good in every day

EverydayWhen days were lonely and long during my time at Dallas Theological Seminary, I remember sitting in my room and starting a list of "things I want to do" and "things I want to learn". The list was pretty long, but it soon became my go to method for pulling myself out of the doldrums.

This "good in every day" game is similar. I sometimes think about it when I am making an entry in my written journal - the one I keep of things not fit for print - and pretty soon I have more than enough thoughts to be jotted down. It's worth the time to do if for no other reason that to see value in every day.


praise in every verse

Praise1Dr. David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California was once asked, "What will believers do in heaven?"

It's a fair question. After all, those of us who have placed our faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ anticipate an eternity of being with Him (John 14:3).

Dr. Jeremiah found an answer in such verses as Revelation 19:5 and Revelation 15:3. His answer? "...we are going to praise God in every conceivable way."

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TBT - My First Novel

TBTOne whole year...

It's hard to believe but my first novel was self-published on March 1, 2017. 

Cause for celebration? For me it is. Regrets? Not one.

I wander by the Amazon page and I still smile --- and I find myself laughing, too.

BenStats

Stephen King or J. K Rowling can sleep sweetly. I will never be a threat to them. A joke, maybe, but never a threat. (Bill smiles widely.)

But I still take a great deal of pride in my achievement. I wrote about how the novel came about when the book was released on Amazon last year.

Cover1And now - I'm working on the second of four stories that I have planned with Benjamin Sunday. It's still tough, and I still get discouraged at times, but I keep working at it. I get a good idea and try and figure out where it fits in the total arc of the book.  I reread some of what I've written and think, "C'mon, Bill - who are you trying to kid...?" Still, the fun is in the journey and I keep telling myself, "Hey, you did one. You can do another."

I'm hoping to self-publish "Benjamin Sunday and the Mayan's Secret" later this year. It precedes the first novel and shares the exciting adventure Benjamin has with his mentor, Dr. Jackson Reynolds.

This one will be more fantasy than the first novel. I have been visited by the imagination muse and much of what seems to be invading the book is unbelievable - but I'm trying hard to take the fantasy and write in such a way that I can say, "It could happen..."

So here's to hoping that Novel 1 has a brother this time next year. Finger's crossed...


the death of a character

It's never easy when a character is killed in the course of a story. (WARNING: Possible spoilers...)

Sherlock Holmes tumbling off Reichenbach Falls. Hedwig falls after a killing curse intended for Harry strikes her. Cooper, the main character's canine companion is struck by a car. Obi Wan falls to his death with the sweep of Darth Vader's light saber in full view of Luke Skywalker.

They are never easy. Authors of fiction explain them as necessary for the development of their story. Non-fiction authors explain them as part of life.

And if they aren't expected, they can be devastating. I remember reading a book as a teenager when I turned the page and a beloved character is struck by a car and killed. I threw the book down, tears ran down my cheeks, and it was several days before I could pick the book back up and complete the story.

One of my favorite TV programs has killed off one of their main characters. I sat there stunned; I couldn't believe what had just happened.

I remember when I was writing Benjamin Sunday and the Warrior's Companion that I toyed with the idea of killing one of my characters. Thankfully, a good friend told me not to do it. Indeed there are deaths in the book, but this character was central to the plot of the book. It was good wisdom, and I'm glad I heeded his encouragement.

But now that I'm writing the second Benjamin Sunday adventure, I am once again faced with the death of a character - and this time it must be done -- and I'm finding it hard to write. Even though it's just words on a page, writing them into existence is special, and they become not just a part of the story; they are members of my literary family. Even if they are only part of my imagination, a writer has to know the character to write about the character.


too busy...

I recently read this very interesting and entertaining article by Jason Zook -- about being too busy. He's very convicting, but in a good way.

________________

I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person being too busy.

Let me rephrase that: I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person that I respect being too busy. The most creative people of our time are doing more things in a day than most people do in a week (or even month). But you know what you rarely hear a highly creative or successful person say? “I’m too busy.”

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posted!

FbI got posted online!  NOTE: This is a follow-up to my blog post of December 9, 2017.

While scrolling my Facebook timeline, an article link caught my eye from one of the groups I follow. It was an article about single women and how they could enjoy the Christmas holiday. It was a good article with some great suggestions, but the nagging question I had after reading it was, "What about single men?"

Continue reading "posted!" »


inspiration

TBTWhen I was thinking of what to enter for a "throwback Thursday" posting, I was coming up empty.

Then I remembered bumping into a friend, and like a proud parent pulling out pictures of their children, I started talking about my novel.

Yeah, I'm sure people are sick of me talking about it. I'm not. (Bill types with a big grin on his face.)

I try and work into my story that I had been working on that dang novel for over 10 years.

And what gave me the idea for the story in the first place?

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healthy words

While stumbling around the internet, I found this infographic on the Writer's Digest website. Interesting stuff. I have to say that taking the time to write is pleasurable for me. It's frustrating at times, but once I get the words down on paper and then start to edit things, I find the stress seems to float away and I become focused and productive.

Writing1

Some of the Loud Crowd at work stand while they work - when they're not standing around talking up a storm - and I have heard that it is healthier than sitting all day at work. I started doing that at home and I'm finding it does help concentration plus I feel like I'm working healthier.

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the blank page

BookpageI recently read this encouraging little story...

_________

I’m supposed to write an article filled with biblical and practical wisdom that will inspire pastors to be better leaders, counselors and preachers, all the while knowing that I need to be on the other end of that article. I need to be the reader, not the writer. So I sat in my office, staring at a blank page.

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the warlord's companion

Cover1Yes, it's finally in print!

Just over 10 years ago, I was taking a break and read a few headlines from an internet news provider. One story described how archeologists had found a mummified panda in someone's tomb. The person being interviewed described the find and then commented that they felt the panda would be used for food in the afterlife.

I remember sitting back in my chair and thinking, "What if...?" What if the panda was not food? What if the panda was actually a pet?

Continue reading "the warlord's companion" »


critical criticism

Sunday1CoverMy completed novel is still not published.

(Insert bored gasps...)

I know, I know. I keep telling myself to finish the dam thing.  And I want to. But one thing keeps stopping me.

Fear.

Lately I've been looking into the reviews of books I've read and in particular I've been looking over the criticisms that appear within a book's listing on websites like Amazon and Good Reads:

  • "The novel just plodded; it was advertised as 'fast-paced', but that's false advertising..."
  • "I couldn't connect with the characters..."
  • "The book is full of barely sketched characters and the writing was so pedestrian that I was never drawn in..."

Ouch.  And it wasn't even said about MY book.

And there are many examples of now famous novels which were panned by readers and critics when they were first published - like "Brave New World", "The Grapes of Wrath", and "Catcher in the Rye".  My book isn't anything as life-changing as those classic writings - but it was never written to be anything more than a good story and a personal dare to see if I could finish something.

I realize that I won't be able to stop people from picking up my book and saying to themselves and to others, "What a load of crap."  And I never intended for it to be up there with Steinbeck or Hemingway. An idea popped into my head one day after reading a news article, I asked myself "What if...", and the story and the character seemed to evolve from there.

But now that I'm on the brink of publishing it, I find myself full of doubts, questions, and anxiety.

I don't know if that's normal for anyone who has gotten to the point of sending out their effort, but thoughts of my first novel effort not being worth anyone's time to read has grabbed me by the throat like a Harry Potter dementor - and seems to just suck the writing joy right out of me.

And so...there it sits. The manuscript is on it's final update, and I've told myself that after this current edit, I'll upload it to the self-publisher I've selected and move forward from there.

I had hopes that it would be ready for this Christmas, but it probably won't make that deadline.

Where's my dam patronus when I need it?