Friday, September 29, 2006

Review - Violet Dawn

Being a proud original member of Violet Dawn so I could read the story and audition for Pastor Hank Detcher, one of the side characters in the book. I read the book several months ago, but I wanted to wait for the blog tour to talk about it in depth.

"Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead."

With that line, the adventure in Kanner Lake begins. I remember Brandilyn sharing that line on her blog one day, and I thought "What on earth could she be planning?"

Never doubt the possibilities when it comes to a Brandilyn Collins book.

Hot tubs are supposed to be sanctuary from the weariness of the world. As Paige slips into her rental's hot tub in the middle of the night, all she is thinking about is getting some rest. But as tendrils of hair wrap around her, she leaps out of the tub, since she is sharing it with a dead body.

The book takes place over the next 14 hours, as Paige frantically tries to deal with her situation. She is concerned with survival. The real murderer is concerned with death. Sheriff Vince Edwards works on finding the truth in the midst of his own trials. Leslie Brymes, young hot shot reporter for the local paper is looking for the big scoop to advance her career.

Brandilyn's tagline is "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..." and this book doesn't disappoint. The opening chapter grabs you, and the final chapter ties the opening round of the Kanner Lake series with a satisfying close - see if you can find the significance of the final words. The suspense keeps you turning the pages, wanting to see what happened next. I remember reading outside of my work on nice spring days, cursing that lunch was over so that I couldn't keep reading.

Besides the twists and turns of suspense that keeps you guessing, the characterization mostly puts you in the place of Paige, Leslie, and Bailey nicely. I felt that Sheriff Edwards major character point was forced in the midst of the action. Otherwise, the characters have good motivation by what they do, and it spills over into the side details about them. Leslie Brymes "in-your-face" nature is shown not only by her determination to get the story, but her bright green VW bug with a pink daisy on it!

Overall Violet Dawn is a wonderful book. It is a good read with interesting pacing and plot, and you have to read it to see fully what I'm saying. So check it out, and tell Brandilyn that Pastor Hank sent you ;)


I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was going to do a little series out of Francis Schaeffer's book Art and the Bible. The various blog tours I'm involved in changed schedules up some, and it threw me off. Next week I plan on starting this. And I have a little something for those who read this series. Leave a comment anytime throughout the Art and the Bible discussion, and I'll send you a free book! More details coming...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Dawn of Brandilyn Collins

No, Brandilyn Collins is not a new author to CBA. She has written numerous best-selling novels in the past, as well as a book for writers called Getting into Character. Violet Dawn, the subject of the current blour (BC speak for "blog tour), is only the latest.

I wanted to talk about her blog, and why I think it is one of the best on the web. I've been coming to it daily for well over a year now, and it is a major reason why I now have a ubiquitous blog (but don't blame BC, it was MY idea).

She exploded on the blog scene on 2/7/05 with the post Why Christian Suspense? She explains her desire to share about Christian suspense and forensics. However, over time I believe her blog title, Forensics and Faith, suggests a limit that isn't really there. There is so much more than forensics, but the name is out there and changing it now would be upsetting to many of us BG's (bloggees - BC's term for those who read blogs.)

One of the best things about her blog is her "Never Ending Saga", or NES (there used to be a page devoted just to Brandilyn's invented acronyms and words). Starting on 2/24/05, she takes us on the fascinating journey of her road to publication. The NES was definitely an appropriate title, as she talked about it (with a couple of interruptions) through 6/6/05! You may think that 3 1/2 months is an awful long time to talk about oneself, but this whole tale is VERY interesting for anyone wanting to pursue writing and getting published. We not only learned about the process of writing, getting an agent, and contracts, but Brandilyn would routinely leave us hanging in her story, and we would be tortured all weekend waiting to hear the next part of her saga. We learned the importance of keeping readers interested throughout this story as well.

Since then, she has taken us through many aspects of writing fiction. One brave BG offered up an action scene, which BC took us through step by step in an edit to see if we could punch it up. It was even a collaborative process, with BG's commenting after each post. (See starting 6/10/05) She also discusses point of view (POV), plotting twists, and backstory. All of these are listed on the left side of the blog, for easy reference.

Not only is Brandilyn a great author, she is a wonderful fiction teacher. I know she just returned from a writing conference, and she does an excellent job live. But the blog has been a fantastic tool for me in learning more about fiction, not just in what she says, but how she says it.

Now I continue to be challenged in my writing through posting for the Scenes and Beans blog. And you can too! The initial group of bloggers for the Scenes and Beans runs through December. Starting January 2007, any reader wants to submit a post for a character can audition. If chosen, their tale will be posted and they will receive an autographed copy of Violet Dawn. More details are here.

So be sure to check out her blog. And check back tomorrow for my review of Violet Dawn, in which we discuss hot tubs and VW bugs...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blog Tour - Violet Dawn

I am very pleased to be part of this week's Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, because the featured book is Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins.

I have talked about this book frequently, because of the unique marketing campaign associated with it. In the book Violet Dawn, one of the characters starts a blog about the fictional town of Kanner Lake in order to draw tourists to the town. Bailey, owner of Java Joint, the local hangout, puts the posts in for the various regulars who post about Kanner Lake. The posts are written by various people who auditioned for Brandilyn through her blog, and one of the authors is yours truly. I share writing duties for Pastor Hank Detcher along with Bob Edwards.

The cool thing about the blog is that it is real time. If you read the July archives for Scenes and Beans, you'll see Bailey talk about an "event" that happens in the town and has brought a lot of publicity (not the kind she wanted) for Kanner Lake. This event is told in the book Violet Dawn.

How cool is that? It is quite a distinctive tool for her book, and it has been a great pleasure to be part of it. Be sure to take a look at it this week, if you haven't already.

I'll have more on Brandilyn and Violet Dawn through the rest of the week.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Heroes Discussion

For any who may be interested, there is a discussion going on at Infuze over the Heroes pilot. There have been some good responses, and yes, I am in the thick of it. If anyone has thoughts related to it, I invite you to check it out (you may need a free Infuze registration to view it).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Disappointing "Heroes"

One of my favorite internet places to hang out is Infuze Magazine. You can find it at the intersection of art and faith. Or by clicking on the link.

They do a great job of discussing movies, television, music, novels, comic books, and video games. They promote creativity from Christians, and being a portal to the entertainment world. I enjoy going there, and I have a habit of checking a few times throughout the day to get the latest updates.

One show that they have been excited about was NBC's new show Heroes. The premise is that random people around the world begin to develop "abilities" that are special. One could say...super. The tagline is "Fate chose them - Destiny will unite them". There is the Japanese corporate drone/comic book geek who seems to be able to control time, the cute Texas cheerleader who burns and falls and gets her hand caught in things like a sink disposal, but doesn't get hurt, and the tortured artist who paints the future.

Overall it looks like a very intriguing show. Since I was the type who daydreamed of flying, saving the people around, and being extraordinary, it seems like a TV show I could finally get interested in.

Except...for one thing. Another character is Niki Sanders, a single mom with a gifted child who is in trouble with the Las Vegas mob for owing money. So to make money, she does what any typical blonde, beautiful American would do: she strips. In her home. On the net. For money.

Ooooo-kay. The creators take a great concept, but apparently think that it cannot fly on its own. So! Let's introduce a character whose main purpose is to take her clothes off and titillate the audience. And she does. Not 10 minutes into the show she is down to thong underwear with her back to the camera. You may ask if the extended view of her skin adds to character development or further the plot...

I am frustrated. I don't want to be a stereotypical "family-values" person who rants and raves about Hollywood. But come on! I would really like to challenge Tinsletown: are you even capable of creating something that is interesting without resorting to the lowest common denominator of sex? As I watch TV (which is rarely anymore), even the commercials show nearly naked women - typically as victims of brutal crimes for forensics shows to focus on (let's add brutality to our sex, yeaaaah).

Yes, there is free speech and freedom of expression. But is there any such thing as "the greater good"? Just because we can push the envelope, should we? We know that sex sells. The only reason I started watching Star Trek: Voyager was, to my chagrin, the character Seven of Nine - a tall, leggy blonde in a tight catsuit. The show later caught my interest, but the only reason I stayed around was due to Seven. But I refuse to do that with Heroes. I've had it. I don't care if I'm the only one to take a stand, but I will not have pornography beamed into my house by my volition.

What does this have to do with Infuze? I hope that as a great resource site for Christians, they can spur a discussion of where people of faith and creativity go from here. I agree with them that Heroes seems like a great concept for sci-fi/comic book fans. But I can only go so far. I plan on seeing it one more time, to see where it goes next week. But I won't be drawn in by blatant images like that. I don't need it, my family doesn't need it. If it continues, goodbye Heroes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Review - Something That Lasts

I would really like to give props to the author of this week's blog tour, James David Jordan. On one hand, this blog tour is great internet publicity. On the other, he's opening his book up to a bunch of wannabe authors and reviewers, AND published authors as well. Not necessarily the easiest thing to do.

His book, Something That Lasts, spans the 70's through the 90's, following one family's travails through three generations. One single event that happens to Rev. David Parst changes the trajectory of his whole family, and the rest of the book draws out the consequences of his actions. I don't really want to give more synopsis, as the book has a simple premise that is followed throughout the story.

Even though the book stays true to this central core, it is an engaging read. He keeps the pace moving briskly, making one always interested in turning the next page. There is the potential to dwell and slow things down, but he does a good job of staying on target. He makes use of some recurring themes to speak into the lives of the characters. Baseball in particular is a lynch-pin, and it helps the theme resonate greater than if he had simply told the story without it.

His characters are believable, and he shows honest progression through their lives for the most part. The ending turns are a little forced, but not so much that it throws off the finale.

I think for a first time author Jordan has written a good novel. His description and characterizations sometimes suffer from the pace of the plot. He has a habit of returning to familiar images too often - I counted three separate characters who "shoved their hands into their back pockets". Some events were foreshadowed so that the outcome was easily predictable. However, it was an easy and enjoyable read in just a couple of days.

Overall the writing is pretty well done, but I appreciate mostly what the author is trying to accomplish. I read elsewhere that he was tired of Hollywood and other entertainment showing certain mistakes without consequences. Jordan doesn't shy back from showing the problems of his book's premise, and it is a promising direction for a Christian fiction book to pursue.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blog Tour - Something That Lasts

Puff...puff...puff. Sorry, just trying to catch my breath from all of these tours! They're so successful that they just keep coming.

This is the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA) tour for the book Something That Lasts by James David Jordan. This is his first novel, about a problem that tears down a family over generations. He is a lawyer, and has his journalism degree as well.

Be sure to check out the other members of the CFBA for further information on this book. I will talk about it over the next two days, and have a review for it as well. Lots of good books coming out, and the CFBA will keep highlighting them!

Edenstar Day 3

I have a little more to say about Edenstar, the website focus of the Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy tour for September.

First of all, for those befuddled by the pirate post from yesterday, let me explain. No, there is too much, let me sum up:
Edenstar has special features like author interviews and some reviews.

I also want to point out that it talks not just about books, but video games and movies as well. Now, most of this consists of Lord of the Rings materials, in both departments. Actually, I'm surprised they don't have the first Narnia movie listed yet.

Overall, I am impressed with Edenstar's work, and hope to see it expand and continue to provide a great service. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Buccaneers Attack!

Okay, just ONE MORE Pirate post. I promise... at least for today

Charmin' the beauties

Cap'n Caleb says "ARRR!"

When Pirates Attack

Edenstar, Day 2: Piratized!

Aye, Edenstar, is the focus o' the CSFF tour this month. As Me mentioned yesterday, it has (dare Me say) a plethora o' listin's o' Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy products. Madeleine L'engle, Frank Partti, Stephen Lawhead, and o' course Tolkien and C.s. Lewis. Thar be o'er 600 listin's thar.

The site does have a couple o' special features. It has both author interviews and reviews. Ahoy, the re'iew section isn't updated any more due t' time constraints, but it is a 'aluable feature nonetheless. The re'iew section also points t' other re'iews on other sites.

I'll talk a little more about Edenstar tomorrow, and also launch int' the blog tour for a new release. Me hope people like these tours. Let me gi'e big props t' Becky Miller and Bonnie Calhoun for organizin' these e'ents. I know others work on them as well, and t' you Me gi'e my thanks as well, but these amazin' women spearhead e'erythin'. Stop by their blogs and gi'e them a shout, will you? Oh, and be sure t' check out the other ladies and gents o' the Speculati'e Fiction tour below.

Come back later, and you can get this post without the pirate talk. But ye'll ne'er get me buried booty! :D
Jim Black Jackie Castle Valerie Comer Bryan Davis Beth Goddard Leathel Grody Karen Hancock Elliot Hanowski Katie Hart Sherrie Hibbs Sharon Hinck Joleen Howell Tina Kulesa Kevin Lucia Rachel Marks Shannon McNear Rebecca LuElla Miller Cheryl Russel Mirtika Schultz Stuart Stockton Steve Trower Speculative Faith

There Be Pirates

Some Pirate resources for you today, before getting back with "serious" business. And if ye be complainin', then ye can walk the plank, ya landlubber! Arrrrr!

Lyrics to Reliant K's "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything"

The Pirate Quiz, to discover your own pirate name.

Dave Barry on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Monday, September 18, 2006

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

That's right! My favorite goofy day of the year is here tomorrow, Sept, 19th. Time for all of us to swab the poop deck, dig for booty, and call someone a bilge rat. Make sure to say "Arrrrr" at least once tomorrow, and you will make me happy.

If you need help on suggestions on what to do, make sure to check out the site for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

CSSF Blog Tour: Edenstar

Today is the Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy blog tour. Instead of doing a book review today, we are focusing on the website Edenstar.

If you are looking for a resource for finding quality Sci-Fi or Fantasy from a Christian perspective, then this is a great place to start. The couple,
Bill and Cheryl Bader, used their talents (his - library and cataloguing, hers - web design) to create Edenstar.

From their site:
For Christians who enjoy science fiction and fantasy, finding the fiction we like to read can be tough.

The traditional Christian bookstore shelves science fiction with other fiction. So we sort through prairie romances to find the occasional science fiction or fantasy title.

In the general-market bookstore, Christian science fiction is shelved with other science fiction, if it's carried at all. So here again we sift through inappropriate material to find the books we like to read.

That's why we started Edenstar Books and Games in February 2003. We believe there are many others like us, who would love to read more Christian-themed science fiction and fantasy, if they just knew where to find it.

They have over 600 items listed on their site! They have it categorized in many ways that make it easy to find what you're looking for: Adults, Kids, Videos, Games, and specific categories for Narnia and Tolkien, the foundations of Christian fantasy.

Be sure to check them out, and I will share a little more about Edenstar over the next couple of days. Be sure to check out my friends in the tour below for more CSFF goodness!

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Bryan Davis
Beth Goddard
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gimme that Old Time Prosperity

I was fairly disturbed at this article about Joel Osteen and his book, discussing the upcoming Time magazine cover story. I happen to be of the opinion that we come to God because we are desparately needy for redemption from our sins, not for our financial needs. What do y'all think?


By the way, be sure to check out other links in the CFBA on the right. There are many links to Taylor Field's new book Squat. Some have interviews with him, others give their personal reviews. Of course, you can check out the Squat website here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Today is the start of the blog tour for the book Squat. This looks like a fascinating book. It is written by Taylor Field, a pastor in inner city New York. He heads up the Graffiti Community Ministries, which is an outreach to the homeless community in NYC.

This is key, because Squat is 24 hours in the life of Squid, an obsessive-compulsive homeless kid who struggles for acceptance. The premise sound very interesting, and with Field's experience, he knows of which he talks about.

Unfortunately, I was a little late in registering for this tour of duty, so I did not get to read Squat ahead of time. It is definitely on my "must check out" list. However, I do happen to have, via the magic of the internet, a handy-dandy review link here for you.

I also invite you to check out the Squat website for more information. One of the great things about this book is that "all author proceeds from Squat will go to Graffiti Community Ministries, Inc., a service arm of the East Seventh Street Baptist Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Field preaches." Now if you wondered about enjoying a fine read but felt guilty about spending a few bucks, your conscience is clear!

"We live in a squat. We don’t know squat. We don’t have squat. We don’t do squat. We don’t give a squat. People say we’re not worth squat."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Busy Times

Over the next couple of weeks there will be a lot going on here (pending Blogger not crashing anytime soon...).

Tomorrow will be the next Christian Fiction Blog Alliance tour.

Next week there will be the latest installment of the Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog Tour.

I am planning on starting a little series out of Francis Schaeffer's Art and the Bible. the time all that is done, the CFBA should be due again!

Stay tuned!

One for the Wookiees

I have always been a big fan of football, so I have naturally become caught up in the fantasy football movement. My latest team, the Wild Wookiees (don't laugh - if you read my profile you would know I watched Star Wars WAAAYYY too much) opened their season this weekend.

Oh, I guess the NFL did too.

Anyway, W2 managed to open the season with a win. I made the championship game my first year playing, but I lost due to stupidity (pulled Steve McNair and he had his best. Game. Ever.). I haven't been back to the finals since. Maybe this is the year.

In the immortal words of Han Solo, "It's not wise to upset a Wookiee."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lessons Learned/Unlearned

Check out this link to Breakpoint for more information on the consequences of 9/11.

Nine Eleven

Today is a day that shocked so much of the world. 9/11 has become a date that is marked by two different cultures: by the West it is marked as a day of sorrow and resolve, and in the Islamic world it is often viewed as the day that the arrogance of the West was knocked down by their brethren.

I pray today that those who have lost loved ones on that fateful day, and those lost since that day in the war on terror and the Iraq war, would find peace. I pray for safety and success for those out there on the front lines.

If we learned anything from 9/11, it is that life is fleeting. We make plans to go to work, to fly, and find that everything can change in an instant.

If there is anything that I can offer, it is this: we never know in this world when our time is. So many go through life thinking that if they live a good life, then that is what matters for this life or for getting to the afterlife.

I would say that this is a noble idea, but one that is false. I say this because there is a just God in heaven who has revealed Himself through the Bible. He is our creator. He created us to be in relationship with Him. However, we have sinned, and in order for God to remain just and true to Himself, we all are under His wrath, deserving of the punishment.

People may argue against this, but we all know in our own hearts that we have done wrong at times in our life. We all know that we don't live up to our own standards.

If wrongs are committed, there must be a price paid. So many think that God is not just, because evil people seem to thrive in this world. However, there is a judgment that everyone will go through. These wrongs will demand a price. There is nothing in our own strength that can pay this price.

God is not unjust though, because He provided His Son, Jesus Christ, who came and paid the full price for us on the cross. We can't earn His favor, but Romans tells us we are proclaimed righteous by God "through faith in Jesus Christ" (3:22). It is a legal declaration. We are guilty, but at judgment we can be proclaimed innocent if we just believe. That is the simplicity. There is nothing else.

This world is uncertain. Today could be my day to go, it could be yours. That is why it is important to examine this idea I've talked about today, and choose this day where you will stand. Will you stand guilty by your own actions, or will you stand on the redemption provided by Jesus?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to answer you.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Venus vs. Mars

There has been an interesting discussion on-line regarding sex vs. violence, especially as it pertains to Christian fiction. The first place I saw bring it up was this post, linked by Terry Whalin. Dave Long at f*i*f has picked it up - be sure to read the comments for further discussion. Then John C. Wright enters in, although not directly discussing it regarding the CBA.

As far as my thoughts: I agree that it seems to be a weird dichotomy to promote more violence over sex. If the typical CBA reader is middle America, white, Republican (perhaps a member of the NRA), then it fits the stereotype of war-mongering prudes who want to make sure Janet Jackson stays covered up while bombing foreign countries back to Stone Age status.

However, I like what Wright says about the violence vs. sex aspect of things. Boys grow up dreaming to be heroes, fighting the bad guys and winning. Sex is best a private matter, between one man and one woman. It is easier to portray violence in a way that serves a positive end: the bad guy reaps what he sows and gets it in the end. With sex, it becomes an intrusion into that special bonding. It also can become titillating and tempting to those not strong enough to stand up to such mental description.

Our culture has the sex part backwards, with greater voyeurism and explicit sexuality flaunted from every venue. It is a precious gift that deserves to be respected, even in the novel.

Our culture is also fixated on violence. One needs only to look at the Matrix, Kill Bill, and a majority of video games to see what we are feeding ourselves as entertainment. As Christians, how do we respond? Will we continue to "push the envelope" in Christian fiction, with bad guys who decapitate their victims in their own kitchen? Will we find ways to be creative in showing the battle of good vs. evil that glorifies the Lord and is relevant to our culture? I don't necessarily have the answer, but that doesn't mean I can't ask the question.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

High School Musical

I've got three boys, ages six, four, and two.

The two older ones know half of the songs from High School Musical in just 2 viewings.

What is it about this show that makes it so appealing?

It is a fairly formulaic movie, especially since it comes from Disney. The two young, attractive leads fight adversity that keeps them apart and conspires from them auditioning for the title musical.

Troy Bolton is the head of the basketball team, trying to lead them to victory at state and make his coach dad proud.

Gabriella is the new girl in school, a brilliant student who is quickly recruited for the academic team.

After the two of them sing a duet accidentally at a New Years' party, they find that 1. they can sing, and 2. they are attracted to each other.

If you go to watch this movie, try to avoid giving up at this point - because this is the hoakiest moment of the whole film, and pretty painful to watch. I'm not going to give the whole film in synopsis - just wanted to point out this pitfall.

So what is High School Musical's appeal? I don't know why a 4 and 6 year old are enthralled with it. The songs are catchy, but not super. The plot, as mentioned, is cliche. The actors do a fine job, but we aren't talking DeNiro and Streep characterization.

And no, it isn't due to the amazing costumes...

Whatever the appeal to the younger set, there are several things here that I can appreciate. The characters are overall nice to each other. They may make fun of certain things people do, but no one is belittled with snark, as is the custom in our culture anymore. Even the "bad guys" aren't nasty with put downs. They think they're the best and look down on Troy and Gabriella, true, but they could be so much worse.

The girls aren't dressed skanky. The outfits look attractive on the ladies, but we aren't innundated with flesh. This movie targets 9-14 year olds, so this is a VERY welcome development.

The morale of the story it to accept differences and get beyond the boundaries of cliques. The message comes across well without preaching or being overt.

What does this have to do with a writing blog? (It could technically fall under the "goofy" I suppose). It is possible to craft a pleasing, thoughtful story that is popular without resorting to nastiness, blatant sexuality, or violence. Oh, and it has a catchy soundtrack.

High School Musical won't be mistaken for a literary masterpiece. But it is a fun movie that whole families can enjoy. Hopefully more entertainment can be like this. If there was only a way to have a soundtrack for a novel, then THAT would be something!

(Aside - it wasn't like the high school musical I was in. We couldn't dance like this. I was the yokel who learned to sing by belting out Petra in my car, while I was paired with an All Northwest alto singer for a duet. GULP. We pulled it off though.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Delicate Dance

Mir posted this article, and it is a must read enough to relink it here. Terry Whalin shares some interesting thoughts on Christian Fiction and the CBA. If you haven't checked it out already, what are you hanging around here for? Go on, git!

Write for Life

I started this blog off of inspiration from my friends at faith*in*fiction. It seemed that "everyone else had a blog", and I was missing out. ;)

This endeavor has been a great joy so far. I've interacted with lots of people. This blog was checked out all over Europe thanks to our summer trip to Germany and the link to the Calling All Nations event. I've received free books thanks to it!

I started it to talk about writing. Sometimes I feel this was too bold of a move. As a writer, I really am a rank amateur. My only publishing credit so far is being part of the Scenes and Beans blog. I don't have the experience to really speak of how to improve your writing.

However, one thing I have managed to do is to network with a lot of cool people. I've been part of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour, which has some very imaginative people. You can find neat links under posts of mine like "Firebird" or Steven Lawhead or here. I've also joined the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, which does a monthly (and soon to be bi-monthly) tour of the latest in Christian fiction. This is an awesome opportunity. If ever you wanted some good links to people and writing, check out all the links in the left hand side under the CFBA. There are 50+ links there, and if I don't have the goods, you can bet that someone there will.

Hopefully I can continue my networking and point people to other good resources out there. I'll let you know when I have new items to explore.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Free Derek Webb

Here is a man putting his money where his faith is. Derek Webb, formally of Caedmon's Call, has decided that the issues he talks about on his latest album, Mockingbird, are important enough to be heard that he is giving the album away.


Free music.

I don't know how many of you like free stuff, but I for one am interested. But I am mostly interested in hearing his thoughts and entering into a discussion about them. FreeDerekWebb started today. Take advantage of this, and we'll talk more about it later!