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Monday, February 04, 2013

Perception - What Are You Looking At?

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married her own hunky hero, who’s an Army veteran. Her life is never dull in a family with four children and two dogs. She has a degree in psychology, speaks to various groups, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and mentors new writers. Rapid-Fire Fiction, her brand, is exemplified through her novels: Dead Reckoning, the Discarded Heroes military series, which includes acclaimed novels Nightshade, Digitalis, Wolfsbane, Firethorn, and Trinity: Military War Dog. Ronie can be found at, on Facebook (, Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.

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     Last summer, I made one of the biggest moves in the history of my family when we transplanted our Texas-born children to beautiful Northern Virginia. I used the time of packing/unpacking/painting to get caught up on episodes of Dr. Who.
      I have to admit it’s a strange, twisted relationship, me and the Doctor. You see, he’s come to my “aid” during some very difficult times. He’s distracted me from the pain of trials and frustrations. In fact, the reason I watched the first few episodes of Torchwood, a spinoff, was to give myself a break. Dealing with disappointment, disillusionment, and discouragement, (doncha love all those Ds?) I needed a time-out. Away from social media, away from—well, pretty much everything.
      As I took time for me and had some invigorating downtime, I came to understand that much of what I’d been feeling was “friendly fire.” Read: self-inflicted. I mean, I’m not sadistic or anything, but I am a dreamer. I have a very good imagination replete with all these wild notions of what life would be like once we made it to Virginia and were no long living apart. And the writing struggles and endeavors—I believed they’d smooth out and calm down so that I could slip into a “normal” rhythm of writing and homeschooling.
     Ha! So didn’t happen. In fact, they got worse.
     Realizing things were still not as I wanted them, I hurt and grew discontented. Over time, that hurt became a “sore.” The sore festered. Until I’d finally reached a point where I said I was so over it. Everything that happened or that I’d encountered seemed grim or depressing. As I became immersed in the dark thoughts, everything that happened only affirmed my discouragement. And it struck me one morning—I’d been viewing things through my perceptions.
Dr. Who's Prisoner Zero
     That realization in turn reminded me of the perception filter concept from BBC show, Dr. Who. The perception filter has the effect of directing attention away from the object or its bearer, rendering them unnoticeable. Where things/people exist just beyond the edge of our periphery that we often miss them. In the series, many times characters were unaware of danger that existed simply because they existed just beyond where they were willing to look. We humans are notorious for getting so used to the way things are and the way we want them, that we actually prefer our truth to reality. 
     How often is that true of writers? I had expectations. I had hopes. I had dreams. Had it all planned out (well, mostly) how this thing called my ‘writing career’ would go. How our life here in Virginia would go. How . . . just about everything would go. Even as a Christian, I tend to think in those terms, applying my own idea of how God should perform or act. Beth Moore said, “We see that God always fulfills His promises, just not always the way we imagine.”
     When things don’t go the way we plan. . .we get discouraged. Lose hope. So much so that we tend to lose sight of all the things going right. We get so frustrated we don’t want to accept that this wasn’t the way we were supposed to go; for me as a Christian, perhaps this [insert whatever situation/instance] wasn’t God’s direction for my life. I wanted *my* way, because I had it all planned out.
     Another great aspect about the Dr. Who perception filter is this: Once a person became aware of a perception filter and the object it was disguising, they could no longer be affected.
      So, that’s my goal. I don’t want to be affected by MY truth of what’s happening, MY idea of how things should go. Yes, I want—need—to have dreams and goals, but I do not want to be so rigid in my thinking, so inflexible, that when I’m sent down another path, I wallow and become discouraged and/or depressed. I want to be transformed. I want to be challenged as a writer, so that those experiences will bring growth and maturity. When things go awry—and again, that’s *my* perception of how they “should” go—I want to be flexible and faithful enough to this amazing gift of writing that I press on. Explore the new avenue and conquer it!

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Ronie's newest release, Trinity: Military War Dog is a best-selling hit!

Reeling from the effects of a traumatic brain injury that ripped his military career from his hands, former Green Beret Heath Daniels struggles to find new purpose with his war dog, Trinity. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured and her team killed while secretly tracking the Taliban.  Only one military war dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her—Trinity. And only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.


  1. Funny that you would post that, Ronie. Because from my perseption, you've always been the rock who I look towards when I begin to give up on this journey. I guess even rocks have their seasons of doubt (and the other Ds you mentioned). I'm glad you bounced back. There's nothing you can't accomplish.

  2. Ronie, I'll bet you've just put a vivid face of reality on the feelings of many writers with this honest piece of perception. Well done. Call it a confession or an epiphany, I think most of us have to walk through this at some point and realize we are not - or at least shouldn't be - the Captain of our souls.

    Your talent is in God's hands, and He's given you a wonderful venue for your stories. Keep seeking His way, and He will no doubt continue to use what He's given you.

  3. I've always felt the Doctor has loads to teach us writer-types!

  4. Ron - Thank you. It's only by the grace and mercy of God that I am still here and still writing. :-D

    Nicole - Thank you so much! I do think many writers struggle with their perceptions, as I do.

    Allie - Doesn't he? :-D

  5. Loved this analogy, and I'm a long-time Doctor Who fan myself. Glad to see there's a whole clan of Doctor fans who are writers!

  6. Okay, I've got to make an appointment with this Dr.

  7. Hey Ronie, great post.

    I'm continually amazed how I can lose sight of reality by allowing myself to believe my own truth. That's why reading the Word, prayer and close friendships are so critical. I might have to revisit the Dr too. It's been a long time for me (since Tom Baker days)

  8. Thanks for a great post, Ronie! It made me realize my own perception filter needed some adjusting. Thanks for the encouragement.


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