I’m attending a writing conference this weekend. There’s a question that writers ask each other, especially when meeting someone new at a conference.
“What do you write?”
For some reason, despite the years of hearing this question, it still leaves me feeling like a deer in the headlights. Shouldn’t this be an easy question to answer? Oh, sure. If you’re only writing one thing!
It would be great just to say, “I write urban fantasy.” It would be so much more convenient just to say, “I write Christian devotionals.”
It’s kind of awkward to say, “I write paranormal urban fantasy and Christian devotionals.”
Of course, now that I write that out, I find myself grinning and thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that before? That’s a great answer!”
Publishing Projects Currently in the Works
Without further ado, here are the projects I’m currently working on:
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR NON-PENTECOSTALS (holyspiritfnp.com)
Aka “The Holy Spirit for Every-Day Christians”
An e-book series, with companion website containing downloadable bible studies and possibly a podcast. The content is in simple, approachable language and based on the premise that the Holy Spirit is central to our relationship with God and both accessible and essential to every Christian regardless of denomination or circumstance. The concept is to introduce the topic for those who haven’t looked into it for themselves and give them the basics while encouraging them towards further personal study.
I have a number of Christian sites/books along these lines in various stages of development:
SpiritLedLife.org – For “graduates” of the HolySpiritFNP.org site, folks who are starting their journey walking in the Spirit and want to know more about how this looks in daily life.
HowGodSpeaks.org – Profiles of supernatural encounters with God from the scriptures, from Christian history, and from modern-day life. With the scriptures as our ultimate measuring stick and guide, I hope to encourage people to see how God is speaking in their lives.
GodsWoW.org – “God’s Word on Words” is a book / site / bible study series on the topic of words. I believe that words are a powerful influence on our minds and hearts, and have experienced dramatic transformation in my life through understanding and applying biblical principles in this key area.
CHRISTIAN FANS OF SPECULATIVE FICTION (christianspecfic.com)
I am passionate about speculative fiction. I enjoy this form of story-telling more than any other and believe it is very compatible with the Christian worldview. I want to promote it to Christians and encourage Christian participation in this great entertainment arena.
This website (and companion Facebook and Twitter presence) is being designed as a place where fans flock. Where Christians who enjoy science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, urban fantasy, steampunk, and any number of other subgenres can come together and celebrate the stories they enjoy.
In theory, this site will strictly avoid doctrinal debates or a judgmental approach to entertainment content, but instead will provide a place to discuss TV, movies, comic books and other things we enjoy. It is a place for fans: If you love something, talk about it. Share why you like it. If you feel it’s not appropriate for Christians or feel uncomfortable watching or reading it, do not participate in the discussions. No bashing allowed, with strict moderating of comments and threads. It has yet to be seen if it is possible to maintain such a site as envisioned. I am ever the optimist.
WHAT IS SPECULATIVE FICTION? (whatisspecfic.com)
An educational site explaining that speculative fiction is the umbrella term for the many subgenres of science fiction and fantasy. It will give examples of several of the best-sellers in each genre and perhaps recommend some rising stars in current releases. I am passionate about raising awareness for this term and the overall genre, getting public attention and interest and opening the doors to new readers. There are so many fantastic subgenres that deserve attention and I think one of the best ways is to educate the public about this umbrella term.
CHRISTIAN MAMA (christianmama.com)
A blog where I can share ideas, resources and encouragement with other Christian moms. There are probably thousands of these blogs out there, but I still want to add my voice to the chorus. A special focus will be encouraging each woman to be a fierce protector of her family, in prayer and in how she partners with her husband (or other support team) and mentors her children. I am passionate in my belief that a woman has great power in Christ to influence her family and all those she comes into contact with. I want to see women awakened to this potential.
CHRISTIAN MEANING OF NAMES (christianmeaningofnames.com)
This site started years ago as an ad-revenue site and is much neglected. Yet underneath the neglect is good information and a project dear to my heart. Unlike most sites offering the meaning of a name, this one focuses on names from the bible and Christian history. Besides the literal meaning and name variations, it also provides links to the scriptures where the name is found and a summary of the story of each biblical person’s life. People seem to find it inspiring, and I love hearing the comments of people who share about naming their own children, and what the names mean to them personally.
I need to give this site a facelift and get a regular publishing schedule going to flesh out the content. Eventually, once there are at least 52 (or 365) entries, I may compile them into a book. I’d like to offer personalized gift items featuring the names and their meanings, as well. There are few things as life-shaping as one’s own name, and it can be a great blessing to receive a gift that reminds us of the meaning of it.
PARANORMAL / URBAN FANTASY FICTION SERIES
This series is written for a dramatically different reading audience than any of my other work, so it will be under a pseudonym for easy searching purposes. Folks in my speculative fiction writing circles will probably hear about it, but for purposes of my blog here, it’s just a fringe project you won’t hear much about.
WRITERZ WRITE (writerzwrite.com)
A website with companion Facebook and Twitter presence to provide frequent (daily or perhaps tri-weekly) encouragement for writers. There are other sites out there, but I believe there’s room for my spin on it. This site is purely visual graphics with inspiring quotes or writing prompts, all geared specifically towards reinforcing the message “Just write! Keep writing!”
INSPIRING NATURAL BEAUTY (inspiringnaturalbeauty.com)
I have tens of thousands of photographs I’ve personally taken. Many are beautiful photos of nature: landscapes, wildlife, flowers. As a blogger and web publisher, I am always looking for free resources for my online projects. This is my way to give back to the community. This site will offer photos already sized for online use, free to download, tagged and categorized by what’s in the photo for easy searching.
Where To Next?
I’d like to say that the reason none of these projects are finished is because I’m working so hard on all of them that no single one is complete. But the truth is, I have worked very little on any of these. Other important things in my life (such as my web design business or the choice to homeschool my kids) have taken precedence and, I admit, so many things of personal enjoyment (chatting with my Facebook community, reading others’ blogs and books, relaxing with a good movie or TV series) have also come first.
Last year, I declared here that my focus was shifting, that my writing and publishing efforts would take center stage away from my web design business. I followed through on that. I turned away new clients right and left, and by the end of the year I had wrapped up the last of the projects I’d committed to during the first quarter. In November, I committed to NaNoWriMo and I won! 50,000 words in 22 days (I took 8 days at the beginning just to figure out what I was going to write).
This year, I have been stepping into a great online speculative fiction community and honing my plans, wrapping my brain around some different publishing options available now in the wild world of new publishing. The year is nearly half gone. I hope that by the end of the year, I will have launched at least ONE of these projects into the world!