First, I feel I need to share something when it comes to websites. Since it is "suggested" that a writer start a blog and/or have their own website I must let you know about something I recently learned. I was having all kinds of issues with spambots (or whatever) using bizarre email addresses to register on my website so they can blast their products on the comment page. At first, I must admit, I thought I was becoming famous with all the registrations. Of course, those who actually did register stopped getting the email for the blog. Go figure! I'm not as important I thought. Oh well, my ego can take it. Anyway, if ever you set up a website that gets users via their email address... make sure you protect it by having the website make the person confirm through the email address. It is a simple tool you can get for free. The best thing I ever did! I no longer spend the first ten to twenty minutes eliminating all the "so-called" new users. And it's certainly helped my self image (which usually doesn't need a whole bunch of help).
BTW - If you haven't done so already please register. I plan on having a deal on my book (yes, it will be released some day!) for those who are registered users of my blog. I hope this is an incentive for those of you who've been on the fence. The link is under the META section under "register."
Plus, check out my About Me page!
I have to pipe in on the playoffs this weekend. We actually have 1 versus 2 in both Championship games. I haven't seen that in I don't know how long. My pick for the Super Bowl is New England vs Seattle. The Raider fan in me must root, enthusiastically, against the Broncos. Not that I have a special place for the cheaters, I mean Patriots (tuck rule... really???), but, I do think they have the best coach in the history of the game. And another thing... if Tom Brady wins another Super Bowl I believe that makes him the greatest quarterback... ever. I didn't think I would ever change my mind about Joe Montana being the best but Brady, with a win, would have four rings, six Super Bowl appearances, ranked pretty high in a number of categories, and would do it with a team where he had to show the type of leadership skills that, quite frankly, were nothing short of brilliant mixed with a heavy dose of humble. Not many places anywhere that we can find that today.
Seattle is the best team in the NFL. I picked them early on in the season to win it all. Their running back Lynch is an absolute animal. I can't remember the last time I saw a back like that. That's still my pick to win it all... although I may be rooting to see Brady complete a masterpiece.
Watching the 49ers versus the Broncos would be like watching Russia versus China. Sorry to those who root for them... okay, not really. I'm not a fan of the 9ers quarterback with the long name and Manning looked much better in a Colts uniform.
That's my take. It's late and I just finished writing just over 2000 words... it's tough finding time during the school year but I'm trying to take advantage of it when I can. My 8th grade class I wrote the Bishop scene for that I shared last week was a fun lesson plan. The kids wrote a scene from the movie, Finding Nemo, they did a fantastic job recreating the scene. Some of the most memorable ones did it from the point of view of the barracuda. Graphic... but awesome.
Until next time! God Bless!
I teach 7th graders a Life Skills class and... oh... I'll wait... I wanted to give those who have known me for over 10 years a few moments to allow the irony of that to sink in. Anyway, we've been talking about communication and the pros and cons of technology in our world today. The class has allowed me to reflect on my own childhood and how different things have become in the past twenty to thirty years. I realized that back then I wouldn't of had a medium like this to communicate with the world. The idea that someone could write a book, publish it, and sell it through a website that reaches millions and millions of people and do so on a modest budget is unbelievable. Certainly our class talked about the dangers of the internet and the influx of misinformation, but, in the end, many of them could see that the benefits outweighed the negatives. I left them with the idea that it was up to them to continue being the positive users of technology; the more kids we talk to about this, and the more we continue to be examples of proper use of technology; the better chance we have of continuing to marvel at the technological advances instead of being exposed to the negatives that do and always will exist. The original VCR that could only record (badly) and was the size of a compact car cost over ten times the price of the top of the line Blu-Ray player that gives the viewer the feel of actually being there today. What an amazing time to live in...
My brother-in-law (yes, that one) just received The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. It's an award for being the only man old enough to ever to serve in every American war... just kidding. It is a true honor and we are proud of him. Here is what I read about it: The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara is awarded to those individuals who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served the Artillery with selflessness; and contributed to the promotion of the Artillery branch. How awesome is that! Congrats Geno! We love ya...
I'm in the middle of my creative writing unit with my 8th graders and will be teaching them about scene writing tomorrow. I've developed a new lesson plan using film. I came up with the idea from a book titled, The Scene Book, by Sandra Scofield. What you do is watch a scene from a movie and then write it out. I did it (as a model for the kids and for my own development) with the Bishop scene in the movie (big surprise here) Les Miserables. Here is what I wrote - at the end I have left you with the link to the scene in the movie. You can either watch the movie scene first or read this first. This was a great exercise - I hope it works well tomorrow...
The snow clouds covered the cold morning air. In the residence of the Bishop much of the light had been provided by the dancing fire in the dining room. The Bishop and the two nuns that lived in the humble home next to the cathedral had just realized they had been robbed. Secretly the two nuns blamed the Bishop for letting that man inside from the cold. His stink was still lingering in the air. The Bishop had fed the man and allowed him to stay the night. Now, they all noticed, he was gone, and so was all the silver, minus the two sterling silver candlesticks that decorated the dark wooden table.
A loud bang at the door followed by the clanging of chains could be heard throughout the house. The Bishop and two nuns turned to see what had caused the commotion. The two officers dropped the thief on his knees. The lingering stink grew stronger. One of the officers held a bag in the air.
“Sir, we have your silver,” Phillip Shaw, the lead officer said with glee, “he had the nerve to say he gave it to him.” The officer set the tan colored bag made from burlap on the ground in front of the Bishop.
The Bishop peered into the eyes of the officer and with a grin said, “Yes, that’s right.” He turned towards the thief in the night and set the bag of silver in front of him. Walking over to the table he picked up both candlesticks, and continued, “You left so early you forgot I gave you these as well,” the two nuns wore a look of disbelief as the Bishop stuffed them into the bag.
He looked over at the two officers and said, “This man has told you the truth, release him.” Phillip tilted his head and paused. His eyes narrowed but he remained speechless. The shackles jingled as Officer Smith removed them from the man.
John, the thief in the night, stayed frozen on his knees. The tears that needed to be cried were held back for the moment. A soothing sensation poured over him like a heavy blanket. He could not, he would not ,look up at the Bishop.
Officer Shaw and Smith left abruptly.
The Bishop over to John. His heart was filled with love for this man. For all of mankind. The Bishop gazed at John and could only see the face of God. A warm smile appeared on the Bishop’s face as he made eye contact with John. “Brother,” the word dallied in the room, “I give you this silver so you can become an honest man. The hate I’ve seen in your eyes no longer needs to be there,” he made the sign of the cross, “I am saving your soul for God.”
The first tear streamed down the face of John. His heart literally broke so God could put the pieces back together. This new heart could feel love, comprehended the word humility, and understood what it meant to forgive. He called me brother, he thought. And this word entered his new heart. He claimed I have a soul, he pondered. And in an instant he was humbled. One word from him and I would be serving a life sentence, he considered, and then realized the full meaning of forgiveness.
The Bishop put his hand on John’s head and caressed, “There is a higher plan,” he said affectionately. He helped the former thief to his feet and handed him the burlap sack. “Go with God,” he finished then stepped away.
And with a bolt of lightning a criminal was transformed.
Movie Scene Here
As always, God Bless...
Miss me? I know, It's been quite a while since my last post. The holidays mixed with the end of the semester mixed with a wee bit of procrastination has kept me from posting. I have been in a sort of excited depression. Let me explain...
I received the ideas and thoughts from my editor. It was pretty. And to be honest I didn't really expect it to be (although I was hoping for a miracle worker). It became apparent to me at some point that my story was having some issues mainly due to the fact that I had been writing it in first person. Very difficult to build a world through the eyes of a character that was not "in the know" about many of what was going on in my dystopian world. So I was faced with a challenge that became more of a dilemma. What could I do? So I finished what I had started and waited. Once I reread it I realized it would much easier to tell the tale in third person... but I'm a typical writer and hoped and prayed for the 'easier, softer way.' You know, the one where some one else does the work! And so depression (which is when God stops doing YOUR will) set in because I knew I had some work to do.
The excitement comes from the fact that I've already outlined the entire story, I've written over 17,000 words, and absolutely love the rewrite I'm doing all in the third person. My villain is more complex and a somewhat sympathetic character. Although it's tough not to hate him. My two main characters are coming to life in ways that only that first manuscript could've given me. Some of the back story I wrote has become the story and makes it a story filled with more action and suspense. And so the wait for my first novel to be completed has just been extended. Patience has not been one of my strong points - perhaps that's what God is trying to teach me... (I just wish he would write it FOR me).
One positive is the writing goes much quicker than the first time around. Since I already have written what amounts to a 300 plus page character analysis I feel I know Lazarus (my main character) better than most of the members of my own family. The real work in on my villain and trying to make him, well, human. I know it's cliché and all references to Hitler should be outlawed, but as someone pointed out to me even Hitler was an infant. How my guy turns bad is a question I've asked myself over and over again as I trudge the road of rewriting.
With that... it's time to put a few words on the pages of Welcome to Utopia, the third person version. I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that 2014 will truly be the year that I become a published author. Some dreams are worth waiting for.
Anthony D. Flores loves to spend his summers writing fiction. His strong Christian faith and love for this great country find its way into his fiction. His work is also available on Amazon by Clicking Here.