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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.


"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.