Saturday, August 20, 2011

Band-Aids on Bullet Wounds

The youth of this world are restless. We are passionate, but aimless. We are lost, constantly searching for something, anything, to fulfill us and make us feel alive. We look towards temporary fixes to lasting issues, putting Band-Aids on bullet wounds and sweeping our worries under rugs. We look to cutting, we look to drugs, we look to parties and violence, sex and porn just to make us feel something. It's never about healing--it's about coping, just getting by until everything blows over.

We continue to put what shattered hope we have into these things. We search and search, going from one fix to another, and still never find what we're looking for. We all long to feel accepted, loved, wanted, and needed. We need to feel as if we're worth something. We need to know we're not just one random, lonely and invisible face in a crowd of people. We need to know we mean something to someone, we need to know our lives are valued.  That we are loved.

We, the youth of this world, long for love now more than ever. We need it now more than ever. And nowhere can we find Love but in the God who created Love. Nothing we create, nothing we try can compare to the immeasurable love that God has for us. It doesn't just help us to cope; it heals us, it rescues us, it gives us meaning, it gives us direction. It fulfills us. And yet we reject it, because we're afraid to believe in it.

People so often brush this message of hope and love off their shoulders like a speck of dust, reasoning that it can't be real because God can't exist--that he is man's way of making sense of the unexplainable--and dismissing it as "religious" baloney. 

But this Love is real. And it is open to you. It does not pick-and-choose. It does not refuse. It does not look at you with a judgmental stare and dismiss you because the scars on your wrists or the tattoos on your arms. It doesn't care where you've been. It doesn't care where you are. It just wants you. 

He wants you. He loves you. And He can heal you. 

† Rebecca

P.S.: If you are looking for healing, hope, and freedom from addiction, or you want to share how you've overcome an addiction, join the community at

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FOR THE WRITERS: How to Write Evil, Awesome Villains (part II)

A few weeks ago, I gave you one of my tips when writing story villains. If you have not read that one, you can check it out here. It's the most important tip I could give you on writing villains, so if you read any of my character development entries, go for that one! 

Here are some more tips to get that lovably freaky villain your story needs:


Those who write a lot of stories know that the characters' pasts are extremely important to the plot, as well as the creation of a believable and three-dimensional character. But often, writers seem to overlook the pasts of the villains. In reality, however, the villains past is just as important as the hero's. 

Our pasts shape who we are as people. What we experience determines how we think, how we see the world, what we do with our lives. We all have memories that haunt us and personal goals that drive us. Think of some specific moments in your life that have shaped who you are as a person--was it meeting a good friend? A chance encounter or a fluke accident of some kind? Why did it effect you so? What has that event motivated you to do?

A villain rarely is frightening unless he has a reason to be frightening. As I mentioned in the Part 1, if the villains don't seem real, they likely won't seem scary. Giving him or her a realistic past, with realistic outcomes and situations will help you build a realistic person.

2. REAL HATABILITY (and yes, I know that is not a word)

Another mistake I often see writers do is rely too much on the villain's cruelty towards the hero to cause us to hate him. The villain beats up the hero that we begin to hate him so much that we desperately HAVE to have the hero beat him back. Sometimes this can work, but often times it's a cheap way to get out of real conflict.

Instead of simply hating the villain, we must begin to hate not only what he does that is so terribly villainous, but what he stands for. 

The villain is a symbol both to readers and to the imaginative audience the exist within the story. What he or she represents is bigger than what he or she truly is--a person (or…creature, robot, or giant flaming eye, etc, etc). People (and creatures, robots, and giant flaming eyes) can be destroyed, killed, forced into exile, but the ideas they represent take a lot more effort to destroy. Because of this, writers need to put a lot of effort into making the villain's ideals threatening--even more so than the villain himself.

Happy Villain-creating!

† Rebecca

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hey guys,
sorry about my infrequent posting lately =.= Life's been crazy and I've been lazy. So more posts coming soon!

Some quick updates....

1.  I recently made myself a Twitter account, so if you have one, follow me! My username there is throughthorns. :)

2.  I want your input: what would you like to see me blog about?? Leave a comment and let me know!

3. That's all. Carry on with your lives.

† Rebecca

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Letter to the Lost

Dear Lost,

You have no idea how much my heart aches when I think of you, when I see you hurt. Sometimes, when you tell me about your pain and your struggles, my eyes start to burn and my hands start to tingle, and I have to look away so you won't see my weakness... I have to be strong for you. 

I want so badly for you to be found. You're broken… in pain… hurt, forgotten, angry, searching... Lost. I can't explain with words how much I care for you. It seems unnatural sometimes, so unnatural that it becomes selflessness, and total selflessness isn't an emotion that a lot of people, including me, truly understand, let alone experience.

I don't even know if it's human.

When you tell me how you just absolutely can't go on anymore, when you tell me how much you hate what you've become, when you show me the scars and tell me the lies... When you tell me how you just want to end it… During those times, I want nothing more to ease your suffering, take away your burden--if I could, I would put it upon myself instead. But I can't. All I can do is cry, and offer you words you've heard a thousand times already and prayers I sometimes fear don't leave my bedroom walls. And cry… Cry for your pain, because I know what it's like. Cry because you don't deserve to die, even by your own hand. Cry because I know you have so much life in you, so much to do, to learn, to give, to be. It kills me inside every time I think that you might not make it. That everything you have, everything you are, would be Lost… That the world would never be able to experience your intense beauty, strength, insight… all of those God-given parts of you that the world desperately needs, even if it does not yet realize it.

Lost, know that even when you want nothing more than death, my heart holds out hope for you. Each breath you take--whether it come freely or forced--is a chance for new life, new hope. Freedom. Each breath is a symbol, signifying that you can keep going. That you can come through these thorns, that God can provide the strength, if you provide the will. Everything happens for a reason. 

Lost, know that I am here for you. That I will be with you and do my best to help guide you, and sometimes drag you, through the thorns. I will never give up hope for you, and I will never turn a blind eye to you. I will always love you.

Lost, know that God has put me in your life for a reason. God has put me in your life to help find you, to help  lead you to Freedom, to let you know that your life--your story--is more valuable than could ever realize. God has put me in your life to save you.


Because you are worth saving.

your friend.

P.S.: I'm anticipating that some will wonder who this was written for. That, I can't say. It was really written for many people. Now, however, it's written for you

Hoping for the Lost,

Monday, April 25, 2011

FOR THE WRITERS: How To Write Evil, Awesome Villains (Part I)

I have always been oddly fascinated by villains. When I was four or five, I was pretty much in love with Scar from The Lion King and often had quite a bit of fun using him to creep out my little sister. And today, I still have that weird infatuation with villains--and I have come to realize a few things that could help you, as a writer, create some evil, awesome villains. 

In my experience (which, by the way, is about nine years of novel-writing, about fifteen years of short-story writing [if not more!], and countless years of reading books and watching movies) there is one thing that I believe is the number one key to writing great villains: base them off of YOU. 

Now, I know that sounds a little creepy--why on earth would you want to turn yourself into a bad guy?!--but isn't creepiness the point? Aren't villains supposed to be creepy? Answer = Yes. 

In order to base your villain off of you, you need to take one of your own fatal flaws (we all have those) and give it to your villain. Then…turn up the volume. Putting yourself into the villain often makes them more terrifying because what makes them evil is something real--something that exists within the writer, the reader, and also within your story's hero. You'll also have a good foundation when writing him--because you know what he is feeling by experience. This will make your villain seem real and believable--and most importantly--terrifyingly unsettling. 

In fact, Scar is a great example of this concept. His fatal flaw would be jealousy--something that exists within us all. He grew up as the scrawny runt, living in the shadow of his much stronger brother, Mufasa, and has allowed his jealousy of his brother to turn into bitterness, anger, and hatred--which drives him to the extreme measure of murder. He believes he must prove that he is worthy to be the Lion King and not Mufasa--that he is strong and powerful, too--and even more so. 

Scar's jealousy is something that exists within us all on some level (I know some of it exists in me!) and that realization will suddenly make him seem much more unnerving a villain, because we realize some part of us is part of him, and visa versa. 

So, if you're willing to open yourself up and examine your own fatal flaws, you'll have a great chance of creating those evil, awesome villains we all love to hate. 

Happy Villain-Creating!

† Rebecca

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I ran across something strange last night--it was a single phrase, printed in smeary, blood-red lettering on a black desktop background:

For a moment, I thought it was just an advertisement for another cliched deathmetal band, but a split-second later, I realized that this phrase had much more meaning.

"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13 NIV)

Maybe it would seem odd to some, seeing such a bloody and brutal-looking image portraying such a Christian concept; it's intimidating, and it's dark. It's violent. But think about this: murdering the flesh, the sinful nature, the 'misdeeds' is never an easy process. It is brutal and intimidating. It is violent and messy and painful. It's a constant struggle, a battle. A war between our flesh--the sinful human nature--and the Spirit's guiding force in our hearts. 

And face it--sometimes we lose. In our humanness, in our imperfection, sometimes we give in, screw up. Sometimes we're just not strong enough to say "no" to the temptations this world hurls at us.  Sometimes we fall into pits of weakness that we can't seem to crawl out of. It makes us feel unworthy, hopeless, ashamed. Dirty.

But how do we murder the flesh? It's when we submit to God, lift up to him our addictions and temptations, that we can win the battle. It's when we admit our failure, admit our humanness, admit our weakness and ask that he give us the strength to say "no." 

His Grace is enough to cover. His strength is enough to Overcome.

"All have sinned and fall short of God's glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus. Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy if found by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness in passing over sins that happened before" (Romans 3:23-26 CEB)

† Rebecca

P.S.: The above image was created by and belongs to The Whosoevers--an organization striving to spread Hope to those who have none. It was formed by former KoRn guitarist, Brian "Head" Welch (really cool dude with a great testimony--check him out!), Sonny Sandoval (the frontman of the band POD), Ryan Ries, and Ronnie Faisst. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

For the Offended and Unappreciated Introvert

Having three younger siblings, Disney Channel is on almost constantly in my house. Because of this, I have admittedly seen every episode of every show, and I have come to notice something quite interesting.

The media--here, exemplified by Disney Channel--seems to really hate introverts. This is an over-exaggerated way of putting it, of course, but really--I cannot think of a single character that is a true introvert. At least, not a 'cool' character. Introverts on Disney Channel always seem to fall into one of two categories: the geeky bookworm, and the gothic, antisocial bully. And as neither a geek nor an antisocial bully, I am one offended introvert.

It seems to me like the media's idea of introverts is rubbing off on society. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like more and more people are beginning to look down on introverts and glorify the social butterflies. They seem to think there's something wrong with us if we aren't particularly outgoing--and sometimes they even try to push us into being more 'normal' and social.* 

But the world needs us introverts--whether it realizes it or not. What would the world be like without us? Certainly a lot less artistic and intelligent. ;)

So where does that leave us unappreciated introverts? 

Curled up by the fireplace, wrapped up in a Snuggie,** and reading a good book, I guess. 

An unappreciated introvert,
† Rebecca

* Note to the extravert: we usually hate this. Don't be surprised if you get an "I'd rather not." :P

** that was a joke. I do not own a Snuggie. AND I REPEAT: I DO NOT OWN A SNUGGIE!