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Homer Les

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  1. Great list. Thank you Lynn. I noticed Canva.com isn't on here. They also have a few great free pics
  2. Our family has gone homeless, sacrificed comfort and gone hungry many days (three times we went 21 days straight without food) for the sake of faith. Our pets died in front of us, what little belongings we had were stolen, government services tried to rip our family apart and even our own extended family sent the police after us. Wanda was almost strangled, some drug crazed lunatics tried to kill us and a convict had to be restrained by 3 cops as he yelled about raping our daughters in a shelter. We have slept in snowbanks, in the woods, on fire ant hills, motels, churches, and on the street. We have been yelled at, sworn at, insulted, and told we were insane by Christian and non-christians alike (Christians being the worst). We saw the worst of humanity and the best, as people gave of themselves to help us. This is our testimony of faith. Was it worth it? Yes. Would we encourage others to follow the path we have taken? YES! Paul got it right to live IS Christ. That means living as Christ and accepting the same resistance to faith that He experienced. The suffering isn't the point though, the reward is, and that is what Paul is trying to convey. Jesus is our reward. No sacrifice on this earth is greater than Him. The suffering, sacrifice and pain don't matter, it is that we grow up into spiritual maturity and thus gain intimacy with Christ. This is what we discovered along with Paul. You ask, 'still your life verse?' That is a good question. You are so very right that very few can really say it is. You brought a compelling point forward Nicholas. Thank you. Lynn, you are right that it is a pretty good life verse. In my mind there is none greater. Ragamuffin_John, Bonhoeffer knocked it out of the park with that statement. Blessings, Homer Les
  3. Thank you Brenda. 32 years married this December. Wanda is my best friend and I can't do anything without her. The homelessness and trials only strengthened our love bond. I am so thankful for my love. I am just in awe of how God shows His great love to us through our spouses. Yes, it is cool!
  4. Yes, thank you. When we are weak and vulnerable we are relatable but only to a point. It is a fine line between self-pity and admiration. To have your readers enter in and cheer for the character they must overcome some obstacle. By revealing their weakness up front, after the assumption they can make it on their own, you can see how they learn to overcome. The Incredibles is a good visual of this. Your readers will find this type of character far more real.
  5. Three takeaways. Just like today hospitality depends on the person you meet. Secondly, what you wear affects people's perceptions, and judgements of you. That is as true today as it was back then. Third, the poor are generally more hospitable than the rich. Especially true with the natives. Although we live in the 21st century the principles stay the same. From experience we affirm the truth of them.
  6. I don't know if I should post this here or not. I realize you are looking for a plot line but your story arc has an eerie similarity to our own family's real life journey. If I could quote a paragraph from our book.... "Later in November, after we had returned home, the Lord gave me the most significant dream I had ever received from Him. In this dream, Wanda and Fanny were at our house in Sherwood Park; my eldest daughter Ida was in school. The day was bright and sunny. I was working in the garage, with the door wide open. As I looked to the northeast, there was a huge funnel cloud in the sky. It was heading towards our house. Running inside, I told Wanda and Fanny to hide in the downstairs shower. They obeyed, and I joined them. Soon there was a tremendous roar, like a thousand freight trains bearing down and descending over our house. The tornado consumed, and destroyed, our home. In an instant everything went. I was sucked into the vortex and taken high into the sky. I was so high in the heavens I knew that when I fell down, I would die." Now although this was a dream, we did end up losing all that we owned and going down the road of homelessness. My daughters were 16 and 11 at the time and they lost all they owned, their friends, beloved pets and extended family. My point is that the drama that affects young people will be different than an older married couple. I guess it depends on how big do you want to make the scope of the plot. For character development I would suggest an arc of trials that Zac and Charity have to work together on, in order to survive. I know from our own story that basic survival in homelessness is far greater than most understand. Poverty, separation and loneliness to me seems a more daunting trial before your characters as the grief gives way to the reality of survival.
  7. How do you do? I'm new too. So are you. Woohoo, two of us in the zoo. Welcome!
  8. You are quite welcome Matthew. We have only one story. It is a nonfiction, first person narrative of our experiences in the wilderness of faith. Because it is a real account I feel that dramatization would add a level of appeal for listeners that just straight reading would miss. At this point this is the only work we think we will complete but who knows.
  9. MS Word is a program that must be paid for. With a purchased license it is the gold standard most publishers, agents, writers and distributors work with. That does not mean it is the best, or only, choice for you, only that it is widely used. Both OpenOffice and Libre Office have word processing programs that are just as good (speaking from personal experience). They provide all the necessary functionality and are free. For the poorer among us that is a nice feature. The key to whatever writing program you choose is to make sure your files get saved in the proper format. The one format that is most widely accepted is the .docx format. This is the native format of MS Word. Whatever you end up choosing keep in mind that in the end you have to be comfortable using it or you will find you won't write much. If the program is too clunky, difficult to figure out or too overwhelming it will hinder creativity. To overcome this hurdle I suggest finding someone nearby you who knows how to use a particular program and is willing to help you learn it. Use the program they use and then, if you run into trouble, you'll have nearby support to get you out of a jam. I was a professional trainer long ago and this was my advice then too. Google Docs is an online word processing option that is free and requires no software to be installed except for a web browser. It is optimized for Chrome but can easily run in Firefox, Edge, Opera, etc. We find it great for collaborative work. Since my wife and I are a writing team, for both of us to be able to see and edit the same passage in real time on two different computers is critical. That, plus the fact that our translators are on another continent and we can see how they are progressing without passing files back and forth, make Google Docs a smart choice for us. Having said all this a word of warning about Google Docs. Nothing in the corporate world is free. The trade off of using Google as your writing/editing platform will mean that Google staff will have full access to your files and content. Since we all know how rabidly anti-conservative they are that may not be such a wise idea. I cannot say just how much they would interfere but I would just say, use their platform with caution and always have backups of your work kept on your computer. All the best in your writing endeavors. May the Lord bless you as you express His heart in words.
  10. I did not know I could do that! Thank you for the invitation. I will do just that. 🤗
  11. BTW suspensewriter, do you have any idea if the Ginger translate option is better than Google or Office translate? I am really curious because every time I send a tranche of Google translated chapters to my Afrikaans translator she gets hit with the giggles. She says I wouldn't understand because I don't speak the language which is fair. I would, however, like to give her a translated version that is less 'humorous' 😄 and would make her translation editing/proofing job easier. Thank you for the great suggestion on Ginger!
  12. Thank you Alley. I appreciate all the help we receive here. I think I need to wait a while before I can get into the critique forum as we are still wet behind the ears. 😁 When we are able we will certainly will take advantage of the help. We find that certain passages are a bit tricky, even with mechanical help. Being able to post those may help us get past sections of editing that defy our understanding.
  13. I have never heard of Ginger. That is awesome! What caught me was the translations. I am very interested in that. We have two translation teams working on the Chinese and Afrikaans version of our book already and I am curious how, or if, Ginger ma y help. Thank you!!!
  14. This idea really appeals to me. Our story lends itself to a dramatized audiobook version. Some day, when our editing is complete, I would be interested in pursuing this. I will definitely flag it for future reference.
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