Come on over to the New Website:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Favorite Holiday!

Christmas is fast approaching . . . oh is it ever coming quickly! The holiday rush is surrounding me every day at the camera shop. Impatient people coming to purchase things they should have come for a couple weeks ago seem bent on ruining my day.

But in the midst of this I find real pleasure in buying gifts for my family. There's something utterly wonderful in putting things that I know they'll use and appreciate and enjoy, under the Christmas tree. It seems almost wrong not to give more than I should on this holiday... every gift that I put under the tree came about because Christ gave eternity to me.

And the greatest gift I could receive on earth for this year has already been given to me: family and friends that love me without condition. Family is precious, and the friends to whom I am closest because they have been with me through thick and thin... they are more valuable than a million acquaintances.

Take pleasure this Christmas in those around you, those who have your best interest at heart (and have put that heart into their actions!)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Slow Going

Work, work, work . . . I wish it wasn't necessary for me to go back to full time work. But at least it's proving financially profitable. Sales have been good at the camera shops (for the most part) but I can't wait until early January so that I'll be back to full time writing. Talking photography, upselling products and informing customers of new equipment and photographic techniques is a lot of fun for me, but it has seriously detracted from the amount of writing I want to get done.

Please pray that I will find the time and be creative to finish Swords of the Six within the next couple of weeks. I am very pressed for time and I need to send the edited manuscript back to AMG Publishers soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Swords of the Six" status

Now that I've been working full time it has been difficult to keep up my novel writing. However, Swords of the Six should be finished sometime next month . . . as long as all goes according to plan.

If AMG Publishers contracts this first novel then I will begin work on the second one. Swords of the Six has grown into a 56,000-word manuscript covering from the betrayal of six warriors of the great white dragon, until Ilfedo is given the sword for which the series is named.

The second novel will begin the story that my prereaders are familiar with, and that is the story of Oganna, from her childhood up until the battle in Burloi. The first novel will tell Dantress's story, and reveal more of Ilfedo's origins. The character of Specter has emerged strongly, as I'd hoped, as the guardian of all that Albino holds dear.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Patient, the Shepherd" Bookmark

After a few revisions the illustration is complete. Amber has done a great job. I love the soft feel to the scene, evoking emotions of peace in the midst of a storm.
Next project will be the second bookmark, one of a character that few of you will know because he is original to the new edition of my novel. But I won't spoil the "Specter" bookmark for you. You'll just have to wait until work on it begins!
In the meantime I have to finish editing Swords of the Six and then give it to the editor, Dan Penwell, at AMG Publishers. Mostly I've focused, as the editor requested me to, on strengthening dialogue and enriching the story with more detail.
So, back to writing in the midst of a busy schedule. Do not be concerned, though distractions come along and things slow for a time (such as financial considerations) this project is my baby and I'm going to see it through to the beautiful end!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Artwork Continues

The first bookmark is moving along now. Amber's honing details and adding colors. The ocean will be re-oriented to recede on the right side instead of on the left.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Amber Hill's artwork

Artwork, it is something that makes a novel come alive in a unique way.

Last year I hired Jennifer Miller to do an awesome illustration of Albino the dragon lifting the sword out of the pool while he stands over the grave of his beloved daughter.

This year I've hired a friend of Jennifer's named Amber Hill to do a promotional illustration of Patient the shepherd. The sketch on the left is the first phase of the illustration. Doesn't she do a nice job?

The reason for hiring a second artist is that Jennifer is not as strong when it comes to humanoid illustration. And, since her and Amber have collaborated on prior occasions, I now have the advantage of two good artist to look up.

This art piece will be finished middle of November. Its main purpose is going to be as a bookmark illustration.
Amber sent me three initial sketches and I chose the topmost of these two. However, she is going to make a couple adjustments that I thought were necessary. 1) I don't like the shepherd looking down, it makes him look abashed/ashamed 2) The staff needs to curve inward more dramatically.
Other than that it all looked great! Thumbs up, Amber!

J.K. Rowling Revealed her True Colors

You will notice that I've removed the Harry Potter books from my favorites list.

J.K. Rowling's recent declaration that she intended Dumbledore to be gay made me turn tail from her work. As a Christian I must be careful what I read and what I endorse. I am sorry I ever endorsed HP and now I join the ranks of those who know that the books are nothing less than an underhanded attempt to demorallize youth.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"Woodland King" Now Published

It's here, it is finally here: my first published story.

Check it out through this link:

Please post here afterward, and let me know what you thought!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Flirting with Trouble

Last week I drove out to visit the Baptist Bible College that has been established on the other side of Hartford (I can't remember which town). Brian went with me.

I was expecting a sober environment, not stale, but a health sober. Instead the leadership had arranged a series of childish games. It started with a version of musical chairs and ended with the random selection of six "strong" young guys. Three of them sat in chairs placed at the center of several hundred youth inside the gymn, while the other three were told to sit on their laps. They were then given baby bottles... a contest to see which pair could drink down their bottle the fastest.

Disappointment does not begin to describe my feelings upon walking out of there. I kept hearing the passage in Scripture running through my head: "...exort the young men to be sober..."

If the leadership of that school cannot see the foolishness that they allowing, then they are blind. And if they do not realize that it is foolishness, then I would say this: ask the pastor of that church to sit in that chair in the gymn, with a respected deacon or assistant pastor in his lap, and feed him with a baby bottle. Or, why not Christ with Peter on his lap?

I do not mean this as a joke; it is no laughing matter. If those Christian youth cannot behave with sobriety and both consider and treat each other with respect, then they are on a fast track downhill, away from spiritual maturity.

Consistency! It is essential in our lives if we are to share the gospel effectively. Now I am not saying that I am always consistent, far from. But I do strive to be so and I am fighting. Let's be examples of righteousness, and thus we will have the strength to lead people away from this godless society... instead of melding into it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Sword of the Dragon" Re-scheduled for first week of October

Oh my! Dan Penwell just informed me that they will be meeting the first week of October to discuss my book.

That's all I wanted to say. I'm nervous, excited, filled with anticipation, hoping for the best... you name it; I'm waiting to see what happens.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Of all creatures in God's creation, butterflies hold a special fascination for me.

Today, Mom and I went to the butterfly conservatory in MA. The picture above is my favorite, shot with my digital SLR. This little fella (or gal... I don't know which) was the ideal butterfly model. Quite photogenic!

The butterflies are everywhere and unafraid of people. They landed on us several times.

Denying God's handiwork is foolishness. I am reminded of that every time I witness another miracle of His creation. Many people today, especially in the younger generation, neglect to look at nature, to explore it, to study it, and to simply enjoy it. Perhaps this is part of the reason why evolutionary philosophy has gained such a foothold in America.

I praise God for the creatures He placed on this world for us to enjoy. No wonder He finished his work and declared it good! It is good!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Poll Removal

Regrettably I had to remove the poll from my blog. Today I found a sixth rating on there and that is not physically possible since only seven people have received Offspring and two of them have not had the opportunity to put in their votes yet (besides which they told me they loved the novel and the vote I found today was a bad one).

Maybe there was a little confusion as to what the pole was for. I hope so, because otherwise someone voted with malicious intent.

I want this site to have a reputation for honesty. Therefore the pole has been removed.

We'll just have to wait until I have a website with discussion forums so that we can get honest opinions on the novel. I'm sure that there will be plenty of negative views as well as positive ones (every book has those who love and those who hate it--even the Bible). (-:

Thanks to the readers of Offspring who posted votes. I'll be sending you Swords of the Six as soon as it is done.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Swords of the Six" prelude

With all the new work I've done on the first Sword of the Dragon novel many people have expressed the hope that they will be able to read it soon. Unfortunately it will take a few months longer--at the very least--to finish this rewrite. But it will be worth it.

I'm posting the prelude on my affiliate blog page. So if you want to read it: feel free to do so. Be forewarned, however, that the formatting did not transfer smoothly into the blog so the paragraphs are a bit obscure in places.

And, of course, your feedback would be nice!

Swords of the Six Prelude: Blood of the Innocent @

Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Product Meeting

Dan Penwell, fiction acquisitions editor for AMG Publishers, notified me that their next new product meeting will be held on November 15th.

This may seem like a long ways off but I'm glad I have a few months remaining. It will give me time to work with Jennifer Miller on more illustrations and will also give me the time I need to finish writing the expansion for the novel and to revamp the original.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

An Agent, or Not?

Do I want an agent to represent me as I grow my writing career, or not? This question is foremost in my mind at the moment because there are now two agents who have expressed interest in my work.

The first is Mary Beth Chappell from Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency, and the second is Steve Laube. Both these agents are of good repute and if I want an agent then I should decide on one or the other.

Zachary Shuster Harmsworth is a large agency based in NYC and Boston, so they have wonderful connections. Steve Laube is based in the south west part of the country and he also has wonderful connection.

I will have to commit this to prayer

"The Woodland King" Accepted for Publication

The ball is rolling now. You know what they say: it never rains but it pours? God poured blessings this weekend.

One of my short stories, The Woodland King, has been accepted for publication by Long Story Short! Look for it to appear on their site ( It will be in their October issue.

This is very encouraging news and I felt a bit overwhelmed because it came the day after the publisher contacted me. I am joining the ranks of the published!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

AMG Publishers likes "Sword of the Dragon"

It has been nearly a year since AMG Publishers requested Sword of the Dragon and today I received news that made me ecstatic: My manuscript is scheduled for presentation at the next new product meeting! The reader "loved" it! And they "like what you have done" !

This is big, very big! I'm in the door, praise God! As long as everything passes as well at the meeting I should land a contract.

I've sent the acquisitions editor some useful info, now I must continue to write and wait to hear more! This is amazing, it feels wonderful knowing that they feel my manuscript has that much merit!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Site Under Construction

Please bear with me as I revamp this site. I thought it needed a new look.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the changes!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sobriety: the Lost Virtue

Let me leave you with a thought today from the Scripture. Titus 2:4-8 "... teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speach, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."

How many young women and young men do you know who are sober? How many young women are content to be keepers at home? How many young men are sincere? Do you know twenty peers who you can describe that way? If not, what about a dozen? Less?

Do you know what that is? That is sad! Why do you think so many Christian youth jump from relationship to relationship? Could it be that they are insincere and look down on sobriety? I believe so, in most cases.

Look to those around you, look at yourself, and consider your spiritual condition. Are you sober? If not, Beware! Your adversary is the Devil and he walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Lovely Wedding

Honestly, Cody and Monique's wedding was the nicest one I have been to yet. I am so happy for them. CONGRATULATIONS!
I had the honor of being one of Cody's groomsmen and of meeting several very nice Christians in the bride's and the groom's parties. Also, I did a photoshoot for them.
I'm not the only one to say that this was the nicest wedding I've been to. I heard if from several others as well.
Cody and Monique, may God bless you as you start your lives together. May your focus be on giving to one another and not what you will receive. May your life together remind people of the unity of Christ and the church. And, as Ricardo so eloquently put it, may you look at your wedding day as the day you loved each other the least!
Remember to keep Christ first, at the center of your lives, as Stephanie encouraged you to do, and be bold to share the gospel.
I love you both very, very much!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Know What You Believe & Why You Believe It

I got into a debate with an older gentleman the other day about Christ, the Bible, science, etc., etc. First he started out saying that I didn't know the Bible but after I verified a few points with Old Testament passages (for instance: he said that Adam had abosolutely not lived over nine hundred years) he adjusted his stance, saying that he believed in the New and not the Old Testament... which he claimed was based on the authors' speculations. But as the debate progressed and I asked him to prove his points he kept repeating that I was just 'close-minded'. I replied that no, that was not the case, I'd studdied these things out and found them to be true but that if he wished to believe that my stand on Scripture as the final authority is shaky then he must prove why. When he did not satisfactorily answer I told him that I believe that the majority of Americans are, sadly, in the same boat as he is: unsure of what they believe and unable to show that what they claim to believe is true.

Norman Geisler wrote a book--if I recall correctly--titled "Know What You Believe and Why You Believe It". How very true that is. How often I have heard people tell me that my faith is a chancy thing, but when I turn around and ask them to prove I am wrong and to show me truth... they back down without offering it. I have more respect for an Athiest who presents arguments based on his own study, than I do for an agnostic who stands half-way, unwilling to choose a side.

How sad that is! They are offered truth and challenged to test it... but they are unwilling to explore the possibility that they need to repent and turn to Christ.

We, the Christian youth in America, have the opportunity to spread the truth to this dying world, and we have the responsibility to convince people that Jesus Christ died and rose to save us and that He is the ultimate Truth and our Life. Let's be bold to make the Way, the Truth, and the Life known and understood.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Employed by Ritz Camera

My job interview went very well yesterday. At first the manager told me she'd start me at $8/hour but when I said I was looking to make $12/hour she bumped my hourly to $10/hour and assured me that with sales commissions I should be able to make my desired additional $2/hour. I'm not sure when my starting day will be but I am looking forward to it. My only concerns now rest with my dying car. I hope it lasts long enough for me to either replace the engine and transmission, or until I can afford another car. Please pray everything will work out without the car breaking down on me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"You Are What You Read"

I was considering, today, what an amazing impact books have had and continue to have on our culture. You know the saying 'You are what you eat'? It can also be said that 'You are what you read'. Think about it; spending time reading scientific books can expand your mind, spending time reading theology books will sway you (typically) toward the author's line of reasoning.

As a Christian, staying in the Word of God is essential. Without consistent reading of the Bible there is little to no spiritual growth.

Choosing wisely what we read will develope in us strength of character.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I have my car back on the road. Hip hip hooray! Praise God! Apparently the engine is on its way out but it should last me through the winter.

Also, Ritz Camera seems very interested in hiring me part-time, which would be perfect because I can then have time to continue writing and maintain my photography on the side, and most importantly I'd still have time to write. The only thing I need to know for certain is wether or not they will give me a decent wage.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows

All I can say is: Amazing! I hadn't believed it possible for J.K. Rowling to top her other books but she proved me wrong. Not only was the plot incredible with multiple, unexpected revelations, but she brought everything to a satisfactory conclusion. The central theme of the book was self-sacrifice and I found it very moving. It is hard for me to cry over a piece of fiction but I was close to it on a couple occasions. I'm only sorry the series is finished.

"Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows" takes a special place in my favorites collection.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Not Good!

Bad news for me, my car is just about dead. I think the alternator needs to be replaced because the battery isn't getting charged. This has come at a bad time for me and this and other distractions do make it difficult to write. Every other minute my brain is shifting into another train of thought.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Novel Update

As many of you know I have been reworking my first novel due to suggestions made by the professional editor I hired. It is coming along very nicely and I expect to have it finished sometime next month. If you have been keeping an eye on the word count of my novels then you will notice that Offspring has passed the 100,000-word mark. That makes it twice as long as it was last year and about a hundred pages longer than it was a month ago. The story hasn't changed, but it includes a lot more about the sisters' swords and the sisters themselves. It also explains why the great white dragon sent them out into the world.

The title of the novel will probably change accordingly because Offspring doesn't explain what the book is about. The new title will likely be Swords of the Six. Please comment! Let me know if this new title catches your eye better than the original.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thumbs Down

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix opened at midnight yesterday. We went to the theatre but all seats had been taken. So this morning Brian and I went back and... we saw it. Ouch, compared to the last movie Goblet of Fire this one rates terrible. The characterization was weak, weaker than I have seen in quite some time. The visual effects were so so, and the music stunk!

They had redesigned the dementors and the death masks, both of which would have been better off had they left the designs the way they were in the previous movies. There were numerous places where the story deviated from the book and the film ended, I thought, rather abruptly.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Lives of Conviction

Acceptance of everyone's differing beliefs is all well and good as long as it doesn't mean that you are willing to allow everyone to go their merry ways without hearing what you believe. Our lives should be lives of conviction, conviction so strong that when we hear or see something out of place we stand up make certain it is recognized as such. Too often I have heard people say "That's fine if that's what you want to believe, but you shouldn't try to change everyone to believe as you do."

Are they correct? Should we give people their space and let them follow a path other than the one we have learned from Jesus Christ? No! If our beliefs are founded on truth then they need to hear it, they need to know it, they need to experience and understand it. My favorite response to people who tell me that they "think it is nice that I believe in Jesus but that it just isn't for them" is: "We can't both be right. One of us believes in truth, the other believes in a lie, you must decide which one is a lie based on the evidence."

I support individuality, in fact I applaud it! I seek never to let the pressures of society change me into someone I do not want to be. Stand alone if necessary (and I have often found that it is) but don't ever sacrifice your convictions. Stand by them! Let people see that you know what you believe, that you believe it with all of your soul, that you know why you believe it, and that you will accept no compromise.

We are all unique individuals with unique gifts co-existing in an imperfect world. We have the ability to lead by example to the arms of the Savior... so let's do it.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"The Faithful Few"

The fight had hardly begun and we pulled back,
Afraid of being injured by the darts of the wicked.
Our sin-bearer cried out from his cross,
“Why have you stopped? I have given the battle to you.”

But we fell back under each new wave of temptations,
We held up our white flags, “Truce! We cannot overcome!”
The enemy broke through our ranks, that wicked serpent,
And laughed the savior to scorn.

A few of our number, with tears in their eyes,
Cried out to the Savior, “Lord, forgive us!”
And he looked upon them with favor and forgave them.
“Now go forth! Through me you have overcome.”

We watched the faithful drive into the enemy ranks,
Taking punishment from the enemy that we had not seen.
But though they cringed and faltered, the faithful pressed on.
Their blood flowed freely and they drew the serpent’s blood in return.

“Come, Christians,” the serpent told us,
“Watch and see the opposition. Is it worth your lives?
These men and women that come against me
Will fall into the greatest of trials.”

But the faithful few fought on, drawing nigh to the cross.
The serpent sent his minions against them
And the battle grew fiercer than before
And the darts of the wicked drove us farther back.

“Draw back!” we told the faithful few.
“He is too strong, you will die!”
“Is it better to die in the service of our Lord,” replied they,
“Or to give in to temptation, and never to fight?”

Temptations rained thick and fast upon us
Until it seemed that we had joined the enemy ranks
And we practiced warfare in the manner of the serpent,
Using guile, instead of truth.

When at last we looked again upon the cross
We saw the faithful few, dead at its base,
Their blood pooling beneath the Savior
And his tears raining down upon their bodies.

“See then how great is their loss?” the serpent asked.
“Had you stood by them the same fate would be yours.
Now you are like me, in thought and deed,
Yielders to sin, and traitors, beyond redemption.”

But the Savior cried that the serpent had lost
And the faithful dead rose around his feet.
He stepped down from the cross
And we saw that he had suffered willingly.

The faithful few were robed in white
The Savior gave to each of them a gold crown
And he gave them a new song to sing:
A song of victory that crushed the serpent’s host.

When the Serpent had been destroyed,
We wept at the Savior’s feet.
He forgave us and clothed us with white,
But the crowns of gold we did not receive.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake
and the gospel's, the same shall save it.”
–Mark 8:35 (KJV)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Part-time Photography

It's been a busy month. Additional to my writing, I'm now taking pictures for a real estate agency and the broker is going to recommend me to a couple other agencies. For this I bought a digital body for my Nikon lenses. It's a real nice camera, I've researched it, and today will be my first opportunity to try it out. So . . . I'm off!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tolkien's "The Children of Hurin"

Last night I finished reading Tolkien's The Children of Hurin. I wish that Tolkien had made more honorable characters, especially Turin. Sometimes (just as I wanted to in the Silmirillion) I wanted to strangle him for being so dishonorable, rash and cruel. I had forgotten, too, that Turin unwittingly married his sister.

But, though the plot is a bit depressing, I have always been a big fan of Glaurung the dragon. It struck me while reading this new book, that Tolkien never intended for his dragon to be envisioned with wings. In the chapter 'death of Glaurung' the beast had to leap over the river, not fly. I guess wings would have given him too great an advantage over Turin.

This book joins my favorites, in part due to the wonderful illustrations by Allen Lee! There is some good dialogue and action, but the story will not come as a surprise unless you have not read The Silmirillion or if--like me--you forgot many of the details.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


While it's fresh in my mind I thought I'd give a review of the movie I went to see this afternoon: Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. Although I cannot give this movie my full recommendation due to some crude humor and innuendo, I will say that I enjoyed it and I think it was a lot better than the previous two.

The action was superb, the graphics exceptional and the jokes came in at the right moments. Also, Brian and I noticed that the music was better than the last movie; they brought back Hans Zimmer and he did a wonderful job. I'd rate this 7.5 stars out of 10 because there was some unnecessary gore (Davy Jones inserting his tentacles into a man's head) and for the immoral content.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Living in Victory, Not Defeat

Holiness. How often do you hear Christians speak of it? Not often enough? You're not alone.

I've been studying holiness both by reading relevant books and examining Scripture. I have so often heard that we can have victory in Christ but we are doomed to fall in sin again and again. Is that true? The more I study the more that I realize that we are supposed to live "victoriously" as "conquerers" in Christ. This can only be done by staying in the Word so that when a temptation comes along, Scripture comes to mind, empowering the will to abstain from sin.

I know that in my own life I have fallen in sin far too often. Wickedness has been given far too much ground. But for a long while I felt that it was impossible to live a life of victory. Thanks be to God that he is reminding me of what it takes to lead that life of victory: conquer each temptation individually because--as Dwight L. Moody says in his book Your Victory in Jesus--every victory, no matter how small, is a step closer to the Savior.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The ACLJ (American Center for Law & Justice) is looking for people to sign a protest to legislation being pushed through the House of Representatives. Read the excerpt I've provided, go to the website and add your name to the petition. To protect our rights we must fight! click takeACTION don't let congress silence Christians

Today, I strongly urge you to SPEAK OUT AGAINST H.R. 2093 BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE by signing right now our online Petition of Protest to your Representative in the House. This legislation, in essence, attempts to override the United States Constitution.What we're dealing with here is the work of politicians who want to control, limit, and silence Christians and conservative groups.We MUST fight back, and quickly.This legislation ... currently being considered in the House of Representatives ... could not be in greater opposition to what our Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.House Resolution 2093 would drastically affect churches that speak out on issues like partial-birth abortion, same-sex marriage, conservative judicial nominees, and military chaplains' right to pray. It would also impact Christian groups using TV, radio, or the Internet to mobilize citizens around an issue.Under the bill, pastors, church leaders, advocacy organizations and even individuals could be compelled to register as lobbyists. Failure to comply with this bill could result in fines in excess of $50,000.Furthermore, if this bill passes the House, it will wind up in a conference committee, possibly becoming the law of the land before you even have a chance to raise your voice in protest.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Rewarding Trip

I've just returned from Binghamton, NY where I met Bryan Davis. He is a really wonderful Christian. He encouraged me and freely shared his experiences. We hit it off even better than I had been hoping we would!

During dinner he went over some of my manuscript, offered suggestions for improvement, and encouraged me. Later, at the bookstore, he let me sit with him for the full three hours that he was signing. When we said goodbye he informed me that he was going to send Dan Penwell (the editor who has my book) a letter of recommendation. He sent me a copy of the email and it blew me away! God has blessed me so much.

Yesterday I received the editorial review from the professional editor and, while I don't feel he would be the right one to do my line edit, his suggestions were invaluable. I am going to rewrite the first novel again, strengthen it, expand it. Once that is completed I will send it to another editor for a line edit (if I don't already have a contract). Mr. Davis recommended a freelance editor to me, she did his first four books, and I will probably go with her. The path to publication is a long process--but there is light at the end of the tunnel! With two published authors now recommending me, I know that my hard work is paying off.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Navigating the Social Battlefield

Negativity pervades most of society and, sadly, Christian circles. Gossip and slander, bickering and grudges . . . all these things form the branches on the tree of Self-centeredness.

When we hang around negative people and listen to their complaints about others and life it brings us down, whether we intend to let it or not. Bad company corrupts good habits more thoroughly than we like to admit and the wrong company will turn us into the sort of people we vowed to never become.

I have a wide variety of friends and acquaintances, only a few of whom are what I call my best friends. They are individuals who love God, not only in word but in deed. They encourage me and have stood by me through my good times and my bad. They are a precious few, the ones with whom I can trust secrets, knowing they will be kept. I count two guys as my closest friends, one girl, and my brother-in-law to be is fast becoming one. This, of course excludes my family . . . which I thank God for every day.

Don't hang out with the wrong crowd. Don't be afraid to back away from a social group if you feel it is hindering your spiritual walk, or your positive outlook on life. We are victors in Christ, warriors in a battle where the outcome has been decided in our favor. I say these things because I recently recognized that I had let people around me start to bring me down and I have had to back off in order to refocus and make absolutely certain that the path I'm on is the one God is blessing . . .. And it has been wonderful! I feel renewed! Just look at the word-count for my second novel and you will see that I am back in the running.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Reviewing Spiderman 3

WARNING: This review refers to specific details that could spoil the movie for you if you haven't seen it yet.

The ratings on are very telling (a 6.3 average out of ten). Spiderman 3 was a disappointment.

I liked the opening scenes and the action was good, but I couldn't swallow the crowds cheering during several scenes and during the final battle. Sandman, contrary to published opinion, was not a sympathetic character. Even though he did not kill Uncle Ben on purpose, he still caused unparalleled destruction and it was impossible that everyone he attacked could have lived.

Venom was believable, albeit his alliance with Sandman was not (since we were led to believe that Sandman did not want to kill anyone). And they should have cut out that scene where Harry threatens MJ, it ruined his image and I found myself wondering at his sudden conversion and sacrifice. Also, Harry was not nearly as strong nor as agile and quick as his father, so he never presented a genuine threat to Peter. In the beginning Spiderman, just as soon as he gets the ring, is focused and soundly whips the new goblin.

I'm curious to know what you think of this movie. Feel free to comment; the group of us that went to the movie came out with a general feeling of less-than-we'd-expected.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Second Wait & Anticipating Meeting w/ Mr. Davis

Dan Penwell (editor at AMG) requested my entire manuscript a couple weeks ago. I've been so busy that I never properly posted this bit of awesome information . . . but now you know! He first requested a book proposal in October and this month he requested the manuscript itself. I pray that means I have my foot in the door, because I sent out the manuscript and he should have it by now. Now (again) I must wait anywhere from one to four months.

I've arranged to meet with Bryan Davis next month . . . and I'm eagerly anticipating that time. We've been corresponding for a while now, about six months, and he has been most encouraging . . . in particular with my manuscript.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Timothy Zahn's "The Thrawn Trilogy"

I picked up a science fiction trilogy this past weekend and it was wonderful reading. It's Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. I've been a Star Wars fan for a long time, ever since I saw A New Hope back when I was a young kid. These three books tell the story following the original Star Wars trilogy . . . five years after, to be precise.

If you like Star Wars, and if you enjoy well-plotted, character-driven novels, try these.

Monday, April 2, 2007


For those of you wondering what's happening with Sword of the Dragon: Offspring: Today I begin one final, mainly grammatical, edit. Mom worked hard last week to go through the manuscript for me. She has a sharp eye for this kind of thing--especially after homeschooling three kids straight through highschool.

My goal is to finish going through the manuscript and making the necessary changes within the next two days. Dan Penwell (AMG Publishers) and Mary Beth Chappell (Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary & Entertainment Agency) are both waiting on it, so I will print up two copies and mail it out to them (I'm planning) on Wednesday.

The second novel, The Key of Living Fire, is plotted out now and moving along at a slow, albeit steady, rate. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Into Eternal Darkness

Today, I attended the funeral of a close friend of our family. He was an older man, almost ninety. We loved him dearly and often went over his home to keep him company as I was growing up (we lived right down the road) and my father and he used to call each other Rockford, after the character in The Rockford Files which they frequently watched together. He loved to entertain us and cook for us, and give Mom the almost brand new kitchen machines that he was constantly swapping out for the latest ones on television. He gave me the best camera that I own, an automatic Nikon SLR, and the lenses to go along with it.

Yet for all this he broke all of our hearts by his incessant cursing of God and of our Lord Jesus. Every member of our family witnessed to him on several occasions and we all prayed that his heart would be softened and that he would repent. But he never did, and the words of which he was so fond of saying rang in my mind with sickening finality as I saw his casket laid over the open pit that will house his body. When we'd ask him where he was going after he died, he almost always said: "Six feet in the ground!" as if it were a joke, though fear tinged his words and we knew he was bucking at reality.

He was right: he went about six feet into the ground . . .. But that isn't where he really is right now. There is no life in that corpse. No spirit behind those eyes, and no presence when you stand near the body. Why? Because, though his body rests, his soul has at last passed--not into the joy of our Lord (as the Catholic priest said)--but on to eternal punishment for rejecting the One who wanted to give him life.

There was no smart retort when God cast him out, no complaint of an unfair ruling; he had his chance . . . and let it pass him by. When it happened and he saw the fire, did he at last mourn for his foolish denial of impending judgment? Did he beg and plead for forgiveness . . . when the opportunity had all ready passed him by?

Hardly any tears were shed at his funeral, and the people who came were very few. He spent his life living as he wanted to live, doing what made him happy and not concerning himself with the one who fashioned him and breathed life into him. He paid the price of a life lived without God.

What about us? Are we truly living with eternity in mind? Death can seem so trivial a thing nowadays, what with how desensitized movies have made us to it. Yet still it shocks us back to reallity and proves how fleeting life is.

Today I renewed my determination to live for God and live life to the fullest. He wants us to enjoy life and enjoy Him, not live complacently! Salvation through Christ is the only safe ticket out of this life, and I am thankful that He led me to repentence.

Don't live a wasted life, as my friend did. Live it in the love of God, and love the people around you. And enjoy it! Life is short and we only have one life, here, to live.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Gates of Bliss" Rejected

Well, I knew when I set out to make writing my career that rejection is part of the game, but it doesn't make it less disappointing. DKA rejected the re-write of The Gates of Bliss today.

I don't often write short stories because they need to strike me or else they aren't worth my time and effort. I spend the vast majority of my creative endeavors on my novels because therein is my passion.

However, it wouldn't be right for me to never submit another short story; it is a bridge I want to cross! Therefore, once I think of a clever one, I'll send it out . . . after all, I am nothing if I give up this easily!

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Offspring" update

I e-mailed Dan Penwell at AMG Publishers yesterday, asking him for a status update on my book proposal. He replied, only a few hours later, and requested that I send him the entire manuscript . . . the rewrite that is!

This does not, by any means, ensure publication. But it is another step in the right direction and it is exactly what I'd prayed for. God is good!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Meditation on Judgment

Judgment strikes fear into the heart, and drives it to a greater love of the divine God who sent his only son to save us from His wrath. How foolish we are to forget that we have been saved from so terrible a wrath as that of the Almighty. Do we consider ourselves free of debt because we are saved? Have we forgotten that we are now His servants, indebted forever to yield our lives to His will?

Instead of living in pursuit of the world's pleasures, shouldn't we be pursuing Him? Do we owe the world? I think not! Therefore, remember the coming judgment and live in fear of Him that is able to destroy your soul (Matthew 10:28). If you have been saved from wrath then follow your Savior. If, however, your soul is bound to the world and you do not know the one true God, then repent before Him of your sin and He will save you.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

First Request for Revision

What I have worked so hard to achieve may be only a few weeks away: today I received a request for revision on a story I submitted to Dragons, Knights & Angels (an online, Christian magazine). The story is called The Gates of Bliss. I'll be spending the next few days doing major revising to meet the editors' specifications, then I will resubmit it. This looks promising and, though it is not a guarantee of publication, it is a step farther than I was previously! Pray they'll like the rewrite!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Progress Update for "Offspring" Sequel

Sometimes in writing it is necessary to do the hard thing and today I decided that it was necessary. I had planned out my second novel quite precisely and thus far have almost 100 pages of a first draft. But I struck upon a grander scheme for the novel that will give it a lot more depth and more room for my imagination to play! I may still use the original plot too, but only as a secondary and not as the main storyline. Take note that I have changed the book's title to "Sword of the Dragon: The Key of Living Fire."

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Letter to Myself

I was reminded last night of a class that I'd sat in, under David Morrell (author of First Blood). His intensive class on writing fiction, taught at the Glorieta Christian Writer's Conference, lasted all day on Saturday and was one of the most helpful of all the classes I chose to attend that week.

This week I have been struggling with certain aspects of my follow-up novel, Prodigy, and I couldn't determine what the real problems with it were until I recalled that David Morrell had said he writes letters to himself to put things in focus. So I took out my notebook and wrote a letter to myself, not long, about a page, but it was enough to help me understand the weaknesses in my plot structure.

So, if you get stuck and your thoughts are going in every direction imaginable: write a letter to yourself! It just might work.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A New Editor for DEP

In the great scheme of things I've always wanted to be a fiction magazine editor and, as of today (last night actually) I am! I've been accepted as a member of the Double Edged Publishing team and will be reviewing submissions to one of my favorite online magazines: The Sword Review. I am really excited about this because I feel somewhat isolated from other writers and it will be a good way for me to get to know them and offer encouragment.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Severing the Root of Bitterness

I have been very disturbed of late by the lack of forgiveness evidenced among Christians. I am speaking, in particular, of the younger people (for it is they whom I am most familiar with). Some of them have dated around since they were fifteen and hurt each other in the process, leaving wounds that are difficult to heal and some that are unwilling to. Others have said or done things to others that they should not have.
They go about avoiding each other and bad-mouthing each other behind their backs. I can understand that they are hurt and that they want to stay away from those individuals with whom they are now uncomfortable, yet it seems to me that they have missed the greater reward of forgiveness.
I am reminded of two incidents in my life where Christian people that I thought I knew well, turned their backs on me over matters of preference and convenience. If I am to be totally honest then I must confess that I harbored bitterness for a long time after toward those individuals and dreamed vengeance, yet Christ did not let me sink forever into that pit.
He reminded me of how many times I had deserved God's wrath when, instead, he bestowed mercy. He helped me to accept the hurt as part of my spiritual growth and encouraged me to trust again, because if we cannot trust than we can never have true, lasting friendships. The wounds were deep, how well I remember them--I still bear the scars. But Christ told me to love them and I do. Not through affection, but through compassion, because I recognize that they were deceived.
To the Christian youth out there I say that you must fight hard against bitterness and treat all in the spirit of Christ. We are not in this world to battle our brothers and sisters in the Lord. No, we are here to battle spiritual darkness! The root of bitterness can spread through us very quickly and very easily, for it feeds off of our pride.
The verse that so greatly changed the way I felt, and helped me to cast asside the bitterness that was choking me, was Matthew 6:15
"But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.