Friday, August 31, 2007

On Writing . . .

A good novel tells us the truth about it's hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
-G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ever wonder why . . .

Athol Dickson asks:

Did you ever wonder why God allowed the Devil in the Garden of Eden? Obviously, God knew what would happen, and He knew it would be bad, so why not keep that old snake out in the first place?

To hear his answer go HERE.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Writer Stuff . . . The Books

Like most new writers, I read a lot of the recommended How to Books: Browne & King's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Stein on Writing, Stephen King's On Writing, Jenkin's Writing for the Soul , and a few others including my personal favorite-How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz.

Here are my not so humble opinions.

Stein on Writing is very good, but very advanced. I wouldn't recommend it as the first book a new writer should read. Think fourth or fifth.

Stephen King's On Writing is . . . Did you think I would actually criticize this book. It's not as good as Koontz's, but hey, if Tiger Woods offers to give you a lesson, shut up and listen.

Jerry Jenkin's Writing for the Soul is basically a regurgitation of Koontz's book minus Mr. Jenkins personal stories of course. I'm not criticizing, he admits that he borrowed heavily from Koontz's book. It's definitely worth the read. Mr. Jenkins is very honest and his Christian Writer's Guild conference is fantastic.

Self-Editing . . . is the most highly acclaimed, but I don't share my fellow writer's absolute devotion to this book. Don't get me wrong - It's Good. But, I don't think it's for the true beginner. The first person writing samples were not a good idea.

How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz should be mandatory reading for anyone who writes fiction. Oh how I wish he would write a new edition. It is entertaining, presented in an easy to understand fashion, and surprisingly encouraging to new writers. Mr. Koontz believes that if you're willing to learn and work hard -- you can do it. For some reason, it is extremely hard to find, but it will be well worth your efforts. I purchased a used First Edition on Amazon for $85, which is the cheapest I could find. Some sell for as high as $249. Don't want to spend the money? Check out your local library. You will not be disappointed.

For the true beginner, try:
You can Write a Novel by James V. Smith, Jr. I couldn't use the incredibly organized system he details in the book, but that's just me. I'm sure it would help most. The only drawback: he doesn't warn newbies about head-hopping.

Ready to pitch? Try
The Sell Your Novel Took Kit by Elizabeth Lyon and Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook.

Can anyone recommend one I haven't read?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ted Dekker stuff . . .

The movie version of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti's joint venture novel House was set to release next month - just in time for the Halloween movie season. I enjoyed the novel and was eagerly anticipating the movie. The clip looks great.

But, to my great disappointment, the release of the movie has been pushed to Spring of '08. This is not good in my humble opinion. I think they are going to lose some of the Halloween-season overflow business.

If you're a Dekker fan, check out this video-interview. It might just be me, but Dekker comes across a lot better in person than he does in print interviews.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When I'm elected Emperor . . .

My first ten acts after I'm elected Emperor For Life will be . . .

1. Ban Soap Operas.

2. Award Morgan Freeman 71 Oscars and rename them the "Morgan's".

3. Decree that Keanu Reeves become Morgan Freeman's personal assistant until he learns how to at least recognize good acting when he sees it.

4. Further decree that Keanu Reeves never be permitted to co-star with or kiss Sandra Bullock ever again.

5. Revoke Madonna's citizenship, have her declared an enemy of the state, file a request with the British government to have her extradited, then deny the extradition out of spite.

6. Chocolate cake, Ice Cream, Oreo cookies. Need I say more?

7. Get an autographed picture of Salma Hayek. (deep breath and sigh)

8. Put Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham on Mount Rushmore.

9. Force Keanu Reeves to clean Mount Rushmore with a toothbrush.

10. Take a picture of Keanu Reeves cleaning the inside of George Washington's nose, put it on every billboard in the nation, and have his name legally changed to snot.

Disclaimer: These are just jokes. While it's true that Mr. Reeves can't act and he is either the luckiest man alive or has the greatest agent on earth--my disdain for Keanu is just for laughes and stems from my own childish jealousy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Separation of Church & State? - I Agree.

I often surprise my non-Christian friends when I inform them that I agree with them: There should be separation of Church and State.

What I don't believe in is separation of Christ and State. I don't say God & State because then you have the whole generic god argument. But when you say Christ and State, the Judeo-Christian God -- the real God, is implied. Jesus said when you see Him, you see the Father. So, case closed.

I don't want a theocracy where you're told what to believe or how to worship. One of the tenants of Christianity is freewill. In a Christian state, which I believe the United States used to be and was set up as, each individual is free to make their own choice and cannot be subject to unfair coercion or prejudice.

I find it hard to believe that most atheists are offended by prayer. Really? If I pray for your child's safety in the high school football game, who cares if you don't share my faith in Christ. Would you rather I didn't care about your son so much that I don't bother to ask my God to protect him.

Personally, I would never ask someone not to pray for me. Be it a Muslim, Jew, whatever. I would thank them.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Looking for a great Bible study?

River Rising author Athol Dickson is currently posting a weekly commentary on the Gospel of Matthew on his blog. You can find the link to the left. . . Keep Looking . . . Oh, I'm sorry, scroll down a little . . . in the links list . . . there you go.

I find Mr. Dickson's perspective to be utterly fascinating and completely, and therefore wonderfully new to me.

Once you're on his blog you can just hit the Bible studies link on the sidebar. Or, scroll through all of his posts-they're all good.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Typical South Louisiana Cemetery

This one is in my next book.

I pray that God brings comfort and peace to his family.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Lesson from Lindsay . . .

Lindsay wasn't the first, nor will she be the last, but everyone's talking about it. Why do celebrities who have everything seem so unhappy? So self-destructive?

The problem begins with the longing of our soul. Fulfillment is an elusive treasure, always a goal away. But what if you achieve your goals? What then? Think about it. If you're a football player, you work and train for years to win a Superbowl. Then you finally win it. What then? Try to win another one? Achievements are great but they must be seen for what they are. They do not equal fulfillment.

If only I were rich - (Lindsay is rich.) If only I were famous - (Lindsay is famous.) If only I were good looking - (Lindsay is considered by many to be attractive. )

So what's the problem. Lindsay, like other celebrities, who have garnered "everything", find that fulfillment does not lie in a large bank account, the adoration of fans, or the cover of a magazine.

We are born incomplete. Our true equilibrium lies only in being united with our creator. Our souls know this. Our soul knows that it was created by God. Our soul knows that true fulfillment comes only in everlasting life in God's presence. Not in materialism, political power, fame, beauty, intellectual pursuit, . . .

There is a God shaped hole in all of us that only He can fill.

Some say it's all about the journey, but I say if the destination has no meaning- the journey is worthless.