Mountain Brook Ink: Reading Romance As A 30-Something Single

New Post: Reading Romance as a 30-Something Single


A Home


Whenever I sit down to type up an ad I always have two versions of it in my head. The correct version that is on the sheet in front of me, and the edited version in my head.

If I ever slipped up and typed in the other version, I hope it would sound like this:

Beautiful 4 bed, 2 bath house in desirable neighborhood. Open floor plan, kitchen flows into the dining room, the dining room flows into the living room. Big airy windows in the bedrooms, with deep window sills for plants or lazy cats. The roof has been repaired in the last decade so it stands a fairly good chance of not falling on your head. Sewer has been pumped since the current president took office. A turn-key house if there ever was one. But this is just a house. Walls, and paint, and light fixtures. Carpet that has been maintained…but has seen it’s share of life. It takes that life to transform these walls from a house, just a building and turn it into a home. A place of warmth. Where friends and family walk in the door and the troubles from outside seem a little dimmer, and the future feels a little brighter. More secure. Where laughter and tears are shared. This is just a house, it can be a home.


Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale

WC digi coverSMALL

Available on Kindle

This is my first book. And I am thrilled to be re-releasing it for Kindle with a beautiful new cover designed by Annie J Designs.

If you haven’t known me for years, a bit of back story. In 2006 I wrote Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale and to this day I am very proud of this book. If you’ve known me a really long time, you’ll know some of these characters I have been developing as long as I could tell a story. This is my ‘tome’ as it came to be called…the printed edition coming at 701 pages it was a deserved title. To those of you who over the years have read my incredibly long book, thank you, I appreciate you so much.

Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale is a science fiction/fantasy story about our normal world and another. It is about the interactions of a small group of people from both worlds, their story unfolding in their own words, written as if a journal that they have all contributed to filling with their perspectives on how events took place. There’s winged creatures, aliens…who are the winged creatures, politics, sarcasm, family, love, death, and life. There aren’t monsters, those are in the next book. Which will also be re-released this summer.

Following the re-release of Lost and Found: A Fairy Tale, there will be a new short story that has never been made available before which takes place before the events of Worlds Collide: A Fairy Tale. 

Writing Thoughts

The problem with falling terribly behind, (not opening word file since February…), in a writing project, is for me at least, that means you have to go back and reread everything you’ve already written. Which took me three days. I’m caught up and starting to slowly work away at my current story, this one takes the record, it has never taken me this long to finish a book. Part of me feels like I need to pressure myself to make this The Single Greatest Thing I Have Ever Written, and while I do think it is pulling together nicely, I have accepted that it won’t be perfect. And I am ok with that.

Part of the reason this book has taken so long is that I’ve gone through phases of ‘why am I writing this? Is this a good use of my time? Am I being a good steward of my free time by working away at this story?’. I don’t need to write or I will explode, I’m not that kind of writer, but I do need to create. And this seems to be the outlet I am supposed to use. So, I will finish this book. Eventually.


Quick edit….here is my official Guardians of the Galaxy review on GQKidz


New Projects

My grandmother has been a widow since World War II.

That is only a slight exaggeration, but it is the version she tells when she wants to make a point. The literal truth is that she was widowed shortly before the 40s ended. She was 24.

Growing up with Grammy, hearing about her life, gave me a unique perspective on life and relationships. Mostly that there is no guarantee your beloved will be there forever. There is no way that she could have known before she turned 25 she’d be a widow with two little girls. I distinctly remember my 24th birthday and how strange it felt to think how Grammy’s life had been at that age.

When her husband passed away, Grammy moved in with her parents. Her father, told her that ‘if he had a crust of bread left, he’d give her half’. Having carried a large family through the Great Depression, he had a more literal understanding of that than I every could. My Grammy worked hard, and was determined to provide for her girls. She never remarried, the story goes that she didn’t want another man to be a father over ‘his’ girls.

As I grew up, I’d wonder, what would be harder…to never love someone? Or to lose them like Grammy? What would I rather? Normally, I’d say it would be harder to lose someone like Grammy had and I’d rather never love someone. Now I’m not so sure.

I’ve now finished four stories, and each time I’ve had the same reaction. For about a week there’s this emptiness like everything inside has been poured out and I need to reconnect with life around me. Dragon and Priest took more out of me then any of them since finishing my first book. Once I found my energy again and mentally went through the list of responsibilities that demanded my attention, I found myself dragging my feet to continue to work on my last fairy tale book. I decided The End to a Fairy Tale can wait a little longer, it’s not going anywhere, I want to write Grammy’s story.

I want to write about how she lived a life that she strived to give glory to God. How she taught her girls when they’d go places, to ‘remember Who you belong to.’ How she struggled, and went through very dark times, and it wasn’t easy. How more than anyone I have ever known, she relied on Christ in place of a husband. And I want to be able to hand her a copy of her story, show her, ‘look Grammy this is you, this way your great-grandchildren can learn the lessons when you’re gone that you taught me and mom.’ She always wanted to be a missionary and do great things for God, I want to show her how she has and how her story will live on.

I have alot of work ahead of me.

Beliefs in Writing

I have no stomach for debate. I don’t have the energy or type of personality to get into an escalated ‘conversation’ that inevitablity devolves into at least one party trying to trick the other party into looking dumb. Or just raising their voice and sometimes to add flavor, swearing, because obviously whoever talks the loudest or uses the lowest kind of language must be right.

Ahem, I realize not all debates end up like that, but generally, that is not the kind of potential stress I want to add to my day.

There is one lady though, who I genuinely enjoy and appreciate debating with. She challenges me to explain what I mean, and listens to what I have to say and makes it very clear she isn’t just waiting for her turn to shoot me down. She firmly defends her stance from a point of *why* she believes what she believes, not a ‘you are stupid because…’ Whenever I leave after having a conversation with her I feel like I’ve learned something, grown in my understanding of an issue, and generally just have my day made.

A few months ago she challenged me with this question: “All that we do should be to bring glory to God and advance His kingdom. How do you justify writing secular fiction?”

I had an answer, as it was a question (in a different form) I had struggled through and came to a conclusion when it was clear I would finish writing Worlds Collide. I was knee deep in Bible College and deeply convicted that I was not qualified to write a faith system that involved another world and our own. Christ came to save sinners in *our* world, how would you take a fictional setting that takes place in both our world and another planet and place the gospel in it without being disrespectful? I chose for that storyline that I would not address the issue at all.

This topic of being a believer and an artist who is not creating traditional Christian art is one I’ve been thinking over alot. Some have convictions that if you are a believer, your work of fiction should have a clear gospel presentation. And if that is your conviction- write your story that way and make it the best story you can. Unfortunately, so often those stories have the gospel jammed in to make it appear as an after thought and the entire structure and quality of the overall story shatters around it. Who are you going to reach with a shattered story? The only people who will read those stories and take it serious are other believers. AKA- ‘preaching to the choir.’

I came across this quote that stunned me in it’s simplicity and I believe really gets this point across:

“God didn’t print Bible verses on flower petals. The beauty of those petals points to God without an explicit declaration of the plan of salvation. So it is with the art that Christians make. The beauty their art embodies points to God, even if John 3:16 isn’t written on the canvas.” Source

What makes One Realm Beyond exceptional is Donita K Paul’s use of bringing her faith and belief and the church into her writing, without spelling it out for the reader. I am almost finished reading Charity Bishop’s Thornwicke and she also does an amazing job of showing faith without a step by step gospel presentation.

To finish up, I think the Christian artist/writer should have their faith and belief shine through their work. Write the best story you can write, paint the best picture you can. Give God glory by being the best artist you can be.

A Finished Tale

I like this layout much better. While I had liked the old one, it just didn’t seem to fit. The drawing in the header was done by my friend for my second book, it’s still one of my favorite of her sketches. I’d link to her if she had an online presence.

Last week I finished editing and sent off to a few friends my short story. This is so different from my novels, it is the first story I have ever finished that when I was done I was done. I have no desire to continue the story. So very strange for me.

Now real life has come washing back in, it is time to start tackling the goals and projects needed to be done for 2014.

Completely unrelated, this made me laugh.  Maybe because one of those projects that needed to get done was switching over my health insurance. Fortunately, that task is finished.