Category Archives: A Bit of Soul Baring

A Bit of Soul Baring: or Glimpses of an Adventurous Life. There are many ways to adventure! It’s always popping up in the most unexpected places.

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10 epic fantasy quotes for young adults

Click on any of these books for their descriptions or sales page on Amazon.

 Queen's poisoner The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, Owen. Courage is moving forward even when you’re afraid.” (Check out Jeff’s article on Virtue. A great read! So encouraging.) Continue reading

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The YA Fantasy Reader’s Oath

YA fantasy, adventure, reader's oath

Adventure into new worlds . . .
Steal this graphic I made with a free photo from Unsplash–just link back–thanks!

Or a Manifesto of Ten Things YA Fantasy Readers Do Know

  1. We will never give up our loyalty to a good story well told
  2. We will not agree Fantasy is evil. A good fantasy is a breath of life. (In it I see things I see nowhere else. Not that facet of truth, that piercing beauty that tells me there is more beyond)

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2016 March YA Fantasy Blog Letter

Well, I’m getting on to adventure.

Journey beginning . . .

Journey beginning . . .

First, a bit of news:

I’m excited and just wanted to encourage you all that our fans really appreciate us taking time to talk to them.

Yesterday I emailed Rachel Neumeier of the Griffin Mage trilogy, The Floating Islands, etc., asking to order a signed copy of her new book Keeper of the Mist that is coming out for my book giveaway that Derek is helping me set up. *Giveaway coming soon.*

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Ranger’s Apprentice or Jedi Knight?

Contrasts

Contrasts

Who would you like to rescue you from a bad situation?

It depends on who is talking, and what is in their heart. Do their actions really add up to their words? The actions of the heroes of Star Wars were better than their beliefs. (Heroes includes heroines.)

Right now, I think I’d take Flanagan’s Halt, Apprentice Will, or any of his good characters over Luke or those who followed him. They have a clearer idea what they’re fighting for and they don’t lean on sex appeal, as the original Star Wars does with Leia. (But that’s another post. There’s good and bad sex appeal; it’s a wonderful part of life.) I can’t say if the new Star Wars does; I haven’t seen it yet. I mean to remedy that. 🙂 

Here’s some thoughts further along the same vein, from an email to a friend who had questions about story characters and whether suffering grows empathy or hardness in them.  

Be sure to give me your thoughts, too.

How we respond to suffering really depends on our hearts, our openness to God, and our openness to people. Often we all go through stages of learning through suffering, along the way to gaining empathy. We might have a pity party one day, feel angry and bitter the next, want to fix someone’s life the next . . .  

Sometimes we choose wrong, and sometimes we choose right. I’ve think you’ve done a good job portraying this in your books, Terri. (The Kayndo Series, by Terri Luckey.) Dayvee is the one I specifically remember going through these things. And people can also gain empathy (feeling with another person) and decide not to be compassionate. The moral war is big right here. Our innate selfishness warring with another’s need. Lots of food for thought and for stories. 🙂

 As Tim mentions, (another crit group friend) that’s one thing I dislike about some books now, they try to justify some of the villain’s actions or the villain himself, and often do not present truth. At any given moment we are either doing what is right or doing what is wrong. And some writers are trying to blur that distinction, to say there is excuse for wrongdoing, that it is not actually wrong. 

 I’m not saying there’s not a place for sympathy, like when a thief steals because he’s hungry, or someone turns bitter after someone kills their family or any other horrible, hard-to-get-through thing. I’d feel very much for them (and also for their bitterness and anger because it kills the heart) but it doesn’t let any of us off the hook. Humanizing a villain doesn’t mean we water down truth. The evil they did is still wrong and it still must be paid for.

Mercy does triumph over justice (if we accept it), but for that to happen, the wrong involved has to be acknowledged. If there isn’t wrong, there isn’t mercy or justice; those words mean nothing. We’re just trying to make someone feel better after something that hurts. (And there’s no real grounds for even that, since it’s not wrong, it’s not right, it’s just pain. Relativism even begins to take the meaning from the word “pain.”) Relativism kills truth, meaning, and purpose in your story. Don’t let it into your books! 🙂 Not that I think you will. LOL

Who would you choose? Would you pick someone entirely different? Why? What do they mean to you? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments. Thanks.

Be sure and check out the below if you want more info to fuel your investigation. The blog post on this site is excellent about the Jedi, relativism, and story. It’s so good I printed and saved it. Moral Absolutes are Essential to Good Storytelling. 

http://mikeduran.com/2015/11/moral-absolutes-are-essential-to-good-storytelling/

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A Glimpse of an Adventurous Life: Success, Joyce Meyer, and never give up!

Shall mount up as eagles ...

Shall mount up as eagles …

My definition of success is to have God say to me at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant …”

What this step looks like to me right now is: supporting myself in a worthwhile career with long-term possibilities of passive income–my own pension, so to speak. I don’t want to burden anyone when I am old, and I want to be able to help others with funds.

Included in that career goal is to learn to live at His speed, relying on Him. Not getting ahead of Him and frying my energy and health, and not getting behind Him and quitting or giving up, but walking with Him; living more consciously with Him.

When I say “worthwhile career”, I also mean helping people during my journey with my books and editing and other skills. Including my time, my heart, my understanding, etc.

I just lost my non-fiction client today, rather abruptly. And I feel misunderstood and misrepresented by him. This took a large dose of patience and understanding.

He was my main source of income at the moment, and I just felt I was getting started on my goal of saving money for ISBN numbers for my books, etc. So I’ve been praying a lot, and He’s given me grace to remember this is His plan, and His grace is sufficient.

So I am moving on. A question I answered today from iBloom in Business is: what are you incompetent, competent, excellent, and brilliant at?

I’m incompetent at InDesign (for the moment), competent at editing, an excellent reader, and brilliant? I’m not sure I dare call myself brilliant at anything–isn’t it quite a subjective thing? I will say I’m brilliant at making mistakes, but I’m learning to use them as stepping stones to success. Mistakes are not permanent failure. They’re temporary learning curves on the road to the right way to do something.

The idea of not giving up in Joyce Meyer’s Never Give Up is helping me immensely with my self-employment challenges.

She says, “Mount up with wings as eagles. … We can approach a situation in which we have grown weary with fresh energy and passion … and [are] less likely to want to give up when success eludes us. One reason eagles symbolize strength is that they know how to make their strength work for them. They don’t expend their energy needlessly. … [She and her husband] eat healthily; we exercise; we drink plenty of water; and we get enough sleep. We strive to keep excess stress out of our lives and we have learned to wait on the Lord. Jesus said that the weary, the worn out, and the exhausted should come to Him (see Matthew 11:28) and He would cause them to rest.” Page 119.

I won’t give up. I plan to take five work leads with me this next week or so while I’m visiting relatives, fill out applications, etc. I will fly as He bids me.

I hope you are encouraged not to give up, and to pursue your dreams and good things with renewed strength. It will be worth it in the end. Sometimes a change of plan is needed. As long as it is not done out of defeat or quitting or fear, it is another curve on the road to success. Never give up!

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A Bit of Soul Baring: Or Glimpses of an Adventure

Photo courtesy of costurero-real.deviantart.com

Photo courtesy of costurero-real.deviantart.com

Let yourself play . . .

God gave you and I our love of words, whether we speak or write them. The possibilities for good or evil within words are many: in the working out of imagination minds, hearts, and souls are revealed.

Adventure, the brave fight, compassion, perseverance–I enjoy writing from the mind of a character involved with these. But I fall for the lie that I have no time to play with words.

Deadlines, doubts, or fear of the outcome of my work often steal my joy. I peg steadily at my keyboard, a frown on my face.

“Life is all serious work.”

What if the Creator of all ordered you to play? Play seriously? To probe the full range of your gifted ability? Eager, excited over each new discovery?

After all, what is play but enjoying and pushing and testing, smiling at the scope of what you are doing?

I know of no play that accomplishes nothing. Often when the least is done outside, the soul gains most. Ask the Giver of all good things for strength to seize the joy of play He has put within you.

Fight for that joy against dull duty, heartless worry, and torturing fears. Kindle the fire of love and joy. Play. All good things exist because of Him.

Do not fear. It is His joy to give you the kingdom. He invented play.

 

 

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