The War Within (A Poem)

*based on Romans 7

I am not good

not one part.

Riddled with lust, pride, envy, and strife

who will deliver this bag of bones?

Desires out of whack

inclinations aimed for death.

Goodness a mythical creature 

unfamiliar among the mortal.

I want to do good

I know what’s right.

But this earthen vessel bent and broken 

withered and bruised. 

A corpse of inconsistencies aimed 

in wrong directions, locations, and neighborhoods.

The heart wants what the heart wants

yet never satisfying and thirst quenching.

I try with all my might 

but fail with every valiant attempt.

Who will deliver me?

Who will calm the war within?

Who holds the keys

for releasing the prisoner inside?

Who can deliver me from this body of death 

and sin and evil and carbon?

Only one

The All Parts Good.

Who tasted death

and spit it out of his mouth?

Only one

a King with no rival. 

Only one

who faced the turmoil within,

that not even in death could win.

Only one 

has won the war within.

NANOWRIMO Day #11: Chapters 1 and 2 (Book 2)

Hey kids, I'm cranking along for National Novel Writing Month. I'm not completely done with Book 1, but jumped into Book 2, and wrote a couple scenes. I was a little stuck on Book 1 and needed to refresh the creative juices by writing the opening chapters of Book 2.

See my raw, unedited, and incomplete chapters below.

Totals to date (November 13th): after 13 days, 26,914 words / 2070 per day

Enjoy!

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Why Trump is Good for America?

Remember days of old when the internet was a somewhat neutral place for surfing and finding pertinent information? Rather than the current hostile bedsore infection of hate, irrational and unfiltered opinions, judgment, and more hate. 

Walk down memory lane when Myspace a place to find friends, discover new bands, and discuss our favorite things. Facebook a happy and sterile place to share latest birth announcements, occasional funny cat videos, and catch up with old friends. Twitter a vital place for finding important news links and helpful articles. 

Maybe I sound like my parents lamenting a version of their upbringing akin to Happy Days and Mayberry. That world never existed, by the way. I digress. 

But what happened? A good technological tool fostering relationships online (as limited as this can be), now a cesspool of venom and malice. A digital platform where sin allowed to run free and never contested. Maybe my memory is foggy, and maybe my parents were right, but I recall a semblance of cultural decency and niceness. Times when people shook hands, kept their word, and waved at neighbors when they drove by.

I’m not suggesting the sin-gene nonexistent for a brief blip in 50’s and 60’s suburbia. Happy Days and Mayberry were never a thing. Yet, I recall a time when strangers cared about their neighbors, simply because they were neighbors. People supported the President, simply because they were President (regardless of political affiliation). 

There was a time, not too long ago, when we didn’t live in multimedia cocoons and bubbles only leaving to get food to fuel another Netflix binge. We took part in bowling leagues, charitable causes, churches, civic committees, and gave leadership to causes we felt helped our neighbors in tangible ways. 

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NANOWRIMO Day #2: Chapters 4-5

More updates. Here are a couple chapters of the children's book in the works. I'm cruising along, making some good progress. I wanted you to see in "public" what a working manuscript looks like. At least what mine looks like. These chapters have had minimal edits and polishing. 

My process is to write fast and often. Then cycle back every few writing sessions, to edit and clean up, and make sure the story is making sense. I like to keep my editing at a minimum on the backend. More focusing on making the story clear and punchy, not getting bogged down with spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Enjoy!

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NANOWRIMO Day #1: Chapters 1-3 (Secret of the Ambassadors)

I thought it would be fun to share my pages from the book I'm writing for National Novel Writing Month. The first day I managed about 3200 words, which is three chapters. I'm shooting for 1200 words per chapter for a nice flow. The first book will be 25,000 words give or take (100 pages). 

This book is a children's chapter book aimed for ages 7-12. My sons are helping me build out the story. I shared the first chapter with them and they loved it!

So, here are my not-edited, raw, pages of my book. I want you to see the evolution from start to finished project. Tell me what you think?

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Works in Progress: Children's Book (2) for National Novel Writing Month

So National Novel Writing Month is almost here. Tonight is Halloween, and the eve of one of my favorite highlights of the year, writing a novel in 30 days with a bunch of crazies.

This year, I’m making it a family affair. I’ve recruited some of the best storytellers I know. My sons Noah (ten) and Owen (six). They churn out stories and book ideas like crazy. And because I’ve never written a kid’s chapter book, they are helping me understand the inner workings of a solid book for little humans. A book kid’s will read when the iPad is vying for their attention.  

What makes a good kid’s book you ask? Action, Dad, lots of action. And fighting, and swords, and a kid lead character. Got it. 

So were writing a poor man’s Indiana Jones tale, actually, two of them.

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Change is good. Why I'm wiping the slate clean?

I’ve written thousands of articles and blog posts on a variety of subjects in the last fifteen years. Written fifteen non fiction and fiction works on a variety of subjects. Theology, leadership, productivity, writing craft, Christian inspiration, church ministry, crime adventures mystery, and suspense. More to come. 

Most of the time I write to work out my thinking and thoughts on a subject. Other times writing is cathartic and healing for pain and turmoil in the soul. I write because I have no choice. Write because I love exploring made up worlds in my head. I love expressing myself and accessing the creative itch and serving people with words. 

But sometimes pivoting and change is good.

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