Story Sunday #10: Love’s Thickening Shadow

Story Sunday salutations!

The Details on This Week’s Writing

Number of words written: 204 words. Yet this was a big writing week for me! I know, confusing… and mysterious. Stay tuned… it will all be revealed NEXT Sunday!

What I did: I wrote a poem, which I submitted to a website for possible publication. I heard back that it was being reviewed, but so far I have not heard whether or not it’s actually accepted to be published. It would be awesome if it’s accepted, but even if it isn’t, I’m really glad I tried! Baby steps to the big traditional publishing world, y’all. Baby steps. Each step counts!

Highlights: I really love the poem I wrote. I can’t reveal too much of it because I want you to be surprised if it does get published (and if it doesn’t, I’ll post it here so y’all can still enjoy it), but I’ll tell you the main theme and inspiration for it.

I really wanted to write something that emphasized the Lord’s incredible love and mercy, as shown in his ultimate sacrifice on the cross. How he loved us while it was our sin that had him stripped and flogged and crucified. Yet he just loved us so much – he loves us so much, in the present tense indeed! Past, present, and future. How we are not worthy or deserving of his love, and he deserves all gratitude and honor for his love. He deserves all gratitude and honor from the heavens!

I love how the simple, 204-word poem really captures all that. It was so fun and joyful to write!

Thoughts/experiences: Besides the poem, I didn’t do any writing, and instead spent a lot of time reflecting and meditating with the Lord.

I did my daily routine of listening to the Les Misérables musical over and over and over again, LOL – I listen to the entire Original London Cast soundtrack at least once per day while I study! (I will be ranking each song in the musical in a post this month, so stay tuned!) I also listen to When Calls the Heart podcasts while I study. I was busy preparing for my AP world history exam, which is next Monday, so prayers would be appreciated, y’all. I also had a ton of chemistry and geometry homework, so I was quite busy with my schoolwork this week especially.

I didn’t work on my King Hezekiah short story this week. I didn’t have much time, and also I believe this will be a much longer and more detailed project than I anticipated. I may have to shelve it until summertime, when I’ll have much more time to really delve deep into the accounts of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah. I want this to be a really great story, because Hezekiah’s story is so beautiful, and I want to give it the justice it deserves. It’s hard for me to admit that I’m not working on the short story, when I had originally thought I would have it written within a week at the most! I mean, I wrote “The Widow of Nain” in an hour! But some projects are more detailed and take more research than others, even if they’re not the length of a full novel.

I am still not ready to continue working on my St. Paul fiction. I’m honestly sad about that, and it’s hard for me to admit it, but I’ve got to follow where the Lord is leading and not where I want to go. This week brought so much clarity and so much communication with the Lord that I am finally ready to share what’s been going on. A post spilling all the tea will be out next Sunday, so don’t miss it! XD

Today’s diary entry: I promised y’all I would have a special request Story Sunday (Story Sunday Special? XD) out this week! So I did just that. I collected all your special requests from all nine Story Sunday Surveys, and I entered them into this random choice generator so things would be totally random.

I thought it funny how the generator recommended we NOT use it for major life decisions, LOL. They may or may not have put ideas into my mind… just kidding!

*cough* Moving on.

The generator chose this request for me:

A diary entry from Paul – his thoughts about first meeting Seth.

Okay, y’all. Not gonna pretend – this was a very tough one for me to write! Paul’s voice is honestly the hardest character voice for me to pin down, maybe for that little reason that he’s St. Paul? XD

I really struggle a lot with my portrayal of Paul. First, my major problem is that his character is just too perfect and flawless to be relatable. I struggle with that one big-time. He’s the moral compass of the novel – by far the tenderest, most compassionate character – but he’s still human. He was absolutely not perfect, and he would have been the first to stand in line and say that. So that’s a tough thing for me to master.

Second, I struggle the most with his emotional moments. I shall have to admit that with pretty much all my characters, I have no idea how else they can react when something heartbreaking happens, so I immediately bring out the tears. And I’m not saying that crying is a bad or weak thing to do – those scenes are very powerful when used correctly – but they get tiresome if you use them too much. So emotional moments are tough for me to write in general, although with some characters it works out better because some are quicker to tears than others. Seth, for example, is by far the most emotional (understandable since he’s just a small kid). So it would be fine if I bring out that reaction in him a little oftener than with the others.

But with Paul, as I’ve gotten to know him through writing, I’ve found that he is definitely much more of a stoic type. I mean, he saw so much, so he had to develop an almost unbreakable armor. Also, he had neither time nor energy to constantly show emotion. He has to be the strong “rock” for the other characters, so for 90% of the heartbreak in the novel, he’s got to keep a straight face. Not to say that he isn’t affected by stuff – he readily admits to tears multiple times in his epistles, in fact. What I am saying is that his tears are not easily provoked, nor do they come from the surface.

JC needs lots of practice with emotion! It’s seriously one of the toughest things about writing a novel. Do you guys struggle with writing the stoic characters? I think in my situation, it’s mainly because JC herself is quite sentimental, so it’s hard for her to imagine a character who isn’t sentimental. Paul is certainly not sentimental.

That being said, the following diary entry obviously showcases an emotional moment for him. I mean, the man is a parent again after never imagining that he would be able to raise another child. Wouldn’t you get emotional? But I did my best to paint him as his character truly is – concealing his emotion for the sake of others, in this case Temira; guiding the situation in the path of strength; and being the reliable rock. (RR?) At the same time, I think you guys will really enjoy seeing Paul’s more sentimental side. Because he’s actually quite sentimental in this entry – probably as sentimental as you’ll ever see him get!

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

For endless hours I remain still; there is nowhere else I can bring myself to go. I stand. I walk. I don’t sit. I anguish, and I try to pray, although I find I cannot. Cannot… at such a time as this. God knows that as I watch, I cannot love anything more dearly.

Seth is a helpless child. My child. There isn’t any miracle I can hope for, not for my own child.

When Temira brought him and gave him to my arms, it was too late to enable reason. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. If there was ever a time when I wished I could love only a little less, it’s when I lift my child and hold him but can’t perform anything, not even a small part in easing his suffering. My sister is beside me. I could comfort her, but I resist lest she notice any sign of fever in my hand. She has not noticed – not even when I briefly squeezed her hand when she showed me that I have a nephew again. I have a chance again. I anguish that I already love him this way, when the good God may take him from me. And show me his mother’s broken hope.

I stand condemned for loving Seth this much. That unbound joy shouldn’t exist for a man who has done the things I have done – this dear nephew deserves a better man who can raise him. I think of my father, and the reflections of myself, when I look into his eyes. I’m unworthy of him – if Father could see his son now, he would agree. It was only moments ago that Temira turned to me pleading, “Help me.” She doesn’t realize – won’t realize – that I am not able, even if my nephew should live.

I often wish Temira would love only Christ, and not me. She is too good, too understanding, too forgiving – and I will never understand how I was judged deserving of a sister such as she. She has had much to forgive, and I put her through hell. Such as what Seth will have to endure, if he lives! The wretchedness of regretting my apostleship. I love my sister, so I have almost asked her to desert me. Then I know how selfish and wretched I am, because I can’t. If I did not have her, it would hurt. Have I come to yearning for others’ lives simply because I want to be made happy?

I hold Seth. I remember the children I dragged in chains. I remember their cries. And I don’t want my child to know.

Hope y’all enjoyed the diary entry! Because next Sunday will be a special post where I break a ton of major news to you guys, there is no Story Sunday Survey this week.

Discussion Question: Why do you think Paul’s love for Seth causes him that guilt?

Make sure to tell me how your writing went this week! And how’s life? I want to hear all about it!

You know the drill – eat, pray, write, repeat!


4 thoughts on “Story Sunday #10: Love’s Thickening Shadow

Add yours

  1. Chemistry and geometry *gags*. Those weren’t my favorite subjects. Praying for confidence and the ability to recall the necessary information on your test! History was one of my favorite subjects to learn, but things can be dry, especially the dates.

    Haha! I’m no good with emotion, either. I am 100% “facts supersede feelings”, and unless it’s really important, I have a hard time giving my characters enough emotion. I think I inadvertently pass on my “cannot comprehend this emotion” to my characters.

    Guild is complex and can literally drive someone off the edge. Paul’s adoration of Seth could cause him to feel such because he took the lives of so many who would never get that opportunity.


    1. Haha! Not mine either. Thank you! The dates do tend to throw me off.

      Right? Emotion is so tough to master. Mine is the opposite problem, though. I put too much emotion in my characters, and they react emotionally too many times. Like I said in the post, probably that’s because I’m pretty sentimental. But I need to realize that my characters aren’t all sentimental like me!

      Yes. So true. I think guilt is the most powerful force in this world – after love, of course. That’s a strong statement for sure, but it’s one of the most convincing tools in Satan’s hand. Love your thought on Paul and Seth. I’m beginning to see that he feels that way about Temira, too, because he took other men from their sisters… it’s complex for sure. XD

      Liked by 1 person

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