Today is a great day to ignore social media and traditional media prompts to hatred, envy, outrage, and despair. It's a good day to love real people we're in real community with and to try super hard to disbelieve the lies we tell ourselves about our story and the lies our families or tribes or idols demand we affirm. It’s a good day to turn to Jesus. It is also a good day for a cookie. … [Read more...] about It’s a Great Day to Disbelieve Lies and Ignore Prompts to Outrage
“My place beside you…” That’s the start of the sacred oath the characters recite in The Green Ember that resonated deeply with me when it first flowed from my fingers into the tale and has since moved so many readers. I don’t view my work as a platform to achieve “elite artist status” but as a magical-ordinary vocation where God has called me to be an ally in imagination to families who are … [Read more...] about My Place BESIDE You…
Be a maker not a faker. We are bonkers over fake endeavors. Fake war. (Fortnite, Call of Duty etc.) Fake love. (You know what I’m talking about.) Fake public service/citizenship. (Social media fights.) Fake. Fake. Fake. No. Be a real human. And really make things. Don’t fake it till you make it. Make it. Then you don’t have to fake it. Make. Make better. Make more. Zach Franzen told me that … [Read more...] about Be a Maker Not a Faker
Don’t take advice from the wrong people. Everyone is telling a story. Everyone is kind of marketing all the time.So, if we believe the big problem of the world is bee stings, then we’re going to be telling everyone how [whatever is in the news] is reason for extra vigilance about bee stings and how our solution is more crucial than ever. The saying is wise: When you have a hammer, everything … [Read more...] about Enjoy Books and Ignore Authors (Mostly)
Making. Believing. Make believing. Make Believe HQ for me? The Forge. We converted a little garden shed to a writing hut/office. It’s ten feet from the house, so my commute ain’t too bad. I’m grateful for this modest little spot. I’ve written some books in there (the first, I think, was Ember Rising) and it’s been a good and useful place for me. It’s useful, but not essential. I still write … [Read more...] about Don’t Wait. Create!
Did I write something that made you cry? Good. If, while crying, you dreamed of becoming more than you were before you were reading, very good. If it’s a spark in your heart and then tears come, good. If it’s laughter, I am glad too. Tonight I cried after receiving, in a film, the work of a man’s art. It worked itself into my heart. I made commitments then, jotting them down through … [Read more...] about Crying at Stories
The words from the screen grab and the picture are many years apart. During the time of that post, I was working very hard (battling discouragement constantly) and planting seeds. The picture below is a little evidence of the harvest that God provided later. I’m happy to say that I now make more than minimum wage writing. Seriously, that is a gift. I still can’t spell very well. (Perhpas … [Read more...] about Seeds and Harvest and Minimum Wage Writing
It is what it is. I read it on a cubicle wall. It’s a country-craft sign with large, cursive script, a script to make one curse. Words to echo the Curse. The sign lies, seems to be from an old farm. But it’s from a factory in China pumping out Affordable Americana. The fake-aged paint is smooth, has no earned decay. It is intentionally distressed and so am I. But, I suppose, it is … [Read more...] about It Is What It Is, But It Is Not What It Shall Be
Make believe makes believers. Imagination. A silly, harmless habit of immature kids? I don’t think so. Imagination is seeing what is not obvious. It is seeing what lies beyond the mere visually present. But what if there’s more? More than, “It is what it is?” More than the middle part of the story we’re seeing right now. What if the secular fundamentalist scolds are wrong? What if the stories … [Read more...] about Imagination isn’t a Diversion, it’s the Way
I got another email. Another letter. Another Facebook message. I heard it from another beautiful family who waited in line to get their books signed. I hear it all the time. "We are a military family. We love your stories because..." I'm from a military family. My dad (right) is a combat veteran, as was my grandfather (below). My mom (right) waited at home, pregnant with my oldest brother, while … [Read more...] about Why Does The Green Ember Series Resonate So Strongly With Military Families?
All an author asks for is a chance. A chance, and the worshipful adulation of millions and the affirmation of our stubborn fathers and skyrocketing sales and awards and parades and magnificent statues looming before grand institutions named in our honor. We are a modest bunch. When I wrote The Green Ember, I genuinely just wanted a chance. I wanted a try-out, to use sports terminology … [Read more...] about You Held My Heart In Your Hands
I wrote the below a few years ago, sharing it at Story Warren and The Rabbit Room. It seems like a good time to share it here. I had an email from a friend this morning who saw something in my life and felt called to point it out to me. It was about how Gina and I parent our kids. I am not always good at receiving this kind of feedback. It’s embarrassing. It makes me feel weird to think people … [Read more...] about Advocate or Accuser?