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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Edits for the First Novel

I am in the midst of editing Swords of the Six. The prelude needs honing and it has taken me a couple weeks to write something I feel satisfied with. There is still a lot of work to do on it but I thought I'd post an excerpt from what I have so far:
His black scales shimmering with the blood of a thousand warriors, the dragon Valorian spread his wings and drew back his long neck. Smoke rose from his nostrils, veiling the glint of sunlight in his dark eyes, and a swath of flames issued from his maw. Mauled men lay wounded and dying all around him.

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 warriors froze in their tracks. Beyond their ranks they heard the march of thousands more of their allies. They heard shouts of victory and could only hope it did not originate with the enemy.

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 . . ..

Book Readers

Books have stood the test of time. Their form may have changed from engraved stone tablets to scrolls and then to pages fitted between two leather/cloth-wrapped boards, but people love books.

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

The Truth of Salvation and Sin

Lately I have spent a lot of my thought process on considering salvation and the sinner. The depths of Christ's atonement are unfathomable and often our finite minds seek to understand how full pardon from all sin is possible. There have been times in my life when I questioned wether or not I had truly been saved. But always my heart turned back to the mercies of Christ and my seeking was rewarded with contentment; peaceful satisfaction in the grace offered by God to sinful mankind.

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

Preliminary Artwork

Today I received the preliminary spot illustrations. Amber is doing a marvelous job. The samples below are only roughs/first stage.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bit by Bit

It is 2:30 in the morning and I'm staring at the computer screen thinking about everything that is and needs to come together before Swords of the Six goes to print. Becky Miller sent the first manuscript edits. She is doing a wonderful job . . . and by wonderful I mean that she has left me with more work to do. I'm in the process of ripping apart my prelude. I'm not starting over, but I am reimagining it as a better hook to draw my audience into the story.

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. (:


"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.