Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mystery Writing and the Christian Hope

One the workshops I attended today at the Midwest Writers Conference was about the mystery novel.  The presenter's name was Terrance Faherty, a mystery writer from Indianapolis.  I learned a lot about a genre I seldom read.  But it was what he said about the kind of ending that makes for an excellent reading experience.  The ending of a well-written mystery novel "sends a shockwave that runs back through all you have read and changes the way you see everything.  All the pieces come together in a satisfying way."

As a Christian I immediately thought of one aspect of my eternal hope.  I Corinthians 13:12 says that when a believer sees Jesus in the next life one of the experiences will be "knowing fully, even as we are fully known."  Can we see God has the writer of the mystery we are living and that faith means that we live every day in quiet certainty that we will have the joy of seeing in a moment how everything contributes to our happy ending/new beginning?

"Behold, I am making all things new!"

And our story continues.

Friday, July 27, 2012

First Timer @ Midwest Writer's Conference

The Olympic Games of 2012 open tonight in London and I feel like I'm in the running for a medal in writing.  I am taking my writing game to the next level by attending my first REAL writing conference.  I'm feeling the burn!  I hadn't planned to pitch my novel Wavelength but when the agents opened up more two minute slots, I said "Why shouldn't I?  If not now, when?"

It seems like I had to go against my tendency to devalue what I do.  No.  It's not that.  It's fear.  Fear of someone else not liking or approving what I've done.  Fear of my creation being snubbed or discarded.  I chose to not live in fear of "what if".  I've decided to live in expectation of "what could be."

I had worked last night creating a pitch on my computer.  I was planning to make the pitch on Saturday, but the agent suddenly announced he would see the extra signups today.  One big problem -- my laptop's battery was going dead.  I fired it up praying that it would last.

It didn't.  I sat in front of the agent [a handsome 20 something man from New York] and condensed my plot line and main characters into no more than ten sentences.  I think I did it in less than six.  I answered the one question he asked.  Then he reached into his jacket pocket and handed me a card.  "I'd like to see how you set this up.  Send me a query and three chapters."  I took the card, said thank you, and tried not to dance as I left the library of the Alumni Center at Ball State University.

Go for the gold!  Even if the world doesn't give you a medal, you'll never regret believing you belong on the track.

Here's a link to the conference.

Look for me.  I know they took my picture!
The Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World WarThe Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War by David Downing

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The author presents an alternate scenario to WWII.  The main differences are the German decision to attack Moscow directly and the Japanese discovery that the United States had broken their military code.  The German aspect seems more believable than the Japanese account.  I felt that the book sometimes got bogged down as too many pages were given to minute moves of army units.  I was more interested in seeing the bigger picture and understanding the political, economic and industrial reasons why certain campaigns succeeded while others did not. Contrary to the advertising script, this is not about a world where Hitler reigned supreme.  I wish the author had expanded his epilogue to describe the circumstances of the retreat of Nazi Germany and Japan.  It would be interesting to see his speculation as to how the alternate post-war world would have looked.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brennan Manning has been someone whose books God has used to form my life.  Here is a quote from his book Abba's Child (p. 110). May it bless you too.

"Without deliberate awareness of the present risenness of Jesus, life is nonsense, all activity useless.  Apart from the risen Christ we live in a world of impenetrable mystery and utter obscurity -- a world without meaning . . . a world of inexplicable futility.

"Living in the awareness of the risen Jesus is not a trivial pursuit for the bored and lonely or a defense mechanism enabling us to cope with the stress and sorrow of life.  It is the key that unlocks the door to grasping the meaning of existence.

"All day and every day we are being reshaped into the image of Christ.  Everything that happens to us is designed to this end.  Nothing that exists can exist beyond the pale of His presence, nothing is irrelevant to it, nothing is without significance in it . . .Through union with Him nothing is wasted, nothing is missing.  There is never a moment that does not carry eternal significance -- no action that is sterile, no love that lacks fruition, and no prayer that is unheard.  "We know that by turning everything to their good God cooperates with all those who love him." (Romans 8:28).  The apparent frustrations of circumstances, seen or unforseen, of illness, of misunderstandings, even of our own sins, do not thwart the final fulfillment of our lives hidden with Christ in God."

Yours for the journey.

Monday, July 9, 2012

This is my house during my second grade year (1963-64). We (2 parents, three kids) lived in the upstairs apartment.  This is where life began to settle down for us.

153 Avenue A, Rochester, NY

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I am now a Pinterester.


I'm using the site to share images that I find that portray places, characters and events from the literary worlds I am creating.

Check it out and enjoy.  Join up, follow me and I'll follow you!

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