9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.

Remember our top 10 futuristic story-lines from “South Pole Vendetta”?

10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible
9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.
7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

And the Number 1 futuristic story line from “South Pole Vendetta”:
1. Where’s the evidence for global warming?

It’s time for number nine. And there may not be anything futuristic about it. But I sure wonder what the future holds in the area!

When was the last time you saw a movie, read a book, or watched a television program in which the hero or heroine wasn’t sleeping with someone they weren’t married to?

Maybe you’ve seen, or read a story recently where you could say that the main character wasn’t involved in some extramarital affair – but it probably wasn’t a network station, a new block-buster movie, or a best selling author in the regular market. It seems that the “norm” for any of our recent authors, producers, or writers is to believe that “sex sells”.

That might be a problem, but the bigger problem is found in the fact that the consumer drives these mediums. This means that our society is telling Hollywood, New York, and every other center for the arts that we want those type of shows, movies, and books. Is it true?

What about the spy that doesn’t sleep around to accomplish the mission, the hero that is loyal to one special person, or the action character that believes in family values?

In South Pole Vendetta the main character – Orey – is confronted with that very issue. Does he sleep with the beautiful woman, or hold to his morals even when there seems to be little reason to do so?

I have to ask, “Doesn’t it take a bigger hero to stand strong for a single, life-long lover than it does to give in to the pressure and desire of the moment?” Isn’t it time for a hero strong enough to stand against the downward spiral of a culture in disarray?

Yeah, I know. It’s not popular to consider such a thing, but I firmly believe that we do a greater service by holding to a higher standard than we do in caving into the pressure of going with the flow. Now it remains to be seen just how many other “thriller” readers feel the same way. Do you suppose there’s any way a “virgin” hero will ever sell? I guess it remains to be seen.

And maybe I would have to admit, putting it at number nine in our countdown is an indication of my failure to believe. I hope not, I’ve been called an optimist for years.

110,000 words? Are you crazy?

110,000 words? Are you crazy?

Teaching a class at our local school the other day I had to try not to smile when a student groaned about the fact that they had to write a five page report. It helped to remember being in that position. At that age I felt much the same way. Boy how things have changed.

I learned quickly in college that I was a bit odd; a twenty page paper became pretty normal. The reason for that was, for a “lefty” the opportunity to use a keyboard and portable computer changed everything. I’m not old – but – my first college computer was a portable Commodore 64. It changed my college life! I found out that I really do love to write. Once the joy of jotting a story overcame the frustration of “making a mess” when I tried to write those things out with pencil and paper, an amazing door was opened.

Now I write a 110,000 word book and have to go back and cut things out.

What’s the key to that many words?

For me, breaking the book down into smaller sections was a fairly natural thing. I never really thought of the total number of words until I had the basic concept all thought out and the rough manuscript largely complete.

Once I got to that point it was much easier to go back and “fill in the blanks”. I could begin expanding on areas that needed help, exploring the narrative sections much more fully, and looking at descriptions, point of view, setting, etc.

Sure, I would sit and type out particular scenes, dialogue, and so forth as they came to mind – I jotted down the first lines for a new story just the other morning – but I didn’t try to have the final draft figured out in my head.

Would some people refer to that as being a “seat of the pants” writer?

I suppose that might be true, it’s definitely the way I like to write. But more than that it keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work a full-length book entails.

Oh, and, being a guy who likes to talk more and more as I get older doesn’t seem to hurt either!

It’s finally here!

It’s finally available. After years of work, the document that started it all is an ebook.

Working on multiple manuscripts at the same time, leaving full-time pastoral ministry, and dislodging our family and reestablishing it in another place were all the results of this first story.

While that might be considered an over-statement of the most grievous kind, it is really quite accurate. The wonder of writing about western history led to many other stories that we wanted to share. The results were a whole collection of various types of writing – all based in a passion for discipleship.

When the idea first came about to write a western containing friends, family, and other members of the communities we served, it was simply a fun idea. Now, a dozen years later, we hope that a reasonably good story will also be a tribute to the many – unmentioned – people that made ministry so special for us for years.

We have tried, very hard, to only use names and positions in the most basic way. This was to try to make sure that there was nothing that would be thought of as – in any way – communicating anything but pleasant memories of the people that meant so much. If we failed, in any way, to achieve that – we apologize.

We hope you enjoy the story even if you are unconnected to the characters in any way, but for those who were connected to these ministries – thanks so much!

Oh, by the way, you can find the book in the Kindle store at Amazon.com

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Does your small group make these 10 mistakes?

Does Your Small Group Make These 10 Discipling Mistakes?

1. Downplay the importance of contacts
2. Overlook divine appointments
3. Use words rather than work
4. Fail to understand their true power
5. Not knowing when to speak and when to be quiet
6. Include fewer mentors than it should
7. Fail to have a program for teaching Bible doctrine
8. Misunderstand the place of conflict
9. Deal poorly with error
10. Hold on to a disciple for too long

Country Life Discipleship is committed to addressing, and helping churches address, these things in a biblical manner. Follow our journey at http://www.countrylifediscipleship.com.

10. Is a cruise to the South Pole REALLY possible today?

A luxury cruise to the South Pole? It’s now possible as new technology opens up this land to – well, actually – all sorts of ‘problems’. It seems that anywhere that mankind goes we manage to leave a mess behind. Will we see the same thing in Antarctica?
The most pristine environment left on this planet is seeing that condition threatened because of these new capabilities.

But, on a brighter note, we are learning to censor ourselves – at least in some areas. Antarctica already has a number of laws and expectations in place to keep it pristine, until something like what happens in South Pole Vendetta changes it all.

Dog sled races, extreme sports, mountain climbing, and rock climbing are all becoming available as technology makes it possible to actually survive at seventy degrees below zero.

From the new arctic material – polartec (http://www.polartec.com/shelter/polartec-neoshell), to northwinds’ arctic clothing list, the possibility of exploring the South Pole is easier than ever. Northwinds’ recommends the following:

Developing Your Arctic Clothing System:
If you are heading off on a polar expedition within the next two years, we strongly recommend that you put together and test your own clothing and sleeping system.

Your Arctic clothing must work as a system that wicks away perspiration, insulates you from the cold and protects you from the wind. The most versatile system is made up of layers. This allows you to easily adjust to changes in the weather and changes in your heat output.

-The first layer is worn next to your skin. This layer must wick perspiration away from your skin to keep you dry and warm: capilene polyester is excellent, untreated polyester, wick-able polyesters (polypropylene) and the new smart wool are also good. No cotton, as it has poor wicking properties.

-The second layer (or layers) provides insulation. This layer retains your body heat. This layer must also wick perspiration away from your body. Pile, polar fleece and synchilla are all great. (From now on they will be called “fleece”) as they dry quickly. Wool is not recommended, it is heavy and difficult to dry.

-The third layer offers protection from the wind. The more wind proof a garment is, the less breathable it will be. A mountain parka or anorak made of a suplex, ventile or micro fiber is excellent. Most Gortex and waterproof-breathable materials do not breathe in temperature below -20 C.

-The fourth layer offers extra insulation and is worn when you are taking a break, repairing a broken binding on the trail or setting up camp. A down or synthetic filled expedition parka and pants are ideal. Pants need full side zips to allow putting them on over boots. These insulating layers are also used if you go for an unplanned swim and must continue to ski in wet clothes.

While the arctic names even sound cold, the technology is making it possible to live, work, and even play, in these extreme environments. It only makes sense that the military would be leading the way in finding methods in which to function at this amazing locale. That’s one of the story-lines we explore in the book.

What would you do if you were able to go to the South Pole? We’d love to hear what your Arctic Expedition would include.

Top 10 futuristic story-lines in “South Pole Vendetta”

My top ten interesting concepts explored in “South Pole Vendetta”

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10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible
9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.
7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

And the Number 1 futuristic story line from “South Pole Vendetta”:
1. Where’s the evidence for global warming and a hole in the ozone?

We’ll explore each of these as we consider the topics I found interesting in researching and writing the book.

Thinking about writing a book?

Have you ever thought of writing a book? Have you ever said, “I have a great story to tell”, but been unsure what to do about it?

My response to that, after five years of studying the subject – having finished my first three or four stories – is BEWARE! You are considering one of the most misunderstood “hobbies” there could possibly be.

In the 1990’s I thought it would be fun to write a western incorporating friends and people from the places we lived into the story. I wrote a little here and there, but didn’t do much more with it.

In the early 2000’s I returned to my story. I also started a couple more, and didn’t do much more with it.

Things would have been fine if I had left well enough alone at that point. Writing was something I could do, and I didn’t have to think any more about it than that.

Then, in 2005 and 2006, I began to feel compelled to write! If only I’d known the “pandora’s box” I was opening I would have thrown it all away while I was still safe.

Since then the “call” to write has sucked me into the spiraling vortex of doom. I write something – somewhere – every day now. And that would be one thing, but learning to be a “professional” writer in this day and age is another thing all together.

How naive I was to think that getting the story written was the hard part! Now that I have my first book soon to go into production I have paused to consider all the other stuff that came out of a “desire to write a story”.

Once I got the story done I had to figure out a way to get it out there for people to read. I’ve learned more about the industry and the difficulty of selling your book to anyone who cares than I could have imagined. It’s difficult to say the least. Editing, agents, various types of publishing, and so forth are all areas that I had no idea when I started how hard it would be.

Then my big break came, Tate Publishing agreed to publish my book! Since then I have found that there is SO much more to do: Promoting, sales, marketing, social media, websites, blogging, and more are all things that I’m just beginning to figure out.

Could I ever go back? I sometimes wish I could. But I wouldn’t change the things I’ve learned.

I don’t know where things will go from here. The whole reason for getting into the game is only beginning to peek its head out – with the “Country Life Discipleship”/”Followers to Disciplers” book nearly written. After all, that was the core idea that started all this.

I know I will keep writing the rest of my life, it’s taken over and I’m no longer in control of that part of my life. Only the truly insane writer will completely understand that.

But if you’re thinking of writing a book — BEWARE. Your life will never be the same again.