Henri Nouwen on writing…writing therapy! :)

Writing Reveals What is Alive in Us

“Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us. The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves: “I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.” Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare to “give away” on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath these thoughts and gradually come in touch with our own riches.”

Text excerpts taken from “You are the Beloved”
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

A reason why I wrote Where the Sun Rises…

My novel Where the Sun Rises is fictional, but I wrote it to tell the stories of the real women who participated in these battles in Syria. My characters are fictional but their stories reflect real women who I discovered through research. The details of the characters I created however. In my mind and heart the whole way through writing this novel, sometimes with tears, was to tell the stories of these unrecognised women who gave their lives for their families, friends, people and land. Anyway, this is why this quote particularly resonates with me. Have a great day. 🙂

Where the Sun Rises

Hey guys,

For a limited time Where the Sun Rises – will be available on the above outlets for $1.95 so if you’re curious about finding out about the real women that fought ISIS in 2014, download it today.

I hope your new year is starting off well. 🙂 Thanks for reading, have a good day. Suz

Sarah Johns – character for new novel…

“Sarah Johns walked into the room with a cameraman shouldering his equipment. Karin noticed how Sarah stood with her shoulders back, walking with a casual, confident stride, her legs long and slim, seeming to lead the way for her upper body. Her presence in the room, strangely, was both unassuming and commanding at the same time. Her frame did, however, slump forward somewhat in a posture of weariness.

Her hair was short and dark like a raven’s; her eyes were a green Karin had rarely seen, deep in color, with light inflections towards the pupil and framed by long, black eyelashes. She was not wearing makeup and wore khaki pants and a black t-shirt that hung over her pants.”

Where the Sun Rises, Suzanne Strong, 2019

Hey guys, this is the character for my new novel that I am writing. The novel follows Sarah’s story, from her point of view and is set in Australia and Syria. 🙂 I am enjoying exploring her story. I will post more about this new novel as I go. It has been a very different process to my first book which was heavily based on research, this book is much closer to my own life, though it is not my life.

Thanks for reading, guys. Let me know if you are interested in my next book. Have a lovely day. 🙂 Suz

Writing, musings & naming characters…

Hey everyone,

This morning for the first time in a while I decided to write and rewrite some sections of my next novel. I have not had much time with all of my teaching I have been doing. I focused on some images, and memories between characters, as well as creating some nicknames. Nicknames say a lot about a character, as do names.

I had decided to call my main characters brother Tommy, for no real reason, I liked the name. This main character Sarah and her brother Tommy were always described as twins when they were young, always together and they looked alike as well. So, I was looking up the name Tommy for some nicknames and I saw that this name means “Twin” in Aramaic. What?! 🙂

This has happened to me before with a character out of my first novel that her name meant “burning and fiery explosion” and this character is blown up. I had not looked up the meaning of her name before I named her.

Amazing. I am struggling at the moment with how much of my real brother and my story I should put in this novel. I am tossing backward and forward in the strong wave undercurrent of whether to present it as it happened, my life with him, or a modified version as there is not much space in this current book. Then again maybe there is. Or do I keep our story for another book? This is what I am wondering at the moment. Maybe I modify for this book, then write in more detail my own experience with him.

I am reading Trent Dalton’s book, Boy Swallows Universe, and I know he wrote about his life in this book. It is inspiring me to brave and simply write what I need to. I am conscious of the significance of writing about my life, with how it could effect people but Trent Dalton said, “don’t worry about that, just write it.” That was my plan originally but I didn’t think I would become paralysed by how much to include and what details and how much do I put in of the hospital visits and struggles etc…It is all very interesting. I am really seeking guidance from within about it. I know where it ends, but how much of my own life will I include? This is the unknown at the moment.

Today, I am pondering on this, and meeting up with some writing friends so it should be good. Thanks guys for reading, feel free to comment if you like down the bottom. Have a lovely day! Stay well. 🙂 Suz

ocean wave
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Charles Dickens

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

Charles Dickens.

 

Hey guys,

I love this quote. I believe to give your life to help others, is the ultimate purpose and no matter what we do in our jobs etc, wherever you find yourself, serving others is so important in this world.

Have a nice weekend. Stay safe.

Kind regards, Suz

Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young…”

“May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young
May you stay forever young

How good is this song? It was written for his children, but I think it is an excellent summary of the kind of life I would and probably most of us would like to live. 🙂 I hope you are having a great day. 🙂

Kind regards, Suz

Personal stories in your novel…

Hey guys,

I just wanted to write about my writing process at the moment. I have reached as I said a deeply personal section of my novel. I am still in two minds as to whether I will include it in the final novel. This morning I was writing about a personal experience of mine in life, and most of this novel is not directly related to my life, though it is to some degree as always.

Where I am right now – there is a dilemma, and I am faced with an experience, I can’t put my full experience in the novel as it is not appropriate and the question is, am I satisfied with that? Or do I keep that narrative as part of another novel or a non fiction work?

Today, I wrote this experience into the novel modified through the eyes of my main character, Sarah Johns. I am satisfied with it at the moment, but I will keep exploring. I could possibly change the ending slightly, if I want to remove this plot, but on the other hand it is also all the way through. I think I am slowly forming a modified version of w hat really happened.

A writer friend of mine said I was very brave to be sharing this deep experience into the world, I hadn’t really thought about it like that. Art should share the deep experiences of the human condition, I believe. Of course some art is also for entertainment, pleasure and enjoyment and I am not against that. In fact I really want to write a humourous novel next. 🙂

So, anyway, I am still plugging along and if you are writers or if not, maybe you will understand that things develop as we go. But I didn’t want to be paralysed by this point in my book. So, I am still writing, cause it makes me feel good and brings me into a spiritual connection with myself and the Divine.

Anyway, have a great day. Kind regards, Suz

abstract abstract painting acrylic acrylic paint
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