Work on Third Novel – a Paranormal story

Currently I am working on my third novel, a paranormal. Let me explain about the paranormal part.

I have watched the television shows about real life stories where people move into a haunted or possessed house. I am interested to see how people react to their situation and how they cope. A friend of mine was watching one of these shows with me and he said he would leave a house like that, which is what the people in the television show did. I looked at him and said I would stay and fight. I also don’t think it would be fair to the next family who moves into the house.

Then my mind started weaving a story out of this. About a woman and her daughter who move into a possessed house. This woman loves this house and she decides to stay in the house and fight. After all, God is more powerful than demons. This woman is a Christian woman and she asks the pastor of her church to help fight the good fight. He agrees and asks a friend of his who is an exorcist to help. I also have an angel who decides to help the family.

So while I am writing this novel, I look up books on exorcisms and exorcists. I did find a very good resource written by a Catholic priest, Father Amorth, from Italy who is an exorcist. I thought, at first, I would be frightened reading the material. But I wasn’t. I was fascinated by the information.

First of all, the number of people who are possessed by demons is much greater than I thought. Demons do not always present themselves the way we think, as in the movie The Exorcist. Father Amorth says that people who are possessed can experience continuous bad luck or ill health, especially in connection with stomach problems. He also talks about how people can be cursed by someone and the effects of the curse are very real. He gives many examples of people he has exorcised and he gives many examples of the various symptoms and curses. There are also different levels of possession and he gives examples of those.

Father Amorth also talks about how important it is for priests to be taught how to do proper exorcisms. Apparently, the Catholic church is moving away from having priests involved as exorcists but Father Amorth talks about how much exorcists are needed. He is seeing an increase in the number of people who are possessed by demons and curses.

Father Amorth is concerned with how the devil and demons are pictured in today’s society. He wishes that people would not use the image of a horned devil with a tail and pitchfork. Satan is actually a fallen angel, he argues, so he would not appear as a dragon. However, Satan is deceptive and a liar and will transform himself into these images to frighten people.

Father Amorth also does touch on how to conduct a proper exorcism. He also writes about how some people are easily exorcised while others may take years because of the powerful demon in possession of the person.

Now that I have this information, I am weaving parts of it into my story. Trouble is, I need to write during daylight hours, otherwise I scare myself. The imagination is far more frightening than watching a movie.

If you are interested, you can look up books written by Father Gabriele Amorth. He has written “An Exorcist Tells His Story” and “An Exorcist Explains the Demonic”. Amazon and Barnes and Noble carry these books.

What Brings Me to Tears

What brings me to tears?

A sad love song. Or an inspiring one that gives me hope. A moving movie where someone or a favored pet has died. A romantic movie where there was no hope, then suddenly hope is found. The loser will finally win against all odds. Almost all the old animated Disney movies have made me cry.

Being surrounded by those I love, my husband, children, grandchildren and close friends. Enjoying each others company. Laughing together. Holding hands. Touching hands with hugs and sighs. Showing our love for each other in kind words and special tasks. Baking, cooking the food everyone enjoys. Showing respect and kindness to those I meet in my travels.

Peaceful walks outside where I can see God’s creation all around me. The trees, flowers, birds singing. The gentle lap of water against a riverbank or the sand of a beach. Sunsets and sunrises. The whisper of the wind against my face. The Carolina blue of the sky with a few fat cotton ball clouds lazily drifting. The warm feeling of the sun on my face.

Riding my horse, who has learned to trust me. She knows me now and she is now taking care of me. She helps me groom her and she loves taking the treats I have made for her. When I sit on her back, I know she is willing to take me where I would like to go and she is willing to do the exercises I set out for both of us. It is taking time to build up my strength again but I am grateful for what I can do. I am grateful that my Gizmo is careful with me and listens to me. I am trying to be a good rider and I am trying to understand what she understands. The sun and the wind on my face is glorious. I appreciate the songs of the birds around me and I pause to listen.

These are all things that will bring tears to my eyes.

But as a woman going through breast cancer treatments, the pain that sometimes wracks my body, will not bring tears to my eyes. The fear of the unknown. The uncertainty. The way the treatments have changed my body. These things will bring tears to my eyes but NOT the physical pain. I have cried enough for the emotions. I will not cry for the physical pain. The pain I can endure and I will rise above it. I have so much to live for. I have so much I need to do.

I am a warrior and I will survive.

I Didn’t Run

Well, there you have it. I didn’t run. God answered me pretty clearly the next day. But I don’t think it was just for me. I think it was also for all the other writers who were wondering the same things I was thinking. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.

Wednesday¬† night at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference was the awards ceremony. BRMCWC offers the Selah awards for published authors in various categories. BRMCWC also offers the Foundation awards in various categories for unpublished works. I submitted my second novel to the Foundation awards in the Fiction: Mystery/Suspense category. And I placed third.

My novel, You Are Mine, won third. My heart jumped when You Are Mine was announced. Oh, and my name was announced as well. I was in shock and utter disbelief. I tried not to tremble as I walked onto the stage and had my picture taken. It happened. I won an award.

A friend of mine also won in the Foundations award for her short story. I congratulated her after and we hugged as she congratulated me. We were both in shock but we said it together. This award gives us hope. Hope that we are doing the right thing. This writing thing. Hope that our work was recognized as worthwhile. A group of our peers voted on our works and gave us awards.

I don’t like to brag about myself. In fact, I won’t do it. But the judges at BRMCWC have no idea what this award has done for me. It has put this smile on my face and this determination in me to forge ahead and write. I had been struggling with this for so long. But after my prayer to God and His pretty clear answer, I guess I better pull up my boot straps and get to work. I have always told God that He needs to hit me over my head with a baseball bat because I am pretty dense when it comes to His messages.

That was one heck of a baseball bat! Thank you God. I hope my writing pleases you.

I Almost Ran

I almost ran last night. I was at the point of getting up and leaving.

I am attending the Blue Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference here in Ridgecrest, NC. This has been the best Christian writer’s conference I have ever attended in previous years.¬† I did not attend last year but I wanted desperately to come this year. When I finally arrived Tuesday morning, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that are here. Over 475 attendees. The largest number ever.

I felt small. I felt insignificant. I did not see any familiar faces. I felt like I did not belong. Certainly after two women made very catty comments about skinny jeans, I felt devastated as I looked down at the skinny jeans I felt comfortable in. And I certainly did not feel like I was a writer that should be at this conference. That was it. I would leave and no one would notice or care.

Until Todd Starnes had his speech. I laughed with him and felt a little better. Then Todd talked passionately about Christians needing to take a stand. We all need to keep writing and keep standing up for our Christian rights. I prayed last night. I prayed for all my loved ones and I prayed for God to let me know if I was doing the right thing with this writing that I feel compelled to do.

Well, did He let me know. In the morning Edie Melson shared how insignificant she had felt in the past. She shared that she wondered if she should be writing. Why in the world should she be writing when there were so many wonderful writers around her who were so much better. Then God showed her a picture of a choir. There are many people in the choir. Many have the same range. But each one is unique and when blended together, the choir is wondrous and beautiful. God directs the choir as He directs all of us with our special gifts. We are all needed and special. God has given us a purpose and we need to listen and follow His purpose for us. The same goes for writers. Wham!

Then Bob Hostetler spoke. He talked about all the famous authors he is friends with. He talked about how he hated Davis Bunn and how irritated he was with all these people who were such wonderful authors and could do so much. He said we should all just give up and go home. Then he shared the story of Ehud from Judges. Ehud had a deformed right hand. But God sent Ehud on a mission and used him. God’s plan was perfect and the plan would not have worked if Ehud had a perfect right hand. Instead Ehud used his left hand. God has a plan for all of us. Even though we may think we are not useful, God has a plan for us and we need to be ready for it. God has given us a gift and we need to listen to God’s plan and be ready to follow it.

Okay, okay, God. You did hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I got it. I got You. Thank you God. I love you.

I Have Moved

Well, hello!

As you can see I have changed my website to a WordPress site. But this has not been an easy change. It has been highly frustrating to say the least.

I am not all that tech savvy but I do know a few things. When I took out my domain name of sylviapatzold.com, I had purchased it with a company (I really can’t remember who it was). After hunting around for a free website host, it took me a while to settle with Ignite Builder. I built my website and kind of just sat back and let things settle.

I have another blog and a website with GoDaddy. GoDaddy has been extremely helpful and I thought I would make my life easier by including my author’s page with GoDaddy and just change it into a blog with WordPress. And so my frustration begins.

I was told by GoDaddy that my domain name was with register.com. GoDaddy told me to change the nameserver and they gave me the instructions on how to do all of that. Except when I got to register.com, I had no idea how to log in since I did not remember signing up with them. So I called their customer service. I told them I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. Mistake. They then told me that my domain name was with their international division and my call was redirected to them only to be told that weebly.com was hosting my domain name.

I logged into my account with weebly.com only I could not find my domain name of sylviapatzold.com. So I emailed their customer service (which was not easy to find). I made the mistake of telling them that I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. I was told that customer service could not do it, that I would have to do it. Starting to get a little frustrated.

I had to email weebly.com again to tell them I could not find sylviapatzold.com on my account. They emailed me back with the email address that had access to sylviapatzold.com. I had to email weebly.com to ask them for a password since I did not have that information. Getting more frustrated.

When I finally received all the information to be able to log into the account, that I did not know I had, I could not access the domain name to make the changes. Getting a little tight around the lips now.

Again, I emailed weebly.com to ask them how to change the nameserver on my domain name. I received another email saying they could not do it, that I would have to log into my account to make the changes. I thanked them very much for their non service, by now being not so gentle with my keypad, logged into my account, and finally was able to make the changes to the nameserver.

I received a number of customer satisfaction surveys from weebly. Since I couldn’t figure out how to give them negative scores, I went ahead with the extremely dissatisfied. My recommendation? Keep track of who is hosting your domain name and DO NOT use weebly.com.