Sunday, October 12, 2014

Why I'm Fighting Demons...and you should be too!

My life-long love of literature doesn't seem to be hereditary. I have a child who likes to read, and three children who will read a few things. But none of them seem to have the deep-seated need to curl up with a good book the way I always have.

So, when they DO pick up a book, I'm always anxious to ensure that they're reading something that's beneficial, edifying and challenging.

Have you seen what passes for youth literature these days?

Years after I was legally and obviously an adult, I still visited the youth sections at the library, finding new treasures and revisiting old ones.  But over the last 15 years or so, it's grown very difficult to find anything worth reading on those shelves. I want to pin-point the start to shortly after the Harry Potter series was released, but I honestly don't know where it all began.  Somewhere along the way, the idea of the supernatural became something not only to capitalize on, but something writers decided needed to be conveyed as desirable.  Something to aspire to.  Something to yearn for.


I grew up reading Frank Peretti books. While fiction, they at least accurately conveyed the seriousness of the supernatural.  Demons, vampires, witches, ghosts, demigods. The mystical, the metaphysical, the paranormal.  The Bible makes it clear that there is more out there that we cannot perceive. There is an 'otherwordly' realm in which real things happen that affect us.  But it also makes it clear that those things are not to be taken lightly. That what is out there is deeply and deadly serious.

I was more than thrilled to discover Brock Eastman's 'Howlsage'.  Not only a book that my non-bookworms were excited to read, but a book that puts the supernatural in the correct light.  That uses the fictional to teach the Biblical in a way that both appeals to and excites young readers.

Mr. Eastman's 'Howlsage' was written to be the first in a series.  Shortly after publication, though, the company that published it got out of the fiction business.  So 'Blizzardsage' and 'Crimsonsage' (parts 2 and 3 of the series) were put on indefinite hold.

I'm SO excited to announce that the 'Sages of Darkness' series is about to be a reality.  Brock Eastman has put together an awesome Kickstarter to fund publication of the entire series.  He's about $1000 away from his goal right now, and no one wants this to succeed more than I do ('s possible he does!)

Are you sick and tired of the glamorizing of evil? Do you wish you could find something exciting and relevant for your kids to read? Do you want to be a part of bringing some sanity and reality back to youth literature? Do you want access to more books that even reluctant readers enjoy?

Go check out the Kickstarter for 'Sages of Darkness', chip in what you can, and pass this along to everyone you know.  We have less than 72 hours, but I know if everybody tries, we can definitely help get this Kickstarter above and beyond the minimum. Help fund the series! Help #FightaDemon!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

My heart's true home

There aren't adequate words to describe the way I feel as I drive the final 2 hours into Colorado Springs.  It's like coming home, every single time.  The mountains were hiding today behind dark rain clouds, so my first glimpse of them was only minutes before we hit the east edge of town.  Despite the drizzle that accompanied us for the last 90 minutes or so, I still had to stop every 30 minutes or so to take a few (awful quality, because I forgot my camera and had to use my iPad) pictures.  Pictures that don't do justice to the broad open plains, the rolling hills, the sky that stretches up forever.

No matter the weather when I make the drive, there's always that moment when the landscape stretches out before me and I have to choke back the tears of happiness.  I love this land.  There's something about Colorado that speaks to my soul in a way no other place does.  I've traveled fairly extensively.  I've found beauty in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.  Even Louisiana, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas have some amazing features.  And my original home - New Mexico - has some wonders that take my breath away.

But Colorado is different somehow.  Being here lightens my soul, swells my heart and I feel closer to the Creator than any other place on earth.  I find it difficult to drive when I'm here, because all I want to do is stare out the window.  Or better yet, stop, and get out of the car and just BE in the midst of this.

Pictures (even good ones from a decent camera) don't do this land justice.  You have to be here to really experience the amazing way the sky goes up so very high.  And how the horizon stretches so very far. 

The trip from Indiana brings us across I-70 through the Kansas plains into Colorado.  About an hour in, we cut down US24 to drop down into Colorado Springs from the northeast.  US24 winds and dips and crests through 60 miles of ranch land and a few tiny towns.  Despite the ups and downs - which are sometimes so gradual you might not notice them but for the sudden downshifting of the engine as it tries to compensate for the grade and keep to the cruise control-set speed - much of the land around you seems to be nearly-flat grassland.  Very few trees at all, and most of those are planted as windbreaks.  Then you notice a hill here...a draw there...the shadow of a small plateau far to the southeast.

Then... There they are.  You crest a hill, and the Rocky Mountains rise up to meet you.  Beckoning.

Hello Mountains!
Today they were cloaked in shadow from the dissipating storm for the longest time.  We were only 15 minutes out when they finally peeked out from the cloud cover.  And just like that, I'm home again.