Monday, April 23, 2007

Review of "Speck" by John Kuhn

I recently read a short story on the online speculative fiction magazine "Dragons, Knights, & Angels" that I liked so much that I had to talk about it. The title of the short story is "Speck" and it's written by John Kuhn. It's a story of two angels and the humans they have been assigned to help and protect.

The story made me think of angels in a different way than I have before. The angels in the story cared deeply about their humans and rejoiced in their triumphs. It was nice to read a fresh view of angels, instead of the usual serious, cold-feeling ones I have encountered in various other stories.

The main point that I got out of the story is that darkness (evil) is just a speck compared to the light (good). Despite the bad things that happen to us, God turns them around and uses them for good. In the midst of a time when most people would despair, the main human character overcomes his fear and finally fulfills his destiny. I find that inspiring, and encouraging. And when I read the story, I couldn't help but think to myself: "What if he had found the courage to share the good news before now? Think of the good he could have done. Oops...what about me?"

One minus to the story is that it didn't take much for me to figure out what was going to end up happening. Maybe that's what happens when you read mostly Ted Dekker and so become wiser to some foreshadowing, etc. I don't know. I guess you'll have to read the short story and tell me if you guessed the ending early on. :)

You can find "Speck" at DKA Magazine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Review of Karen Hancock's Website

Today is the third and final day of the CSFF Blog Tour for Karen Hancock's latest book, The Return of the Guardian-King. You can buy her book at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0764227971.

I don't have much time on my hands, and since I usually like to keep things short and sweet, I will give a brief review of Karen Hancock's website. And once you're finished reading this review, why don't you go to the website and check it out for yourself? It's pretty cool! The link is: http://www.kmhancock.com/index.htm. While you're at it, visit her blog too: http://www.karenhancock.blogspot.com/. :)

Karen Hancock's website has so much useful and fun information. She has information about each of her published books, along with reviews, letters, and scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain photos that inspired her writing, along with a brief explanation of each photo. It's fun to see what sort of stuff came together to inspire a story. :)

The website has a list of Karen Hancock's favorite books. I love reading these lists because I discover new books. And the bonus is that I know I might like them because a fellow fantasy writer recommended them. :)

I also discovered a link on the home page to a glossary of terms for The Legends of the Guardian-King. This glossary is better than most because it divides the terms into categories such as places, people, creatures, etc.

In addtion to everything else on her site, you can read a brief bio of Karen Hancock, subscribe to her newsletter, read her thoughts on writing, and request free bookmarks and autographed labels for books. Overall, this is a well-organized, informational, and fun website. It has many pages and links without appearing cluttered or confusing.

I highly recommend this site for fans of Karen Hancock's books, and really for all speculative fiction readers. It has some helpful links for writers, too! :) I can't wait to get back to it and browse some more.

Please visit the other blogs participating in the CSFF Blog Tour!

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

Becca Johnson

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Karen Hancock's Return of the Guardian-King

Today is the second day of the CSFF Blog Tour for Karen Hancock's Return of the Guardian King. Since I have been unable to get my hands on a copy of it, I will post the links tonight, and do my best to talk about Karen Hancock's website tomorrow. We shall see. School is very demanding right now. I'm already staying up too late as it is. *Sigh.* :)

Here is the link to her book. Check it out and buy it! :) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0764227971

Her website address is: http://www.kmhancock.com/index.htm
And here is her blog address: http://www.karenhancock.blogspot.com/

Here are the links of the other participants. Please check them out. There are some great ones!

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

Have a great night! :) ZZZZzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Developing the Discipline of Writing

In the past, I've had trouble setting for myself goals for writing each day, and actually meeting or exceeding those goals. I have no trouble setting the goals, but it's the doing part that I seem to have trouble with. Even now, I put off writing until the last possible moment. I have to force myself to sit down at my computer and write. It doesn't matter what's going on in the scene I'm writing, those first few minutes are a struggle. Then, after I've forced myself to write a few lines, something almost "magical" happens and the story begins to flow from me. Once I get going, the words come to me faster than I can type them. After that, I usually have a hard time stopping so I can go to bed. For instance, last night I stayed up until 11:30 pm writing because I put off starting until 10:30 pm, but once I started, I didn't want to stop.
This leads me to wonder: why on earth do I have so much trouble each day convincing myself that I actually do want to write that day? The answer: I have no clue, but I need to hurry up and get out of that mindset. Writing is not a chore (usually), it's an adventure, and I love it! :) The remedy I have come up with for now: keep myself accountable, develop a habit of writing a certain amount every day, and remember the feeling of satisfaction I have every time I write something.
Well, I'm off to go seek some adventure! :)

Becca Johnson

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference 2007

I had such a wonderful time at Mount Hermon! I learned so much, more than I thought possible, and I met so many wonderful friends! The best part was finally finding a group of people who love speculative fiction (spec fic) as much as I do. :)

I took Lauraine Snelling's major morning track on character building, and I learned quite a bit. It was good to spend so much quality time with my character. I learned some important stuff about her that had been missing before. It's always good to be really in touch with your character's motivation. :)

There was so much food at the conference, it felt like we were always eating. But it was all so good! The best part is, I didn't dread meals this time. Last year, I didn't want to eat because I was so afraid of sitting with the editors and other people who know what they're doing. Now, I know editors and published authors aren't all that scary, particularly ones who love spec fic, like Jeff Gerke or Austin Boyd. In fact, it's fun to pick their brains. :D

One of the biggest highlights for me was the night owl for writers of spec fic. I loved hearing all their awesome plot ideas, and it was encouraging to see how many people showed up. I never expected more than 10 or so people, but the number was closer to 25. How exciting! We all wrote our prayer requests on a paper, and it's great to know that people will be praying for me as I pursue this adventure of writing. :)

My only regret is that I didn't get to see the "troll hole" Rachel found. Oh well. It will still be there next time. :)

My New Blog

How exciting! My first blog ever. =)
I want to use this blog to get to know other Christian writers, particularly speculative fiction writers. I also plan to use this blog to discuss books with other bloggers. We will see, since this is the first time I've ever tried something like this. =)