Saturday, June 15, 2013

About My Fathers

In a world so fallen where fathers are called "baby-daddies," I'd like to say a few words about my father. First, I'll tell about my earthly father.

Needless to say, he wasn't perfect. Neither am I. He lost his temper. So have I. There have been many times, I'm sure, he didn't live up to the calling of being a father. I certainly know I've failed again and again.

But I remember the time my dad passed on the sea food dinner on a long flight to Italy because I wanted it, too, and they only had one plate left. Then I remember throwing it up into my lap. And my dad helping with cleaning up.

I remember my dad teaching me to hook a worm and wait for the bobber to dip before yanking. Then, he made countless trips down to the dock to help get the Blue Gill off and then filet them for me for dinner.

I remember one time, driving back from our humble vacation at my grandparent's cabin, my dad listened to the Tigers on the radio. We sort of slept in the back of the station wagon watching the street lights zip by overhead. We were cruising down 75, passing Tiger's Stadium and my dad turned the radio down and rolled down the window to see if we could hear any of the game as we passed by. It strikes me now as kind of silly. But fun.

I know that my love of communicating through writing comes from my dad. He inspired the writing gene. He also passed on a love of music-making.

I remember him playing a song on his guitar, a jazzy number with a real classic melody. Wowed by this tune, I asked him who wrote it.

"Me," he said with a slight chuckle.

I was floored. My dad had written what might have been a top 10 Billboard song.

The greatest thing my dad did for me, though, wasn't giving me fun times fishing, a love for writing or a desire for making music. No, what he did that is above all other things and, if we were counting on works to balance the scales, would rank up there - he introduced me to my true father.

See, my Heavenly Father has never lost his temper with me. He looks down and sees a faith that He gave me, a repentance that He drew from me and a trust in His sacrifice for my sin. He sees a perfect son of His own making.

My Heavenly Father teaches me and always gets it right. He disciplines me and doesn't let it get out of hand. He guides me and never leads me astray. He loves me because He decided to, not because of how I behave or perform.

Knowing my true Father has been the single most transforming thing in my life. And I was introduced to Him by my earthly father.

Thanks, Dad.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Paperback Writer

My dream began with yearning to see my name grace the cover of a book. My book lining the shelves of a brick and mortar book store. Me, sitting behind a table stacked with books and flanked by a large poster. Me, greeting lines of eager fans waiting to say "hi" and get my Bryn Jones on their warm copy of thrilling prose.

As with most dreams, they don't come true from simply wishing on a star. No, all those days of dreaming wouldn't make that book materialize or draw fans to my web site that didn't exist.

So, I buckled down and wrote a novel. I edited the crap out of it. I re-wrote it. I passed it around to friends and family. And some of them read it!

When it was ready (in my mind a #1 Bestseller just waiting to happen) I started shopping it to agents. For a solid year I got good leads that dried up. "Love it!" "It's just not right." "You're not quite ready for Prime Time." "I couldn't put it down." "I didn't find this Romantic Comedy that funny, or Romantic?" "No Thanks." "Go into politics." Just kidding on that last one.

I did get an agent. So, I was a shoe-in! NY Times, get ready! Well, then he couldn't find a buyer. My dream was turning into one of those that has a hallway made of checkered tile where you run, run, run and never reach the end.

Then, I considered this thing called e-publishing. I noticed a lot of regular publishers were offering contracts for e-publishing books. That just seemed sick and wrong. Since Amazon, the biggest name in ...well, everything now, would allow you to keep 70% of your sale price, I would have to then share that with a publisher who did  nothing more than convert the file to an e-pub format. No thanks.

So, I did it myself. And now, thanks to Amazon, I have it in paperback, too. I can't compete on paperback price. I have to charge a little more than the $7.99 to $9.99 that big publishers can charge for paperback. But I do have both e-book and paperback. And my readers have direct access to me. And, the book is quite a fast, wild ride. I hope you check it out in either format.