Category Archives: Writing

Book 3 begins…The Ark of Faith

by Timothy W. Tron, Feb. 2022

In the crucible of time, a story is born that rises from the ashes of the fires of torture and anguish. It is within this bitter history that a spirit of faith, hope, and love are revealed; embodied in the true worshippers those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. Return with me, if you will, to those distant, ancient Alpine valleys to a place where God planted his word beginning with the Apostles of Christ. There, the Word of God was nurtured as if it lived within an incubator, growing, and enriching the lives of all that would come to possess it. From these people of the valleys, a movement of belief would arise that would span continents, and plant the seeds of the Reformation. But as with all things of great marvel, there are those who become equally jealous and bitter and seek to destroy what brings this joy.

Follow along as the saga continues as the characters you met in the previous two novels return to once again face trials and tribulations unequivocal to anything we have or will ever know. Rejoice with their momentary raptures, and find solace in seeing how they persevere through the darkest of times.

The rough draft cover of the 3rd book in the series of The Children of the Light.

I hope that you are blessed by this excerpt from Chapter 1, and please feel free to comment on what you think of the story’s beginning.

* * * * *

Lightning crackled in the foreboding sky above, illuminating the darkness in brief flashes of hellish light. His heart kept time as the crashes of thunder rolled across the earth, becoming one with his soul. As he ran up the mountain toward the flock, the tall summer grasses frothed like waves on a sea, their billows creating a feeling of dread. The harder he pushed, the more it seemed as if that distant point to which he strove moved farther away.

The light raced across the darkness as a demonic thread of light rippled like broken ice on winter pool when the foot treads upon its thin surface. A feeling of dread permeated the air like a thick fog. Once more, his eyes strained to see in that instant, up ahead, on the far side of the herd of sheep, stood a figure standing in a black cloak, its hood pulled forward so that the abyss within compelled one to look away for fear of being sucked within. The image silhouetted against the backdrop of the broken sky did not move. Jakob felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck, but he continued onward. Something inside him said to turn back, but he felt the urgency to reach his father’s flock before they were hurt. In the brief instant of imagery, he could see that the sheep had all lain down in preparation for the coming storm. Their natural instincts that God-given ability to sense danger, had already driven them to the ground.

Jakob raced onward, driven by something within to save them. Rain began to fall in sheets as the storm engulfed the peak around them. The wind pushed against him, taking his breath. Something was not right. His hand gripped the shepherd staff in his right hand and drove it into the earth, hoping to propel himself forward, but it only sank into the ground as if the soil had become soft like the winter snow.

Lightning pulsed once more.

His breath stuck within his throat as his heart seemed to stop. The dark being had now moved and stood between him and the sheep.

Another ripple screamed through the dark firmament, and once again, the creature had advanced at the moment, now standing but a few feet away. It did not breath, but yet, seemed to suck in the air around it, creating a vacuum of despair.

Jakob tried to scream, but his voice was blocked by his own heartbeat. Nothing moved. With every ounce of his being, he pulled the staff from the earth and tried to lift it to strike this thing, this evil that betrayed his mind, but it seemed frozen, one with the ground. Again, he thought within his own being, seeking an answer to escape. Then, in the deepest recesses of his mind, a voice began to permeate through the evil, “Use what you have been given, my son.”

Suddenly, from the seemingly broken tongue, a song began to illuminate all that had sought to extinguish hope. It began to bubble up from the farthest reaches of his young being until it reached his lips. There, it began to dance upon this tongue, and the melody started to sing forth. The lightning angrily flashed again as if driven by the being before him, its ire incensed by the sound.

Then without warning, there was a current of heat that tore through the night. Its river of fire split the very marrow of his small body. The last thing Jakob remembered was seeing the demon’s figure shadowed face become an abyss of rage, and then it was gone.

As darkness enveloped the mountain as an eerie calm came over him.

Jakob could see his body lying on the grass below as he hovered just above. He didn’t take notice that he was flying until he heard the distant voice of his brother, Jean Paul, crying out his name. Jakob could see his brother running up the slope toward his lifeless body in the driving rain, his tears becoming one with the water that fell from above. Jakob wanted to reach out to him, but as he remained aloft, he began to rise higher into the sky, watching the scene below, becoming more distant with each beat of the distant thunder.

Jean Paul picked up his brother’s body and began stumbling, at first in awkward strides, back down the mountain, toward their humble dwelling. As he progressed, his legs picked up momentum, and soon he was running at full speed. Jean Paul began praying as he ran. His brother’s voice drifted past Jakob in the air as his own spirit, and the prayer seemed to race one another for Heaven above. He wanted to answer, but the valley of space between him and Jean Paul seemed to grow. The entirety of the mountain beneath was within his view. The sheep enduring the storm huddled in mass upon the ground; meanwhile, Jakob continued running for what seemed an eternity back down the mountain, his voice echoing in Jakob’s ears, the storm raging around them both.

Nothing seemed to matter anymore.

To be continued….

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A New Year, A New Look

Announcing the revised edition of my first book, “Bruecke to Heaven,” now published on Amazon as “Bridge to Heaven.” The opportunity for some down time over the Christmas break afforded me the chance to make some changes, not only to the first book, but also revising the second book, “The Light in the Darkness.” To my amazement, or lack of paying attention, the first book never had a soft cover version on Amazon – that has been fixed.

1st book in the Children of the Light series.

Also, the second book needed a reformatting (i.e. reducing the font) and fixing some grammatical errors. All of which were revised and also republished over the break.

Needless to say, once all of that was finished, there was a feeling like of renewed inspiration.

Thus, the first few chapters of the third book in the series has begun. It has yet to be named, but when time allows, and editing of those said pages are completed, I’ll try to share excerpts for your review and comments.

If you would like to suggest a title for the third book, please do. I’m always open to suggestions, and of course inspiration from on high.

The link to the 1st book revised on Amazon is: Bridge to Heaven

The link to the 2nd book, the sequel, on Amazon is: The Light in the Darkness

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The Comforting Soul of the Barn Studio…

2013-01-03 21.17.25-1It pretty much started back when the late John W. Parsons said to me, “Do you have an out building you can practice in?”

J.W., we called him for short, was referring to me learning how to play the fiddle and that it would be best if I had somewhere to practice, lest I drive my wife crazy with the horrible sounds of a beginner fiddle player in the house.

“No,” I respectfully replied.

“Well, you better build one or you won’t be married long,” he said, and laughed before refocusing on where we had left off in our lesson that evening.

As a matter of fact, I had already begun adding onto the original section of barn I had built years before, unsure of how it might be used. I now had a reason to make part of the new addition somewhere I could get out of the weather and perhaps practice my newfound instrument. So with the purpose of creating a room to play music in, the studio in the barn began to take shape. I purchased ship-lapped poplar from Foster Rives, who had cut it from local lumber and planed it in his own sawmill just down the road from the farm. I installed it after putting up the walls, roof and outer shell of the barn, completing what would be a welcome retreat. Over time, the poplar becamed naturally aged to the golden hue it displays today. The wood stove came later, moved up from the old cabin, making the studio complete.

IMG_20140101_084557The cold rainy days when the farm work had to be put on hold, I would eagerly retreat to the studio. There I would build a fire in the woodstove and soon, the beautiful aromas of coffee brewing in the old percolator pot mixing with that of the hickory in the fire blending with the faint smells of the sweet hay in the hayloft just outside the studio door combined to make an ambiance that would start my creative juices flowing. There in the studio, I once more revisited old talents I had unintentionally left behind; starting to paint once again after years of leaving my paint brushes in the closet. It was here that I also rediscovered my writing, after years of leaving the pen lie dormant, with the occasional story that might rise to the surface, perculating like the coffee in the pot on top of the wood stove. And, of course, I would practice my fiddle, alone and away from ears that might be bothered by the slowly diminishing sour notes that had once been produced in abundance in my early days of learning.

Inside the upstairs room in the barn, strains of music wafted from the CD player. Songs were played according to the activity I was performing which accompanied my subconscious as I worked either on portraits, landscapes, stories for my book or just playing along on the fiddle. This was my home-away-from-home. Outside the windows, the world would present itself as the farm around me lived out its daily routine, regardless of the elements. As the rain pitter-pattered down, the cows might lie lazily underneath the cover of the trees that stood near the chicken coop. The chickens would cluck and crow, scratching the ground paying no mind to the nearby bovine neighbors as they walked about their runs, safe from the world and uncaring of the weather. Their only cares being that they might find a morsel of protein wiggling about in the dark earth.

Inside the comfort of the studio, I watched the seasons pass; winter, spring, summer and fall, safe from their temperature extremes, yet thankful that each were tranquil in their own right. Eventually, when my children were old enough, they would join me in the room up in the barn to paint, play music or just warm themselves by the woodstove if the opportunity presented itself. At times, I would cook meals in the cast iron skillet on the stove top, making the room come alive with smells of fried sausage or bacon. To me, there aren’t any restaurants to which I am aware that can compare to a home cooked meal on an old wood stove. As I would sit back in the easy chair and savor the delectable morsels of food, the air would still linger with the soothing smell of fresh cooked food, wood smoke and hot fresh coffee still bubbling up in the percolator.

Yes, the barn studio is someplace I will miss once we move. It is someplace that the kids will undoubtedly never forget, knowing that it too became a retreat to which they could go to reinvent themselves and become one with their inner person. We all need a place to go where life can be left at the door, where we may once again turn our thoughts inward and be at peace with our soul; giving ourselves to the gifts with which God has blessed us.

May we never forget our studio in the barn.

See how this studio can become a welcome retreat for you by clicking here.

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Review of “Bruecke to Heaven” by Peter Younghusband of the Christian Fiction Review out of Australia

Bruecke To Heaven: Children of the Light by Timothy Tron

Bruecke to Heaven: Children of the Light

When two of Jesus’ seventy disciples are sent into the wilderness, they find themselves in a remote Alpine valley delivering the Word of God to an ancient people. A miraculous event occurs and they realize they are not only to give them the Word, but the abilities and gifts that go with it; one of which becomes memorization. Centuries later, when the people of the valley are asked to leave their homelands because of their known gift, their memorization of the entire Bible, a journey and adventure like none other begins. They quickly learn they had been imbued with more than just one ability, and soon, their bridge to Heaven becomes a race for their lives.

The Guru’s Review:

I knew when I read the description for this book that I would be blessed and that this book is unique and special. This book has not let me down. I finished this speechless due to being in awe of everything related to it. Truly, this book is inspired by God and many times, I could feel His presence with me. I have had that with only a few books. I will never forget this book. It really does have a profound effect on how you see God and how you have experienced Him. It has made me want more of Him and a desire to increase my faith and always be in His will.
This is the first book I have read from Timothy Tron and it won’t be the last, if of course, he choses to write more after the coming sequel, which is in the works at the moment. His writing style, command of the English language and imagination transport you to the 1100s AD, set in both the alpine area of France and also in Lyon. You are more than a spectator in this novel, you are there with all the characters as if you are part of the plot. I found it difficult coming back to reality every time I stopped reading. His characters are all very relational and three dimensional, well developed and believable whether they are protagonists or antagonists.Tron has created some very admirable and loveable characters in the protagonists, Arktos, elder of the Vaudois people, Jakob his grandson, Peter Waldo (real name Augustus Pizan but uses the name of Peter Waldo who existed years before him), Marik and Steffan who seek out the Apostle Speakers (the Vaudoisians who have been imbued with the gift of memorization of the entire Scriptures), Gabriel (Waldo’s right hand man and whom you are forever thinking is he really the angel Gabriel or not?), Jean Paul, Jakob’s older brother, Julia, Jakob and Jean Paul’s mother. There is an emotional investment in these characters as you read. Everything they go through you feel it with them, joy, grief, horror, sadness, stubborn faith, righteous indignation, victorious elation.

The same goes for the antagonists, the main two being General Lucier and Pope Lucias III. These two embody the evilness and corruptness of the Roman Catholic Church, both are power hungry, corrupt, manipulative and deceitful and deluded into thinking that they are doing the will of God by persecuting and eradicating anyone who defies the teachings of the Catholic Church. Both have no issue with murder, torture or persecution to achieve their aims: recant your faith and convert to Catholicism or die. You feel their hatred towards the Vaudosians, you recoil in horror at their persecution of those who defy them, and the methods of killing they employ, you can feel the evil oppression they exude, yet you feel pity for them for them when you see this evilness taking them over and blinding them from the Truth that is so ever before them.

Here is what Lucias considers of himself:

.…..for I am the embodiment of heaven on earth, and if it is my will, it shall be done!

He sees and hates the Vaudoisians and their gift as a threat to his papacy:

Yet, there it was: the fact that they had preserved the Word of God of their own accord-a Word not compiled by mankind, but that was given to them reportedly from the sources themselves. What would it do to the power of the papacy should it become known? or worse yet, what if the unknown Word produced an entirely different view of the hereafter or the road to perdition?…..

Then there was the other, more-distressing side note: the fact that the books these people quoted were exactly as they had received them, unfiltered and encompassing all of the writing and teachings that followed the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. This Word they possessed gave a power that bound them to one ruler, but a ruler who was not of this earth. That in of itself sent a shiver of terror down the papal spine, causing him to shudder at the thought.

Tron’s research into this era, Vaudois people, the aforementioned corruptness of the Catholic Church and their politics add depth and credibility to the story. It is hard to believe that this is a novel and not the account of actual events as they happened, including the supernatural intervention of God in various ways as described that is just not commonplace in today’s world.

I can see Tron’s passion throughout as it is loosely based on his family genealogy from his paternal side. When I read this on his author page on Amazon, I was further intrigued, and contacted him about this. He sent me an account of his discovery and it is very captivating.
Here it is, in part:
In 1995, my late Aunt June Tron gave us a one-of-a-kind housewarming gift; a genealogy binder including information about the town in Germany from whence we came along with our pedigree, all the way back to the founding father’s of the little town, Walldorf Germany.
In 1998, we decided to take a trip to Germany………We pulled up in front of the Heimat Museum……..That was the next phase of my research as I began drinking from the proverbial fire hydrant of knowledge. I found that Tron’s had existed as part of the Waldensians from the beginning and I then began to learn what it meant to be Waldensian. The people from the valleys had migrated to Germany in 1699 and built Walldorf from scratch. Two of the original families were my direct ancestors. The rest of the link and how they go back in time genealogically can be explained at a later time; suffice it to say, its a long, long tale.
The story and the tale of which you are reading are closely intertwined, but what made me begin writing the book was the conflict of how they received their iconic name versus how they actually became who they were; meaning, Peter Waldo did not cause Waldensians to exist, rather, he became famous because of who the Waldnesian people already were; thus, the impetus for starting to tell our side of the story. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned, “Why would these people struggle for over 600 years, fight in over 30 wars and face extinction of their kind all because of what they believed.” Then I realized I had to tell the story from the perspective of “BEING” Waldensian. There had been many books written about Waldensians and their struggles, but none had been written from the point of view of what it was to be Waldensian and how that fact formulated who you were and how you faced adversity.
What Timothy means about “Being” Waldensian is very aptly described and forms one of the main backbones of this novel. Peter Waldo, actually existed and the term Waldensian is based on his name.
I wondered about the name of the novel, what did Bruecke mean (bridge) and why have a German word in an English title? It was this strange looking title that drew me to this book in the first place. Timothy explains again:

Intime, the meaning of some of what I have put down becomes clear; and so it was with the title, “Bruecke to Heaven”. Initially, my timeline was going to extend through their migration to Germany, thus I decided to include that influence in the title. But later, when it became apparent that my 600 year timeline would only progress only about a year and a half in the first book, I questioned if I really should keep that working title. I felt compelled to keep the title foreign in language, but didn’t know why. Recently, I was driving to work and was listening to a song on the radio when it hit me why the title fits. People who are not Christians, come into Christianity not knowing anything about it and with time, learn how and what it is to become a Christian. Then, like the obscure title, they realize the meaning and eventually accept Christ into their life, and as such, the title becomes clear.
I also questioned Timothy about the surname of Arktos, the main character, which was LeTron. Was this the original surname of his ancestry? Timothy had this covered too:
Like the title, I didn’t realize why I felt compelled to use a form of my family name for the characters in the book either, but something said to me that it was important to do so. Last year, while attending a Waldensian Festival in Valdese NC., I learned from a young man who was from the Alpine valleys where the Waldnesians came, was there doing research and he explained to me what my name actually meant in the ancient language of the valleys; Tron meant “One with Strength” and that they often gave their warriors this title. Needless to say, I was once again blown away. Even though my book was already in print by then, I felt good about keeping the form of the name intact and that indeed it was an important part of the actual history.
Interestingly, Tron has portrayed the LeTron family (Julia, Mary, Arktos, Jakob, Jean Paul, Rebecca and Angela) as a very strong family by nature and by faith without knowing what his name meant.
Faith is a strong feature in this novel. How I now long to have the faith of Arktos and Jakob! The author portrays the Vaudoisians living the Word so vividly and naturally, it is literally their first nature. And in this novel, these two and the Vaudoisians know no different as their ancestors have lived this way since two of the seventy disciples (Olympas and Herodian) delivered the Word of God to them. At this delivery, God imbues them with the ability to remember and quote the entire Word/Bible. So for generations over the centuries, until the time of the Crusades where this story is set, this closely knit community, almost cut off from the secular world, live and act out the Word; for them it is a tangible experience, the Word being literally alive. Tron even mentions this in his Introduction: Author’s Notes:

It had been memorized word for word and passed down from one generation to the next, preserving not only the mere lines of Scripture but the ultimate spiritual power it possessed in its infancy. Regarding this “Word,” the Bible reads in John 1:1-5,

In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning.All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

Yet in truth, there were some who did not recognize the Word and the light, and this is their story.

The spiritual warfare aspects of this novel are very unique and different from any I have read in other biblical supernatural thrillers. In all the instances portrayed in the novel we see the power of the Word manifested though either chanting or singing Scripture: Arktos and his elders chanting Scripture as the papal army invade their village of Rora and the papal army is destroyed and at the end of the novel, Arktos chants Scripture when the papal army is about to capture them, defeating them. Jakob discovers that when he sings Scripture, the same happens; when he plays the lira the power of God either defeats their enemy or confuses them, in one instances him playing this lira disguises their compound as empty as the papal army invades and search it even when Arktos, Jacob, Peter, Gabriel and their staff are still present in the compound, another where the group he was in passes by in a mist, unheard of by the papal army, as they moved close by them on their journey homeward bound. I know these occurrences are due to the other gifts imbued by God when He delivered the Word via the disciples, but it does make me consider how it would be if Christians were able to do the same in the reality of our world in this 21st century?All in all, this is one very memorable novel that has had a profound affect on me. It is has encouraged and strengthened my faith and relationship with Christ, witness to my family and community, inspired and challenged me to stand up for the Gospel and have a ready defense for the same just as 1 Peter 3:15 says:

….but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

It is one book that needs to be read again (and most likely again!).

Highly recommended.

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NCWN Spring Conference: Simply Inspiring…

NCWNlogoI had the pleasure and privilege to attend this year’s NCWN Spring Conference held on the UNCG campus. This was my first NCWN conference so I had no idea what to expect going in, only that I knew there was a class-act staff of writers and lecturers assembled for the day’s event. I had preregistered for Marketing with Imagination, Writing About War Panel Discussion, Lunch with Author Peggy Payne and Speed Pitch. In addition, I signed up for the “Open Mic” event after lunch and figured I’d give it a try knowing that any public speaking would be as much a learning activity as it would be a performance.

The morning began with the delightful class of “Marketing with Imagination” hosted by Piedmont Laureate Carrie J. Knowles and Peggy Payne. Ms. Knowles spoke about marketing and how we should commit to at least 20% of our time to it each week (I must state that Ms. Knowles has one of THE BEST author websites I have ever seen!!!). We learned that selling our stories should not be something we feel as if we are “Bragging” about; rather, we should think of this as something we are doing for our children. We also learned that we should focus on what our themes were in our books or publications in order to find respective audiences. It was here that I found the dichotomy similar to what Ms. Payne had found with her recent book, “Cobalt Blue“; the confusion of the religious aspect of the book with the secular attraction. This paradox was something I had already felt but now hearing it from someone else who was very successful made me realize that I had to become more attentive to groups that might not understand the story behind the action. Ms. Payne recommended I keep trying to reach the groups that were obvious audiences until I found the right denomination and from there, expand. Another classmate suggested even changing the genre description from “Religious” to “Inspirational” since my book was obviously very much the latter. As the first class ended, my head was already spinning with ideas and plans and we still had a whole day’s worth of activities ahead!

The next part of the day’s event included readings by the entourage of distinguished staff. This was a wonderful insight into each of the author’s lecturing today and their works. It was deeply rewarding to hear each read from their own work. One of my favorite’s was Peggy Payne, whom had taught in the first class and would be the same author I was to eat with at lunch; some things need naught be explained. BlNFZttIYAEDPQw.jpg largeAt lunch we sat quietly eating outside in the bright warm sunshine. Considering the winter we had just survived, everyone was soaking in the glory of the sun’s radiance. We eventually began asking Ms. Payne questions and as I listened to her respond, I realized here was someone I had never met or known little about before today, but was very impressed by her conviction to writing and the faith behind her works. As I said before, some things need no explanation and I’ll leave it at that.

Following lunch we ran through the “Open Mic” like a wild mustang full of oats; each author only getting five minutes to read. Foolishly, I thought I might be able to read most of my short story, “The Farmer in the Bull”; boy, was I mistaken. I read the words on the paper extra fast, which was something I don’t like doing, but felt compelled to share all of the tale. Needless to say, I was only on the second page of the five page story when the timer expired. Luckily, it was on a line that seemed as if I had planned the act. Inside I was hating myself for not sticking to the plan and reading the prose from my sequel, spellbinding as it might have been; I chose what I chose for sake of trying to lighten the atmosphere, and so I did; at least I garnered a few laughs; success.

After the “Open Mic” we went to our next afternoon class. I walked into the room for “Writing About War Panel Discussion” and immediately realized I was in a room filled with Veterans like myself; although, the majority of these men were combat Veterans, something I had never had to experience. I was immediately humbled by their stories and discussions. The panel who led the program were admirable writers of their own. Author Robin Greene led the discussion  along with author Paule Stroebel, a young combat Veteran himself, had not been long since he himself was wearing the army uniform. Dr. Raynor was far too young to have done all the deeds and accomplishments listed in her Bio, but here she was, sharing her ambition and life’s mission with us; having been inspired by her father’s war journal at a very young age. Although the class wasn’t what I had expected, I learned a very important lesson during the session in that sometimes the things we fall into often teaches us more than what we had planned; so it was with the “Writing About War Panel Discussion”.

Finally, my day ended with “Speed Pitch”. I had originally planned to pitch my existing book, “Bruecke to Heaven“, but after talking to other authors during the day, I decided to pitch my sequel. I thought, “Hey, at least I’ll get some professional feedback immediately. What could be better?” Suffice it to say that by now, after learning so much, hearing so many stories, thoughts and ideas, my brain was nearly numb. I had a rough draft of my “Elevator Pitch” in my head so the one minute time limit didn’t bother me; at least not until I sat down in the first chair and began to speak. My face must have had a look of complete shock as I sat transfixed facing the editor and trying to formulate words our of my mouth. All I could hear was “Bla bla bla bla”. I apologized and tried to start again but by then the bell had rung. I was laughing by now as was the editor who was supposed to critique what she had just heard. She was a real trooper and we worked together on the what, where, how aspect of my sequel during the allotted three minutes enough that by the time I got to the fourth editor, my brain was actually producing a pitch that could have made sense, if only everything didn’t seem to be blurring together. Granted it was a great exercise, but I should have known by the end of a day’s conference  my brain was going to be flat-lining and all hopes of sounding sharp and practiced on a pitch I had never given was at best, a shot in the dark. The silver lining to it all was that I got to meet a lot of great people who genuinely cared about writing and helping each other to become better.

This may have been my first NCWN Conference, but the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll hopefully plan more in the future.

Thank you  to NCWN staff, volunteers and lecturing authors for a splendid day of learning, sharing and fellowship!

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Music of the Soul…

Tron Family performing at Camel Back Bridge Park, Cumnock NC.

Tron Family performing at Camel Back Bridge Park, Cumnock NC.

This past week I’ve been reminded of the importance of music in my life.

When times seem to close in, painting life into a corner, it’s when I’m usually forgetting to revisit my old friend and love; music.

Music for me does several things; calms my nerves when I’m tense, connects my thoughts into a fluid stream of story and allows the spirit of the Lord to flow through me speaking the words my lips cannot find.

The most obvious use of music is relaxation. There are times when events in life can be spinning out of control, but the moment a favorite song or melody comes on, all the sharp edges of reality are quickly softened and soon forgotten. These silent trips down the road, recollections through family albums, or simply watching the clouds pass over the landscape out a nearby window, all take on a different level of perspective when the right song plays in the background. Suddenly the inanimate object takes on a life of its own, living and breathing into the moment of one’s existence.

Then there are the times when I write, sitting at the keyboard listening to epic movie soundtrack instrumentals. In these quiet reflective moments, the songs become the soundtrack to the story I’m putting into words for the first time, floating over the characters as they spell out the tale on the screen. Their crescendos and monumental waves of symphony heighten the dramatic imagination in which exists; living and breathing in the moment of the saga I am creating. I can begin to write and when the song turns to the dark minor keys, my story takes a turn of unexpected tragedy, mirroring the sounds in my ears. To this extent, writing to the music is like riding a bike down the mountain road with no hands; a thrilling rush, where and how you end up is only up to the twist and turns in the road of the tale being told. I can only trust my Lord has the hand on the wheel as my pen guides us through the winding pathways ahead.

Then there are the times when my mind wants to say so much, yet the stage finds me muted to the point of anger; mad at myself for not being the natural orator I am in my own mind. In many ways, music is the bridge between what I want to say and cannot, finding the connection to an audience that might otherwise go without. When I find myself in predicaments like this, a guitar and a song for the moment break through this barrier, allowing the flood of thoughts and words to come cascading out. There is no better feeling to know you have connected with someone either with speaking or singing something from a message that God has placed upon your heart. To know He can speak and play through us in spite of ourselves is probably the most common phrase I know and use when it comes to calming nerves, for if I know it’s from Him; then I also know it is for Him, not of myself; failure, in this case, is no longer a factor.

All this being said, I was reminded of the need for music in my life as we drove back from the fiddler’s convention this past weekend. I realized that the connection to another part of my soul is only attainable from this gift. It is from using the ability to “make music” that I can reach out to the side of me that sometimes lies silent, waiting and watching the world around; the creative side. Only when the music reaches across the divide within do the juices of creativity begin to burst forth once more. So it was this week, and even more today as we performed at church this morning, again reconfirming my belief that to use our gifts only awakens the more within, the others that lie waiting for those before to be lifted off so that they too may be discovered and shined upon.

May God bless anyone who seeks to enrich the lives of others from any blessing God has given you; never let these gifts lie asleep and do all you can to awaken them each and every day.

Have a beautiful week and Blessings to all.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” – Eph. 5:19


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Bruecke to Heaven e-book on Kindle Select Promotion

FrontPageOnlyFrom March 25th to March 31st, Bruecke to Heaven will be on sale for only $.99 during the Kindle Select Promotion.

Pickup a copy for your Kindle device and join the journey where your faith will be tested and uplifted.

Bruecke to Heaven on Kindle Here

Bruecke to Heaven normally sales for $3.99 on Kindle

Have a blessed day,


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Is Editing a “Flow-Stopper” for you?

penandpaperIs editing a Flow-Stopper for you?

As all writers know, the worst thing you can do to break the “flow” is to start editing what you’ve just written. By the “flow” I’m talking about when you are in sync with your story, the words are flowing and it seems you could write forever. Eventually we do stop and then there is the temptation to reread and yes, even correct what we have just written. We do our best while creating to keep our sentence structure and grammatical errors to a minimum but yet, there are those times when flow overcomes structural thought and our best intentions become lengthy run-on sentences which sometimes lose even our own understanding when finally reviewing what we wrote during that late night moment of intuition; case in point. This unedited free flow I refer to as a “Raw Draft”. Editing is essential, regardless of how good we think we can write. No matter how many times you read your work and Raw Draft, there will always be something you miss; so it is almost a necessity to have another person read your work it even if they are editing or not.

So, the question beckons, “When do we edit?”

I’ve spoken about this to other authors in casual conversation and get a host of responses. In many instances it depends on how the author is published. Self-published authors probably have the widest range of response since they are usually footing the bill for the editing. It is the self-published folks whom I will be referring to the most in the following examples.

Some authors prefer to leave it all to the editorial staff stating, “That’s what I pay them for.” I have found these are the people with either deep pockets or those who can afford content and developmental editing (items I will talk to in a later blog article). These authors know that to break their flow will ruin their story and some even refer to themselves as storytellers rather than writers. I applaud these people and wish I too could “leave it all to the editors”, but alas, I was never blessed with a golden spoon nor have I been aggressive enough to acquire a Literary Agent or Publishing contract; something else I will speak to later. This of course is something those with publishing contracts only deal with when rewrites come back; otherwise, it is a moot point; again I’m speaking mainly to the self-published crowd.

Other writers find that once they have written a piece, they will put it away for a few days and then revisit it and edit it as they reread it. This is probably the most common self-editing practice I’ve noticed. Personally, I have to find myself “in a mood” that I know writing on my current novel is not going to work, so I go to a section that I’ve not yet edited and begin reading it for errors and content. Sometimes this puts me in the “mood” to write or triggers a thought that I might have overlooked and needs either clarification or additional coverage somewhere else in the story.

There are times that I purposely go back to something I’ve previously written and focus on reading it as if I were someone seeing the words for the first time. To me, this is probably the hardest thing to do as an author. I feel like I’ve read heard the story so many times, that it is practically impossible to see it with “fresh eyes”. To this latter extent, that’s why I’ve begun using “Beta-Readers”, yes, another article at a later date. Bottom line, Beta-readers are people who you trust with your unpublished story, who will read your rough draft (after your initial self-edit) for flow and understanding. They are not to be your grammatical editors, although they sometimes find a section of flow that is pure Raw Draft, and have to suggest changes according to the unedited piece simply to be able to understand what you’ve written.

Some writers are lucky enough to have friends who can help them edit, either grammatically, content or developmentally. Friends like this are invaluable and may work for free or at a much reduced editing fee. Cherish these people and treat them well, since they are far and few between.

 Overall, as self-published authors, we have to find a happy medium where we can write unabated until the time comes we have to share our story either with a friend or one of our Beta-Readers. Then we must face the daunting task of editing or having our work edited for us. Like a trip to the dentist, nobody likes it, but good or bad, it has to be done and so it is.

What are some tricks you use to get around editing your work becoming a Flow-Stopper?

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Book Signing Today, B&N in High Point NC. Saturday, May 25th, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

tronfamilybandCome join us today at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in High Point North Carolina. We will have live music with Emily Schilling on Lap Dulcimer and the Tron Family Band performing along with signed copies of my book, “Bruecke to Heaven“.

Be one of the first seven customers and get a free loaf of “Faith Bread”, which has a special gift inside that keeps on giving.

Join us and become one with the journey; Let the Light Shine in the Darkness.


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The Pen is Mightier Than the….

I found myself today heading to the local discount store in Goldston  in order to purchase more of the flex grip gel pens. In the past, once I found a smooth writing pen, I would usually keep the pen and use it until the ink ran out, then discard it and search for another in the desk drawer. However, since I began journaling, I’ve found that the feel of a nice pen on the paper really makes a difference; thus my recent obsession with these gel pens.2013-05-16 22.46.35

It was while I was regarding one of these sweet writing pens in the presence of a math teacher this afternoon that I became aware of how writing utensils can be very persuasive and personable in their use. During my observation, Jenny the math teacher, reflected on how she never liked pens to be used by her students in their math work. I had to agree with her, since I took numerous math classes while attending college at the University of Florida. In fact, I mostly used mechanical pencils while at UF. We both agreed that the mechanical pencil was easily sharpened by just pushing the plunger at the end of the device which would feed more lead into the chamber which holds the material to be applied to the writing surface. She noted that she found herself using the number two pencils in school since they were donated, yet, she found herself constantly going to the sharpener during the course of the day. It seems there is a universal understanding that the feel of a dull number two pencil is akin to the sound of fingernails being scraped across the chalkboard: VERY IRRITATING!!!

Over the years I’ve used everything from art pencils to mechanical pencils in work that I’ve done. Like the pens and pencils that I use, I find various idiosyncrasies that match their use. Art and mechanical pencils are sometimes both for drawing, but both for very diverse reasons; one was for creative artwork, the other for drafting structural steel. The art pencils, unlike the yellow number two pencils are best used when they are not sharp. In fact, most shading techniques require the muted tip of a softened lead, which allows the artist to blend the graphite on the paper smoothly. I rarely used a pencil sharpener to sharpen the art pencils. It was best to regain a semblance of tip by using a knife and whittling it back in shape. Just the act of whittling a wooden pencil, throwing tiny shavings onto the floor, makes one feel as if something special is about to take place; let the drawing begin. Art pencils, like their craft, were meant to be very tactile in nature; unlike the mechanical pencil, which was cold and calculating.

The mechanical pencil not only created a sharp, crisp purposeful line, it was also something that made excellent text for drawing requiring verbal comments or definitions. The mechanical pencil’s use would often be the gateway tool for the ink pen. Since lead can only be a mere gray-tone of color, the black ink pen would become even more of a statement. So it was when I began writing that I sought out the dark line of the black ink pen. With this black ink, I can also include pen and ink drawings using the ever more cross-over tool known as the “Ultra-Point” pen, which takes us back to the artistic side of the equation.

I can remember an art class once that the teacher required us to use only drawing pencils. We could use nothing but the 2B, B, and HB rated pencils. During this class we were required to perform all types of shading and drawing with our reliable “B” pencils. One project I vividly recalled today when thinking back to this time was our job to draw a white and brown egg. Not only were we to draw a shape that looked like an egg, but we were also required to make it so that the viewer could easily discern which egg was brown and which egg was white. The shading had to be just so, so that each egg’s shape could be seen, yet gentle enough to make the brown and whiteness of the shell to be apparent. It was from this feel of shape and hue that I came to know the line that the point of the drawing device could make and what variations to expect based upon what utensil was being used. From this deep learning from feel and sight, I became prepared for what lie ahead based upon which device I held in my fingertips.

Many years later, I had a math professor in college from Romania who would swear to us that, “You learn through our fingertips, up our arm and into your brain,” and that in order to do so, we had to manually write down everything he wrote on the board, then quote it back to him exactly as he had written it on the board, verbatim. At the time, if felt like cruel and unusual punishment. However, as time would pass, I would find that memorization of what I would see was more often reinforced from when it would pass through my fingertips, from the tip of the pen or pencil and eventually into my head.

So today, as we discussed our favorite devices for whichever activity we were performing, it became obvious that the point at which the paper and our chosen utensil met, became the catalyst for what would transpire from thought into reality and back again to thought. And so it goes, in life; we choose our comfort points, our devices of fluidity that allow thought to become real and then and only then does the purpose of living become one with the world around us.

I think I’ll put that down in writing.

But a thought before you leave, “If the pen is mightier than the sword…what is the pencil?”



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