Friday, December 14, 2007

An "Atta-Boy"

Excerpt from a new review of Light at the Edge of Darkness at Dancing Word Review.

"I like to pick up the occasional collection from time to time, to see if there are any exceptional writers coming up over the literary horizon.

* * *

I mentioned that I was looking for new talent. Three particular authors: Frank Creed, Andrea Graham, and Stephen L. Rice (whose Pratchett-like At the Mountains of Lunacy makes it worthwhile to purchase the entire collection) shine like beacons in this anthology. If you decide to borrow this book from a friend, make sure you read the last six short stories, because it looks like the editor really did save the best for last."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who Can Judge the Judge?

Romans 8:28

But, why does God allow bad things to happen? is a question that I have had to field ever since May ninth of 1998. There I was, traveling down a quiet Indiana county road, running errands while at the same time a little sports car in oncoming traffic attempted to pass a tractor-trailer and two cars. My first instinct was to veer onto the shoulder and cede my lane. Unfortunately, the other driver panicked and swerved in an attempt to leave the roadway also. According to the traffic analyst, the resulting head-on collision impacted at a minimum of 110/mph.

“The last time I saw a human body in that condition,” my father observed, “was during my two tours of duty in Vietnam.” My pelvis and left hip were shattered, my right hip dislocated, my right foot crushed, and my sacrum (the bone shared by the spine and the pelvis), broken. One laceration allowed me look through a closed eyelid, and another split my lower lip down to the chin. I, of course, was taken to the local hospital, but the magnitude of the injuries was so severe that I was Life-Lined to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. My limbs protruded at such grotesque angles that the paramedics had difficulty loading my body through the door of the helicopter.

The protective fail-safes that He designed into the human body amaze me. Mercifully, I have no recollection of the above events. As if my broken body wasn’t enough, I also sustained a closed-head injury.

In plain language, this means my head really is that thick—the alternative would have been a fractured skull! My concussed and swelling brain had nowhere to go and the pressure intensified within the brain pan.

After two weeks of living in a delusional dream-state, of which I have but a few bizarre memories, the doctors reached a prognosis: after eighteen months of intensive therapy I'd be able to, believe it or not, walk and feed myself again! The best-case scenario was a 60% recovery of my mental capacity. At the very moment this diagnosis was being communicated to my family, my pastor walked by, and entered my room. Amazingly for the first time in weeks, I was able to have a completely lucid conversation. I recall his visit and our closing in prayer, but no details. I fell asleep after he left and when I awoke next, I looked around and asked, "Why am I in the hospital?"

I do suffer from some short-term memory loss and other common closed-head injury symptoms, but despite the medical prognosis, my abilities to reason, communicate and conduct my affairs are seemingly as functional as they ever were! The feet of implanted surgical-steel chain links and screws that knit my hip and pelvis together are, I'm told, irreplaceable and have an expected useful life-span of twenty years. Without serious advances in medical technology, I’m likely doomed to a wheelchair in another dozen years. But I've come to learn that doctors don't know everything and they definitely do not excel at playing God.

I returned to my job at Subaru of Indiana Automotive in less than six-months, but I write this on a day when I am home from work because of the weather’s painful affect on my osteo-arthritis and bursitis. I'm severely challenged in my capacity as an autoworker.

Several times a year I’m asked the rhetorical question about why He allows events like these to occur. What good could come from so tragic a tale? Well, it seems that God had a bigger plan for me and He expedited many new and positive things in my life. Ever since youth I have enjoyed writing and I aspired to be a novelist. Four years prior to this accident, I began my fantasy novella, White Iron, but the story always seemed to meander and jam. For some reason, post-accident, everything flows! Furthermore, had the accident not occurred I'd have never met my wife and editor, Cynthia. And certainly, I’d not be launching my career as a novelist in 2006.

With the life span of my artificial body parts, He has forced my hand in finding gainful employment that does not rely on my physical abilities—beyond a twelfth grade education I am only self-educated and qualify for little white collar work. I really feel that He has moved my life along in this direction to urge me to invest the talents He has provided, to His glory.

In addition, I‘m not presumptuous enough to guess at how He has and will use my experience to affect those who have witnessed my healing. Eight years later, people still recall and refer to the event. I can only wonder at the number of people who have heard of my miracle, and how it has affected their own lives. I am merely called in faith to trust that His wisdom will glean the greater good from tragedy.

Whenever I hear skeptics scoff at Biblical answers to Why does He allow suffering? my soul smiles in sadness at their shortsightedness. In our terrestrial larval forms, who can judge the Judge?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Latest in Spec Christmas Issue

Our friends at Latest in Spec have a monthly newsletter devoted to the Christian speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror written from a Christian worldview) scene. Regular issues contain links to reviews, interviews, book signings and author events, book releases, blogs and websites, contests, etc.

However, this month they've outdone themselves! The Christmas issue is a beautiful listing of 2007 releases. Talk about a nice helper for Christmas present buying! Each featured novel is accompanied by a short summary, book cover and links for purchasing. Easy Peasy (yes, Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground is included, so I am biased :).

Check it out today!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

December Issue of the UNDERGROUND now available

Subscriber Polly Harris described the UNDERGROUND newsletter: "This is probably the best newsletter I've ever read."

The December 2007 issue of Frank Creed's free UNDERGROUND newsletter is now available.

Fiction contest every issue with publication of the top entries from September 07-September 08 in the year's Flashpoint fan fiction anthology.

Top three entries for the December o7 contest receive free manuscript evaluation services from The Finishers (critique/ substantive edit/ proofreading) for the short story entry.

What's in this issue?

Fiction Contest: New Year's Terror Alert!
Underground Member Spotlight: Karen McSpadden
Critique Corner: To ! or Not to !
News in Spec Fiction: Biz news from publisher TWCP -- "Speculative Fiction E-zines Feature"
Last Issue's Fiction Contest Winning Entry: "Bear Feat" by Stephen Rice
Casting Lots: Mike Roop talks about Role Playing Games
Frankly Speaking: Frank Creed discusses 21st Century BioEthics and Fiction

More information about the UNDERGROUND newsletter can be found at BOOKSOFTHEUNDERGROUND. COM including newsletter sign up -- it is easy (name and e-mail) and fast, oh yes, and free!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Light at the edge of Darkness: Day 7

Today, Light at the Edge of Darkness is being featured on Stormi D's blog: Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!

For the blog, Cynthia MacKinnon, editor of TWCP, wrote an article about the genesis of the anthology -- and check out Daniel I Weaver's book trailer, S.L. Newman of Associated Content refers to it in his article “The Best Book Trailers on YouTube.” The Light at the Edge of Darkness book trailer has what may well be the catchiest catch phrase of the millennium; it fits the feel of the genres it represents perfectly.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wow! Look What Jill Nelson Said!

Run on over and check out Stormi D's blog: Mystery, Suspense and God, Oh My!

She is hosting "The 12 Days of Christmas Books Extravaganza" where, for each of the first 12 days of December she features a different author.

Today, Day 3, she hosted Jill Elizabeth Nelson . . . and lo and behold, this is what Jill had to say:

In keeping with Stormi’s twelve days of Christmas theme, here are my top twelve reads of 2007 in no particular ranking order. Check them out.

Flashpoint by Frank Creed – An action-packed tale for anybody who’s hungered to read a superhero story from a Christian world view. This book will pique your imagination and stick with you long after you close the last page.

Wow! I am so honored Jill. Thank you, thank you.