The Friday Muse – City of Flames

Yes, The Friday Muse was gone for a bit. I’ve been so busy with the publishing company that I haven’t made time to write. Well, yesterday I sat down and belted out a good 2900 words in a short story I am putting together for an upcoming anthology. It’s a little bit fantasy, a bit superhero-themed, and a whole lotta mysterious.

I’m called it City of Flames right now, and for the Muse today, I’m going to share the beginning of the story to give you a taste for what I’m working on. This is all rough draft stuff, but it’s definitely starting to take shape.

City of Flames

Against the black backdrop of a starless night, the flames rose high above the City of Rita, burning what was once the grand jewel of the Shershay province. Orange and yellow fire licked the sky and scattered its kin across the wooden buildings, burning them in rage and malice. It was a hot blaze, a holy blaze, one that melted almost every single object and person in the once great city.

Outside the city, sitting atop a dilapidated the wall that had once protected the precious items within, Terutus sat, watching everything burn. He wore a burlap cloak covered in scorch marks, the hood concealing his emotions and muffling the sounds of those dying within the fires. The screams of those he had once called friends and even family skated across the wind, like souls untethered from life and yet unable to move on to death.

The smell of burning flesh filled the air, and Terutus had to shove his nose into the inside of his hood and breathe deep of the burlap to stop from vomiting. Shortly after the blaze settled slightly, and the night sky had filled with smoke, Terutus turned his back on the city. He folded his hands beneath the baggy cloak and mumbled some prayers before climbing the ladder down the wall. When he reached the bottom, he felt the smooth Gladstone under his feet and couldn’t help but smile. The stones had been placed by someone a very long time ago, before the city had even been inhabited by Terutus and his people. It had a strange calming effect that some believed was the work of God Himself.

His smile was short-lived, as his face twisted into a grimace at the sound of the screams that echoed from the other side of the wall. Screams he knew he would never be able to silence. A cold wind blew across the empty expanse before him. Behind him, the wall was the only thing standing. Before him, a long and tumultuous valley – the Expanse – spread all the way to the western shore, at least ten miles from where he stood.

He huffed, tightened the hood around his oblong head, and started away from the city. His heart hurt, as if he were leaving behind a child whose umbilical cord had not been completely severed yet. The feeling forced him to turn and gaze on the wall once more. He had a morbid curiosity to see the remains of the city, but the black smoke billowing into the sky and the sickly scent of burnt flesh forced him to turn his back once and for all on Rita, and to leave on a journey he knew he would not return from.

Free Books

Many of you know that I run The Crossover Alliance – a publishing company specializing in blending real-world content with Christian fiction. Well, this week we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary as a publishing company, and today we are giving away our entire ebook catalog! Just head to our website – thecrossoveralliance.com – and grab any of the currently published titles from our catalog, zip through the checkout process, and they are yours to put on your digital readers. Easy cheesy. We’d love to get reviews from you as well when you’re finished reading our books.

The first two books in my Black Earth series are available in this celebration giveaway, so if you’ve been wanting to see what kind of fiction I write without the monetary obligation, head over and snag yourself some copies –

Black Earth: End of the Innocence
Black Earth: The Broken Daisy

Life’s ‘Little’ Distractions

I know I’ve been away from this blog for a bit now. I’m sorry about that. I meant to continue my Flash Fiction Fridays. I meant to raise discussion about my time in San Francisco and where I believe God is leading me. I meant to continue my writing projects – such as Red Crane. But as is the norm, life got in the way.

More specifically, The Crossover Alliance got in my way.

It was only a year ago that I registered an LLC, purchased a business license, and opened the doors of this online publishing company specializing in a ‘different kind’ of Christian fiction. A year later, the Crossover has adapted and evolved into a sum much greater than its parts. I never thought I would be able to run a publishing company – let alone start one. I was told at the beginning of all of this that I was crazy to think that we could publish six books in our first year, that I should drop that number to make things more manageable. Not saying that was bad advice, but I tend to have a desire to do the things people tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do. Before the end of this month, we will be eight books deep in only our first year.

With the busyness that running a business of this magnitude demands, I haven’t had Crossover Alliance Logo 2015 (C Edit White)much time to work on my own writing projects. Red Crane – my supernatural detective novella – has been on the backburner for months now. The third book in my Expired Reality series has been on the backburner for years now – that’s not really the Crossover’s fault, but the busy workload hasn’t helped. And I have a slew of other unfinished projects that need to be tended to – Salt & Lyte, Eternal Midnight, some post Black Earth stories, some more Expired Reality stories, and a host of unfinished NaNoWriMo pieces that have been sitting on my hard drive, crying out to be free from their prison.

I promise you folks, that I have been working on a very strict business and writing schedule that I will be implementing next week that will allow me to continue forward with the Crossover as we cross into our second year and also allow me to carve away at these stories I have been promising all of you.

ER EM Kindle Cover 2014Some of the exciting projects I am going to be working on over the course of the next year? Books 3 and 4 in my Black Earth series will be published through The Crossover Alliance. I will be (finally) finishing up the third novel to my Expired Reality series, and all three will be published through the Crossover next year. Red Crane should be done before the end of this year. I have a short story I’ll be working on for the Crossover’s upcoming short story anthology. And, of course, I want to work on all of the other unfinished projects. Salt & Lyte in particular needs to see the light of day soon.

And, starting next week, The Friday Muse will be back in action with all new writing snippets that I will be working on each week – flash fiction, character sketches, world-building, etc., etc. etc.

Thank you for hanging with me during the interims. It’s been a wild ride starting this company, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

A Bittersweet Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Tomorrow marks the eleven year anniversary of my marriage. These two anniversaries have created a very bittersweet atmosphere in my life at the moment.

This day last year, my grandfather took his own life. His death added to an already challenging season – one I still find myself in over a year later. Between our move back to Arizona from the Bay, to my grandfather’s death, to family turmoil, I have asked myself many times what I’m doing here. God’s hand has led me to this place in time, but why have I had to go through the heartache I have gone through? Why did we have to move from the Bay, away from my grandfather right before he died? Why did I have to move back here to a place of desolation and heat, a place where parts of my family have crumbled to pieces?

These are questions that I ask myself when I’m not being distracted by daily life, questions I plan to address and explore in later posts. God has reasons for everything, and even though I may not find out what some (or most) of those reasons are, it won’t stop me from asking the questions in an attempt to find the answers.

Today, though, I want to celebrate my grandfather. My best friend. I know in my spirit that he is in a better place now. Much better. His cancer, his ailments, are gone – healed. He is at peace. And I know he would want nothing more than peace for me and my family. He was my confidant, an old soul that spoke to me like no other could. I miss him, but I know I’ll see him again someday.

Cheers to you “Old Goat”, and to the legacy you left me.

The Friday Muse – Imprisoned

Today’s piece, Imprisoned, is derived from my desire to write something zombie related. I wrote this a little while ago and decided to dig it up for The Friday Muse. Looks like it might have potential to be a full-blown story. We’ll see…

Imprisoned
The smell is the first thing to hit me. Not light. Not the pain in many of my extremities. But the smell. A combination of rotting flesh and burnt wood. I’m not sure what is causing that smell, but I’m almost certain it is what has woken me from the darkness.

At first, I am not able to open my eyes. I reach my right hand up to my eyelids and find them coated in a sticky substance of which I am certain is blood. I lick my fingers and apply sputum to my sealed eyes. When the blood is wiped away, I try to open them again. Slowly. Flickers of light sneak in through the darkness. As soon as my eyes are opened wide, I see the debris around me: large chunks of cement, metal bars, and small pockets of fire here and there.

My arms and legs are spotted in blood. I am able to stand, but my left leg is sore. I wonder if the cement debris collapsed on me at some point. I realize I am in a very small room – a prison cell, indicative of the bars in front of me.

What am I doing in a prison? What caused this damage?

On the other side of my cell door is a mob of beings that look human but are shuffling around in various directions, as if they are brain dead and inattentive. They flood the open area between my cell and the others. We must be in a barracks of some sort. Each individual is clothed in rags that look shredded and torn from whatever caused this damage. Most are male, but there are a few females in the bunch. Only a few. The skin of these strange beings is whiter than snow, and they each have a black stripe down the center of their face.

I spot one of them staring at me from the center of the crowd. His eyes are glazed in a pearl white. He makes a clicking sound with his tongue and the others suddenly turn their attention toward me. All of the males, anyway. The females keep shuffling around, oblivious to the world around them.

The ones that have noticed me shuffle to my cell door, grab hold of the bars, and began pulling on them. They are not strong enough to destroy this protective cage I am in. I glance around me and find a large chunk of cement which I lift into my hand. I see a set of keys sticking out of the lock of my cell door. I quickly grab them to keep them away from these strangers.

The grim realization suddenly hits me: I either stay in here – protected from whatever these beings are, or I open my cell door and fight through them to get out of this place.

How long until hunger sets in? How long until help arrives? Is there anyone left in this place who hasn’t been turned into one of these things?

I shove the key back into the cell door…

Pushing The Boundaries Of Christian Fiction

I posted this article on The Crossover Alliance website last week, and I think it bears repeating as this is a serious issue in regards to how Christian fiction has been written and the (sometimes) unspoken rules that govern its place in the market. To be honest, this is exactly why The Crossover Alliance publishing company exists – to publish Christian content that falls outside the lines that the Christian publishing houses have established over the years.

When you’re a child, you break the rules to test the boundaries of what is or isn’t allowed. You push those boundaries little by little, sometimes with an exploratory attitude, to see where the boundary lines have been placed. This educates you in what is permitted and at what point restrictions are set to disallow you from going any further.

Most good parents explain to the child why the boundaries have been placed. You can’t play in the street because there are cars that move through it. You can’t write on the walls with permanent marker because it doesn’t come off. You can’t hit Jimmy in the face with a rock because Jimmy’s dad will come after mommy and daddy with a lawsuit if it happens again.

Depending on what boundaries are set, it also reveals the reason for the boundaries. Are the boundaries set to enforce rules and control, or is there a deeper meaning, a deeper heart to the matter? Sure, we don’t want Jimmy’s dad coming after us with a lawsuit, but isn’t one of the deeper meanings for why we tell our kid not to hit Jimmy in the face with a rock is because we don’t want him to hurt others or become a bully?

I think frequently about how Jesus rebuked the Pharisees. The Pharisees enforced rules that God set up. But while God set these rules up with a deeper meaning in mind – holiness, purity, and obedience – the Pharisees turned the rules into an itinerary of tasks to be accomplished for exclusive membership into God’s holy club. Jesus disbanded these ideals because they weren’t true to the nature of why God set these rules in place.

It reminds me much of the Christian publishing industry. There are rules set in place – some strict, some reasonable. But do we know why they are there or why we follow them? Many Christian authors simply follow them because they don’t want to be chastised by the Christian marketplace or other Christian authors. They feel like a minority because the majority has gone along with these rules for so long and have integrated them into the entire Christian fiction writing process.

No cursing.

No sex.

No violence.

No gambling.

No mentions of luck.

No divorce.

No inappropriate slang.

No aliens.

No magic.

No kidding.

The list goes on and on. Of course, common sense tells us that most of these are in place to prevent us from sinning. If I write a curse word, it’s the same as cursing. If we write about sex, it’s the same as engaging in sexual acts. If we write about gambling, we are…gambling? Wait…now that I wrote that out, I realize how ridiculous it sounds. I mean, just because I am recording an act of sin, does that mean I myself am sinning? More importantly, when I write out these things, am I causing others to sin?

Well, this is definitely something to think about.

Is the act of recording a sin, a sin itself? I mean, the Bible recorded many acts of sin. But why did the Bible do that? It’s supposed to be holy. It records acts of sin to show the need for a savior, right? Isn’t that the heart of the matter, to contrast our inability to remain pure and holy against a God who is consistently and perfectly pure and holy?

That begs the question, why would it be okay to break these rules of Christian publishing? Why would it be okay to write about sex and divorce and violence? Is it to revel in these things, or is it to reveal a deeper truth?

We all struggle with these things, with these ‘edgy’ topics. These things make up life in a broken world. So what good does it do to ignore them, to pretend they don’t exist in our ‘real’ worlds of fiction? So much of the Christian fiction publishing in major markets have one-dimensional characters who live in these strange utopias where sin doesn’t exist, and if it does, it has no real bite. It’s watered-down sin. And the struggles these poor characters endure are brushed over with a rose tint and packed neatly in a perfectly square box before being fed to the masses.

Businessman screaming in megaphone on laptop

And anyone who pushes against those boundaries, who tries to write against that grain, is systematically shut down, their voice silenced by a community of Pharisees who miss the true meaning, the real heart of Christian fiction: to reveal truth and to contrast true evil with true grace. These Pharisees are found in the Christian marketplace, which follows the strict set of rules and usually exiles those who have fiction that doesn’t adhere to the membership qualifications. But it’s also the Christian community itself which have bought the lie that this kind of content is detrimental to a Christian walk.

This kind of content is why we have a Christian walk. It’s the struggle against sin, which is why Christ died on the Cross.

Maybe it’s time to try our hand at pushing against the boundaries again. Push against them until they move closer to the heart of the matter. But how do we push against these boundaries?

By engaging in a different kind of Christian fiction.

The Crossover Alliance is here for three reasons:

1.)    To change the Christian publishing industry—drastically.

2.)    To rally around—and build a community of—authors and readers who want more from their Christian fiction

3.)    To reveal God’s truth through compelling, unhindered fiction.

No, this doesn’t mean we are pushing the boundaries just to push the boundaries. We’re pushing them to reveal to the rest of the industry, to the authors and readers, to the world, that Christian fiction can be more.

Winning Camp NaNoWriMo

So, I won Camp NaNoWriMo.

I think.

It’s hard to tell when it comes to the camp version of the National Novel Writing Month. It’s more lenient in its design. While NaNoWriMo is very rigid with its 50,000 word-in-a-month-no-editing-no-backtracking-no-previous-work goal, Camp NaNo lets you edit previously written manuscripts, set your own word count, and pretty much flex your writing muscle with self-imposed milestones.

I’ve only been participating in Camp NaNo for the last few years now, and each one that I do I end up using to work on a novel I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo. This year I decided to resurrect an 11-year-old manuscript that I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo 2005. Dark Horizons is supposed to be the third installment in my Expired Reality series, but this thing has been in limbo and through revisions so many times that I unintentionally gave up on it while I hashed out my Black Earth series.

Strangely enough, both series are connected, making writing Dark Horizons more difficult. The more I wrote of the Black Earth series, the more Dark Horizons changed (as it takes place well after the events of the Black Earth series), so revising is all I’ve been doing every time I look at it.

And Camp NaNoWriMo has been no exception.

The good thing is, my Black Earth series is set in stone (finished), and I now have a set outline to follow for the next couple books in the ER series. Camp NaNo was incredibly helpful this year as it forced me to write out an ‘official’ outline for the book, hash out some character backgrounds that connect to the Black Earth series, and actually make use of Scrivener – which I am finally using to write my manuscripts.

All in all, I consider it a win. I may not have hit a 50,000 word milestone, but I managed to resurrect and repair an 11-year-old manuscript.

Breaking The Rules

The first half of my life, I lived via conventional rules. The rules my parents set, the rules the church set, the rules society set. Most of these rules – I thought – were put in place to protect me, discipline me, and to teach me the right and ‘proper’ way to go.

But as I grew older, as I matured in my life and in my faith, I realized that some of these rules were arbitrary. Needless. Stumbling blocks to a full life.

Some, I realized, were put in place because the generation that came before put them in place. Because the generation before them and the generation before them put them in place.

Some, I realized, were put in place because of fear. Fear of what might happen if those rules weren’t put in place and adhered to. Safety rails, so to say. Guards.

And some…some were put in place to hinder. They were put in place to make sure I adhered to society or my family’s way of thinking, to the path that they wanted me to take.

Many rules seem to just be there, and most of the time people don’t question them. They don’t ask why those rules are there, they don’t ask who created the rules, or under what spirit the rules were created.

In my own life, I noticed that some of the rules regard my family and the way my family has always been. Some regard my thinking in terms of friendship and loyalty. Some regard my own personal boundaries, and the way I should be treated as opposed to the way people think I ought to be treated.

In general, most of these rules have to do with life and with living. They have to do with lifestyle, how we function in society, and how we function in groups such as friendship and family.

But there are a few rules I’ve come across that have to do specifically with writing. I write Christian fiction, and the amount of rules that govern this particular marketplace can be overwhelming. I was always taught that Christian fiction was supposed to be as holy as God Himself. No cursing, no sex, no violence, no horror, no science fiction, no magic, no superheroes, no this, no that, no everything, no anything…

What’s strange, is that breaking the rules of Christian fiction came naturally to me. I started writing a science fiction story about the end of the world that eventually turned into my Black Earth series. Aliens, demons, magic, science fiction, fantasy, sex, cursing, violence, time travel…all things that have been frowned on before in the Christian fiction marketplace. But I wrote about them because that’s what I wanted to write about. I took those things and fused them with my faith, and with what I know about God, and wrote the stories that came naturally to me.

My biggest fear (at the time) was what my own mother would think of what I had written. I didn’t really worry too much about the marketplace rules that were set into place to prevent ‘Christians’ like me from publishing fiction like this. I just wrote what I wrote because it came naturally to me, not thinking that the Christian fiction marketplace was penned in by a ten-foot tall fence topped with barbed wire, and anyone who wanted to venture beyond it would have to call their work ‘secular’ and would be exiled from the Christian community of writers.

It’s strange to think that breaking the rules – these rules in particular – would come naturally. Of course, we have a sinful nature that naturally wants to rebel against things we shouldn’t. But I think there’s good rebellion too, when we know things aren’t happening the way they should. That’s why revolutions are started. You feel that natural inclination that something isn’t right, that the rules are not right. That’s why industries are changed, that’s why new things and new ways of doing things are birthed. That’s when fences are taken down, that’s when boundaries are shifted.

A lot of the time, others created the rules, but it’s our fault for leaving them in place in our lives. Are there some rules in your own life you know should be broken? Do you ever question why they are there or who put them there? Maybe it’s time to do some housecleaning and ask yourself why these fences, these boundary lines, are where they are and tear down or push out the ones that don’t belong.

The Friday Muse – Dark Horizons

Well, I spent over four hours at the coffee shop last night working on my Camp NaNoWriMo Project. The third volume in my Expired Reality series – Dark Horizons – has been a draft for literally 11 years now. Yeah. Figured it was time to continue that series. And yes, I’m still working on Red Crane, but Dark Horizons is a much bigger project to finish, so most of my writing time will be spent working on it.

That being said, I’d like to share a few paragraphs from the novel so far. I would imagine very few of you have read any of my Expired Reality novels (or novella), but I can say this third volume seems to have a darker feel to it than the previous volumes. Probably because of all that has happened to my characters up to this point.

If you do want to check out the series, just visit my page and start with Endangered Memories (the first book in the series) or Drather’s Story (a novella prequel).

Here’s the very first paragraph of the book so far. It is from David Corbin’s point of view. He is the main protagonist of the series.

Winter snow had been falling for some time now, surrounding the Bridges Gap apartment complex in a blinding white blanket. Cold air seeping in through the open front door froze David Corbin’s soul in place, numbing him to the terrible events that had occurred over the last couple of days. He welcomed the chill, welcomed the shutdown of his emotions, his thoughts, his sense of things. It was all he could do to survive – to close himself out from the rest of the world while he attempted to regain his focus, much like a computer’s hard drive is rebooted to restart its convoluted programs.

There’s definitely a dark, cold tone to the novel here in the beginning. It picks up right where the end of the second book in the series, Lost Birth, leaves off. I don’t want to say what happens for fear of spoiling it for most of you, but needless to say, there’s definitely some heavy themes running through this series by this point.

Here’s a paragraph from the second chapter. This one is from the point of view of one of my other major characters, Veronica Amorou – best friend to David Corbin.

A flash of memory suddenly blinded her eyes, transporting her to the moments when Agent Parks pummeled her face with his fists. The sound of bone crunching echoed through her skull and she suddenly felt as if she was going to lose her balance. She steadied herself on the toilet, bracing her arms between the walls of the stall. Although she had never been one to fear much in her life, Veronica felt fear rise in her like raw sewage when she thought of Parks. He was evil – the very definition of it. His hands had made short work of her face, but Turquoise’s healing machine – restorator – had fixed most of it.

And here’s a paragraph from the third chapter. This one is from Carrie Green’s point of view. She is David’s love interest here in the beginning of the series, and she is also the second major protagonist.

Carrie stared at the strange black swirls forming on her arm and hoped with all of her heart that David would show up soon. They – the other wedges with her – called the strange substance rack matter. It was something planted inside her body back in the Complex that Alex ran, and it’s purpose was to tear her mind and soul apart. To destroy her from within, so Legion – some strange alien entity that was now here on Anaisha – could use her as its mindless puppet.

Fans of my Black Earth series will immediately recognize the reference to Legion. I’m keeping quiet about that for the moment.

Anyway, there’s a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on this week in regards to my writing projects. We’ll see how much more I can get done with this (and Red Crane) before next Friday’s Muse.

The Other Side

I hate seeing others give up on things. I don’t just mean giving up on a project or even a tough relationship. I mean giving up on the dreams that God gives a person.

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately in different circles on how most people never reach ‘the other side’. The other side being the end fulfillment of a promise God has given them.

The Israelites were promised the land of milk and honey, and a journey that should have taken them 11 days took them 40 years to accomplish. 11 days, and they wandered for 40 years. All because they didn’t trust God completely, because all they wanted to do was complain, because they just didn’t care to listen. They didn’t get that God was already doing so much in their lives, and they wanted the Promised Land without going through the discipline to obtain it.

I think there are a good percentage of us that are the same way. God gives us a promise, a dream, a goal in this life, and at first we go after it with such fervor. It’s a little like a new relationship, where the butterflies are in our stomach, where everything about the dream feels new and alive and exciting.

Then the fervor starts to die out, then the real commitment and the telltale signs of sacrifice start to make themselves visible, and in place of the excitement and the butterflies, panic takes up residence.

How did we get here? This isn’t where God said I’d be going. Then we mumble and complain. God lets circumstances build up to sandpaper our negative attributes from our personalities and the doubt from our faith, but we struggle against the discipline and only sink deeper into despair. God won’t come through on His promise, we think. We were mistaken, God wasn’t really promising us this or that. It was wishful thinking on our part. Just our imaginations at work.

Once our own self-doubt is set up, then the fun really starts. Certain individuals in our circle of friends and family rise up to show us the very folly of our ways. “God didn’t tell you that,” they say. “You were mistaken. Go back to your 9-5 job, go back to the man or woman who doesn’t love you, go back to the pitiful life you were living before God breathed life into your veins, breathed the impossible into your imagination.”

These haters, these naysayers, are usually those who were called to better roads but decided they didn’t want to get the hem of their gowns dirty with the terrain. It was too much work for them, too much discipline and dependence on God.

And to top it all off, the circumstances come in shortly after we’ve been berated by ourselves and our next of kin. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong, the very law of Murphy himself. A whirlwind of chaos spins us off our feet and drops us somewhere we don’t recognize, somewhere unfamiliar. We wonder if God is even awake up there in his heavenly realm, we wonder if we aren’t going just a little bit crazy thinking God would come through on the dreams and desires he placed within us.

Portrait of beautiful female teenager praying

We forget everything God promised us. We forget the whispers to our spirit. We forget the subtle signs, we forget the words that were spoken into our lives by the friends and family who are actually in tune with God’s nature. We forget all of the confirmation. We forget all of it and allow panic and doubt and fear to anchor our hearts and mind.

And that’s when most of us quit. We throw in the towel, we give up and go back to our humdrum lives, back to Egypt where we’d rather be in slavery eating the food of kings than die at the hands of Pharaoh’s army eating manna.

If we’re really listening at this point, we can hear God let out a great big sigh. A sigh of disappointment. We could have been so much more, we could have had so much more. So much more of Him, so much more of the dreams He had in store for us since before we were born.

Looking on those who gave up are those few who made it to the other side. Those who put their complete and utter faith in God and followed Him to the end of the road, and if required, off the cliff. How many of us have actually driven off the cliff (metaphorically of course) and found God’s hands along the edge waiting to catch us? Very few. The feeling is exhilarating indeed, but that’s not the point. The point is God will see us through. The Promised Land, our Promised Land, is the point where the dreams that are churning within us and the Godly fulfillment of those dreams and promises all collide with our reality .

I’m going to be one of those who makes it to the other side. It’s in view, out on the horizon, not too far now. There may be some broken bridges between here and there. There may be some dark skies. There may even be more pain and more sacrifice along the way. But these dreams – these promises – that God birthed within me are fueling me toward that finish line. I’ll see the fulfillment of them. I know I will.

And when I do, when I make it to the ‘other side’, I promise to send those who doubted me and/or God a postcard.

Are you chasing a dream? Don’t let anyone or anything (except God) stand in your way or prevent you from getting to the other side. When the chaos comes in to steal your peace, remember everything He told you in the quiet times.