Music as Motivation

When writing, ideas and inspiration can come in many different forms. For me, music is a great catalyst to propel a story forward. Take a listen to the music at the top of the page. What scenes or dialogue in a story does it evoke for you? Are you flying over a landscape when listening to the song? Part of an important mission with dire consequences at stake?

I remember the first time I had writers block in my story. I could not think of a way to advance the plot at all. I prayed about it, bounced ideas off family, and stared at the screen intently expecting the solution to just write itself. It wasn’t until I was mowing the lawn, headphones in ears, listening to music that inspiration struck. Suddenly, the scene unfolded in my head with each crescendo, and the story could continue. I couldn’t wait to be done mowing the lawn!

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Character Depth

“Well, that’s my name too!”

I find character development can either make or break a story. Invincible heroes and everyday villains many can find boring, and people are quick to drop a story if some sort of connection can’t be made. Descriptives like hair color and attitude only go so far as well, and that’s why for me I wanted to go a bit further in my characters than just surface deep attributes.

When it comes to building a character for a story, it helps to have a process in doing it. For me, I want to know why they are there. Do they fulfill a requirement for the story, or are they just fluff? How important are they to the plot? Trying to make everyone have the spotlight is hard, and juggling a cast versus one central person may be that much harder.

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A Serious Question

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

Let’s face it; the world seems to be getting worse by the day. Aside from the fact that prophetically it is supposed to, many people, both Christian and not, can feel the heaviness of the times. Those doldrums that come at you from seemingly all sides. The weariness bogs down those who even make it a point to stay positive. Choosing joy can be challenging, and even those who joke around or seem happy can hide the pain that they are feeling. While I can’t help solve all the issues, I feel the urge to share something we use in my family. I hope that it may benefit those struggling with issues both large and small right now.

It is a question that you ask yourself when things are going rough. You have to train yourself to ask every time a problem occurs. When it happens, before any emotional response, the introspection starts, and you ponder on a simple question:

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A view of Mount Hermon / Un vistazo del Monte Hermon ...
Mt. Hermon.

By Max B. Sternberg

As a species, we are pretty rebellious in nature. We idolize it in literature and film, and even in our history it is pervasive in just how much we balk at authority. The Revolutionary War in America. The French Revolution. Even the Bar-Kokhba rebellion in Israel against Rome around a hundred years after the crucifixion. Western bibles don’t have the accounts of the Maccabees (There are four books). These account the Israelite’s victory over the Greeks and the re-dedication of the temple. Some rebellions are well known, others have faded into obscurity. All are instances in history where a group banded together to say to a higher authority, “No.”

Sometimes, it is completely justified. Oppression should be fought against. Injustice should be called out. Some rebellions are innocent, like with children. Ask any parent of a child and they will tell you of instances where their kids rebelled to the detriment of themselves. I have several humorous stories about my own children learning the hard way.

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Last peek of ‘The Rhise of Hope’ before release!

Chapter 2: The War

The silence that met the angel was almost reverential. Leon seemed to be the only member of the group who could believe what he saw. A gauntleted hand held a cup of the bitter liquid. As Rohiel drank it, the cup disappeared into the light of his face, then reappeared less full. It seemed that it was up to Leon to respond to Rohiel.

“I have brought them, as instructed,” Leon stated, hoping for some sort of acknowledgement.

“Do not seek the approval of others before the approval of Adonai, Judge.”

“Sorry, Rohiel.”

“You are forgiven, of course.” The angel began to pace around the table, and the eyes of those who were assembled followed his movements through the empty space.

Leon spread his hands wide as he asked, “How… How is this possible?”

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