Gawk Reflex

The first time my grandmother saw the Grand Canyon, she cried. I can totally understand why now. I’ve heard about this gargantuan geological treasure my whole life, of course, but it wasn’t until recently that I saw it with own bewildered eyes. We were on a long, epic road trip through New Mexico and Arizona …

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Getting Unstuck (or why I started this business)

Okay, this is embarrassing to admit. I’ll just come out and say it. Nine years. That’s right, nine years. That’s how long it took me to write my novel Java Wake and get it published. I started it during a jet lag-induced, early morning writing session in April of 2006. Our family had just moved …

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Drudgery Schmudgery

When I was 22 and newly married, I worked as an essay grader for a standardized test that the State of Texas inflicted upon fourth graders. My job was to evaluate, on a scale from one to five, how well 10-year-old students across the state could describe a picture of an old time country store that …

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Forward Culture Shock

Culture is strong stuff. It’s always bearing down on us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We usually don’t realize its shaping effect on our lives until we visit another culture. There we experience “culture shock,” because the way they do things is not the way we do things. If we lived in …

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The Reward of His Sufferings

In the year 1700, a wealthy family in Germany gave birth to Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Though raised in a Christian stream of pietism, little Ludwig adopted the standards of the noble class he grew up with, becoming a spoiled nobleman unconcerned by the plight of his poor countrymen who served his estate. But once when he was 16 and visiting an art museum, he saw a painting of the

Why I Wrote This Book

I’m a desperate man. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I do think the way you and I sometimes feel about desperate people (avoid them) is way different than how Jesus feels about desperate people (they attract Him). I started writing this book out of desperate places in my own life, when my …

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The Popularity Contest

My kids started back to school this week, making me feel nostalgic. Some of that nostalgia is sweet, some not so much. I remember how desperate I was in junior high to get out of nerdom and into popularity, or at least semi-popularity. Here’s some context first. I grew up happily in a patch of soybean …

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The Power of Parable

“We’re all stories being written,” says Rob Williams, author of the young adult novel, “Thinkwave.” In this audio podcast, Mike O’Quin interviews Rob on why our hearts resonate with parables so much and why Jesus often conveyed timeless truths through everyday stories. Rob’s novel is a parable on the renewing of the mind, aimed at young …

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On The Process of Editing

Great, you’ve been writing hard and you’ve got some good content down. Problem is, it’s not good enough. Now the hard part. The grueling, editing, rewriting, getting brutal feedback, even more rewriting and polishing part. Mike O’Quin interviews his published author friends Eric Bryant and Rob Stennett on some encouragement to get to the finish …

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On The Process of Writing

In this audio podcast, Mike O’Quin interviews his author friends Eric Bryant and Rob Stennett on how they go about creating content for their articles, screenplays and books. They give a lot of helpful tidbits on how to carve out time to get into a creative flow. The books they mention in this conversation are Eric’s …

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