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Showing posts from December, 2012

Historical Fiction

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This photo was taken last year sometime, but it seems to be appropriate for today as well - quite honestly, it looks almost the same, just not quite as dark. It reminds me of writing historical fiction. Things look the same, but aren't the same. Things that you know existed didn't. So, here I am to tell you of some of my favorite problems for my most current novel.

Background: the novel for January 2013, has no title yet other than Mob Rules. Its setting is Buffalo, NY December 1919. A mob boss has died, and the two main characters are in on the investigation.

Simple. Not only do I have the ability to research my own backyard, but it is a time period that I actually enjoy studying.

Problems abound from the beginning. Some of these problems are more because I am not from Buffalo, though. For example, I had the hardest time finding the old county/city hall. Now, everyone in Buffalo probably would just tell me where it is, surprised I didn't know. Other items:
Buffalo's…

Advent - Angels and Christ

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Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope that you all are enjoying your time with family and friends. Our Christmas is quiet and enjoyable.

The last two candles in the advent wreath are angels - those who announced the birth of Christ, and Christ, He for whom we have waited. Now, we rejoice that our salvation has arrived ... God in human flesh to become one with us. Not just to come and rescue us from our sins, but to live among us for thirty-three years. He walked with us, talked with us, communed with us. He knows what it means to be tired, hungry, sore, and injured. He knows how it is to be rejected, to be loved, and to be dismissed. He understands our sorrows and our joys.

Christ's birth does not simply end on Christmas; He grows up and on Easter we celebrate His death, burial and resurrection for it is death and resurrection that brings the gift of reconciliation.

As you contemplate the season, remember that this is only the beginning - that just around the corner, we will cele…

Book Signing

Just announcing that I will be at my very first book signing on Decemeber 22. If any of you are in the Batavia NY area, come by to visit. I will be at the Holland Land Office Museum from 11 am -2 pm signing my book, Azure Maris.

Hope to see you there.

Advent - Joy

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They were the lowest of the lowest - night shift shepherds, but to them came the news that Christ was born - angels singing "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward mankind."

After they saw Christ, the shepherds ran through the streets of Bethlehem telling everyone about this child born in a stable. This is the joy that comes when your faith has become reality - an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder, that God has fulfilled His promises.

The Jews had waited for hundreds of years for their Messiah to come, and after a hundred plus years of silence from God, the Messiah arrived.

Joy is not happiness for one can have joy and be crying in the deepest sorrows. Joy is that uncompromising peace and knowledge that God fulfills His promises not because we think He will, but because we know He will. We have seen Him fulfill His promises. Joy is the awe and wonder that comes from seeing a miracle.

As we celebrate the season of Advent, we remember that joy …

End of the Beginning

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And there it is - in my own hand, my book. Giddiness doesn't even begin to describe the emotions, but thus, the beginning of my journey now ends, and the remainder of my journey now begins.

I admit that I am still overwhelmed by having a book published - not self-published, but that someone else out there honestly believes that the book is worthy to be published.

Am I scared? Nervous? Excited beyond belief? Yes ... and then some. I have embarked onto the path of being a bona fide writer, and now I have a book that will be in store shelves come February.

We have worked through arts, writing, and growing deeper with God these past six months. The aim is to continue this path, and to encourage you to continue writing, creating and pursuing God, but I will admit, that the process is as scary as it is exciting.

Press on.

Wishing and Dreaming

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Gifts. It's Christmas, right? Do you look at Christmas and ask yourself, "What happened?" We celebrate the birth of our Creator, born to in a stable to parents in poverty, yet the entire season celebrating His advent is about stuff. What did you get? What are you getting your family? Where is the best deal for toys? What do you get the boss who has everything?

What do you want for Christmas? I don't mean the whole world peace thing, though while nice, it is rather impractical since conflict is a part of human nature. What do you want to be? Over the past few weeks, I have considered this question: what do I want for Christmas, and it has become who do I want to be this new year? For the past twenty-five years or so, I have had my Christmas list ready for my family by my birthday which is near Columbus Day. This year, I did not.

I have a few requests that I'd like to see, but those are requests that only my Heavenly Father can give me, and in His perfect timing.…

Advent - Faith

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The second Sunday of Advent is the Faith or the Bethlehem Candle. This candle continues with the hope from last week, focusing that hope into faith. Hebrews tells us that: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This faith is not blind; it is firmly placed upon Someone who is all-powerful and all-knowing. This faith is established upon the person of Jesus Christ, whom we celebrate on December 25th.

As we focus our attentions onto Christ's birth, it is with the knowledge that thousands of years beforehand, God promised to send the Messiah, the anointed one, to reconcile us with the God-head. It is a wonderful message that we, living after Christ's birth, can hold on to: God fulfills His promises. The question becomes in what have you placed your faith? Is it in a god who promises that your life will be easy if you follow him? Or is it in the God of the Bible who promises that His yoke is light, but does not deny that there is wo…

Happy Hanukkah

Just wanted to wish those celebrating Hanukkah, a Happy Hanukkah.

I hope that you are able to enjoy time with friends and family.

For Christians, who do not celebrate Hanukkah, I would encourage you to look into the history of the holiday, for it is one that Jesus would have celebrated. In John 10:22, Jesus is said to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication.

One thing that strikes me concerning the Festival of Lights is the eight days. They had enough oil for one night of purification, and it took eight days to create the oil so the Lord allowed the oil to last eight days.

Seven is considered the number of perfection; the number of God.
Eight is the number of infinity - for laid on its side, it is the symbol of infinity.

As you think through the holidays during this season, consider the infinite ways that God provides for us and consider how His perfect plans are fulfilled always.

Happy Hanukkah.

Acting on Inspiration

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How do you follow through on your inspiration? For example - you hear about a horrid action whether it is persecution or gendercide (both of which are on my mind at the moment). How do you follow through with that righteous anger?

Usually, I start writing, partly because that is my gift. Other times, I create such as the photo above. Called Songs in the Night, I created this quilt top after hearing about women who continued to praise Christ through persecution. Even in the darkest of times, songs and hope exist.

This quilt is unfinished at the moment since I haven't found material for the backing yet, but I did want to put this out for you to see. Even as writers, it isn't always our written words that make an impact on people's lives. Sometimes we are able to use other avenues to spread a message.

So, what other ways have you considered putting a message out? Blogs, articles and novels are prime examples for writers, but messages can be spoken through other means: sculp…

Advent - Hope

When I was little, my church did not celebrate the Advent of Christ - those four weeks before Christmas. It was not until I was twelve, and we moved to New York that my church did observe Advent. Due to the fact that Advent was not a part of my childhood memories, I observe Advent with an adult perspective.

The first week for my church is the Candle of Hope or Prophecy.

The inter-testament time period (those years between the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament) covers maybe two pages in a Bible - one blank sheet dividing the Old Testament from the New Testament. The Old Testament ends with the phrase: "Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." The New Testament begins: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ."

Those inter-testament years are a time that Christians, in general, know very little about, but this is also the time period that Hanukkah begins - for even Christ celebrated this Festival of Lights. It is good for u…

First Day Review

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Today, I start a new series called First Day Review. This series will focus on resources (primarily books) that I use or have discovered. The first one is this rather unassuming book called People's Names by Holly Ingraham.

This book, however, is an excellent resource for all writers out there. The first half of the book is dedicated to region and ethnicity. It breaks down by country such as England, Romania, India then further breaks down into appropriate categories such as the plethora of Native American or African names by ethnic group.

The second portion of the book is dedicated to historical names beginning with the Breton of Bretagne (NW France) and Yiddish. It proceeds backward through time beginning with the Victorians and ends with the Sumerians. The last chapter is dedicated to Shadow Languages which helps writers of fantasy, science-fiction and lost languages to create a plausible language reality for their stories.

I use this book in conjunction with the website www…