Writer’s Wednesday: Describe the Positive Instead of the Negative

Lesson #7: Describe the positive instead of the negative. What does this mean?

In other words, you should state what something is rather than what it isn’t.

Instead of using negative comparisons, use positive.  Your reader is focusing on the root words in your description, and his brain is having to go the extra effort to turn your meaning around inside his head. Why not make it easy in the first place?

For example, instead of saying, “The new car was inexpensive. We got a great deal!”– Say, “The new car was economical. We got a great deal!”

Instead of describing a character’s body build as “almost pudgy,” call him “chubby.” Instead of saying a character “didn’t flinch,” say he “remained still.”

Positive instead of negative.

Your job as a writer is to do anything and everything to make your readers work less hard to get the meaning of your prose.

Happy writing!

Lookin’ up,




In the Wee Hours

In the wee hours, I lie awake.

Perfectly still, I’m aware of sounds a house makes after a day’s heating and cooling. . . Sills and door frames settle. . .  joists crack . . . floorboards creak . . .

For whatever reason, I can’t fall back to sleep. That’s when the Holy Spirit speaks softly to my heart.

Whomever He brings to mind, I pray for that person. Sometimes a person whose needs I don’t know is relayed. . . I pray even more fervently, because the Holy Spirit has His reasons. I’ve learned to be obedient, without questioning those things that make no earthly sense.

Snapshots of family, friends, acquaintances come before me . . . all souls that Jesus died for. How could I not do my small part and allow the God Who is Love, bless them through me?

My heart fills at God’s goodness. I sit awhile at His feet and ponder the exorbitant riches of His grace.

Then slowly, gently, He eases me into slumber and preparation of another day.

Psalm 3:5 says, “I lie down and sleep;  I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. ” Sleep is a blessing from God. Those night hours are some of the sweetest, when you’re resting in Your Savior’s arms.

Lookin’ up,






Nourishing Ourselves First

A good friend has allowed us the use of her beach house in Emerald Isle, NC, for a few days, and Al and I are taking advantage of it. It’s been a great chance to get unplugged from the stresses of life and ministry.

I’ve started reading a new book, Linx: Women Connecting With Women. In it, author Verna Birkey said something that really struck a chord with me:  “It is NOT selfish to pay attention to your own needs. In fact, it is your responsibility to keep yourself as fit as you can so that you can serve [God] better and longer.”

This advice is so OPPOSITE of what we as women often do.

It’s similar to the standard pre-flight scenario we see every time we buckle the seatbelt on a plane. You know the one — the stewardess loops an oxygen mask around her head, demonstrates how to use it, then instructs, “For the safety of your children, please secure your own oxygen mask FIRST, then help your child with his/her mask.”

The wisdom underlying this series of actions is immediately apparent: If you pass out from lack of oxygen/nourishment trying to care for others around you, who will take care of you?

It is MORE thoughtless to continue serving others,when your body is unhealthy from ignored needs. The Lord tells me: I need to pay attention to nourishing myself properly first, then I can nourish others. This applies to my flesh-and-blood family, my church family, the worldwide family of humanity.

The Holy Spirit has spoken to me about certain areas where I need nourishment. . . .in order to continue being fit enough for God to use me.

**Please leave a comment below. Do you, as you a modern woman, ever struggle with this issue? What ways have you found to nourish yourself?

Lookin’ up,