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Monthly Archives: September 2017


September 25, 2017

This is a replica of Robert Fulton’s Clemont steamboat, the New Orleans, the first steamboat to travel from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, had a similar design.

Writing comes in different stages. There is prewriting, drafting, self-editing content, proofreading, and allowing someone else to edit what I write. After that there’s formatting, cover design, and marketing. I could start at point A and go straight through to book sales. I don’t do that. Rather, I start new writing projects at certain times of the year whether I have finished the entire publishing process for previous books or not. As I am writing this, I just finished writing the final edits on Book VI of the Locket Saga: The Anvil, and my next nonfiction book: Write a Book to Ignite Your Business. In addition, I am still working on Book VII of the Locket Saga: Two Rivers. This Sunday I started Book VIII of the Locket Saga: As yet, not yet named book.

NaNoWriMo for the Ninth Year!

Every year in November every year for the past eight years, I have entered and won NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is the acronym for National Novel Writing Month. During November all over the world, hundreds of thousands of novels are started. In order to win, the author must write fifty thousand words of a first draft of their novel.

Pre-Writing

It is my understanding that November is for writing the first draft, not necessarily for starting to think about writing the book. That is why toward the end of September, I start the writing process with prewriting. The pre-writing includes several different activities that I like to have done before I start the first draft in November. These include: determining the basic plot, main characters, and doing at least the initial research.

The Basic Plot

I have determined the basic plot of this upcoming book. It is sort of a continuation of Two Rivers. Two Rivers is primarily the story of Isaac Thorton and Rebecca Miles and Isaac’s journey with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This book is the story of Andrew Mayford who goes south to Natchez, Mississippi. Although he has gone down the Mississippi several times by flatboat, in 1811, Andrew becomes the first pilot of a steamship down the Mississippi, changing the way Americans relate to the Mississippi forever. Of course, this is an actual event. During my research for previous books, I discovered numerous interesting facts about these series of events that I think should be told in fictional story form.

The Main Characters

There’s Robert Fulton, a man named Livingston, there’s Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt who went on the trip, their two young children, and their servants and of course Andrew. All of these characters need to be developed from just names on a page to what I as the author view as living breathing people. One of these servant girls is Andrew’s love interest. These are called character sketches.

Research

I love research! Research takes me from a vague idea of what happened to feeling as though I was actually present at that time and place. Because  this story is going from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Natchez Mississippi, I will need to research not just what those two cities were like at that time but also every city in between. Also there were specific Native Americans they met along the way and a major historical event that directly related to the journey of the steamboat. I have to research this as well.

 

One of the big research projects that I am currently working on is reading Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. It was, of course written a few years later, (1863), but the book does relate to the Mississippi and to steamboats which is exactly the topic this book.

It is a Start, Just a Start

This is not all there is to the pre-writing process, but it is a beginning. However, by the time November comes along, I will be ready to start that first draft.

Need a Good Title

As stated earlier, I still don’t have a good working title. What do you think would make a good title for this book?

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September 18, 2017

I am not a Jew and have no intention of calling myself a Jew.. I do not believe in Replacement Theology. I am a Gentile, a  Christian. I am not under the law, I am not. I have been redeemed from the law of sin and death that the law brought. I do not believe that God changed his mind concerning the Jews. I believe that they remain God’s chosen people.However, I shouldn’t throw out the Old Testament because years ago,  I have learned that there are things that I can learn from the Old Testament. I learned that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. I learned that everything in the Old Testament points forward to the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his second coming,  and everything in the New Testament points back to the coming death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his second coming.

I read the whole Bible through the first time when I was twelve and when I was going through it, I remember coming across Psalm 22 for the first time. It didn’t take me any teacher to show me that it was a prophetic psalm of David that revealed the inner thoughts of Jesus Christ while he hung on the cross two thousand years in the future.

When I was in my late teens I learned about types in the Bible. These types were hints of what was coming in Jesus Christ.

Rosh Hashanah, One of the Seven Jewish Feasts

The Seven Jewish feasts are indicative of the events that are to occur that related to future events as well as memories to be shared. They are in themselves prophetic of past and future events. The first three feasts represent what happened during passion week. The feast of First Fruits or Pentecost occurs at fifty days after the last day of the earlier feasts. This was indicative of the empowering of the church. The last three feasts occur one right after the other and the first of those three feasts is the Feast of Trumpets. These last three feasts last seven days.

The first of these is Rosh Hoshanna. It occurs in 2017 from September 20-23, and is also know as the Feast of Trumpets. During Rosh Hashanah is to blow a primitive trumpet known as a shofar. According to Rabbi Shraga Simmons when blowing the trumpet, there are three distinct sounds.

Tekiah – one long, straight blast

Shevarim – three medium, wailing sounds

Teruah – 9 quick blasts in short succession

 

The Tekiah Sound

 

Rosh Hashana is the day of appreciating who God is. On this day, the Jews internalize that understanding so that it becomes a living, practical part of our everyday reality. God is all-powerful. God is the Creator. God is the Sustainer. God is the Supervisor. In short, God is King of the Universe.

 

But for many of us, the idea of a “king” conjures up images of a greedy and power-hungry despot who wants to subjugate the masses for his selfish aims.

 

In Jewish tradition, a king is first and foremost a servant of the people. His only concern is that the people live in happiness and harmony. His decrees and laws are only for the good of the people, not for himself. (see Maimonides, Laws of Kings 2:6)

 

The object of Rosh Hashanah is to crown God as our King. Tekiah – the long, straight shofar blast – is the sound of the King’s coronation (Malbim – Numbers 10:2). In the Garden of Eden, Adam’s first act was to proclaim God as King.

Today, for Christians, we have a greater covenant promise than the Jews of the Old Testament. We, Christians call Jesus Christ our Lord of Lords and King of Kings. We set our values straight and return to the reality that Jesus Christ is the One Who runs the world… guiding history, moving mountains, and caring for each and every human being individually and personally.

 

Maimonides adds one important qualification: It isn’t enough that God is MY King alone. If ALL humanity doesn’t recognize God as King, then there is something lacking in my own relationship with God. Part of my love for the Almighty is to help guide all people to an appreciation of Him. Of course this is largely an expression of my deep caring for others. But it also affects my own sense of God’s all-encompassing Kingship.

 

As a Christian it is my duty, my act of LOVE to my Creator and King to share his love with others around me. Therefore I put up what Maimonides says into a Christian perspective. It isn’t enough that Jesus Christ is MY King alone. If ALL humanity doesn’t recognize Jesus Christ as King, then there is something lacking in my own relationship with Christ. Part of my love for Christ is to help guide all people to an appreciation of Jesus Christ. Of course, this is largely an expression of my deep caring for others, but it aso affects my own sense of Jesus Christ’s all-encompassing Kingship.

 

The Shevarim Sound

 

When we think about the year gone by, we know deep down that we’ve failed to live up to our full potential. In the coming year, we yearn not to waste that opportunity ever again. The Kabbalists say that Shevarim – three medium, wailing blasts – is the sobbing cry of a Jewish heart – yearning to connect, to grow, to achieve. (Tikunei Zohar – 20-21, 49a)

 

Every person has the ability to change and be great. This can be accomplished much faster than you ever dreamed of. The key is to pray from the bottom of your heart and ask God for the ability to become great. Don’t let yourself be constrained by the past. You know you have enormous potential.

 

At the moment the shofar is blown, we cry out to God from the depths of our soul. This is the moment – when our souls stand before the Almighty without any barriers – that we can truly let go.

 

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I too cry out to him. When I bare my soul to him, I cry out not just for myself, but for others too.

 

The Teruah Sound

 

On Rosh Hashana, the Jews wake up and be honest and objective about their lives: Who they are, where they’ve been, and which direction they’re headed. The Teruah sound – 9 quick blasts in short succession – resembles an alarm clock, arousing them from our spiritual slumber. The shofar brings clarity, alertness, and focus. (Malbim – Yoel 2:1)

 

The Talmud says: “When there’s judgment from below, there’s no need for judgment from above.” What this means is that if we take the time to construct a sincere, realistic model of how we’ve fallen short in the past, and what we expect to change in the future, then God doesn’t need to “wake us up” to what we already know.

 

As a Christian, we know that when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we recognize that we are sinners. We judge ourselves unfit for heaven. We recognize that there is only one way that we avoid the judgement of God when we enter the hereafter. We recognize that our salvation isn’t based on what we do, but what Jesus Christ has already done and for that we are and must be humbly grateful.

 

God wants us to make an honest effort to maximize the gifts He gave us. You aren’t expected to be anything you’re not. But you can’t hoodwink God, either.

 

The reason we lose touch and make mistakes is because we don’t take the time every day to reconnect with our deepest desires and essence. The solution is to spend time alone every day, asking: Am I on track? Am I focused? Am I pursuing goals which will make the greatest overall difference in my life and in the world?

 

The Rabbis tell the Jews to make it a habit to keep in touch with yourself, and when Rosh Hashanah comes around, the alarm clock of the shofar won’t be nearly as jarring!

 

I believe that this sounding of the Shofar will eventually correlate with the Jewish realization of who Jesus Christ is. I believe that this event also is when the great Harpazo (catching away) occurs, when the true believers are taken.to wait out the judgement and wrath that will occur during the seven years of tribulation. At the same time, the trumpets will show the Jews how much they need not just a savior, but that the Savior has already come. They will recognize who Jesus Christ is, they will repent for their denial of him and desire to bring the whole world to him and finally, they will focus all their attention on the work of bringing souls to Christ. The final outpouring of the spirit will not be from Christian believers, but from Jews who believe that Jesus Christ is their Messiah.

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Writing While Watching Irma

This weekend, I had been watching the progress of the catastrophic storm that Irma has become make its way up the coast of Florida. I am writing this on Sunday, so the storm has just started coming onto land in Florida. From the looks of it, the storm will be hugging the west coast of the state maintaining its strength as a category 4 storm most of the state’s length. My prayers are with the residents of that state just as they were with residents of the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey.

 

Here in Missouri, the weather is perfect. Temperatures are in the upper seventies and low eighties with low humidity. Ironically, here in Missouri, we could use some of rain (haven’t had any for almost three weeks) and it doesn’t look as though we will be getting any of Irma’s rain.

Living Today, The Power of Now, Live on Kindle

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My latest book, Living Today, the Power of Now, is now live on Kindle. The book is only $2.99 on Kindle (higher cost in print, of course) and like all of my books, it is free if you use Kindle Unlimited.

Final Edits on Two New Books

Yesterday I got the final edits back of two new books. These books I will have to work making the changes my editor recommends and then start preparing for publication. I have developed a pretty good system of getting the editing and formatting in print and in digital formats done. I also need get a good cover for my books and then they will be ready to be launched. These two books will be Book VI of the Locket Saga: The Anvil and a nonfiction book: Write a Book To Ignite Your Business.

Other Books in the Works

In addition to the edits on the two books already mentioned, I am also working on the second draft of Book VII of the Locket Saga: Two Rivers.

 

In addition, I am thinking about what I am going to write about in Book VIII of the Locket Saga (the exact title has not yet been determined. I was talking with someone about the ideas that I have for this next book. One of the things that I found during my research was about what happened during the first steamboat trip down the Mississippi. I’ll tell more about that history at a later date.

Finally, there is marketing both online and in person. I have been working a lot on twitter during the past few weeks, but one of my main events is coming up. Next weekend, I will be in Marionville, Missouri at the Meeting Place on the main road in the town from 11-3pm. I will be signing and selling not only my new book, Living Today, The Power of Now in print but also the other books that I have written. These books include all five novels of the Locket Saga, Simply Vegetable Gardening, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

My life goes on the same as usual and I will continue with all the writing that I am doing.. However, everything is not life as usual for everyone. People are still cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey and soon the cleanup will begin in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. There are ways that we all can help from praying, sending monitary support and volunteering with the cleanup.


September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

How to get NOW FAITH

Every Journey begins with a single step of faith

There’s a verse in the Bible, Hebrews 11:1 that states “ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Usually, the verse has its emphasis on just the word faith, but I have started looking at it by including “now” as an adjective of this kind of faith making it “Now Faith”. NOW FAITH is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” The entire chapter eleven of Hebrews is called the “Faith Hall of Fame” and tells about how the impossible happened to people of faith with God’s help.

What seemingly impossible dreams do you have?  Do you have dreams that need NOW FAITH? Sometimes these seemingly impossible dreams need supernatural intervention, but often these dreams just need a God-inspired faith to turn these hopes into reality. Here are five keys to that now kind of faith and they can be found in the rest of the chaptpr in Hebrews.

In  Hebrews 11:2,  it says because of thpir faith,  the elders had good references from God and their posterity. Here are the 12  keys they used that you too can use in your walk of faith.

12 Keys of the NOW kind of Faith

Key One: Through faith we understand that everything good is formed by The Word of God, Jesus Christ  (Verse 3)

Key Two: Pleasing God by seeking a relationship with him .(Verses 4-6)

Key Four: Listening to God’s Instruction (Verses 7-8)

Key Five: Recognizing that God has a bigger plan (Verses 9-10)

Key Six: God wants to make your impossible possible (Verses 11-12)

Key seven: Not turning back even though you don’t see  immediate results (Verses 13-16)

Key Eight: Being willing to sacrifice the Good for the Better.(Verses 17-19)

Key nine: Bless others with your Faith (Verses 20-22)

Key Ten: Live a life of  Integrity (Verses 23-28)

Key eleven: Take Action though faced with adversity .(Verses 29-38)

Key Twelve: Know that God has an even better life for us.(Verses 39-40)

 

Living Today, The Power of Now

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We all have just twenty-four hours a day and every minute is precious. Have faith in the now. Learn what you can do to make the most of each day. Read my latest book and begin making the most of every moment. In On September 8, 2017, my latest book Living Today, The Power of Now, will be out on Kindle. Pre-order your Kindle copy of Living Today, The Power of Now today.

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