Post-ACFW Conference Thoughts
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Ugh. That has nothing to do with the conference. It's just how I feel in general. Five more weeks of this pregnancy to go. Uncomfortable. Back hurts. Little tiny pummeling feet. Heartburn. Makes it hard to think about anything, much less something that happened three days ago. I'm writing this post as I go, by the way. Rewinding my brain. Here we go. I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer's conference on Saturday. It did not disappoint. Up at 5:30 am. (Unheard of lately, so I was obviously motivated to go.) One hour drive into downtown. Voila, a hotel full...
Pre-ACFW annual conference thoughts
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The American Christian Fiction Writer's annual conference is coming up this weekend in Indianapolis. I plan to attend on Saturday. As a first-time attendee I'm included on the "first timers" email thread/forum. It's been interesting to hear people's perspectives and to learn their motivations for attending. It's also made me consider my own motivations. I should say I'm pregnant and therefore tapering some medicine which may affect my mood. (Yeah, I'll put it that way.) So, I might be a little grumpy. And emotionally detached. And cynical. And jaded. When I saw the cost of attending the entire conference, I...
Jesus in the Cold and Dark
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Over the three day weekend, my family and I took a road trip to Columbus, Ohio. Nothing fancy, we just wanted to go far enough to feel like we were "getting away". Columbus is a nice place to visit, a typical Midwestern city yet possessing its own special charm. Thanks to the advent of smartphones, we didn't plan a Sunday itinerary. We just googled that morning and discovered what Columbus had to offer. After sleeping in very late 🙂 we made our way downtown to grab some lunch in the Short North art district, and then on to COSI (Center...
Knowing When to Quit
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One of my college creative writing professors said, "Sometimes you need to know when to quit. Acknowledge you've learned all you can from that poem, short story, narrative. It's as good as it's ever going to get. Time to move on and apply what you've learned to your next creative endeavor." Back when I was a naĂŻve 20-something, I knew I wanted to write a novel. I knew I could and eventually I would. But, just how long was "eventually" going to be? I'd heard established authors say it took them ten years (ten years!) to complete their first novel....
Poem Published in Every Day Poets!
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Okay, I've been waaaaaaaaaay too busy. I FORGOT that I had a poem published in Every Day Poets this month. Well I didn't forget, the end of the month just crept up on me too fast. Please take a gander, and if you feel so inclined, place a vote or leave a comment. My poem is published at the following direct link: The Onlooker, by Jessica Thomas Thanks for checking it out!
Star Trek and the Occult?
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Last week I talked a little about Star Trek and humanism. While writing the post, I came upon some . . . um . . . interesting information about where Gene Roddenberry got his ideas for the series.  Warning: this is weird. There's a book called The Only Planet of Choice by a woman named Phyllis Something-or-other. In her website for the book, she provides some background. (I'm not linking to her site. If you want, you can google to find it.) Did you know that Gene Roddenberry researched background material for his Star Trek series with a distinguished international...
Star Trek and Humanism
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A couple weekends ago I went to see the new Star Trek movie. Yes, I am a Trekkie. While growing up, I was more apt to watch an old Star Trek episode on Sunday mornings than listen to a preacher's sermon. As for the new movie, I must say I enjoyed it quite a bit. Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Bones are like old friends after all. It was fun watching a new generation of actors bring them to life, and take them where no man has gone before. (Errr, I mean, no one.) In my opinion, however, the movie...
Show and Tell
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I’ve been on the subject of showing versus telling for the last few weeks. Today, I’ve decided to play show and tell with my novel, The Exception. As I mentioned in a previous post, I struggled a bit with characterization when writing the novel. My main character felt too one-sided, bland, and worse unbelievable at times. She lives with an abusive man who has no apparent endearing qualities, and the reader was left wondering, “Why did she fall for him and why does she stay?” To answer those questions, I devoted a chapter almost entirely to telling. I hope you...
Novels Are Not Movies
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Last Monday I talked about showing versus telling and how the phrase “show, don’t tell” has led to an overuse of showing in modern fiction. Young writers, eager to hone their craft, grasp onto the advice like a knife and hack all traces of telling from their stories, convinced telling means death to their publishing hopes. Granted most new writers tend to tell instead of show, and therefore produce bland, actionless stories. As a result, they are told to think of themselves as a filmmaker looking through a camera. Focus in on the action, paint the scene with words, and...
Taking the Risk
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You’ve probably heard “religion is a crutch” or more specifically “Jesus is a crutch”. Well, yeah. He is. Isn’t that the point? What you don’t often hear is this: Following Jesus is a risk. Why? Because when I choose to follow Him, I open myself up to attack, particularly if I am vocal about my beliefs. Satan would rather I play for his team, but he is quite happy when I sit on God’s bench and do nothing. The moment I step up to bat, however, I become an easy target. Deciding to follow Christ is not about crawling into...
Refined Sugar: the Gateway Drug
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In last Monday’s blog post, I challenged readers to consider life without their favorite sugary snack(s). I know it is difficult for some to imagine. It certainly was for me. It is strange to think grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies, which are made and offered in love, are really just fuel for addiction. It took me over a decade to accept that despite never experimenting with drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, I was indeed an addict. After all those years of trying and failing miserably to remove refined sugar from my life; however, I could no longer ignore the truth. Refined sugar...
Faith Meets Nutritional Science
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Where do Pop-Tarts come from? A Pop-Tart bush? A Pop-Tart tree? What about those marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal? Do they grow like grapes on a vine? And God said let there be purple horseshoes, and there was. Hmm. I don’t think that’s how it went. God is a brilliant creator. The human body is a magnificent machine. Why, then, do we treat it like a trashcan and then become upset and confused when it doesn’t work right (and then compare ourselves to Job as we list off all our diseases)? Why, also, do we try to conquer our body...