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May 29, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/29/2006 12:01:00 AM

If you ever ride bareback alone in the mountains, and you discover a man chained in a deep ravine...

Leave him there.


Don’t even look back.

I’m talking about the newly released novel, THE HIDDEN, by Kathryn Mackel (WestBow Press). Occasionally, I pick up a book that is difficult to put down. But, this little treat took a hold of me as few ever have.

THE HIDDEN is about Susan Stone, a Harvard educated psychiatrist, who is still reeling from the tragic loss of her son. She returns home to help care for her father’s horse ranch, while the cantankerous old man’s bones mend following a fall from his horse.

But the ranch was no haven of pleasant childhood memories. It was a place of tragic loss and painful relationships. In the mountains, Susan discovers a young man at the bottom of a deep abyss, chained, alone in the darkness.

Add to the mix a grizzly discovery of charred bodies, demonic forces and the love/hate relationships of a dysfunctional family and you have the stage set for a gripping thriller.

Kathryn Mackel has also authored the novels THE SURROGATE, and THE DEPARTED. She is an acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter for Disney and Fox and was on the screenwriting team for Left Behind: The Movie and Frank Peretti’s Hangman’s Curse.

Visit her website to see everything else she’s up to

Buy her book today, at Amazon.com

May 28, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/28/2006 05:57:00 AM

Have a Blessed Memorial Day

May 26, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/26/2006 08:14:00 AM

It’s Friday, so it’s time for another


You know how it works

Give this a caption
May 25, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/25/2006 10:00:00 AM
Billy was an example of someone whose needs were huge. It was unrealistic for me to expect him to overcome his dysfunctions overnight.

“So..., why did you use Billy as an example? His life wasn’t changed...”

“Thank you, disembodied voice; you make a most excellent point, as always. But you are wrong. Albeit on the most basic of levels, Billy began a relationship with God. And my point is that it took a dozen minor victories to get him there.”

Freedom is like this....

Imagine a man with a heavy iron ball chained to his ankle. He is free to move about within the limit of his shackles. To venture beyond his circle of freedom, he must lift and carry the ball.

People are like that. The greater the emotional trauma, the more difficult it is for them to be set free. Someone less battered by this fallen-world may have no tether at all.

Jesus accepts each of us, the way He finds us, warts and all. The Holy Spirit begins the process of renewing our minds. Over time, God reveals our hearts to us, like peeling an onion, one layer at a time.

God’s truth tears down the false perceptions created by our pasts. Once out of the box, truth alters our reality. All life changes are won, one step at a time.

The cool thing is we can do this through fiction. Today’s point might seem minor, but in reality, it’s huge.

My goal, as a ministry minded writer is to help my readers move their own iron-ball forward. The mental images we create in our fiction are a powerful delivery system for life-changing truth.

I’ve discovered simple keys to unlocking some of life’s greatest emotional strongholds. I intend to share some of these silver bullets with you over the next week or two.

We will pick up this topic again soon.

Next week I want to highlight some books I’ve been reading.

May 24, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/24/2006 11:50:00 AM
“Billy tried to kill himself. H-he drank a bottle of ammonia.”

“Is he ok?”

“He survived, but his throat, stomach and sinuses are badly inflamed.”

“What happened? Why did he do it? He was doing so well.”

“He got kicked out of school..., again.”

That told me everything I needed to know. Billy had been kicked out of every school in the county, twice. The principal only let him return this third time, if I agreed to work with him.

If Billy’s mother knew who his father was, she wasn’t saying. In her atheistic, feminist mind, he had no need for a father on earth or in Heaven. He’d been robbed of the basic building blocks of life that every child needs.

I’d like to say that I was able to change this kid’s life forever, but I couldn’t. His dysfunctions were too deeply rooted. He was never able to look beyond the pain of his life without a dad, to see the Heavenly Father’s hands outstretched to him.

For a couple hours each week, I played the role of father, mentor and friend. But I could never fill his missing dad’s shoes. He prayed the sinner’s prayer, but I never saw the spark of new life.

All that was years ago, and his life since then has spiraled ever downward. Someone told me they saw him in an orange jumpsuit, in shackles, being frog-stepped down the courthouse halls. It was crushing news, but I was not surprised.

He’s in God’s capable hands now. We never scored a touchdown, but we moved the ball forward. Someday, the Holy Spirit will cause the seeds I planted to spring to life. Even in prison, God can shape events to move Billy ever closer to salvation.

More tomorrow...
May 23, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/23/2006 07:15:00 AM
K. Jimmy shared this quote with me in regards to the youth I work with. I thought it was too good to keep to myself.

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Anais Nin
May 22, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/22/2006 12:33:00 PM
This youth group was supposed to be a temporary assignment. But those old fires are reigniting in me. My heart is breaking too, all over again. I don’t know where all this is leading, but I’m having fun.
May 19, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/19/2006 01:33:00 PM





May 18, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/18/2006 02:41:00 AM
Forgiving Solomon Long, by Chris Well, was one of my all-time favorite reads of this past year.

Yesterday, Brandilyn Collins conducted pt-1 of a Q&A with Chris Well, where she allowed her blog readers to supply the questions.

I was so pleased to see him address my question about his novel production process on his blog.

After you read this amazing chronicling of his novel writing process, be sure to check out his newest book, Deliver Us From Evelyn. Watch for my review, coming soon.
May 17, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/17/2006 10:36:00 AM
How many times do you hit the space bar after each sentence?  If your answer is one, then today’s rant is your chance to gloat.  But if like me, your answer is two, then take two aspirin before reading on.  

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Ok, here we go.  

On 02/01/06, I came across this at faith*in*fiction.  

“Just use one space after closing punctuation. I know the rule used to be two, but that was a formatting tip relevant to typewriters. Computer word processors don't have the same limitations. I don't know anybody who still wants two spaces between sentences.”

I was DOOMED!  Every sentence I’ve ever written has that extra space behind it.  

“Stupid, stupid, stupid” I said, pounding my head on the keyboard.

“I know dear” my wife comforted me.

I needed chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.

It was too much. I had to walk away from it for a few months.  But this last weekend I started the tedious process of removing those extra spaces..., one by one. (the exorcism didn’t work)

As of yesterday, I’ve subjugated almost 10,000 of those evil little beasts.  I had to take today off to allow my eyes to uncross, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

I used to have interns to do these kinds of things.  Man, retirement sucks.

May 14, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/14/2006 10:44:00 PM
Back in the day, we in Campus Life (YFC) had a ministry tool affectionately known as the electric chair. The concept was simple. A battery, an automotive ignition coil and a button wired up to a chair or stool. Kids would take turns shocking themselves and each other for giggles.

Sadly, in the eighties, YFC-USA, outlawed the electric chair. Darn lawyers ruin everything. Turkeys!

The other day I got to yearning for the old times, so I put on my old REZ LP and stuck my tongue in the light socket. As I lay there, soaking in a puddle of drool, it came to me. I know a way to bring back the electric chair and improve the skills of writers everywhere.

Ok, here’s my idea. Every agent or acquisitions editor would purchase an electric chair (from me) to use on writers who submit a stinky MS. If a first time author submits an 188,000 word count MS (like mine), they get zapped! Improper syntax? You get the picture.

Even nice guys like Dave Long might be willing to participate for the sake of bettering the craft. I know, I know, you picture yourself with smoke pouring out your ears, while Miss Snark leans on the button. I say, no guts, no glory.

Not only would it improve the skills of writer’s, but it would also alleviate the repressed rage in publishing houses everywhere.

So what do you think? Am I on to something?
May 12, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/12/2006 12:01:00 AM






give this?


*** If you’ve been following the continuing saga at Michelle Archer’s Blog, she's posted parts 17 & 18d19 . 20 & 21 22 ..23 ...

May 10, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/10/2006 08:50:00 AM
My dad told me this one.

“Oh no, you didn’t just say that!”

Shocked, the man could only stare at his wife. “Baby doll, honey butt, sugar lips, what did I do now?”

Infuriated, she locked herself in the bathroom. “Mama was right, you’ll never comprehend a woman’s needs. Get out and don’t come back until you understand why I feel the way I feel!”

“Honey booboo, let’s not spend our honeymoon fighting.”

She answered with the sound of crashing of glass. He hurried out of their ocean-front bungalow and started down the beach. After a few miles, he saw something golden, half buried in the sand. It was an ancient oil lamp. Excited, he washed it clean in the ocean and then dried it on his shirt. Suddenly, the lamp started to vibrate, smoke billowed and a genie appeared from thin air.

“I am the genie of the lamp. You are permitted one wish. I can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, or give you a harem. But alas, there are limits to what I can do. I cannot grant what is impossible, or force love where it does not already exist.”

“Hey, I thought I’d get three wishes!”

“That is my cousin, Siam. I am but a humble genie. Please make your wish.”

The man thought for a moment. “Cause time to go back two hours, to before my wife got angry with me.”

“Forgive me master, but time travel is impossible. Please, choose again.”

The man scratched his head as he thought. Then his face lit up. “I know. We came here to Hawaii on a jet, but I hate flying. I get seasick too, so I hate boats also. I want you to build a bridge from California to Hawaii!”

The genie’s eyes widened like dinner plates. “Alas, you know not what you ask. I am but a humble genie. This task is impossible! The ocean is very deep. It would need to hold up against hurricanes and tsunamis. The distance is so great that there would need to be hotels, gas stations and rest stops along the way. Master, you must make another wish!”

Frustrated, the man scratched his head as he thought long and hard. Then a smile came to his lips. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Genie, I want you to make me so that I understand women. Why do they do the things they do, think the way they think and feel the way they feel?”

The genie’s jaw dropped open, and he stood speechless for a slow count to ten before he answered. “So would that be four or six lanes?”

May 09, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/09/2006 03:24:00 PM
Yesterday was Dee Stuart’s turn over at the Master’s Artist. What she said really moved me.

I encourage you to read it here.
May 08, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/08/2006 06:09:00 AM
Last Friday I asked for “bad puns” in response to a picture I posted of a bull getting revenge on a matador.

Writers have such fertile minds. I thought it would be fun to see what you came up with. I called it a contest, but there were no winners or losers. It was only intended as an outlet for our collective creativity.

But, someone emailed me privately, suggesting that the pic was “risky”. They never said they were offended, but were concerned for my reputation. If I offended any of you, then please forgive me. I never intended to be crass or vulgar.

I’ll try to be more sensitive in my picture selection in the future.

It’s hard to find uniqueness in the Christian-writer blogosphere. If anyone else does this already, I am unaware. Why not do it here?

I plan to run the contest as a regular Friday thing here at the Rant. Think of it as a creative challenge. We’ll see how it goes.
May 05, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/05/2006 06:33:00 AM
Pardon the gore... But, is the bull smiling?

Ok, I’m challenging YOU to fill my comments (rants) with clever puns.

Do you have a point to drive home?

Come on, gimmie your best shot...
May 04, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/04/2006 01:01:00 AM
Each day at sunrise and again at sunset, my youngest son Johnny (13) has been searching for Bambi. This morning he was rewarded with a doe with her little one munching grass in our yard.

He was so excited. I think he thought that Flower and the rest of the gang would also pop out of the woods. We do have our share of skunks, so I was relieved that Flower didn’t make an appearance.

My heart aches because of his autism and I wish he could talk, or even go to the toilet without help. I don’t know why he is the way he is, or why the Lord let it happen.

All I know is that Johnny is the most beautiful child in the world. I’ve been transformed by his sweetness, purity of heart and perfect joy. I love you son. You make me so proud.
May 01, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 5/01/2006 12:27:00 PM
Ever wonder how the Magi knew about the star announcing the birth of the Christ?

Was it really a star, or an Angel leading them?

Michelle Archer is a school teacher in Florida and one of my favorite emerging authors. Last month on her blog, she started a series that teaches early Hebrew culture through a fun, mystery-fiction story.

Each new segment adds interesting facts merged with exciting plot twists. This week she revealed evidence of when the actual birth of Christ was. I promise, it will shock you!

...I hope we find out what Donna's REALLY up to...

Read it for yourself:

Part 1 2 ,3 4 & 5. 6 7 & 8 9 & 10 11 - 16 ..17-18.. 19 .. 20 & 21