Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Blog Forthcoming

I've felt the blog bug bite me, so I plan to update my blog layout and schedule regular updates. I'm actually planning out a schedule. GASP! I know. I'm planning to post 5 days a week and even on a specific topic each of 4 of those days.

I would appreciate any feedback on the new layout (when it appears) and the topics. I don't plan to change what I'll be writing about, but feedback is welcome nonetheless.

I had a rough time deciding on subjects for each day. I love so many things, including video games which are notably absent. This does not mean I won't discuss them, just that I'll either have to creatively fit them in, or discuss them on Fridays. Here is the new planned schedule and brief descriptions, Monday through Friday:

Egyptian alabaster statuette of Alexander the ...

Alternate Mondays - On Mondays I'll be discussing alternate universes. Perhaps, what would life be like, if Alexander the Great were really Alexandria the Great? Or if America never went the industrial route?

Tuesday's Mash-Up - On Tuesdays I will post links to other social media. Blogs about writing, video games, theology. I'll comment and summarize the links too, so you know what you want to click before you click it.

Mid-Week Theology - On Wednesday I plan to discuss Theology. I am no pastor or seminary graduate, but I will discuss Christianity and the Bible in layman's terms. I may pose more questions than answers, or question modern American Christian culture.

Opening logo to the Star Wars filmsImage via Wikipedia

Sci-Fi Thursday - On Thursdays I will discuss Star Trek. No, Star Wars. Well, both of those, and even more. I'll discuss some books I've read, movies and shows I've seen. I may discuss why I think that calling sci-fi a genre is too limiting and why it should be considered more of a setting, like Fantasy.

Free-for-All Friday - Fridays anything goes. I may have a brief post about my kids, fatherhood, or why I like wearing shoes with toes. I may discuss anything on these days or even post flash fiction or poetry. The day may focus on other genres and settings, such as horror, fantasy, or even commentary on current events.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dark Lands - Episode 0

So I'm editing my novel once again. Yes, the one I completed two and a half years ago. I have decided that, since my wife helped me find where I can publish to Kindle, Nook, and iBooks for free or a nominal percentage of sales, I will break up the novel into shorter episodes. As I complete each Episode (my goal is one per month) I will publish them. Then when the full first novel has been published as an episodic series, I'll release the full thing along with some special commentary or something at the end, so you can buy it as intended.

If this goes well, I'll do it for novel two and so on. My question, however, for anyone who reads this, is would you buy a short Episode 0 for $0.50 to try it out? The other episodes I plan to charge $0.99 for each, as they will be longer, fuller experiences. So, what I'm trying to gauge if I should release Episode 0 for 50 cents by the end of the month (possibly the end of the week) or should I hold out and do a special Episode 0/Episode 1 bundle for 99 cents and wait a few weeks to finish Episode 1?

Please, for the four of you who read this, let me know your opinion. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the City

The Monster inside me creeps
And though my secrets sleep,
The slumber is not sound.

My Monster knows the way
To ruin another day.
He runs through city streets,
Up and down he creeps,
As he laughs out loud.

Alone through man-made canyons I run
Looking behind me. He's having fun.
I need help to cope.

My Monster is Legion and they are many
Scattering, shuffling, cornering me.
They run, they scream, I no longer sleep.
My mind it wrenches. I fall and I weep.
I see them, right there, before me here
My Monsters, they know me, I am but fear.
Where is my promised hope?

There, in the distance, I see the Light
It comes and quickly the Monsters fright.
They all run and disperse as if by magic.
My hope is here, my situation's not tragic.
He stands beside me, His hand outstretched.
My legs won't listen, I know I am wretched.
I know my worth and it's less than nothing.
He knows it too, but He sees something
Different than I. He sees His brother.
He'll fight my Monsters, and then another,
And though He wins, in His death, they succeed.

I'm alone again, or so I think
He pulls back to life, and not from the brink
For He was dead, three days in all,
As I wept and cried and then I saw
Him standing there, brighter than before
He reached out again, but this time there was more
A spirit inside me, not ridding of guilt
For I was why He had to wilt
Under the attack of Monsters of sin
But He didn't save me from only them.
His Father was mad. I'd created Lament
And He was the one who'd sit in Judgment
He'd throw me into the dungeons, the pit
He'd get rid of the keys. For eternity I'd sit
And ponder my wrongs, against Him, for they were
My horrid rebellions. My life as a damned cur
Would all be over. I'd promise Him that.
But it wasn't enough. He knew of my fat
Greedy heart that plotted against me.

He knew of my mind that filled me with pride.
He knew of my soul and His Son who died
To save me from evil I'd brought on myself.

I ran like a scared little goblin or rat
I ran like I could escape the One who sat
On the throne of Heaven, the throne of Grace,
I couldn't escape Him or change my own face
From one who was evil to one who was good
His Son had done that, but I scarce understood
The reality of the act He committed,
What salvation cost Him, that I stood acquitted
Of every Monster and every destruction
Every evil and all my obstruction
Of good and His Will and all of creation
He'd paid all my debts and those of all nations
With the only thing worthy. Himself.

So there in my shame and nakedness plenty
I cowered as the Son of Man who had saved me
Approached and I knew that I couldn't escape.
I knew that he would destroy me and take
Every bit of anything I held to
And rid me of it, I would just sit and rue
My short little life of which I had nothing
Of value to offer to One who was Holy.
He stretched out His hand and I cowered again
I shrunk back from it, but then looked at His grin.
He knew my fears and they troubled him not.
He saw my soul and right then I forgot
All that before I had held so dear
And all that in Him had caused me such fear
As my hand touched His, I knew without doubt
That I was so empty, but He had a fount
Of living water that freely would flow
Into me. Filling my soul
Like nothing experienced before on the Earth.
Like nothing. But close to a second birth.

I was a new man and in Him I shone
My face was now bright as the fresh fallen snow
I'd see Monsters and terrible things till I could
Join Him in His Kingdom above where He stood
At the right hand of my Father who sent His own Son
To save a wretch like me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick Update....

Those of you who know me, know I love writing. Well, after a several month hiatus (by choice, not lack of creativity or anything else) I am back at it... in addition to the poetry and blog stories, I am now working on Exodus, officially.

I'm trying something new from the previous novel (yes, for those of you who liked The Dark Lands, it will be rewritten and published, God-willing) and instead of trying to write an excellent novel and then go back over it with rounds and rounds of polish, I'm writing it quick and dirty and trying to get it finished quickly.

I then plan to sand it down and shape it and polish it just as much. I think I'll get a more cohesive and better flowing first draft this way. Plus, instead of worrying about grammar or spelling things correctly or any of that, I'll just type it in and fix it later.

It seemed to work well last night. I plan to write two times a week and hope to finish the first draft of the book this year. I have my birthday as an aggressive goal, but if it's not done until the 31st, that's ok too.

If anyone is interested in being in the first round of readers (probably draft 3, either around the end of this year or Spring of next year), let me know. Blog comments are probably best for that, but commenting on the Facebook note will probably work too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Laurence 3 (or The Man of Hope)

Despair was a ruthless place. Once. When people hoped enough to even be evil.

It used to be named Cutt Throat, but long ago, when the wells ran dry and the mines no longer shined, the town cleared out and those who remained fell into depression.

Caravans used to come through the towns and trade, but one day, they stopped, and left behind a new name for the town. Despair.

Laurence walked into town thirsty. The land was barren around it, almost a desert, and the few people he saw ignored him. So, Laurence did the only thing that made sense to him and walked into the bar.

"Water, please," he croaked.

"Sure, didn't think you'd spend any money," the bartender, a dirty, young woman, said.

"I'll pay," he said, and picked a coin out of his pocket.

"Gee, thanks," she took the coin and bit it with her two good teeth. "Real gold?"

"What's that you said?" An old man got up from a table, where his overweight body had begun to grow in a shape to fit into the small wooden chair he sat in.

Laurence didn't pay much attention as he downed the thick, warm water like it was a cool, clean spring. The others in the bar began to gather around him, though. Everyone wanted to see the gold he brought.

"Is that real?" one woman asked.

"Can't be, has to be a fake," another said.

"It is," the old man said. "Where'd you get this, boy?"

Laurence was surprised by all the commotion and looked around. Every eye was on him.

"I got it from my parents. We live in Safety. It's about 10 miles that way." He pointed East.

"Ain't no such town, and there ain't any town that way. Where'd you get it?" the old man pressed closer.

The crowd began to grow angry. Then another man, taller and younger, but still haggard, walked up. His hat had holes, and his badge was more than tarnished, but he was obviously the sheriff.

"Now, now, Mayor Danfield." The younger man put his hand on the older man's arm. "Leave the boy alone. He's obviously dehydrated and in need of some rest. Lyzzie, this gold piece he's given you ought to be enough to get him room and board for a couple of days, no?"

"Yessir, Sherrif Duwalt," the bartender, Lizzie, said. She smiled slightly and Laurence realized it was the first smile he'd seen since leaving Safety.

"Alright, Sheriff, but I'm talking to him tomorrow." Mayor Danfield looked from the Sheriff to Laurence. "First thing in the morning."

Lizzie showed Laurence to his room. A small, dirty room that smelled of cheese. He took off his boots and knelt to pray.

"Father, please give me the words to say to them. These people have nothing and a small piece of gold has seemed to give them hope. Let me show them the real hope You bring. Please bring glory to Your name here and let me be the salt and light for this town. I promise You I will stay here for as long as you need me to. Amen."

While Laurence slept, Mayor Danfield talked to a few other townsfolk about Laurence.

"Mayor, what do we do? This man has gold," Mrs. Ratner said.

Her husband agreed and added, "And he probably knows where more is too."

"Yeah," Mr. Waldorf said, "he must have more. He was probably out there burying his treasure. That's why he was so worn out."

More people tried to talk, but Mayor Danfield chimed in with the skills that earned him the title Mayor.

"Folks, we have been Despair too long. It's time we become Cutt Throat again. Who's with me?"

"But, Mayor, with all respect and honor, what if he is from Safety?" Lizzie asked.

"Safety doesn't exist, Darlin'. It's just a tale to get kids to sleep at night."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ramblings of Today

So, I'm going to write a new book. I know, I know. I'll get back to The Dark Lands one day, with a major rewrite, but it's not the book for me to write any longer. So, I'm starting a new one. It's a science-fiction book. It kind of reminds me of Battle Star Galactica, and maybe some Firefly and Star Gate in there too. Of course, any other space-based science fiction series could be related to any other, so we could throw in Star Wars, and maybe Star Trek, though much less utopian than that.

I'm not saying anymore other than the working title of the series, "Exodus", at the moment. I'll be beginning the first chapter this week, and those of you who would like to read the beta, please let me know (commenting about it on my actual blog is the best way, it sends me an email and I will see it... other methods, I'll try to pay attention to).

I will continue to post poetry on my blog as it comes to me (all poetry posted is mine, unless I attribute it otherwise, and is a first draft. I write it directly to the blog). I'll also continue updates and make a facebook page, but only after the first couple chapters are finished, or the first draft... if it goes quickly.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Rock

I fall,
Rock breaks me and I become pieces.
What other could be this?
No other, for He is.

There is no sand that believes this,
Or leaves that will feel missed,
For I know who He is.

I watch,
What of the branches the Rock trims?
They fall and He leaves them.
For they didn't know Him.

They're gone and their world spins.
We all know we have sins.
But I know, I know Him.

I share,
But they give Him no stock,
I claim Him and they mock.
My hope is in the Rock.

While time ticks down, tick-tock,
Comes to the end, my clock,
The only hope is Rock.

Laurence 2 (or The Man Who Left)

Laurence continued down the road out of town, but Sammy didn't leave him. As he approached the edge of town, a small, white, picket fence crossed the road and stretched as far as he could see.

"The barrier," Sammy said.

Laurence was shaken. He didn't think it would actually be there.

"Will you still cross it?"

"Of course. It's only a fence and I can always come home when I'm done," Laurence said.

"No. You can't," said Sammy. "The barrier will not let you back in. If you go, you will give up your family. You will never see your mother or father again."

Laurence placed his hand on the fence, hesitating.

"It's tough," Sammy said as she put her hand on his shoulder.

He shook away immediately and looked hard at her. "I will go, Sammy. You cannot keep me here like you do all the others. I'll give up anything for what He asks me."

Laurence hopped over the fence and looked back.

Sammy was gone.

The fence was gone.

He couldn't even see the town in the distance, just fields with a road running through it.

Laurence was on his own.

He continued walking down the road until he came to the small town of Despair.