Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where's the Fire?

This morning, after my workout, I put my veggie sausage in its little skillet to start cooking. I always put it on before the eggs, because it takes longer to cook. This morning, however, I wasn't paying attention, or I was still too caught up in the morning's activities. When I turned on the egg skillet, I still didn't notice anything was wrong. However, when I put a slice of bread in the toaster, that's when it came to me. My sausage wasn't cooking. I had put it into the skillet, but I'd forgotten to turn on the stove. I remedied that by turning up the heat higher than I normally do.

It made me think, though. Just putting the sausage in the skillet won't cook it. You have to turn on the fire. Church is like that, too. You can go to church all you like, and sit there, and listen, maybe even sing, but unless you have the fire of the Holy Spirit living in you, you just aren't cookin'. Check your heart. See if you have the fire turned on. If not, it's so easy to get turned on to the real power of the Universe. Just ask Yeshua (Jesus) to come into your heart. Then you'll be cookin' for real, and not just sitting there thinking you're on fire when you aren't.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Writing small

Have you ever written an ultra-short story? I hadn't either, until I discovered the Micro-Fiction Contest held at Residential Aliens. It's quite different from writing a novel, or even a regular short story, which usually run anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 words. In Micr0-Fiction (at least as done by Residential Aliens), your word count limit is 100, not including the title and byline. Talk about writing tight! If you're interested in a quick challenge, give Micro-Fiction a try! The top ten entries will be published in the October issue of the RA site, and the top two will win e-books by Donna Sunblad.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control---

...namely, a thunderstorm, we did not draw a name from the hat yesterday. We will draw one tomorrow, so you have until I check the blog tomorrow to enter to win ALL THE VOICES OF THE WIND.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Interview with Donald James Parker

First, I’d like to thank Donald James Parker for agreeing to be interviewed today! Donald is giving away a copy of his book, so if you'd like to be entered in the drawing, please check the end of the interview for more details. You can visit Don's website for more information!

HC: What first gave you the idea of writing All The Voices of the Wind?

DJP: In September of 2006 I awoke one morning at two o'clock. Partially asleep, I had the feeling that I had experienced a dream or else heard a small still voice tell me to write a book about evolution, a topic I knew almost nothing about. In the morning when I awoke fully, the experience was still vivid in my memory banks. I took it to the Lord in prayer and got a confirmation. So my wheels started churning. If God really was talking to me, I needed to take action. So I started the research (about a month afterward). Within a short time I saw that evolution was certainly a hot topic, and also that there was no way I could write a non-fiction book about it. I think every story has to have a love subplot, so that is where I started. God just seemed to give me the book as I typed, so I never really had much of idea of how the book was going to end up. I didn’t even have a title for it until it was quite a ways along. I prayed about that and came up with All the Voices of the Wind, not understanding at the time the relevance of the wind with the question of evolution. ("Inherit the Wind").

HC: Ah, yes, the story of the Scopes trial.
I love the cover art! I thought it was right on target. I liked how it was love that drew the Hero, Jeremy Masterson, into questioning his belief system. I also liked the relationship between the characters, especially Jeremy, his Dad, and Maria. How much of this is based on personal experience?

DJP: I am jazzed you like the cover. I chose to do a custom photograph to capture the tug of war concept between father and girlfriend. It looks pretty unappealing to me next to all the slick covers I see coming out on most books these days. But I still believe what is between the covers is the most important element. There was basically no personal experience involved in the characters on the surface, but Jeremy is an extension of me, though I never had any of what he has growing up. Maria is my dream girl formulated in my teens and refined over the years.

HC: I can tell that a lot of research went into your book. How long did it take you from the first glimmer of an idea to the finished product?

DJP: Just like a baby – about nine months. I read about fifteen non-fiction books to acquire the knowledge I needed to present the scientific material the kids discuss and use for testimony.

HC: I see that this is book three in a series about the Masterson family. What are the titles of your other books?

DJP: I wrote a novel 27 years ago called The Bulldog Compact. It is about basketball, setting goals and working to achieve those goals, and moral choices. It was never published, but I scanned a copy into the computer, preserving my chances of publishing someday. After finishing Voices, I decided that my hero from BD could be Maria’s father and a series was born. That is book one and is almost ready to send to a publisher. Book two, More Than Dust in the Wind, will be about Maria’s youth and the introduction to evolution, but I have not even started that yet. Book 4, All the Stillness of the Wind, is done and awaiting my decision on where to publish it. Book 5, All the Fury of the Wind is about 70% complete. I will be entering that manuscript in Jerry Jenkin’s Operation First Novel contest -- if I can finish in the next couple of weeks.

HC: We'll be praying with you for that! When will your other books be available?

DJP: Two might be out before Christmas, but I might hold these and wait for a traditional publisher. I was really in a hurry to publish Voices because of the material and the culture war going on, so I self-published. I don’t feel that urgency with these books, so I’m waiting for God’s timing and direction. If there are any agents/publishers who feel God's tug to get involved with my writing, our operators are standing by to take your calls.

HC: The evolution versus intelligent design debate continues to rage in schools across the country. Why do you think the school boards are so adamantly against teaching both sides of the issue?

DJP: Truthfully, I don’t think it is really a schoolboard issue. Several schoolboards have been burned by judicial decisions in Ohio , Kansas , Georgia , Washington , and Pennsylvania . The courts have made it clear that evolution is protected from any challenge because religious overtones are involved even if no reference is made to God as the designer. I think at some point the Supreme Court is going to get involved. My book also highlights this issue and leaves the reader pondering what the future holds. Is evolution a factor in the great tribulation?

HC: Good point. It certainly could be. What do you say to the skeptics who insist that, since there’s no God, macro-evolution must be the source of all origins?

DJP: First of all prove to me that there is no God. They can’t do it. They'd say prove to me there is a God. I can't do it but I can point to the incredible world around us and say, this is evidence of my God. I think my book addresses this issue fairly well. If the God of the Bible does not exist, then some other super intelligence has created us. There is no way complex and intelligent life developed via the methods Charles Darwin proposed.

HC: Did you see the news recently of the discovery of two skulls in Africa , one of which was on the “evolutionary tree” after the other, in the same strata of earth? (Homo habilis and homo erectus.)

DJP: Yes.

HC: I thought it was amusing how the evolutionists scrambled to say something like “perhaps, instead of a tree, human evolution is more like a bush with scrubby branches.”
The latest article from the International Herald Tribune, is here. Bless their hearts, their faith just really won’t be shaken. I wish Christians were as faithful as evolutionary humanists.
What do you think of these latest findings?

DJP: The evolutionists always have a spin on things and make use of assumptions that prove that they are right. Anything they find is always pro[c]claimed to be the missing link which will prove human evolution once and for all. Frankly, I don't pay much attention to these findings because they are all speculative.

HC: To quote a Friend of mine, "Wisdom is justified of her children." Logic has nothing to do with it. As this debate rages on, what are your plans to aid the cause of intelligent design?

DJP: Two of the other books in my series involve evolution heavily. One other touches on it as my hero studies religion with that same fervor he studied evolution. I plan on writing one in the future which leaves out the religious aspect and just focuses on the plight of scientists who speak out against Darwinism and the cloak and dagger stories of those who are working undercover.

HC: I remember a real-life case of a professor a couple of decades ago who discovered evidence of the creation of matter in microcosm in all the rocks he studied. He was blacklisted, even though his discovery did not conflict with the Big Bang theory. However, since he is a Christian, and they knew it, they used that as an excuse to ruin his career. You would have a good basis for writing a novel on the trouble scientists who believe in Intelligent Design are having.

DJP: I’m not sure this will happen. When I leave God out of the story, my writing seems to suffer. I need a Holy Ghost writer. I also am making plans to develop a 45 minute talk on evolution that can be presented in a church service. If Voices could be made into a movie, I'd really like to take that route. Videos have become a great method for educating and motivating people. I think Voices would be an excellent flic for bringing the argument to the masses. Speaking of movies, I'll be writing a guest column at once a month on the topic of films.

HC: Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your book, and agreeing to appear on my blog! May God bless you as you continue to write for Him!

To enter to win a copy of All the Voices of the Wind, you can leave a comment here, on Hope Chastain, writer's blog, or send an e-mail to me, hope_chastain [at] As usual, removed the spaces and replace [at] with @.

And the Winner Is-----

Don. I'll forward your address to Margaret!