Creativity and Inspiration

OH the simple joy of creating a character and “discovering” how he would respond in a given situation. Oh the joy of creating that situation! ūüôā I had quite a fine 45 minute writing session today. Got those creative juices flowing.

I remember the first time it happened to me. That moment when you feel as though you are floating on the wind of inspiration and suddenly your writing doesn’t feel like work any more. I was writing about a planet. The planet Pridon. I started writing about how Pridon was more than half one huge city, and that the other part was a harsh wilderness that only the native people spent much time in. Then I started writing about the nature of the relationship between the “colonists” and the “natives” and then about cultural backgrounds, and then about politics and government and, get this, a five point compass instead of four. I remember feeling as though I was “discovering” this new and interesting planet, not actually creating it from scratch. It was a remarkable and exciting moment.

I’ve often thought of writing a story about this city-planet. Perhaps I will do something short. What do y’all think?

Today I spent time outlining my book. Finished chapter 2. (Just the outline mind you.) Had to find a way to make the hero become a pivotal part of the story so he would be pulled into the intrigue and surprises being planned by major characters. Found a somewhat unique way I think. Got me excited to see the plot coming together a little bit. ūüôā Stay tuned!

Quarantine!

¬†Well, spending¬†three¬†weeks shut up with three sick children will certainly give you a different perspective on life. ūüėÄ Having contracted a serious cough which was also considerably contagious, we felt it was best to keep our family away from others. So we instituted a self-imposed quarantine to protect the general population. This of course did not prevent me from contracting the disease myself. (It has required me to be out of work for¬†eight days.)

This quarantine was instigated in the middle of our long-awaited and planned vacation. It was still a pleasant time with family, but several of the things we had hoped to do on vacation were incompatible with the requirements of quarantine.

This cough was of such a nature that it is most severe at night. This means that our children were, and indeed some still are, waking up from a dead sleep in the throes of a coughing fit so intense that it made it hard for them to breathe at first. (I experienced this myself once or twice.) This was very frightening for them, and not very much less frightening for their parents. Watching your child thrashing and struggling for breath for 10 to 15 seconds is a very troubling experience, to put it mildly.   Continue reading

And the winner is…*drumroll*

Ladies and Gentlemen, the results are in. After two weeks (ish) of voting and/or commenting we have a winner in the “What shall I write” competition. This winner does not necessarily get the rights to be the first book published by yours truly, however it will weigh heavily in my decision. After all, I would like it to sell moderately well and so I must consider the demands of the people! :o)

The winner in the polls, with a landslide victory, was “Past All Ends”, finishing with 43% of the vote. In a distant second was “The Lost Son of David” with 26% of the vote. However, that was not the only way for the public to weigh in on this hotly contested debate. The comment section also gave voters the opportunity to lend their voice to the fray. And this added extra nuance because voters could mention a secondary choice instead of just a “Top Pick”.

So giving 2 points for a mention as a “top choice” in the comments section, and allowing one point for any “second choice” mention, and then adding one point for every vote cast in the electronic poll……the final victor, with 15 total votes, is

“The Lost Son of David”!!!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this. It was fun, and it gives me a little glimpse of what people would like to read, especially those that I know. We will see where this goes from here.

The final results are displayed below:

Lost Son of David = 15

Past All Ends = 13

Spirit Blade = 7

Stories for Children = 6

Dipsoukhos Chronicles = 3

Galaxy Heroes = 2

Earthstring = 2

Thanks again everyone! Have a great week! I will try to keep you updated as things develop.

The Writing Bug

Yes, I’ve been bitten. The writing bug has sunk¬†his teeth/stinger deep into my soul. This poison, if we can call it that, is pervasive and powerful. I fear the only antidote is to actually write a book. So I have decided to begin taking the necessary steps to produce something that people can actually purchase and enjoy. [Keep reading. I need your feedback.]

I’ve looked into finding a publisher to print and market my work, but that involves first selling an idea to a literary agent, and then ultimately to a publishing company. This is hard enough to do for an average author, but for someone who has never been published it is even harder. Not that I am afraid of hard work, but I only have limited time to devote to this endeavor and I’d rather spend it writing than selling. Ultimately I have chosen a different road.

I am going to try to self-publish my work at first. Perhaps if it sells well enough I will have a better case to make¬†when trying to sell my work to a bigger publishing company. I have been learning more about the self-publishing industry, and in particular about “print-on-demand” services. I won’t bore you, but that will be the best for us right now. It requires the least amount of investment at the start.¬† A good beginning. Perhaps I was spurred on by my sister, who has successfully authored a book and published it herself. I don’t know. But I feel it is a worthwhile way to earn money for my family doing something I enjoy, and perhaps have an impact on others.

Being a lover of stories, be they true or fiction, I have decided to pursue one of several ideas I have had over the years. This is where y’all can assist me. I need to do some “market research” of a sort. My family and friends will certainly be my first customers, so I want to know what stories would appeal to you. What would you like to read? More importantly, what would you pay to read? ;o)

The following is a list of the story ideas that I am considering. If you would like to contribute to this process, I would value your opinion. Please give me your vote! Pick which story you would like to read the most. Leave a comment (on this blog, not on Facebook please) which indicates your top two choices. I will tally the votes after a couple of weeks and let you know which story wins. This will factor heavily in my decision on which story to write first.

You can also vote on the poll which I will try to embed in this post. (I am a novice at polling.)

Click on the link to read about that particular story. In no particular order, the nominees are:

Earthstring the Great

The Dipsoukhos Chronicles

Past All Ends

Spirit Blade

The Lost Son of David

Galaxy Heroes

Finally, perhaps a series of children’s books with homeschoolers as the main characters. Targeted to the 2-6 year old age group. The children would learn important lessons about God and relationships, but set in a homeschooling environment instead of the typical¬†children’s story.¬†Seems to be an untapped market there. I would have to have an illustrator for that project.

I appreciate the time invested in doing this, so thanks. And just a reminder, I retain all copyrights to my intellectual property. You can never be too careful these days.  :o)

Waiting for the Good Stuff

So tonight, in an incident with my 4 year old¬†son, I had a snapshot of my life with the Lord over the last three years or so. We had some ice cream to give the children as dessert, but we require them to clean their plates before¬†dessert is served. Tonight we decided not to tell them what the dessert was until it was time to bring it out. My son got done quickly so as to get the “prize”, and came to me to ask for his promised reward. His sister was not quite done, and there were some other reasons it wasn’t the right time to bring out the treats. The exchange went something like this:

Son: “Daddy, can I have my prize now?”

Daddy: “It’s not quite the right time buddy. Not just yet.”

Son, starting to cry and complain: “But I finished my food…”

Daddy, stopping the fussing in its tracks: “Now wait a minute, I just want you to wait patiently until I decide the time is right. We’ll bring out the good stuff in a minute.”

Son, still struggling to hold back the tears: “But how long do I have to wait?”

Daddy, starting to tear up himself because he sees the parallel to what God has been asking of¬†him these last few years, and having compassion on the struggle within his son to wait: “Son, do you trust me?”

Son: “Yes.”

Daddy: “Do you believe me when I say that the good stuff is coming later?”

Son: “Yes”

Daddy, fighting back tears because he didn’t expect to be on the “Father” side of this discussion after so many times speaking like the “Son”, and also because his tears are causing more struggle in his boy: “All right, then I just need you to wait on me to decide when the time is right. It will be ok. I promise the good stuff is coming later.”

Son, finally submitting quietly, though still with tears in his eyes: “Yes, sir.”

And then of course this Daddy had to swallow the big old lump in his throat and compose himself. I realized I had just been given a mini-moment of understanding into the heart of God when he asks us to wait. There was no way for my son to really understand, even if I had told him, the nuances of reasoning that went into asking him to wait for his reward. He just simply had to trust me to make good on my promise, and to love him, and to know exactly when and where to bring out “the good stuff.”

And how much is that like what I have been dealing with God about. Asking me to wait on Him, with no hint or inclination that what I hope for will be realized any time soon. “But how long do I have to wait?” :o) He just says wait. But I think he knows what he is doing, and I trust him to be a good Father.

Thank the Lord that he is a better father than I am! And if I, “being evil, know how to give good gifts unto¬†[my] children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matt. 7:11

Understanding Derivatives

Here is an e-mail I received which I found to be very interesting and helpful. I hope you find it so also. (Can you tell I’m on an analogy kick lately?)¬† :o)¬† [The nature of the business that “Helga” runs is not of my choosing, but appears to be necessary for the analogy to work. I apologize.]

“Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to Continue reading

The Prince of Little Faith

Here is a short story that illustrates how many Christians live in bondage even though their identity in Christ is one of freedom from sin. I hope this is an encouragement to you.

Once there was an orphan who had lived a life of bondage and fear, deceived by his captors. As a beggar, he wandered the streets and wallowed in filth. He lived as a slave, at every beck and call of the heartless and unkind slave owners that imprisoned him.

Then one day messengers arrive with the news that this little orphan has finally been adopted. And not just by anyone, but by the King himself. For some reason the King has chosen to love this poor little boy and bring him into the family. It is an official and legal adoption. This orphan is now the prince of the land, with all the privileges and authority that go with it. He now has authority over his captors, and complete freedom and victory. After all, the victories that the King has won belong to his family also, as heirs.

Only this former-orphan has a hard time believing this is true. Continue reading