Friday, March 3, 2017

The First Week

A week ago today my book Tangled Strands was launched on CreateSpace, and it has been an interesting week. The biggest highlight was late yesterday when I found a box on our front stoop—copies of it had arrived! I am mostly speechless as I hold it in my hands or look at it.We ran into a number of complications trying to get the Kindle version up, but we finally succeeded with that, too.

Along the way for both versions, there were frustrations. Some of them were technical complexities, some were slip-ups, and despite the multiplied efforts of several people, a few flaws still snuck through. Thankfully with a print-on-demand program, we’ll be able to get those fixed.

The main thing that needs to be said at this point is that without my daughter LynĂ©e Ward, it would never have happened. From her learning about the up-to-date popularity of self publishing to the hours we spent screen sharing on Skype as we worked out the details, it was an unforgettable mother-daughter experience. Amazing the technology that made that possible. I’m thanking the Lord for both it and especially her. We agreed at the end that of course we’re glad we finally succeeded and finished it but that we will miss the shared experience.

A verse in my Bible is dated in the margin 1987, and another cross references back to the first one. I clearly indicated that I was claiming them for my writing projects (this is only one of them), but year after year I went back and had to write “not yet.” Frankly I came to doubt it would actually happen. There is barely any room left in the margins to write that it has. I’ll save giving the references to those verses for a future blog when I can talk a bit more about them.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Note from the Author

Finally my story, a full-length Christian novel, has been launched and is available. Here's the first part of the saga of its background. You can find Tangled Strands at

I first heard the song “Transformed” in the early 1950s and liked it so well that the words and music stuck with me. A dozen or so years later in the 1960s, the main characters of this story were born in my head during a stay at a Michigan lake. In the 1970s in South America I wrote multiple pages of back story.

In the early 1980s, I acquired my first computer. Little by little, I transcribed the pages of back story to the computer and began drafting more of the story.

I drafted it in all kinds of places. In the back seat of a car on a cross-country trip, I “wrote” some important elements in my head and scribbled a few notes to remind me when I got home. Many evenings while driving a stretch of Interstate to and from a teaching job, I would compose in my head, then transcribe to the computer when I got home.

In the 1990s, I puttered with it some more, adding another key character and making first attempts at a sequel. At some point, I considered the story complete. A handful of family and friends read it and said they liked it, but a publisher I approached was not interested.

In the mid-2000s, I decided that if I were ever to do anything with it, I needed to get serious about some training. In 2005 I attended my first Christian writers’ conference and got my first lessons in fiction in a class by the renowned Christian writer Angela Hunt.

I learned several startling things. I spent the next decade learning how to incorporate those style elements into a number of rewrites of the story. I hope you enjoy it. If you have feedback, you can write me at

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Getting Close

I've been thinking for weeksactually three monthsthat it was about to happen. 

In November I was confident it would be ready for Christmas.

But no. 

Well, surely in January when the proofreader friend finished with it. 

But still no. One delay led to another. 

Even when we thought we were ready to submit itand actually did submit it, it turned out to need another round of not only proofreading but a bit of editing. And that led to an unexpected major edit that I hadn't anticipated doing but that I feel really good about.

So what am I talking about? 

A life-long project, one that has at various times been pursued intermittently, for a while seriously, and then again laid aside for what turned out to be several years. 

But a few people kept bringing it up. Why didn't I do something about it?

By now you’re impatient with me because I’m not saying what it is. You’ll have to forgive me because I don’t want to make an actual announcement about it until I “see the whites of its eyes.” It would be devastating to announce it and then have it go down the tubes after all.

So I’m asking you to tune in your ears and keep watch with your eyes even as you forgive me for still holding back. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Resolutions vs. Goals

New-year occasions are famous for resolutions, and resolutions are famous for being broken. Rather than resolutions, I like to think instead about goals. What do I want to do differently in the days ahead than I have been doing? 

I see a goal as different from a resolution. Resolutions get broken, and that implies failure. I see a goal as something I set my heart to do, but if I slip up, I haven't "broken" anything. Instead of looking on it as a failure, I can simply refocus, look for ways to do better, and press on, perhaps with help from what I learned in the "slip-up."

Which brings me to one of my goals for this year. Ever since I discovered archaeology in college, I have loved the Old Testament, and over the years I've become pretty familiar with the New Testament epistles. One thing I haven't focused on in recent memory is the life of Christ, so that's what I've decided to focus on this year. I plan to do it with something I've long known about but never used--a harmony of the gospels. 

And that reminds recent days, for various reasons, I've been spending time in some other Scriptures (Colossians 1 is a powerful favorite). So...I need to refocus and get back to my goal of studying the life of Christ.