At least, none that I can find. There are tons of Christian or spiritual blogs and magazines in general – but they all want inspirational articles of true stories, devotionals, or whatnot. Fiction? Psh. Apparently they think it is  a waste of time. So I am a little at a loss and mildly considering starting my own Christian fiction magazine.

If any of you all can help me find a place to submit my short stories, I would be quite grateful.

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I have not written because I know what I must write. Well, what I must post, anyway. I have this dreadful fear of standing up for what I believe in because it usually leads to confrontation – which, as everyone knows – I melt under. Melting being a relative term. I can’t handle confrontation or arguments, and can barely handle arguing for what I believe in. I really prefer just to go silent because I can’t handle it. My heart starts racing, my stomach feels like it has rocks in it, and I am fairly certain that I would be put in the ER if a nurse were to take my blood pressure within .0 seconds of a potential confrontation. But that doesn’t mean I give up what I believe in. Absolutely not. Even my husband was quite surprised to discover that when I believe in something, I stick to it, even if we disagree. It may be a quiet stick-to -it, but there is almost nothing anyone can say that will shake that belief.

But I digress. The point is, I may hate confrontation, but I believe firmly in certain Biblical Standards, and despite not wanting to argue about it, will not change my views. Which brings me to my point.

The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. I am deeply saddened by such a decision. I believe it is wrong on many levels. And I was going to write an article on why I thought it was wrong, but I ran across two different sources that I believe express it much better than I could. So I have chosen instead to post them here, because I think God is speaking through both these people, so there is no reason to repeat what has already been said. But I strongly encourage you to look at these – because I believe they speak truth.

1st source: My pastor’s sermon on July 5th. For anyone who saw the word sermon and groaned, be encouraged – my pastor is actually pretty entertaining when he speaks. I have named my post after his sermon. And he speaks, I think, both truthfully and eloquently on this subject, and is filled with more grace than I am:

Will America Stand?

2nd source: My friend’s blog post. She also speaks quite well and gracefully on the subject, and I hope she does not mind me posting the link here:

Unashamed

So, I might be copping out by just posting links, but I know that I could not speak as well on the subject as these two have, so I figured I would instead send you to what I think are great sources for a Christian’s view on this subject.

And for those of you who are reading this and getting ready to write hate comments on this post – I just ask you to remember that we live in a free country for a reason – everyone has the right to speak their piece and hold to their beliefs, and others have a right to disagree.

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I know I haven’t written in here in forever – well, forever compared to how much I was posting the previous several months. And I finally admitted to myself why. I am afraid. Of you! Yes, all you readers! I am more of an introvert than I thought, it seems – even talking on blogs that people might read scares me! I went to a church function last month specifically for women, and became so afraid of talking to people, that I sat by myself in the back and then hid in the bathroom waiting for my husband to pick me up while the other women milled around socializing and eating cupcakes. How sad is that? That is what comes of not making a new friend for the last seven years! But all that is besides the point I am about to make.

So, I got all excited when I started getting followers on my blog – I was like, how cool is that? People want to read what I have to say! 10 followers, 20, 30 . . . 40 . . . 45 . . . as the amount of followers grew, so did my fear. What if they didn’t like what I was writing? What if they judged what I said? Worst of all, what if they posted a negative comment that compelled me into . . . *whispers* arguing.  I am probably the least confrontational person you will ever meet. I do almost anything to avoid an argument. And, also, a lot of them joined when I was writing about NaNo – that means they probably only want to hear about writing stuff! So, maybe I should restrict my posts to writing? But that took away my inspiration to write in my blog at all – because – A Walk in the Forest is – about ME – about MY walk through the woods – as I meander this path they call life – and all the random obstacles in my way – both the beauty and the pitfalls of walking in a forest. I should be able to write about anything I want here – right? That is the beauty of a blog no one in my family knows about, and only a very few select friends!

Whenever I become so scared that I hide inside myself and refuse to do anything that might upset other people – even on my own blog – I start becoming lost inside myself again – and I do have opinions – contrary to common belief – strong opinions about things – and I shouldn’t be scared to write about them, right?

So here is the deal. I am going to outline exactly who I am and what I believe and then go back to posting whatever the heck I want on my blog, and this way at least you were forewarned. 🙂 You can post arguments on my blog if you want, but I probably will delete them because I hate arguing with people with a vengeance, and my blog is supposed to be a haven for me to come to so I can relax and vent in a safe environment.

  • I am an introvert who loves writing, read, cross-stitching, Jane Austen, all girly things, and my family.
  • I am a born again Christian, who believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and the only way to heaven is through Him.
  • I believe homosexuality is both a choice and a sin, just as adultery, fornication, stealing, and lying are. That being said, I have lesbian friends I love who know my beliefs in this area. I don’t judge people – I just don’t believe that what they are doing is right, just as I don’t believe people who live together before marriage are doing right.
  • I am an ultra-conservative Republican, who believes firmly in the right to bear arms, freedom of speech, parental rights, and small government. I do not believe in the right to kill your baby just because you weren’t ready to have one. I do not support President Obama, and every time I read about another executive action he pulls to get his way over that of the people, it makes me so mad I can’t see straight.
  • I am a passionate, but quiet person, and I have both career and writing goals. I want to be successful in my career so I can pay off my debts, invest, become independently wealthy, and settle down to writing sappy romances, which has always been my first love (besides God).
  • I have an inordinate fear of making any type of mistake (yes, that includes typos), of people not liking me or judging me, and of failure, and anytime one of those fears come true, my heart begins pounding like I am about to have a heart attack, I go into panic mode, and don’t come out of it until it is either resolved or my husband calms me down.
  • I feel insignificant next to almost anyone else and tend to assume everyone else is right and I am wrong in everything except my political and religious beliefs. Those I believe with deep tenacity and fervor.
  • I am a VERY boring person to hang out with, until I get comfortable with you, and then “it’s getting [her] to shut-up that’s the trick!”. (yes, I did just quote Shrek)
  • I am old fashioned at heart, and wistfully watch movies where the women get to walk around in beautiful, frilly dresses, hoops, bustles, those gorgeous hats, parasols . . . sigh . . . where have those days gone? Someday I will get enough courage up to join a reenactment or renaissance of some type so I have an excuse to wear an outfit like that. Or maybe someday I will wear one just because and never meet people’s eyes so that I don’t know they are judging me.
  • I love cooking and baking and making things look pretty and trying new recipes and having people over so that I can plate them really nicely. I hate hanging out with crowds of people, but love having parties as long as I can stay in the kitchen and make everything pretty.
  • Very random fact: I hate the taste and texture of onions in everything except bloomin’ onions and onion rings and hate the taste of all fresh fish, but love frozen fish sticks. How weird is that? I do adore seafood – specifically, crab, lobster, and shrimp – shrimp cocktail is my weakness.

There, I warned you I was going to tell you exactly who I am. All of that being said, you should know that I also believe in freedom of choice – that is, everyone has the right to choose what they believe – God gave us free will for a reason. I am not the type to shove my beliefs down someone’s throat – I simply believe. I may firmly believe that Christianity is the one and true way to heaven, and in Biblical values, but I also believe you have the right to decide if you believe that too. I am happy to talk to people who ask about my beliefs (in a non-argumentative way), and strive to ensure that my life emulates a Christ-like life so that people do ask – but whether or not you choose to believe is between you and God.

So, you are welcome to unfollow me if you like, but I am tired of being hidden inside my fears and scared to be who I am. I am not going to hide any longer. Well – at least I am going to try – it is hard to change a characteristic I have lived with my entire life.

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