Finally Finished

Typical Pennsylvania winter weather – cold, sleet and/or snow; cloudy, threats of storms in the air. All told, it has been a rather mild winter, not like the ones I remember from years ago. It’s a good day to write.

The Marisol Deception is finally finished. For sure, this project was the longest I ever worked on. I started it in November of 2019 and it is now available through the typical outlets, but . . .

If you go to the Books and Resources page here, I’ll throw in free shipping on anything you order. Go for it!

So let’s get to what’s involved with finally finishing. This is my process. I’d love to hear yours. You can lay it out in the comments section below.

I do all my rough drafts on You can read them there. HP used to be a great community, a lot of nice, supportive people. The nice, supportive people remain (at least some of them), but HP has really dropped the ball. My chief complaint is even though I can still read others’ articles, the comment process has gotten to be too complicated and too time-consuming. Even though I still enjoy reading the articles, the social contact has dwindled for me. My primary purpose for posting on HubPages is to have an online backup. Enough said about that.

Contrary to what is usually recommended, I do a lot of editing as I go. I use two editors, ProWritingAid and Grammarly. I write a chapter on one, make the necessary corrections, then paste it into HP. Once there, I can use Grammarly as a double-check. I make whatever corrections needed, then paste it into a template to begin the final draft. Problem – the editors don’t catch everything, so . . .

Once the story is complete. I go back and reread from beginning to end, adding some here, taking some out there. I check for clarity, missing words, punctuation, organization, and whatever else needs fixed. Once I’m satisfied with the manuscript, I submit it and wait for my proof.

Here is where it gets really interesting. I’ve run it through two editors, reread it and made changes at least one more time before I do the final draft, then when I get the proof back, I go through it with a fine-tooth comb. When it’s in book form, the mistakes really show. I can’t believe there is still so much to correct. One more read, and hopefully, it’s ready to go.

When I’m finally satisfied with the project, it’s off to the printer, and ends up in somebody’s hands. I hope they’re happy with it. This process may not work for everybody, but it works for me. Now, I start the same thing over again with Black. I can already tell this will take me some time to finish. I have it scheduled for September. We’ll see how close I get.

Okay, so that’s it for another Wednesday. See you next week.



On Transfer of Power

At 12:00 noon today, January 20, 2021, there will be a transfer of power from the Trump administration to the Biden administration. We know what the last four years held. What we don’t know is what will the next four years hold? The bottom line is neither Trump nor Biden have charge over this nation. God is still in control, no matter what the circumstances seem to show. You may think things will improve. You may think things will worsen. Only God knows. In the end, it will all work out for His purposes, not ours as we move closer to Armageddon.

It’s all in The Marisol Deception. Although it’s a fictional account, it’s based on the prophecies of Revelation, and it’s now available (in ebook form) at Within a week yous hould be able to order from the website on the Books and Resources page. Over a year ago, before COVID, before the riots, before the national unrest, I conceived the story outline based on the biblical book of Revelation. It amazed me to see parts of the story actually happening in the news. These are exciting times as we watch Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.

Seeing the end-time approaching should sober us. Where do we stand in relation to the true King, Jesus Christ? The days will become more difficult as we see our freedoms being taken away one by one. Who else can we turn to but Christ? I could be wrong, but I doubt America will see another president after Joe Biden. The prophecies are being fulfilled at an astounding rate. The end is coming quickly.

For a more thorough explanation, get your copy of The Marisol Deception, or better yet, read the book of Revelation. I wish you the best in the new year under the “new” administration. Remember, the ultimate power comes from God.

See you next week!


Wrapping Up Marisol

Weather Report – cloudy, cold, rain. Enough said. I long for the warmth of the Arizona Desert. But then, I’d come face to face with Marisol’s minions from lightyears away as they search for Kinsley and Tony. I’m not about to take that risk. I just finished proofing the manuscript. A few minor changes and Marisol will be born – from my imagination to the written page in paperback and e-book. That means you can still preorder the book before its publication next week.

I’ll be glad to finally put Marisol behind me. I started the story in November of 2019 – 14 months ago. The plan was to have it out by September of 2020. Such are plans. I have never come across so many distractions and interruptions. As a pastor, the church keeps me busy and that’s my first priority, but anyway, that’s all behind me (I think). One last read and it should be good to go. In the meantime, my new project, Black, has been put on hold until The Marisol Deception is completed.

I don’t like distractions. I don’t like interruptions. But they do happen. Let’s talk about it a little bit. Do you have ongoing distractions or just one time big hits? Can you control your interruptions or are they beyond your control? When they come, how do you handle them? What do you do? Help me here. Let your words of wisdom fall in the comments below. We can all learn from each other. Until next week –


Suspense is What You Make It

I’m in suspense. I haven’t checked the weather channel yet. Do I need an umbrella? How about a snow shovel? A sweater or a heavy coat? Hey, this is Pennsylvania. They’re all possible at any given moment. Only time will tell. And so should it be with our writing – possibilities, but only time will tell. Throw in a twist here and there and mix thoroughly with suspense, and you have a good start for your tale. Let me give you some thoughts on suspense. What do you think? How do you build suspense? Let me know in the comments below.

1: Raise the Stakes

Two basic questions you need to answer are 1.) What does your protagonist want or need? 2.) Why does it matter? Let your character show your readers the answers to those questions? Although difficult to write at times, first person POV may be an excellent opportunity to allow your audience to see the goal through your character’s eyes.

2: Keep the End Zone Just Out of Reach

I love to watch football, but it irritates me when my team gets close to the goal line but fails to score. I feel all kinds of emotion from upset to anger to frustration. Isn’t that what fiction writing is about? To get your readers to react emotionally? Let them feel the “so close, but so far away” feeling that your character feels. Offer hope. Then take it away. Of course, we can overdo it. So slide in some minor victories along the way.

3: Throw in a Surprising Limitation.

Think the Nancy Kerrigan/Tanya Harding ordeal. Both were excellent skaters ready to compete against each other until the enemy crushed Nancy’s leg, eliminating her from competition. Her hopes were dashed, at least temporarily.

4: Raise the Fear Factor

Reveal what could happen should things not work out. Sometimes a quick detour into hypotheticals can be a way to scare your audience into sympathizing with the protagonist.

5: Morality and Cognitive Dissonance.

Give your protagonist a potential solution, but make it an unfavorable option. Could s/he accomplish the goal but at an exorbitant price? Maybe the death of a loved one? The demise of a marriage? Questions of morality can spellbind and hold your reader captive. I say, “Go for it!”

Well, gotta check the weather channel. Maybe we’re in for an ice storm. Enjoy your week whatever the weather brings, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!