Fantasy Art Friday

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.


She hurried along the path, carrying nothing more than what could hang from her belt or fit in the satchel strapped to her back. She dreaded the long, lonely, and dangerous journey that was surely ahead of her, yet she had no choice. Sighing heavily, she dared to look back one last time at what she was leaving behind. The castle that had been her home looked so beautiful sitting there, perched on a throne of rock and greenery. Such a peaceful scene, with the spring flowers waving to her on a gentle breeze, and the blue of the distant mountains blending into the depths of the sky.

But the serenity of the castle’s surroundings belied the turmoil building within its walls–the ravings of a king slowly succumbing to madness, and the treacherous whisperings of power hungry nobles. There was something else too…a moving shadow that lurked in the bowels of the castle. She had caught glimpses of its movements from the corners of her eyes, and caught whiffs of its scent. Pain…death…malice. Perhaps it was the shadow that was causing the king’s madness, she did not know. She only knew that she had to get away from it–away from him. She hoped one day to return with the power to save him–to save them all. But the road ahead loomed more with uncertainty than promise. Would she survive the journey and find the cure she sought, or would all be lost?

Castle by Mateusz Michalski

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Christian Author’s Inspiration

Many authors are asked the question about what inspires them to write. My response would be, what doesn’t inspire us? Writers have a way of taking in the world with its beauty, grace, and even misfortune, turning it into the next story or character. Being open to allowing the blank page to become what it is meant to be, that might be the trickiest part of all. It becomes a challenge when we stand in our own way as authors. Excuses pile up. Doubts creep in. The Holy Spirit is knocking on your heart with a story. You wake up from a dream with a scene etched in your mind. You meet your character in your head. Hello, new idea. You are inspired. By everything.

But you stop.

We have to push through the need for approval and validation from others. Other writers may have the next best book out there. We might not be good enough so we hide behind the screen, in fear of what a critic might say. We wonder what it takes to get the bestselling status. All of that energy could be put to use when we come to the one simple conclusion. I call it simple, but it took me a long time to get there.

Christian authors are writing for one and only one motivation – the Lord.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

Colossians 3:23 (KJV)

Our work is for the purpose of pursing the passions that God has given to us. When we recognize that we are all unique, have our own way of storytelling, and embrace our inspirations, our fingers have the permission to fly across keyboards. We write with joy. Our well of inspiration runs over.

Maybe this will plant the seed in another author out there. This freedom

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 will allow your craft to grow. Each day we will write more. We will learn something new. We will add to our skillset. We will not be alone.  I’ll be praying for all of the authors out there who are honoring their story. Be inspired. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Answer the call. Write.

Blessings,

Jen Lowry

 


Jen Lowry

Author Bio J LowryJen Lowry is North Carolina born and raised, still holding on to that country slang that is unique to the small town of Maxton she loves so much in Robeson County. She is an avid enthusiast of all things horror, UFC, and binge watches old episodes of Quantum Leap. She finds herself comfier in a pair of pajamas and would make all public appearances in them if she could get away with it. When she isn’t literacy coaching, author coaching, or homeschooling her two fabulous boys, she can be found napping or singing loudly, probably napping. Jen has her doctorate degree in Christian Ministry and is a member of Raleigh First Assembly. Check out Jen’s official author sites all over the net from podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, and more by searching up Jen Lowry Writes or follow her on @jenlowrywrites. Contact Jen for special author appearances and teaching opportunities or stay up to date with her journey at http://www.jenlowrywrites.com.

Connect with Jen!

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Fantasy Art Friday

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.


He was finally there–the place described in the ancient book he’d found. There was no mistaking it for any other. Circular pillars of stone reaching skyward in the heart of a desolate valley, he mouthed silently, repeating the words he’d burned into memory. But while the pillars might appear cold and lifeless at first glance, he knew better. They had only been sleeping, waiting through the ages for this very moment when they would finally be restored. His limbs trembled as he raised the staff that he had carried and protected for so long, rarely letting it leave his hands, let alone his sight. Carved into its surface were markings he barely understood. One by one, the same markings appeared on the pillars–not as carved images, but as light. A vibrant, violet light that popped, sizzled, and flickered like a roaring fire. Everything was about to change; a new era ready to begin…

(Title and Artist Unknown)

 

Fantasy Art Friday

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.


This place has seen better days. There is part of a tower or castle looming in the background, but everything around it seems to be falling apart, including this entrance with gaping holes in the roof. It isn’t abandoned though–there is a guard on watch. Is that a gallows behind him on the other side of the wall? It adds to the sense of foreboding in this picture, along with the fog, the dead trees, and the crumbling structures.

Who lives in that castle? Is it a tyrant living lavishly on the backs of his or her subjects, while dishing out cruel punishments for any minor infraction? Or is this city part of of a kingdom that has fallen on hard times and is barely surviving? Maybe there’s a completely different twist to this story that only you can tell…

Keeping Watch over ruin

Unknown Title and Artist

 

 

A Writer’s Guide… to Sword Fighting by Morgan Morrow

Fellow fantasy writers, you won’t want to miss this fabulous article on sword fighting from the perspective of someone who actually does it.


A love of Swords

I’ve always loved stories featuring heroes wielding swords. That love eventually resulted in my finding and joining a dojo that teaches a school of kenjutsu dating back to the warring states period in Japan.

My years of practice have given me an insight into sword fighting that I think is fairly uncommon in this day and age. My experience is limited to the katana, but I feel like much of it could apply to other swords and other fighting styles as well.

Using a sword

Firstly, swords are generally expensive weapons and they are not indestructible. Trying to cut through someone’s sword is unrealistic, but hitting it broadside and shattering the blade is not.

Throwing a sword would be a last resort only for the most desperate of situations, because not only would you lose your weapon the blade may well shatter or bend upon impact.

The blade is not the only part of a sword that can be used to attack. The hilt can be used for offense; to hit the enemy in the face, solar plexus, or groin. It can also be used to defend against an attack that is coming too quickly to get the blade in front of.

For added realism, it’s important to remember that most swords, if not secured in the sheath, can slide out when the wearer leans forward.

Keeping one hand on the hilt and sheath to secure the blade is oftentimes necessary. It is not unheard of for someone to lean forward, have their sword begin to slide out, and then grasp the blade to stop it. This is not a good idea and will usually result in stitches…

Keep reading A Writer’s Guide… to Sword Fighting

Originally found on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog. (Thanks for always posting interesting stuff!)

Confessions of a Slow Writer: Why NaNoWriMo isn’t for Everybody – by Anne R. Allen…

A topic dear to my heart as I participate in NaNoWriMo, knowing (and accepting) that I’ll never make a 50K word count goal. I’m a slow writer, too, but maybe that’s not all bad…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

We live in a speed-obsessed civilization. Whatever it is we crave—cars, trains, electronics, food, dates—we want them ever-faster-and-furiouser. In fact, much of the developed world seems to be engaged some turbocharged drag race of the soul, hurtling our frenzied selves from cradle to grave, terrified of slowing for even a minute of rose-smelling.

So here we are in National Novel Writing Month, when much of the writing community is turning out fiction at rate of speed never imagined by our pre-electronic-age foreparents. NaNoWriMo can do great things for a lot of writers and help them take their craft to the next level. A number of excellent, bestselling books have started as NaNo projects, and I do recommend it for writers who need to overcome blocks and “creativity wounds.

If you’re participating, you’re probably here on the fly, champing at the bit to get back to that brilliant WIP. Go…

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#AuthorToolbox Needing a Win, by Adam at Write Thoughts

This post was inspired by Why You Shouldn’t ‘Go All In’ When Starting a New Project(https://megdowell.com/2018/08/14/why-you-shouldnt-go-all-in-when-starting-a-new-writing-project/)

Recently I had a conversation with someone, and in the midst of that conversation, I realized how in recent times I’ve frequently said the phrase “I need a win,” and how true that is for me.

The more effort I put into something, the more invested I become, the more I want to receive a return, some form of validation, proving that I was right to invest. Granted, not everything works out, but there is a way in which, just as we need a certain amount of resources to sustain ourselves physically, we need a certain amount of mental/emotional support in the form of success.

This past summer I attended a talk where someone discussed how many recreational activities (notably video games), are built around guiding audiences towards a success, while simultaneously convincing the audience that failure was a very real possibility (when the reality is the experience was designed to end with a successful outcome).

At the time the speaker was extolling the virtue of experiences that actually allow audiences to fail (i.e. escape puzzle rooms), and while I agree with what he said, I think it’s also important to recognize that we need a certain amount of success in our lives, and writing can be a very long road, with many setbacks, before we can achieve that long sought-after outcome.

Click to read the rest of this great post.