Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Baby Boom Generation Caused Global Warming

That’s right, folks. I figured it out this morning while lollygagging in bed doing what comes natural to me until I realized that every Boomer on the planet does the same thing. Think about it. I’m not talking about the occasional blip, blat or pfft. Not at all.

Do you realize how huge the population of Boomers is? We’re the biggest population bubble ever to burst onto the scene. And here we are today in our senior moments making like Machinegun Kelly. The atmosphere never had a chance with Boomers firing their guns at once and exploding into space to cause a huge buildup of methane in the upper atmosphere.

As you well know methane is the primary cause of global warming. Just ask any cow. Yes, Boomers in our great numbers have become the cause of the worldwide warm up. The only thing safe for us to do is return to those days of yesteryear of calm, relaxing youth when nothing worried us, not even the occasional skull found in a field by the woods where we used to play Army and kill each other.

Global warming is real, folks, so you have another reason to worry about those pesky underwear changing moments or the occasional SBD. As the prophet Pogo warned in the Book of Possum, “We have met the enemy and they are us.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What Inspires Writers?

The short answer is a lot of things can kickstart a novel project. It could be the observation of an event like a Fourth of July Parade. Hmmm, I wonder what it would be like to begin a story with a day-walking teenage vampire trombone player in the local high school band with fangs protruding around his mouthpiece?

Or it could be a person you see while riding the subway late at night and hoping you don’t get mugged. She’s not very attractive mainly because pretty girls know how to bum a ride home with a smile, but that young lady with oversized forehead, too small ears and ink covering her neck just has an air about her like I could cast her as the girlfriend in an inner-city horror romance.

Another way writers stay motivated is by reading. I enjoy all kinds of fiction both for pleasure and to learn from the best. As a fan of the films made from novels by Nicholas Sparks, I thought it was time to read one. I chose Safe Haven because I enjoyed the film almost as much as I enjoyed A Walk to Remember.

Observations Concerning Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
1.  His main character is an avatar for his market: A 27-year old female
2.  His writing style imitates the way a woman would tell the story
     A.  Long narration
     B.  Deep dive on details
     C.  Not just the menu, but half the recipe
     D.  Not just a description of outer clothes but deep dive into undergarments and outer garments with details about pattern, color, source, pricing, etc. Why choose this garment instead of another, etc.
     E.  Deep dive into mental state and emotions
     F.  Back story/flashback used extensively as a driver for the story
     G.  Progressive reveal of the thriller story to build fear and anxiety
3.  Writes in romance genre style
     A.  Story is a romance
     B.  Story also includes a thriller that he writes in romance style – a very slowed-down approach to the thriller style.
     C.  Story is also a ghost story that is hidden until the end but hinted at and set up with foreshadowing
     D.  Use of soft hooks
     E.  Happy ending resolves all major plot points
4.  Main character fulfills female reader’s fantasies
     A.  In mortal danger – generates sympathy while building “this could be me” story
     B.  Rescued by handsome man
     C.  Has best female friend to help and guide
     D.  Has romance with man other than her husband
     E.  Starts a new life somewhere else
     F.  Must provide care for young children to bring out reader’s motherly instincts
     G.  Feels guilt and shame for her situation despite it not being her fault

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Teaching Workshops at Karitos Indy

I’ve been invited to return for this year’s Karitos/Indy event. I’ll be teaching two workshops and enjoying an exciting Christian Arts weekend. Karitos/Indy, like it’s counterpart in Chicago in July, includes workshops in many art forms, all with a Christian perspective.

You can save money by registering ahead of time by visiting the Karitos/Indy website. Save a few bucks by registering on the payment page. The easy way, of course, is to simply pay at the door for a few dollars more for this 2-Day event.

Location: Suburbs west of Indianapolis
Bread of Life Ministries
7510 East CR 100 North
Avon, IN 46123

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM - Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 10:00 PM (EDT)

My Workshops

Workshop 1: Hearing His Voice in Our Writing
This class explores the art of writing what you hear from the Lord and then polishing it for sharing with others. The guiding principle for this class is the Lord will be with you while you write and while you edit your work. The class covers:

How writers hear from the Lord
--Listening prayer
--Inspiration while writing
--Other ways (open discussion)
Writing down what you hear
Editing/polishing your writing
How to find Bible proof texts to support what you have heard
Let’s listen and share (time permitting – 3-minute writing exercise and sharing)

Workshop 2: Releasing Your Writing
You’ve learned to listen for the Holy Spirit guiding you in prayer or simply while you are about your daily tasks. Perhaps you enjoy creating poetry or stories and feel the Lord guiding you as you write. This class explores ways to share your writing. The class covers:

Social Media
Traditional Publishing
Sharing at Church

Each type of media outlet has its own conventions regarding writing. We will discuss how to reshape your writing for sharing through different media.

Learn more about this event, including other workshops and arts, please visit the Karitos/Indy website: