Cafés, Quills, and New Stories…

It’s been awhile since I posted a writing update. Probably because, even though I have been writing for over twenty years, I have never fully determined how to properly give a writing update. I either say too little, so that no one remembers anything that I’m writing about or I ramble on until my listener’s eyes glaze over, hoping that I’ll be quiet. As I try to avoid the latter, I end up not really updating very often. Someday, I will figure out the proper middle ground.

I do have a lot of hopes and plans inside my head for 2020. Currently, I have five or six stories jumping around as the most prominent in my head, but as both my brains and hands can only do so much at once, I am really only working on two. Well, three if you count the research I’m supposed to be doing.

Café Chocolaté… I plan to have more to say regarding this project very soon. Suffice to say at present, it is a mystery with coffee, explosions, and two old friends from Grandmother’s Letters showing up. I really am very happy to be writing about them again. LORD willing, you’ll see more about this project sooner than anything else – so keep an eye out for it!

Patrick Quill… That is not the title of the book, but of my character. Elliot Windle wants a modern young hero that will live up to his childhood admiration for Peter Pan. So, Arabella and Damien tell their brother about Patrick Quill. He’s older than Peter and very much on earth – no flights to Neverland or fantasy lands – but he may just fit the bill. Still in his twenties, Patrick allegedly takes in unwanted and frightened boys, giving them a home – only no one knows where. The Windle siblings enjoy the story, Arabella sure that it’s true, but as they prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, they hardly expected to meet the legend himself or to be able to work with him.

This book is still in the early stages. It’s being written for A Very Bookish Thanksgiving – a collection of Thanksgiving stories by five authors, including myself – and it should be shorter than most of my books. That is the plan, anyhow. I am not talented at keeping my stories short. Believe it or not, I already have an idea for a sequel too – which may help me keep the story on the smaller side. Even though I hardly have time for yet another one!

As for the other books, regarding each of the three, I am researching the 1920’s, trying to remember everything that I saw and heard in Oxford, and trying to discover how pastry ties to a nefarious crime… If these were my only story ideas, I might stay busy for a good while, but since this is only the priority stack on top of the 80 or so ideas that I have going… I have no clue when I’ll finish. Especially if I don’t stop adding more ideas on random days. I do have fun with it though and may I glorify the LORD while I do so!

To the KING be all the glory!

~End of Intermission

My blogging voice has done its level best to desert me and go on a frightfully long intermission. I had grand plans for posting when this year began, which, as you can easily see, have not reached the fruition of their potential.

Still, I really do miss keeping up with my blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve been consistent, I know, but LORD willing, from here on out, the intermission has reached an end.

Since I last posted, Presumption and Partiality has been moving along – slower than I wanted, but moving. It has proven a challenge to write, but challenges, in the end, are very good for us, and so I hope this one will prove to be.

I’ve haven’t ever written a book in full Historical Fiction genre before – only one story-line in Grandmother’s Letters and after that, a short story set in England during WWII – so that aspect has been fairly new. I have enjoyed the research, however. I’ve learned a great deal about Arizona during the 1930’s, which has proved to be quite fascinating.

I have also come to love the characters that I am working with, though it took awhile, since I struggled at first, to separate them merely being cardboard echoes of Miss Austen’s originals, on which they are based. I do believe that I have shifted from that difficulty though. Sidney still doesn’t talk enough and Eloise simply jumps to conclusions too quickly, but I am quite enjoying moving on to the next page right now. God willing, this book will be released in the shortly coming months.

As this book progresses towards publication, I hope to post updates, sneak peaks, and I even have a new cover to reveal soon, as the last one needed a bit of remodeling. Besides that, I have other posts planned, including some book reviews, an article featuring Kylo Ren, a poem or two, a long-coming paper on death in films, and, if I can get it going, a serial story that I’ve thought up.

In the meantime, I’ve added a few new buttons on my sidebar, where you can see my Pinterist, Instagram, and FB pages. You can find clips from my works-in-progress, a folder of ideas as I build part of Sidney Dennison’s library, and some of the things that happen in my day to day!

“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

To the KING be all the glory!





As an author, I try to often be studying my craft, so that I can strive to be the best writer possible. Sometimes this means spending hours in thought over certain aspects or principles that I am trying to implement or comprehend. At other times, it means reading what others have to say about writing or studying what others did right or wrong in their own works by picking them apart while I read them. (Have I mentioned lately the genius of Mr. Dickens, the fascination of Mr. Tolkien, or the charm of Agatha Christie??)

As I study these things, trying to push myself to greater excellence, I find that I analyze more and more. I can’t just watch a film or read a book without measuring character arcs, critiquing the storyline, and judging the motives behind the character’s actions.

The more I immerse myself in the knowledge of story excellence, the less willing I am to just accept any ol’ storyline unquestioned and the more likely I am to measure every tale by a standard of quality, to see how it measures up.

When I was considering this, it dawned on me. This isn’t merely true of writing. This principle applies to far, far more.

It’s good to recognize poor story-telling and weak protagonists. I plan to continuing working on that. Still, what happens if I apply the same principle to higher, more important things?

When I immerse myself in the Word of God, reading my Bible and talking to the LORD, my spiritual radar goes up, just like my story excellence radar. I begin to more easily recognize those things which are contrary to the nature of the LORD and His law, both in my own life and in the world around me, as well as in the many worlds of fiction that I may enter.

On a related note, problems can arise, if I enjoy the written studies over those of God’s Word. If I prefer to read about character arcs instead of memorizing Scripture. When I decide to puzzle out the best way to structure scenes, instead of talking to the LORD.

One is my natural bent. The other includes war. I need no invite to study writing; I gravitate toward it with no difficulty. My Bible, however, can easily be ignored if I listen to my flesh; the flesh that invents a dozen excuses for why I had better “wait until later.” Yet, when I immerse myself in the Scriptures, draw near to God by talking to Him and listening to His voice, then I’m not only more spiritually aware, I am far more at peace and fulfilled.

My prayer is that, while struggling to perfect my craft, I will never loose sight of what should be my true priority; focusing on the LORD and increasing my knowledge of Him. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36

Knowledge of writing excellence is worth nothing, if not used to glorify the LORD. If used properly, it can be a mighty tool. If wrongly, it can be little better than a distraction.

No matter what our work is, be it writing, engineering, musical composition, singing, architecture, or the every day duties of the house, let us continue to study our craft, tempered with more liberal amounts of study in God’s Word and time spent with the LORD. That way we can, prayerfully, glorify the LORD by doing our best in all things, while remembering Who to put first.

To the KING be all the glory!

~A Little Reminder…

…To myself.

When beginning work on a book, that you haven’t even opened in awhile, ’tis always good to have the notebook readily available that lists all the given names of all the characters written down. Otherwise, you may start to write, only to end up with a paper that looks like this:

“The first Christmas party is tonight! The first Christmas party is tonight!” ____ chanted, skipping down the stairs with ____.

Now, your mission will be to remember exactly who ____ and ____ were in relation to the story. And don’t forget that there were, what, ten kids in the house? And these were only two of them. Except you know it wasn’t Robbyn, because you remember her name nor could it be Henry, because not only do you remember his name too (or did after you called him Harry first…), you also know that he would never, ever be caught “skipping” down the stairs.

Maybe, next time, you’ll remember to take that notebook with you, even if you *think* you won’t need it!

To the KING be all the glory!