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Creativity by Mindy Obenhaus


Mindy ObenhausI’m delighted to host my friend and fellow Love Inspired author Mindy Obenhaus as my guest blogger today. I’ve known of Mindy for a few years, but I met her in person at the 2012 ACFW conference, and we clicked. We have a lot in common, including having the privilege of sharing the same Love Inspired editor.

This year at ACFW, I will be cheering loud and proud for her at our Gala Awards because The Doctor’s Family Reunion, her debut novel, is a Carol finalist…another thing we have in common. Mindy lives in Texas with her husband and two of her five children. Her second book, Rescuing the Texan’s Heart, is a September release. When she’s not writing, Mindy enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her grandkids.

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I love to create. As a writer, I create characters and story lines from a spark of an idea. Writing is hard work, though, and sometimes I have to step away from the computer and allow myself to explore other avenues of creativity.

  • Made to create.

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:27 tells us that, “God created mankind in His own image.” So if we were created in God’s image and He created everything, then that tells me that we were made to create. So don’t tell me you’re not creative. You might have to dig for it, but you’ve got it in you.

  • Creativity is inspired.

Inspiration is all around us. We see someone sporting a new haircut and decide that’s just the cut we’ve been looking for. Or maybe it’s a picture in a magazine that inspires you to redecorate a room in your house. Perhaps we see a story on the news about suffering animals and are motivated to help out at your local animal shelter. Even the kind act of another can inspire us to be a better person.

In 2006, my mother-in-law introduced me to the tiny town of Ouray, Colorado. Nestled in a bowl among the San Juan Mountain range, Ouray captured my heart and inspired me to write a series of stories set there.

  • Creativity comes in many forms.

Our own Lisa Jordan likes to make cards. Beautiful cards. My friend, Becky, likes to crochet. My oldest daughter enjoys repurposing furniture.

Me?

I like to create in the kitchen.

Baking

Or I might get a wild hair and decide to take something from drab…

Wicker chair

To totally fab.

Red chair

Even shopping can be creative. Ever gone clothes shopping? Paired up slacks and shirts or shoes with an outfit? Did you even realize you were expressing your creativity?

Or what about the teacher who decorates her classroom or assembles a stellar lesson plan? The mechanic who takes a car from DOA to purring like a kitten? Yes, that’s creativity in action.

  • Creativity gives us a sense of fulfillment.

Back to that mechanic… How do you think he felt when he got that car running? Proud? Like he’d accomplished something?

Yep, creativity will do that for you. We just don’t want to take that pride thing too far.

  • So now it’s your turn. How are you creative? What inspires you to be creative? Or, if you’re sitting there thinking you’re not creative, what are you good at? What are some of the things that you enjoy? Creativity is not only a God-given ability, it’s inherent. Life’s too short to let anything squelch your creativity. So go forth and create.

Lisa again: Mindy, thanks so much for being here. To celebrate Mindy’s Carol final and her newest release, I’m giving away 1 of each of Mindy’s novels in ebook form! To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment with your email address.

The Doctor's Family ReunionRescuing the Texan's Heart

 

Lisa Jordan
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Home is Where Your Story Begins

I had the privilege of attending the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) last week in Dallas, Texas. 700 writers and industry professionals gathered together to celebrate the craft, each other’s journeys and the Lord.

Attending ACFW is like a huge family reunion. I saw friends whom I’ve known for years. I met new friends face-to-face whose names I recognized from my online community. I attribute much of my writing success to ACFW.

Saturday evening at the ACFW Gala, I had the honor and privilege of being awarded the Carol Award for Lakeside Reunion in the short contemporary romance. Being a finalist filled me with incredible joy, and I wanted to have the same joyful spirit for whomever won. I truly did not expect to win, so when Mindy Obenhaus announced my name, I gasped and buried my face in my hands. 

When I accepted my award, I shared a tiny bit of the history of this novel–it’s dedicated to my husband because he gave up his greatest dream due to my intense fears, yet he’s my strongest supporter. Lakeside Reunion is dedicated to him. I concluded thanking other important people in my writing life–my boys, my mentors, my agent, my editor, my writing support group and my God…after all, without Him, none of this would be possible.

As I reflected on the journey I’ve taken with this first novel, I realized home is where my story began. I don’t recall the date, but I remember the exact moment when I knew I was called to be a writer. If I hadn’t met that handsome Marine on that summer’s evening in 1989, then I wouldn’t have had this particular story to tell.

Our home world shapes us into who we are and how we view life, with our family and friends playing characters in our life stories. The choices we make create life experiences. Our life experiences allow us to draw on those emotions when developing our fictional characters. Each one of us has a story tell. And we are the only ones who can tell it in our own unique voices. 

Your Turn: How has your home world shaped you into the person you are today? How do you share the stories of your past? 

Lisa Jordan
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