Quality Christian Speculative Fiction — on the cheap!

I’ve reviewed a number of books from Marcher Lord Press, most recently A Star Curiously Singing and Crosswind. They’re a great company producing good speculative fiction that happens to have Christian characters.

They’re recently rebranded themselves as Enclave Publishing, and they’re having a Kickstarter campaign for their next five releases. I’ll be pledging to it (I need to wait to the new month for my new “allowance”), and if you like good fiction, you should, too. It’s cheap to get ebooks of all five novels, you support a great company, and you get five good books cheap. Did I mention that already?

I can already attest to the quality of Firebird, which I read in paperback back in the day. The concept of A Time to Die in particular also grabs my attention.

So, check out the Kickstarter, and if it interests you, send some money their way!

 

 

How Christian should my artistic expression be?

I don’t often spend a lot of time reading Relevant, the trendy online magazine for the modern day Christian. It’s not that I have anything against what the magazine is trying to accomplish, it’s just that I am completely burned out by the word “Relevant” when it applies to faith.

But never mind me and the strange things that turn me off. Last week there was a worthwhile article about artistic expression and the Christian: “Why Christians Should Create.”  The author, a fellow by the name of Zachary Perkins, follows the basic idea that when Christian artists – be they painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, whatever – create something as an expression of their deeply held beliefs, they should not be afraid to be fully expressive. That is, they should not be bound by a making their art fit a certain predefined style in order to be properly “Christian.” For example, a painter may find Cubism to be his preferred style, and Perkins would argue that he should not attempt to adopt an Impressionist style just to be more clearly Christian.

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The thrill of a new artist, NaNoWriMo, and catching up…

As I set my fingers to my keys here, I do so with a well of guilt bubbling in the pit of my stomach. How could I have so neglected this little pet project, our little writing center here? How could I have so broken faith with our readers? How could I… Okay, okay, don’t overdramatize, Brandon. I have been meaning for so long to get back to sharing my thoughts on writing and its relation to the Christian life. I have been noticing that Jon still manages to post… occasionally. I have been trying to keep up with my writing in general. And I have been trying really, really hard to avoid looking at the date of my last post because it makes me feel bad.

True confessions.

So it’s time to start catching up a little. I have almost half a dozen half started half posts in my dashboard here, just have to go back and clean them up a little. I think they’re good thoughts to share, so I’ll finish them and get them up as I can. Just be aware that some of them really go back to as much as a few months ago, so they might not be the most up-to-date thoughts. But I still think they’re good! And I hope you will too.

In the meantime, I would like to share a little about an artist I recently discovered. You know how there is that thrill when you find an artist and it’s, “Oh, wow! His music is awesome! Totally speaks to me!” and then you look him (or her, if that’s your thing) up on Spotify and you’re like, “Whoah! He has half a dozen albums! Hours of music!” and then you discover that he’s also a published fantasy novelist…

Wait, that last part isn’t usually part of the human experience, is it? Well, boom! It totally is with Andrew Peterson. How do you like them apples? Andrew Peterson is a Christian musician who happens to be good friends and a regular touring partner with Bebo Norman, whose music I just adore. But he is also the author of the Wingfeather Saga, a fantasy series full of whimsy and good clean fun. The series was recommended to me by a good friend, and when I got to see Peterson playing with Bebo Norman and Sara Groves in concert recently, I connected that the two guys are one and the same.

I’ve become especially enamored of a song he wrote for one of his sons, called “You’ll Find Your Way”. Take a listen:

As a father of two little boys – and having adventure in my own heart – this song really calls to me. Another true confession: I might have listened to it half a hundred times already in the last couple weeks. He also has a bunch of other songs I can’t get out of my head. I’m right in the middle of another novel right now, so picking up Wingfeather hasn’t happened yet, but I have this hope that when I do I’m going to love it too.

Recently Jon has mentioned that he’s wrestling with whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. About a week ago I made up my mind that I’m going to. I decided that for the month of November I’m going to forego any time wasters (like video games and little silly phone games, etc.) and focus on a novel. I’m also going to start a new project, just because starting fresh will probably get me more traction during November than just continuing to slog away at the novel I’ve been writing since last spring. That one is progressing, but slower than I want, and I need a break from it. This November’s project is going to be in the Junior/YA realm, it’s going to be fun, and I’ve already started outlining. I’m quite excited.

I’m looking forward to getting caught up here. I hope you’re looking forward to reading some more content on this blog. Are you going to write a novel this coming month? Got an idea that you’d like to share? Want to get some critiques and sharpenings! Please share!

Flash Friday: Property on the Moon

“All right. Now, I need to buy seventeen properties in the Sea of Tranquility.”

Dennis smiled. “Let me guess. You need them to be in an ‘O’ shape?”

The voice on the other end of the phone paused. “How did you know?”

“I think it’s romantic you want to ask her by buying property on the moon in the shape of a proposal. When are you planning on asking her?”

“Um. Friday. We’re going out to a planetarium, and I thought it would be awesome to show her a map of the moon and the properties I owned.”

Dennis typed the order. “I wish you good luck, sir.”

An explanation below the ‘read more’… if you dare! 

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