Atomic Fireball

It’s just a simple looking red candy until you pop it into your mouth.

It’s just a neatly trimmed stack of bound paper until you start reading it.

This candy in my mouth right now goes through waves of intense flavor heat.

My heart goes through a wide range of emotions as it chews through a good story.

I love it when a story surprises, shocks, or inspires me.

As I drive from customer to customer during my workdays, I usually listen to books on Audible or Libby (the library app – check it out). There have been quite a few times when I had to pause a book early so that I didn’t arrive at a customer with red eyes.

I know not everyone is affected by stories the way I am. But the shocking plot twists, dives into despair, and flights into hope inspire me to try to bring that same hope into the world.

I recently read a couple of books by Charles Martin (I highly recommend “Send Down the Rain”). They were relatively tame books in terms of action, but both had incredible plot twists. Neither were the least bit preachy, but both inspired me to emulate some of the good characteristics of the imperfect protagonists.

That’s how I want to write! I’ll leave my preaching at church. In my stories, I want to inspire through those plot twists, dives, and flights.

I know several people who think it’s a waste of time to read and write fiction.

Jesus didn’t think that. He used fictional stories to get His points across all the time.

That’s enough to convince me.

So, I’ll pop another Atomic Fireball in my mouth and keep spicing my stories up with the crazy things my characters keep doing. Someday, someone will have to have to hit pause to clear their eyes before they get where they are going. Hopefully, that destination will be a little brighter because my characters brightened their life.

Old Dog, New Tricks

Due to COVID, I currently work in a hospital print shop. I have for the last 7 months. With the help of my coworkers, I’ve acquired several new skills.

Newly acquired skill, painting with glue.

We often have people from other locations help us out as we are the busiest print shop in our company in this area. One day, a guy I’ll call George (not his name) was helping us. He was at the workstation next to mine and was applying a second coat of glue to a project that I was taught only needed one coat.

I was curious. Did I miss something? I asked, “Hey George, didn’t you glue that already?”

Maybe I phrased that wrong because his reply was almost violent. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, don’t tell me how to do my job!”

I was stunned silent. I thought about explaining that I was just curious but he shoved his earbuds back in and went about his redundant work.

I had to wonder, “Do I get that way?” When someone criticizes my writing, do I get defensive, or do I try to learn.

I have to admit, I sometimes get defensive. When someone points out an issue, I’ll try to explain it away. My reaction should be to learn from that criticism. Even if the critic has no writing experience, they have reading experience and can tell when something doesn’t sound right.

This old dog can learn new tricks. I was over 50 when I started getting serious about writing. I have learned a ton last few years. I still have a lot to learn.

In just a few days I take off on a road trip bound for the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. I hope to refine my writing more and make some great connections.

I will be vlogging my road trip and time at the conference on The Wandering Pen, my YouTube writing channel. I can’t guarantee that I will be posting every day as I will be busy but I will do my best to make it fun and informative. See you there!

Oh, and if you criticize my videos, I’ll try to appreciate it and learn how to do them better.

Am I Crazy?

Am I crazy for participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) during the same month as the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference?

Yeah, probably!

But then my favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 5:13 – “If we are out of our minds, it is for the sake of God.” (Loose quote from the NIV)

Problem is, I love writing – especially when it’s like today. I gave myself an hour to write a scene. It was an epic action scene where my band of travelers had no choice but to engage in battle with the guards who were pursuing them.

I won’t tell you how successful they were (but I’m only a third of the way through so – duh). I will tell you that the chapter ended with a plot twist that I didn’t see coming.

I love it when that happens!

Now I need to get back to my conference prep, working on one sheets and business cards.

As for NaNoWriMo, I most likely won’t reach that magic number of 50,000 words, but I will be motivated to write more. I’ll also be inspired by the stories of others and share a bit about my latest novel Reymons.

Should you participate in NaNoWriMo?

Do you love writing?

Do you have an idea for a novel that is just dying to get on paper?

Then, yes! Absolutely participate!

Don’t worry if you don’t make the 50,000 word goal. Just get going!

When you do, look me up under the user name Reymons.