Monthly Archives: November 2009

Phase II

Voting for phase 2 of the Marcher Lord Select contest is now open! You have  until Sunday, November 30 to vote. Again for both the main and premise contest you must vote for at least three.

I’ve been thinking about what I consider my chances for this one. I admit I’m in a gray zone, neither confident or uncertain.

Okay, maybe a little uncertain.

It’s one thing to look forward to the opinion of a single person, publisher or agent. No matter the outcome, it is after all the opinion of one. That the ego can bear.

With this contest, I’m depending on the opinion of hundreds. To find out that hundreds didn’t vote for mine is not something my ego can shake off so easily. By the same token, if those hundreds vote for mine, I’ll have trouble keeping my ego from giving my forehead stretch marks.

Yet, as a writer seeking publication, that’s the pool I’m diving into. To be published is only the beginning of the swim. Yet if I am to succeed, I have to take a risk and allow hundreds if not thousands of readers to judge my work.

As a Christian, I could easily say that there is only one Judge that really matters. While true, it’s not my only goal. I want the words I write to be read by others, and, God willing, find God in them.

After all, no one ever said ambition can’t be a good thing — as long as I dedicate that ambition to God.

Now I’m going to slather my forehead with some anti-stretch-mark cream.

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers andsupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Is It Enough?

After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

“If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

~ Ezekiel 3:16-20 (NLT)

I often wonder, especially of late, whether or not I could be compared to one who stays silent, but should be speaking out. By not talking about Jesus and my faith, am I not only ignoring God’s will, but dooming someone to never knowing God’s love and redemption?

Do I damn myself by keeping my mouth shut?

I have no answer, and that’s probably a good thing. I don’t think I want to know. However, I do hear the warning in Ezekiel’s words. I should assume they’re meant for me, because I know I’m not doing enough to shine God’s light in an ever darkening world.

How do I start, then?

By writing entries that reveal not only where my writing is going, but my spiritual growth (or non-growth) as well. Every time I have, while my words occasionally met with scoffers and cynics, for the most part they made a positive difference to someone.

I can’t take the credit; I merely opened myself up to the possibility and let God guide my steps.

My prayer for tonight is that I listens for God’s urgings, and follow through with every one. No more fear; no more silence.

Crawling to the Top

About a week ago I saw an advertisement for the release of Susan Boyle’s first music album on November 23.

If you don’t know who that is, check out this youtube video.

Word of advice, have tissues handy.

When I went to Amazon yesterday, I saw that it’s #1 in sales rank. And it hasn’t even been released yet. I wasn’t remotely surprised.

What is it about Susan Boyle we all find fascinating? Why do we want to see her succeed?

Because she’s like every single one of us; a person with dreams as yet unfulfilled. We know what it means to be mocked and laughed at as she was before she started singing. With one note, she proved the cynics wrong. How many of us long to do the same?

She had a dream, practiced for over 35 years, took a chance, and fulfilled that dream.

I want to be like Susan Boyle.

I Made It!

Looks like I will be moving to the second round in the contest.

It’s both a celebration point and a shrug.

First, the shrug: All the premises made it through to the second round. The publisher decided that some authors could have written a killer premise, but the entire manuscript may not live up to it. The reverse is also true. He felt it was only fair all should move to the 100-word blurb round.

The celebration point is even if the publisher decided not to go that route, my book would have made it.

I could email for how my book scored overall, but I’m a bit ambivalent about it. Do I really want to know how many votes it got? Could I take finding out I ended up near the bottom, barely scraping by?

At this point ignorance is bliss.

The fact I’m moving to the second round is good enough.

Have You Voted Yet?

Have you voted yet? The voting for the contest my book is in began yesterday, and goes until Sunday. For more information check out The Anomaly Click on Marcher Lord Select (the first sub-board listed). It will ask for a username and password, so if you haven’t signed up for the boards yet, you can do it there.

You can vote for up to 20 in the main contest, and 25 in the premise contest (where my book is). I also recommend you check out the Marcher Lord Press Store, especially if you enjoy Speculative Fiction with a Christian world view – or know someone who does. I’ve read three of MLP books, and was impressed with every one.

Sales pitch over. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

A New Look

Like the new look?

I changed my theme yet again. It’s not boredom that spurred the change, but my website provider. As of December 9, it will no longer provide Movable Type blog tools. WordPress will still be available, so I switched.

I still have much work to do to it such as adding my favorite blogs in the BlogRoll. If you were there previously and don’t see your name, worry not! I will add it. Along with all my other links. Yay. It’s been so long since I manipulated my last blog, and HTML in general, it’ll take time to relearn everything.

Hopefully tonight or this weekend I can get it all done.

My DSL modem is dying, so my internet access at home has been sporadic at best. They said the replacement should arrive today, but I’ve been hearing that for the last three days. Long story, and not a pleasant one, so I won’t torture you with it.

I wish I could say I used that time well by concentrating on my nano-novel. Ha! At this rate I won’t make the 50K (I sit at a paltry 6K), but I’m not all that stressed about it. It’s not as though I’ll lose anything by not finishing. Mostly I’ve been keeping track (when I manage to get online) of what’s going on at the Marcher Lord Press contest. Voting starts on Friday, so don’t forget to vote!

Also, to find out more about the books Marcher Lord Press publishes, you can check out the store. I’ve read three of them so far (2 Science Fiction and 1 Fantasy), and they’re exceptional stories and writing.

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself.

Redarian — an Excerpt

Travis Garrity felt the man’s breath on his neck and tried not to cringe.

Did the self-appointed governor of this expedition have to eat so much garlic, and on top of that, stand within a half a meter with everyone he wanted to talk to?

"We’re not there yet," Travis said for the nineteenth time today. He knew. He kept track.

Governor Isaac Johanna leaned over the console, his breath even more pungent, and said, "You said it would be today, Garrity."

"And it will, but you hovering over me will not make this bucket go any faster."

Travis could feel Johanna’s glare when he said, "This bucket has been your home all your life. Show some respect."

Home, Travis thought. More like a prison and the only way out was the vacuum of space. How could he respect that? Truth was, he was more eager to get to their destination than the governor, and most of the other colonists aboard this 70-year-old heap named "Red Dagger."

Red Dagger. What a name. Pink Rust Bucket was more apt in describing her.

Travis smirked and gave the pilot console a small caress. He did love her, even as he despised her. She brought them through many a hardship with few problems. She was well-built even if she was ugly.

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This is how my latest nanowrimo novel begins. It’s a prequel to my very first nano-novel entitled "Red Dagger." The first novel wasn’t about the ship named in this one, but in fact takes place almost 600 years in the future.

Kinda fun not only coming up with a new story, but an entire universe. 

But also daunting. So far I’m a bit slow in writing "Redarian." It’s not because I’m not interested in the story, but I feel out of practice in writing over 1500 words a day. It’s intimidating, because I’ve spent so much time lately editing. I keep wanting to either edit as I go, or stop to rephrase a word, paragraph and constantly ask myself, "Is this scene even necessary?"

Who cares!

The point is to write, and write anything. It’s about volume, not quality. The fixing can come later.

So I best get to writing, even if it is total ick.

The Scoop

The Marcher Lord Select contests officially started today!

It consists of two separate contests: the Main contest and Premise contest. Phase I for the main contest consists of the 20-word premise, 100-word blurb and a single-page synopsis. The winner of this contest will be published — although the publisher, Jeff Gerke still makes the final decision. 

Phase I of the Premise contest (where I’m an entrant) is the Title of the book and 20-word premise. The 20 stories with the most votes moves on to Phase II, with a total of four phases. For the winners of this contest, Jeff Gerke will read the entire manuscript and decide whether or not it will be published. There’s no guarantee, but at least we’re moved to the top of his reading list. For the ones who didn’t win, they aren’t immediately rejected; they’ll just have to wait a little longer for that thirsted after "Send your entire manuscript."

I hope you’ll participate in the contest as a voter. The more the merrier. The only caveat is you’ll have to vote at least three times and you’ll have to sign up as a member to the forum. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested, especially if they like science fiction and/or fantasy, please send them over as well.

Voting begins November 13th.

To find out more click on the image below:

MarcherLordSelectLogo