Monthly Archives: November 2019
Where are Stories Born?
In 2011 I was in the midst of delivering on a five book contract with Charisma Media. During the year, I worked on three books at once. The first book was already in Charisma’s hands and I went through the months long process of editing with a professional editor, designing a cover, and approving the final book. The second book was the one I would turn in at the end of the year in its final format. I was editing and writing the final manuscript. The third book was the next book in the series and I was outlining, researching, and writing the rough draft.
So, why in the midst of this would I decide to write two short stories a week? Simple. I had to keep my creative juices flowing and to do so, I availed myself of a wonderful website no longer around called “Storypraxis”. My editor, Andy Meisenheimer was involved in the website and the premise was that every couple of days or so, a story prompt featuring a word or a phrase was released. You then had about 36 hours to free write a short, short story based on the prompt. No editing. Just free write and get it down on the screen. Then, you uploaded the story and if it was “good” enough, it would be featured the next month in the site’s digital magazine.
I recently ran across all of my short stories from that brief time. From the stories I wrote over a year’s time, I chose 63 stories to share with my readers. I have put them together in a short book entitled “Praxis Makes Imperfect?: Prompting Your Story” available at this link.
If you are interested in writing, I challenge you to take a look at the writing prompts. They are listed in the front of the book. Sit down and just let your imagination flow and see what comes out of the inspiration from the word. Then, if you are at all interested, check out the story I wrote from that prompt. Some of the stories are ridiculous. Some are almost sublime. I used this process to explore characters, ideas, what if questions, and possible novel ideas. Some of the short stories ended up in my novels. Others are waiting in the wings impatiently, the characters tapping their toes with arms or tentacles or appendages crossed waiting for me to unleash them into the world of my stories. Patience beings. I will get to you!
So, enjoy this little book. See what stories the prompts inspire in you and write, write, write! Bleed all over the page! Let your imagination soar! And, then judge for yourself I managed to soar. Or to crash and burn!
Now, back to that hunchback wandering in the catacombs looking for that certain book of arcane secrets . . .
Upcoming Book Signing!
I never dreamed of becoming a publisher.
I just wanted to get my books out there for people to read without all the hassle and delays I have experienced in publishing four books through traditional publishing.
It started with “The 11th Demon” and I’ve managed to publish five books through my 613media,LLC. And now, Mark Sutton and I have published “Hope Again: A Lifetime Plan for Conquering Depression” through our LifeFilters, LLC company and its imprint Hope Again Books.
There are two stories I can share about this new book. Mark and I had the honor of holding a book signing at First Baptist Church Orlando and Oasis Church in Daytona Beach. We sold almost 200 books between the two events but that is not what drove me to my knees in humility.
At one of the events, a person approached Mark and said he had come to church that day to tell God goodbye. He would then end his life that afternoon in total despair. Now, Pastor David Uth’s sermon was absolutely amazing and powerful. But, the sermon combined with the encouragement to purchase our book helped him to overcome his despair. He is now doing much better!
At the other church, a parent purchased a book because his middle school child, yes, his CHILD asked him to buy him a copy of the book. A week later, the parent shared his child was devouring the book and it was helping them deal with depression. A middle schooler!
Only God can take credit for this! Our traditional publisher had given up on our book and had taken it out of print. As I shared in an earlier post, an email from a woman in South Africa found our book and it “saved” her life and that email prompted us to publish a third version of “Hope Again” on our own. And, I am so glad we did! God is still using our stories of depression to help others.
Now, Hope Again Books is releasing another title! Mark Sutton has written a powerful and exciting work of fiction based on the wars in heaven that led to Lucifer’s fall.
Entitled “Pitfall”, this new book will be released in a special event on December 7th at Brookwood Baptist Church in the Well, the church’s coffee bar/book store. You can come and go from 3 to 6 PM. The address is 9014 Brookwood Church Way, Shreveport, LA 71106 and we are at the corner of Bert Kouns and I49.
Hope Again Books will be sponsoring free coffee drinks and snacks. Mark will be signing copies of his new book and we both will be there to sign copies of “Hope Again: A Lifetime Plan for Conquering Depression”. I will also have copies of all seven of my books.
So, come on by and celebrate the release of Mark’s new book.
First Orlando Book Signing
First Baptist Church of Orlando is a large church; a large campus; a large membership; and a pastor with a large heart. This shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a Louisiana boy!
Mark Sutton called me about two weeks ago and wanted to know if I could be in Orlando on Sunday, October 28th. I had a full schedule the week before that Sunday. I had a doctor’s visit on Monday, a Reason to Believe Chapter meeting Tuesday, a speaking engagement for my friend Chan Hearron to his high school senior class Wednesday afternoon, my radiology practice meeting Wednesday night, a speaking engagement for Laveer Financial Management meeting to over 100 people Thursday night . . . AND we were driving to Dallas Friday morning to meet with my son and his wife and their two foster children for a long weekend of fun and grand parenting (and Aunting for Casey). Whew! And, somehow, I was to magically appear in Orlando on Sunday morning!!!!
Well, the Lord knows what is happening in our lives. Turns out I could fly nonstop from Love Field Saturday afternoon from Dallas to Orlando nonstop and then fly back to Dallas Sunday afternoon and we could drive home to Shreveport Sunday night.Read the rest of this entry
As we move into the holiday season I want to remind everyone of a book that would make one of the best holiday presents. “The Homecoming Tree” is set in Shreveport, Louisiana at the beginning of World War II and features a powerful and moving story of a young boy coming of age and a man who has lost touch with his morality. Filled with historical references of northwest Louisiana’s involvement with the war effort, this story will not only educate readers but will entertain readers. Let me just say if you like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the movie, you will like “The Homecoming Tree”.
So, check out the “Books” tab on how to get your hands on the ebook or the printed book. And, stay in touch as Mark Sutton and I are planning a book signing before the end of the year when he releases his new fiction book, “Pitfall, Book One: Angel Wars”. More on that soon!Read the rest of this entry
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