Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Black Christians Top Market

Great article at Washington Post and MSNBC on the black Christian marketplace. 

Affluent Black Christians Emerge as Market Group

What's funny to me is that we, African-Americans konw that we've held down the spending dollar for a long time. Can we say Tyler Perry, Hank Stewart, Ebony Fashion Fair Hats, WalkWorthy Press, TDJakes MegaFest, Sinbad Summer Cruises...come on now. There should've been articles about this a long time ago. What I would like to see is an African American christian jeweler and Aida made into a Disney movie. I am feening a flossed out cross for real. What about you?

Madea, Universality & The Marketable Christian

Wilson Morales of and RottenTomatoes sent me a great update link on Tyler Perry's Feb. 2006 movie release, Madea's Family Reunion.  I've seen the play.

Perry's themes are universal,
,timeless, christian and wonderful examples of how you can create a marketable product with a Christ-centered message

Who hasn't? Can't wait to see how this looks as a screenplay.
Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou & Tyler Perry on set.
Just in case you don't know about Madea's Family Reunion The Movie:
Cast: Tangi Miller, Blair Underwood, Boris Kodjoe, Henry Simmons, Lynn Whitfield, Jenifer Lewis, Keke Palmer, Rochelle Aytes, China Anderson, Maya Angelou Cicely Tyson and Tyler Perry

Wilson Morales' Synopsis:
Madea's Family Reunion centers around a pistol happy granny named Madea (Tyer Perry). She tries to hold a family reunion, a funeral for her sister and a wedding for her granddaughter all on the same weekend. An unstoppable force of nature, Madea may have finally taken on more than she can chew. She has just been court ordered to be in charge of Nikki (Palmer), a rebellious runaway, her nieces Lisa (Aytes) and Vanessa (Anderson) are suffering relationship trouble, and through it all she has to organize her family reunion. As the reunion approaches, secret revealed and tensions rise. Madea must use every tactic in her arsenal to not only keep the peace, but keep her family together.
For those who aren't familiar with Tyler Perry. He is a great and gifted Christian writer, who writes about Christian themes. I highly recommend his movies and plays. If you are not African-American, please take a second look at this man's work. His themes are universal, timeless and wonderful examples of how you can create a marketable product with a Christ-centered message. What say you? Does anyone else have any drawbacks to viewing this movie outside of race?
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MovieWatch: The Second Chance

Steve Taylor has a written a screenplay that challenges race and class within Christian churches. The Second Chance  introduces you to two very different ministers- (1)the son and Bling, Bling megachurch star of  the the two churches founder, and (2) a street tough, heart of the community's spirit. Played by Michael W. Smith and Jeff Obafemi Carr, respectively.

Can the faith Ethan and Jake share overcome the prejudices that divide them to give themselves and a struggling urban church a second chance?


Click the pic to tell you if the film is coming to your town.

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Kissmas Time: PartII

Kissmas Time
by Dee Stewart
 Filename: j0396816.wmf
Keywords: affections, romance,christian, story, celebrations, Christmas ...
File Size: 23 KB
Part II
     "Let me get this straight..." I watched Proctor's eyes for any signs of sanity. "You want me to join First United Atlanta Christian Center?"
      He nodded. "This should be a piece of cake for you."
      "Why? Because James is a member there?"
      "You're one smart cookie. I knew it all along."
      The jerk.
      "But I can't do that. And you know very well why."
      "Look.. How many times do you attend your father's church? The last time I checked you hadn't been there but twice this year: (1) Easter service and (2) to announce your engagement."
      "So...I'm getting married at Hozannah Baptist. Dad's giving me away there. Grandma's growing roses for the bouquet. I can't jump ship all Will Nilly let alone for you."
      "You're not doing this for me, Cookie. You're doing this for your career."
      "Deal breaker. I will not put my career before my family."
      "You already did when you took this job."
      "No. I did this, because Mom begged me to."
      "Your mother had nothing to do with this decision. And you know it.  I offered you the job; you pounced on it."
      "What Christian journalist do you know wouldn't want to cover church news and events for the largest newspaper in Atlanta?"
       "Exactly my point." He smirked. "You didn't take this job kicking and screaming. You wanted it."
       " what"
       "So what?" He leaned forward. "Now you give me what I hired you for--to report on the Greater Atlanta's Christian counterculture. It's news." He threw his hands up. " Heck. Every time you my reporters turn around, everytime we receive a newsfees Jesus Freak are making headlines. Serial killer, pedophiles, embezzlers, Swingers... closets freaks. Circulation Gods."
       My hands trembled at his blasphemy. "But-"
       "First United Atlanta is a cult and everyone outside of their marble walls knows it. The members can't take a squat without getting permission from the Bishop. 20,000 people living like Jesus Juice Junkies in side those walls 24/7. I want you inside. I want to know what makes this pinwheel spins."
       By now my mouth was dry and it felt like all the blood had drained from my face.  I stood up. "You're crazier than I thought. I won't tell Mom about this conversation out of respect for your marriage. But this whole deal is off. Ain't no way in the world I'd investigate or write something negative about a church, particularly that one."
       "I didn't say right anything negative. I just want you to go inside and with objectivity report what you discover."
      "Even if what I see is good?"
      "I doubt that's all you'll find. 20,000 humans packed together like Sardines for two hours a week can't be all sunshine and Krispy Kreme. You've been there. And you already know the rumors."
      "I don't know what you're talking about."
       "Please tell me that four years of undergrad and graduate school in journalism loan payments bought me a dimwit. You know full well about the rumors." He bammed his pen against the desk., then pointed it at me. "You know full well..."
        "Forget you." I  walked...ran toward the door. "I quit. I'll work somewhere else and I'll pay you back with interest. Believe that."
       "Believe this.." He shouted. "If you don't take this assignment, you can forget me funding this wedding of yours."
       I turned around.  "Freak that, too. James and I don't need your money."
       He stood up and walked around his desk. "Are you sure about that?"
      "Then why did I overhear your father telling your mother that he loaned James money for your precious bauble nesting on your finger."
    I looked down at my 2 carat princess cut diamond engagment ring, something I had dreamed about since I was sixteen. "That's not true. Besides my father doesn't have the kind of money to afford this."
    "You're right..." He sat on the edge of his desk. "But taking a loan against his family home might."
    I watched Proctor's eyes again for any sign of a lie. He never lied, the crazy goat. But I had to be sure.
    I turned back around. "I need to go talk to my dad and James about this."
    He chuckled. "You do that. And while you're out why don't you bop by First United and get familiar with your assignment."
    "And while I'm away why don't you buy your soul back from Satan, you jerk."  I slammed his door behind me. If I hadn't just taken a bible study series in anger management I would have ran that Watermen through his jugular.
To be continued...Check back in this Thursday for Part III of Kissmas Time or subscribe to our newsfeed.     
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Trilogies or Epics

Today I received Kendra Norman Bellamy's third novel in the "Grace" series, more than Grace. Beautiful cover. I will not be reading it until later in December, so it goes under the stack of books I've yet to review. Four books came in today. Just so you know.
Yet, I'm talking about this book, because lately I've been enamored with christian series novels. in fact, this weekend, I sat down with my RT January issue and mapped out all the series that will be coming in by spring 2006. And so I'm curious.
I'm revising a few novels for query submission. But I have a mystery series sitting on the back pew waiting for the first installment to be completed. I'm halfway through that one. Haven't decided if I will publish that as a novel or treat it as a short story/novella or make it a serialized novels. I think mysteries are great for serialized novels to podcast. However, I'm concerned...publishers still print epics. And some serials after a while they get to read pretty thin like their trying to fullfill their contract like Michael Jackson's last CD. On the other hand, I'm looking forward to reading the series. Once you get to know a character you want to stick around for a while, but for how long. From what I'm seeing Creston Mapes, Claudia Burney, Mary Griffith, Kendra Norman-Bellamy and a host of others, three is the thing. Is it because its a holy number? Or is it just because after three the author feels like those characters have cooked their last goose. I'm just wondering. What are your thoughts?

In Search of Morpheus Spock

Blogonomicon sent me on a mini research project tonight, while I took a break from lamenting over my own novel. Christian fantasy/sci-fi buffs more than likely know all about George MacDonald's influence on Tolkien, C.S.Lewis & Mark Twain, but suprisingly I had not.
With the birth of Christian manga for tweens and teens. King Kong's newest release this christmas, Prince Caspian's release next year after Narnia, Serenity and oodles and googles of other scifi movies coming out with christian undertones why aren't there more christian sci-fi writers? Now I'm a novice at this niche genre, so please help me out, who will Selah be reading about in sixth-grade English? Who are the popular Christian sci fi novelists and what are they up to? More importantly, who's the next Morpheus/Spock/Aslan?
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Nominate your Fav Christian Romance

Okay, you christian romance, Steeple Hill, Heartsong Presents, New Spirit fans. Christian Fiction are seeking nominations for our first Best Christian Romance Novel award.

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Submit your nomination and why in our comments section before December 10th. Whatever novel receives the most nominations win. The winner will receive notification that they won on December 15, and this neat icon for their website. Hopefully, we can get an interview or chat from them whereby they answer your questions for them.
For your participation, we will hold a random drawing of all participants. The winner will receive a free copy of Mary Griffith's new novel, Made of Honor[December Steeple Hill Cafe release.]

Related articles:
Made of Honor Excerpt in October's CCF
God's Self-Portrait
For love and Grace Book Review
Love at First Fight

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Halo's Eve over Advent

Dee's big mouth is preaching over at The Master Artist today. The discussion-Selah's Advent. Are you participating in Advent?
Halo's Eve Tip: If your writing doesn't transform you in some spiritual way, then go back to the drawing board.
Read my TMA article to fully understand this christian writing tip.
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

CF Buzz: Christian Chick Lit & Comics Crank Up 2006

Mgriffith_rt_1 Mary Griffith makes history!
According to my reviewing cronies at Romantic Times Magazine (Jan. 2006 edition)...Marilyn FunFiction Griffith's Made of Honor is the first African-American chick lit title to their new Steeple Hill Cafe imprint. Blessings, Mary.
Harlequin's African American book monoply
The publisher plans to launch two fiction lines for African-American markets in 2006 thru 2007. Kimani Press, which will publish four books a month starting next July. Former BET's Arabesque,  New Spirit will continue what it has been doing with its same VP, Linda Gill, BET books publisher, but under a new Harlequin flagship and a new senior editor, Mavis Allen of Silhouette. Former BET books assistent editor, Demetria Lucas has been named associate editor at Harlequin as well.
Dafina expands inspirational 
Kensington's Dafina imprint will expand its spiritual and inspirational romance line through 2007. Publisher Weekly states: "Author Victor McGlothin, who has published several novels with St. Martin's Press, is shifting gears with his forthcoming Dafina title, scheduled for May 2006. Down on My Knees is the faith-based story of a single mother who takes a vow of celibacy."
Barbour's Serenity Manga
Graphic novels are getting sanctified for the christian tween and teen market. Barbour publisher's Serenity manga series, hopefully will delight.
African American Christian Comics & Laurence Fishbourne
KIDZ OF THE KING™  Urban Ministries, Inc., a Chicago-based publisher of Sunday school materials for African-American churches, is launching a new line of Christian comics called The Guardians, which will feature a Matrix movie franchise Morpheus-Lauren Fishbourne looking superhero named "Code." They also have a cute comic Sunday School line for kids called Kidz of the King.
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Kissmas Time: Part 1

Kissmas Time
by Dee Stewart
 Filename: j0396816.wmf
Keywords: affections, romance,christian, story, celebrations, Christmas ...
File Size: 23 KB
Part I
     "...This assignment isn't hard even for you..."
     Mr. Proctor tapped his Waterman pen to the rhythm of the Lou Rawl's musical version of "The Little Drummer Boy," which crooned on the small vintage radio that sat upon the windowsill behind his desk.
    My back straightened when my brain realized that the man had slighted me yet another insult in the short time we had been sitting in his office. 
    "Thank you, sir"   was the best snappy comeback my greenie-self could come up with."Um... So exactly what do you need me to do?"    
  Proctor reached for his glasses on his desk, and I took that chance to search for anything in his office that might give me a better edge with the man.
      For a workhorse-office-grouch the man was a Christmas collecting maven. Proctor's office looked like a Thomas Kinkade painting had exploded inside it. Burgundy settee, , green and gold accented and rugs. A toy train set running underneath his desk, miniature snow roofed homes intermingling with the radio, his end tables and his collectible magazines.Two four inch cone shaped ferns flanked the east and west corners. He claimed the room calmed his spirit after a long day of advertisement standoffs with sponsors he despised, compliance crackdowns with the newspaper's legal team, and his current headache--me, the new Religion & Society columnist, who happens to be his reluctant step-daughter.
     According to my fiance, James, my column was a dinosaur waiting for extinction . He's a CNN/SI staff reporter, so he knows his stuff. Sports coverage is the new hot ticket for women journalists he often preached.
Besides religous reporting was an oxymoron.Christians can't be objective.
    Unfortunately, I agreed.
    But as I observed the gold specks in Proctor's eyes sparkle in sync with Lou Rawls and his Waterman's cadence my spirit told me that my notion of Christian journalism would end before the song was over...And maybe my engagement, too.
Keep checking in for Part Two on Tuesday or subscribe to Christian Fiction's newsfeed in the sidebar.
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

CF Movie Watch

The Christmas Blessing : Donna Vanliere : ISBN 0312322933  "The Christmas Blessing," CBS, Dec. 18. The sequel to 2002's "The Christmas Shoes" finds the young boy[Harris] all grown up. He meets a young woman and a boy who change his life. Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Angus T. Jones and Rob Lowe[cameo from the Christmas Shoes.] Based on the novels by Donna Van Liere.  

There are a host of made-for-television Christmas movies airing this Christmastime. What will you be watching?

Related articles:

The Engagement Ring on TNT this Monday.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

CF's Christmas Wish List: Tyler Perry

 The Tyler Perry Collection (I Can Do Bad All By Myself/Madea's Class Reunion/Meet the Browns/Madea's Family Reunion) The Tyler Perry Collection (I Can Do Bad All By Myself/Madea's Class Reunion/Meet the Browns/Madea's Family Reunion)
See larger image
Let me tell you my family and I watched Diary of a Mad Black Woman the movie version, Meet the Browns, and Madea's Class Reunion this Thanksgiving between watching the Macy's Parade and the Falcon's game. In my home and many of my friends, the holidays are not the holidays without watching a Tyler Perry play. If you haven't seen the plays or the movie, this collection is wonderful, and it supports the wonderful cast that continues to work on the road to make those productions awesome. This collection is a Christian theatre buff's must.
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Rain Christmas Sale

Vanessa Miller Rain Series 50% off autographed copies! $7.95
Click Here for details.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Halo' s Eve Tip: Plotting News

Religious Leaders to Gather in Taiwan for Interfaith Conference
14:19 Nov 23, '05 / 21 Cheshvan 5766

( More than 50 religious leaders from around the world, representing Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, will meet in Taipei, Taiwan, between November 28 and December 1, 2005 to collaborate on contemporary issues facing all leading religions. Of particular focus at the meeting will be youth suicide and developing efforts - begun at the first such conference in Seville, Spain, in 2003 - to address the increasing secularization of society.

While reading my news feeds this morning, I came across this news brief, and immediately thought of a great story premise using this event as a background. My premise:

Megan Donovan, a reluctant Christian delegate for the 2005 Interfaith Conference discovers that another delegate isn't who he claims. He's an assassin sent to create a religious war. When she speaks to Justus Angelhoff, head of conference security about her discovery, she finds that they already know about the attempt. And they believe that she's the assassin.

I know its loopy, but you got to try right. :)

So here's a Halo's Eve tip for you: Check the News for great story ideas. Your work will stay fresh and current. And you get to play with some real deal issues that may even scare you so bad, that you can't help but crank out the novel. After all, how can you get any sleep when you're running for your life, while trying to save the religious world?

Writing to see what the end's gon' be,



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Dee's on Novel Journey

Great writers are even greater readers. Gina Holmes of Novel Journey blog asked me to write an article on how to write book reviews with a christian point of view you can check it out by clicking on the articles title.

A Book Review Format For You By Davidae

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

CF's Christmas Wish: Papyrus

Christian Fiction would love personalized book stamps for the many books we receive to review. For book collectors, the book stamp is a must for you. And if you are a writer, elegant stationery and writing pens make you want to write even more. And ah yeah, baby the blank cards are priceless. CF recommends the entire store! Click on the title to direct you there. Note: My initials are DYS. :)Product Photo
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Halo's Eve: A Place for Christian Midlist

Datyon Business Journal wrote an article, Modern-day Davids & Goliaths this morning, discussing ways for independent booksellars to say in the game. " The selection in independent Christian stores is the bulk of what keeps them alive. Big-box retailers won't have anything less than the top 25 bestsellers on their shelves, Lynn Berry, owner of Dayton's Faith Christian Bookstore said.
My friends, Cheri Gregory of the Potters House in Valdosta, Georgia and Pastor George Terrell of Joy Unspeakable Bookstore in Riverdale, Georgia both house special sections for local indie publishers and authors. They also stock their stores with many Christian fiction titles their patrons care for the most. Cheri can't keep Kingsbury in stock and George keeps Kendra Bellamy and Jaqueline Thomas books in stock.
Halo's Eve Tip: It's a good idea to meet your local christian indie booksellar. See where you work may fit on their shelves. And most importantly, see if they have a special housing for its local christian authors. If you know of any booksellars, that do this in your neighbor, leave a comment here, so that Christian Fiction can compile a database to help christian authors promote their works.
Related articles:
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Monday, November 21, 2005

The Master Artist & Halo's Eve

Check me out this morning. I'm a new columnist at The Masters Artist Blog. I split Mondays with Deborah Gyapong. I'm so excited and very grateful for the opportunity. My first entry, The Holy Slap on is available now. Here. It is also the Halo's Eve Tip for Today. Write. Write Now!
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PubBiz:TivoToGo & ESPN 's 24

 Next for the video iPod: TiVoToGo.  
By Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images  
SAN JOSE, Calif. — TiVo is expanding its video recording service so users will be able to transfer recorded television shows onto Apple Computer's iPods or Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable — the latest move aimed at putting TV in people's hands for viewing anywhere.
How will this affect the book publishing industry, since one of the draws to book-buying is being able to hold the product in your hands?  Will they go back to the drawing board on E-readers? Or give serialized novelist some real pay. Look at ESPN's 2nd College Ave, Serialized novel written by Author, Jim Caple for an example. They have a themesong and nice advertising graphics to go along with it. Hmmm...A thought...Trinity Circle, a serialized novel.
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Zane as Church Lesson?

So I'm perusing the Miami Herald this weekend and my jaw drops when I read an article titled:MIAMI BOOK FAIR:Explosion in erotic literature BY NICOLE WHITE.
That conflict is even playing out on the bestseller list at Essence[Magazine.] Christian fiction authors and erotica authors routinely compete for the number one spot on the list. ''It's almost a battle between saints and sinners,'' Bass said.

Nevertheless, there is some mild acknowledgement of the genre's acceptance among young Christian adults. Zane said one of her most fulfilling appearances was a book signing for a women's group at a church brunch.

Steven Caldwell, 39, the pastor for young adults at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond Heights, admitted he has penned many lessons based on material gleaned from Zane's books.

''I don't tell them not to read it,'' Caldwell said. ``I have no problem with them reading it. In fact, I've read many of her books.''

Adding a caveat, the pastor noted: 'I use the characters' flaws and weaknesses to teach a broader lesson. I believe that the power of God's word is stronger than the power of a fictional character.''

Now, The Word states to not speak against our ministers, so I won't do that. But I am disheartened that he believes that its okay for his young adults to read erotica. Soft porn is a demon in black churches. Kirk Franklin confessed his own thorns over the issue and his new mission to prevent it within the young adult community.

Lately, we've talked at the faith*in*fiction board about the availability of sex scenes in christian fiction and the notion of Christian erotica. But we've all agreed that context and content is the dividing line here, not recreating a sexual act or inciting a reader's carnal emotions. It is clear line that within any case does not allow room for the types of works that Zane produces.

I thought about speaking to Zane about doing an interview here at Christian Fiction, as she is a Christian writer, but not a christian fiction writer. We belong to the same bookclub. However, I am spiritually not prepared to open that can of worms and I'm sure neither is she. So I ask you, is their a spiritual precedence allowing soft porn in young adult christian's minds? Is it okay for them to read erotica, as a bible study accompaniment? And if so, should christian fiction writer's be the one's writing these books?

A Conscience Chick


Chick Lit With A Conscience

Authors craft characters who enjoy shopping and margaritas but love God even more. 

Jessica Hill at Columbia News Service highlights Anne Dayton, May Vanderbilt,Kristin Billerbeck, Laura Jensen Walker, and Judy Baer. The most jaw-dropping thing about the article was the letter writing campaign to ban the books from Christian bookstores back in 1999, because of bikini shopping. Now these books sit on the same shelves as the other girlie fiction books in Target and Walmart. Mission accomplished.
Now I must confess. I adore great writing. And I love a great story even more. And sometimes, especially during the holidays I want a book that makes me laugh. I hadn't checked out any of these books. But I'm about to read Mary Griffith's Pink and her Steeple Hill Cafe chicklitty- Made of Honor next month. And I'm going to see Pride & Prejudice at the movies week after next. Have any of you read any girlie christian fiction? Did you like it? Do you think these chicks have a conscience or are they chasing the bling bling?
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Conference Call: EMACW


December 2 & 3, 2005


“Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

Habakkuk 2:2


Register today and experience a  welcome, supportive environment for all writers –beginners and seasoned.

Conference Information





Conference Site


Call 404.444.7414
For Information

or EMail




  • 14 Sessions

  • Professional training with six faculty

  • Complimentary Refreshments

  • Catered lunch Friday/Saturday

  • Awards Banquet/Dinner

  • Free 15 minute private consultations with faculty will be offered on a limited first-come, first-serve basis. You may sign up at the registration table at the beginning of the conference.

  • Lighthouse Christian Bookstore on-site

  • Hospitality on the historical Covington Square, with horse-carriage rides, hot apple cider and book signings

  • Early Bird Registration

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Halo's Eve, Tolkien, & The Christy's

While you're surfing the net looking for news about Hurricane Gamma, veer your board to There's an article on the Christy's and the emergence of better written christian fiction.
Got this tip from Tolkien via Debra Murphy at Idyllist Press.
There cannot be a story without a fall.
Isn't that a great tip? I wrote this quote down a while back. And now as I read through my entire manuscript, that sentence haunts me. Something bad must happen to Laurel or had happened to Laurel. Something bad had to happen period. It's hard to hurt your characters even when they keep you up at night. But there isn't a story without Frodo getting his throat rung a time or two. Right? How are you assaulting your main character?
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CleanFlicks vs Gibson's Passion

Altar-Net is talking about Mel Gibson's controversial lawsuit against CleanFlicks for   trying to purify The Passion of Christ despite the movie's recut version this year.  
 Christian creatives lately have been talking about building their works for art sake as well as for Christ. Gibson's very realistic version of flaggelation is brutal. The movie's purpose was to not only heighten empathy levels with Believers, but to also answer some question non-believers may have had about Christ's divinity. Yet, although many understand's Gibson's purpose, CleanFlicks thought that to accomodate its' viewers the movie should be sanitized in order to be stomached. Their purpose is just as valid. So who's right? Or is anyone right? And should Gibson continue the suit? Moreover, what will this suit mean for other christian artists whose works may do more harm than good to some audiences. In this case, the Passion Movie exciting teenage boys to view the movie as a snuff film, instead of a study on unconditional love and long suffering.
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No Christ at Wal-Mart

Sorry, I haven't posted this morning. I was in CPR and First Aid Training all day at the Gwinnett County Fire Department. Great class. Anyway...
So I'm driving home, thinking about getting Selah's lay-away out of Wal-Mart early to get ahead of Christmas shopping for once. And notice something different in the store. No "Merry Christmas."
That's right. According to Wallyworld's PR people and every local television station, Walmart has adopted "Happy Holidays" as its new slogan over "Merry Christmas." So that it's non-Christian customers will not be offended. Great move. I understand their position on a business standpoint. So I hope they understood mine when I closed my lay-away today. 85% of this country is Christian or at least believe in Christ, so I beg to ponder how business savvy this move is. My only hope is that more Christians put their money where Christ would be shopping for Mary and Joseph, if he lived in 2005.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Anne Rice at Well

My buddy, Chris Well has posted a Conversation with Anne Rice on His Learning Curve Blog, which includes an excerpt link. Christian Fiction has spoken about her new novel all year, here's more to whet your appetite. Faith*in*Fiction's messageboard has also been buzzing about the book and Rice's decision to write this story in first person. Unlike non-Christian writers, most Christian writers have concerns about stepping over their boundaries with what is sacred and what can be imagined. Based on Rice's answer, she doesn't fall into that category.  
Knopf Publisher asks, "Jesus Christ narrates this book. Explain your decision to make him the narrator."

Rice: Jesus is the first-person narrator of this book because the use of first-person narrators is the way I know how to write a book with the greatest power and chance of artistic success. The intimate voice of the narrator in earlier novels worked powerfully for me.
Do you agree with Rice's reason? Should Christian concern themselves with what's sacred instead of art for art's sake? Is this debate philospophical or should it also be spiritual?
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Related Articles
Ann Rice Comments

Ann Defends her Christ Novel

Prayer Request: Anne Rice

Anne Rice on Hurricane Katrina

Halo's Eve Tip #13:Attention to Detail

Author, Terry Burns gave some choice writing advice today on Gina Holmes, Novel Journey Blog.
Gina: What's the worst piece of writing advice you've heard?

Terry: People who tell us we don’t need to pay attention to rules and conventions but should write it the way we want. To me ‘rules’ means grammar and formatting, the basics, and must be followed to the letter. ‘Conventions’ are different genre to genre, but basically are what a number of editors like to see done in work they publish. We can choose to break some convention, but should do it only if we know why we are doing it, and with a full knowledge of why it is an accepted convention. We also have to keep in mind that when we choose to do so, we are probably limiting our market by ruling some editors out who believe strongly in the convention. The less our publishing credits, the less likely they are to accept work that doesn't fit within established rules and conventions.

Last year in my writing workshop we were taught to follow convention, but break them sparingly and for a reason just as Burns said. I often drop nouns from sentences for rhythm purposes.  My example: An excerpt from one of my WIP's, Safe in Her Arms...

Pop. Triple Pops. The distant gunfire popped through the island's calm.

Laurel jerked forward out of her sleep. She looked around. Pulled her sheets closer to her chest. Trembled.(against convention example) I'd forgotten about all this craziness. She said to herself.

War. Constant. War. Haiti's verity reminded. Something had to be done here. She thought. Haiti deserved some sort of peace. But how would she accomplish this? God only knew.

I hope those two sentences aren't the reason an editor rejects me, because I like the way they sound aloud. But if an editor tells me to change the sentence, then I would. Are there any instances when you go against grammar in your stories? Let's talk about it at the discussion board.
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Dee's Christmas Story

Dee Stewart has revised her Christmas Story that was published in last year's Rejoice! Atlanta Newspaper. Here is a snippet of it. You can click on its title to read the story in its entirety.
A Christmas Love Story
by Davidae Stewart

...It’s Christmas Eve and Martinique hasn’t heard from Rico. She would like to attend church tonight and pray for his safety, but the Judge and his wife have left Martinique with their newborn daughter, Lourdis, to attend a Christmas Party at the Governor’s Mansion. All the other domestics have gone home to be with their family. Rico is all the family Martinique has.

She and Rico came to America three and four years ago, respectively to find the American Dream. And to their surprise, they found each other, while working--more like hiding out--in the same affluent, Alpharetta neighborhood. Martinique, a caramel coated Betty Boop with dark flowing hair that fell well over her shoulders, fell even harder for Ricardo, a cinnamon-kissed, Columbian six-footer with a strong build and a stronger gaze, who worshipped the honeysuckle smell of her hair and the little bit of Spanish Martinique knew.

To be continued...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

2006 Genesis Contest

Eligibility – The 2006 ACFW Genesis contest is open to ACFW members unpublished in fiction in the last seven years (no published print or electronic works of 20,000 words or more). Authors of library bound fiction dissertations are eligible. Contracted authors are not eligible. Previous Noble Theme category winning entries are not eligible. Manuscripts under consideration by a publishing house are not eligible. Genesis entries may be submitted to other contests.

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The Genesis Award

My Literary Crush

Slate magazine asked a couple of hollywood types, news personalities and novelists: Mark Cuban, owner, Dallas Mavericks,  Sam Tanenhaus, editor, New York Times Book Review Judd Apatow, writer-director, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Chris Matthews of Hardball to name a few:
What's the most influential book you read in college? What made you slam down your café au lait and set out to conquer the world? Click here to read the answers.
My literary crush: Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
What's yours?
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Book & Bible Giveaway is having a Book & Bible Giveaway. Use my referral code to Enter: 111597.

November Giveaway

Hostage Heroic Holyism

 Former JAG Corps Officer, Dan Brown writes a series of military thrillers that he says might not be too far off from reality, according to Wendy Lamus of Cary News.
 He said he thinks terrorist infiltration of the military is a "real possibility, but it wasn't necessarily an overwhelming drive that led me to write. I do foresee that as something we need to be concerned about in the future."
What's most fascinating about her interview with Brown wais definition of Christian Fiction.
"I don't consider it to be Christian fiction in the traditional mold" — in which a religious conversion experience is often involved, he said...But I sort of have bought off the philosophy of [author] Al Gansky. How do you define Christian fiction? Put a Christian in a scenario and see how they respond. ... This is not a theological treatise by any means."
From my evaluation of the twenty plus books I reviewed this year alone I haven't read that many new novels that does not fit that mode. In fact, very little had preachy tones and unrealistic plots. This revelation could be in part because most of the christian fiction books I reviewed this year were written by young writers and/or writes of colors, who share a similiar philosophy.
Not saying that culture and age is dividing the line between typical CBA novels and newer works. What I am saying, however, that from the many authors I have interviewed and I know personally they approach their work with a conflict, then determine how that character will get through that conflict. In most cases their faith is both a catalyst and a comforter. For instance although Victoria Christopher Murray's novels are published under a secular publisher all her characters are Christians living in a secular world instead of outside of it. Angela Benson thinks that shedding the light on problems in the church, edify the Body, so she doesn't have a problem with exposing some of Christiandom's inner conflict. Lisa Samson deals with adult child/parental responsibility shifts.All these things affect us now.
On another note, when you look at african american faith culture. It operates within its community not oustide of it or in its own counter culture. Most blacks believe they have Christian values, so they don't feel a need to seperate from others. Thus their stories tend to have characters that are not christian and characters that sin often and struggle with that thorn in the side type of sin.
Like Brown as Christians began to explore more about Christ and what he means to their lives, these explorations will carry out in fiction. Halo's Eve Tip#12: Write what haunts your soul. I received this tip courtesy of a birthday letter, Chuck Pahlaniuk sent me. Brown's concern for our national security drives his thrillers. What drives yours?
Let us know at the discussion board. And lets us know how you're doing with NaNoWriMo.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November Celebration of Christian Fiction

 Filename: j0396768.wmf
Keywords: celebrations, Christmas, Christmas wreaths ...
File Size: 54 KB Violet's hosting this month's Celebration of Christian Fiction. We are window shopping for writing craft books this month. Click on the pic to be directed to the site.

Each participant did a great job talking about the writing tool that helps them write better. Writing the Breakout Novel, The Holy Bible and Strunk and White are tantamount in my house. But I also use other novels, to help me with a writing challenge. Glenville Lovell and Walter Moseley are masters of short scenes. James Patterson is a plotting phenom. J. Mark Bertrand's conversion short story was a study on pace. Linda Grosevenor creates these elegant novellas that take your breath away. Tia McCollors and Dave Long showed me how to write a romantic interchange without burning the page(I need more work at that.) Ngozie Aditichie, Lisa Samson & Sue Monk Kidd's works are studies on space. Olympia Vernon takes an ugly thing and makes it beautiful. Claudia Burney makes me blush when I read. Mary Griffith and Chris Mikesell makes me fall out of my chair. Stacy Hawkins, Angela Benson courageously tackles challenges in the Black Church. Kendra Bellamy can make a male character's taste better than the my own version of sweet potato pie. Chuck Pahlaniuk changes the game on so many levels for me. The list goes on and on. So what I do is keep a cheat sheet of these writers, so when I stumble I know where I need to go to get back on track. Where do you go when you need a live study?

Relates articles:
November CoCF
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TechTalk: Bloggging w/MS Word

 Now you can use Blogger right within Microsoft® Word. Just download and install the Blogger for Word add-in and a Blogger toolbar will be added to Word allowing you to edit, save and manipulate your posts inside an easier format.
Currently, I use Qumana to create my blog posts. I like it alot, because all my eight blogs can be managed by one click. However, I may try this add-on feature out for my Girl Scout blog, so that my troop committee can create posts easily, since they are not familiar with blogging. If you try this, please come back here and tell me what you think about it.
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OT: BlackBrides Blog

Anyone out there getting married? Well, I have a cute blog just for you. Click on the image and it will direct you to BlackBrides.
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End Times, LaHaye w/ Halo's Eve

An hour ago, while I was dressing Selah for Kindergarten I watched an interview with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins on Good Morning America. Their discussion paralleled with Christian Fiction Blog's entry yesterday concerning this new phenomena of people flocking to end times Christian novels because they are concerned that previous events: 911, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, this weekend's out-of-season nine tornado stampede through Iowe, PanAsian tsunami, yesterday's Japanese earthquake, Jennifer Anniston making GQ's annual man of the year issue(I actually love that news.) Although King Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun, the onslaughts of all these occurrences that we can not control has put America into a panic. The world doesn't see us as the Light House anymore, and apparently God has changed his mind about us, too.
So what better people to ask about our incoming doom--Left Behind Series, authors LaHaye and Jenkins.  The Regime
The interview was quite good in my opinion. Both When asked if they believed the end was coming, LaHaye stressed that no one will know the time the end will come. And Jenkins reminded us that we must first have the rapture before the end. And their main purpose for their twelve book plus trilogy prequel series is to encourage people to come to Christ so they want be left behind. authors spoke with both tact and grace. 
Halo's Eve Tip #11:  Have a purpose for your writing.
ABC News has an excerpt on their very publicized new novel, The Regime-the second novel in the prequel. Also the series will take its next movie to American Prisons.
This interview as well as Anne Rice's previous one has put Christian fiction not only in the spotlight, but in the forefront of the fiction publishing industry. Will Christian Fiction save publishing? Will it save cinema(Narnia, Serenity, King Kong? What do you think? And what do you think about The Regime?
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Monday, November 14, 2005

The Shepherd's Nativity

The Shepherd’s Nativity:
Filename: j0155076.wmfA Three  Act Christmas Play
by Davidae
Christian Fiction has a short, simple Christmas Play for you. Email me at vidae at writing dot com, and I will email it to you. This play is protected, so you have to agree to a few terms to receive a copy of it. You can read a snippet of it here at my portfolio.
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Halo's Eve Tip: A Journalist Crap-O-Meter.

Got writer's block? Or second draft block? Pretend you are a journalist. Write. Write everyday. Something. Get a blog. Write in there. Get a moleskine journal and a Hello Kitty pen. Write something. For me writing non-fiction helps me focus and tighten up my prose. This month find a place to publish a short news article. No flowery words. Just the facts. Then return to your story. Your journalist crap-o-meter will have kicked in by then. You'll be able to pull the crap out with ease just from that exercise.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Mitford Adieu

From the Mitford site...
 All good things—even laughter and orange marmalade cake—must come to an end.
And in Light from Heaven, the long-anticipated final volume in the phenomenally successful Mitford Years series, Karon deftly ties up all the loose ends of Father Timothy Kavanagh’s deeply affecting life.
Father Tim goes to his home state-Holly Springs, Mississippi.
What I like about Mitford is that they remind me of home a little bit and the characters read like people you would meet at the Winn Dixie(yes, it is still in Lake Park, Georgia.) When I try to determine what kind of writer I want to be, in regards to style, I prefer to be the small town girl next door with some whacky tacky stories only a swampwater babe like myself could tell. Karon inspired me to try my hand at this. And yes, Claudia. I still plan to do a cookbook once I finish Buttermilk Faith(my third novel that isn't complete.)What author is your inspiration?
A great Christmas Treat is Karon's Mitford Snowmen: snowmen.asp
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Avian Flu & Tyndale $43Mil Holy Newsfeeds

Tyndale releases this press release on PRWeb on Friday.
Cheryl Kerwin, Tyndale fiction marketing manager, estimates that there has been a 25 percent increase in new visitors to the Left Behind Series website ( over the last few months. Following Hurricane Katrina, Tyndale saw a nearly 50 percent jump in sales of the 1998 non-fiction title “Are We Living in the End Times?” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In addition, Tyndale’s apocalyptic political thriller The Ezekiel Option by Joel C. Rosenberg has sold more than 100,000 copies since July...
 On November 15, they will release their fourteenth Left Behind® novel, The Regime, tipping series sales past the 43 million mark. Events such as Y2K, 9/11, the Iraqi war, and more recently the Malaysian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina spark internet chatter, news coverage, church sermons and even book sales but the underlying question remains. Could these be warning signs of the end?
I am amazed that The Regime may sale 43 million copies. But what is even more amazing is that people are reading these stories as possible indicators of what the end may look like. Although scripture has certainly stated that the Lord will come back like a thief in the night( 2 PETER 3:10-13.) At leat 43 million of us, seem to think we know which night the thief will strike.
I've often thought that the end would come when the world was full or political peace or when everyone spoke the same language(rap music).
Maybe I should write a novel with that idea something different and more biblically sound. Like a story about a chicken who claims that the sky is falling.  But no one believes him until it actually does. I think the latter may be an even bigger hit than the others.cover
But if the end is here like these books conclude, then perhaps we can ask DaVinci is there any value in his code,as well. Something to think about.
What do you think of these end time novels? Do you read them for entertainment value or to prepare for Armageddon? Or because your pastor told you to? Or seriously, is there any validity in this type of fiction? Has christian fiction moved from pulpit propoganda to holy news feeds?
Hope I'm not sounding cynical, just amazed.  And I want to be in the number when He returns. That's all. 
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Friday, November 11, 2005

Infuze's Narnia Blog

 Click on the icon to be directed to Infuze's Narnia Blog. The Narnia Blog
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Selah and I will begin reading this book this weekend. And our Daisy Scout troop will look at the easy reader version as a scouting activity. We are passing on the movie, because the girls are afraid of the lion. Selah and I will go and see it at the Imax with her little boy friend, Nicholas. :) Are you planning to take your young ones to see this. Why or why not?

Veteran's Day Fundraising Reminder

  Yesterday was my father's service unit- The United States Marine Corps birthday. Today is Veteran's Day. If you haven't donated to this great project, today is a perfect day to do it. Let me remind you:
 Project Valour-IT is a project of Soldiers' Angels [a 501(c)(3) charity], providing voice-controlled laptops to soldiers with wounds that prevent the use of conventional computers. The donation page is here. If you want to join the friendly fundraising competition, please read on: Here.
You can see on the sidebar that we are close to reaching our goal. Let's represent. We're a christian blog. Let's so brotherly love to our injured soldiers. Semper Fi!
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Christian Writer's Prayer

Angela Hunt gives us a lesson on prayer and studying God before we prepare our stories at Charis Connection today.

"Father, help us in our task and forgive us our foolishness. Make us better writers than we are, for your name's sake.



Halo Tip#9: Angela Talks Amen

Angela Benson talks Amen, abusive churches   and themes in her new release the Amen   Sisters here at Christian Fiction. Her first christian novel,  Awakening Mercy was a finalist for the RITA Award given by Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Christy Award given by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). 
 The Amen Sisters
Dee: I read your article in this summer's Precious Times Magazine-"Helping a
Friend After the Trauma of an Abusive Church." Is that what The Amen Sisters is about or is it more than that?

Angela: The Amen Sisters is my tribute to survivors of church abuse. I tell their story, a story I don't think many of us think much about.  You know, we see the ministers on television who give their repentance sermons and we get to hear the stories of how God helped them pull their lives back together, but we never hear about the broken parishioners who get caught in the middle of the chaos.  I wanted to write about those broken people to show that they do exist and to show how God heals their hurt and restores their faith.  People laugh at the things that go on in some churches. I want The Amen Sisters to be a reminder of all the people who are hurt by the nonsense.

Dee:Francine alienated everyone in her life when she became a member of a cult-like church. Bits and pieces come out about what happened to her while attending this church, but the story concentrates more on how her hometown was affected by Francine's actions with this chuch. Why did you choose to build the story from this point?

Angela: This was a deliberate decision on my part. I didn't want to write a story that hinged on the sensationalism of the topic of sexual predators in the church. There are a lot of stories out there that already do this, stories that focus on the bad acts of the preacher.  I wanted to write a story that honored those who were, and are, preyed upon. So The Amen Sisters does not take the reader into the bad acts of Bishop Payne, but it shows the far-reaching impact of his actions and the struggle of all those affected to recover from the blow.

Dee: What are the themes in this story?

Angela: Now that's a hard one.  I almost want to ask, What's a theme? but I'll resist.  When I first started writing, I thought that I could write themes into a story.  What I've learned over time is that the themes emerge as I write the story.  If forced, I'd say the major themes in The Amen Sisters are 1) personal sin has community consequences, 2) healing comes with forgiveness, 3) your past doesn't have to dictate your future, and 4) faith in God's love overcomes any personal challenge or shortcoming.

Dee: You have you characters saying prayers alound and quoting scripture in dialogue. Why do you do this? And how does it help your readers understand the themes in this story?

Angela: The characters in The Amen Sisters are Christians who have relationships with a living God and who believe the Bible is relevant to their day-to-day lives.  It's normal for Christians to encourage each other by recalling situations in the Bible where God did or said something related to their current experience.  Therefore, it's natural for the the characters in The Amen Sisters to pray together and to recall scriptures related to the situations they face. I'm not sure the recalling of scripture helps the readers grasp the themes as much as I think it helps them understand the characters and what motivates them.

Dee: You give 5 tips in PT Mag to help friends support survivors of abusive churches. Does any characters act on these tips in the story?

Angela: That's a good question.  I'd like to think all the characters learned the tips by what they experienced and that, because of their experiences, they'll deal with other survivors in a supportive manner.

Dee: Bonus question: Were you an abusive church survivor?

Angela: I had a very negative church experience some years back. I didn't experience exactly what the characters in The Amen Sisters experienced but I did feel their same sense of hurt and betrayal.
If you have any questions for Angela, please leave them in the comments, so she can answer them for you. Thanks, Angela.
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blog Thanks Award

Ok. So, this month is Thanksgiving and Christian Fiction Blog's feeling quite gracious. This month we are sending out Blog Thanks Awards to blogs that have inspired us this year and have given us far more than we could ever give back. 
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My three picks are(and I have so many others to thank later:)
Dave Long's Faith*in*Fiction Blog.
I have formed such a great bond with Dave and the guys and dolls at the forum. Dave has his hands full aquiring titles for Bethany House. Yet, he takes the time to not only share his thoughts about what christian fiction can inspire to be, but also with a dry humor try to convince a southern football fanatic like me that baseball is better. :)Now more than ever I believe that writing with a christian worldview is my calling. Thanks guys for being so giving.
Darren Rouse's
I ran across this blog when I decided I wanted to learn more about blogging and how to turn this site into a tool for christian fiction writers and readers. Darren gives so much advice about generating traffic, current trends, and news I need to pay him, but my blogging isn't earning millions like his. But it has earned me enough to have my own domain! We'll talk about those changes in December.
Mick "Milk" Silva's Your Writing Group:
Such a passionate soul about christianity and christian writing. Didn't get to chat much with him when Focus on Fiction was running. But I'm constantly checking out what he has to say. I'm constantly checking my own writing to see if my writing is devoted to God. Thanks Milk(my pet name only.)
We would love for you to take this image and give thanks to your favorite blogs and comment here about which blogs you chose, so that we could check them out. What a fun meme to show thanks to the blogosphere. 
At the end of the year, we will compile these blogs and do a top ten of the best inspiring blogs. Thanks for commenting.
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HaloTip #8: Using Horses to Drive Theme

An excerpt from Sugar Rum Halloween

“Mary Margaret…” I screamed.

Her body flailed back and forth on the altar like a fresh trout in a beach bucket.

“Are you in there?”

The jerking stopped. Mary Margaret Hogan looked straight through me. Her eyes, glazed, jaded…green. I held my chest.

Five months ago the Valdosta Daily Times wrote an article about a little boy whose parents made him live in a coat closet, because he needed to be disciplined. By the time the police found him, his face was green, jaded, and dead.

Mary Margaret sat straight up. Jack-in-the-box. And growled. “She is not here, Anastasia Foster.”

I felt a drop of urine in my underpants.

People aren’t always what they seem to be. And yes… There are green monsters in my closet.


In my short story Sugar Rum Halloween I used horses, a screenwriting term for collaging subjects, in order to build a solid theme. Each theme or horse grew stronger and stronger until the reader understood that this story was about secrets, mercy and identity.


Go to the message board to see how to you can create horses to drive your theme.  And tell me what kind of stories are bridging your theme.



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Girl Scouts Across America Adventure to Narnia


My girlscout troop, the Notorious 1942 Daisy Patch is excited. This year the Girl Scouts of America started a nationwide bookclub. And guess what our first book will be? The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe. We will start this month so we can prepare to see Narnia. Next month we will meet only once and the meeting will be to see the movie on the 10th. I'm psyched.


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