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Friday, December 24, 2010

A shipment of brand new books!

I just thought I'd post a couple photos, as I received a shipment of my anthology, today. What a nice Christmas present!

Christmas: Do you resent giving?

Christmas. It is my favorite holiday, and merely one day away.

The economy has left so many people, including me and my family, with a leaner Christmas than normal. At times throughout the past month I've had bouts of self-pity, wishing I could lavish things on my wife and other family members. But God has been reminding me that the greatest gifts I can give are not material in nature.

Tonight at the factory job (I do that three nights a week) I wished many of my fellow employees Merry Christmas. I was horrified by the number of responses I received, like: "I can't wait for it to be over." Or, "I don't have the spirit for it this year." But mostly what it boiled down to for everyone was that they couldn't buy all the gifts they had hoped to.

We are such a materialistic society. We are such a selfish and ungrateful people. God has given us so much and, yet, what is our response? "I can't buy Johnny the Xbox this year... this Christmas isn't going to be the same."

Seriously, that is the kind of thing I heard people talking about. It is as if (and I believe it is probably true) the child's expectations are purely material. They have not been raised to believe or recognize, with any accurate and fair judgment, that the act of giving is of far greater value than the gift itself.

But on the part of the giver of the gift, there is also a lesson to be learned. And one that I am glad God has chosen to make me realize again. For if I do not buy gifts at a small sacrifice in time and money, what value do they have? What benefit is there for the giver's soul? Everything we do in life can be an act that pleases God and giving is an art that we must master. For, in order to emulate Christ, we must give joyfully and even eagerly, anticipating the reward of seeing someone else receiving that which brings them happiness (even if that happiness is but brief).

So, this Christmas, remember that Christ laid down his life with joy, seeing our salvation as a great enough reward for his sacrifice. And give to others with the same heart as His.

Have a very blessed and merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Now Available on Kindle!

Merry Christmas!

For those of you Kindle readers out there who enjoy short fiction, primarily in the speculative genre, my anthology is now available!

This book is great for carry-along content.

Click here to purchase By Sword By Right for a mere $2.99

Thursday, December 2, 2010


“Tell me a story Dad! Please don’t put me to bed before a story.” Little Andrew puckered his face and his father laughed. To his wife he said, “Do we have time for a story?”

“If I do the dishes,” she replied. She shook her head and clacked her tongue, though the hint of a smile was on her face. “I dare say that without us womenfolk around nothing would ever get done. Not the dishes, not the table, not dinner.”

“Ah,” Andrew’s father said. “What makes you say that? After all, don’t you remember the story of Troy?”

Andrew’s mother frowned. “Of course I remember. But I fail to see what Troy has to do with cleaning and dinner.”

Little Andrew bounced on his father’s knee. “Tell me. Tell me the story of Troy!”
“And then you will go to sleep?” his father asked. He waited until Andrew nodded and then he cleared his throat and leaned back in his reclining chair. “This will be a very short story,” he said. “But I think you will like it.”

Andrew’s mother leaned against the doorway to the dining room, holding a towel in one hand and a wet bowl in the other. As she wiped the dish dry, Andrew’s father began the story.
“A long, long, long time ago the women of the world told their husbands, ‘You would never get anything done without us.’

So a large number of men left their homes and crossed the sea near the land of Greece. And on a distant shore they built a magnificent city, which they named Troy.
But one man, a man by the name of Paris, returned across the sea and stole a beautiful woman. He brought her into the magnificent city of Troy and called her his wife.
Across the sea the Greeks got into their ships and set off to take the city of Troy. They wanted the city and they wanted the woman. ‘We’ll tear that there city down if we have to,’ they declared.

The Greeks landed on the distant shore and saw the beautiful city of Troy, the city built by men, and they waged a war against it. They burned Troy to the ground and it was destroyed forever.”
Andrew opened his mouth to say, “Wow!” But his father shook his head as if thinking to himself and said, “A great many men built the magnificent city of Troy, they finished it. But it took only one woman to quickly bring it to ruin.”

Andrew’s mother kissed his father and pinched his cheeks. “I should slap you for such a preposterous story! Tssk! Tssk! Now you’d better tell him the true story of Troy and leave out all the silliness.”

“Ah, but the only reason you react that way,” said his father. “Is because Troy is the Achilles’ heel for women!”
* * * *
Note: I wrote this out very quickly and thought I'd post it for feedback. How would you rate this as a children's story, say for age 4 to 9?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Story I Want To Read

In my writing travels I've run into a lot of aspiring authors who ask me to read a portion of their work. I often oblige because I do love getting a look into fresh material and finding that occasional diamond in the midst of the wooden cogs.

What most turned me off with most writings was the lack of originality. I could tell that so-and-so had read such-and-such-a-book and been inspired to invent something along similar lines. When I told them that honestly I thought their work lacked originality they were at first taken aback. Perhaps they didn't expect forthright critisism, even though they'd asked for it, but writers owe that to each other and so I do my best to deliver. Also, I personally prefer to hear an educated critic over a flatterer. After all, where does the flattery get me? Nowhere. It certainly doesn't push me to do better, to improve and revise, revamp, and master my craft.

Often at the base of an unoriginal work is a desire to write something that will sell; something the reading public has proved it likes. The most common example I've seen is vampire romance fantasies resulting from Twilight.

Today I was reading a bit of C.S. Lewis, a paper he wrote titled (something like) Three Ways to Write for Children. I found myself smilng as I read because Lewis ran into the same situations as I and had the same response. He told one woman that he didn't care for an element of the story she'd written. She replied that she didn't either, 'but that is what children like nowadays.'

Lewis went on to state that he didn't write his stories to what children wanted, rather he wrote the stories he would have loved to read as a child.

Ah! A kindred spirit of mine, at least in this respect.

How can a story have meaning to the reader if it has little or no soul from the writer? I have found myself of late thinking too deeply on what my readers would want in my novels. It did not used to enter my mind prior to signing the book contract, and if it did it was inconsequentially small an issue. But we all have the desire for acceptance and approval . . . and praise.

I have a novel in progress and I've been struggling to write it as best I can. Tonight I am determined to put the soul back into my writing. The story will be exactly what I want to read and, in the end, I believe I will be a happier novelist for doing so. And my writing will be own original work without trappings of commercialism.


"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.