I get asked many times how did I come up with the concept of Raneous, the Winged Horse of Heaven. He has been a long work in progress and as many artists and writers know, creative things sometimes take time.
In my mid twenties I was newly married, newly graduated, and ready to live. I was feeling restless and I said, “God, you know I want to write but I can’t write if I don’t know what to write about!” Immediately, an image of a white winged horse rearing up and standing on a cloud came to my mind! Wow! I was so excited so I started thinking about this horse. “What’s his name?” I asked probably a day or two later. “Ray-nee-us” dropped into my mind. I played around with the spelling and came up with “Raneous”.
So on a legal pad and with pencil I began formulating the story of this horse from heaven and who he was. Raneous was a project I worked on in my spare time and that wasn’t much but I kept writing. Over time technology got easier and so eventually his story got transferred to computer, but I still wrote on paper. More time goes by and at this point I had my own retail business and I kept the story on my computer with back up floppy disks (yes floppy). My business was robbed one morning and my computer stolen! To my relief most of my important information was backed up on the disks, so Raneous was safe.
Then in 2002 we moved and in the shuffle and confusion, my disks were lost and I knew I would have to start over with Raneous. So he got shoved to the very back burner of my priorities until one day in 2011, my husband came into our bedroom holding a manila file folder. “Look, I found your story!”
To my amazement, he was holding a file containing the two legal pads of Raneous’ story. I had nearly forgotten about him at this point. Again to my amazement, I realized all of it was there including some notes I had been working on.
You see, not only was the story lost, but I had hit a wall with the ending because I know the ending. But I couldn’t get the ending to work with the story I had. About a month later, I was asking God, about priorities in my life and he heavily impressed on me, “Finish your story! I gave you this story and you need to finish it!” So more out of obedience than anything, I went back to it and my frustration with the end. “I can’t get the end, God!” I said in frustration. Then he showed me that this one book is not the end. This is one book and every book is a level, an adventure and an underlying theme. “Raneous” really means “Reign-in-us” and he represents us as we learn to partner with God in our lives.
“Ooooh! Well that makes it a whole lot easier!” So I literally finished the ending of Fallen in rough draft in thirty minutes.
I tell you this story because I think many Christians think that their dreams are all for “right now” or maybe its their only purpose. But timing is everything. In the meantime, don’t give up. Keep moving forward as God opens the doors. Pay attention to what you are passionate about. Patience is becoming a lost art, but stick with your dream and keep talking to God about it. He knows where you’re going and where and when you’re supposed to get there.
Meanwhile, I have finished Taken, book three, of Raneous’ story, and so I continue this journey of adventure with God, Raneous and all his friends!