This is STILL happening.

IMG_3459Please, I can’t breathe. 

Those words fill my eyes with hot, burning, shameful tears. I’m not an emotional person but George Floyd’s story, and all the stories that are so maddeningly similar, make my head pound with grief and anger and shame.

Passivity here is not an option. Turning your head away so you don’t see knees on necks, guns in faces, blind racism, is the same as allowing it to happen and being on the side of this happening.

It’s time we KNOW their names. George Floyd, Michael Brown, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, Yassin Mohamed, Finan H. Berhe, Trayvon Martin, and more. Unfortunately, you can find dozens of examples and names in many places, including here.

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Beauty in Books

book“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”

“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usually run from”

That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale. Continue reading

Tourist of Faith

Tree2I don’t know what sort of faith Adolf Hitler had. He was born to a practicing Catholic mother and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. From a young age, he expressed disbelief and hostility to Christianity. And he obviously was hostile towards Judaism. Hitler wanted to reduce the influence of Christianity. It seems to me, he didn’t need God because he wanted to be god. His faith was in his own power.

Sometimes I don’t know what sort of faith I have. I think I do, I hope I do, but I’m always wondering. I visit the faith I want, treating it like a vacation destination. When I’m in pain, I tour a church. When I doubt, I read the plaque of faith, hoping it will give me all the answers. But I’ll leave and return home to the place I know well. Where I don’t need God because I can be god.

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15 Mistakes Writers Make – Part Two

photo1This is part two of the last blog posted! Here are the next 8 mistakes I’ve seen writers make, or have made myself, over the last few years of writing and editing.

8. Weak Introduction

First impressions are everything. Especially in writing. Readers will decide if they’ll keep reading within the first paragraph. (More avid and gracious readers may give you a couple pages). And once you get to publishing, this is even more important because agents get HUNDREDS of queries and if you can’t hook them in the first sentence, your book is in their trash.

Often, writers will start with a long description of the setting, or a mundane event like waking up from a dream or talking to themselves in a mirror (for the love of Harry Potter, don’t do this. This is the LAST way you should explain what your character looks like). Continue reading