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About Neal

  • Birthday 08/05/1978


  • Location
    Chicago, IL

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  1. Apparently it means King James Version Easy Read/ing.
  2. Neal

    Igor's Inn

    Alas, ahoy, 'ave a seat and are ya' thirsty? Meet Bentley Barnham, a blonde haired, brown eyed bard from Brixby Barrow sitting cross-legged on a creakin' and crackin' cathedra. He was dabblin', dawdlin', fingers dancin' a dainty ditty on his dogwood lute, eager for every eye-socket and earhole to eavesdrop an' eye-water over his elegantly executed epics. Finally the fussin' and fartin' and flirtin' an' folly all drew to a final finito. The goldenboy gleeman gave a glorious gulp of his Gunpowder Irish Gin. Hallelujah, hooray, hurrah, hymns an' high-notes, harmony an' heartache, the whole house hootin' an' hollerin' as he halted for half-time. Aye, Igor's Inn just might be the joint for jolly ol' folk like you. This poem happened pretty spontaneously when I got the urge to write something about a medieval inn (though others said it had more of a pirate vibe) with a bard called Bentley Barnham. That lead me to writing everything else in alphabetical order. Little did I know this style of poem is called an abecedarian.
  3. Another topical bible is the Sword Study Bible published by Whitaker House. I have the KJV version, but I believe there's also a KJVER version. I have the giant print value edition which runs for around $25 on Amazon. There's no gilding and no ribbon, but it has an excellent marginal study system that leads you from one verse to the next in your topical study. Both the words of Jesus as well as God are red lettered. All other study materials (except the names of God in Hebrew plus tricky words explained) along with a 280+ page concordance are located in the back. It's a very robust bible.
  4. I feel sorry for kids today, who have so much technology around them that there's no time for using their imagination. When I was a kid, I climbed out of my bedroom window at sunrise and went hiking alone down a rural Irish road with trees and bushes on both sides. Not a single house in sight. Being visually impaired, I always wondered what wonders lurked around the next bend. Then I circled back home and climbed back in my window before anyone was the wiser. We had a small ridge behind our house, and used to play back there quite a lot. I remember exploring the bushes with my sister, imagining spaces found within as our own little clubhouse. Or bicycling with my cousins in northern Illinois. We wandered into the local woods and found a treehouse somebody had built. We thought it was so neat up until the point when an uncle came looking for us and we were in trouble. Fond memories, even when we got into trouble.
  5. Great question and many great answers. I have to reiterate some of your answers. Success for me would be writing memorable stories that have a positive impact on readers, giving glory to God by presenting a powerful message that uplifts, encourages, and leads the lost to Christ. Working full-time as a writer would also be ideal.
  6. Neal

    Hi from Chicago

    Again, thank you all for the warm welcome. I really appreciate it. @MaryKaithe I don't really know McHenry that well as I've only gone there by Metra and then got picked up in Woodstock. The guy I visit there is definitely not a writer though. As for where I'm at, Harlem Ave. is a good guess but I'm about 2 miles east of there in the Portage Park neighborhood.
  7. Neal

    Hi from Chicago

    @MaryKaithe I have family in McHenry and reside in northwest Chicago.
  8. Hey folks, I'm new to Christian Writers. I'm an aspiring writer... well no, that's not entirely true. I've been writing for 20 years, just not with the intention of publishing novels much less attempting to write them until recently. Two months ago I completed Steve Alcorn's Write Fiction Like A Pro course with high scores in the final exam, which gave me a big boost of confidence. That course taught me a lot about myself as well. I'm very comfortable with writing story, and very uncomfortable writing plot. But it also taught me to push through my mental blocks and to retrain my brain to work differently from how it's worked the last 20 years. I've since written the scene outline for my first outline, went through it again with a round of edits, then hit a wall on the 2nd round of edits. Basically, there were plot points that just nagged at me because they didn't feel right, or because I had too many plot points in the middle of the book and not enough story and pacing. Then I got a little divine inspiration (that's what somebody called the muse on a podcast) that set me on a much happier path. With a general idea and direction in mind now, I've started my first draft. My greatest worry though, is in balancing my faith and my story. I know the points I want to get across in my story (the need for God and the need for community), but I don't want to come off preachy. My hope is that this would touch someone's heart at some point down the road. At the same time, I am most into dystopian, sci-fi, military thriller, and epic fantasy, so I worry that my writing will not give proper glory to God. Balancing between the two (not being too preachy but giving glory to God) is real challenging so far. So that's me in a nutshell.
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