Going on a Short Writing Sabbatical

I’m going on a short writing sabbatical,

Even though I know it may sound radical.

But I’ve got stuff to deal with and if I do not,

Then all it will do is stir up the pot

Of things I must juggle. For me, it’s too much,

And though writing can help me, it’s not the best crutch.

So, please understand if I’m not here as often,

My website is not going into a coffin.

But I cannot be here as much as I’d like.

So please understand. This is not about “Mike.”

And I will be back here as much as I can,

Though for now I’ve my hands full, I’ve too much to plan.



The Christian Writer’s Genesis, First Three Days

  1. To begin with, God made the Christian writer and began to pour through her a creative work – a glimpse of heaven delivered through an earthen vessel.
  2. The foundation of her work had no discernible form, however, and lacked wisdom. Darkness overshadowed the depths of her potential. But God’s Spirit moved upon the living waters of His Word.
  3. God said, “Shine revelation,” and revelation shone.
  4. He saw that the revelation was good, and divided the revelation from the condemnation.
  5. God called the revelation “fresh inspiration,” and he called the darkness “blind inclination.” Joy followed mourning to form the first step of a masterpiece.

 

It Had Begun. This Was Day One!

  1. Then God spoke to the Christian writer, “Your story needs a firm plot structure to divide the creative truths inside this work from one another, as each one has been designed with a unique purpose in mind.”
  2. And God designed a detailed plot structure for the Christian writer to follow, to separate lesser elements from her work’s highest goal. It was so happening!
  3. God called the plot structure “writer’s heaven” – hard work well worth celebrating. For, though difficult to write, this outline led to a new dawn. The second step toward a masterpiece had begun.

 

WOOHOO!

  1. And God said, “Put the work’s most refreshing elements into one spot, so we can see the parts that are more “down-to-earth.”
  2. God called the down-to-earth elements a “reality check” (drama) and called the refreshing elements “pure enjoyment” comedy. And God saw that the story was easier to follow.
  3. And God said, “Let down-to-earth readers produce constructive feedback, yielding seeds of inspiration to sow into the work. May these ideas grow into trees that bear great fruit – inspiring seeds for brand new stories. (Believe me, it was happening!)
  4. So, the Christian writer went for feedback, and down-to-earth readers provided it. It started with “grass-roots” – people that she knew. Writing became more than a hobby as ideas matured and in turn inspired more ideas. God saw that it was good.
  5. Enthusiasm overcame writer’s block, the third step toward publication.

Hence Day Three, Start of a Victory!

And thirteen became a blessed number because God created it! It’s not a jinx, but it can be pivotal. For with the information given, you have a choice: to give up writing (jinx it) or continue in the process and receive the many blessings that come from persevering to the end.

 

Blazing Trails Through Jungles of Writing Rejection

A Book With Many a Parable: Check it Out

I. A Book With Many a Parable

Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure is a book that contains many parables related to the Christian faith: such as forgiveness. It’s about how God gives super powers to a boy from a broken home.

Super powers are like spiritual gifts. Packed into a fantasy, it tells the story of one boy’s faith journey and the lessons he learns by reading a special brand of comic book.

I. First Parable

To start with, the comic books stand for scripture taken in its purest form. As most well-read scholars know, the original languages tended to get lost in translation. To get the full picture, we must look deeper. This may involve digging into root words to discover the meaning behind the original Hebrew or Greek.

As all well-read Bible scholars know, the Holy Spirit guides us in to all truth regarding scripture (see John 14:26). This brings me to my second parable.

II. Second Parable

The dove in this book is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe any Christian who knows his/her Bible can miss this. Who hasn’t read the account of John baptizing Jesus in the Jordan? The Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove. That’s why the dove is everywhere in this book, guiding the hero into all truth.  And though I don’t mention the word “Trinity,” I do describe it. One scene shows Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together to purify the sinners, though I use the term “dirt” instead of “sin.”

III. Third Parable

The comic book author endows His readers with superpowers. I ask you, what else could that mean but “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . . unto the uttermost part of the earth.”? (Acts 1:8) Powers in this case refers to the miracles or “greater works” Jesus said His followers would do (John 14:12). This includes casting out demons (see Mark 16:17), which the hero does using the Jesus figure’s name (see John 14:13).

Pardon my King James, but I don’t believe God ever meant for those miracles to stop. Yes, I am a practicing continuationist, not a cessationist.  So is the main character in my book, who struggles to embrace the comics his hometown government has banned.

Which brings me to. . .

IV. Fourth Set of Parables

Parable four is all about what Jesus does for us, based on Isaiah 61:1-3. He, the author and finisher of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2) came to give his mourners three things:

beauty in place of ashes;

the oil of joy instead of mourning;

and

the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness.

You don’t always see the Jesus figure in this book doing all these things, but He’s the one who fills the sad boy with joy he can’t explain. It comes out as laughter, which is Biblical by the way. Psalm 2:4 speaks of God laughing at the wicked. Why does He laugh at them? Because they think that somehow they can outwit Him. As Pete joins in the laughter – to him it is pure joy – the spirit of heaviness lifts off him. It’s like the garment of praise.

What’s the result? Super powers that help him overcome the “power of gravity”  (the law)  as represented by his restrictive orthopedic shoes. But he has much to learn when it comes to throwing off dead weights (evil spirits) that hinder (see Hebrews 12:1-2). The trials he endures while learning to walk (and run) in grace help him to mature. His adventure has begun, but it isn’t over yet. That’s why I’ve planned a sequel.

V. Meanwhile

So, now that I’ve explained the basic elements in this book (hope it’s not too much of a spoiler alert), I hope you have a better understanding of this book and what it means. If it interests you, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think. If you like it, feel free to post a review online.

In my opinion, it’s better for older children, as some elements may be too scary for younger ones. I have yet to receive needed feedback from the age group for which this book is intended, which leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage here. But I trust the Lord to work it out for good.

 

https://atomic-temporary-102676306.wpcomstaging.com/boy-from-broken-home-gets-super-powers/

https://atomic-temporary-102676306.wpcomstaging.com/healing/rooftop-four-men-mat/

Interview with DG Lamb, Author of Driven to the Hilt

Hello, friends and visitors! I am pleased to present my very first author interview, with someone whose genre and  writing style is very different from my own. I consider it an “exploration in diversity.” My questions basically center on the first book in the Driven to the Hilt series, The Deepest Cut. It’s about a boy named Joshua who lives in a mining colony on a planet called Cyprus Grove. In the nearby swamp lives a deadly creature.

Can Joshua survive the swamp? And what about the criminal underworld lurking nearby? Which is more dangerous – the plants, the animals or the people? A word of caution: This book contains some disturbing elements and deals with topics some might find unsettling. But if you like action and adventure, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is not a humorous book, though it is sprinkled with bits of comic relief. It has a strong message throughout and gives the reader much to think about.

So, on to the interview:

How long have you been writing?

“I have been writing seriously since May, 2013.”

 What inspired you to start writing?

 “It is ‘who’, actually.   Between jobs at the time. my son Jacob came to keep me company while I was recovering from having my cancerous prostate removed. Sitting in the hospital room with time on our hands, he described an idea he had been developing in his mind for a novel. Then he asked me if I had any ideas for an interesting story.  I did.  But it was the two weeks of surgeon mandated recovery at home that is likely responsible for the thoughts becoming reality. After discharge, Jacob asked follow-up questions that prompted much more thought about the story, and after bouncing ideas off the rest of the family and getting encouragement from them, I had the time to actually begin writing.”

 

What sources have provided the most useful information on topics related to your book? 

 “Well, mostly a lifetime of reading science fiction, I suppose. And there is more than a little personal experience in some descriptions. Of course, the Internet is a wonderful source for gleaning little tidbits of facts that spice up any presentation about a specific topic. Finally, my brother, Chris, does research at National Defense University and has sent me information on a number of latest gadgets being considered by the military (nothing classified, obviously).”

 Based on your detailed descriptions of places in the book, it seems as if you’ve done a lot of traveling. If so, what is the most interesting place you’ve been to?

“In a general sense, my descriptions of The Swamp were informed by being in the wilderness throughout the Boy Scout experience, both my own and with my son. We backpacked many miles of mountain and desert trails throughout Arizona, explored Yosemite, the Pine River in Colorado, the Lost Coast of Northern California, Philmont High Adventure, and more. Several trips to Hawaii also provided first-hand exposure to a tropical ecosystem. And, of course, I’ve traveled to many fantastic places in my mind, through my aforementioned sci fi reading.”

 

What effect do you hope this book will have upon your readers?

“First and foremost, I would like readers to come away with an enhanced appreciation for the importance of taking conscious control of their own decisions. As a psychologist, I see so many problems that arise when people passively allow the world to act upon them, convinced they have no choice but to endure whatever is thrust upon them. I would love to think that someone might take heart from Joshua’s example and instead of giving up, takes control of what they can to make positive changes in their life.”

 

 Joshua is very interesting. What advice would you give to writers about developing their characters?

“Ha! Confession time. My initial attempts at writing about Joshua focused on describing his physical capabilities, which I believe were reasonably successful. But after some kind but honest feedback from my main beta readers (Jacob and Chris), I realized my main character was a paper cutout movie action hero stereotype.  Thereafter, I concentrated on developing a boy who was good at heart, but did not always have the answers, who made mistakes and bad choices, a boy who actually felt things, the full range of emotions that life evokes, especially when you are alone and facing the unknown wilds of a far flung mining colony.” 

 

TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE FREE GIVEAWAY, contact one of the following:

https://www.driventothehilt.com

DG Lamb –
Driven to the Hilt available at Amazon HERE –
                for iBooks, Barnes and Noble,etc


Making a Few Necessary Changes

Okay, so I’m sure at least a few people have noticed that I’ve made some changes to my website. I’m not doing it to confuse anyone, but after all, it is an author website. After doing some needed research, I realized that some things were missing with this website – essential items that help people to contact me and buy my book. (No pressure to purchase, but it’s nice to have the information at your fingertips for immediate and/or future reference).

Yes, I’ll admit, I feel the pressure to make sales. (Too few reviews sound like bad news. I wouldn’t want to blow a fuse). But that’s not the reason I write. I write because I have a message to share and I can’t type it fast enough, and then I have to think about “Is anybody reading it?”

I know. What does that bird have to do with anything? I wish it would stop peering over my shoulder already.

ARRRGH! I’m a writer. I just want to write. I have another book to finish but marketing is a distraction. It’s like the carrots in the pot roast that refuse to cook all the way through, but the meat has been done for three hours. Even the potatoes are tired of waiting for them to cook. Anyhow, I think you get my drift. I’ve made some major renovations to this site over the last few months – renovations that in some ways correspond with renovations in my life. As some children prepare to move overseas (I will miss my grandson!) others come back home.

They’re here and then they’re there. They like to travel everywhere. My rhymes almost sound like a Doctor Seuss book. I used to wonder about his last name; sounds like the Hebrew word for horse.

Doctor Horse. Good name for him. I can see the toothy grin. Reminds me of Mr. Ed the talking horse. Remember him? If so, you’ve probably been around a while – long enough to go through numerous changes.

Like my website. I’ve been writing more articles for authors and for readers too. But my main message hasn’t changed a bit. To me it’s all about the miracles and healing Jesus still performs. He’s just the same today as He was two thousand years ago.  That’s what the Christian fiction stories I write are really about – children walking in the power of the Spirit, taking His inspired comic books at face value and using them to take incredible adventures.

These heroes are like people who read the Bible and do what it says without wavering.

They’ve had it with the Snore Bore. They won’t listen to his dead weights, and – well, I think you get the picture. They trust God to help them make those needed changes in their lives, even though some things can be so frustrating – like figuring out where all those widgets go and how and why and – Anyhow, change can be good. Now if I could only figure out where my villain ran off to…

 

 

One Glowing Review: A Small But Bright Beginning

I have exactly one review so far for my new book.

It may not seem like much at first, but take a closer look

And feast your eyes upon the splendor of five shining stars,

More beautiful to me than Saturn, Jupiter or Mars!

 

How precious glows the gem of one who took the time to write

And share her thoughts on how this story gave her such delight!

Some readers promise book reviews, but how many deliver?

That’s why I want to take the time to thank this cheerful giver.

 

To me, it’s like the widow’s mite, a gift straight from her heart.

No one can tell the value of this precious work of art.

Like Jesus multiplying food, I choose to  magnify

What God can do with little and trust Him to multiply

 

The fruit of this beginning, which, though small, I won’t despise,

Because the tiniest of gems is mighty in God’s eyes.

What He can do with one review is more than I may know,

And so I’ll thank Him for this one and trust that it will grow

 

Into more feedback so that hungry readers may find out

What lies within this tale of mine and what it’s all about,

Because the focus isn’t money. It’s about the seed,

The precious truths within this book designed to meet the need

 

Of brokenhearted people searching for a little hope,

The ones left dangling as it were from a fraying rope.

I want somehow to reach them and to give them some relief,

Bring comfort to their aching souls and minimize their grief.

 

If one review can give a glimpse into this book of mine,

Then what can I not accomplish on this mission divine?

For truly it’s the little things that make a story great,

And when God shines on them, the work is never second-rate.

 

 

 

Write the Vision and Make it Plain

“Write the vision and make it plain. . . so he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2

When Pete Plain, a twelve-year-old with “two left feet,” gets his hands on a colorful but illegal comic book, he can’t resist taking a peek inside. What happens next changes his entire life.

The boy who was never very good at anything gets taken on a journey far beyond his wildest dreams. As people from his past connect with people from the present, he struggles to understand what is happening. The more truth he uncovers, the more challenges he faces. Can he find help from another realm, with friends to help him overcome his fears and face the bullies in his life?

The visions Pete encounters on his comic book journey impart fresh hope to him, giving him strength to forgive and speed to help in time of need.

As his home life crumbles, he has nowhere to look but up. But will his natural tendency to look down get in the way?

And what about the boys shooting kids with toxic slime? Can Pete put an end to their mean pranks before it’s too late, or will the bitter malady known as Sadly Absent Dad Syndrome keep him from fulfilling his destiny?

With evil forces threatening to disable him, Pete faces an important choice. He can either allow the guilt of past mistakes to disable him or he can choose to rise above it.

Along the way he realizes that he has far to go. But he has a vision he can reach if he runs with it, moving step by step toward his goal.

One touch begins Pete’s journey. Who knows where it will end?

We all have a mission in life. The first step to fulfilling it is to find out what it is.

“Write the vision and make it plain, so he can run who reads it.”

https://miracle-times.com/book-blogging/speed-sight-book-release-now/

https://miracle-times.com/healing/believe-instant-miracles/

Speed of Sight Book Release

I’m excited to announce that Speed of Sight by C. R. Flamingbush has finally arrived. This young adult fantasy book follows the footsteps of an awkward boy who can’t seem to excel at much of anything. Then one day he enters a different realm and his life is changed forever.

“Twelve-year-old Pete Plain is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary secret who lives in a crazy town called Jericho. On the last day of school, his friend Jack gives him a powerful but illegal comic book—not to read but to hide. That afternoon the school bully shoots Jack with toxic slime. Uncertain how to help him, Pete sneaks a peek at the comic and gets drawn into a different world. There he goes on an unforgettable adventure.

  When Jack discovers what Pete has done, he takes the book from him. Pete wants it back, but the forces of evil that haunt his hometown are determined to keep it from him. When Pete glimpses the ghostly grizzly dividing his family, he knows he must do something to stop it. The author of the forbidden comic books gives Pete special gifts of super sight and super speed, but will the boy from the broken home fully use those gifts or will he let himself be overcome by the bitter malady known as Sadly Absent Dad Syndrome? Much is at stake, for the slime is deadly, and catching the bullies behind it will prove to be no easy task.”

You can preview the first three chapters at Dove Christian Publisher’s website, https://www.dovechristianpublishers.com/catalog/christian-fiction/Speed-of-Sight/

The book is also available through Amazon

Kindle version $2.99 ; https://www.amazon.com/Speed-Sight-Superhero-C-R-Flamingbush-ebook/dp/B07D5HTCHP/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Print version $13.95 ; https://www.amazon.com/Speed-Sight-Superhero-C-R-Flamingbush/dp/0998669067/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528251386&sr=1-1

You can also buy it through Barnes and Noble.

I hope you enjoy the book. If you like it, please feel free to post a review on Amazon.

 

Where Can These School Shooting Victims Find Healing?

The school shooting described in Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure has many victims. First there’s Jack Tamer, the genius boy with the super high IQ. The slime that hits his head is clearly toxic, but he refuses to see a doctor. After all, he’s convinced he’s going to die, so why bother?

Jack’s own pride turns him into quite a victim. It does him more damage than the shooting itself.

Secondly, we have the bullies who shot the slime. They’re running scared, victims of the very fear that caused them to attack the innocent. The school shooting that they perpetrated has traumatized them as well. Yet the unseen forces driving them to crime show no signs of giving up.

As for the driver of Jack’s bus, he shows no real signs of alarm. In his mind, Jack’s head needs nothing more than a quick wipe with a used handkerchief. Then there’s a nearby policeman who gets a glimpse of the shooting but does nothing to stop it. He’s too busy doing paperwork, a victim of excessive rules. Like most good citizens of Jericho, he has no time to see the bullies brought to justice. Like the rest of the town, he’s too busy being tolerant to protect his own citizens from harm.

“But what about the other adults in charge of keeping order?” you may ask. Sadly, the teachers are too busy packing up for summer break to pay any attention to the parking lot. The few security guards on staff are taking a class on how to be polite to everyone. However, the thought police are out in full force. Nobody is safe.

Meanwhile, guilt hounds mild-mannered Pete Plain because he wasn’t fast enough to shop the shooting. How he wishes he had the strength and speed to protect his best friend from the gooey blob – not to mention super powers with which to heal him!

And what about the illegal comic book Jack gave him to hide – the comic book with the ability to transport its readers to a different realm? Can it empower him to be the hero he always wanted to be?

Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure holds the answer to these questions. It is available for purchase on Dove Christian Publisher’s website. You can also find it on Amazon – currently available in print form, soon to be available as an e-book.

https://miracle-times.com/book-blogging/poking-fun-powerless-religion/

https://miracle-times.com/spiritual-gifts-like-super-powers/

 

 

Speed of Sight Pokes Fun at the Idol of Human Intellect

Human Intellect Versus Real Power

Welcome to Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure by C.R. Flamingbush. This upcoming release by Dove Christian Publishers pokes fun at the idol of human intellect.

The novel revolves around a special comic book with magical powers that transports an awkward twelve-year-old boy to a different world. Once inside that world, he glimpses past events he never knew of and goes for a ride almost too real to put in words. Then, when he gets back, his best friend treats him like a space alien.

“Oh no. Pete, what have you done?”

What was Pete’s crime? Daring to actually read the book he was supposed to hide. “But why would that be wrong?” you might ask.

Well, to quote an excerpt from Speed of Sight (the bottom of pages 31 to the top of 32),

Jack put his hands up to block the view (of the comic book). “Don’t shove those pictures in my face. You must be very careful.” He looked nervously about. “This book has been banned for a good reason. Here, let me show you something.” He grabbed the book and turned to the last page.

“What is it?” Pete asked. The handwriting was hard to read and very strange to him.

“It’s a one thousand, five hundred, fifty-five-letter commentary that explains why you’re not supposed to use the comics for adventures,” Jack replied.

Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it? “Don’t use the comics for adventures?” I mean, isn’t that what comic books are for? Don’t they in effect take us on adventures, with heroes who have supernatural super powers?

Spiritual Gifts Free Us From Faithless Religiosity

 

In the case of believing Christians, those powers – better known as “spiritual gifts” – come from God. Some Christians, however, either don’t receive those gifts (powers) or else they totally reject them. Like the Sadducees in Jesus’ time who didn’t believe in a resurrection, they interpret Bible verses in ways that promote unbelief. Theirs is a powerless religion – or should we say “religiosity,” in which religion becomes all about form but lacks true substance.

Speed of Sight pokes fun at such mindsets.  To quote an excerpt taken from page 32,

 

“Because that’s the sort of thing I was warning you about when I told you not to read the book,” Jack said. “You must have read the pictures and seen the speech balloons. The commentary writer, who is a good friend of our family, says it’s very dangerous to do that. He should know. He dissects comic books for a living.”

“You mean he picks them apart into tiny pieces?”

The genius boy looked proudly down at Pete. “No, silly. He puts the pages under a microscope and analyzes them molecule by molecule. He wrote a huge book describing what they’re made of.”

“Sounds heavy,” Pete said.

“Of course, it is. It weighs more than I do. He weighs a ton too. That’s because he’s an expert. . .”

 

Powerless Religion: a Heavy Burden – Who Can Bear it?

 

Unlike the noble Bereans of Acts 17:11 who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things (of which Paul spoke) were so, Jack’s commentator takes a hyper-critical approach to the biblically inspired comics. Instead of welcoming them as vehicles of faith to launch a younger generation into their destiny, he takes a stance similar to that of the scribes and Pharisees – the ones Jesus described in Matthew 23:1-7.

 

“They say and do not. . . For they bind heavy burdens grievous to be borne and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (verses 3 & 4).

 

How well might they fit in with the “miracles aren’t for today” crowd, clinging to man-made traditions that deny God’s power! (See II Timothy 3:5). After all, they taught a powerless religion that weighed their hearers down rather than lifting them up toward God’s throne of grace.

 

Hebrews 12:1 exhorts believers to throw off such dead weights and the sin that so easily hinders their race, while keeping their eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.

 

That’s what Speed of Sight’s Pete Plain does. By following the beloved comic book author and reading His books with childlike faith, he pokes fun at powerless religion while at the same time encouraging believers to take their faith to a higher level.