One of the earliest lessons of having a special-needs child was learning to recognize his progress not by comparing him to typically-developing children of the same age, but by comparing him to his own earlier self."Where to Start Your Story":
One of the first things I think about when I sit down to actually plot a book is where I'm going to start. As a general rule, the best place to start your story is always wherever things get interesting. BUT (and here's where it gets cool), "where things get interesting" can vary enormously depending on your audience/genre.
"Dirty Clothes, Complaints and Contentment":
Benedict has a way of pulling the rug out from under me. I’ll feel like I’m doing alright with life (I mean I’m not setting the bar all that high, but no one is getting hurt, we are all fed and bathed and dressed at least) and then I sit down and read something like this. Now true, this is a rule of life written 1,500 years ago for monks, totally different from my life. But it gets me thinking.
"The Audacity of Cinderella":
The unflinching purity of this film is so rare that it made me uncomfortable at first, and then it made me ache, because I’m so starved for sincerity.
"The day I bought steak with my food stamps":
And they hated us anyway. Oh, man. They told us everything I had been saying to myself: freeloaders. Not willing to work. What’s wrong with America today. Culture of dependency. And all the while, we went around the house with winter jackets and three pairs of socks on, because we couldn’t afford to turn the heat above 60 degrees when it was below zero out. My kids never got a new toy, never got new clothes. They learned never to ask for a popsicle or a box of crayons. We cobbled together a bizarre school curriculum out of whatever books were 25 cents at the thrift store. My husband’s glasses were taped together at the nose, we had no auto or health insurance, and I chose my driving routes according to how many hills I could coast down, to save gas. We prioritized bills according to how threatening they were.
"The Winter of His Disbelief":
Normally we would start the tour here, skiing the three miles of road to the summer trailhead and our first measurement course, but this year we drove the three miles instead of skiing them, and parked the car at road’s end. We sauntered to the snow course at North Lake, elevation 9,300′. In a normal year, we’d expect to measure the equivalent of 10 inches of at North Lake, but not only was the course free of snow, the meadow grasses were beginning to sprout, and the dismal reality of the bleak snowpack started setting in . . .
"What's Going on with Family Christian Stores?":
Yes. The guy who owns the company, and who wants to buy the company from himself, also wants to be a creditor, so he gets paid before others. What a guy.