/************** REMOVE THIS TO UNHIDE THE BLOGGER NAVBAR **************** **/ #b-navbar {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none} /** *************************************************************************
June 30, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/30/2006 06:03:00 AM
You write the caption
posted by David Meigs at 6/30/2006 12:01:00 AM
It seems that the whole world is talking about WAKING LAZARUS. I encourage you to visit the links below and read what everyone else has to say.

Mike Duran at Decompose
It's Real Life
Kittens Come From Eggs
Mimie's Pixie Corner
Musings from the Windowsill
Bonnie Writes
Christian Book Previews
Collected Miscellany
Gospel Fiction
Refreshment in Refuge
Scrambled Dregs
Learning Curve
A Christian Worldview of Fiction
See Ya On the Net
Just A Minute
Scraps of Me
Christy's Book Blog
Reading, Writing, and...What Else is There?

Be sure to drop by Tony's website. He’s chronicled his journey to publication and I think you’ll find it to be fascinating. I know I have.

I wish you the best of luck Tony, both with WAKING LAZARUS and next year with VALLEY OF SHADOW.

Don’t forget us little guys!
June 29, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/29/2006 12:49:00 PM
Jude Allman died three times and it messed with his head... BIG TIME! Hey, if YOU woke up in a morgue three times wearing nothing but a toe tag, you’d be quirky too.

He was hounded day and night by a throng of inquiring minds who wanted to know the answer to what lies on the “other side”. Poor Jude had no choice. He changed his name, moved to Montana, boarded up the windows and hid from the world... and “them” too.

I’m talking about WAKING LAZARUS, by T. L. Hines (Bethany House). It won’t hit the shelves for a week, but in my mind, it’s already destined to be a bestseller. Be sure to fasten your seatbelt before opening the cover. It’s going to be a wild ride.

I admit that I was skeptical when I heard the premise for this book. The old “Guy comes back from the dead with special powers–thing” has been done again, and again. But T. L. Hines surprised me with a book that sets itself apart. This is no re-mix of old ideas. WAKING LAZARUS handles the concept with exciting freshness.

The story is wrought with suspense and delightful creepiness...maybe a bit too creepy for the younger readers out there. But it also had its share of charm. The characters were rich in personality and their relationships are complex and intriguing. Jude’s relationship with his son melted my curmudgeonly heart.

There are so many scenes that I’m aching to share, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you. Congratulations to T. L. Hines, on a job well done.

WAKING LAZARUS has earned a special place on my bookshelf.

Order WAKING LAZARUS at Amazon.

Be sure to visit the author’s website.
June 28, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/28/2006 12:01:00 AM
I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut. They spend years in preparation, patiently crossing the days off the calendar. In the beginning, the days fly by, but that last week slows to a crawl. Then, when they start the countdown... Man, I’d forget to breathe.

With only one week before the launching of WAKING LAZARUS, it must be the same for T. L. Hines. Like the astronaut, Tony’s spent years getting to this point. Now comes the big payoff, the day every writer dreams of, the day they see their baby displayed in the bookstore.

Tony was kind enough to take some time out from all the last moment craziness to answer some questions. Hey, inquiring minds want to know. I think you will enjoy the interview.

David Meigs: Tony, I loved WAKING LAZARUS. The characters felt so real to me. Did you base any of them off of real people, or maybe even yourself?

T. L. Hines: I think there's a bit of the writer in any character. At least that's the case for me—there's something drawn from my own life in each and every main character. Sometimes it's purely me, and sometimes it's drawn from people I know. Here's an example: in WAKING LAZARUS, the name "Ron Gress" is actually a combination of two childhood friends (one whose first name was Ron, one whose last name was Gress). But it worked, because "Ron Gress" sounds a bit like "regress," which really represents what that character does in the book. So it worked.

David Meigs:
How did you come up with WAKING LAZARUS?

T. L. Hines:
A couple of things led to the idea for WAKING LAZARUS, both from my own life. When I was about five years old, I fell through the ice while icefishing with my uncle. Several years later, while attending the University of Montana, I worked as a janitor in the school's Chem/Pharm building, where I had to clean the cadaver storage room. My overactive imagination always imagined one of the cadavers sitting up. Those two images—a boy falling through the ice and drowning, and a cadaver sitting up in a morgue—converged and gave me the idea. What if there were a man, I wondered, who has died and returned to life several times? What might that mean? What might he be like?

David Meigs: What was your favorite scene or scenes in WAKING LAZARUS?

T. L. Hines: Hey, you're actually the first person to ask that. I suppose the politically correct thing to say is that it's too hard to pick out a favorite scene, and that readers will have their own favorite scenes, and blah, blah. But I think the most effective scenes, the most nail-biting scenes, are the ones that take place inside Kenneth Sohler's house. (I won't say more about them and ruin the book for anyone who hasn't read it. But those of you who have read it know what scenes I mean.) Actually, those scenes appear in the book almost exactly as I wrote them in the first draft—one of those rare instances where everything "clicked." I also like the POV scenes for the Hunter, just because it's fun to write about creepy guys.

David Meigs: Did you employ an outline or did you just follow your imagination?

T. L. Hines: A little of both. I love the thrill of "discovering" a story as I go along, but I also benefit from having an outline that keeps me on task. So here's what I've discovered works well for me. First, I write the story as a screenplay, which ends up being about 100 pages. That screenplay, in turn, becomes a detailed outline with key scenes and dialogue. I get to "discover" the story as I write the screenplay, then work from an outline and fill in details as I write the first draft of the novel.

David Meigs: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? Any advice for us aspiring authors?

T. L. Hines: As far as the book is concerned, I'm really very happy with it. There's nothing about it that makes me say, "Gee, if only this were different…" I was happy Dave Long, who acquired the book, stayed on board and edited it himself. He was fun to work with, and really had some great suggestions; I can tell you his input really helped the book.

I suppose I would change the worry, anxiety and stress I put myself through on this whole journey. Every so often, I've found myself getting so wrapped up in thoughts about the book, worrying about what else I can do to help it succeed. And my wife has been wonderful through it, saying, "You know what? God is in control of it all." I've needed to hear that again and again; unfortunately, it didn't stick the first 10 times she said it. So now, I'm trying to just let it all go and enjoy it. Getting nice reviews, and wonderful comments from people who have read advance copies, has been wonderful.

My advice to writers is to avoid the traps I've found myself falling into. Before I had a contract, I literally made myself sick with frustration: I wanted to be published, and made that an ultimate goal. One day, I sat down to pray—following more than 100 rejections—and let it go. I said to God, "I don't care if I ever get published. From now on, I'm just going to write because I enjoy it." Two weeks later, I had an email from Dave Long asking to look at my manuscript; a month after that I had a two book contract. Is that coincidence? I don't think so. As a Christian, don't turn the goal of publication into an idol; write because you love it. God will honor that.

David Meigs: Oh my, tell me about your next book.

T. L. Hines: There is. I'm working on it now, and Bethany House will release it Summer of 2007. It's tentatively called VALLEY OF SHADOW, and it's a supernatural thriller about a woman who hears her dead father speaking to her from the shadows. He tells her the spirits of the dead occupy the shadows of our world, and recruits her into a secret government network that works with the shadow operatives. But soon, she discovers the true nature of the shadows—and the true nature of what they want. As far as the woo-woo factor, it's probably a little more "out there" than WAKING LAZARUS. But it's more of a suspense tale, whereas I think WAKING LAZARUS is more of a mystery at heart.

Tony, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule. I wish you success beyond your wildest dreams. May God bless WAKING LAZARUS!

Be sure to visit Tony's website, or place your order now at Amazon.com

Tomorrow I’ll give you my take on WAKING LAZARUS, by T. L. Hines.

June 26, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/26/2006 10:10:00 AM
“Hmm, hmm, hmm...,strawberry fields forever”

Ok, I don’t remember the words to that catchy Beatles tune. Truth is, I don’t remember the words to any song, not even my own. It’s kind of depressing really, but it also gives me reason to smile.

When I go to my prayer closet and worship, I get to sing to the Lord a “new song”, well a “mostly new song” because I have to make up new words until I hit a part of the chorus I remember.

When the Lord healed me of my neurological disease, He didn’t restore my memory completely. I’ve lost all my memory verses, every worship song and so much more.

But I’m not complaining. I haven’t needed my walker or cane since Nov. 16, 2003. I have my life back. Praise God! So what if I have to make up new words for the songs?

The problem is I remember what it was like to remember. I used to be able to “wing things” from the seat of my pants, and do it well. I carried a heavy counseling schedule. I was always being asked to speak somewhere. It was so effortless. It was so fun.

“Lord, heal me the rest of the way.” I prayed like a broken record.

“My grace is sufficient for you.” He always answered back.

“But I could worship YOU better IF I could REMEMBER the words.”

“You know the words to Hallelujah.”

That shut me up. It’s the same word repeated over and over again. Now, nothing can stop me from making a “joyful noise” to the Lord.

It may not be like it used to be, but it seems to be more powerful somehow. Everything is filled with More power. Lives are being changed. It’s just that I can’t take any of the credit. It’s all the Lord now. His grace is sufficient for me.
June 23, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/23/2006 12:10:00 AM
You write the Caption!
June 21, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/21/2006 02:09:00 PM
It was a full moon and the smell of death hung in the air. Rock Starr doggedly pursued the murderer into his evil lair. One hand gripped his 45 auto and the other clutched his chest. He was having a heart attack, but he couldn’t stop. A little girl’s life hung in the balance.

“Please God; let me live long enough to put a bullet in that scum’s head. That’s all I as-k...”

His face twisted and he dropped his gun. It was as if God answered his prayer by dropping an elephant on his chest. His one good hand fumbled for his pills. They spilled!

He fell to the ground and groped in the moonlight until he scooped them up along with a handful of dirt. He placed a pill under his tongue. The nitro burned. He waited. Nothing. He took another. The elephant got off his chest. The second pill did it. He was going to live!

“Thank you God!” He said.

He was back on the trail.

It’s a good thing ol’ Rock didn’t have to take a third pill, because the instructions clearly state that after the third one, to call 911 and go directly to the hospital. Doctors get kind of pissy about not following their directions. I ought to know.

Anyway, I seem to need that second pill more and more these days. Every time I take it, it’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I guess it’s all good as long as I don’t have to take a third nitro, right?

But I should count my blessings. I’ve started going to the Healing Room because of it. Wow! Each visit is like being transported to Heaven.

They don’t even know me, but the words they get from God blow me away. They say that God is going to do something mighty.

Third pill or not, I’m excited.
June 19, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/19/2006 02:01:00 PM
Yesterday was Father’s Day and all five of my kids were home. We barbequed steaks over alder wood and enjoyed all the fixings. Tasty stuff.

Whenever all the boys get together, the competition goes wild. Naturally, there had to be a tug-of-war to determine who was the strongest.

Caleb (15) is now bigger than his Army sergeant, older brother. Their muscles flexed like ancient gladiators. It was a draw.

Naturally, I had to show the young punks who was boss. But, as I picked up the rope, Darla ran out of the house screaming.

“You’re going to have another heart attack! What are you thinking?”

“I’ll be fine!” I said, and threw the other end of the rope to Caleb. It was no contest. I yanked the 6 ft tall teenybopper across the line. He let me win.

Dave Jr. toed the line and I knew he wasn’t going to be so easy. He pulled like a wild jack ass. My eyes bulged and my heart pounded, but I finally dragged the Sarge across the line.

I smacked him across the back of his head.

“Ouch, what was that for?”

“You didn’t let me win! Caleb let me win. It’s Father’s Day. What were you thinking?”

The whole family chimed in as I fell against the hood of the car to catch my breath. I milked it for all it was worth.

“Yeah, you should have let Dad win! Caleb did.” they jeered. It was great.

The taunting followed him all the way into the house.

Ah, Father’s Day.
June 15, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/15/2006 08:47:00 AM
Today, I’m going in for ANOTHER echocardiogram. They’ve already determined that there was no permanent damage to my heart, so I wish they’d leave me alone. Don’t they know I’ve got books to write?

For the record, I know that I’m a pain in the butt, as patients go. It’s a duty really. The doctors are too arrogant. I see myself as God’s sandpaper. It’s my job to smooth off their rough edges.

It’s only fair, right? What goes around come around. What’s good for the goose, is good for the...well, you get the point.

So, I’ve been eating beans for a week. I’m going to make them choke through their paper masks and their eyes are going to water. It may be passive-aggressive, but we have to get our joy where we can find it.

Hey, they get to dress me in a gown that exposes my colossal derriere. (Note to self: wear yesterday’s undies) Then they will make me lie down on a cold table and shove fire hose up my... Wait a sec..., that was the colonoscopy.

It’s time for a little payback. After all, in the last ten years I’ve had cameras up my front, back, and down my throat (not the same camera), three MRI’s of my brain, four CT scans of my heart, one on my liver and so many ultra sounds, I can’t remember.

Ok, a pre-test diet of beans, no shower and wearing yesterday’s smelly undies, might seem like a lame attempt at payback, but it gives me a reason to smile. ... : )
June 14, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/14/2006 12:01:00 PM
Michel Archer’s continuing saga on Orientalisms in the Bible hit a new high this week. She’s been using fiction targeted at young adults to teach Jewish cultural truths that most of us have never heard before (goes double for me).

She’s up to installment # 23 where she shows how even the star constellations point prophetically to Jesus. Fascinating stuff. I encourage you all to read it for yourself.

Way to go Michel !
June 13, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/13/2006 03:14:00 AM
Last Sunday was the 50th anniversary of a church where I spent 5 years as Youth Pastor. I saw people I hadn’t seen in almost 12 years. Everyone’s hair was a little grayer; the youth of yesteryear now had children of their own. I even had the honor of conducting some of their weddings.

It was fun to play catch-up. Several of the kids went into fulltime ministry and unfortunately, a few seem to have wandered from the path. Some roads have a lot of turns in them. But God is not finished with them yet.

But when Chuck walked up to the mike and gave his testimony, it made my day. Forget that, it made my year. He told of how fifteen years ago, his daughters attending youth group changed the whole family.

It was a dark time in their lives. He’d hurt his back and could no longer work. Piece by piece, they lost everything. They were desperate for hope. The daughters would come to youth group, sick with worry, but would leave filled with hope.

After youth group, I’d go out to the parking lot to minister to their mom. Vera carried the world on her shoulders and I could see the terror in her eyes. We’d pray and the weight would lift off her shoulders. She’d soak up the living water like a sponge.

After several weeks of Vera’s coaxing, Chuck finally agreed to come in for a counseling appointment. The poor man could hardly make it into my office. It took some doing, but we got him seated. Since the accident, he’d not been able to sit without horrible pain. But to his surprise, the chair he sat on was almost comfortable.

The chair was one of a matched pair of custom made, antique leather-bound chairs. When he told me it was the first time he’d been comfortable, I knew Jesus would want him to have the chair. I gave it to him. It blew him away.

For the next hour, he and his wife poured out their heartaches. The man couldn’t support his family and there was no hope in sight. But that all changed after we bowed our heads in prayer. Dad was not only healed, but he also found Jesus!

Today, Chuck serves as an elder. I was so blessed to see the power of God at work in their lives. God is so good.

The trip down memory lane helped to bring my life into perspective. It was a blast working with kids. But that was then and this is now. I have a new first love, and it is writing. My passion for writing novels flows as deep as was the burden for youth used to burn in my heart.

I’m not sure when I’ll step down from my current position. I guess it will depend on when they can find a replacement. It’s been a blast, but the Lord has other things for me to do.

June 12, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/12/2006 12:06:00 PM
Thanks again to all of you who have prayed for my recovery, or left words of encouragement for me. It’s been two days since I’ve needed a nitro pill. But that’s not all the good news I have to share. I’ve got two big reasons to smile.

First, I was picked to share the role of the curmudgeonly “Wilbur Hucks” on Brandilyn Collins new blog project, based on her soon to be released novel VIOLET DAWN.

SCENES & BEANS, is the name of the blog operated by the Java Joint coffee house in the fictional town of Kanner Lake, Idaho. Those of us fortunate enough to be picked to participate will write blog entries for our characters.

Wilbur Hucks is a curmudgeon like me, so it should prove to be a whole lot of fun. Thank you Brandilyn!

My second bit of good news comes from last Sunday’s 50th anniversary celebration at a church where I used to work. While I served there as youth pastor, I got to lead over 100 kids to Christ.

But my greatest joy was in leading a whole family to Jesus. The dad, now one of the church elders, gave his testimony. I was so blessed, and you will be too.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about it.
June 09, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/09/2006 09:02:00 AM
It’s Bad Pun Friday
You know how it works
Think up a caption for this picture
posted by David Meigs at 6/09/2006 08:47:00 AM
Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. I am doing so much better now. I know that I have your prayers to thank for that.

I feel like a pin cushion, or a lab monkey, after all the tests. But the good news is that there appears to be no permanent damage to my heart, only the restricted artery that caused all this fun.

Last night I returned to my duties as the world’s oldest youth pastor. I did it from a chair, but it was so much fun. Those kids are so on fire for Jesus. I’ve said it before. There is something special about this generation. Every one of them feels the call of God on their life.

I’m going to post my “Bad Pun Contest” picture for the week. I hope it gives you a chuckle. It does for me. Gimmie your best shot.

I plan to rest for a few more days but I should be back to roaming the blogoshere by early next week.

God bless you all!
June 05, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/05/2006 11:19:00 AM
There is no way to say this without sounding dramatic, but here goes. Last Wednesday, I had another heart attack.

I was visiting ChristianWriters.com when I was hit with a wave of nausea and chest pain. I managed to send off a plea for prayer to Rulan and then everything went dim.

I’ll spare you the gory details, except to say that there doesn’t appear to be much, if any permanent damage. Time will tell.

My doctor warned me it was coming. I’ll give him that. For a couple months now, I’ve kept the nitro pills close at hand. It doesn’t seem to take much to bring on the angina.

Lucky for me, last week’s blogs were already written and uploaded. All I had to do was go online and click “publish” But even that felt like a lot. At least I’ve found a purpose for my laptop.

Yesterday, I got to go to church. When I walked through the door, I was hit by a wave of love and concern. I saw kids there who I’d never seen in church before. They came to find out if “Pastor Dave” was ok. It really blessed me.

Ten minutes into the service, it all hit Darla at once. She had been carrying such a heavy weight. She broke down and I held her tight as she released it to God. I love her so much.

I am taking the rest of this week off from blogging while I rebound. But I do plan to be back for Friday’s “Bad Pun Contest”. I enjoy your wacky comments so much.

Thank you for your prayers!
June 02, 2006
posted by David Meigs at 6/02/2006 01:06:00 AM
Yes, that's Preparation H

Think up
a caption???

Hit me with your best shot!