Pages of Awesome

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Novel Idea - Pun Intended


So I was sitting in church on Sunday and was struck with a novel idea. Or rather, a series of novels. All of the novel-ly sort. The story would be somewhat of an allegory of the following books of the Bible--Ezra, Nehemiah, and a few parts of others.

Do you know the story? Maybe, maybe not...it is much lesser known. The books chronicle the events of Nehemiah, Ezra, and Zerubable (I likely spelled that wrong) as they strive to rebuild the wall, temple, and homes of Jerusalem after the Persians burned it. Anyhow, I had a neat idea for a series of books following this story line.

A few weeks before I had one of my best ideas come out of a lesson my youth pastor gave.

And Redemption's Journey came from an educational reading game in combination with my dad's explanation of LOTR.

On top of all this, in the same week, I heard about a neat idea my buddy Jacob Parker came up with from a dream.

And so I got to thinking, where do my ideas mostly come from? Where do most writers' ideas come from?

It seems to me that most of my ideas are coming out of sermons--or any other place I hear someone say something cool. Songs, teachers, anything. People spend forever coming up with just the right analogy for a presentation they are going to give and I like to steal them for story ideas. And as I look over my past as a writer, that seems to be where most of mine are coming from.

So let's get some discussion going. Where do your ideas come from? Do you have any ideas at all? If not, do you want some? Maybe you can try something somebody suggests for your next story.

Let's get chatting.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Victor Giveaway Winner!

So I just finished up the drawing for The Victor and after jotting down forty eight numbers the winner is................................

Wait for it....

Kat Heckenbach!!!

Congratulations! I'll be emailing your for your snail mail address shortly. Then you can give me personalization details for Mrs. Giron.

Let me know what you think of the book when you're finished. I think you'll really like it.

Thanks everybody who entered! And an extra thanks to those that are now following Whispered Roars. I really appreciate it. And I hope you stick around ;)

Remember guys, you can always get your hands on your own copy from Amazon.

Check out the trailer while you're at it ;)






Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Royal Remnant


Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you American-type-people! I have to tell ya, I was feeling the patriotism today what with apple pie, turkey, and lots and lots of food, football, and family. I swear I could hear the National Anthem in the background. Is it just me?

Anyhow, I got to thinking (which is scary you know?) about the origins of this fattening holiday of ours. Most of you know it, and have likely heard the story time and time again. The story of the pilgrims and how they came to this new land with hopes of freedom and bla bla bla bla bla. But the writer in me took charge and started making connections.

What was this nation founded on? The United States of America. What sets it apart from any other nation? What makes the soaring eagle more special than the roaring lion? What is it that gives Americans such a pride?

Many answers, of course, come to mind. America was founded on freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is true that this is what the Pilgrims and all Americans wanted...but what is it they really wanted? What drove them here? We're taught to ask this with characters in all writing classes, so why not with life?

And then the truth hit me--America was founded on the Hope and Power of My Lord Jesus Christ.

But people don't remember this! And those who do shrug it off with comments like, "Well we can't offend people." And, "Not everyone thinks that way anymore."

It's kind of like the quote from National Treasure where Ben Gates is reading the Declaration of Independence and sighs saying, "People don't talk that way anymore..." Later on he makes the point that people think that way.

Well it seems to me that there are many who remember and "give thanks" for the holy foundations of our country. But there are very few who remember and act on it. Those who do are a select, peculiar, and royal remnant.

Once again the writer in me took over. A royal remnant....doesn't that sound like the back of fantasy novel? A royal remnant, set in place by a righteous King. The world has forgotten them, but they cling to truth nonetheless. The darkness is consuming the light, but through the faith of the few the many will be rescued from the fire.

And then I get all excited. Simply because that does sound like the back of a novel. And what's so cool about it, is that I am part of that remnant, and if not...I strive to be.

This world is so full of darkness. So much so that even pinpoints of truth and light, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are smothered and turned to dirt. What is the meaning of Thanksgiving? Greed. Christmas? Greed. And there are very few that remember the light.

But is this a cause for grief? Perhaps. But we of the Remnant are not called to dwell on our numbers. We are called to shine our lights into darkness, and lessen the numbers of the enemy and undecided. And the Christmas/Thanksgiving Season is the time for battle.

We should be thankful for those who have joined the cause. And remember those who have died for it. Thanksgiving is a time for remembering our beginnings and worshiping the One Who gave us new life. Specifically in our country. Our nation is special.

Today especially I got to thinking about this warfare. And how this Remnant should battle. Thanksgiving is the time to win back our people. To guide them to the One Who can redeem them of their sins and inspire that hope and joy.

Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks. And it is the time to battle.

This was my Facebook status this morning, "May we all remember the foundations of this nation of ours, and give thanks for the remnant that still thrives. May our fires burn bright for the darkness to see and fear. May the undecided be filled with a desire for truth and may the Maker and Sustainer of heaven and earth be revealed as the Mighty One He is."

May this be our battle cry.

Endurance and Victory. Never alone.

I Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book Giveaway! - The Victor


Hey guys! Well as you know I've had a lot of reading to catch up on and after my school books came Marlayne Giron's debut The Victor. Mrs. Giron has so graciously offered to allow me to give away one copy to a lucky commenter on this post! So buckle your seat belts and brace for a review by me.

Check it out;

“What care I for thy judgment, O King? I swear to thee this oath: Thou shalt rue this day in great bitterness and mourn that Thou didst not destroy me when it lay within Thy power!” Eloth regarded his former steward and once most trusted servant with an impassive face, but in his gray eyes was an unfathomable pain that only two in the entire court filled with people could behold: Lucius and Eloth’s son, Joshua. “I know,” was Eloth’s silent reply. (Page 36)

And so begins Marlayne Giron’s beautiful novel, The Victor.

I had the honor of receiving this book as a gift, but it is more than worth its retail price. The story is wonderful!

Ellioth is a perfect kingdom. Ruled by a perfect King in perfect love. All is how it should be, with loving stewards, knights, squires, and honest merchants. Things could never be better.

It is at this moment that the Baron Lucius of Northumberland, favorite of King Eloth, lashes out in arrogance, gathering an army to challenge the King’s seraphim. The rebels of the Baron do not stand a chance against the expertly trained elite of Eloth and so Lucius is driven back. But not before the largest amount of innocent blood in all of history is spilled.

Eloth is furious but, in following of His character, shows the Baron mercy in hopes that he may yet be redeemed. Lucius wants none of this mercy and finds such grace more painful than death. And it is then that he fires the words listed above.

“Thou shalt rue this day…”

And in sorrow Eloth whispers two prophetic words, “I know.”

The Victor is the story of how this came to be. It is the riveting and romantic tale of Eloth’s one and only son, Joshua, as he is trained as an ordinary knight and prepared to take the throne of Shiloh—an honor that is rightfully his.

The Victor is the story of the hate-filled Lucius and how he acts on his blood-lust and obsessive desire for vengeance.

The Victor is a tale of the love of Llyonesse for Joshua, and his great love for her and how that love was demonstrated and how Llyonesse was set free.

The Victor is the story of our world. It is the history of mankind penned in a poetic and fantastical way.

Giron writes with eloquence an allegorical tale from the betrayal of Satan to the end of time. With tension that is sure to keep you glued to your seat, characters that make you want to laugh and weep aloud, and powerful inspiration that made me wish to draw sword and charge the strongholds of Hell this is a book you do not want to skip.

Mrs. Giron had me hooked from the first page to the last, leaving me wishing there was more left to read. It truly is a work of art, funny, suspenseful, romantic, and action packed.

I recommend this book for teens thirteen years and older, and I do believe that all fantasy loving readers will thoroughly enjoy this. I certainly did. The book is set in medieval times and Marlayne Giron stays true to the times in the language of the people. The excerpt quoted above is a good example. The book uses “thee” and “thou” and “thy” a good bit, but it never caused a distraction to me. To be quite honest the wordage added to the story.

All of that to say that The Victor is a must-read for all. I loved it, and I believe that you will too.
That's my "formal" review. And not too elaborate too much, but I really really liked it.

There are lots of cool connections in there to the Bible and the Gospel message, which are always fun to read, though it could very very easily be read as a straight fantasy.

To me, the best thing about it was the characters. The Victor is most definitely a character driven story and Mrs. Giron did an excellent job in drawing these characters for me. I saw them, laughed with them, cried with them, it was very well written. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

(As you can tell I'm new to book giveaways so this post will end rather abruptly)

How to Enter the Drawing;

Comment on this post with a valid email (I'll contact you if you win for snail mail addresses, only "inner" USA please)

To get more entries you can;
Sign up as a follower of this blog
And/or
Post about this giveaway on your blog (give me the link too ;) )

And well, that's it.

Whoever wins this is seriously in for a treat. The book very much exceeded my expectations. You'll love it; I promise.

Check out Marlayne Giron's website here!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Writing Frenzy


Welcome all to the second WR writing challenge! The challenge begins at 8:30 EST but I thought I'd post now just to explain what you need to do. If you are just stumbling upon this blog it will help to explain these as well.

Writing challenges have a purpose--to suck words and story out of any writer. Basically, the point of this is not to produce a perfect story, it's to start one. If you're in writer's block or something, or just can't seem to write--this challenge is for you. Perhaps the competition and such will spur you on. It certainly does so for me.

The way these work is that everyone signs on and posts what they are working on and the starting word count. Reading about people's projects is always fun :D

Post your goal. You can set your own personal goal or simply say "Better than anyone else", which will never happen by the way. ::laughs::

At then end of the challenge, that will start promptly at 8:30 and end at 9:30, all will post their final word count and any challenges they faced throughout the challenge.

I am pumped. Are you with me?

EDIT: Please post a good bit before the challenge (AKA now)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing Challenge Announcement


We will be having another writing challenge on Whispered Roars tomorrow night at 8:30 EST. I hope you all can make it! Remember, all you have to do is sit down and write for an hour. And then tell us what you were writing about and how much you got done. Believe it or not, it's quite the box of encouragement...and it's just awesomely fun as well!

Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Endurance and Victory! - Part One


Endurance, apparently I've failed at enduring in keeping this blog up ;) Once more I cry that "school work and such" has busied me. And it is true, but no excuse.

Aside from school I've been hurriedly reading away at The Victor, a book that I will very shortly be giving away on my blog. Next comes Curse of the Spider King and then a boatload of others. So as if school was not enough I have plenty to read.

BUT, have no fear, I am starting a series of blog posts about endurance and um...victory.

Many of you who have read or are familiar with COTSK will know that a common saying of its characters is "Endurance and Victory!" And as lately I have had to endure in school, reading, writing, and life I thought I'd blog on it.

The first in the series will be about writing, as this is a writing blog.

I'm well connected in the writing world, or at least I'd like to believe that I am, and specifically I chat with a lot of young aspiring authors (like myself). Many of these writers have amazing ideas, tales that I'd pay arm and leg to read. Many even know how to write them. But often a thing they lack is endurance. And that, in my mind, is one of the most important characteristics of any writer.

Not only does writing novels take a long time. But it requires patience to wait on characters, plot development, and ones own self--willing to let a project sit so that it can be done correctly. And once the story is done it requires enduring numerous amounts of critiquing and shaping on the part of others.

I know writers who don't get writer's block, Bryan Davis as an example, but most all do. It's a fact of life. And often I find myself just waiting on my characters asking them what they want to do next, and what is happening to them at the moment. Naturally, this requires a good deal of endurance. The strength to wait, which I don't have ;) I choke answers out of my characters.

This next part is where I've recently been having the most trouble, enduring through the times when I'm too tired, or my brain is too fried, or I can't get into the story, and then forcing myself to not writing. It's a sacrifice I've had to make. I've been in this spot for a while now, where I'm just too dead to write. I have to endure through this because I know that if I do try and write, the story will be unbelievable and, to be honest, garbage. As you can assume, I don't want my story to be garbage and this spurs my endurance.

Next comes the point that ends the journey of most writers--publication.

It seems to me that the path to publication is too strenuous or difficult for most to endure. From the stories I've heard, it's pretty hard. Even if you're not a writer, imagine this scenario. You pour your heart, mind, and life into something--a child perhaps--and then when your child is old enough, you are told that he is a worthless piece of garbage. How would that make you feel?

You see, many writers get this. They're told by publishers that their works are awful or are simply not told anything--only given cold rejection notices that leave open imagination. Questions arise, "What'd I do wrong?" "Was it that bad?" And many others. To many writers, this is a sting too sharp.

And so the process of publishing something is a task that requires endurance, and I've seen many give up and seen many achieve victory, and know many enduring that race now.

Though I've had one work published, my collection of short stories, I never truly tried to get published and so as of yet I cannot identify with this. I take writing criticism well and so I assume that rejections won't hurt quite as bad as others. On the other hand, it could kill me.

Here's how I look at such criticism or even blank rejections; if the story was written publisher worthy it'd likely have been accepted. Simple.

Now this rule does have many drawbacks, one could have sent the work into the wrong company or maybe the editor just didn't like it and others might. But generally I believe this is true. I try not to get my feelings hurt because I don't want the book to be printed until it is print worthy. If it's not a good story, I don't want people reading it.

I'd rather wait till I'm 99 years old to have TSOF published and it be perfect, than have it printed tomorrow and it be a piece of junk. Do you follow?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Writing Challenge #1

Welcome to the world of writing-awesomeness. Since you have read this you must now participate. ;)

Tonight I will be hosting my first writing challenge on this blog. Inspired by author Wayne Thomas Batson the challenge will go like this;

Post your current word count on any project you happen to be working on before or during the hour and a goal of words you'd like to meet.

Then, when the bell rings at 8:30 EST write nonstop, full steam ahead, for one hour or whenever you decide to quit.

At the end post your final word count and if you made your goal or not.

That's the gist of it, so who's in?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Writing, Challenges, and Writing Challenges

Well, it seems that it's been quite a while since I posted last and I thought I'd at least explain why I've not posted and my hopes to post more soon.

I've had more school than I thought I'd have.

Tis the pains of being a teenager. I'm quite busy.

On top of all of this I've been praying and writing quite a bit about my youth group and people involved in it. Seems that unity and love is becoming harder traits for the church to maintain. I'll likely post a um...post about this once I get my act together but it's been bothering me, and so I cannot seem to write. Write on here, or in my novel.

So my writing has been challenged as my heart's been tested in life. Perseverance and confidence in my story and faith in the power I believe it will have has been tested, and thus the writing part has slowed.

But have no fear, I've got a couple of writing challenges to host coming up.

How's this sound, meet on this blog tomorrow at 8:30 EST and write like crazy until 9:30 EST? The point of these challenges is to sit down and force oneself to write on a project, not censoring one's work and not allowing any distractions. Through this method I've penned tens of thousands of words. All thanks to author Wayne Thomas Batson. He started these challenges and is hosting one now. (Please join if you're online and have a Facebook. His is located here). The challenge goes until like 10:15ish but you can join in and hop out at your own convenience. If you do not have a FB please feel free to post your starting word count and results here.

So, tomorrow at 8:30. Will I see you there?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smoky Mountains Vacation

Well...as some of you may have noticed I have been out of town, and will be until next Monday. I do not have internet in our cabin, deep in the heart of the Smokies, and since I have internet now at the lodge I thought I'd let you all know where I'm at.

Being the creative guy that I am I decided to make a series of videos, one for each day, with my new iPod for the trip. Currently I've only completely finished editing the first day, including the drive down to North Carolina. Soooooooooooooooo I thought I'd post it here for you all. Expect MANY more to come.

After this vacation I'm headed to my Youth Group's fall retreat...and there may or may not be a video for that as well ::wink wink::

And then back to writing. I do believe it is NaNoWriMo in the civilized world. You know....where there's internet and phone service. I won't be able to do a writing challenge this Friday so maybe if someone could host it for me (The Underground or FB Word Wars group perhaps) that'd be awesome.

Happy writing! Enjoy the video!

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."