The Cheesecake bids you farewell…

The six of us here have decided that this joint blog experiment is not fulfilling the needs we each have for doing such a thing. The ends have not justified the means. And so we’ve made the decision to move ourselves back to The New Authors’ Fellowship.

If you happen to be one of the very few people who follow this blog that are not already aware of NAF or did not follow us directly from NAF to begin with, go visit this site and subscribe.

This blog experiment was made to serve the Alumni of NAF. And now us Alumni are going back. Thanks for hanging out with us!


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What My Book Says About You

Most readers are familiar with the idea that a book says a lot about the author. Unless you’re a reading machine who devours books the way some devour gummi bears and never bother to think about them as you go, I suspect at some point you’ve read a passage and wondered what the author had to go through to come up with that idea. At least, I hope you have. It’s OK to think about a book as more than a story.

I maintain the first book an author writes is a therapy book: meaning, intentionally or unintentionally, we write it as part of our own therapy. I may think this because I trained as a marriage and family therapist and tend to view the world through that lens (relax. It’s a strengths-based lens and I’m looking for what’s right with you, not what’s wrong).  I will concede – grudgingly – that the first book written may not be the first book published, but I suspect it is more often than not. Continue reading

Categories: Entertaining Stuff, Random Stuff | 4 Comments

Staring At God

It should surprise none of my readers that I am a verbal person. My college years were spent learning therapeutic communication. My learning style is primarily auditory (which means I rocked at lecture classes). I think in words, not pictures, and certainly not emotions.

I have, at times in my life, been at a loss for words. Generally bad times. The most vivid was the year I spent so angry at God all I could say to Him was The Lord’s Prayer. I said it sullenly, but I said it. I was like those disciples who remained after Jesus’ hard teaching turned the crowds away. “Where else can we go?” they asked. “Only You have the truth.” I don’t like you very much, but You’re all I’ve got, so I better stick close, you big meanie. OK, that part wasn’t in the Bible story, but I’m sure some of them were feeling it. Continue reading

Categories: Faith Stuff | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

I’ve Got My Towel, Not That It Will Help

It is officially July. That means in a very short time I will be having a birthday. No, I’m not telling you the exact day. (And Diane, if you blab, I will hurt you.) I dread that day. It has nothing to do with me getting older, though. Truly. I’ll tell you right now I’m turning 42. See, not painful at all–and actually kinda cool that my age will be the answer to life, the universe, and everything ;).

So why do I dread my birthday?

Remember Arthur Dent’s stroke of bad luck in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  Yeah, my birthdays pretty much go like that. Continue reading

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Star of Justice Pronunciation Guide

I had one. Created it years ago. I left it out of the book because…well, because I had enough of the “high fantasy” genre flags with a map, a quest, a story that took days instead of hours and a world different from Earth. I just didn’t want that last nail in the coffin of sub-genre labeling.

TT: Not sure why I object to the label “high fantasy.” It should appeal to the elitist in me. Maybe it does and that annoys me.

I also had a high enough page count I couldn’t justify adding another two just so people could pronounce made-up words. I made a mistake. Not my first. Continue reading

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Inspiring stories optional.

I sat here trying to think of something funny, witty, and at the same time uplifting to blog about. I sat and thought for a long time. I don’t want to write anything boring. And I didn’t want to post another rant…though with the past couple of days I’ve been having that would have been quite easy.

As I thought about these things I came to a sad realization. The only anecdotes or funny stories I know of to tell are ALL rantings or complainings about some dumb or idiotic observation I’ve had about the nature of human beings. Or in some cases, the observation of a specific dumb or idiotic human being.

Continue reading

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Warning: Christian

I’m a member of several online writers’ groups, and recently, one of them posed the question, “should Christian books carry a warning label?” To be honest, I cannot for the life of me remember which group or really any of the particulars. I mostly scanned from the sidelines.

The trigger incident involved an author getting a nasty review because he failed to clearly identify his fiction novel as “Christian,” even though three of the tags applied to the novel contained the word “Christian” (I’ll save a rant on the -ehem- silliness of readers for later). The author countered by creating a tongue-in-cheek warning to all that his book might contain material known to incite riots in avowed atheists or something to that nature. Good on him.

The thread bounced around a bit, with some authors being pro-warning and some pro-”undercover Christianity” – as in avoiding any and all trigger words that might cause a Christ-hater to “go off” and stop reading, thus getting some Christianity into the reader by accident, as it were.

Wow. I sound a bit harsh there, don’t I? Guess I have some issues of my own.

I faced this question for the first time when a person I later learned to be an atheist asked me what “Christian fiction” was. He caught me off guard, but I answered, and, I think pretty well for me, a book that expresses a Christian worldview.

I’ll warn you upfront. I’m a Christian. It doesn’t matter what genre I choose to write. My writings will stem from a Christian worldview. Do I mind? No. Will you mind? Maybe. Is that my problem? Absolutely not.

Jesus Himself said the world would hate Him and most people will reject Him. Why should I gritch and moan because they reject me because of Him? I’d rather proclaim Him before men and be cursed by them than be denied by Him before God.

I do have to point out the irony of an atheist complaining about Christian fantasy, though. Isn’t that where all Christian writing should be? In the same genre with false, mythological beings like Ra and Gaia and Zeus? I would think atheists would be thrilled to have Christians writing fantasy. We’re doing half their work for them.

I guess there’s no pleasing some people.

Categories: Faith Stuff | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Short Story: The Artist

Yes, I admit it. I’m completely copping out and posting a short story instead of a blog. A short story that has already been published thrice. (Ooh, I’ve never officially used that word!) First, in the online magazine Mindflights. (You can click here to see it, but of course it will be exactly what you’ll find below). And then in a print magazine called Beyond Centauri. (Still available for purchase here, scroll down to Issue 29.) Finally, “The Artist” can be found in an anthology called Aquasynthesis, along with two other of my stories and a bunch of stories by the other authors at Splashdown Books.

But I wanted to share it here. It is very special to me. It hit me out of the blue, fully formed. And it is a companion story to my novel Finding Angel. Actually, it’s even more related to the sequel, Seeking Unseen, which I’m in the process of editing. Maybe that’s the reason I feel compelled to share…

Well, whatever. Either way, here it is: Continue reading

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Grown-ups who refuse to be grown-ups.

Yeah. You know what I’m talking about. I see you nodding your head already. How many adults do you know that have never become adults? These are the people who still don’t know high school is over. They revel in teenage drama, expecting everything to be about “me me me.” They blame others for their problems, instead of taking responsibility. They look for the easy way out, instead of doing something right. They want others to do things for them, instead of learning how to do it for themselves.

Continue reading

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My writerly roots are in romance. I started with Barbara Cartland novels. Anything with 18th century fashion on the cover. Cookie-cutter, yes, but my favorite parts were the clothes. Odd, since I hate dressing up.

TT: Yes, Kat, this is why the scene with the clothesman in Elementals is so long.

I read Louis L’Amour, who also manages a fair bit of romance in his westerns. I learned to admire manly, independent men with grit under their fingernails and dirt on their pants. Helps to know how to ride a horse and wrestle a bull, too.

Anne McCaffrey came next, a fantasy/sci-fi writer who always managed to sneak a little boy-meets-girl into her stories about fighting dragons and artificial intelligence. Danger might fall from the sky, but men and women will always find time to woo and marry.

Through it all, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis’s “master,” instilled a love of fairy and natural wisdom that masquerades as magic in a cold, unfeeling world.

I like a little romance in my action/adventure/mystery novels. I like the energy a feisty exchange between genders can bring to a story. I especially like showing that love is more than chemistry, more than circumstances, and more than fate. Love is a choice, and, more often than not, love is a hard choice.

I hope you’ll forgive me if you find a little romance in my books. I try to keep it on the side.

Categories: Random Stuff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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