Hello From the Shadows

I keep finding myself another few months from my last blog post, wondering if I’m in an alternate universe where time mocks all my efforts to get back to writing.

How many of you have day jobs? You probably go through seasons where you’re understaffed, overworked and coming away with a paycheck that doesn’t reflect the energy/family time you’ve sacrificed to “fill in.”

Well, my season of overworking has been much like hitchhiking on a turtle. It keeps going and going at a painfully unproductive pace. I need a wormhole, friends.

However, the time I’ve had away from writing has blossomed with new ideas. I’m considering switching gears to enter the general market. My current genre of faith-based speculative fiction has been fulfilling, but it’s a genre so obscure that I’m not connecting with enough of a readership.

I want to write more real-world, living-this-hard-life themes while keeping the undeniable magic. I have ideas for fiction and one non-fiction.
Thank you all, for your patience and for sticking with me. In this fast-paced world where our attention spans are compared to that of goldfish, you guys are highly valued.

As a thank you—that I’m only alerting those reading my blog—I’m offering the kindle version of ILLUME for FREE, today only. So far, readers consider it my best work and the best of the series. If you’re a tactile person it’s also in paperback now, yay!

I’ll be back, taking you along on my research journey, soon! Happy Tuesday!

I’m Back With a Tour of the Mythic Kind

Hello, my friends! It’s been awhile, yes? I was busy getting #3 finished (due out November), thinking about reigniting the blog when someone from my clan of speculative fiction writers organized this tour. One of the most fascinating parts of writing speculative fiction (some with faith-based themes) is encountering fellow book lovers who ask, “fantasy (or science fiction, paranormal, etc) stories written by Christians? Can you do that? Is that a thing?”

You bet your parting-of-the-Red Sea it is.

C.O. Bonham is my guest today, talking about her short story contribution “Recalled.”

 

Rewriting “Recalled.”

My short story contribution to Mythic Orbit’s volume two has an interesting history.

The Left Behind craze was well underway before I ever decided to write a thing. But the series concluded while I was in high school. I had read it and loved it and we were doing an end times bible study in Sunday school.

Now for the sketchy part. I can not remember who said it. It may have been a person at my church, it might have been someone on TV or radio. I know that someone said, “Thanks to Left Behind clarifying Revelation, we can safely assume that Star Trek will never happen.” That is not an exact quote by the way.

Whoever said it, it instantly got my gears turning. “Recalled from the Red Planet was going to be an epic novel of the tribulation set on Mars. It would rival Left Behind’s number one best seller status, because everything is better on Mars.

I wrote three chapters. Three really bad chapters. Every line of Dialog was followed by, “he said.” Or worse, “he said excitedly.” Three chapters leading up to the Anti Christ arriving on Mars to take over the planet.

Right, as soon as I realized that he would never leave Earth, how this man (named Six in three different languages) could easily force Mars to come to him, I gave up. It sat on my computer for years. Survived a computer crash and a file purge, until 2017 when Travis Perry began accepting submissions for a Christian speculative fiction anthology called Mythic Orbits 2.

I was scrolling through my files looking for something to submit. I saw that old file. Opened it. Read it. Cringed. I thought, “this will never be a novel. But it could be a short story.”

I deleted a lot. Rewrote everything. Cut, added, and edited. Submitted.

Travis tore it in half. He wanted me to cut almost half the words. After I had already cut the plot to the bones. I didn’t think I could do it. I had already cut the love interest to two paragraphs. Then it hit me. This was not the same story I had started in high school. They were going back to Earth. And Once on Earth, it was just Left Behind all over again.

Love interest? Gone. Cleverly named Anti-Christ? Gone. Impassioned speeches? Ineffective in a world with one possible outcome. The return and triumph of Jesus Christ.

In the end, Revelation did not prevent Star Trek. It is the reason Star Trek failed.

C.O. Bonham is the pen name for a commonly misspelled first name. When she isn’t writing stories of her own she is busy reading stories by others. She loves stories of all sorts but really likes the ones that are weird, or outside the norm. A home school graduate with a degree in creative writing, her goal is to create stories that make people think, feel, and have fun.

Get Mythic Orbits 2016 HERE

Get Mythic Orbits Volume 2 HERE

What if We Were Duct Tape?

Last year, when I wasn’t as close to 40, I bought a satchel for my writing travels. Gray as a morning dove, it offered pockets for my laptop, manuscript and cell phone. It was young, beautiful and perfect.

The first strap broke in the Philly airport after enduring 6 hours of being overstuffed with books and that extra outfit for “just in case.” My blue travel purse was also inside–the one that didn’t have to be big enough to fit wipes, snacks and a good sized collection of Minion bandaids.

Thankfully, I had packed duct tape in case my Leeloo Dallas suspenders had an accident (because a writers conference for speculative fiction writers must have cosplay).satchel

By the time the strap on my blue purse broke, I was running on a lot of adrenaline and little sleep, so I don’t remember if it was during Tosca Lee’s or Thomas Locke’s class but I didn’t stress it too much–the purse was about a decade old.

It was when a second strap on my newer satchel broke that I began to look around me…was it during the paranormal panel?

What does this mean?

I laid the irreparable blue purse to rest back in the Villanova dorm room, then grabbed the bright orange duct tape and reinforced all four straps of my satchel. I figured I should be thankful for the duct tape than pout over the out-of-place patches of my dove-gray beauty.

Now that I’m home (a few breaths from 40) and shopping for a heavy duty yet attractive bag, I’m staring at Oksana Chusovitina on the TV screen. I see her solid form, her poise and most of all–the lack of fear in her eyes. She’s a 41-year-old Olympic Gymnast.

Wow. I smile and realize, of course–She’s duct tape.

She’s the sturdy bridge between the young and old, standing in front of the world and reminding us to quit underestimating ourselves. We may feel out of place, but like those of us who immerse ourselves in speculative thought, she simply asked, “What if?”