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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guest Post--Marcia Lee Laycock, "How to Build a Ship"



Antoine de St. Exupery is purported to have said, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them task and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

That quote draws me in, puts images in my mind of the vastness of the ocean, the vastness of our world and universe, the infinite vastness of God Himself. This I believe is what we aim for as writers of faith, to delve into that longing in our own being and to express it in ways that will draw others with us.

Think of a book you read that did that for you. It will live in your heart and mind for a very long time because it goes to the root of your being, your longing to be ever in the presence of God, your longing for truth.

The genius and the gift of art is that it can take us there. I remember feeling it in an art history class many years ago as I stared at the slides our instructor flashed on a large screen. "Just take these in," he said. I did and was never the same. That art changed me, made me more aware, more ready to receive, even though, at that stage in my life, I had no idea what I wanted or needed. Viewing those representations of artwork wrought centuries before took me a step closer to searching for God.

The frustration of every artist is the limitation of his/her own self that blocks the genius, prevents us from reaching into that longing and embracing it. But there is hope. There is Christ, who always beckons, always encourages, always leads us to Truth because He is Truth. Though we are flawed and incapable, He is able to reach through our words and draw the hearts to Him.

I love the quote from Exupery because I imagine the people, my audience - people whose minds and hearts and souls have been touched by art in a way that makes them want to build and launch their own ships, to begin the journey to God that will take them deep into His presence. And I love the journey of my writing craft, because it takes me there too.

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” Psalm 43:3
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Marcia Lee Laycock lives and writes in central Alberta Canada. Her writing began in the attic of her parents' home where she wrote short stories and poetry for her dolls. They didn't complain so she kept it up. Encouraged by her teachers, her love of reading and writing grew as she studied Journalism and Honours English at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Commenting on one of her first assignments, a professor wrote: “I expected beer and pretzels. You gave me champagne and caviar. Thank you!”

Her first short story was published in 1988, the same year in which she began writing a faith column for a local newspaper. That evolved into her first devotional book, Spur of the Moment, which has just gone into a third edition. Her devotionals are also published regularly by both newspapers and online. She is a regular Sunday devotional columnist for NovelRocket.com. Her poetry has been produced by CBC radio and her first novel, One Smooth Stone, won her the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short-listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards at Write!Canada. Her writing has won many awards and been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway, Sigmund Brouwer, and Mark Buchanan. Marcia is a sought-after teacher at writers’ conferences and speaker for women’s events. She can be reached via her website at www.vinemarc.com.

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