Thursday, March 28, 2013

Twenty-Four: A Reflection

Today is my twenty-fourth birthday, and I am still learning. There are more questions now than answers, and I know that the insight that has been developing bit by bit through each new experience could never have been learned in a classroom.

Experience is an interesting thing. I have gone through pain and loss, success and joy. I am not the person I used to be, and I am not the person I will become.

I find it funny how I once viewed life in terms of black and white. Today I open the curtains and look at a world that is painted in an entire spectrum of gray.

My writing has changed as well. With all these new questions burning within me, my writing has become a journey not just for my characters, but for myself. I want to explore those tricky gray areas. I want to gain the wisdom of experience by living vicariously through fictional people who will never live outside of the written word. And most of all, I hope that others will take that journey with me—for we do not walk the earth alone, but together.

I think this is at the heart of why I write. I could pen a million words and never show them to another soul, but that would be a waste of the gift God has given me. He has opened my eyes so that others’ eyes may open. He wants me to share the stories with anyone who is willing to read them.

A year ago I wrote a story that is very close to my heart. I wrote it as a ghost story, but it is much more than that. It is a story of loss and anger, and one of letting go of the pain that prevents us from moving on from the past. But above all, it is a story of forgiveness. The title is Rage’s Echo, and it should be released this coming fall.

I encourage each of you to drop on by for a visit at so you can receive updates about Rage’s Echo (in addition to other writing endeavors). As always, I feel a bit of terror knowing that once again people will be picking up something that I wrote and thereby will take a glimpse into my soul, yet at the same time I can’t wait to share it with you. Are you with me? 

(Yours Truly, March 28, 1989)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's Not About the Money

I was recently speaking with a man about writing and the necessary promotion thereof, and I made the comment that I would be much happier if I gave away 10,000 free copies of my novel that would each be read and loved than if someone bought 10,000 copies and shut them away in a warehouse never to be looked at again.

The man was surprised. Why would someone prefer the former over the latter? Shouldn't making money be important? Writing is, after all, a business.

The fact of the matter is that I write because it is what I am meant to do. I write so other people may read and enjoy my stories. I write so that I can touch another human heart and make someone gasp and exclaim, "Me too!"

Of course, it is not feasible for me to give away 10,000 copies of my stories for free (even though I would love to be able to do that!). I paid to be published rather than go with a traditional publisher, and every copy that is sold helps me regain that cost. I have yet to turn a profit--but that's okay! The dozens of positive reviews and comments I've received have shown me that people ARE enjoying the stories. And that, my friends, is the most important thing of all.

Have you read The Land Beyond the Portal? Hop on over to Goodreads and leave a review!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Be a Light!

"And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." ~John 1:5

We turn on the television. We go online. We read the newspaper. It seems that tragedy and evil are everywhere we look. People are murdered in the streets. Nations go to war. Children are abused, hungry, and homeless.

We cast our eyes away in anguish. It hurts too much to look. Maybe if we can't see the pain and horror of it all, we can forget that it exists.

But, having once seen, we will always remember.

The knowledge of what we saw and choose to ignore hurts us deeply. If only we had not seen in the first place! We would never know that such evil exists. But we HAVE seen it. We know it is there, marring our world like storm clouds in a sunny sky.

We don't know what to do.

But then a voice speaks within us: "Awaken!" And though we don't want to, we crack open our eyelids and gaze upon the iniquity wrought by our kind. We almost can't bear the sight, so we start to look away again, but at the last second something else catches our eyes.

A glimmer of light. Which, upon closer inspection, is revealed to be many small lights: a congregation collecting food and clothing for the needy. Volunteers working at a soup kitchen downtown. A family welcoming an unloved child into their home. A retired mother babysitting a child for free so that a single mother might have a job to support her family.

A head bowed in prayer.

We are encouraged by these sights. We realize that we, too, can become lights among the shadows. The smallest acts of kindness can create a spark bright enough to light up a room. We can smile and tell someone we love them. We can help our neighbors in need. We can abstain from complaining so that others will not become discouraged. We can hold the hand of a grieving friend. And perhaps most simply of all, we can pray.