A Story for God’s Glory

A Story for God’s Glory

Do you like biographies? Maybe it’s the dozens of missionary life stories I had to read in Bible college, but I’ll admit my reluctance to receive this particular book from a coworker, let alone read it. Hearts of Fire shares cameos about eight women of the persecuted church around the world, collected by The Voice…

In Pursuit of the White Stag

In Pursuit of the White Stag

Legends of a White Stag turn up in many mythologies and folktales throughout the world. The stag or hart (male deer, buck) symbolizes a variety of themes. It shows up in my Pursuit of the Pudú and turns in a cameo appearance in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The connections—historical,…

Writing for Timothy…and Teresa

Writing for Timothy…and Teresa

Many authors keep in mind an avatar or ideal future reader while writing their books. Christian writing podcaster Thomas Umstattd, Jr. suggests directing our stories to a real person rather than an imaginary persona. The apostle Paul was writing for Timothy—one person—when he scribbled the biblical epistles of I and II Timothy. Yet millions of…

The Story Inside the Story

The Story Inside the Story

My two granddaughters were charmed by the quirky set of Russian dolls I put in their Christmas stockings when they visited Chile in December. Someday I’ll share with them the stories inside the story here. As did—surprisingly—a recent guest speaker at our church when he used a set of these dolls as an object lesson….

A Certain Point of View

A Certain Point of View

What if I told you all the myths of Chiloé are true…from a certain point of view? A certain point of view? That little phrase—and the echoing question—comes from the original Star Wars Trilogy. You may remember the classic scene from Return of the Jedi where a disillusioned Luke Skywalker accuses Obi-Wan Kenobi of deceiving…

Losing…and Finding My Voice

Losing…and Finding My Voice

“Voice,” in literary terms, refers to the attitude or personality of the author, narrator, or point-of-view character in a piece of writing. Voice shows up in both fiction and nonfiction. It can be comical, cozy, sophisticated, simple, intellectual, down-to-earth, edgy, monotonous, etc. But what if I lost my voice? I already know what that’s like…

Book Quest

Book Quest

What to write next? I’ve never before had “writer’s block”—that infamous cork-up of creative flow. And perhaps even my current experience can’t technically be labeled that, either. I just have so many ideas that instead of pouring out of my pen, it’s like they’re flooding from a fire hydrant. So today, while I’m on a…

Book Reports

Book Reports

Didn’t you just dread writing book reports as a school kid? I did, at least. Though I loved reading from an early age, I had no idea how to identify the important elements that make up an appealing story. But I knew what I liked and what I didn’t. Because a book that touches your…

Uncovering the Cover

Uncovering the Cover

As you scroll down a few paragraphs, you’ll see the cover for Destiny at Dolphin Bay revealed. This first book of mine, written during our last year in Chile’s Chiloé Islands, has had almost as many trial tapas as opening chapters. But today we’re unveiling the final cover. The design you find here combines many…

A Crisis of Character

A Crisis of Character

It happened again last week—I read another Christian book that started out with SOOO much potential. Until it petered out in a light gloss of forgiveness and a pinch of repentance. Well, okay. We surely need to forgive and sometimes we ought to repent. But whatever happened to a life-changing crisis of character? Without a…

The Longing for Love

The Longing for Love

Part of the dynamics of a good story focuses on a desire. Sometimes it’s a physical plot goal, sometimes it’s more of an emotional yearning. The romance shelf, of course, features the longing for love. But the not-so-odd paradox remains that 99% of the books you read—whatever their genre: mystery, fantasy, thriller—have a love thread…

The Pursuit of Purpose

The Pursuit of Purpose

Whatever Thomas Jefferson meant by “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, I equate the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of purpose, the pursuit of a place of usefulness and meaning in the world. You might say I’m searching for my happy place. I know. For some of us,…