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Monday, March 16, 2015

Reading and Writing: God’s at work behind the pages with Guest Emilie Hendrix!



Welcome Emilie Hendrix to the Inkwell!
 
 
I’m a writer but before that, I was a reader. I’m still a reader, of course, but I’ve started to see reading differently since I began dissecting what makes up a book. There’s so much more to a story than the plot. That’s the driving force behind a book, but before there is a plot, there’s a mind that dreams.

I’ve always been a dreamer. I was that little girl playing quietly in her room, making up stories for Barbie’s and my stuffed animals. I’m an only child so playing by myself came easily. An adventure was never far away, because they were all in my head.

When I got older and started to enjoy reading on my own (my parents used to read to me at night) I began to have even bigger dreams. If you’re a reader, you’ll understand that feeling of wonder you get when picking up a new book. The spark of anticipation that zings through you at the thought of what you’ll experience in the pages held between you hands.

That truly is the beauty of reading. It’s not one sided. A book requires participation. The reader brings their own imagination and creates something even greater than any author could hope for. I can think of many books that are still vividly ingrained in my mind even though I read them over ten years ago. Scenes, conversations, a setting, all of these things come rushing back just at the mention of a title.

Realizing the “power” a book has then requires action on the side of the reader and the writer.

We all have a unique story. In His majesty and amazing power, the Lord has created everyone with individual desires, likes, dislikes, tastes, dreams, hopes, fears, passions…the list goes on.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me!...For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:1,13-14

We have a responsibility to that individual creativity. If we are writers, we must write what the Lord has given us passion for. We must do it excellently. And we must persevere. If we are readers, then we have the blessing of enjoying someone else’s creativity. It’s easy to get lost in a great story, but (as I’ve seen in my own life) sometimes the Lord uses a story to teach something in addition to entertaining.

 I get the opportunity to interview a lot of authors and one question I ask is about the overall intention of the story or why the writer writes. I have been surprised and amazed at the reasons. In addition to mentioning entertainment, most authors have a special message they desire to share. For some it’s to encourage, others to show how God is faithful and trustworthy, and others want their characters to tackle tough questions of faith in order to bring about a deeper understanding to the reader.

I say all this to impart a little bit of the awe and wonder I have about God. To think that He has gifted some with the ability to write fictional characters that teach a real-life lessons is amazing and humbling. I know I’ve been touched by the books I’ve read. I’ve laughed, cried, and learned something new about my own walk with Him. That’s because there is someone behind the book—the reader and the writer. And behind them, there is God.

He is at work in us all, and to think that He uses books is--for this book lover and writer--the most amazing thing!


Emilie lives in Washington, D.C. and fills her time with creative pursuits. She writes, takes pictures, reads, plays guitar, and drinks too much coffee. She’s a member of ACFW and My Book Therapy and currently working on a romantic suspense series while dreaming up a YA dystopian series. She’s got a soft spot in her heart for animals and a love for the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
 
Connect with her on her blog, www.eahendryx.blogspot.com, or on her Facebook author page, www.facebook.com/emiliehendryx.

Twitter: @eacreativephoto

Instagram: @eahendryx

18 comments:

  1. Thank you, Emilie, for visiting us today. This is more encouraging than I can even put into words. And though I haven't thought it before, I agree that we have a responsibility to persevere and to do it excellently.

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  2. What a lovely post, Emilie. I appreciate the reminder that God made us creative beings and that He can use the works of our hands to glorify Himself and draw people to Him.

    Thanks for being on the Inkwell today!

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  3. Hi Suzie - thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi! I'm so glad that it was encouraging to you :) I know time and time again I've seen personal growth from a fictional book I've read! Two I'll name now: Ted Dekkers Circle Trilogy (especially "Black") and Kissing Adriene by Siri Mitchell.

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    1. I will have to check into both of those books, Emilie. Thank you for the recommendation.

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  4. Thanks Susanne for hosting me and for your sweet words :)

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  5. Great post as usual, Em! There are still books that I rember even though it's been many years since reading them. I am re-reading all of the Enid Blyton adventure stories and they are still as good as I remember!

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    1. Thanks mom!!! Oh I want to re-read those too :)

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    2. Hi Constance! You have a wonderful daughter!

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  6. My goal throughout my writing has been to promote a sense of intimacy woth God, but another goal for my new series is to offer strong role models for young Christian women. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. I love that Dina! What a great goal and focus to have!

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  7. Hi Emilie! Thanks for sharing with us today!
    It's a wonderful thing to be able to turn to the Lord for help in our writing. He's the most creative of all!

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    1. Yes! He definitely is! I love His creativity and the fact that He's given us the ability to be creative too :)

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  8. Lovely, Emilie. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  9. I love the question about authors' intentions for their stories. That's something I love about Christian fiction: the stories tend to have a spiritual theme grounded in an element of faith or virtue. Forgiveness. Redemption. Things that we as readers can see reflected in our own lives.

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    1. I love that as well Susie! I think for me, I always want to portray the truth that, no matter the circumstances, God still has an amazing plan. Seems simple, but the beautiful thing is that it tends to work out very differently than what my characters would like. Just like in life - things don't always happen like I'd like them to, but God's plan is always better!

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  10. Hi Emilie~
    it was so nice to meet you at ACFW and I enjoy following your writing and life journey on FB. I learned a bit about writing what feels right for me vs what I think would sell. Your post confirms this. thanks so much for visiting us!

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    1. Thanks so much Debra! It was great to meet you as well :) And that's something I always think through too - what will sell vs what I just have to write, you know? Glad to be a temporary part of this lovely blog!

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