Friday, November 30, 2007

Divine Intervention & a Jazzy Christmas Story

A Jazzy Christmas Story
Anike-Tene, spoken word artist will perform a jazzy rendition of The Christmas Story this Sunday,December 2, 2007, 7pm at the Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD. Go to her site here to purchase tickets. Cost: $20

A Romantic Comedy's Divine Intervention
Indie filmaker, Van Elder's faith based romantic comedy "Divine Intervention" premieres in Los Angeles tonight. The film is about three people struggling with their faith, romance and self-actualization. Pastor Clarence Matthews[James Avery] the senior pastor of a church is stepping down to allow a hip, younger minister Robert Gibbs [Wesley Jonathan] ("Roll Bounce") takeover the pulpit. Mathew's daughter, Divine falls for the unappreciative Gibbs, and there is the conflict.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christian TV Showcase

I love the holiday seaon. I love watching the Hallmark channel anyway, but in December I love it more. Christian FIction wants to alert you to three faith based television shows that you need to set your remote for:

Also of note. Tyler Perry's House Of Payne - Volume One, Episodes 1-20 and Jerry Jenkin's
Midnight Clear will be available December 4th.

Speedlinking: Christian Parents Refuse Guide of The Golden Compass

Christian Parents are leery about guiding their children into the movie theatres this month to see The Golden Compass. Some Christian fiction authors, media, and the Catholic League have warned parents of the movies anti-Christian/atheist theme. This week the author, Phillip Pullman calls this boycott campaign "absolute rubbish." At a London premiere of the film, he stated:
I am a story teller. If I wanted to send a message I would have written a sermon.
However New Line Cinemas removed mentions of God and the church[The books tell of a battle against the church and a fight to overthrow God] from the script last November. The Golden Compass US release date is December 7.

What do you think? Have you read the books? Read the first chapter here.The book is intended for older children. Do you think your children will be misguided by them? Are you taking your kids to the movie? If not, I have a great movie recommendation they can see on Christmas Day that shows the triumph of Christian character. Stay tuned for details next week. Subscribe to ChristianFiction to stay informed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Free Holiday Contest for Parents Only

Filename: j0432407.wmf Keywords: clothes, dresses, fairy tales ... File Size: 19 KBThink about the stories that so often capture the imagination of little girls..stories like Cinderella, Snow White and the Ugly Duckling. One recent "ugly duckling" movie, The Princess Diaries initially shows a teen girl(played by Anne Hathaway) living out the worst dear of most young girls: feeling ordinary, unloved, invisible. She doesn't fit in, and she's been giggled about and rejected by those around her. And then she finds out that she's not ordinary; she's a princess.
- An excerpt from For Parents Only: Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice.

Last Friday Selah and I went to see Disney's Enchanted and Sony's This Christmas. Both movies were great. What theme that resonated from both was this need for connection. My family and I love movies. It is one of our chief pasttimes. Watching movies I can talk with Selah about us without her thinking this is a parent talk.

So when I received For Parents Only in the mail I was pleasantly surprised. It is a small book that can fit in a shoulder bag or in your hand. so its easy to grab reference material. What's the best part about the book is that this book is derived from more than 1200 kids. Their responses buttress the points in this book. I love this fact, because there are things that Selah do--she's seven, not a teen--mimic what teenage girls do. This helps me figure out what is going on with her, so that I can guide her into growing up in the best way I can and also add my faith into her walk toward maturity. I am also finding out some things about myself. Why I lashed out at my mom and dad at times. Why I put up with not-so-good friends. I tell you this book is good. You don't have to be a parent for this one. I think this book is a great gift for all.

Filename: j0422249.jpg Keywords: boxes, celebrations, Christmas ... File Size: 279 KBIn fact, it's so good. I'm giving away two copies. Contact me between now and Dec. 8 and share with us a tradition you have with your children, and I will get it into the mail to you before Christmas. That's right!

To learn more about the book stroll your mouse over the title here or click on it. You can also purchase this book in Dee's Vertical Book Store

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday's Theatre Block: First Sunday

Every Tuesday Christian Fiction showcases a gospel play that is touring somewhere in America or a movie about to hit a theatre near you. Today's feature is Sony Pictures "First Sunday" starring Ice Cube, Katt Williams, Tracy Morgan. The story involves two criminals plot to steal from their local church, but wound up taking the parishioner's hostage. It will be in theaters 1.1.08. Screenplay written by David Talbert. Congrats to Talbert.

Have you ever met a celebrity, author, or minister who turned you cold?

Don Otis over at The Writer's View has started a tips driven discussion for writers on book signings. He shared a bad experience he had at a book signing, which reminded me of a bad experience I had a church revival. I won't name the Bishop, but I was so excited to hear his sermon in person. I was going to cover the revival for Rejoice Atlanta News at the time. At the end of the service after the church offering the bishop stood up and berated the congregation. He chastised us for not giving with all our might. His brother flew him to Atlanta for the revival and the least we could do was return the favor. I was floored. I did not write a story about him. When his publicist ask me to attend his ribbon cutting ceremony for his new church, which is now here in Atlanta, I didn't come. My perception of who I thought he was had changed. Has that ever happened to you? Have you met a celebrity, author, minister, performer who turned you cold after you met them?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Internship Announcement: Christian Publicist

Are you serious about learning about PR and Marketing? Do you feel "called" to help "market the Message" of ministries and Christian authors? Are you trustworthy and have integrity?

Here's your opportunity:

Ministry Marketing Solutions' long-running virtual internship program offers interested undergraduate and graduate students a comprehensive introduction to the book industry and ministry marketing.

Though we do not offer interns monetary compensation, we do supply letters of recommendation and make arrangements for course credit from the sponsoring college or university. Our program is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the field of book publishing, public relations and ministry marketing. Many of our interns have gone on to successful careers in the communications industry.

MMS is seeking two highly motivated and detail-oriented interns to serve as Marketing Assistants starting in January. College students majoring in communications, public relations, marketing or journalism with interest in ministry marketing are encouraged to apply.

Interns are exposed to all aspects of agency work. Duties range from basic clerical tasks, packing/shipping to reading and evaluating manuscripts and proposals, media research and more. Be prepared for an exciting, fast-paced atmosphere.

The ideal candidates must be organized and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills plus be proficient on the computer. We seek interns that have initiative, humility and are bright, creative and eager to learn. You must be someone who follows through and can work independently (virtual).

Duties will include:

Research - Researching media outlets, marketing trends for all clients who are authors and/or ministers.

Marketing - Administrative marketing assignments, as needed, as well as internet marketing.

Public Relations - Writing press materials, crafting creative pitches, contacting broadcast/print and online media to help secure interviews for authors and clients.

  • All interns will work directly with Chief Visionary, Publicists, and Executive Assistant.
  • Requires a commitment of 15 to 20 hours per week, generally about 3 months on a quarterly schedule.
  • May require light local travel and some event appearances.

Although the program is aimed at students,

anyone interested can apply.

Closing date to apply for internship is December 31, 2007.

Interested candidates must have telephone or cell phone & Internet access. Please forward resume/cover letter as to why you would like to work with MMS. Put Internship in the Subject Line of email to:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dee's 2007 Holiday Wish List: Writer's Edition

I hope y'all saw my music minister, L'Tanya Moore sing with Josh Groban on Oprah today. It was short, but great. Anyhoo...Watching Oprah give away gifts reminded me of my own version of Favorite Things, more like wISH lIST. I wish I could give these gifts away. A future goal, give me twenty more years. Below are my wish picks for great gifts for writers.

Dee's Holiday Wish for Writers

1. Levenger's Lapalot Desk. $128.

This puppy has everything you need to read and write in bed. I LIKE. Great thing to have if your laptop is about two hours away from burning a hole through your leg.

2. The Sabrina Laptop Bag by Abbi New York. $89

  • Padded computer compartment fits up to 15.4” widescreen laptops
  • Matching wallet purse
  • Two side pockets for iPod®, Blackberry®, etc.
  • 2 easy access front pockets for keys, change, etc
  • Inside pockets for power cable and phone, pen holders, a zipper compartment for cosmetics and other items
  • Premium faux leather
3.Sin and Evil: Moral Values in Literature $34.30 through Amazon.

403 pages that reference British and American literature over the last 250 years, this is an ambitious, substantial overview of the way major authors from Fielding to Vonnegut have dealt with sin and evil. Paulson, at the same time, interacts with theologians, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and literary critics. Yale University.

4.Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

This baby is already sold out, but if you order now you reserve your spot for the next batch. What is it? Let me just tell you what it does:

Product Overview
Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
More than 88,000 books available, including 100 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers. New York Times® Best Sellers and all New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post.
Holds over 200 titles.
Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read.
Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.

5. Hello Kitty USB 2.0 Flash Drive 512 MB

Cute. If you've been reading my blog, then you know how important having one of these is to me. A flashdrive is a must. Why not have one that make you smile.

6. Apple MacBook Pro MA895LL/A 15" Notebook PC (2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive)

Click here to read and watch. That's all I can say about it. Plus I want one.

What did I miss on the list?

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Music Minister on OPRAH'S Greatest Tuesday

Hallelujah! St. Phillip AME's Music Minister, PK, L' Tanya Moore and members of the Sanctuary Choir, who comprise the L'Tanya Moore Gospel Singers will be singing with Josh Groban tomorrow on Oprah's Favorite Things Holiday Edition! The show was taped in Macon, GA at the Macon City Auditorium.

CFB Monday News: Spirit in Song

BET's 8th Annual Celebration Announced

BET Channel's Celebration of Gospel promises announced its 8th Annual Show's theme as "Spirit in Song." The Show premieres on Sunday, January 27 at 8:00 pm ET. It will be taped at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 15. The 2 hour concert features soul stirring performances from: Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Mighty Clouds of Joy, J Moss, Israel and The New Breed featuring T-Bone, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, and the top five "Sunday Best" finalists. Musical director Ray Chew will direct a 24-piece orchestra. Steve Harvey will host the show again. Free tickets are available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis by submitting a request via or calling (202) 608-2617.

Ms. Louis now on Food Network

Hallelujah! I have to throw a handclap on this wonderful news. Remember Ms. Louise Holmes, who was selling pies out of her Atlanta home to support her sick husband, but was fined by the City of Atlanta. Well, today The Secret Life Of: Family Restaurants will feature her new restaurant, Louise's World Best Soul Food, which will open in Lawrenceville, GA. Dec. 1. Gotta be there. The show airs tonight at 10:30pm.

Church Mafia Scares Stages Now
Jay Cameron's stageplay, "Church Mafia" scared the stage this weekend with it debut performance, November 17th. Click here for more info and schedule.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

CFB Prayer Cell: for Kristy Dykes

Christian Fictio Blog subscribers and readers I will be praying this week for Christian romance author, Kristy Dykes everyday at noon for fifteen minutes. Would love to know that we can all pray together.

A brief prayer request on Kristy:
She has been diagnosed with a brain tumor that has crossed over into the right side of her brain. Let's pray for Kristy's family, Kristy and peace.

I encourage you to read her blog. Her husband, Milton is blogging. What he says is a tribute to Kristy, marriage, and Christ.

3 Rule Remedy for Writer's Spiritual Fatigue

Dee_2 Lord You see my life is broken
And I don't know what to do
While I'm in this change, help me remain

-Lyrics from "A Song of Strength" written by Fred Hammond.

For months my soul has struggled to hold the reigns of my life. Last weekend it let go and I fell to the bottom of me. This place is dark, shame filled, lonely, and draining. You can't create in this space. You cannot feel hope, or experience joy, or know who you belong to in that abyss. I wished I would have heeded the detours and roadblocks that are now so apparent along this way. As I sit at a new crossroads in my life I have had to make some weird and heartwrenching, but soul saving decisions. I hope to share these decisions with you own my blog in weeks to come, but today I want to share the remedy that has brought me back to the edge of my soul.

I am still traveling, so I am not fully there. But I do know from the emails I've received, the prayer requests mentioned, the phone calls I've taken and the love that I have had to say goodbye to again, I am not alone. Somehow, somewhere some of us have lost our way-- not because we intentionally chose to stumble, but because we have gotten so caught up trying to live our day-to-day lives we've forgotten that we were created to live forever. So if you are like me or experiencing something close to what I am right now, then continue reading and I will share my remedy for spiritual renewal and a song that keeps me focused every day.

Continue reading "A 3 Rule Remedy for Writer's Fatigue" »

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sandi Glahn & 5 Deadly Sins, Repost

Every Wednesday Christian Fiction Blog will share an interview with rising Christian writers. Today Sandi Glahn will share her new book, Informed Consentwith us.

Dee: What’s Informed Consent about?

Sandi: Jeremy Cramer, the next Einstein of research, is a medical resident specializing in infectious diseases. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes surprising discoveries, while also living with massive guilt over incidental infections that occur (which he could have prevented). Even as his marriage teeters, his career continues to skyrocket. Then, with a few twists along the way, he finds everything he has fought for threatened by the most personal, most heart-wrenching, choices of all.

How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?

The story had a thousand or more “what if” moments. I’m pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies, and I worked on the setting, characters, a lot of the plot, as well as my narrative voice during three novel-writing classes taught by a novelist who writes fiction reviews for Publishers Weekly. And I got some great feedback from fellow students who don’t believe in Christ about ways to address faith issues more naturally. I also took a Dante class, which influenced my choice to give my characters five of the seven deadly sins. (I’m saving the other two for a future work.)

But the elements in the plot designed to keep readers up at night came through a brainstorming session with medical doctor, William Cutrer, with whom I’ve coauthored three medical novels.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you or was when you first started on your writing journey?

I still struggle with expressing character emotion. I feel like I’ll insult the reader if I stop to say “the shock of the news hit like a two-by-four in the back of the head.” I figure if I tell the horrible circumstance, the reader has enough imagination to feel what any normal soul would feel. I want to say simply “His dad died in a plane crash,” and let the reader fill in the emotional blanks. Yet everybody experiences shock and grief differently. For some the room spins. For others it shrinks. For some it grabs in the pit of the stomach. Or it feels like a physical jolt. It’s part of my job as a developer of character to choose how this character will react and respond. When the emotions get intense, I need to slow down and let the reader enter the character’s head. But I’d rather get on with the plot.

Take us through your process of writing a novel briefly—from conception to revision.

Once I have a germ idea, I come up with the beginning, middle, and end. Then I figure out the in-between points. Next, I create the main characters. I have four pages of questions I answer for each. About thirty percent of novel-crafting for me is the pre-writing imaginative work on the plot and character sketches. Then I choose a setting. I ask myself how I can use setting to communicate something. I try to choose a setting that communicates on a deeper level. All the time I’m making these choices, I deliberate about the best way to tell the story. First-person? Third-person? Who will be the main POV character? Why?

After that I craft a proposal. It starts with a one-paragraph synopsis. While my agent shops it around, I develop the summary into a chapter-by-chapter outline. And then I make a file for each chapter and start dumping in ideas.

When my agent has some success, he calls. Here’s what happens from there…

Editorial person really likes it
He or she takes it to the marketing meeting
I wait forever for that meeting to happen
Marketing approves it
I wait for them to agree on an offer
They issue an offer
I reel from the shock of how low it is
I negotiate
I wait for them to draw up the contract
I receive and sign the contract
I write the book
I send the book to the publisher.
They send the first half of the advance
I spend it all in one place
I wait for them to edit it
I wait a while longer for them to edit it
They send back the manuscript with lots of changes needed immediately
I edit it again
I wait
And wait
They send a galley proof, which they need back immediately
I edit it yet again
I watch helplessly as the release date gets delayed--again
I wait forever for my progeny to arrive in the mail
Finally, I hold my masterpiece in my hands
I find a typo

Come back Nov. 12 to learn more about Sandi's writing process and how her faith keeps her spirit smiling. Think you may forget? then Subscribe to christianfiction by Email .

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Celebrating the Bible this Thanksgiving

Get Ready Get Ready Get Ready. Zondervan's The Complete Bible Experience hit the shelves. You can order your own copy here at Christian Fiction Blog. I am ordering it because Selah has begun reading and she loves to hear stories now. So she can read her bible and listen to KeKe Palmer in "Noah's Ark."

Holiday Reads: An Irish Christmas

I hope to higlight a few holiday reads and movies for you within the next few weeks. I'm very interested in featuring a story that deals with Thanksgiving, so if you have a story hit me up.

Today's spotlight- Melody Carlson's An Irish Christmas

Synopis from For Colleen, life is spinning out of control. She just lost her husband, and her relationship with her young adult son Jamie is crumbling. Should she confess to him the secret that has been haunting her for twenty years? Jamie has a few secrets of his own. When he announces his plans to join the military, Colleen decides its time for the two of them to take a trip togetherto Ireland. The truth they discover there could fulfill both their dreams in a way neither ever thought possible.

An Irish Christmasexcerpt...

Co l l e e n Ma y Fr e d e r i c k
Spring of 1963

I felt certain I was losing my son. Or perhaps I’d already lost him and just hadn’t noticed. So many things had slipped my attention this past year, ever since Hal’s death. But lately it seemed I was losing everything. Not just those insignificant items like my car keys, which I eventually found in the deep freeze beneath a carton of Green Giant mixed vegetables, or my favorite pair of calfskin gloves, which I still hadn’t located. But it seemed I was losing important things as well. Or maybe I was just losing my grip. Read More Here...

CFB Christmas Play Watch: Evangel Cathedral

Evangel Cathedral Presents the 16th Annual Christmas Celebration'
Location: Evangel Cathedral, 13901 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD
Date: Saturday, December 1 - Sunday, December 16, 2007

Info: Reminiscent to the Black Nativity this production chronicles the life and death of Christ. 12 productions run over 3 weekends. Guest starring Grammy Award winning gospel recording artist, Vicki Winans and Pastor Marvin Sapp.

For more information. Evangel Christmas Celebration

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rating: Splitting Harriett

I haven't done a book review in a minute. But as I prepare for my Gospel Fiction Top Ten and Christian 25 Countodwn in December I thought I would post a review, so that you can see how I build my ratings.

Title: Splitting Harriet
Author: Tamara Leigh
ISBN: 9781590529287
Publisher: Multnomah
Rating: 3.5 stars

It's hard to believe that holier-than-though Harri could have been a prodigal preacher's daughter. She whines too much about the good old days to be real. But when she meets Pastor Maddox McCray, who seems to destroying her father's legacy at First Grace the bad girl blasts out, along with her Jelly Belly addiction.

Favorite line excerpt...

Overwhelmed by the thrill of being on a motorcycle again and an awareness of the man in front of me, I stiffly hold myself as far apart from him as possible. A moment later, we're on the road, and the warm night air turns cools as the motorcycle stirs it to life, I draw a breath and am struck by the scents of grass, pine, dust, pavement, and Maddox.

This romantic comedy is cute and quaint, but there is stilted in the dialogue between the characters. There is a moment between Harrri and her brother, Tyler that could have been more heartwarming, but Leigh's commitment to keep the tone light made the moment feel more glossed over than 3D.

I often question whether an author can pull off writing a story that has two internal plots going: a romance and a spiritual journey. How can a story like that be balanced and entertaining without one losing its value. In this case I think it didn't. However, I do know that its sweetness and contemporary setting is lovable enough for a reader to enjoy. (Nov, pp382, $12.99)

Rating breakdown
1. Character - .5
2. Plot- 1
3. Theme/Orthdoxy- 1
4. Style/Flow- .5
5. Voice- .5

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Is Being A Good Girl Stressing You Out?

This weekend I was forced to step down from leading my girlscout troop. Parents felt that I could no longer lead their girls, and I agree. I am not who I was last year. Back then I wanted to reclaim my suburban life--the one I had before I became disabled. I wanted my husband back. I wanted a new home. I wanted people to stop judging me because I don't have money, I can't work, I can't give the latest, trendiest toys, clothes, things to Selah. I hated her teachers judging her because I am poor and black. I hated having constantly explain why I'm poor. I wanted more than anything to move into house and be treated like somebody that mattered.

So I joined PTA, GirlScouts, a popular neighborhood church and tried to live a good, promising life. At the same time I lost my time to write, my time to pray, my time to enjoy my family. And eventually my common sense. I began making careless mistakes, not getting enough sleep, and losing a child.

Last month my second child should have been burn. On it's birthday I made myself stop and think about my life. Is this the life God has for me? Or am I trying to make myself fit into a world I wasn't created to be a part of in the first place.

I asked God to make me over. Remove what needs to be removed from my life. Now I didn't know that would mean having Girl Scout Parents hate me, making me stupid mistakes, getting sick or leaving Rico again. I don't want to leave him, but I can't live with him without God and I don't think he knows what that means, because I don't know how to define what that means. I'm at my mother's house writing my novel with Selah and wondering should I ever go back home. While here I just read an article in Christian Women Today featuring author, Lisa Samson. She speaks about leaving the suburbs and how she is reconnected with God and her family. I need to feel that. I want you read this article. I want you to pray for me and my family. Please.

Friday, November 09, 2007

NANOWRIMO: Fun Scenes First

I am rewriting Blessed to Kill this month as a part of the NANOWRIMO project. Last week I began with a goal to write 2000 words a day. I met that goal two days this week, so I have catching up to do. One thing that I realized yesterday that I had forgotten and should have done sooner was write my fun scenes first.

Why write fun scenes of your novel first?

  1. It gets your juices going.
  2. You can write them very quickly.
  3. You can map out the novel at the same time in the manuscript.
  4. You can build pathos by making sure that her highest high has an equal lowest low.
  5. You can build up the courage to let her suffer.
What other reasons should you write the fun scenes first?

And how are you coming along with NANOWRIMO?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Christian Fiction Speedlink: Midnight Clear

CF's Speedlink is back. Thanks to my sweety for getting me running again. This speedlink comprises christian fiction information received between 11/01-11/07/07. Enjoy.

Writing Projects: Bloggers unite at NABLOPOMO. Write one post a day this month to participate. If I wasn't nanowrimoing I would do it.
Blog Tours: Lisa Samson's Hollywood Nobody. CFBA features

Robert Liparulo. Auditions: Disney's The Lion King.
Book discounts: Christmas Anthology Midnight Clear's BOGO: Buy 1 Get One Free. Features: Sherri Lewis, Stacy Hawkins Adams and Tia McCollors to name a few.
Blog Poll: Michael Snyder needs you to vote on the relvancy of his guest blogger.
Bookgiveaway: Camy's Loft: The Road Home: A Modern Retelling of Ruth’s Ancient Story
Book News: Lisa Samson's Quaker Summer was considered one of the best books of 2007 by Publisher's Weekly. Way to go, Lisa! ECPA and ready to go.
Blog to Read: Claudia Burney's Ragamuffin Diva. She's too many things. Love it. And love this pic of black jesus.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CFB News Brief: Dollar & Holywood

Televangelist Senate Investigaton
6 popular preachers, including 2 ministers here, Bishop Eddie Long and Pastor Creflo Dollar in Atlanta are under investigation. Iowa Senator, Charles E. Grassley's investigations have led to changes in the American Red Cross and the Smithsonian to name a few.

"I’m following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries," Grassley said. "The allegations involve governing boards that aren’t independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces. I don’t want to conclude that there’s a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code."

He sent letters to:
Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church, Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo.; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga.

Do you think that Grassley has a right to launch this investigation?

Actress Naimi Imani co-founded a ministry to create inspirational films. She recently has founded "Let's Rise! Ministries" . This ministry's first mission is to provide financial support to holywood actresses. Submissions are currently being accepted at

Why do you think so many black actors are pursing Christian based films?

Chris Martin and Gerard Henry's Media Alliance
Gerard Henry, host of BET's Lift Every Voice and Christ "Play Martin" have united their companies to broaden and deepen their impact on urban Christian media. Henry's and Martin's will become the Strategic Alliance.

"Gerard Henry is a world-renowned personality, minister and leader within and throughout the urban and gospel community. As the weekly host of BET’s "Lift Every Voice" airing each and every Sunday Afternoon, Gerard Henry has been an instrumental visionary in advancing the Gospel worldwide. This timely alliance between and will demonstrate the power of individuals and organizations to reach greater audiences, more effectively, utilizing the power and efficiency of the Internet," said Christopher Martin.

For more information, check out the new and, by clicking on either of the following two links or visiting the following web-portals: (or)

Question:Do you tune into Christian media outlets? Which ones?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Are you More Artistic than a 1rst Grader?

Dee_2 If I try to imagine God’s essence, and think, for example, of the infiniteness of time, I get lost in a mixture of dismay and excitement. I sense the order and harmony that suggest intelligence, and I discover, with a slight shiver, that my own language becomes evangelical. –Toni Morrison, an excerpt from Antonio Monda’s Do you Believe? Conversations on God and Religion.

Imagine a blue world with spaceships that look like the perfect big bubble, and time machines just as cute and simple, and smiling children who travel through time in both these spheres. Imagine them moving and loving a world void of past, future and present.

A first grade student in my daughter’s school created this world in a visual arts piece that is displayed alongside seventeen other Reflections art entries from our school (including Selah’s photography) at the Hudgens Children Arts Museum in Suwanee, GA. He made this picture with mix media: crayon, pen, marker, and watercolor crayon. It is one of the purest and sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

Experiencing this art reminded me of three important truths about what a master’s artist possesses:

Continue reading "Are you More Artistic than a 1rst Grader?" »

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author's latest book's *FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at
Other Novels by Lisa: Straight Up, Club Sandwich, Songbird

Hollywood Nobody, an excerpt...

Friday, April 2

I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.

"What, Charley?"

"Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive."

"I’m still only fifteen."

"It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby."

My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.

Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?

Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters.

I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!

My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it.

I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y.

As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?

Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?

Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?

And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?

More on that later.

And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into.

But I wonder the same thing about myself.

"You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?"

"No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine."

I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me.

Driving without a license.

Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.

Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already.

Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says.

I kid you not.

Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:

Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion.

"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"

"Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway."

"Great, Mom."

"It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."

"But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say

She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old.

"I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots."

I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.

"Can I at least pull my hair back?"

She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"

Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.

I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?"

"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.

I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?"

"You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?"

"Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state."

"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?"

"The Outer Banks?"

"Are they in North Carolina?"

Are you kidding me?

"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all
the time."

"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME:
Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress
like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t
take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of
the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told
you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s
OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman
had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.

My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I
mean, it’s plausible, right?

The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I
definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him
later too.

I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged
it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than
figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions.
Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing.

"Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns
between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo
Island’s off of there."


"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."

"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person.

"That phrase should be dead."

Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by
me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right.
"Okay, let’s go."

"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley.

I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake,
and we’re moving on down the road.


Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN:
Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order copies of
this resource, come back to

NanoWrimo Dee Stewart 2007

Hi all. Sorry I haven't been blogging. I've been experiencing technical difficulties. So I'm posting from Selah's school this morning to add a few things. One is this month's CFB Alliance Feature and the other is NANOWRIMO, National Write A Novel in a Month Challenge.

I am participating. My userid is deestewart, so hit me up. I hope to post what I write everyday. Pray that all my computers are safe and ready to go this weekend. This is my third or fourth year participating. This year, however, I am taking this challenge a step further. I have to rewrite a lost novel. My old computer is getting its drive scrubbed, recovered, slaved and Lord know what else write now. I don't have the funds for a speedy surgery, so I am rewriting my novel on my laptop. I have a goal to complete the final draft by Thanksgiving.

How will I accomplish this?

  1. I already have a story with a full plot.
  2. I have character sketches of my main characters.
  3. I have written this novel four times now.
  4. My ACFW WORD chapter help me brainstorm the kinks out of my middle.
  5. I have a wordcount goal of 7 pages a day.
  6. I have my scenes outlined in Excel.
  7. I have a reason to put the pedal to the medal.

If you are participating in NANOWRIMO and want to take this year's challenge a step further, tell me your userid and give me some tips of what you are going to do that works here. I hope to post my progress here and there daily.

Thanks for being so patient. Love ya,


ps. if you have any recommendations for trojan removal software. Iolo isn't doing it's thing with me.


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