A leap of faith… “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him…so shall your plans be established and succeed”. (Proverbs 16:3 AMP) In 2014, when he was in the 7th grade, I gave my son, Christian, a writing assignment for a fictional story as part of his Language Arts class. […]
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Posted by Amber Lea
For over a year now, I have had an idea for a story line in mind. It’s in regards to spiritual warfare and using the Armor of God. The trouble is that I have had little time to actually write these thoughts and ideas down. So during all this time, there have been so many different possibilities for characters and scenarios, each going in a different direction.
As a writer, this has caused a dilemma for me in that I now have so many paths to choose from for which story to write.
Last month, as I was finally winding down with finishing up a few mandatory projects, I began thinking about the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) event that begins each year in November. I have unofficially participated in the event for several years, but only reached the goal of 30,000 words once, which turned into a series of articles. But the practice and experience gained from the events was certainly worth the effect. It helped to sharpen both my thinking and writing skills.
As I considered participating this year, I was also thinking about isolated writers tend to be at times while busy working on their projects. I was also working at the time, helping a friend with a manuscript they were working on, and this sparked an idea that started keeping me awake at night and getting up 2 hours before the alarm clock went off.
What if a story outline was presented, and then readers and writers together created the details to tell the story? It would give the readers a say in what happens and what directions the characters take, while giving the writers the opportunity to hone their writing skills following the guidelines of the readers directions.
So I decided to create a website for the specific purpose of bringing readers and writers together, to participate in the creation of what I am calling a “Christian fantasy fiction” series, based on my outline. And I’m using the NaNoWriMo event as the model, with a goal of at least 50,000 words by the end of November. The website is simple and pretty easy to sign up for membership, and it’s absolutely free to join.
If you like to read or write fiction, I invite you to join me in this adventure of creating an outstanding series that will not only tell an amazing tale with lessons of enduring faith, but will also create bonds of friendship, and help and encouragement for writers of all levels.
For more information visit the website here.
I hope you join me on this journey, and please feel free to share. I look forward to getting to know you all better.
Posted by Amber Lea
It is always a joy to share a great book, and today I have the pleasure of introducing author R. Glenn Kelly and his book, “Sometimes I Cry in the Shower”. It is a story of a journey I promise you won’t soon forget. It is well written, informative, engaging, honest, and laced with tears, love, and laughter. Read some of the reviews here.
On to the interview…
Q: Give a little background of why you wrote your book.
A: After the tragic loss of my son Jonathan I refused to grieve, convinced that holding it back from others, and ultimately myself would allow me to survive the dark pain. However, the corrosive emotions enwrapped within grief soon began to take their toll emotionally until one morning the very spirit of Jonathan came to me in the shower. He wanted me to understand that I was not honoring him by living a life that carried on the legacy he left for me…to live, serve others and above all else, love unconditionally, something foreign to me before that hero came into my life for his short sixteen years. “Sometimes I Cry In The Shower” is my way of serving by targeting hope and healing towards men, who have so little in published materials targeted specifically at us.
Q: What direction do you want to take with your book?
A: Guided by the spirit of Jonathan, the book seems to be finding the path only he and I could hope for…serving grieving fathers. While I am using chapters and topics within the book to present at grief workshops and other venues, I am the most honored that an internationally renowned hospital specializing in pediatric cardiology has selected the book to be one item within their “Grief Basket”, which is delivered to parents six months after they have lost a child. If my publication continues down this path, it will serve the goal my late son and I have hoped for.
Q: Do you have any plans for more books in the future?
A: Yes. I am currently writing “Legacies I Left behind.” This book will be written from what I know and feel to be Jonathan’s perspective on how I should continue on with my life as a father recovering from grief. From the moments I held my son and experienced his last breath along with him, I felt an odd inner peace that would soon be overcome by the chaos and heartache that certainly came with the horrendous loss of my only child. Yet for a brief moment I felt as if the true Jon, his sprit, touched me and said “The journey begins now, Dad. I am right here and I love you.”
Q: What is the one thing that drives you more than anything else as an author?
A: Even after Jon came to me in the shower and told me to grieve, I had an inherent knowledge I would not seek professional help. I hope any man who goes through the unfortunate loss of a child or loved one will, it was certainly not in my manner to do so. I tried turning to publications meant for men who grieve and found almost nothing. Sometimes I Cry, and the following books are my way of taking the clinical research, as well as life experiences of myself and other typical males, and using them to serve others who may be sadly beginning the journey I am now on. Sometimes it takes the admonishments of a child’s spirit and legacies, and other times it takes a hand that silently reaches out to say “it is going to be okay”.
Q: What advice would you give to new authors, or those considering becoming one?
A: Do it. Write it. Regardless of the topic, fiction or non-fiction, let it out to the world if you feel it. One of my favorite, heartfelt quotes comes from Dr. Wayne Dyer who said, “Don’t die with your music still inside”.
Q: If you could share a particular message with your readers, what would it be?
A: We are all humans and we all feel emotions. Emotions are as much a part of our systemic needs as breathing air and drinking water. Those emotions flow through us like a river that must flow out to the ocean. Men have a tendency to dam up that river, usually at the heart, where we feel we might expose ourselves as weak and unmanly. This already causes the waters to flood backwards a bit and destroy a small amount of our natural flora and fauna. We might function well through normal life that way, but when the enormous emotions of grief from a loss flow towards the dam, the waters build and build, flooding out and destroying so much of who we are subconsciously, where our morality and self-worth reside. And when the dam finally breaks, and it will, those flood waters will burst forward and destroy so much life and love on the other side. Relationships, careers, friends and so much more. It has to be let out…It must be recognized and controlled! Do not continue to make the dam stronger when the grief comes. It cannot be held back forever.
Q: Any additional comments?
A: I have been absolutely humbled by the response and review of women who have read “Sometimes I Cry In The Shower”. While I initially intended the publications to be for men, I am finding female readers who say they too are finding hope and healing throughout the book. I could ask for no greater gift than to know all can use my discoveries to journey towards wholeness and healing. We will never be completely healed from the loss of a loved one, and personally there are parts of me I do not want healed. My son was woven into the very fabric of my life and to this day I have dark corners where I want to escape to, roll up in a fetal position and make the world just go away, if only for a short time. Yet, actively walking towards wholeness and healing soon brings the realization that those dark corners are getting fewer and farther apart.
Sometimes I Cry in the Shower is available on Amazon here .
About the author:
R. Glenn Kelly, grieving and healing father of Jonathan Taylor Kelly, has written professionally throughout his adult life. He has composed many informative articles published within trade periodicals in various industries and authored numerous award-winning responses to federal government solicitations in the defense industry, as well. With graphic arts as another passion, R. Glenn has also designed attractive print media ads and marketing materials for numerous companies along the way. An avid public speaker, he is just as much at home talking to an audience as he is conversing with friends over dinner.
To find out more, or to contact R. Glenn directly, please visit grievingmen.com, where you are invited to share or join in discussions related to the journey of all men who have suffered loss. R. Glenn is available for speaking engagements or grief workshop participation.
Contact R. Glenn Kelly at:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/RGlennKelly/
Twitter – @RGlennKelly
**Mr. Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me! I wish you much success and joy in this and future endeavors. May God richly bless you always. – Amber