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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dual Post: Giveaway-and Nanowrimo! (CLOSED)

Nanowrimo: Hey guys! Nano is starting for me in two hours! I've gone back and forth on plot ideas like a jumping Asian cockroach! And I've decided....that I'll do two things. I will probably write a collection of short stories. But if this plot does work then I'll do this:An estranged cab man without a home runs into a small boy on the run from a man  who seeks to know  what  the secret to the fifth dimension is. 

 Yes that is original, as much as stories ever are :)




Good luck and WRIMO IT UP!




Hey bloggles! Millard J Monkey is hosting his first ever blog giveaway! Yes, and the book I get to start with is one I'm absolute in love with. I adore the book and all its' purely awesomeness self, along with the other two books in the series I'd like to give away too...(Hint hint).

So, to enter! Entries are gained in the following ways:

  • For the contest to be considered live there must be at least five entrants. You may earn entries before it is live.
  1. You must do this to be eligible for any other entries. You can follow this blog. A follower widget should be located on the blog's sidebar. (earns 2 entries)
  2. You can post about this giveaway on your blog. Comments MUST have a link. Limited to twice a week. (earns 2 entries)
  3. You can tweet with a link to this post. Comments MUST have a link. Limited to once a day
  4. You can read any of my reviews on this blog and comment on it. (earns 1 entry) Update: Must post link where comment can be found.
  5. You may link to this giveaway on facebook. You MUST email me a screen shot of it. Limited to once a day. (Update! now earns 2 entries)
  6.  If you come up with something you want to ask if you can do for entries, ask in the comment section, I am open to ideas!
Unless you know something about shipping I don't, only United States residents are available for the prize. If you wish, you can contact me and we'll see what shipping is to your other location.

Happy playing! 

Millard

EDIT: The Giveaway ends on the 15th! Keep up the great work :D

Friday, October 22, 2010

A MILESTONE!

Hey you guys!

Tonight I learned something AWESOME! I was digging through ALL my word files trying to organize them and make sure I don't have 32 copies of the same thing...And guess what I found out when I was done?


1) I'd actually written something in 1st person! I completely forgot about that! And here I was fretting on how to write it..psh ;) Now I should just fret about my memory :P


2) I, including all my fictional works(Not the double copies of course) have written over 104,062 words in the last year.

Now I admit for most of you writers this could have been done in well, like the last six months, but for me having not written at all until this last year, I'm very pleased :) Now if only I could sell that hodge podge as one....;)

Oh, Nanowrimo is coming up, if you want to participate and get Nano notes on this blog, please follow! Also for anyone that wants one up to the first 8 people before the contest starts, I will be making customized Nanowrimo avatars that they describe.

And now I'm off!

Millard

Edit: Wait, HALT! Don't go yet! Noah Arsenault has a giveaway going on!! Check it out here. Also, follow his blog :) It's well worth it :D

Reviews!!

I've got a new review up :D

The Superlative Stream by Kerry Nietz, great book!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An author worthy of the cause



Hello faithful blog readers!! And--not so faithful ones ;)

Tonight I'd like to take just a moment to bring something to your attention. Just this evening, after starting it yesterday, I finished the new book on the block, Kestrel's Midnight Song. I quite honestly wasn't sure what I was getting myself into or what it would be like. But in reading it I found a fantasy pillar. I can honestly say I found absolutely nothing objectionable in the entire novel. Absolutely nothing that I would feel the need to caution someone on. And I can also honestly say that the action and humor in the story made it an instant spot on my crowded book shelf. It was so fresh! I rarely get to read good ol' fantasy anymore, everyone wants to have the most complex plot with the freakiest creatures and romance plot to get the Amish Romance readers to buy in ;). Not to say that the Aegre bird isn't freaky..It's just freaky awesome. But this book, took the high road, pure fantasy.

This book was superb without trying to be another LOTRs. It was gripping without trying to be a thriller. And it was heart warming without being a book of warm fuzzies. Especially for a short-ish length book, I bonded really well with both Robbyn and Micah. Sometimes I finish a book and can't even remember character names, not so with this one!

Also, it showed redemption in it's truest form. Simply put, this book was a masterpiece from a Christian author I will hope to buy books from time and time again.

Keep up the good work Jacob, don't sacrifice content for readership, keep centered on God, and last but not least ;) Keep that easy going attitude I saw at the party, you're an inspiration to us all. Keep playing your writing song for God.

Millard

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A few pictures!

Hey Everyone! I ended up taking 300+ photos, but so far will just upload these :)
Don't mess with Illonois

A family of elves minus one. :)


Getting ready to go out of PDX!

Breakfast with the authors.

Finally got to meet these guys in person...

Before the famed walk to Border's. Notice we still have our appendages!

Christian Miles :D

Found out we could go under the hotel fence instead of walking around. :)

The Tribe Party:


Hey Elves!~

I'm back from the tribe party and I'm exhausted!(Actually, to be entirely honest, I'm on the plane back to PDX)

To start this adventure: Me and my dad left our house at 4:20AM Thursday morning. After a .75 hour drive to PDX we were ready to roll onward into our adventure.  Though sometimes… trying to get out of bed at 3:50am is an an adventure ;)! Our  plane left for Denver around 6:30am so we weren’t in a rush or completely at ease. After going through security, which went well! Except--I tried to get through with a pocketknife in my backpack. Or as I told another elf, I assaulted a guard!;) The guy decided to make me learn my lesson, and he did.
I had no idea it was in the bottom of my backpack, not that that mattered :P...so he kept us for a little while and gave the entire pack a once over. Even the whole explosive bit on my backpack with the wiper and wand!  But really, he was a lot nicer than he could have been or had to have been, seriously..I learned my lesson. Never. Again.

After getting through security with that slight mishap, we were off to Denver :) It was a fine flight, quite a bit of turbulence once the Denver decent began--which I think is awesome! Turbulence is sooo ssswweeeetttt. We had to kill time at Denver,  all of the fifteen minutes till our next plane boarded  yes, boarded. So me and dad got to run to the gate!

LOL  

Well, we did run, but we only had to run about thirteen steps to the next boarding area :) Now this is the part where I give shameless props to my other family members, namely mom:  Mom called us and told us the plane was going to leave twenty minutes late...Which was great because we hadn't gotten breakfast yet and were in a bit o' a pickle as far as getting it. I can stuff an entire sausage biscuit in my mouth, but that is usually frowned upon in company. >_< Sure enough after asking the flight fellow, they were late! So we made a quick dash to the Golden Arches and then back into line!!



Now this second leg from Denver to Indianapolis Int' was about the same length of time as the previous flight, 2.5 hours.  But!!  on this leg of the flights, we got multiple servings of soda :D They kept coming by :))) Notice my enjoyment of the sodas? ;) It is really a great time killer, seeing how long it will take to drink, see how long until the ice starts to melt, and then how long until you crunch it all :D Great fun for the easily amused.

Well by the time we were off the( landed)plane and ready to roll it was almost 3pm :) Right about at this point I give my dad some of the props he seriously deserves; I can’t even come close to thanking him for taking me.  He was the one that said we should make do with all carryon luggage, which we did. Three bags between the two of us, one of which was the insanely heavy pack (INSANELY HEAVY. SHOULDER CRAMPING. BACKPACK CRAMMED. HEAVY.) Ok, it was approximately 30lbs, don't ask me what that is in kilos, I'm about dying here on this plane. Three time zones in one day :)

Oh yeah! Time zones! Dude, I almost forgot about those things ;) I need to manage my time better--heh, pun intended :P Anyway...So in Oregon, let's pretend for my sake it is...well right now in OR's PST time, it's 6:30. So if in Oregon it's 6:30 then in Indiana(Where we flew into and out of when leaving) it is 9:30, and in Illinois it is 8:30. So when we landed in Indiana then got the rental car, we had until 3:30 Indiana time(AKA EST) to return it on Sunday. But the problem is...since we stayed in IL, if we return it on IL time, we are an hour late. So to return the car we actually had to leave pretty darn close to 11:30 all said and done. Anyway...this time fiasco plays into something later ;) Take notes for maximum reading efficiency.


We drove straight from the Indy Airport to my hotel. We thought it was going to be OK, and cheap. It turned out to be cheap...but not Ok. Grease on the sheets and cigarette burns on the bed covers were kinda a turn off. When mom called and talked to us-basically me and dad got our rights read ;) And you know what? She was right!

But even before the call from mom, something made me and dad do a double take. It actually left me speechless--yes I know—peculiar aye? Well, online we were informed the hotel had a gym....so we looked for it. J But after failing to find it, we asked the guy at the desk.

His response? "Nope no gym, but you guys look pretty fit to me".

:| I was...shocked. Hah! Laughing with dad later, I told him that if I needed positive self affirmation I'd have gone to a self help class, not a hotel :P Anyway...long story short, we checked out and got our money back, so here we are 2000+ miles from home and literally homeless. HOW AWESOME !!

Well, dad's wisdom prevailed now, I said we should sleep in the car so I could tell the elves I did it! Sadly :( we didn’t. But--God's hand was in the entire weekend and what we did, it's amazing to think back and track it. So, when we didn't have a hotel to hang at after our seriously long day no matter what time zones you use ;); we ate dinner at Culvers, a cool little suped up burger joint :)

We also stopped at Borders in Champaign….I was hoping the authors had come in to see it and set up! No dice, but that turned out OK anywho, I got to tree some E-readers. After some calls, Mom made us reservations at the Drury Hotel--right after I made a joke to dad about the name.(Irony)

So we got the Drury! It was awesome! We were dog-tired and it was perfect a great place to crash. Anyway...we hung out and I texted with SilverAngel as he was stopped for the night on the states border from whence he came O_O And I thought I saw Whisper's family when we got there! I was like, Woh! I wonder...but it wasn't them L


The next morning at breakfast me and dad got some laundry done then headed down stairs to eat. It was rough living for us ;) Especially since I got to eat right next to/sit and talk with after I was done-WTB and CH. THEY STAYED AT MY HOTEL!!!! So me and dad got to talk to them about real life and the Christian walk. It was awesome, those guys have amazing hearts. Needless to say it was a GREAT way to start off the day :D I have pictures of them that. Hehe

Finishing breakfast and a few chorish things me and dad headed to Chanute Air Museum.  Finding it is a chore, and since I'm spoiled with Evergreen Aviation and Space,  it wasn't as cool as perhaps it might have been. However, just like the first hotel we left, it was in God's hands for us to be there. We waited at one of the planes for a little while and talked to an older gentlemen working there. While I was doing that, a man from a local paper  walked up and asked if he could interview me :)

I said-no-

JUST KIDDING! Of course I said yes :P So I got to tell him about two very important things in my life, Evergreen, reading, and of course, WTB and CH. Yup, I told him all about the authors the signing, and Evergreen's awesome education department. Even got to fit in a little bit about my favorite docent. That was pretty neat :)

After that, while at the Air museum I scheduled with Silver to meet me and dad at 12:15 at Culvers(food pattern?). Anyway, Culvers is about 60 feet from my hotel by my reckoning, not too shabby placement :D After said call, we left Chanute and headed to our hotel :) We killed just a little time by trying to navigate our way out of the Air Museum complex ;) Mayquest in IL is not a fail..it's just not good. So it of course, added to the adventures of driving!! We made it to the hotel though..and through my hotel winder' I saw Silver standing upside Culvers waving at the hotel while we were on the phone. That was really cool. I ran over there with dad, being careful not to get run over by a car. (That would have been either horrible or impeccable timing depending on perspective) So we ate lunch with his awesome mom and brother! Kudos to Mrs.”Silver” For putting up with a short teen at the table and making him feel welcome. (Though someday I hope to be the tall one.)


Then myself, Silver and ShadowCross hoofed it to Borders. It was only about 1Pm at this point, but shucks, we were impatient! Can you fault us?  It was quite the experience going with "The PathFinder" and the "Tree Limbo-er"  on said walk. I prefer to refer to myself as the "Cross walk pushing genius" but that might be open for debate.

We made it to Borders in not too long time and stalked the door watching the clerks and people walking in alike...Waiting--always waiting-- Waiting for a chance to strik--ER! I mean, waiting for the ELVES :D And who got there first!? Anduril!

Silver spotted him first and jumped up, so of course then ShadowCross and I did too :P Can't be left in the dust by "The Path Finder". It was great to finally meet Anduril, quite a nice guy, and seriously friendly :D Yes, if only he lived closer...And as we should have expected from a girl GA was late, though how the siblings got there at a different time with one car still has me confused.. :P Even if late=early technically.

So we killed more time inside, waiting for more elves,  but eventually I decided it was tooooooo boring after awhile  and waiting outside would be lots nicer. No sooner had I stepped outside then I spotted Miss Arrow coming in. Another elf comes! It was really great to meet her as well. Then we sat down and gabbed some chairs whilest waiting for more folks.

Eventually the authors showed up :) And so I helped set up chairs with a couple of other guys, it was pretty humorous, doing something so normal at such a non-normal event. It was really cool when they walked in though, CH had his blade and scabbard under his arm.

*Ahem*. Oh, this is for Whisper, "Looks about furtively in seat rows glaring at any who would attempt to read unfinished post" I just did the asterisk with my hands, albeit lowly :P




So...we got the show on the road and live stream started going!  Leighton and Ness made it!! Woh, Leighton walked right up to where I was sitting and shook my hand. Extra bonus points for that guy. Did you know he is a Blender Best, Bagpipes Blower, and Nice guy extraordinaire rolled into one? That guy has an extrordinairy amount of talents.:| He's an elf you all need to meet, amazing that one. Let’s see..who else did I see?

JACOB PARKER! The soon to be world famous author! Woohhoo. OH oh OHOHOH! And courtesy of an extremely generous Miss Arrow, I now own a copy of the famed KMS. I am so excited to read it. Jacob even signed the copy again, this time personalizing it. KMS is the number one book I want to read at this point, even though I have quite a few brand new uns’.

Ness was very nice, and she plays a mean violin! Not to say the violin itself is mean, or that she is mean, quite the contraire, but that the playing is mea----Oh, Never mind. Oh, and their older sister! Now there is a girl with an AMAZING VOICE. And great skill with the Irish penny Whistle. It was amazing. How to do that with my voice I don't know, but it was awesome. No wonder they perform as a group!!

Then as I was sitting in my seat waiting for the event to happen, Silver leans over and goes, Whisper is here!!
 (Me)Where??
(Him)Behind you, back there!!
(me) Oh that's helpful...

Heh, anyway, later, after the official party was done and it was the signing time. I had the pleasure of meeting the entire "Whisper" family. Amazing folks, only caution, don't play them in “Spoons”, or "I doubt it".  The Golux is brutal at "I doubt it", I got pasted. >_<  Never again will I be convinced to play a game I don’t know with such experts :P

And they are all good at spoons !! x_x  On the bright side, I didn’t get thrashed all the time. I also got to meet the soon to be famed Sting. :D Now there is another great guy :) He really needs to come out to the West coast. I mean…if he can do chores with the skills he has for playing Ninja, then I’m sure we can work something out ;) And last but of course not least was Hark. Now here was the surprise, Hark has almost as many freckles as I have! It was a close win ;) At least I got one win right? Hark is a great elf, and even chose the right answer in the StoryTeller conversation in the face of confused people K But….once again, beware card games. >_<


That's most folks, but not everyone I was blessed to meet. Christian Miles! Woohoo! Didn’t get to talk to him much, But! I got his autograph :D Check ebay in a few years for the signature when he’s rich/and or famous. :) Or for him perhaps the big screen and Jill Williamson's trailer ...

  Let's see..OH. :D I got to meet the Underground Elf Evergreena! I was waffling on asking if she was online..but I was helped out by a friend *whew* and so I had the pleasure of a brief meeting and signature. Regret? Didn't introduce myself WAY earlier :(

The live stream was fun...Until someone on my end introduced me as Goldarrow. <_< *cough* Anduril..*cough* This is just not nice. >_< >_< Thankfully… retribution was made XD Ninja style.


After the party and signing/talk time with the authors, I recovered enough vigor to be nailed in the cranium by Leighton with a "boffer"(Strange Missouri spelling I know)sword. It was a BLAST! Even with the sword’s end being a  lead weight :P So of course, Counter attack! Leighton is deadly with one of those things. But I like to think I won. At least a mental victory! :P I also went against several other folks,

Oh, oh, player highlight moment: Cison went round after round with Goldarrow with those swords.. It wasn't pretty, but the guy has guts. Maybe a few bruises as well ;) Definitely earned my respect.


Soon after the sword fighting we left for dinner...at...Culvers(This is when the pattern starts taking away the appetite, literally) And.....it was very special. Getting to eat with some of the other elves--awesome.

Especially when Silver wrote PIE on my chicken strip :O   Now normally I would object, especially since he used my pen, but how could I? I autographed his left arm in sharpie earlier :P And both of his brother’s arms. You rock Shadow!

Sadly, there was a clear case of gender bias, some misguided people made the case StoryTeller, the famed elf, had to be a girl because of the articulateness of speech and information security measures. Plus a host of other purely circumstantial flim-flam evidence. Of course, I couldn’t sit there and let my own gender get insulted in such a blatant fashion so I refuted said arguments and with Hark’s help, though we didn’t convince the enemy we stalled the conversation K



After dinner some of the dinner folks came back to my hotel: The "Whispers",  GA,  Anduril, SA and Shadow. This is when we ended up playing cards. Well..some of us did :P
Some *cough cough* other people were glued to their laptop monitors, not that I would name names though ;) . But, none the less it was the best possible way I could think to have spent the evening. I mean, hey! Someone has to lose and if that lot falls to me, I lose with the best of em'. After getting myself drubbed in cards several times someone graciously said we should play ninja. Now that's a game that is perfect for me! It requires activity and limited brain power needed ! So...we played ninja.

Oh...note on the card games, remember the girl's ridiculous comment on StoryTeller? This was payback time: Anduril owned the Slap Jack game we played...even if his card flipping technique is under review.. The obvious reason why he won?? He’s a guy, we win.


Ninja was a blast, can't say I get the chance to play with such awesome people very often. Or get my hands slapped until they ache!  After ninja the parents were going to show up, which they did, but mercifully Mr. Whisper talked to my dad for awhile so the group remained a group for a little while longer. I have to say at parting...it was immensely sad. I was surprised how sad it becameI've "known" these people 10 hours..how can I be sad? Regardless of the logic, reality hurts. :'(


So people started to trickle off, hands were shaken, and goodbyes made.

Well, Silver spent the night with me :) We  gamed till 1-20am or so until his laptop died, :P Bad power cord!! Then bed..but not much sleep. Too many things were packed in one day, I tried to fall asleep but laying in bed thinking sad thoughts is not a fun way to kill time. At all. Realizing you might not ever see these elves again. And even if you do, twon’t be the same.

Yes, sad thoughts were abundant last night. So...at 6am I was awake, thinking depressing thoughts.  But I knew it was ridiculous..losing sleep to sad thoughts? Or worse yet..just laying there without doing anything about it? PANSIENESS!!!!!!!!!

So I got up around 6:30am..then dad got up...at that point Silver did too. I said I was going down to the breakfast room in hopes of something happier going on, and lol, we all went down! :D Now of course just like Saturday morning, I had two sausages on a toasted bagel + ketchup :) An excellent meal! Well we finished about 7am I guess. And one of us, I don’t remember  if it was me or Silver, says “ we should go say bye to the others.”  Regardless if they aren't in the hotel :P So, of course, why not!?

We told dad we'd be back in a little while and armed with only a cell, and a pen we set off ;) Thing is..we didn't know when anyone was leaving, so we ran most of the way to the first hotel where GA's folks and Anduril were. They weren't eating yet or so we hoped was the case they weren’t in the dinning room....But while looking for their car we found a room key and their car! First we returned the key and whilest doing so we were able to ask at the desk  where the other hotel we searched for was :D The lady was most helpful!!  We used a business card I had plus my Navy pen to write a really short note to them and put it on their car. Then...POOF off to the hunt! So armed with more directions we set off...pen in hand. This time however, we didn't run. The stomachs protested to wolfing food then running, go figure?

Eventually, after hours, and hundreds of miles in the sweltering sun--Wait! I mean, a 10 or 15 minutes and a few LONG blocks, we were able to track down the last hotel. We of course went the car route again, this time first though.  Silver saved our bacon for writing material. I was out of cards I could get rid of, but,  he sacrificed a business card for a bowling alley for note material :)

 So the note is posted..again short and to the point.  So, then we decided to peek inside in  hopes of finding someone..and-this time- our search was rewarded! There was someone! Oh, and the right someone’s too there was the wrong someones at the other hotel ;) So we got to say goodbye to this nice family.  Seriously it makes one reconsider where they want to move with all these elves in Central and Eastern USA. Well, it was great to say goodbye to them all, but it was sad too, leaving a business card is much nicer in that respect. But waving goodbye was not something either one of us wanted to miss, and running around is an adventure.

So from there we skedaddled back to hotel number two and were once again rewarded...after quite a wait outside :P Thankfully Silver texted his mother and she said she should come down. Which allowed us to get  in out of THE FREEZING COLD WEATHER! Oh and into in a really nice plush chair inside :) This time too there was faces, yes and you know the drill, the right faces. Which doesn’t count the guy doing yoga at the pool, though he was really flexible.

So then we got to sit down for a few minutes and talk shop  with the Arrow family. It was a very nice time, though also sad. Seriously, I may have to consider carrying around more business cards to avoid these goodbyes in person.  Yes, then they had to go. So myself and Silver followed them to the car, it was a pleasure to meet them all, and not so pleasurable waving them away. But I hope they enjoyed church today!


After all this sadness,  the sadness meters were running pretty high. Me and Silver went back to my hotel and got packed up and ready to go. Eventually Silver and his family had to leave. But not before I was beaten in Star wars galactic Battle grounds :P I think I need to rethink my game winning plans when playing against elves. In my defense,  I don't EVER play with cheats, I have no practice at it. Silver on the other hand...So then I took my battle ardor and fury out on Shadow :P   
A 5 minute game :) Which wasn't really a fair competition, I was warmed up, he wasn’t, but I'm not complaining!!

Well, then they left, and...the area devoid of elves, was devoid of an extraordinary crew of people. I feel like I made many best friends, yet in a way lost them in the same 24 hours. I for one, shall not give up easily. Unfortunately, chatting and even video calling is not near the same joy inspiring fun that face to face with elves is. However I shall do my best to remain good friends with them all.

Dad and me left eventually as well.  It stinks not to be able to talk to the Elves. I want to move :((((((

Security at Indy went fine and since we had 2.5 hours to kill after turning in the car(which had the funny time zones play into us leaving earlier than we would have had the time zones been normal). Wall' after killing tons of time, we  then had a 45 minute flight to Chicago midway, and after killing an hour there I got into another plane. This plane. *looks around and wishes he was playing cards or ninja*

And two hours later here I am..still with approximately 2.5 hours of flight left. Some pretty good turbulence, along with a headache. I believe I am experiencing a relatively new phenomenon known to man, missing elves. The cure? That I'm working on...I'll let you know when I come up with one, if I don't miss my guess, I bet there's quite a few elves wishing the party continued.



Oh, and the talks with CH and WTB? Great stuff. I shared a bench with WTB at the airport! He waited one boarding place down from me at Indianapolis so as he said I could. So of course :P I joined him, and tried to pick his brain with this cool chance to do so. The skinny on X? Why Jett had to die? Narrative voice? Faulty internet? BWahahaha….Pictures, I have them all. It was a really special time.

Love you Wayne and Christopher, God bless and keep you.


Goodbye my fellow elves, I have but thirty minutes of battery left as I type this up in notepad. I'll post it after some serious spell checker when I get back. This has been the work of about..hm...well nigh on 45 minutes I believe. And..don’t tell me you won’t be at the next party, or-- Or--I'll smack you with my non-bald pate.

Love in Christ to all, Missing you all  

Millard


I'll have a picture post some time later :) Mom was nice enough to let me finish editing this morning before doing school. This truly was written on the plane and only minor things have been tweaked :D



Monday, October 18, 2010

:(

Profuse apologies for the delay, I have some of the post edited but not all. I will get it up, God willing, tomorrow.

Millard

Party(Edited)

Hey everyone :)

I'm back from the party, got in late PST time last night and didn't have a chance to blog post. I wrote my post on the plane with little sleep so I'm going to give it the once over before posting. Hopefully before the day is out all 4 thousand words will be let loose. If I forgot you in the blog post, it wasn't because I didn't like you, but because my brain needed more sleep than I gave it.

Edit: IT will happen after Youth Group :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Outlive your life

Out live your life-You were made to make a difference, by Max Lucado.





Max Lucado’s most recent book, Out Live Your Life-You were made to make a difference,  is another great titled rolled out by this Christian author. He examines the early church, the book of Acts, and who was in the early church making a difference for God. It’s the modern truck driver as Peter, the grocery store clerk as John-Mark. All average Joe’s, making a  non-average impact for God. The difference between them and the average man is the power of God working in their life.  

Even with one glance it’s clear that the book has fun stories, interesting writing, and an impacting message. As you dig deeper the fun stories become meaningful, the interesting writing, just a byproduct of the Christ centered book; and the impacting message? A mainstream theme in the book, as it examines the idea of outliving your life.

Overall, on a scale of one to ten(ten being the best), I would give this book an eight point five. It was an interesting book with a deeper side that went beyond the writing, and turned my thoughts to “Outliving my life”. Thank you Mr. Lucado, keep writing!

Millard

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Books galore!

Just in the last week or so I got all these books in the mail! Wooohooo! Check them out! All excellent Titles! 

Outlive your Life, courtesy of Booksneeze.
A SIGNED superlative stream!! Woh! Complete with those little business promo cards. I love those! I'm saving the book for the plane flight tomorrow though...it's been hard to wait.

Virtually Eliminated--Great book. Even my dad likes this one, and he's not even into fiction! This un' is courtesy of amazon, took long enough to ship >_<

The Restorer, a fantasy staple. Also from Amazon.

This book is really hard to buy sometimes, but when I checked Amazon the other day, they had it! Used and for cheap! Then of course--It started calling me and I had to get it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Congratulations

Someone I'm proud to call my friend just completed a massive milestone on a story they are writing--correction, soon to be best selling book. That is of course...Jake of the Sadaar! And what number did he get? Something huge, can you guess? 10k? Nope. 18k? 22k? 35k? NO.
Seriously, go over there and give him a shout out. He deserves it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fear!

Gah! I'm not at ease, I'm ill at ease, I'm nervous and frantic!! Why? I just submitted my first contest piece to a contest over at http://waningcandles-writingcorner.blogspot.com/ Having never done this....it's quite a strange experience. Wish me luck, I'll need it!!!


OH..and four whole days until I leave for Illinois.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hot off the press!

Hey everyone! If you want a chance to win this is where to look!
I, Millardthmk, am Offering Isle of Fire, sequel to the book Isle of Swords by
Wayne Thomas Batson to you as a give away!

Of course there are a few things that you have to do. (see below)
Following is a great way to get a chance to win, but wait I’m getting ahead of myself
First I have to tell you of another give-a-way going in!

For Those of you who don’t know Leauphaun of http://daremoinsights.blogspot.com
Is having a give away of Her own!
Leauphaun is Eldra’s sister and she is giving away 3, yes 3 sketches!

Leauphaun  is skilled with Pen and pencil, as you can see.
Right now you can have a chance to win 2 sketches done by her!
Now you might be saying, did I hear that right? Eldra's sister (Leauphaun) is going draw me a sketch if I win?
Then yes! 2 Sketches to the first winner and one sketch for the runner up!
So don't dilly dally! Sign up now to have a chance to win both of these give a ways! 


Also....(drum roll) I've got a story up on my blog that I'd love to have you all look at. If it's no trouble(innocent eyes). And now we have a proper count down to the wonderful Tribe Party! That was said to not be a party so go figure right?



Awesome guest post by GoldArrow--Who always seems to beat/cheat me out of Noah's giveaways :P

When you love I'll love, how you serve I'll serve, with this life I live I will follow you.

Hey Guys and Gals, I've completed this story for submission in a contest and will probably only look it over carefully once more before submitting it. But like always, my goal isn't really just a good story, but it's impact. Please, I'd like to know what you think of it. If you spot some grammar issues, please let me know! But not in the comment section, I ask you shoot me an email :D
john0calvin@yahoo.com               

If you wondering about the title it's some of the words from Chris Tomlin's song, I will Follow.



         The wind whirled and tugged at her hair; tangling itself up in her skirts  flipping them away and back as it raced away. The skirts’ dull green color with a white apron on top blew like an invisible tide with the ebb and flow of breeze. It framed her petite body and complimented her dark sparkling eyes and open innocent face. A salty breeze wrinkled her nose and clung to her face, but its’ smell went unnoticed by the silent watcher. “Oh Hannah, why must he go to sea?” she said forlornly. The surroundings echoed her words. The rocky jetty she stood perched on hung over the roaring water. It’s base reaching down to the sand and waves. The black rocks stood stained green with algae, coloring it like the grassy hill that stood behind it.The lush hill stood empty and deserted in the dreary weather.

“Because, Miss Lizzy we must eat and he must work. Simple as that.”

“Don’t call me that” she said with a hard edge in her voice.

“Call you what my dear?” the older woman said and shivered in the breeze. “It’s not right to stand out here in the weather, you’ll catch your death of cold if I don’t miss my guess.” Her purple dress contained an ample figure and the white muff cap blown to her neck did nothing to cover her salt and pepper curls.

“Don’t call my Lizzy. That is what Papa called me. And he’s out in the weather. Should he be inside Hannah? Is he going to catch his death of cold?”

“Oh tut tut Elizabeth Gale” the older woman clucked. “Your father will not catch his death of cold, not if that great warm seaman’s coat your mum made him still holds the heat. And last I checked it did. Now do come inside. Tisn’t right to stand out here in just your dress and apron! I can’t imagine what your mother’d say if she knew you was out here in this gale soaking like a wet cat….”

“Hannah, she knows and she sent you out here. Don’t deny it, I know it’s true.  She’s just as worried as I am but at least I don’t pretend to hide it. Something’s wrong out there..I can feel it.”

She spoke softly but passion laced the words.

“Is it wrong to be worried about my only father somewhere at sea, and to worry about his safety? Should I not worry about it and just let him drown, without a soul in the world caring? Is that what I should do Hannah?”

“I shouldn’t wonder you’re so overwrought. You’re needing some hot tea and that’ll make you right as ra-- “

“I am not overwrought.”

“Yes deary, of course you’re not overwrought. I only meant. That some tea--”

“You meant I was overwrought. You can say it. Mother thinks so too. At least I have you two to worry about me. If you had your way no one would worry about father.”

“Oh you know that’s not so Liz—Elizabeth. We do worry but some of us have the decency to worry inside,  out of sight of the neighbors and gawkers! And for shame! Talking to your elders this way, why your father would whip you for sure if he heard you speaking to your maid, dear Hannah that way! All I do is work day in and day out at the house for your poor mother wearing my hands to a frazzle! And here you are raising your voice to me. All I mean is goodness to you and see how it’s repaid. Wouldn’t do for you to catch a cold. Now for goodness sake child! Come inside now and get warm. I’ll fix you a nice cup of melted chocol—“

“No Hannah” Elizabeth said gently, “I’m not going to go inside. I’m not a child.  I believe I have the strength to stand in the weather a few hours for my father. Now please, don’t try to convince me otherwise. It will just make us both madder than—“

She paused looking up at the grey drizzle hitting the rocky outcropping.

 “Wet hens, and we’re quite wet already!” Elizabeth’s forced laugh was soft and swept away by the wind, but she hoped her maid believed its’ forced levity.

“Oh, well then, if sense won’t bid ye to come inside then perhaps some warm wraps will keep you from dying of cold yet. I’ll just go and fetch them myself.”

“Thank you Hannah” came the warm reply, “I wish—I wish I could know you longer.”

“What are you saying now?” Came the confused retort from the elderly maid.

“Why deary, you will know me longer. Hehe! Why if you believe all that philosophizing and thinking you do then we’ve know each other longer even now!” She laughed surprised at her own cleverness, twasn’t often she matched tit for tat with Lizzy.

“You’re quite right Hannah. Now don’t keep the young Miss Gale waiting. You’ll have purgatory to pay for it.” She gave a stern look then winked and the nurse laughed at her attempt of sharpness.

“I won’t! No miss I won’t keep you waiting, heaven help me!” 

She scurried off into the gloom clutching her billowing skirt in one hand. Her other futilely trying to keep the rain from wetting her hair.

Hannah’s saying came unbidden to mind, “wet hair is bad luck in a dry house, bound to bring  a leaky roof!” Elizabeth smiled sadly. All the years of wearing things properly and primly, always wearing a bonnet in the sun, what was it for now?

“Oh come quickly death. Do not delay.”  She said the words loudly, as if trying to force them onto the forces of nature.

Her head was quickly becoming soaked in the wet breeze and light rain shower as was the rest of her body. But she knew the nurse would never return in time. Why wait? After all, once you were dead why would it matter if you died with a coat or without one?

Slowly she picked her way down the face of the rocks. A small worn trail slick with slime led to the bottom of the outcropping. The waves beat upon the jetty’s base with fury unabated in the face of her simple course. Only a thin sand strip separated her from the raging water as she neared the bottom. Looking up she saw the black mass standing like a towering lighthouse without a light.

“Papa your dead, I know you are. Why did you have to go to sea again? Why papa…? I know you’re gone, I can feel it in my bones. I’ve known for days but they won’t listen.”

                She choked on the words and shuddered. She would have never expected it to end like this. Always before she had known it was just fear, fear of the unknown. But this time it was so real, it was real. Somewhere in the water her father’s body lay floating face down, or ripped into bloody shards by sharks who didn’t care the identity of the carcass. The thought violated her sense of right and wrong and sorrow and despair turned to anger.

“Why did you allow it!” she said shouting with her might into the wind.

Church was a must at the Gale household. You did not miss a Sunday unless death’s door was your bed, and only then. She had even wondered if perhaps there was something there to be found, a truth in the weathered black bound calfskin bible—until Papa’s last voyage.

“I nearly believed you truly cared! Now I see the truth, you don’t care, he’s dead and—I’m—I’m.”

                The words wouldn’t come as she jumped lightly off the last of the rocky path and onto the hard packed sand. Already as she strode forward the waves beat at her ankles like monsters reaching for her. She would give herself soon enough, it wasn’t quite time.  Not time yet… That’s what mother had told her when she asked why Papa wasn’t back. “It’s not time for him to be back. It could be a few more days yet before I’d worry.” The words were convincing enough but Elizabeth knew her mother was worried. The lines around her eyes and circles beneath them belied her statement. Her mother was strong, something she wasn’t.

                She strode out deeper into the waves. Their crushing embrace reached up to her waste and threatened to carry to her shoulders. You’re so eager aren’t you. You don’t care about who you hurt. But at least you’re not hiding something. You know what your meaning in life is to take and to kill. I don’t. On the outside I look like the others but they don’t fear like I do. I don’t understand how to stop. The fear is only gone when Papa is here and he’s gone forever, I just know it.

“I’m ready, you can take me now!” She said screaming at the water.

Wave after wave hit her waist threatening to pull her down but still she stayed upright.

“I’m here for you, but I won’t go without a fight. My father never would!” She imagined him slowly releasing his hold on a board floating in the ocean, hypothermia setting in.

Even the waves fail in their job to deliver me from the fear.

She strode out deeper into the water up to her chest, her light frame was easily picked up and carried in the wave, first into the shallow water. But she knew it would only be a matter of time before it truly pulled her under and out. After all, she was born at the sea. She knew its tricks. With a few more steps she was back in the deep water

A wave drew near growing white and frothy on the top while receding at the base. She knew.

It’s time. I have no one to help me, even if I wanted to stop I couldn’t.

                Like a barrel rolling downhill the wave picked up speed cresting as it reached her position poised to grab her in its deadly caress to erase her existence like snuffing a candle.

She looked up into the mouth of the wave in defiance. You can only have me because I let you. She knew it wasn’t really true, but she needed to try to believe it. As it neared, from the corner of her eye she saw it, a ship, it’s midnight blue flag flying high on the mast, a sight familiar to her eyes. They surveyed the rigging and mast-- no flag symbolizing a death hung.

Papa—he’s..homealive. I was wrong.

                The wave over took her small frame picking it up one second then throwing her under water, like a bull first impaling a helpless matador then trampling him under foot. Her body was thrust into the watery vice and the air in her lungs quickly squeezed out in her lungs. A silent scream echoed from her mouth into the watery grave as the tide pulled her back into the water. God help me.

She tried to cry out, even though she knew it was hopeless but blackness overtook her vision. And replacing her vision an overwhelming sorrow permeated her mind.


With a start she jerked upright in the sand.

“Wh-?” she managed then collapsed back on the sand exhausted.

 Her lungs sucked in the air groping for its life giving sustenance. Quickly she patted her hands over her prone body,

“I’m—“ gulp for air. “Alive! Oh God I’m alive!” She rejoiced and tears poured down her face as the sobs wracked her body. For the second time that day tears poured down her face, but this time in joy. She blinked rapidly trying to clear her watery vision.  She should be dead. Who had saved her? She whipped her head around, but no off duty sailor stood smiling or fretting  maid wringing out a wet dress. She was too far from the water to have had the waves do the job. At best they would have left her in the shallows. She lay on the sand strip near where she had first entered the water. Finally she spied some hint of her rescuer, large footprints trekked up to where she lay in the sand. Obviously her rescuer had made the prints. The water and sand quickly began filling them in. Trembling she forced herself into a sitting position and looked for their source. They led straight out of the water to her. She inhaled sharply and gasped, dumbfounded.  Her rescue…. from Him. He had heard her call out. Someone who had walked right out of the ocean, or at least hadn’t walked up on the sand. Words echoed in her mind from a voice not hers but with strangely familiar words.

I look unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. The Maker of heaven and earth.

                The warm voiced caressed her and gave her strength. He who had saved her, what did they call Him sometimes? The Savior of the world. Her lips moved in a silent thanks to her savior. As she opened her eyes again after a moment of basking in the warmth of the voice a new thought shot into her mind:Papa!! With a squeal of joy she lurched unsteadily to her feet and started up the rocky out cropping. It seemed so much faster on the way up, her steps were unsteady as her tired legs protested the journey, but filled with joy. Reaching the top she forced herself into a run. She had to see Papa to tell him! But first, she had a stop to make. Perhaps—the church did hold something after all for her. And Hannah? Well, she would have to find out whether wet hair, always brought leaky roofs.