Tag Archives: best fiction

Who’s Your Hero?

Who’s your hero? I mean which author rocks your world and makes or has made a difference in your life.

From Shakespeare to King, Cormac McCarthy to J. K. Rowling who does IT for you?
Mine is Stephen King the Master Story Teller he does IT for me pun intended. He is prolific at a book-and-a-half per year over thirty-plus years and still finds time to read seventy books per year. The man knows how to tell a story that captures his readers and makes them late for work, dinner, and their dentist appointment. His best book for me was his memoir On Writing. But his fiction is what he’s known for, so I have to say The Stand was his best for me. Running a close second is The Dark Half and Alexis Machine as the ultimate anti-hero.

I think Cormac McCarthy is my hero for using minimal punctuation and getting a Pulitzer (I’m dashed off a cliff onto sharp rocks for missing a comma) and telling such a dark tale that not a pinprick of light is allowed in. It’s not gratuitous either the horror of it all. The characters situations go from bad to worse and then worse than that. If something good does happen like a guy falls in love, then he finds her on his stoop with a slit throat (as in All The Pretty Horses). And if the Brothers Grimm weren’t grim enough, Blood Meridian takes horrific antagonists to a level outside your… your… imagination.

I love my heroes dark or not. I have a thousand more for everything from music to faith to food and parenting. I love my heroes (I did say that didn’t I?)

From a Buick 8 – Stephen King

I just finished reading this book by my literary hero Stephen King. 

As with all of his stories, long, short, or epic, King weaves a tale that is hard to put down. 

A black cloaked figure walks away from an Old Buick in a Pennsylvania gas station and never returns. The stranger bears a strange resemblance (at least in my mind) to Roland Deschain of Gilead the fictional character and the protagonist of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Or, it could be his nemesis Walter o’Dim in the same series who is also R. F. or Randall Flagg the Dark Man. 

The car “was a ’54 [Buick], according to Tony Schoondist, Curtis Wilcox, and Ennis Rafferty. Sort of a ’54. When you got right down to it, it wasn’t a 1954 at all. Or a Buick. Or even a car. It was something else.” It plays the central and antagonistic role in the story. Most of the tale is told looking backwards as the State Troopers of Troop D tell the teenage son of a deceased trooper about the car they keep in Shed B. 

The car seems to be an E.T. of some kind or a portal into another word which brings things from there and sucks people from here. Another oddity is: 

“The Buick had been sitting miles away in Shed B, fat and luxy and blameless on whitewall tires that wouldn’t take dirt or even the slightest pebble in the treads but repudiated them each and every one, right down to (as far as we could tell) the finest grain of sand.”

The only drawback to the story I could find was that it could be repetitive and long winded, but I attribute that to the conversational way in the story is brought forth. It’s a fine story. No complaints from me. 

Anyway tomorrow is my birthday, July 2, and I’ll be 61 but I feel 25 in my mind. 

Sandy Dearborn, the commander of Troop D, is the main narrator of the story. I’ll leave you with his words on our perception of our own age:

I think it’s a mistake, a clerical error which will eventually be rectified when brought to the attention of the proper authorities.

It is impossible, I think, that a man who still feels so profoundly twenty-five can look so happast fifty. 

The mistake was believing that the twenty-five-year-old guy who seemed to live in my brain was real.

Who’s Your Literary Hero? and Who is Their Hero?

I surely don’t mean your favorite writer even if they could be one in the same. What I intend is who sparks your creative ovens?

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

My Literary Hero is Stephen King, not as much for his subject matter as for his incredible gift and skill. The man can flat tell a story. No matter the topic or setting, he can hold your attention in the palm of his hand. On top of that, he’s as prolific as a rabbit on a typewriter producing more than 50 novels in the past 50 years, all the while reading up to 75 novels per year according to his book on the craft of writing named On Writing. That’s some amazing statistics.

Before I read his book on writing, I was already a rabid fan reading his work long before I was a published writer myself devouring Mr. King’s novels for their resident darkness resonating within my own dark soul. Even now that I’ve read nearly his entire bibliography, and my soul is fifty shades lighter, I still cannot put down his books or stories.

Now, when I admire a famous author, actor, or artist, I like to dig into their past and find out whose past the idolized or were inspired by.

Stephen King’s literary hero is the great Richard Matheson. Imagine that, we share the same last name.

Richard Burton Matheson is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, and you thought only Will Smith did the movie. The Will Smith version bears little resemblance to the novel. Matheson also wrote 16 episodes of The Twilight Zone for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel“. Also, Duel a movie directed by a young Stephen Spielberg.

I must admit that Matheson’s works were not unknown to me, but him as the author of same was nearly an unknown in my psyche. Matheson has penned many great works of American fiction, mostly Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

There you have it. Now show me yours.

Peace

The Power of Ion

the-power-of-ionDuring my morning prayers, as I went through the list of things, I was struck with a thought: While reading my prayer list and asking God to do or help myself and others with things placed on my heart, the suffix -ion leaped into my lap (as a writer of fiction that’s the way I see it). Fiction, there’s another -ion word.

-Ion is a suffix appearing in words of Latin origin, denoting action or condition. It is used in Latin and in English to form nouns from stems of Latin adjectives (communion; union), verbs (legion; opinion), and especially past participles (allusion; creation; fusion; notion; torsion).
A few thoughts thumped and bumped in my head:
-Ion changes things like an adjective to a noun. It takes a modifier and makes something out of it.

-Ion is an action word; it gets things done.

-Ion ends one of my favorite words, FICT-ion. One of my passions is writing, reading, and dreaming up fict-ion-al tales.

AND

ION is a noun used in Physics and Chemistry:

Defined as an electrically charged atom or group of atoms formed by the loss or gain of one or more electrons, as a cation (positive ion) which is created by electron loss and is attracted to the cathode in electrolysis, or as an anion (negative ion) which is created by an electron gain and is attracted to the anode. (A lot of God words in there)

The same process is used in batteries to store and release power.

Batteries have three parts, an anode (-), a cathode (+), and the electrolyte. The cathode and anode (the positive and negative sides at either end of a traditional battery) are hooked up to an electrical circuit. The chemical reaction in the battery causes a buildup of electrons at the anode.

Those definitions tell me that I-O-N has power

So when you’re praying for, vision, direction, provision, passion, or protection, you are activating powerful forces.

Fiction does a similar thing releasing the power of imagination and, if it’s good fiction, it speaks truth to the parts of our soul that only God can reach.

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” – Albert Camus

 

It’s about time for a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Christmas🎄 Story


Download for FREE – Marvin Battles has lived a rough life but now finds himself at the top of the corporate ladder. It’s Christmas, and he is not merry with the season, a real Scrooge to say the least.
In a chance encounter with a panhandler, Joe Skives, his former boss fired for bribery and other crimes, Marvin’s bad holiday attitude is turned on its head.
The story ends in a real David and Goliath story as Marvin takes on the corporate monster in a real Christmas ending. Download for FREE

Beat the Odds

Hunger Games Meme Odds not in favorThe odds are not in our favor, but I believe we can still beat them.

Never let bad odds ruin your hour, day, week, year, or your lifetime. Despite truly terrible odds, you can reject their tyranny.

Odds and dreams quote purpose

In gambling, the odds are always tilted in favor of the house.

ODDS
ädz/
noun
  1. the ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way.
    “the bookies are offering odds of 8-1.”
    • The chances or likelihood of something happening or being the case.
      Plural noun: the odds
      the odds are that he is no longer alive.”

      Synonyms: the likelihood is, the probability is, chances are, there’s a good chance

      odds are that he is no longer alive”Dice percent symbol

 

Beating the odds is the message of my next book. Taking Jericho breaks the mold of supernatural fiction and crime stories that I had cast for myself. Jericho is not fiction, yet supernatural events and crime play a colossal part in the story. As a writer more comfortable within fiction and addicted to words, I succumbed to temptation and embellished a little here and there.

Taking Jericho is about overcoming the incredibly poor odds wagered against our lives in an unseen cosmic duel. We war daily against unseen forces on a spiritual battlefront present mostly in the field of our minds and hearts and crossing over with awful regularity into the real world.

Accosted by these overwhelming odds for failure, our desires and dreams seem to stand slim chance of success. Many cower and cringe rather than risk losing. The hope of sheer survival and the desire to make a difference, a dent or even a small scratch in this cold, sometimes cruel and always amazing world melt away in the face of daunting probabilities.

Like the gladiators of old we are slaves to this wager, we have no real choice, fight and possibly win or refuse and die a miserable death. To simply survive the bout is a losing bet, only the victors come out on top. Survivors lose fighters win.

Fighter

Note: the purpose of Taking Jericho is not to make you, or I, feel better about ourselves. Nor, will it give us permission and the justification we need to sit around and bemoan our sad fate while doing nothing.

Wal-Mart and your local Christian paraphernalia store stock hundreds of books that will tell you how great you are, which is true. But odds (there’s that word again – the fortieth time) are, that reading those books will only succeed in scratching your tummy while you roll over, kick your leg at the sky and do nothing.

Humans are built for the struggle; we were created for the fight; it is part of what makes us into who God had in mind when he created us. Perhaps, that is why we find life so difficult.

Can you picture the Master of the Universe reflecting on how much he adores you and me as we stare unblinkingly at the endless proliferation of television shows about how terrible life is?

Pause for a moment. (I’ll wait while you think about it.)

 

 

 

 

I didn’t think so.

Taking Jericho is a story of God. God’s story in me, once the worst neighbor on anybody’s block, a one-time atheist motorcycle outlaw, and the little inner-city church my wife and I founded in the city of Sacramento.

If the G-O-D word just made you spit your coffee, chamomile tea, or beer onto your Nook or Kindle, STOP take a breath and give it a chance. The story—not the spill. I promise not to work overtime trying to convince you of God’s existence and benevolent character, only He can do that. If you don’t care two wits about the God stuff, you still might find something worth your time.

 

At the very least, I know you will enjoy the story.

If I had not lived it, I would hardly believe it was true.

The odds I mentioned a dozen times so far, remember those? Well, they get torpedoed and blown to bits in this story. I said all that to say. It can happen for you. God has a plan and He’s sticking to it.

God knows the numbers before he throws the dice. (That’s a metaphor, don’t get mad).Dice in Gods hand

There is a method to God’s madness, and I do believe he is mad (crazy) for trusting us with as much as he does.

Now if you’re still with me the only other things that might dissuade you could be the words LITTLE and INNER-CITY. Most people, especially in North America, want as little to do with LITTLE as they do with the INNER-CITY.

In the area around the church I founded, lots of yellow police tape gets unwound; within two blocks there have been numerous daylight killings and shootouts.Inner City Police tape

 

 

 

 

People of North America are not interested in things small. Super size me

They want their meals super-sized and their entertainment HUGE.

Panasonic 152 inch Plasma TV

Panasonic 152 inch Plasma TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacramento, my city, despite all its history in the building of the United States and its place on the world stage as the capital of California and being a key player on the world scene, remains a cow-town in most people’s eyes.

DowntownSacPano

If you’ve made it this far, I thank you.

The story of Taking Jericho goes from my daring leap from the insanity of a maniacal and dysfunctional life to the craziness of pastoring an inner-city church. The tales of people and how we met them, at the same intersection God happened to be driving through at the time, are endless and often hysterical; sadly and more often there are the tragedies and failures of life without which nothing rings true.

That mountain of bad odds, bad blood, and bad luck that we slog our way through daily is the same mountain we climb to the win we so desperately crave.k2-big mountain dice

If you are waiting for your life to turn problem free, you are on the wrong planet, reading the wrong book and desperately need to wake up from your dream.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you remember to buy Taking Jericho when it comes out hopefully by the end of the year. Subscribe to updates and you’ll be informed just as soon as it does.

Peace,

Mike Matheson

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