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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FPP Logo

And here is the logo... Pretty nifty, don't you think?

More Progress

The new banner for this site was designed by Kirk DouPonce. I am waiting on the logo for Flaming Pen Press. But once it is finished I will post that here as well. This banner will be used for this blog and also for the Flaming Pen Press website, when that is created (which will be some time this year).

Fulfillment of Dreams

Having finished my first six months temporary employment at the factory, I am now happily settling in to a new schedule. Beginning this week I am working there only three nights in a part-time permanent position and putting my new free time into reporting jobs and preperations for releasing Swords of the Six.

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

I'm Engaged!

Life moves along faster than it seems possible. A mere five years ago I graduated high school and went to Thailand as a student missionary. For the past five months I've been romantically involved with my childhood friend, Kelley. Well, I completely fell for her charms. She has a great capacity to love both God and me and those around us, and she enjoys the same things I do: namely, reading and writing! She completes me in every way; she is my Angel. Last Sunday I went down to Waterford and purchased an engagment ring, on Monday I asked her father's permission, and on Wednesday I proposed on our very first time out alone.

This is a big step and I'm privilidged and overjoyed to take it. I've always desired to find my other half... my better half... and now I will have her.

The Lord said is "not good for man to be alone." So I'm taking His advice! Also, as I've told my fiance, "He that finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord" -Proverbs 18:22 ....So I have a hidden agenda: I want God to favor me!
Now my endeavors will be shared as will my memories, my life. With her support I will continue writing. And with her inspiration my imagination will expand.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Swords of the Six" book cover

Here at last is the book cover designed by Kirk DouPonce of DogEaredDesign. Next year, in the spring, the first of The Sword of the Dragon novels will be released to the public. I am very pleased with Kirk's work on the cover. It's a real eye-catcher.


"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.