I Surprised Myself

During January (and a little bit of February) I did something I haven’t done in quite a while. As part of getting reading to write book #2, I re-read “Jak and the Scarlet Thread.”  I didn’t expect this, but I had a hard time putting it down because I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.

You may be thinking the same thing my daughter thought. She said, “Dad, but you wrote the book.” I know, however, it’s been so long since I’ve read it cover-to-cover that I honestly couldn’t remember every twist and turn of the story.  That was a nice surprise, because I never thought I’d be able to enjoy my own story like that.

I also took a lot of notes as I am in the character-building phase  for February. Some of the notes were more detail-oriented, for example, what is the name of  Jak’s aunt and what does she smell like? While other notes were about character characteristics, for example, Jak thinks of Tess as the ‘queen of ………’ (I’ll let you figure that one out).

I need to make sure the characters I’ve already created stay in their characters, plus the new characters need to fit with the already established overall plot of the series.

Next step is to organize it all and get ready to dive back into writing. Not much month left in February.

Story Structure: Done

I finished the story structure this week for Jak Book #2. That’s been on my mind for a long time, and I think I finally figured it out. Whew. We’ll see what ends up getting changed along the way. Now, I can move on to the next step, which will be fleshing out the characters some more.

To do that, I’m going to start by re-reading “Jak and the Scarlet Thread.” I know I wrote the book, but it’s been a while since I’ve been up close and personal with it. I need a refresher 🙂 I read the first couple of chapters today and I was amazed at how many tidbits I picked up that I need to carry forward into book 2.

December Progress + January Goals

I made some good progress in December. It’s been interesting sifting through the book of Job and thinking through what Job and his friends may have looked and sounded like, and then inserting Jak into the story as seamlessly as possible. I like it. Not quite done with that, but enough progress that it’s time to put it aside for now and move on to the next step.

The next step is for me to lay out the story structure. Some of this is already done, so I’m going to assemble what I have and put it together. This is kind of like putting a puzzle together, except when I see missing pieces, I have to create them. My goal is to have this done by the end of January. If you look on the left sidebar of my website, you will see a progress bar. That tracks progress for Book #2. I just started using it, so I’m sore how accurate it is yet, but it at least will help push me forward as well as give you an idea of how things are going.

Happy New Year!

Jak #2 Update from November

Well, I didn’t quite hit my goal of writing 30 minutes a day for November BUT I did make progress, so that’s good. It’s been interesting because I was planning on starting off the next “Jak” book with Jak meeting Job. However, the more research I did, the more I realized I had to change my plan.

Job has been a tricky book to date, and some say it was probably one of the first events that took place after Genesis 1-9. So it made sense to start book #2 with Job. However, as I was reading through Job again, this passage stuck out to me:

“Oh, that my word were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron stylus and lead they were engraved in the rock forever!” Job 19:23

Iron is mentioned 5 times in Job. This may not seem like a big deal, but iron has not always been a metal that people were able to use because iron ore has to be extracted out of rock through a process called “smelting.” When people first discovered this process and began to use iron, it was such a precious metal that it was 8 times more valuable than gold. The reason this is significant to me is that iron wasn’t used that much until at least 1500 BC. So to have Job mention it five times means it was a part of his life – I can’t put Job in the story until sometime around 1500 BC. Abram appeared on the scene about 2100 BC, which means Job needs to come after Abram. I love digging into this!

Ok, that’s it for now. My goal for December is to finish writing the Job sections of Jak. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

Book 2

November is NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, where writers of all stripes commit themselves to knocking out a novel in a month. I have never participated in this grand endeavor, and frankly, the years since publishing “Jak and the Scarlet Thread” have been full of several challenges which made writing difficult. HOWEVER, I am in a new season in life, and I am ready to pick up the challenge.

I am regularly asked by readers of when book #2 is going to come out. Though I can’t give you a definite answer, I can say this: during NaNoWriMo, I am committing myself to writing at least 30 minutes a day toward the second book in the “Jak and the Scarlet Thread” series.  I’ll leave it at that for now, but plan on giving you updates and tidbits in the days to come.

The adventure continues!

What to do when your child won't stop reading.

We have four children ranging in age from 16 down to 6. The youngest just finished one of her first bigger chapter books a few minutes ago, so I am assuming she will go down the same path as her brothers.

The three older ones read non-stop, which sounds like a great situation, and it is; we are very grateful that they love to read. HOWEVER, there are times I have had to pull the plug. For example, fantasy is a great genre, it is the genre for my book “Jak and the Scarlet Thread.” But when my boys are reading only fantasy, I have told them they need to dive into a different genre such as biography or history for awhile. They need to throw some reality and wisdom from the experiences of actual people into their heads too, not to mention the fact that it can be great reading.

Plus, reading only fantasy is kind of like if you only eat ice cream. Eventually your tongue freezes and you can’t enjoy it as much as you did before. They haven’t always wanted to switch genres, but it has been good for them to cleanse their brain-palate. And I think their horizons have been enlarged in the process.

Do you ever have to tell your kids to stop reading?

Memorial Day Weekend with "Jak"

On Saturday my family and I headed up to northwestern Wisconsin to The Wilderness’ Memorial Day weekend where I was one of the speakers at family camp (www.wildernessfellowship.com). It used to be my grandfather’s farmland until it was converted to a Christian retreat center in the 1970’s.

I got to speak on Saturday afternoon (in between thunder storms) and then sell copies of “Jak and the Scarlet Thread.” I also offered downloads of “The Story of Cactus Ranch,” a 10-episode cowboy version of the book of Mark in an audio drama format. It was a hoot to write, act and produce!

Met a whole bunch of fantastic people like the Durocher Family, The Amazing Jeffo, and others. One mom told me that her 12-year old girl, who had just purchased “Jak” the day before, had a very difficult time getting to sleep because she couldn’t stop reading “Jak.”  The girl bounced up to my booth a little later and announced, “I love your book!”

Yay!

Nite Lite 5/22/12 "Ugly Pt 4, Wild Man Bill, Traitor"

 

Tonight we wrap up the story of “The Ugly Duckling,” and he runs into the most beautiful creatures he’s ever seen. Then Jack Pearson has a story/song for us called “Wild Man Bill.” After that, there’s a traitor in Israel’s midst.

 

Click here to go to tonight’s show.

Enjoy!

Nathan J. Anderson

Nite Lite is pajamas and the Bible mixed up with a half hour of music, adventure and laughter, all to help kids from 5 to 75 wind down and get ready to go to sleep (we all know the world is a better place when kids look forward to bedtime). In addition to streaming audio, Nite Lite airs on WHEM 91.3 FM ( www.whem.com) Sunday-Thursday nights at 7:30.

 

 

If you’d like to go on a fantasy adventure through the first nine chapters of the Bible, pick up a copy of my book, Jak and the Scarlet Thread. 12-year old Jak Hamelton gets thrown back to a particular garden paradise where he meets a man and a woman who get into trouble with a snake (sound familiar?). The comments coming back to me from kids, parents and ministry leaders are overwhelming and humbling. Would love to hear what you think!

Nite Lite 5/21/12 "Ugly Pt 3, Slime Monster & Rahab"

 

We are in part three of “The Ugly Duckling,” and tonight he meets a cat and a hen. Then we’re wrapping up Supernatural Fingerprints with a strange-looking slimy monster. After that, we find out what happened to Rahab.

 

Click here to go to tonight’s show.

Enjoy!

Nathan J. Anderson

Nite Lite is pajamas and the Bible mixed up with a half hour of music, adventure and laughter, all to help kids from 5 to 75 wind down and get ready to go to sleep (we all know the world is a better place when kids look forward to bedtime). In addition to streaming audio, Nite Lite airs on WHEM 91.3 FM ( www.whem.com) Sunday-Thursday nights at 7:30.

 

 

If you’d like to go on a fantasy adventure through the first nine chapters of the Bible, pick up a copy of my book, Jak and the Scarlet Thread. 12-year old Jak Hamelton gets thrown back to a particular garden paradise where he meets a man and a woman who get into trouble with a snake (sound familiar?). The comments coming back to me from kids, parents and ministry leaders are overwhelming and humbling. Would love to hear what you think!

Hungry for the deeper life.