A Taste of “The 10th Demon”

I’m pushing my book series for Halloween. Scary books with demons and vampires and ghouls and . . . well go the order page and check them out! And, for those of you who are faithful readers here is Chapter One of the upcoming “The 10th Demon: Children of the Bloodstone”

 

30.495352,-87.251186

7:46 A.M. CDT

Quantum flux surveillance

Grimvox Mammalian Neural Interface

Subspecies “Canine”

 

Chapter 2

 

“Animals, especially dogs and cattle . . . have shown noticeable agitation in the presence of UFO phenomenon.”

Hugh Ross

 

“So, this here lady says she’s lost her ‘Poopems’?” Theo King asked Jonathan as they stood on the perfect lawn of the small house. In contrast to the tiny gnome guarding the flowers around the front porch, Theophilus Nosmo King towered over six and one half feet tall and tipped the scales at three hundred fifty pounds. Very little of his mass was fat. He wore a black and gold Saints football jersey and long athletic pants. He pulled off his sunglasses and wiped sweat from his face. “Who would call their husband Poopems?”

Jonathan Steel put a piece of gum in his mouth and looked up at his partner. “We are what we do.”

“Ah, I get it. He’s like Cephas. The old man shouldn’t eat cabbage.”

“He likes cabbage.”

“Yeah, but cabbage don’t like him!” Theo looked up at the sun and back down at Steel. “What does losing ‘Poopems’ have to do with demons?”

Steel shook his head. The sun burned with incredibly intensity after the clouds left by the hurricane had receded. Already, sweat soaked his tee shirt and dripped down his legs inside his jeans. He should have worn shorts. “I don’t know. I’m just doing my next-door neighbor a favor. She asked me to help her friend.”

Theo raised an eyebrow and the sunglasses sitting on his forehead moved with it. “You have a neighbor? Someone actually came over to your house and asked for coffee or something?”

Steel gave him his best acid look. “Are you saying I’m not the friendly sort?”

Theo shrugged and pushed his sunglasses back down over his eyes. “You just as soon bust somebody’s chops as say ‘good morning’. That’s all I’m saying.”

Steel took off his cap and wiped sweat from his short hair. “There’s a lady lives in the condo next to mine. I asked her to check on the condo while I was gone. Her husband put up the window and door covers when Hurricane Leo came through. In return, I told her I’d help her friend.”

“She probably all wobbly from those eyes of yours.” Theo said.

Steel blinked. His eyes glowed a bright turquoise. Some people found them beguiling. He found them a nuisance. “She was probably color blind, Theo.”

“Fine with me. Not a whole heap of damage here, eh Chief?”

Steel looked down the street lined with oak trees and palm trees. Hurricane Leo had pounded Orange Beach, Alabama. It had only skirted Pensacola. “Don’t look like it.”

Theo nodded and glanced up at the burning sun. “Hot as Hades out here. When we get inside, I’ll turn up the AC. You talk to the little old lady. Let’s go find Poopems.”

Steel watched the huge man walk across the lawn toward the small house. Just a few weeks before, Theophilus Nosmo King had been a drugged up homeless wreck of a man. Steel had seen something worth saving in the man when he had tried to rob Steel one night outside a shopping mall. Steel didn’t know why he sometimes heard the still, small voice inside telling him to “save” someone but he was glad he had heard it that night. Theo had helped save Josh Knight from the twelfth demon, Rudolph Wulf. And, he had been by Jonathan’s side when he faced down the eleventh demon. Since that time, Theo had sobered up and was now his partner in this odd business of tracking down evil in the lives of ordinary people.

Steel took off his sunglasses and wiped sweat from his forehead. For a second, he studied his reflection in the mirrored sunglasses. His bright, turquoise eyes gleamed in the sunlight and once again he wondered just who he was. His amnesia had not released its hold on his mind. For over a year now, he had tried to recover the lost memories of a lifetime as he pursued the powers of darkness across the land. He sighed and pushed the sunglasses back over his eyes. He spit the gum into the broken shells of the house’s driveway. It didn’t take him long to get tired of gum.

“You coming, Chief or are you gonna get some more sun?” Theo asked from the front porch of the small house. He wished the man wouldn’t call him that.

 

“And then Elvira just floated up into the air right up there next to the chandelier.” The old woman gestured toward the chandelier above the dining room table.

“So, Mrs. McGilacutty, Elvira floated up past the chandelier and then what?” Steel asked.

Mrs. McGilacutty looked back at him with her incredibly pale face and powdered wrinkles. Crying had rimmed her eyes in red. “Elvira just disappeared. Right through the ceiling.”

Steel blinked and leaned forward across the table. “Did your husband go and try to find Elvira?”

“Heavens no!”

“Then where did your husband go? I thought you husband was your ‘Poopems’?”

Mrs. McGilacutty opened her mouth and shook her head in confusion. “Elvira is my Poopems.”

Steel closed his eyes and leaned back in the dining room chair. “Where is your husband?”

“My husband has been dead for years.” Mrs. McGilacutty said.

Steel cringed. “Your friend, Mrs. Allen lives next door to me over in Orange Beach.”

“Yes, I heard about your ability to investigate the paralyzed normal.” She pointed a stained tissue in his direction. “I just knew that my Poopem’s disappearance had to be due to something paralyzed normal.”

“Paranormal.” Steel closed his eyes in frustration. This is what he got for making promises. “I don’t really investigate the paranormal. I just help people, well, with evil.”

“And what would you call something that can suck your puppy right through the ceiling, eh?”

“Mrs. McGilacutty are you on medication?”

“Listen here young man, all I have left in the world is my Poopems.” She began to sob. Something huge moved behind Mrs. McGilacutty and Theo stepped into the room.

“I looked all around the house, Chief and I didn’t see any signs of forced entry.”

Steel frowned. “We’re looking for a dog.”

Theo lifted his right foot and studied the underside of his running shoe. “That explains the smell. You are what you do.”

“Poopems is more than a dog!” Mrs. McGillacutty stopped her sobbing. “She is my companion, my friend.”

“What kind of dog?” Theo asked.

“Pomeranian.”

“So we’re looking for a dust rag.” Theo grinned. He was enjoying this way too much.

“Poopems is not a dust rag!” Mrs. McGillacutty stood up and her white hair shook with emotion. “Now, Esther told me you were a good man who would help me. So, now that you’re here find my Poopems. She’s been gone for three days.”

Steel looked up at the ceiling. “And, you saw her go through the ceiling?”

“Right after she talked to me.”

“She talked to you?”

“Yes. It was the first time she’s ever said anything to me.” She sniffed. “Sometimes I talk for her. You know, I say what I know is on her mind. In the voice I hear in my head. But, she didn’t sound anything like herself.”

“What did she say?”

“She said the Children of Anak were coming.” Mrs. McGilacutty said.

Steel had expected some weird diatribe about fleas. “Who is coming?”

“The Children of Anak. A. N. A. K. She even spelled it for me. And then, she told me to call Esther Allen and get her to get in touch with you. She said only you could find her.”

Steel raised an eyebrow and glanced at Theo. Now things were getting weird. “Anak? You recognize the name?”

Theo’s forehead wrinkled with thought. “I remember that name from the Old Testament. I’d have to look it up.”

Steel nodded. Before Theo had gotten into drugs, he had been a preacher at a church in California. Among other things. Steel wracked his brain for more information on the word. “It’s there, all right. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s there.”

“You think little Poopems had a visitor?” Theo said. He put his thick hands in the air and waved them around in a ghostly fashion. “Say, maybe Satan!”

“What?” Mrs. McGillacutty glanced at Theo.

“Just calm down, Mrs. McCillacutty.” Steel patted her bony shoulder. “Mr. King is just kidding.” He glared over his shoulder at Theo and the man shrugged his huge shoulders and pointed to the ceiling.

“I think you had best be climbing on up into the attic, Chief.” Theo whispered. “It’s probably hot up there and I’m sure old Lucifer is right at home.” He grinned and pushed his sunglasses back down over his eyes. “I’ll stay here and protect Mrs. McGilacutty.”

“Very funny.” Steel said and looked down the hallway from the kitchen. “Is that the ladder that leads up into the attic?”

“Yes it is. Now you be sweet to Elvira.” Mrs. McGilacutty said. “And, if she talks to you, you answer her back. She has a very sensitive personality.”

 

Steel stepped off the top rung of the attic ladder and ascended into smothering heat. Hot air hovered in the attic, trapped there by the simmering sun just on the other side of the roof. A year ago, he would have laughed at Mrs. McGillacutty’s assertion that her dog had spoken to her. But, that was before he had met Rocky Braxton and his mentor, the thirteenth demon. Steel had been pulled headlong into the battle between the forces of good and evil and had found himself a somewhat reluctant draftee. He had seen things in the past year that would drive most men mad. The idea of a speaking dog telling its owner about the children of Anak was just another minor incident in a typical day for Jonathan Steel.

Steel felt the heat seep through his tee shirt and blue jeans and sweat instantly burst out on his forehead. He pulled a small flashlight from his back pocket and its tiny cone of light filled the shimmering air with a cone of light. Boxes piled haphazardly around the attic threatened to ignite in spontaneous combustion in the heat. The odor of old cardboard and dry dust filled his nostrils. He wiped sweat from his face and studied the layout of the ceiling joists to determine where the dining room should be. He carefully stepped from wooden beam to wooden beam avoiding the insulation until he rounded a vertical support and made out the peaked roof over the dining room. There, hovering a meter from the highest point of the peak was the tiny furred body of a dog rotating in circles as if it were a planet.

The hair stood up on Steel’s neck. He had seen human sacrifices. He had been attacked by a giant scorpion. He had fought off an army of vampires and had almost been shot by a white-eyed ghoul. But, still the sight of something ordinary gripped in the claws of the supernatural filled him with a primal terror. He drew a deep breath and said a quiet prayer for help.

He stepped slowly across the beams until he stood just beneath the slowly rotating body of Elvira, Mrs. McGillacutty’s Poopems. The dog seemed paralyzed and no worse for wear for having hovered in the stifling heat of the attic for the past three days. He illuminated the rotating dog with his flashlight and it suddenly came to life.

Elvira began to wiggle as if struggling against some unseen force until she looked down at Steel. Something filled the dog’s eyes with intelligence and a tiny voice issued from the dog’s snout.

“We’ve been waiting for you, Jonathan Steel. It’s time for us to play. The sons and daughters of Anak are here.” Mist poured from the tiny dog’s mouth and the air became frigid. Steel shuddered as the heat receded in a mist of moist, frigid air. His breath steamed.

“Who are you?”

“Friends of the tenth demon. And he will see that you are swallowed up by the mouth of Satan! Swallowed whole by the molten breath of Satan down his gullet, down his mouth!” Elvira said. Then, she fell onto Steel’s head and he stepped backward onto soft, mushy insulation. He felt the sheetrock ceiling crack beneath his weight and he fell backward. His back thudded against wooden beams as he plummeted. He grabbed Elvira in a desperate hug as he landed on Mrs. McGillacutty’s dining room table. It cracked beneath his weight and he finally came to rest on the floor surrounded by insulation, sheetrock, and broken table bits. Mrs. McGillacutty’s face appeared over his and she smiled as she pulled Elvira from his grasp.

“You found my Poopems.” It was the last thing he heard as he faded into unconsciousness.

 

 

If I can sell enough copies of “The 11th Demon” then I can get this book out and into the hands of my readers by early spring 2015. Keep looking to the skies!!!

Tip #2: Don’t Be a Dreamer!

dreamsTIP #2: DON’T BE A DREAMER!

We all have dreams.

I had a friend years ago who has since passed away, sadly at the age of 38 from lung cancer. He was one of the most creative people I have ever met. Every day, he would call me at work and start off our conversation with:

“Bruce, I have this great idea!” At which point he would share with me what really was an incredible idea! I would get excited about his idea and as the day progressed I would begin to unpack the idea and come up with ways to make the idea a reality. By the time evening came, this idea had become more than a gestating thing for me.

Read the rest of this entry

Yes, Say “NO”!

9781490813882_COVER.inddIt’s been a while since I posted on my own website. I’ve been busy over at that other site, www.conqueringdepression.com  promoting our new book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression”. I just received a letter from my warehouse and I need to move many more of my copies of “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” if I want to put out the next book by the spring. So, here is the deal. I’ve now officially published four books since 2011 and for the next few posts I want to share with my readers some tips I learned about the process of finally getting that book on the shelves. These tips came to me over the past 20 years and they apply not only to publishing but to any creative endeavor.

Read the rest of this entry

Seeing Cancer in 3D!

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As a radiologist, I am very tuned in to breast cancer awareness. I read mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and breast MRI every day. It is part of my overall job as a radiologist.

In May 2013 I attended a breast imaging conference in Tampa Bay, Florida. During that conference, there was much discussion of a new technology known as tomosynthesis. This alternate form of mammography had just been approved by the FDA. As I watched the images stream before my eyes I was astonished!

Trying to read mammograms is a huge challenge. We have performing mammography, or Xray images of the breast since the 1960’s. In the past fifty years radiologists have tried and tried to come up with newer technology. You see, regular mammograms are the best test we have to detect early breast cancer. But, mammograms are not 100% accurate. In fact, most radiologists would gladly trade reading mammograms for anything that would give better results. The problems is, we just haven’t been able to find anything.

Until now.

Tomosynthesis is also known as 3D breast imaging. The technology is astonishingly simple but only now possible due to technological advances in computer processing. In this new form of imaging of the breast, the Xray tube moves through a 15 degree arc above the patient’s breast over 4 seconds. The series of exposures is then processed to produce “slices” through the breast. It’s like leafing through the pages of a book.

Did you get that? The amount of imaging time is the same as 2D mammography we have been performing for years. In fact, the radiation dosage is less than twice that of a normal mammogram. But, the results are astonishing!

Look back at my previous posts and you can watch my videos regarding this new technology. But, let me tell you that 3D breast imaging is allowing us to pick up to 50% more early invasive breast cancers than before. And, these early forms of breast cancer are small enough to actually allow us to decrease the death rate from breast cancer!

I am part of the Willis Knighton Health Care System here in the Shreveport – Bossier City area and I am proud to be a part of the launch of this new kind of mammography beginning last week on October 1. We are now performing 3D breast imaging at our Willis Knighton Pierremont outpatient breast clinic. Soon, Willis Knighton Bossier will have this technology and then, before the end of the year, Willis Knighton South will come on line. Already, we are seeing amazing results from this new technology just in one week!

Women, pay attention. If you have put off having your first mammogram or having that yearly followup mammogram, contact your doctor and see if it is time for you to have your first 3D mammogram. Let’s put an end to breast cancer!

3D Mammograms Save Lives!

I want to take a break from my books and share with you a video about a new medical development that is the most exciting thing I’ve been involved with in the past 30 years of radiology.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=917385748291149

Check out this video and the three other videos on 3D mammography!

 

Book Signing Tomorrow!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

ORLANDOHenniganSuttonSEP14FBSherry and I are in the Orlando area this week celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary. We first came to Orlando in October, 1980 for our honeymoon and we’ve been coming back to Walt Disney World for the last 34 years.

People ask me why I come to Disney World so many times. Doesn’t it get old? Don’t you grow tired of it? Haven’t you seen everything you can see? Let me tell you a story.

A father took his two girls to an amusement park every Sunday afternoon after church. The amusement park sat on the coast in California. But, the father was not happy about his experience. The location was windy and dirty and wet. The attractions were seedy and broken down half the time. The grounds were unkept and weedy with trash blowing everywhere. The workers were, well let’s just say somewhat undesirable to be around children!

The father would sit on a rickety bench and watch his girls riding the carousel and he wish he could join them. And so, this father began to dream. After all dreaming was his business! What if there was an amusement park that was clean and bright with gorgeous landscaping. What if the workers were right out of a Hollywood movie — clean and costumed and playing the “role” of a kind, considerate person who would make you feel like you and you alone were the most important person in the world? What if the attractions were safe, high quality, and most importantly, allowed families to enjoy the attraction TOGETHER? And, what if the amusement park was every changing and improving over time so that families could return again and again and never get bored?

That father was Walt Disney and the rest of his story is history. He went back to his studios and quickly drew up a plan for such a park in the studio’s parking lot. By the time he was finished, as was his nature, he began to think bigger and bigger. Disney’s “folly” as it was called opened in July, 1955 as Disneyland and changed the world.

This is why Sherry and I continue to go back. It is a place that is clean, high quality, magical, and restive. Also, we have good friends in the area and we have always loved Florida in general.

We are here this week and this weekend. If you are in the Orlando area, Mark Sutton and I will be signing our book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression” on Saturday, September 27 from 1 to 3 PM. Come see us! We’d love to meet you!

Hope Again is Here!

This is the week our new book on depression launches. There are two events so check them both out.

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Our book launch is Friday night and snacks and coffee are complimentary. Also, if you want copies of my Jonathan Steel Chronicles, they will be available at special prices along with complimentary tee shirts.

BUT, if you can’t make it Friday:

SHREVEPORT_Hennigan-Sutton_SEP14_FBCome out and support our local LifeWay Store.

And, here is another perk. If you are one of the first 15 buyers for Hope Again, you will receive a complimentary copy of our Deluxe LifeFilters. (Additional sets can be purchased at the Well ONLY on Friday for $5). All others buyers will receive a complimentary set of our regular LifeFilters.

We’ll see you there!!!!

 

 

Hope Again Book Signing #1

First formal announcement.

Mark Sutton and I will be at the Well, the coffee shop/bookstore of Brookwood Baptist Church on Friday night, September 19th from 6:30 to 8 PM. We will be signing copies of our new book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression” and the first 15 purchasers will receive a set of Deluxe LifeFilters. All others will receive a complementary copy of standard LifeFilters.

Mark and I will be sharing our story about this incredible opportunity to update our depression book. Snacks are complementary. AND, if you didn’t make my book launch for “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” back in December with the ice storm, I’ll have copies of all 3 books available for purchase at this event only.

BUT, don’t forget to support our local Lifeway Store. They don’t hold book signings very often and they are allowing us to hold a book signing the next day, Saturday September 20th from 1 to 3 PM. Even if you show up Friday night, come by and say hello or send a friend to the book signing. We will be again giving away 15 sets of Deluxe LifeFilters to the first 15 buyers.

AND, if you are in the Orlando area the next Saturday, September 27th, we will be signing books at the Orlando Lifeway Christian Store from 1 to 3 PM!

SHREVEPORTHenniganSuttonSEP14FB

ORLANDOHenniganSuttonSEP14FB

Make your plans NOW!!!!

Who is a Hero?

whohoodWho is your hero?

This past weekend I watched a new episode of Doctor Who, “Robot of Sherwood”. In the story, the Doctor travels back in time with his companion, Clara because she wants to meet Robin Hood. The Doctor assures her Robin Hood never existed. I will not spoil the show, but suffice it so say they meet someone who claims to be the real Robin Hood in 1190 A. D. — ish.

The entire episode is about heroes. Who are they? How do they become our heroes? Are our memories of these heroes real? Or, do we embellish those memories and raise our heroes to the status of legend? If we were to meet some distant, now long dead hero would that person match the hero we have internalized?

In our postmodern culture, we have taken to deconstructing “heroes”. Over the past few decades our founding fathers have become something less than the idealistic men and women portrayed in our history books. Why do we do this? It is because in postmodernism, all authority is questioned. There is no absolute authority; no absolute at all. Thus, these men and women must have been flawed and we cannot trust what is written about them. In fact, all written or recorded words and events must be discounted.

Is it any wonder that in our current time, our heroes are taken from comic books? Our heroes are fictional? After all, fictional heroes can’t be deconstructed. They are created and the creator of these characters has written only so many words about them. There are no secrets to be discovered outside the mind of the writer.

As a child growing up in the deep pine woods of Northern Louisiana, my heroes were fictional. Someone would ask: Bruce, wasn’t your father your hero? I have written about my father many times on this website. I loved him and he loved me. But, he was never a hero to me. Why? Because in my mind, heroes were larger than life; powerful and brilliant; super powered, in fact. My father was ordinary and I wanted to be anything BUT ordinary!

Doc Savage, Iron Man, Superman, Captain America and the like were my heroes. Yes, I grew up in the golden age of comics when Jack Kirby and John Buscema were crafting and creating characters like the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock (the first Marvel comic I read in 1967 was Fantastic Four comic where we meet Adam Warlock in his cocoon for the first time.)

supeIn contrast today our heroes are dark and flawed. We cannot embrace idealism anymore. Even Superman, once the ideal hero — “Truth, justice, and the American way” has become darker and morose. What has happened to idealism? When did our heroes aspire to be ordinary?

The only hero to escape this cynical deconstruction has been Captain America. The movies have managed to preserve his idealistic attitude about right and wrong by making those values “safely” anachronistic and nostalgic. But, is it any wonder that Cap’s latest movie is considered by many to be the best movie of the year? (Guardians of the Galaxy notwithstanding). Could it be we are craving just a little bit of idealism in our lives? Could it be we sense that absolutes do exist and that there is such a thing as right and wrong? Could we be longing; striving; hungering for a world that is not postmodern but firm and real and providing a true foundation for our lives?

heroesMaybe our heroes should be ordinary men and women who still have the spark of this idealism within their everyday thinking. These men and women long to help, to aid, to fight against wrong, to try and make the world a better place than they found it. These men and women are our soldiers, our law enforcement agents, our nurses, our doctors, our school teachers, our missionaries — anyone who is willing to risk life and limb to better a person’s life. They are out there surrounding us and meeting our needs everyday.

Now that I pause and think about it, maybe I never considered my father to be my hero. But, rest assured he SHOULD be my hero even as I hope to be a hero to my own children. I will never pass into legend. The Doctor will never bring his companion to visit me. But, I resist a dark, cynical world that tells me I must dwell on flaws and shifting morality. I must reach into the shadows and find that gleaming ray of Light that shines out and illuminates Truth and make sure that someone; at least one sees the Light of goodness.

Who are/were your heroes?

Return to the Ink*Well

That night in Nashville I desperately needed a hug from my wife but she was a three hour drive away visiting her friends in Chattanooga. I leaned against a tree in the darkened parking lot of Redeemer Church and watched people move inside the bright, clean interior of the church’s attached house. Most of them smiled and laughed as they exchanged brief touches and hugs. Somewhere in that brightness my son spoke with peers his own age. I, an aging gray haired fossil, made up only a small minority at the 2012 Hutchmoot.

I called my wife and listened to her joyful voice as she answered her cell phone. She was having the time of her life playing bridge with her friend Barbara. I was more depressed than I had been in months thanks to an email I had received that afternoon from my publisher “releasing” me from a five book contract after the second book would be released in less than a month. She tried to console me and offered her practical and sensible advice. Always practical and sensible. I, on the other hand, found myself living half the time in a dream world of hopes and aspirations that could never be totally realized. She reminded me that by October, I would have two fiction books in the marketplace released by a major publisher. And, I had just landed a contract for an update to a depression book my co-author and I wrote in 2001. I should have been able to throw all of that on the scales and realistically see that in spite of the release from one contract, another had taken its place and, in the balance of things, I was actually ahead of the game. With the offer to update our depression book had come the offer of writing an entire book series.

But, as much as I loved the idea of updating our depression book, I did not want to say goodbye to Jonathan Steel and his spiritual warfare against the forces of evil. I told my wife I loved her and wiped the tears from my face and tried to man up. I had to go back into the church and face that crowd of giddy millennials. I did and here is the beauty of this thing called Hutchmoot.hutch

The people surrounding me totally understood my situation. Many of them had been in similar circumstances, their art rejected or their idea laughed at. Attendees at Hutchmoot are much, much more than artistic wannabes. I’ve met artistic wannabes.

kitty3Once, I attended a local “writer’s club” and was met at the door by an aging 1950’s glamour girl. She was obviously in her 70s but dressed like Kitty Carlisle (whose grandfather was once mayor of Shreveport!) with a flowing gauzy dress and matching long, wavy hair dyed a hideous blue black. Her face was caked in powder and her eyes were limpid. She greeted me with a dried lipstick smile and a cold, narrow handshake.

“Are you a published writer?” her first words.

I shook my head. “Trying to be.”

“I’ve been published.” She smiled again and I watched bits of lipstick fall to the ground like dying flower petals. She held out to me a fading copy of LIFE magazine tucked into a cellophane wrapping — November, 1957 I think. Impressive. Most impressive. She tapped the magazine.

“Right here in this magazine I was published, my dear.”

I took the magazine and nodded looking beyond her willowy figure to the open door. I had to get passed her. Or did I really want to? Were all of the club members like her? “You wrote an article?” I smiled back at her.

“Letter to the Editor!” She clasped her hands and beamed at me.

I never met anyone like her at Hutchmoot. Everyone in attendance either created art or loved Christian art. No pretenses. Just a simple concept — community. Here at this gathering of like minded Christian artists spanning the range from music to writing to painting to catering, yes catering! Even the “celebrities” hosting this event exhibited humility and frank honesty and friendliness. Andrew Peterson, author of four fantasy books and countless wondrous albums would sit at the table with me and my son and just talk. No pretense. No celebrity snobbiness. No LIFE magazines!

ericOutside, beneath a tent, Eric Peters tried his best to hold an acoustic concert for about a dozen of us. However, his battle with depression, still being waged, would get the best of him and his face would darken with the shadows of that beast and he would halt — pause — emotion in his voice as he tried to explain that THIS song came out of his pain and agony.

You see, nowhere on the face of the planet would a total stranger get up from his seat, walk across the grass to a celebrity and reach out and hug him. Nowhere but Hutchmoot. I told Eric I understood. I have battled depression and most times won; I battle it still. So does he. But, there are times when the VOICES speak loud enough to command our attention and we turn away from the smiling, loving face of our Savior and gaze into the abyss. What keeps us from falling into that crafty chasm of the enemy are many but one saving grace is our community of family and friends who love Christ and each other no matter how many “releases” from contracts fill our lives.

Recently, God began working again around me. In spite of my many weaknesses and faults, God placed certain people in the line of my movement. And now, I may see the birth of something like Hutchmoot. I tried to get the Inkwell going in 2011 and only had one meeting with one person before it faded away. But, there is a growing community of Christian artists here in our area and perhaps it is time for us to meet. It is time for a community to form to encourage, to lift up, to hold accountable our creative acts inspired by Christ, to be there when we are reflected by tradition and to offer a simple hug.

If you are interested, let me know. Here is how you can get involved. First, there is a “meetup” called InkwellSBC (Inkwell Shreveport/Bossier City). You can go to that page and sign up and get involved. Or, you can check out my Facebook page here. Or, you can drop me an email through the contact tab on this website, but if you are interested, we need to KNOW soon. I have to schedule a night in the Well, the coffee shop, at Brookwood Baptist Church.

wolfkingpic2And, to entice you, I will offer something very special. At our first meeting, soon to be determined, I will review Andrew Peterson’s latest book, “The Warden and The Wolf King” and we will have a drawing to give away four copies of the book SIGNED by Andrew Peterson! Interested? Then, I gotta know. And, soon.

So, if you would like to be a part of a local Christian artistic community that meets on a regular basis, contact me. If we get enough interest, we’ll meet and four of you will walk away with signed copies of Andrew Peterson’s book!

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