Courtney Kleefeld

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Hello! I'm the author of A Prayer Book for Writers. Currently, I am a fifth-year student at Oral Roberts University, working towards a bachelor’s degree in writing with a concentration in literature. I am working on several prayer books right now, and along with recording original music albums (harp, piano, flute, and potentially cello one day), I study fairy tales. My favorite book is Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet.

Location Oklahoma
Country United States of America
Member Since SEPTEMBER 02, 2020
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I’m excited to be part of the #coverreveal today of the new book “Operation Grendel” by one of my writing mentors, Daniel Schwabauer! This is a stand-alone military science fiction novel that will release in March through Enclave publishing. Synopsis: It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind. Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy. But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert. However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn't the only operation underway.

This is the verse I chose to put at the front of A Prayer Book for Writers. Even though it is a well-known and often-used verse, it is well-known for a reason. Pray about everything and thank God for the good things He has done. Often, we do one or the other and forget to do both. So here’s your reminder for today.

This is a part of the poem The Stolen Child, by W B Yeats. I have a collection of writings by him and recently, I read some of the poetry in it and it is so, so beautiful. This is the poem of his I am most familiar with, since I have read it in the past. It always stands out to me, because it reminds me of Peter Pan and the lost boys, and of fairyland and changelings and folklore. It’s sad and mysterious. A portion of this poem is recited at the beginning of the beautiful Irish animated film Song of the Sea, which I highly recommend if you love beautiful things and folklore. There is a part of me that resonates with this poem, and there is another part of me that fights against this poem. The part of me that resonates with it is the part that weeps and wants to save children from the weeping in the world. The part of me that fights against this poem is the child in me that hopes wildly and won’t let go of faith and trust and pixie dust in this world of ours. Not just hoping for another world, but believing I can help make this world better, too. “I do believe in fairies. I do! I do!” I do believe there is beauty in this world yet. “I do believe there is some goodness in this world, Mr Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” ~Samwise Gamgee “I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.” John 17:15 NLT

I’ve never cut my hair this short before. Did this last night. I started cutting my own hair many years ago because I grew to distrust strangers, wanted to save money, and wanted to experiment so I could find styles I liked. Over the years, I’ve noticed that initially, I tend to like what I do with my left side more than whatever strange thing happens on my right side—does it have to do with being right handed and the awkwardness of trying to cut my right side with my right hand? Not sure. Anyway, in the process of cutting my hair last night, I got to the point where I hated what was happening on my right side—so I cut it shorter, almost pixie cut. That fixed it. Now I love it! That’s been my hair-cutting philosophy: I have no one to blame but myself for my haircut failures—just the way I like it—and so I just keep cutting till it looks better again. In other words, I hate it, then I fix it. I feel like this philosophy can be applied to many creative endeavors like writing, drawing, painting, and sculpting. At least all the things that allow for making mistakes and then fixing them.

Reorganizing my big “display” bookshelf regularly is therapeutic. Before, I had a lot of children’s books on this shelf, but this time I felt like putting more books that have personal significance for me together again. It feels like a way of self-expression. Looking at these books every day gives me strength. The only visible book I haven’t read is Joan of Arc, but her life is important to me so it’s here as a reminder to be a bold leader.

Things to pray for this hour or this week: -For your families and friends to draw closer to God than ever before in this time -For the church’s eyes to be opened to the truth and be unified in the Holy Spirit -For each member of the church to come into their place and purpose that God made them for, and that everything that keeps them from their purpose be defeated and overcome. -For each member of the worldwide church to take responsibility for their own spiritual growth and relationship with God -For schools and colleges and students and faculty this fall semester and everyone at those schools no matter the role, that there would not be chaos but that professors and teachers make ways for students to succeed without harming themselves. -For healing and solutions to health problems to be found.

Scroll right for some wonder. I finished this book last night—I wasn’t even expecting to read it this year. But two days ago or so I discovered it in my box of avoided books under my bed and started reading from where my bookmark was placed. You see, I had started reading this book a year or more back and had quit reading at one point because it wasn’t engaging me. I’m glad I picked it up now. It reminds me of Kate DiCamillo’s writing a little bit, and now was the perfect time for me to get into it and enjoy it. I got pulled in this time. The concept is lovely—and cello. This story reminds me a bit of August Rush, Hugo, the Thief Lord, and Peter Pan. Have you ever tried reading a book, lost interest, and then picked it up years later and all of a sudden it pulled you in?

I think today I will try to write. Watching the new Little Women movie last night gave me inspiration to dress up to get into the mindset of writing. This is the opening prayer from A Prayer Book for Writers. While I wanted to have longer prayers in the book that talked about specific writing topics, I also wanted to include shorter, simple prayers like this one. What helps you get into the mode to write?

Writing question: Do you discovery-write or do you outline, or do you use a combination of the two? I recently obtained this stuffed otter and I love it. The Art of Slow Writing is a pretty neat book from what I’ve read of it. It’s very encouraging for writers, listing the various writing processes of famous authors throughout time and showing how everyone has a different method that works for them. It can be hard to discover your own writing process, and that’s one of the reasons I wrote A Prayer Book for Writers. I hope it helps you in your process. I know it helps me. Sometimes I still have days where I don’t know what to pray, and pulling out the prayer book reminds me of things I can pray for, and immediately I feel calmer.

The new big swings at Philbrook are excellent; Lisa and I tried them out today. It was so good to get out of the house for the first time in what feels like weeks. We used masks in the building as required and it was good—it’s nice when everyone is wearing masks because you don’t feel so weird and everyone feels safer. I needed this getaway for my soul, and it inspired me a lot, too. It felt like being Alice in Wonderland, Wendy in Neverland, someone in other fantasy books, and someone fancy in a painting. When was the last time you got on a good tree swing?

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