Category: Dreams

Wait!!

9B5E527D-5FFA-47D3-8DA3-9BCC16D3AD9B“Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.” That’s an old saying my grandparent’s generation used when we needed to focus on the here and now and stop trying to see what’s in the future, because we can’t actually see the future. We can’t know everything, and we cannot control everything, only God can.

That can be hard on some of us humans. We can see what we want, but not how to get it. We can see what we need, but not always what needs to be done to achieve it. That’s where faith comes in. God always knows what’s in store for us, and what needs to happen to get to where we need to be. All we need to do is trust in Him.

I have all these dreams and goals in mind, and I know I want to do things in my lifetime that will last well after I leave this earth. I have five sons who are my legacy, and I am proud of them, and want the best for them. However, there are other things I would like to do, be, and achieve. When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and an author. As an adult, I worked in the public school system for twelve years—first as a program coordinator, then as a behavior specialist. I loved working with kids, and I was good at it, but my career ended abruptly when I was injured and forced to walk with a cane for about three years.

Fun Fact: Public schools—at least in Northern California—will not allow adults who must use a cane to be employed with them because they consider it a liability, yet they do cater to disabled students. I have worked with many disabled students and they are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life. I just don’t think it’s the nicest thing that school districts discriminate against disabled adults.

Let’s talk about my dream of being an author for a moment… I love to write. I wrote a book, (I write hard-boiled detective/crime fiction) and published it on January 22, 2020. I want to be a successful author. I would love to see my books sell in the millions and be able to reach readers the world over. I want to buy a house. For the first time in my life, I would love to own a home. I’d like to leave it to my kids and leave them an inheritance that will sustain them for years to come.

I would like to help people in need. I’ve always been one of those people who give the few dollars I have left in my wallet, to someone on a street corner. Or donate to a good cause for a sick pet, friend, or family member. I’ve given away several of my typewriters to those who express an interest in writing, or have some terrible, difficult story they want to tell even if only to themselves. My heart goes out to people who are in bad situations. If I have something to give of myself, I do it. I enjoy it.

The problem is—I can’t always see the future. I don’t always know what will happen next, or when it will happen, and that makes me very impatient sometimes. I try not to be. I try to remember to be faithful, and put my trust in The Lord, but sometimes I do have a hard time with that. What do I do in those times? I pray. I just have a simple conversation with God and ask Him what he needs from me. I ask Him to show me what He wants me to do and then I try my best to listen.

It’s funny, but when I sat down to write this post, I was feeling a little down because I had just looked at my book sales for this week and was disappointed with the fact that only four copies sold all week. I was frustrated and wanted to think about anything but that, so I sat down with the intention of working on the second book in the series in order to focus my frustrations in a productive direction.

Before I work on my books, I always do little finger exercises and just type random thoughts as they come to me in order to loosen up my fingers and get the blood flowing through my brain. That way, the words can flow easier. Then this happened. What began as a simple writing exercise born of frustration, ended up being a way for The Lord to remind me to be patient and let Him work. Sometimes the reason we can’t see the forest for the trees, is because the path hasn’t yet been cleared, and we need to wait. Just wait. It’ll happen. Have faith.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5–6

 

By the way—Just in case you’d like to read my book, the links to all the sources can be found Here    🙂

Read Any Good Books Lately?

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Well, it’s true that this one is my proof copy, and you can’t have it because it’s all mine! That’s okay! You can get your very own copy online at Barnes & Noble, and on Amazon! I’m told I’m a pretty good writer and that this is a good book, but you should totally find out for yourself! Btw, after you read it, leave a review! I mean—what fun would it be to keep it all bottled up to yourself?! Come on… you know you want to 😉

Barnes and Noble:

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-russian-ca-bennett/1136293789?ean=9798603030760

Rakutan Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-russian-a-matt-vaughn-p-i-novel

Scribed:

https://www.scribd.com/book/445173820/The-Russian-A-Matt-Vaughn-P-I-Novel

Apple Books:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-russian-a-matt-vaughn-p-i-novel/id1497439816

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/C.A.-Bennett/e/B08468Q8N5

While you’re at it, you may as well follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’ll be fun! 😁

Twitter:
@CABennettWriter

Instagram:
ca_bennett_author

Facebook page:
@CABennettAuthor

50,232

I have reached a HUGE milestone! 50,232 words have been written of my nearly complete novel.

Now contemplate, if you will, the following list of famous novels around 50,000 words, to fully grasp the enormity of it all.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (46,333 words)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (52,000 words)
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (50,776 words)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (50,061 words)
The Apostle Paul’s Epistles from the Bible (43,293 words. 50,190 if you count Hebrews.)
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Shattered by Dean Koontz
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
Gadsby: A Story of Over 50,000 Words Without Using the Letter “E” by Ernest Vincent Wright
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (56,695 words)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (43,617 words)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (46,591 words)
A Separate Peace by John Knowles (56,787 words)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (46,118 words)

**borrowed from** http://www.wikiwrimo.org/wiki/List_of_50,000_Word_Novels.

C.A. Bennett- Writer 

“Write A Book”, They Said… “It’ll Be Fun”, They Said…

How hard could it be, right? You take your awesome ideas, and put them on paper, you send them off to the publisher, and BLAMMO! You’re an author! For years, I’ve had people listening to my stories and reading things I’ve written, only to tell me, “You should write a book! You’re a natural writer! And for the most part, I agree with them, simply because it’s just what I’ve always done. Since I was old enough to hold my first pencil, I would write my “stories” and read nonsensical scribblings to my mother, my grandparents, and anyone else who’d listen. As I grew older, and learned to read and write, I was doing almost nothing but reading or writing whenever I had free time. It’s just who I am. I’m a writer.

But getting an entire book written isn’t that simple. An essay, is one thing. It’s no big deal. Assign me an essay about something – anything – and I can give you as many pages as you need, and get at least a B on it. No big deal. But a book… that’s another story. Writing a book requires you to take a very personal part of who you are, and show it to the world one letter at a time, one word at a time, one idea at a time. And every single word is, in itself, an idea of it’s own. For example; I can be moving along in the process of writing my prose, and suddenly the wheels come to a screeching halt, because I get hung up on what word I want to use to accurately convey the idea of the scene. You’d think that would be easy, right? It’s not. Every descriptive word has it’s own ability to evoke an emotion, and if you use the wrong word, the sentence, paragraph… heck, the whole darn page won’t make sense! And it’s all because of one little word. Sometimes I overthink it.

But it’s not just that. When you write an essay, you have some sort of topic that needs researching, then you decide on your argument, and build your essay around that. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy! A book that is in the fiction genre is created out of nothing, and made into something. Sometimes that nothing can be something-based, and you will see situations you recognize from real life. Nevertheless, fiction is still the building of something which does not exist, into something which does, and it has to make so much sense that you – the reader – believes it’s real… word-by-word… letter-by-letter. That’s hard.

In my particular case, I am writing a fantasy fiction, so there are very few things from the real world, and many things from the fantasy world, which I am building as I go. Every creature, every person, every situation, and conversation, completely non-existent until I put them on paper. An entire world created from absolutely nothing but an idea. Not only do you have to believe what I’m telling you – or hopefully showing you – but you also have to be able to see it in your minds eye, even though it does not exist in reality, and you have no idea what it is, because you’ve never seen it before. Tough job, right?

So I told you all that to tell you this…

Lately, I’ve had a rough time finishing – yes, you read that right… finishing… my book, which is now 9 days past the deadline. The climax is gearing up, things are happening, people are interacting, and there’s just all this crazy drama, which is all great, but I’ve been having a tough time getting more than a paragraph or two done in a day… sometimes a week… for about the past 6 weeks. It’s all because of that real-life stuff happening and distracting the daylights out of me. It’s been so tough, I’ve even thought about giving up and putting the book away for good. Maybe starting something else, and forgetting about this one. Maybe forgetting all about trying to to it in the first place. I even managed to talk myself into believing that I couldn’t do it, and maybe I wasn’t a writer after all, even though I’d been writing all this time, and had an almost complete manuscript sitting on my desk, just waiting for me to finish it.

And then it it me – Thomas A. Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Well I… am not a failure, and I’ve never given up on anything in my life. I’m darn sure not gonna start quitting now! I am *this close* to the finish line, aka the end of the book, and I will have successfully created a whole big something out of nothing. So I made a decision; I’m not going to let me, talk me out of my victory. I’m not going to be the person who gives up just before her breakthrough. Today, I got my typewriter and sat down, making the decision to write a full page, single spaced, non-formatted, literally line after line of word after word, until I had a least one filled 8.5″x 11″ page written. And ya know what? I did it. And it was pretty good!

So my dear friends… if you are struggling, and things seem like they just aren’t going to work out, and you just want to give up, remember me and my book. One of these days… hopefully sooner rather than later… you’re going to see that book on the shelf of your local book store and library. When you do, I hope if nothing else, it inspires you to keep going, and don’t give up. You may be closer than you think.

Blessings…

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Multiplicities

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You can be anything you want to be!

That’s what I told my kids when they were kids. They’d come to me and say, “Momma! I want to be a Fireman!” or maybe one would say, “Can I be a police man when I grow up?” and of course, being the mom who believed in the endless potential of my littles that I was, I naturally told them they could be ANYTHING they want to be!

And to this day, I truly believe that, with all my heart.

Not to sound overly partial, but I have some really awesome, and multi-talented kids. I’ve seen them change from one thing, to another, with still more to come. There is a seemingly endless ability to reinvent themselves, depending on their current situation in life and how they respond to it, and I am never disappointed with their progress.

But I didn’t come here today, to  rave about my completely amazing adult children.

A few days ago, my husband was talking to me about my status as a college student, future Teacher, or Counselor, (I haven’t decided yet) current employment status as a Behavior Specialist, and Writer, plus the Ordained Minister thing, which I’m not currently practicing in any form other than internet posts – He said something I thought was interesting, and in fact, it stopped me in my tracks. After naming off the aforementioned statuses, he said;

How can you be all those things? You should just pick one and go with it.

Being me, my first response was, “Why?” because I’m a ‘why’ kind of gal. I like to – scratch that – I NEED to know the reason behind things. I can’t do algebra, without knowing why something is calculated the way it is. I once took a Rubik’s Cube apart to find out why the colors line up the way they do, because simply accepting it wasn’t good enough for me.

The ultimate question for me in this particular instance, is; Why should a person settle for being only one thing? What if you want to be more than one? I’m a wife and a mother, not just one or the other, so why can’t I be a teacher, and a writer, and a minister, and a behavior specialist? I am also a weaver, crocheter, knitter, and general crafter of anything that catches my fancy. I like it like that. If you are talented at or only want to be or do only one thing, then by all means – be that one thing and do it to the best of your ability. As long as you’re happy, and you aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else, then by God, DO IT!

But – If like me, you happen to be good at multiple things, and you have a desire to BE all those things, then why shouldn’t you? In the words of the United States Army, “Be all that you can be!”

I’d like to leave with you, a favorite quote, by one of my favorite authors;

If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it? – Stephen King

Truer words were never spoken. Now get up, go find out what you can do, and DO IT!

Many blessings, and Happy Sunday!

C.A.Bennett – Writer – and a whole bunch of other pretty cool things!

One Last Word on Deadlines….

I began keeping a journal of only positive things that have happened each day since January 1st, 2016, and haven’t missed a day. As I picked it up tonight, the cover struck me as very appropriate for the topic of conversation earlier this evening , so I thought I’d share it with my avid readers. Enjoy.

C.A. Bennett – Writer 

Who Are You, Anyway?!

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We’ve all been there. We’ve all asked ourselves that eternal set of questions:

“Who am I?”

“What am I doing with my life?”

“What is my purpose?”

“Why am I here?”

For me, these past seven months have been a journey of redefining myself as a result of strictly imposed restrictions on what I used to believe I was. I was, a Behavior Specialist who was going to college to become a teacher. I was, but I’m not anymore.

Two things have been a constant in my life no matter what I thought I wanted to be, or what I became because of doors that opened – if only temporarily – and then closed again.

My faith in God

My love of writing

From the earliest part of my life that I’m able to remember, I have prayed daily, and I have been a writer. I can recall my five year old self – white ruffled baby-doll pajamas with little pink flowers that were all the rage for every little girl in the very early 1970’s, fuzzy pink slippers, kneeling at the side of my bed, to say my nightly prayers;

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.

If I should die, before I wake,

I pray the Lord, my soul to take.

I said that prayer every single night without fail, for I don’t know how many years. When I grew up and became an “official born-again Christian” – as some would say – I stopped one evening to question what that prayer really meant. It was a simple request of God:

Lord, if I live through the night, let me keep my soul. If I die, take it and protect it for me

Simple. Basic. Done.

Nowadays, my nightly prayers are much more complicated that that. I regularly thank the Lord for His love, blessings and mercy. I regularly pray for forgiveness; not just for me, but for my husband, and each of my now adult children, and even their significant others, because hey… when you’re in my family, you’re really in my family, whether or not we agree on politics or God. I pray for protection, guidance, healing, and then throw in whatever current issues I have for myself, and for any family members I’m concerned about. I ask the Lord to bless everyone who has blessed me and my family in any way, and I ask Him to allow us to be a blessing to Him, to each other, and others.

Very different set of prayers from childhood.

The other constant, is that no matter whatever else I thought I was or wanted to be, I have always been a writer. Always. I remember before I could actually read or write, I would take crayon to paper, make those little scribbly writing lines that every small child thinks is real writing just like mommy & daddy make on their paper, and I would “read” my scribble stories to my stuffed animals and dolls as they sat lined up against the wall on my bed, and listened astutely to my wonderful adventures.

As I grew older, and learned to read and write, I did both with a passion that even J.K. Rowling would be proud of! I couldn’t get enough of books! I read, and read. The most exciting time in my childhood was when the Bookmobile would come to my neighborhood. Lord, have mercy, but I would absolutely be beside myself with joy over the Bookmobile! My mother and I don’t have the greatest relationship on the planet, but one thing I will say is that she instilled a love of reading in me, and has always encouraged me to write. I have no idea why, because that’s really the only encouraging area she played in my life, but I’m thankful for it, and have told her as much. But I digress…

These days, I’ve been working on writing my books, and am still going to college, but have changed my major from History to Religious Studies – the two intertwine so closely that I’m actually ahead of the game for the change – because one thing that has become evident in recent months, is that the Lord wants me to go in the church direction, and has graciously allowed me the time to write as I’ve always wanted to. Win-win situation.

During the process of writing, I have been reading about other writers and the method to this madness of becoming a successful and published author. I’ve learned quite a lot from J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Earnest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, Elmore Leonard, Saul Bellow, and a host of other famous authors, but the single most important thing I have discovered on my own is this:

None of what they say actually has anything to do with how I write.

Hear me out –  I am completely a fan of several of the aforementioned authors and have nothing but respect for them and for their process of making great literature. They are the writers I look up to and I aspire to attain that level of success – sooner rather than later, God willing – but they are not me and I am not them. What one says to always do, another says to never do. One will tell you to always outline and have your plot and ending ready before you ever put pen to paper, while another will tell you to sit down and just start writing – plot be damned – it’ll work itself out in the rewriting and editing phase. One will say, “treat it like a regular job where you’re on the clock from 9 to 5“, while another will tell you to, “write anywhere, anytime, as long as you WRITE!”- I’m paraphrasing, of course, but you get the idea – and you know what? They’re all right! And they’re all wrong! Why? Because that’s what works for them! But it may not work for me. It may or may not work for you!

We are all writers, but we are all different.

“So what’s the point?”

The point is – you are an individual who was made to be something special, and it’s not up to any other human being to tell you who or what to be or how to be it. Sometimes in life, the road we think we were meant to travel suddenly forks, and the way you were going, now has an enormous roadblock. You will find yourself faced with having to go an entirely different direction than you the one you thought you were supposed to go, and it can be terrifying! Pray. Ask the Lord for guidance and direction. Ask Him what He created you to be, and then ask Him to help you to become the best version of that person that you can be!

“And if I don’t believe in God?” you ask?

Well then just be the best you that you can possibly be, make the best decisions you can, and don’t do harm to anyone. In the meantime, I’ll pray that you find God, because He already knows you, whether or not you know Him.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

NOW GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH YOURSELF!

A Little Give & Take

Good morning, Family and Friends! Happy Sunday! Today’s message is very simple. We all want God to take care of us and fix everything for us, but what are we doing for Him? If you’re putting God first in your life, and staying in faith, He’s got your back! But it shouldn’t be a one-sided, all take and no give relationship. 

Joshua 1:8-9 – “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As always, I pray this morning’s message is a blessing to you. May the Lord forgive, bless and keep you always in His care, in Jesus’ name, amen! 
Rev. Crystal Bennett 

The Rewards of Wisdom

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Good morning, Family & Friends! Happy Sunday! Today I am moved to share only God’s word, and none of my usual stories. God’s word is perfect, and in us it can do a perfect work! May you be ever blessed! In Jesus’ name – Amen

Proverbs 3: 1-35

My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;

For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Honor the LORD from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;

So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,

For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.

For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.

She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.

Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.

By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.

My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,

So they will be life to your soul
And adornment to your neck.

Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;

For the LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.

Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
While he lives securely beside you.

Do not contend with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.

Do not envy a man of violence
And do not choose any of his ways.

For the devious are an abomination to the LORD;
But He is intimate with the upright.

The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

Though He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.

The wise will inherit honor,
But fools display dishonor.