IVP - Strangely Dim - stuff I've uploaded Archives

April 3, 2009

Slow Trips & Sudden Urges

We were recently put in contact with Kady Bram, a senior at Northwestern College who's about to complete her degrees in religion and writing & rhetoric. We discussed the practicalities and challenges of a "virtual internship," and decided it would be fun to experiment. So here's the first of a handful of guest posts from Kady, part of the "Likewise Generation," if we might coin a phrase and exploit an entire demographic.

Kady loves reading, writing and snuggling with a slobbery bulldog named Ellie. Be sure to post a comment and tell her hi.


Sometimes I get an immediate urge to write something down--a sentence, a description, perhaps even a single word that suddenly supersedes everything else I could or should be doing. Then, as soon as my pencil touches paper, one of two things happens: either I am overcome by a fast and persistent splashing of words that my fingers quickly splatter onto the page; or, as mysteriously as it began, the clarity gurgles away and I am left to stare at the few sad words I've left to drown on my blank sheet of paper.

I suppose you might compare these sudden urges (what those in creative circles call a visiting "muse") to those sudden stomach pains that send their victim rushing off to the bathroom for one of two, umm, outcomes. Such is my muse: it's as if I don't know I have to write until I have to write right now.

When the timing is just right and I'm in the right position to let the muse flow freely, the result can be distractingly wonderful: a mess of words from my mind gets put to rights at my fingertips. However, assigned writing is usually a different story: projects with pressing deadlines are rarely relieved by my spontaneous internal process. Sure, I might occasionally find myself aware of the perfect metaphor, say, to describe my one-armed, saggy dorm-room couch, but that in no way helps me to write the ten-page book review that's due next week.

The majority of my writing is slow, painstaking. A lot of my time these last four years of college has been spent in writing and revising . . . and then revising again. You might call it a honing craft, but I liken it to a horse-drawn buggy that plods along the side of the road: it may be passed by all number of vehicles, but it always, eventually, fortunately, gets where it needs to go. And slow drives can in themselves be inspiring--even create spaces where the trickle of a resistant epiphany can slowly begin to flow.

Despite their obvious distinctions, the slow drive and the sudden urge have one important thing in common. I know that wherever I may be--whether in the pinch of a deadline or in the throes of an ecstatic moment of clarity--I am always with the best of company.

Do not fear; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

It is wonderful for me to be reminded that my moments of inspiration are not the only times that God's gifts to me should be evident. I credit him with those moments when I feel no other purpose than to write what has been placed on my heart; but I can also recognize and appreciate him in all the other times that I sit down to write and get stuck. I know I have been blessed with a love for and ability to communicate through the written word. I also know that such abilities are cultivated over time, and therefore, they require patience, which is itself one of God's beautiful gifts. So I'm up for the long, slow drive--with the occasional pit stop--and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the rest of our ride.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 8:28 AM

June 7, 2006

A Likewise Limerick

This week IVP Books is gathering seventeen people to discuss the direction of our Likewise line, which I've posted on previously both here and at Loud Time. In case you don't like to link to stuff, Likewise is a line of books geared toward young adult discipleship. The logo is a farmer leading a donkey; the tagline is "Go and Do." You can see the logo here. I wrote a limerick to celebrate the line (so to speak):

There once was a donkey named Ferdinand
Who started a hurdy-gurdy band.
The band liked to swing,
But soon broke a string
When they strummed with their hooves--not fingery hands.

As you can see, I've named the donkey Ferdinand, and I certainly have my reasons, but you're welcome to offer up your own name for both the donkey and the farmer, whom I've named Tony. Anyway, I'm looking forward to a fun time with some interesting people over the next few days. I'll blog about it when it's all over.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 7:53 AM

April 19, 2006

Likewise: The Logo

As promised, here's the logo for Likewise, for you to deconstruct at your leisure. Try to keep the jokes clean. If you try but fail, that's OK; take it outside.

Likewise Logo

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 2:07 PM

July 11, 2005

Trying Something Out

I've never tried to upload a file before, but today's the day. I tried to post a picture of me, my brother and my sister when we were wee, but the file was too darn big. So you'll have to settle for more shameless self-promotion. Speaking of self-promotion, the photo I wanted to upload is included in the book. Buy a farm, get all three--or something like that.

Comic Book Character book cover image

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 12:00 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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