Why Writing Novels Matters by Grant Faulkner

Nerdy Book Club

When I was a teenager, growing up in a small Iowa town, I was a reader, and I was a writer, but it never once occurred to me to write a novel. Novels were big things that other people wrote. Adults. People who lived in New York City. People who had gone to war or lived exotic lives. I wrote in my journal, and I wrote the occasional poem or short story, but writing something as big and ambitious as a novel just wasn’t something teens did.

So, it’s interesting to me now when I talk to kids and teens who have participated in National Novel Writing Month’s Young Writers Program. I hear how they have written five, six, or seven novels—and sometimes even published one or two of them. I see a glow of accomplishment in their eyes. I see a zeal to create on the page and…

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THAT’S IT.  NO MORE INFORMATION.  WHY?  via Daily Prompt: Shine

As Christians, we are concerned about appearances needlessly. If we are doing the righteous things for righteous reasons, we have no need to concern ourselves how the activity appears to others.  We are the message.  Yes, we want our Message of Jesus’ grace to be forefront, uppercase, bold print, in whatever color is most visible, but we are intended to shine.  

Shine in the ways we think

Shine in the ways we act

Shine in our confessions of failure

Shine in our honesty and integrity.

It’s not a NewYear’s Resolution, but a reminder to do those things we were left on Earth after our salvation to do.  So,





A Doggy Adventure

Microadventuring sounds like the way to go.

Will Bryan

Many of my ‘Challenges & Adventures’ from this year have been large undertakings which require a lot of planning, training and dedication. Although reflecting on these projects is profoundly rewarding, it doesn’t take much to notice that these were largely based on endurance rather than enjoyment. Of course enjoyment has also been a factor, but in the moment its hard to enjoy something that really tests and pushes your body and minds capabilities whilst battling everything that mother nature has to throw at you.

I felt it was time to take things back to basics, so within five minutes had thought up a plan for a microadventure! The plan was to cycle the perimeter of Cannock Chase, a beautiful AONB near to where I live. The trip would take two days and best of all, it would include my best friend and partner in crime Wolfred, my one year old Jack Russell & Shi Tzu…

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Dot Day’s Reviews — Social Engineer Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland Social Engineer (Brody Taylor Thrillers, #1) by Ian Sutherland (Goodreads Author) F 50×66 Dot Day’s review Oct 18, 2016 · edit really liked it Read from October 16 to 17, 2016. I first read an Advanced Review Copy of Sutherland’s new book, Taking Up Serpents,a thriller featuring his cyber expert, Brody Taylor. Brody’s life is in danger and his choices put also at risk his significant other, a detective who helps him through the thrilling dangers. I am not doing credit to this extremely well-written thriller. I halfheartedly expected to be bored or confused because I am only a step beyond computer novice. Neither adjective applies, however. The author does an excellent job with the technical explanations. While I could not explain his actions or replicate them, at least I understood what Brody was doing because his actions were brilliantly, i.e.,simply presented. The pacing of the story was fast, and the characters were realistic. Yes, snakes do figure into the novel, and yes, Brody has the opportunity to avert world-wide disaster. ‘Nuff said, I hope,to pique your interest. I do encourage you to buy this book when it becomes available on Amazon the 27th. When I am able to review, it will be a definite 5 stars. I then read his short story, Social Engineer, his first work presenting this character. It is a good introduction to his character and the situations he encounters. The love interest is not the same and I can see a growth in some of the relationships Brody has from this first one to the latest one. Brody has the potential to be a Jack Reacher. I do hope to see this character in films.

Review of Blake Pierce’s 1st Mackenzie White Novel

Although the author puts Mackenzie in a difficult situation, she rises above her circumstances, use her gut and her intelligence to find the
serial killer and rescue –oops, too much. Pierce does have a heavy hand in her having to fight her way to the respect of other policemen. I am sure that even in 1999 women in the traditionally male-dominated law enforcement did face stereotypical comments and attitudes, but it seemed a bit excessive. However, I enjoyed her as a strong main character and will continue to read the series.   4 of 5 stars

Review of Charlie Spillers’s Nonfiction Memoir

Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double Life
5 stars
This nonfiction book could be the stimulus for so many fiction books. Great characters, real dialogue, life-and-death situations, unbelievably incredible pacing–all make for a great story. Charlie lived the life of an undercover agent 10+ years, and these are the people and the places where he lived out his role while attempting to keep separate his home life with wife and young son. He was actively involved in from-page news bringing down crooked politicians, other public officials, and lay enforcement cohorts. Yes, sometimes he took down the lower level of criminals, but his goal was to bring down the big guys. Spillers had to be a skilled actor with others working with him who were not as skilled. One of my favorite stories concerns two women who become confidential informants to bring down a drug dealer because he had molested the child of a friend. I will not spoil the story by telling the process, the juke joint threat, but I will say these two women kept him from being maimed or killed.

The book is extremely well-written, and the author comes across as brilliant man who lets us in on a life serving and protecting in a Mississippi/Louisiana milieu that is part swamp, part jungle, part urban plantation, and shows us this setting at night when the monsters are out and the good folks sleep. Thank you, Charlie, for your service.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7003927-dot-day”>View all my reviews</a>

My Friend, Fear

Obsessive-Compulsive? Why? A fear driven response to uncertainty in oneself needs to be overcome, and that means getting outside of yourself and getting into life. Best wishes for Elly Swartz’s new book. Try it!

EMU's Debuts


Fear is a fickle friend. I mean at first glance it’s hard to imagine her as your lunch buddy, but as time goes on, you understand her subtle ways. Confession – I’m not always the bravest. I’m scared of hairy/crunchy/large bugs, heights, the dark, mice crawling over my sandals at the movies. You get the picture. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as publication for my debut mg novel, Finding Perfect, inches closer, so does fear. She visits with some regularity these days. She accompanies me when I hit send to my editor and when I venture into uncharted territory, like this week at the New England Independent Bookseller Association Author Reception. This is me at the reception hanging with Gillian Kohli, owner of the amazing Wellesley Books and president of NEIBA. (Fear aside, the night was amazing.)


Fear tugs at my chest as the years/months to…

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Persistence is as important as talent – guest blog post by Alice K. Boatwright — Trish Hopkinson

In a writer’s life, persistence is as important as talent When I began sending my first book out to publishers and it was rejected, I was devastated. I had received an MFA from Columbia for my manuscript, and I expected success that would immediately change me from a bookstore clerk and waitress into a respected […]

via Persistence is as important as talent – guest blog post by Alice K. Boatwright — Trish Hopkinson

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

A Little Happy

This was one of my first blog drafts. I’ve gone back-and-forth with finishing it for 3 years because of the obvious–who wants to put their two-cents in regarding anything about Muslims? But I feel I have to publish it. I know I’m not a well-known blogger, only about 100 people will even see this. But for my own heart I want to get this out there.

I have had the pleasure of living near two major metropolitan areas, Miami and Washington, D.C. If it hadn’t been for these experiences, I probably wouldn’t know any Muslim families personally. Growing up in the deep South, it’s just not a culture you run into frequently. When you don’t run into something frequently the natural inclination is fear. And fear often turns to hate.

When I was young I would go to my mom’s dance studio and play an old Kris Kristofferson record. My…

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