Terror or Thrill? You Decide!

Last week I shared a story —The Surprise— that I wrote in response to Brian Klem and Zachary Petit’s Bootcamp of Writing Prompts. If you missed it, read it here. But, I didn’t have an ending! I was hoping some of you would give me your ideas, but…no such luck. So, after giving it some thought, here’s the conclusion I came to:

Conclusion to “The Surprise”

You know, I’m a people person–always friendly, always offering helpful advice. So, when I began receiving these little gifts, I was sure that it was somebody’s way of saying “thanks.”

I deserved it!

But when I opened that file drawer, the lid covering a box inside slid back and something leaped out at me! Swiping at its fur, I screamed as an acrid aroma wafted into the air and my eyes began to burn.

I didn’t deserve this.

(The End)

Writing can be fun, but it can also be hard. J.K. Rowling says:

“The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting. The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.”

But we can’t let the blank page intimidate us!

“I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent–and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise.” Malcolm Gladwell

This wisdom gives me courage to keep writing. How about you? Stay tuned! Next week, more creative inspiration.

Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

Cover photo courtesy of Warren Wong on Unsplash

It’s Time to Say Goodbye!

So, you may have noticed, if you’re a follower of this blog, that posts have stretched farther and farther apart lately. When we started this journey I was full of ideas! They flowed like a river, onto the page and out to your electronic devices. Granted, over the past two years, there have been some interruptions to this flow, but for the most part I have been able to find inspiration almost everywhere! Then came January 2019! This year has brought many changes—mostly positive—but it seems that I lost my footing. Somehow, I drifted off the path and away from the destination that I intended.

So, it’s time to bring it back!  Books & Coffee is for writers and creative people, like you, looking for inspiration, tips and tools for maintaining your creative flow.  But, even those of you who wouldn’t call yourself “writers” can identify with striving for something that is elusive—whatever it is you associate with success. For writers, it’s a book deal or publication, for others it’s just having your hard work recognized and valued. Whatever your gift, you long for the fulfillment of putting it to use and doing it well, yet sometimes struggle with both.

I get it! That’s why we’re here—to work through those difficulties and celebrate the successes.

With that goal in mind, today—and for the next few weeks—we’re going to tackle one enemy that is familiar to all writers—WRITERS BLOCK! Some say it’s an imaginary foe, but anyone who’s struggled with something knows it’s a thing when it keeps you from attaining your goal, even if–perhaps, especially if–it’s all in your mind!

But we’re not letting this one hold us anymore. Maybe your captor isn’t Writer’s Block, it doesn’t matter. You will discover that writing in and of itself is a powerful weapon. Want to give it a try? Here’s what you do:

  1. Put your butt in a chair
  2. Put your fingers on a keyboard (or, if your old school, grab a pen and paper!).
  3. Say bye-bye–literally!

Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block (or whatever “it” is). Start with, “Dear _______, it’s not you, it’s me …”.

Here’s mine:

Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me:

I’ve allowed you to control me.
I’ve allowed you to make me feel inadequate.
I’ve allowed you to tell me I can’t.

But no more. I will not allow you to hurt me, hold me or tell me I’m nothing. You will no longer have the control over me that you once had, because I have been weak in the past, but I’m strong now. I’ve learned how to defeat you. I’ve been thinking about you and fretting over you all these weeks and months, but I have finally realized I don’t have to. In fact, focusing on you is what has kept me bound! Instead, I’m going to focus on me. And instead of looking at myself through your eyes, I am looking at myself through the lens of my Creator. You say I’m nobody, He says I’m somebody. He says I can be so much stronger than I am if I just walk away from you. It has been hard, because you’re very persuasive, but this is it! This is me taking the first step away…

Away from abuse
Away from turmoil
Away from defeat

I can do this. I can be what I was created to be as long as I stay away from you.


So, peace out.

What do you need to break up with? Write it in your journal or on a sheet of paper that you will tear into a million little pieces. It’s up to you. Just do it!

Maybe your break-up will inspire someone else to walk away from an unhealthy situation, share your break-up letter in the comments!

Next week: What would you do if someone started leaving little gifts on your desk every day? Come back next week and we’ll see if we can unlock the mystery!

Until next time, Happy Writing!


“Breaking up with Writer’s Block” from Brian Klems and Zachary Petit’s Bootcamp of Writing Prompts

Cover Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

Do you believe?


“…two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you.’”

Matthew 9:27-29

For some reason this verse stayed with me today. A verse so familiar, yet so new, I couldn’t pass over it. I had to ask myself, “Have I become too comfortable with my handicap?” Do I really believe He has equipped me for more? What is my role in my own healing?

The blind men came to Jesus and He placed his hands on their closed eyes, but they had to open their eyes with expectancy!  They had to believe in His power! Had they thought to themselves “this will never work,” they would have opened them to darkness once again.

How many times have I come to Jesus begging for a miracle–begging for a breakthrough–crying out in my need for healing?  But this place where I reside is so familiar. I’m so accustomed to this darkness I can’t imagine the light. On some level I think this is how it will always be. I tell anyone who will listen that “I can’t” and I am justified in my reasoning: I was born this way, I was thrust into powerlessness by circumstances beyond my control, I have so many burdens on me, how can I be expected to move?

So I sit in this pit and bemoan my incapacity. But He asks me, “Do you believe?”

I say, “Yes!” But squeeze my eyes tight.

“Do you believe?”

“Yes!” But I don’t pick up my mat.  I sit here and wait for a miracle that’s already here because it is only “according to my faith” that anything will change.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash