New reviews: In 2011, readers and book bloggers spoke their mind about my debut novel, THE DARK PROVINCE. The reviews were as diverse as the nations they hailed from but you know what? I’m thankful for all of them; for the 5 stars and the 1 star—I appreciated them all. Art is meant to have personal meaning whether it evokes “I think everyone can relate to this in one way or another – who can honestly say they haven’t struggled with their faith, especially in times of hardship?” or it evokes “With [the main character’s] roots firmly entrenched in a certain religious ideology, he had a difficult time having an open mind, and it struck the wrong chord in me.” I’m grateful for everyone who has taken the journey.
TFWScribes: Around February I was invited to jump into writing discussions with writers Jamal Hankins, Christie Taylor, and Chandra Harkins. What later formed was a closely woven family of artists who have committed themselves to challenging discussion of social issues and the craft as well as the advocacy of each other’s goals. This group is more than just a writer’s group, they are truly kindred spirits.
Completion of New Novel : In the spring of 1997 I wrote a short film that became a turning point for me in how I approached the craft. It was driven by heart and inspiration rather than heady ideas. Since then that work has evolved as I have grown, never ready to be told. In 2011 that old story spoke up and demanded to be written as a manuscript. I’m happy to say it got its wish. The book is called THE TRUBAKER ORPHANAGE and God willing it will be out over the summer of 2013 if not sooner.
Progress in Dark Province Sequel: How great it is to be reminded from time to time that there are readers who are counting the days for a sequel? It’s extremely gratifying. As an artist there is no way to know how that piece will taste when it does finally reach their dinner plate. But having completed half of the manuscript and all of the story summary, I can say that SHE IS RISEN will be sculpted with the same fervent passion and love that her predecessor was.
Twitter followers: I am so grateful for chats at all hours about every and any thing that is life or writing. You’re funny, thoughtful, passionate people who have joined my journey to the tune of 2,915 of you. I am thankful for you all.
Facebook friends: Whether you’re in my writing world or friends from the various eras of my personal life you have kept me connected, creative, and inspired. Thank you so much!
LitChat/StoryCraft/UFChat/WriteChat/Writersroad/Bookmarket: A freelance writer in Manhattan Beach, California told me back in 2009 that twitter was a great place for writers to come together. I had no idea. Twitter chats have been amazing. While my graduate school program and volunteer work kept me away for the latter part of the year, I am still a Litchattic and every other chattic there is. Thanks to the great moderators who keep these excellent forums open and vibrant.
Dark Province Webseries: On November 6, a group of actors came together in Los Angeles to read the first 7 episodes of a Dark Province web series that is in the exploratory phases. What angels they were to put their considerable gifts to action if just for an afternoon table read. So much love to each one of them.
Kat Magendie’s “Writing Out the Fear”: The first guest writer on my blog was author Kat Magendie. Not only does this author have a beautiful soul but she can write like southern soulful cooking! She graced my blog with some motivational words of encouragement to any writer who hits a wall and struggles to keep the flame lit. Thank you Kat! I hope your heart is mending well this holiday season.
Guest posting on Cathryn Louis’ Blog: As Kat blessed my blog with a little inspiration, Cathryn Louis gave me license to be scandalous on hers. I was honored to post a little symbolic cross-section of my literary infidelity as I swung back and forth between the worlds of RISEN and TRUBAKER. Thank you and God bless!