Monday, December 22, 2008
Christmas is nearly here. Just a few days away. Here in CT the weather is back to classic New England, just as I remember in my childhood days. We have several inches of heavy snow and ice to boot. These past couple days have made driving conditions slippery at best, and for that reason I have called out of work for tonight and tomorrow.
I'll say this for white weather: it puts me in the creative groove. Just looking at the Christmas tree lights makes me cozy and the cold outdoors only serve to draw me into the warm house.
If you will offer a prayer for me, I will appreciate it. I am trying to cram a lot down my calendar, so much that I feel sometimes I might choke. On the bright side: I know God has all things in His hands and my future really is not my own, but His. May it be His path I follow, rather than my own.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Swords of the Six bookmarks have arrived! They are 2 x 6-inches And the local library has sold several already. I'm asking $1.00 each and the profit from these goes against book production expenses. I'm going to set up online purchasing via my www.theswordofthedragon.com website and all three bookmarks will be available. I have a select number of larger bookmarks, as well. The image of Specter in Al'un Dai covers the face of the larger bookmark quite handsomly and a teaser portion of text from the novel is readable on the reverse side. . . . Posters will be next.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
While he talked I was reminded of how my writings, as I look over my work from the past several years, have often mirrored the points I was at in my life at those times. Composition is best fed by the heart and best inspired by a willingness to reach into our deepest fears, desires, and hopes.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
... *goes back to editing*
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
The novel is coming along. The new prelude is making a great impression with my trial readers. It takes the opening of the story to a higher plane of action, suspense, and drama.
Also, Amber Hill is chipping away at the spot illustrations. They are turning out amazing.
Too, my fiancee and I are busy with wedding plans. It is a very exciting time for us. We're very much looking forward to having a place of our own.
And there! That's that! The scoop. I'm making slow progress, steady but slow. I feel like I'm in one place in a pool and I'm treading water, just waiting to swim to my destination. That destination is clear but it is not here yet.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Change is on the wind . . . but those who voted for this man, for his kind of change . . . do not realize the extent and type of change he wants to, and probably will enact. I fear for the future of my generation in this country. Will this land of the free become the graveyard of Christianity? Will the government involve itself in all aspects of life until it is not safe to raise your children for fear of having them taken away from you?
God is in control. He allowed this to happen for a reason. America is going to receive the reward of its sin. God's hand is withdrawn. I feel it. Mayhap this is only a short while. But I think not and I pray this nation will not rise under Obama's leadership. I hope tonight we did not witness the rise of another Castro, or Marx. But it seemed to me that we did.
A spiritual battle for the minds and hearts of the people of this nation is in full swing. But now, it seems, an uphill battle is before us. Pray! Pray! Seek God! Repent and call men everywhere to repent! If we do not now win souls for Christ then we will leave to our children a heritage worse than this which the 60's generation left us.
I believe a test of Christianity's true metal in this country is at hand. Liberalism is going to assault traditionalism and only if we stand bold and free will we prevail through Christ. A government which does not stand by the one true God is a government I will not serve. For we cannot serve two masters.
Look to Jesus and don't give in to despair. It is clawing at us right now, trying to peel away the rot of materialism that has overtaken and distracted us. And remember that, whatever is ahead, the past has been worse. And, most importantly, I still believe that a few good men can stand against evil and prevail!
Tonight I shed tears.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Line upon line of grim-faced men knelt behind their shields, facing the creature, whispering silent prayers as the dragon's attack melted the shields of those closest to him and roasted them inside of their armor. The screams of the dying birthed anger in those closest to the victims. With fierce determination the lines of men rose with cries of revenge and charged the dragon.
But he looked upon them with disdain and stabbed his serpentine head into the ground, burrowing into the soil. Within moments his sleek body and ashen tail followed his head, disappearing into the inordinately small hole.
The ground collapsed under a dozen of the warriors. Valorian rose through the soil, his mighty claws raked the warriors near at hand, spilling their blood into the pools forming around their companions. The warriors raised their swords and some sought to impale the monster on spikes, but Valorian growled with delight and burrowed into the ground.
The warriors fell back, fearful of his next assault. But they did not retreat far enough. The black dragon burst into their midst and slew a hundred more by the might of his claws.
Stumbling over one another, the warriors sought to escape. Valorian burrowed into the ground yet again and a rout ensued. Men panicked, dropped their weapons and fled.
"Weak and futile!" The dragon growled as a small line of braver souls formed in his path. "Are all of Albino's warriors as children in comparison to me? Are they mere fodder?" He swung around and the scales along his tail rose like barbs. "Treat me not as any other foe," the dragon uttered darkly. His tail whipped into the warriors' midst and the scales along it cut through their armor, snagging like hooks in their flesh.
Valorian drew out his tail, half-a-dozen warriors impaled upon it. He smashed their bodies against the ground . . ..
Have you ever wondered why it is that watching too many movies or playing too many video games gives you a headache and drains your ambition to go out and do things? The well-used phrase 'couch potato' is well put.
I believe that the primary difference between reading a book and watching a movie is the sort of task your brain is performing. If you watch a movie (particularly one you have already seen) your brain is tuned to relaxation, brainless activity. But if you pour over a book you learn new things and must rove your eyes over the pages instead of staring at a screen.
It has been scientifically proven that people who exercise their brain through learning and creativity live longer, healthier lives. I remember reading a news article once on a group of nuns in their 90's who regularly knitted, sewed, and read. Their eyes were healthy and their minds sharp . . . I wonder what would happen if nursing homes dispensed with television sets and encouraged reading. I am certain alzheimers patients would dimish greatly and, in fact, perhaps that is why memory loss is so prevelent today whereas it was not seventy years ago.
Well, that's all, I guess, that I had to say. I need to get cracking on my fiction writing and novel edits....
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I would like to see a conversation started on the topic of sin and pardon and the acceptance and/or denial of God's pardon. What are my reader's thoughts on the matter of sin and the Christian? What are your thoughts on the change that occurs in a person who is saved? Are all truly saved individuals able to overcome habitual sin and press on toward perfection? I have more thoughts on this but I would like to hear from others.
Please use the comment link to converse on this topic. And I would love to see both my Christian readers and those of you who are not, discussing this. Christ encouraged people to think on his teachings and he said "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
I thought of a good opening scene while packing chips into boxes tonight at work. Now I have to buckle myself to the chair and type out the story that comes to me.
My eyes are tired so I'll (as my grandfather loves to say) "hit the hay!" Tomorrow I should receive the initial spot illustrations from Amber Hill. Yes, everything is falling into place bit by bit . . . At last. (:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
With my focus returning to writing I must admit feeling a little confused where to begin. When I was writing full-time I averaged 2,000 to 3,000-words per day. But my focus then was on writing my novels. My focus now is coming up with new, richer short fiction stories to submit to magazines and e-zines.
I remember sitting in Steven James's class at Glorietta Christian Writers' conference almost two years ago. He told, in summary, how he had started off his writing career. One year his income was $10,000 and someone at his church asked his wife "Why doesn't your husband get a real job?" If his wife had not supported him during those rough times, had not cheered him on when he was plugging away at stories though few were selling, he would not be the successful writer he is today.
Steven James pursued his God-given dream to become a writer. He pursued it in spite of other peoples' opinions.
Too many people let the opinions of those around them not only influence but sway them away from their dreams. But the successful person ignores the scoffs and plugs away at his/her dream, honing their skill, seeking opportunities to put to use what they have learned along the way . . . until one day the door upon which they've been pounding budges and then gives way.
Who are the happy people in the world? Who are the lonely? The happy are often the poorer, from what I can tell, and the lonely are often the rich. In another vein, the happy are often the people outside of the social circles, those who seem to close themselves into their own little universe and don't let others' bring them down. And if you are thinking I am crazy for saying so, then consider how many prominent and successful singers sing of their poor beginnings and how they valued those days and the love they remembered. I think of Loretta Lynn's song "Coal Miner's Daughter." The line in that song that goes "We were poor but we had love, that's the one thing that Daddy made sure of . . .," is the summary of my point. We need to place value on what has true value; the things that make a diffference in this life and beyond.
Three things I greatly value in my life and these things I guard jealously.
1) A family life that is not an open book to the rest of society; this provides an irreplaceable feeling of security. My parents provided that for my entire life and both I and my siblings greatly love them for that. What was said or done in the family and was meant to stay in the family, did.
2) My dream of becoming a successful writer; and steering clear of people who discourage me. I have disassociated myself with a couple individuals because they were questioning the wisdom of pouring my energies into writing.
3) The happiness of one person above any other: my future wife. Without this as a priority I could easily let slip the greatest asset I have. When her spirits are high, mine are too. When I am down she encourages me. I would be a fool to not place her happiness before others'.
Maintaining these three things and having the Lord as my strength, gives me wings to fly to places most people never do. Most people start life with dreams and, as time progresses, they allow the busyness of life--and the pressures of society to be 'successful' as the world determines success--to push their dreams backstage. It is true that adjustments have to be made along the way. Falling in love and getting married is something I genuinely believed was a long way off but it has always been my greatest aspiration and now I am making adjustments accordingly, putting marriage and writing as my top priorities.
I believe in the fulfillment of dreams . . . but only so long as the dreamer refuses to listen to other people who would influence him otherwise and only so long as he is willing to make sacrifices to achieve his dreams. To be content with little is a concept not accepted by society, but if we live our dreams we can be content with less.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I'm pleased to announce that Kirk DouPonce of DogEaredDesign is working on the cover for Swords of the Six. Kirk has done work for Random House and Simon & Schuster and has a host of other professional book covers to his credit. The book cover will be completed in four weeks. If you would like to check out Kirk's past work, visit his website: http://www.dogeareddesign.com/
Also, Amber Hill has agreed to do spot illustrations to be used as chapter headings. Each illustration will be unique to the chapter it graces. This adds considerable expense to the publishing process . . . and time . . . but the end result will be worth it.
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Comet's Passage" is a fanciful telling of how a comet traces its path through the heavens. Look for it after October 7th of 2008 to appear in the poetry section of Long Story Short.
I heard Democratic presidential candidate Barach Obama speaking on television the other night while I sat down in the break room at Frito Lay. Obama stated, in words even a child would have difficulty misunderstanding, that the "walls" must come down. The two particular "walls" to which I remember he referred were the walls between nations, and the "walls" between Christians and Muslims!
The short conclusion I came to is this: Obama is an insane liberal politician; Obama must not become the next president of the United States of America.
Friday, July 18, 2008
The next step toward publication is line art. I need one of my illustrators to do banner-style images to be used as headers for the chapters in my novel.
Currently I am looking for a book-designer. I'd prefer someone with a track record of professionally-done fantasy books.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Some people have expressed sympathy to me for having spent so much time with that publishing house only to be rejected. But their sentiments are not mine. I asked God to close the door to AMG if that was not the best venue for me to release my book through, and He has . . .. So now it is time to move on to the next stage of the publishing process.
I'd made the decision in the last six months to start my own publishing company if AMG did not offer contract for Swords of the Six. During the past year and a half I have researched and studied the process of doing just that. It is complicated and, initially, more financial capital is required up-front. But it also allows me to control 100% of the book rights and keep 100% of the profits.
Many people who have not studied the publishing process will confuse what I am going to do with Print On Demand publishing services (offered through places such as BookSurge and Lulu.com). I will not be following that route. The cost of the books, per unit, is too large for there to be a profit for the author that prints that way.
Traditional publishing houses order 'print runs' from book printers after they hire editors (either in-house or freelancers). They also hire (and I will be out-sourcing for) book design/typesetting. Currently I am in the process of commissioning final artwork, negotiating marketing rights, looking for one more editor (I have two already committed), and planning the first print run.
This Fall I will open Flaming Pen Press and, come Spring of 2009, we will release The Sword of the Dragon--Book 1--Swords of the Six. Flaming Pen Press will launch a website in the near future and I will feed updates on the novel's progress into this blog as things move forward.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The same principle applies to entertainment. When you watch television, is the show or movie a positive force on your attitude or a negative? I enjoy watching movies. Any of my friends can tell you that. But there are certain things I avoid at times. For instance, we have several seasons of the I Love Lucy Show on DVD. I can't watch too many of those at a time because I find that the sarcasm adversly affects my attitude. The same is true of science fiction shows. Some of them get too dark and the characters are always down in the ruts. I have found that watching less television empowers me for a more productive day. That's not to say television is bad, in fact, at times, it is a very good thing. But exercising wisdom in what you fill your mind with goes a long way toward being a positive individual.
Fill your mind with clean thoughts by sifting out the images you allow your eyes to see. And surround yourself with individuals who will encourage you to attain your goals and be a constant, unfailing encouragment to you.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
In the mean time I've been reading a lot concerning starting my own publishing company and book marketing. This will help me prepare for next year's release of my novel. One way or the other I will publish this book no later than next year. My readers have waited long enough and I want to reward them for their patience and loyalty.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Not that I believe the interpretation of Scripture that is represented in these verses, is accurate. But the fact that the literature recognizes the order of creation and the Orderer of creation . . . is something I appreciate.
Monday, April 7, 2008
First there is an interview with author Bryan Davis, which I believe you will find very interesting. The link will bring you straight to the interview.
Second, and this is the one I am most excited about, Long Story Short just published "Moses and the Lamb." This story tells what happens when a little lamb witnesses its young master commit a sin, and decides to offer itself to Moses as a sacrifice. This is the second speculative fiction piece of mine, to be published. Unfortunately I couldn't link directly to the story, so the link at the upper right will bring you to the ezine. Just click on the 'fiction' tab when you reach the ezine, it will display a list of the recently published stories. Mine is near the top.
I hope you will all check out these published pieces and, of course, comment here with your thoughts!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Also, artwork for the Sword of the Dragon website is on the agenda.
Believe me, the climb was not as easy as it looks!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
I also asked him bluntly, if AMG would consider doing my books in hardcover. He said definitely not. The cost is prohibitive which raises the sale price by a considerable margin. I was disappointed to hear that because it seems that fantasy readers, as a whole, prefer a hardcover volume.
Next I showed him the artwork I've commissioned for the novel. He called in several other key men at AMG and had them look at the artwork. A couple of them had quite a few questions for me and we talked at length about the resistence to fantasy in some of the Christian market.
Later, when the other editors had left us alone in the office, Dan placed a call to Gina Bucy, one of his readers. She came in within fifteen minutes and I was thrilled by how excited she was about my novel. It was encouraging to hear her complement me on my writing.
It was a profitable visit. They didn't hand me a contract, but Dan assured me they will be in touch after their next meeting. Please pray I was able to pull the necessary people into my corner so that, when they have the meeting, they will decide for contract.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thanks to Mrs. Davis, Legossi, and R. I had home-cooked meals. Such a refreshing change for this lengthy trip. I'm going to miss all of them.
I got to ride one of their horses. That's Angel, in the picture below, with me on her back. It's been a very long time since I've ridden.
I will especially miss "Mr. Bunn." I had a great time with her, playing, editing, laughing (we did a lot of that!) She also helped me as I replaced 'weak' verbs in my manuscript. She has a sharp mind a lovely smile.
Once I have my contract, Bryan Davis and I plan to book tour together. I look forward to that very much. Now I must sign off. Tomorrow is another eight hours of driving to GA (and I'm on Central Time so I'll be losing an hour) . . . and I have an important meeting with Dan Penwell at AMG Publishers.
Friday, March 21, 2008
I just arrived in NC and decided to check my email. This acceptance was a lovely surprise.
Long Story Short will publish "Moses & the Lamb" on April 7th. When it appears in the ezine, I will post here and place a teaser line to pique your interest.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Praise God, I'm hired and the pay is quite satisfactory. I get to write and take pictures . . . both things I love to do! And this is for pay . . . that's the important part!
I was considering a job at Frito Lay but now that should not be necessary. Factory work pays well but is both boring and tiring, leaving little energy for my novels. But this freelance reporting should be great; not only will I be making decent money, but I'll be doing most of it from home . . . my own boss!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I have another endorsment for "Swords of the Six"
"Scott Appleton has a big story to tell and just the kind of
outside-of-the-box imagination to pull it off. There's much
at stake in the world of Subterran, and when the six fabled
swords are discovered, the stakes rise even higher.
Swords of the Six is a tale replete with heroism, betrayal,
despair, and hope. If you like stories that take you to the
edge and make you think, Scott Appleton has a tale for you."
-Wayne Thomas Batson
author of The Door Within, Isle of Swords, etc.
Check out my link to this author's site.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Christopher Paolini is releasing his third "Inheritance" book in September, but contrary to previous knowledge, this will not conclude the series. There will be a fourth book.
Donita K. Paul is releasing "DragonLight"
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
In a refreshing way, this movie did not so much retell the story in the books, but rather condensed all five books into one movie. The creature designs stayed fairly consistent with the artist's vision and the feel of the books. The actors did a nice job (there were a couple spots where I thought the boys could use some extra work). I absolutely loved the manner in which the actor portraying Arthur Spiderwick played his role. I wish I could remember his name but it eludes me.
And they used the field guide with the illustrations from the book you can purchase on store shelves. That, I think, was ingenious! Think of all the kids that'll want to buy the Field Guide . . . even some of the kids at heart (I unashamedly count myself among them!)
This movie has the most natural movements and interaction of fictional creatures that I have seen since Lord of the Rings. The Gryphon was absolutely fabulous and they inserted a long scene in which it takes the children for an exciting flight. In Harry Potter & the Prizoner of Azkaban they did a nice job with the Hypogryph . . . but this movie's effects with the Gryphon beat it (in my humble opinion) and the movement of the wings was natural, not a hint of the stiffness usually accompanying such special effects. They also did a marvelous job with Thimbletack . . . marvelous!
Overall, I give this movie a great rating. It didn't make my top ten, but it certainly was enjoyable and will find a special place in my collection. Please note: there were several uses of God's name in vain, even by the children in the movie. Thank goodness that wasn't in the books (though the authors' latest book has one instance of that in "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles." This movie was a worthwhile investment for my 6 dollars!
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I received notification this morning that he is going to bring it to committee within the next few days. This could be very good, at the least it is farther than the vast majority of novels make it in the process. And I have little doubt I have God and Bryan Davis to thank for bringing it this far.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My current title idea is "Rise of the Offspring" instead of the original "Offspring"
But I'd like to steer away from the rise of, I've seen it used on a couple other fantasy novels and I don't think it's as catching as my first book's title, "Swords of the Six."
If you have ideas please post them here. I'd love everyone's imput.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
After seeing the movie and watching the special features, wherein the author, Neil Gaiman, spoke of his writing the novel, I decided to check out the book. I purchased my paperback copy at Borders the other day, started reading last night, and finished its 250 pages this afternoon.
I was pleased to see the quotes were, for the most part, accurate and didn't pass over my convictions but rather held them out, openly.
So, any of you visiting this blog as a result of the Reminder's article, please note: the first novel is a prelude to the series, you will not have to wait for the subsequent books to discover the novel's back story!
Overall I found the article well written, and surprisingly long!
Friday, January 18, 2008
A reporter from the Reminder came later in the evening, interviewed me and took a picture. That felt strange but thrilling as well because I will need the media's support when my book is ready to hit shelves and if I create enough pre-publication buzz it will increase sales.
Overall, I had a wonderful time and was pleasantly surprised to meet several Christians excited about my convictions.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I'm honestly feeling a bit nervous because I've never been strong in front of a lot of people. My thoughts tend to fly out the windows! But I'll have to get used to it and the librarian is advertising it in the Norwich Bulletin so I will have to be prepared for a decent sized group.
I do hope it's only a few... it would be a much easier break in to public speaking!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
WELCOME TO THE WRITING SITE OF SCOTT APPLETON
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.