Friday, November 25, 2022

thankful every day

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Happy Black Friday. Yesterday was busy, or I would have said Happy Thanksgiving, but that also implies that it's only one day of the year to be thankful when we should always be thankful, even if just for the next heartbeat in our chests or the next breath from our lungs. It's the little things that mean the most.

I hope everyone was able to spend time with loved ones, whether family, extended family, or friends. These loving memories are the most precious treasures in life, not the stuff that money can buy. So, as you go about buying gifts for Christmas, just remember the greatest gift and be thankful that it exists in the world--LOVE. Not physical love, which is not love at all but is lust, one of the seven deadly sins which will rot our souls. But real love, like the kind provided by God the Father Almighty, a pure, unequivocal love.

Gifts are just an earthly show of what someone means to us, if not an empty obligation that means nothing. Remember that real love is charity, kindness, and sacrifice for others. It is not forced. It is not deceitful. It isn't an expensive TV or video game. It's not mindless hours of shopping. That is gluttony, another deadly sin that can destroy our souls.

Real love is Light and it comes from only one source. It makes us better people and brings us to God, the source of all true love. It is the reason for this Advent season coming upon us. God loves us so much that he provided us a way to reconcile with him through the ultimate sacrifice of his son, Jesus, who conquered death for us to have a way into heaven from that point forward. We will soon celebrate His birth, the son of the living God. Don't waste the gifts from the greatest love that He gave us.

There are entire books on all this pondering every aspect, but I'll leave this short summary here. Be thankful that you have a chance to reach eternity in heaven one day in the presence of pure love.

Pax vobiscum

CSSML

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Updates on writing progress

I hate getting older. Keeping track of a million things is about 999,999 more than I can handle at one time. I live off lists. I always did, but now it's going completely haywire! The day job has me feeling like a chicken with its head cut off most of the time, and I've had so many things going on outside of the day job that I can hardly keep up, even with a calendar. ðŸĪŠ

Nevertheless, I do manage to get some writing time in. I'm working on Book 16 of Forgotten Worlds. So far, I have 6,000 words of that and a synopsis that leaves room for surprises. Since these are short novels of 40K-50K words, that's good progress.

Relationships have changed over the past few books and one character's arc is going to head down a dark path while others are resolving issues. You won't see some of it come to fruition for some time. I have to be careful how I plot those changes.

By now, you've had a chance to see something that you may have suspected, if you've read SOUL SHADOW. That book is a bit dark, because it reveals the creature that Nya has been conscripted by the Starfire entities to fight. She gets a taste of battle with the creature directly.

I have to reveal a little secret in developing that story, or at least in editing. I had been having questions about how to handle certain religious issues of this story; and shortly before I started the editing process, I found Father Chad Ripperger on YouTube (see this previous post). His lectures hooked me and explained a lot about spiritual warfare that I had some knowledge about but not to the degree that he clarified. The scariest part is that he confirmed some things I suspected, which were incorporated into SOUL SHADOW already.

Although the creature that the Issan worship isn't a true demon, it is a monster that acts like one. I focused on L'Ni, however, using the creature as a crutch and showing how he rejected it and breaks its influence on his life. This will give you the readers, like Nya and the other characters, a bigger revelation of what's at stake.

Once I finished editing and published Book 13--what a number for a book of such a dark plot (I didn't realize it until afterwards. Honest!)--I read through Book 14. That's a mess. I don't look forward to editing that one. Adding action to Nik's and Ann's wedding was a challenge--the wedding alone would have been boring--but I'm not so sure certain aspects flow well. Certain changes feel a bit abrupt. I may have to rearrange some things. 😖

I won't even touch Book 15 for a while, since I had just finished that. So, for now, I'll keep working on Book 16, but I really can't wait until Book 17. I will finally get to reveal something BIG that I've been planning for a long time and hinting. In the meantime, I'm trying to stay focused on 16, returning to Seska and the results of her helping her people escape. Ann's very public marriage to Nik has created some panic in Paxon leadership, so there's a lot to unpack for book 16. This series is getting a bit more complex.

Exciting! Isn't it? 😁

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