The Power of Forgiveness

A classic atheist meme has made its rounds once again. As usual, a whole host of people inserted their opinions. Most of these had to deal with the concept of God's forgiveness. However, these quips and analyses were incomplete. God's forgiveness is a subset of His power and glory . If you are a Christian, you are well aware that humanity is mired in sin and disobedience. We're born this way. Each day we disobey God, even when we try otherwise. Since we commit these offenses towards God*, He alone has the power to absolve our sins. This is done through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His son. How much power involves forgiveness? The Bible states that God will remember our sins no more (Heb 8:12). The meme plays to our sense of justice, that a child's murderer shouldn't receive the same ultimate reality as its victim. But justice belongs to God - our standard of justice should be measured against His definition, not ours. In this current life, w

Unpublishing My Firstborn

This past week I unpublished the three books in my Civil Tribulation Series. I had been wrestling with this idea for a few months and ultimately decided to pull the trigger. I realized this was the right thing to do, in part, for all the reasons  Expedition to Eden  author J. Manfred Weichsel said: I wrote most of these books when I was an undergraduate. This was before my first fiction sale, before I studied craft or prose or became an avid reader. My marketing was nonexistent for these books and I bet if you follow me on Twitter , you didn't even know I had self published three books. Collateral Damage changed everything. I'm currently working through the edits to this project. It will be the best thing I've written so far. And my biggest fear was that a reader would love Collateral Damage , pick up one from the  Civil Tribulation Series, and be disappointed with the product. With all that being said, I fully stand behind the story in the Civil

The Slow Development of Collateral Damage

Over the past few years, I haven't blogged much.  Haven't updated my fans much.  And haven't been hopeful of my writing much.  Most of this deals with personal reasons, setbacks, and struggles, which close friends and family are aware of. But this post is supposed to be optimistic, so I'll get on with it.  I kind of took a break from writing in 2016 leading up to the release of Squall of the Fates.  I needed to focus on myself and my family.  In 2016 and 2017, I buried myself in books.  Towards the end of 2017, though, I began to write again.  The desire came back, and I resolved to stick to short stories.  I also read and reviewed ways to improve writing craft. However, my luck changed in April 2018 when I got an acceptance letter from Broadswords & Blasters for my short story, Collateral Damage.  Boy, what a boost of confidence that was.  Someone thought I was good enough for their magazine.  I continued writing.  Soon, I got more acceptances from other markets.

Work in Progress: SciFi Parody

I have always been a fan of parodies.  Well-written parodies, that is.  From Space Balls to Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, it's fun to poke fun at some of the more serious things we revere. Hence, I am announcing a Science Fiction parody.  This untitled series will study the lives of four individuals with a galactic war in the background.  Two masters of the Lifestream, opposite one another, are both assigned incompetent apprentices after their first ones meet untimely deaths. Now, I know how parodies can go from funny to stupid.  Not funny stupid, either.  The Scary Movie franchise is a great example.  I do take great care as to write something for content's sake rather than writing to write. Stay tuned for further updates.  I do plan on having this parody as a short "ten episode season."  And this Season One for free.

Books for Writers: The Forest for the Trees

If you look on my Goodreads account, you will see that I gave The Forest for the Trees a two star review.  I gave it so because I felt it did not deliver what was promised.  However, this book is still good in some sense, and I recommend that indie writers (particularly fiction writers) read this. The Forest for the Trees gives insight to the publishing world from the perspective of an editor, but it is crammed full of anecdotes of literary uppity-ups and how they were full of themselves in this way or that.  The examples of the publishing industry are few and far between.  However, the examples and stories about how the publishing industry works is invaluable.  For that alone, I recommend reading this.  One example is that (at least when the author of this book was an editor) there was no market research done on the artwork for book covers.  It consisted of the artist going around the office and asking his/her coworkers of their opinions.  And author agreement (getting the autho

Books for Writers: Techniques of the Selling Writer

This is a must read if you have never studied fiction.  While the text is dry (it was written many decades ago and serves as a textbook in many creative fiction courses), it is invaluable. Firstly, it lays out fiction wonderfully.  Swain has a treasure trove of do's and don'ts lined up in all areas, be it character, setting, or the middle of the story. Be prepared to highlight.  I never ever ever mark in my books.  Ever.  It's the 8th Deadly Sin.  But still I found myself thinking "Hey I need to mark this."  This is great for indie authors who are just setting out or those who are experienced and want to improve their craft.  I find myself referencing it even when I'm not writing. I literally (sorry for word choice, but it's true) cannot go into how much value this book is on your bookshelf.  It's almost entirely made up of information, as opposed to other books that promise that simply retell their experiences and market it as "expe

Tales from Crusader One to Support Veterans

Currently, my stories involve the US Military.  It's a huge part of the universe I built, be it the branches of the Army, Navy, or Marines, or even a made up branch like NASA.  I've got protagonists like Ishmael, Pummel, and Justice, and I have antagonists like Jensen and all the spies, traitors, and defectors.  You can see my point here. There's a reason we say that those in the military serve (or have served).  Presently, the US Military is an all-volunteer force, which means that people like me (and quite possibly you) never have to enlist.  Others have taken the burden to fight in wars, battles, combats, and skirmishes while I can sit here comfortably and type this on my phone.  This is in stark contrast to conscription, or a draft based way, to fill the ranks of the military (though this is what Vietnam Vets had to deal with, among other hardships like disrespectful protesters). I grew up seeing soldiers return home.  I witnessed the Walter Reed Hospital scan