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A Good Time

I’m taking a few moments between sessions at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference to type some of my early impressions and thoughts.

I’ve had a great time meeting and learning from people like Steven James, award-winning author of Story Trumps Structure, Thomas Umstattd, host of several popular podcasts including, Novel Marketing and the Christian Publishing Show, and Brian Bird, writer, and producer of shows like The Case for Christ, When Calls the Heart, and Touched by an Angel.

As I mentioned, meeting, hearing, and networking with these people is great. I often learn new things or find doors opening for new projects with them. However, I’ve found that some of the finest moments are with other attendees, people like me.

Kyle Pratt and Kelsey at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference

On my first morning at the conference as I entered the bookstore a young lady walked over to me.

“Are you Kyle Pratt,” she asked.

“Yes,” I said, a bit tentatively.

She smiled. “I’m Kelsey. I read your blogposts about the OCW conference and sent you an email asking if it would be worthwhile for me to attend.”

As Kelsey spoke I recalled her email and that I told her the OCW conference was both useful and friendly and that I had learned a great deal from it over the years. I went on to say that if she did attend she should look me up and introduce herself.

I’m glad she did.

I always find it hard to pack my bags and head off to a conference. I love my family and the small farm where I live but; I always have new friends and new ideas when it’s over. So, as I turn back towards home, I’m always glad I went.


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That’s Deplorable

YouTube had restricted access to a video called, The Ten Commandments: What you should know. That’s what the article by Dennis Prager, the creator of the video declared.

Dennis Prager and The Ten Commandments: What You Should Know

Dennis Prager and The Ten Commandments: What You Should Know

I did some checking. He’s right. Don’t misunderstand me; you can still watch the video unless you’ve activated the YouTube restricted mode. The restricted mode prevents viewing of pornography, violence, and obscenity. I didn’t even know there was such a mode before this.

But why would YouTube classify a video on the Ten Commandments as pornography, violence or obscenity? Well, there is that one commandment that teaches, “You shall not murder.”

Violence? Really? I shook my head in disbelief and then subscribed to Dennis Prager’s YouTube channel.

Even a casual perusal of YouTube will reveal a host of rampant violence, misogyny, obscenity and more. As I thought about all these fact I decided to write about it, but before I could, I heard about the movie, The Hunt.

The original title of this waste of money, time, and film was, “Red State vs. Blue State.” In the movie, wealthy thrill-seekers fly to a resort where they hunt and kill people they describe as “deplorables,” the same term Hilary Clinton used to describe Trump supporters.

The_Hunt_2019_poster.png

I thought ultra-rich Hollywood liberals were concerned about guns and violence. Apparently, I was wrong. Even with all the recent shootings this movie is still scheduled for release in September.

But if YouTube found the Ten Commandments violent surely they wouldn’t allow the trailer for such a movie to stain their site. Again, I shook my head in disbelief.

If you really want too, you can see the trailer on YouTube here.

The credits at the end of any movie seem to go on forever with list after list of producers, investors and production staff. Imagine that for The Hunt. How could Universal Pictures, Hilary Swank, Jason Blum, and all the others involved, believe that pouring eighteen million dollars into this toilet, and tying their name to it, would be a good idea? But then what do I know, this deplorable movie might win an Academy Award. 

So, I have two takeaways from all of this. First, YouTube thinks it needs to protect me from the Ten Commandments, but thinks The Hunt is just peachy. Second, Hollywood liberals believe guns are bad except when they are pointed at red state deplorables. Sadly, that’s the country we now live in.

What are your thoughts?

Click “Add a comment,” on the right to tell me.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about my political views.

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Don’t Tread on Me

Recently, Yahoo Movies criticized actor Chris Pratt for wearing a ‘white supremacist’ t-shirt.’ You can read the now cleansed article here and see the t-shirt below.

Anyone with a high school education should be familiar with the flag created by Christopher Gadsden during the Revolutionary War. It was used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag and has a completely non-racist history.

However, in this era of millennial snowflakes requiring a safe space from micro-aggressions, the original version of the article stated that “the flag has been adopted by far right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.

“It has therefore become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals and, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the U.S., it also is ‘sometimes interpreted to convey racially tinged messages in some contexts.’”

Kyle Pratt with his Gadsden Flag

Kyle Pratt with his Gadsden Flag

So Yahoo, a guardian of progressive speech has declared that Chris Pratt wore racist apparel and may, by association be a racist. This false claim reveals more about the accuser than the accused. Wearing the t-shirt shows that Chris Pratt has knowledge of history and a degree of patriotism. The author of the article and their editor appear to lack that basic education.

If you come down the driveway to my house you’ll see two flagpoles. One always has the American flag. I have an assortment of flags that fly from the other. Being a far-right, gun-toting patriot and a supporter of the Second Amendment, I’m going to support Chris Pratt with this blogpost, seeing his movies and with my flags. Until this media nonsense fades the Gadsden flag will ripple in the breeze atop one of the poles near my home.

What are your thoughts?

Click “Add a comment,” on the right to tell me.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about my political views.

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Life on Hold

Well, much of it anyway. Many of you know that I live on a small farm. During the winter I make up a long list of farm chores to work on during the summer. This year’s list includes repairing the greenhouse and henhouse, fixing fences around the orchard, and building a new raised bed garden for my wife.

Heart man (Small).jpg

Those tasks might not get done.

Until now most of you didn’t know that I have a heart condition, atrial fibrillation. That means the top half of my heart beats at a fast and irregular rate. Anything to do with the heart is serious, but in my case, it has been treated effectively with drugs for about five years.

Of course, having this problem means I see doctors (yes, more than one) on a regular basis and they keep track of my heart. They recently noticed that the ventricle (lower part of my heart) was occasionally pausing for two or three seconds. That’s about as long as you can go and stay conscious.

So, last week, I had a pacemaker installed and, while I heal, much of my life is on hold. I can’t exert my left arm and my range of motion is somewhat limited. Those tasks I mentioned at the start of this letter are impossible for me to do. I can’t even drive.

But I can type!

All my fingers work just fine and it doesn’t bother my arm so, with most everything else on hold I sit in my office and type out my stories, answer emails and write this newsletter. The doctors tell me I should be back to near normal in about a month.

As much as I enjoy writing, I hope they’re right.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about my life on the farm.

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What the World Dreads Most

This all came about because of the What the World Dreads Most ebook giveaway. It simply didn’t fit into my regular email schedule. In the past, I’ve just turned down such opportunities, but this giveaway included some fine books that I thought you, my readers, would be very interested in.

However, this is a very limited time offer that ends on May 29, so be sure to click on the graphic and check it out!

The offer includes some fantastic authors including A.R. Shaw, author of Graham's Resolution, Phil Maxey, the British author of Survive, book one of the Cascade Series, and Rachel Aukes, author of the 100 Days in Deadland, book one of the Deadland Saga and more!

So, I decided to do a special edition of the Dystopia & Dissonance newsletter to promote it. As I was getting this ready I thought doing special editions isn’t a bad idea, but before I another, I want to hear from you. Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment below.  

Also, if you haven’t read my bestselling novel, Through Many Fires, and The Storm Rises, the preview editions of both are included in this giveaway.

Happy reading!


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about contests and giveaways.

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Hiving the New Bees

When you live on a farm, work changes with the seasons.

I’ve opened the Nuc box and removed one frame with several thousand bees on it.

Winter is a time of rest, for the soil, animals, and people, but not for bees. They collect together and vibrate to keep the queen and brood warm, but all too often, they don’t survive the cold and damp of winter. Despite my efforts in the fall, my two colonies didn’t endure the harsh short days of winter.

I’m putting one of the frames into its new home.

But spring is a time of renewal. All those chores you couldn’t get to because of bad weather now need to be done. The chicks have been moved from the bathroom to a special pen outside. Fences are being mended, and gates fixed. Despite the workload, I love this time of year. Months ago, I ordered a single replacement bee colony and it arrived, along with dozens of others, at a nearby apiary this morning.

On this warm and sunny day in April, one of the chores that must be done is hiving the bees. These little workers will soon pollinate our orchard trees, garden, and flowers.

We let them keep all the honey they produce during the first year. If they survive until next fall they’ll have made enough for us to harvest gallons of honey.

But, that’s a chore for another season.


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Chickens in the Bathroom

You know you’re a hick if ….

Chicks in the bathroom. Click to enlarge.

Every year we lose a few hens to illness, hawks, or raccoons and need replacements. In years past we had a rooster named Colonel and he took care of that for me. I slept right through Colonel’s predawn crowing, but it drove my wife to distraction. One day she told me that the rooster had disappeared. Yeah, sure, Colonel just decided to move. I think she had him killed.

The chicken box. Click to enlarge.

Since hens lay eggs even without a rooster I decided not to make too much of a fuss, but since then we’ve had to buy chicks in the spring. This year we bought a mix of Gold Sex-Link, Orpington, Marans, Welsummer, and Barnevelder.

From the start, chicks need to be kept warm, at up to one-hundred degrees. One year we kept them in the garage under a heat lamp, but when the weather turned cold they nearly died. After that, we tried several places in the house and this year we decided on the guest bathroom. They’re all in a box, but we try to warn guests before they enter.

I told several of my friends about keeping chicks in the bathroom and they considered it rather routine. One of them said, “Let me tell you about the time I had a calf in my bathroom.”

Maybe I’m not such a hick.


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about my life on the farm.

A bestseller since its release!

This has been an exciting weekend!   

Even before it was released, Race to Refuge, my latest 16,000-word short story, had climbed onto the Amazon short story bestseller lists. On Friday morning, March fifteenth, when Amazon released the story I checked and was thrilled to see it at number seven on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story List. But, it kept climbing all day. By evening it had reached the number two slot on the bestseller list.

Amazon list of March 16, 2019. Click to enlarge.

The next morning I checked again and discovered it had reached the number one position on the science fiction list and the number ten spot on the literature and fiction list. I’m writing this blogpost on Sunday and the story is still in the number three position.

All I can say is thank you, my readers!   

In this story, University of Washington students Ryan Palmer and Amy decide to bugout of Seattle when international tensions threaten to boil over into a world war. In normal times their journey to Ryan’s childhood home in rural Idaho would take less than a day. But these aren’t normal times. As they travel supplies become scarce, gasoline becomes impossible to buy, people panic and nuclear war erupts. Together they must confront their worst fears as they fight to reach home and refuge.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons

I enjoy singing 10,000 Reasons.

I’ve sung the hymn in church for several years, but other than enjoying the music and lyrics, I’ve never given the song much thought.

Matt Redman

Matt Redman

Then my wife found this video of it being sung in a packed Royal Albert Hall in London. For me, the performance, setting, music, and words all blended together to create a spectacular event. I would have loved to have been in that crowd and joined in the singing. Since that didn’t happen I at least wanted to know more about the song.

In the video, the co-writer of 10,000 Reasons, Matt Redman, performs the song with a full orchestra. Born in England, Matt had a tough time growing up. His father committed suicide when he was just seven, and his abusive step-father landed in jail. Through it all Matt found both his talent and Christ.

Based on the opening verses of Psalm 103, the hymn reached number one on the Christian chart in 2011.

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

You may have heard 10,000 Reasons before but, take a moment, and hear it again.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or to read more about my faith

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A Conference with Carrie

On February 23rd I had the pleasure of speaking at the Oregon Christian Writers one-day winter conference in Salem, Oregon.

Carrie Stuart Parks delivers the keynote address

I arrived about thirty minutes late due to an accident on the freeway but, after checking in, I entered the main auditorium and listened to the keynote speaker, Carrie Stuart Parks. Carrie is an award-winning, internationally known forensic artist and author. I had read about her before the conference. She taught classes for the FBI, Secret Service, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Her awards include the Christy, Carol, and the INSPY.  

Kyle Pratt, Cornelia Becker Seigneur, Carrie Stuart Parks. and Julie Zander

She talked about her progression from artist to writing books on drawing and on to her fiction novels. I enjoyed the way she mixed art and writing in a talk about growth. Evidently, I missed how she met Frank Peretti and came to be mentored by him. As a longtime fan of his novels, I would have taken eager notes on that.  

Fortunately, I wasn’t late for my class on Finding and Forming Critique Groups. I’ve attended critique groups for more than a decade and through them learned many valuable writing lessons and formed lasting friendships.

As authors, we spend many hours alone while writing, but sometimes we need the perspective of others. That’s where the critique group comes in handy. Getting out of our comfort zone and letting others read and comment on our work is hard, but that is what we do as published authors.

I hope to expand upon the talk and give it at other events.  


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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Please don’t colonize me

Bill Maher thinks I’m angry.

I first heard of Bill Maher as the host of Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central. I watched a few shows but soon moved on. Like so many comedians, Bill struck me as someone who thinks they’re funny and knows for certain they are the smartest person in any room.

Bill Maher

Such people annoy me, but I’m not angry.

I would have happily continued to ignore Bill, like that pesky relative that says stupid and cringe-worthy things. But then, Bill had to go and make up things about me and my neighbors.

Recently on his HBO show Real Time, Bill said, “We have orchestras and theaters districts and world-class shopping. We have Chef Wolfgang Puck, they (red state America) have Chef Boyardee.”

However, Bill was just getting warmed up. Over the course of the next few minutes, he said, “The fly-over states have become the passed-over states, that’s why red state voters are so pissed off. They don’t hate us, they want to be us. They want to go to the party.” He concluded the tirade with, “If liberals are serious about winning elections, they have to recolonize the parts of the country they’ve abandoned.” You can view the entire rant on the embedded video. 

Bill, I know this will come as a surprise, but I don’t want to come to your party and I hope you don’t come and try to colonize my part of the country. I’m not pissed-off, as you put it, but clearly, we value different things.

You see, my home isn’t surrounded by buildings, pavement, and traffic. I have neighbors but I can’t see them from my house. All I see as I look out any window is grass and trees. If I look through the trees along the south side of my property I can just make out the nearest road. If I’m working outside, I tend to notice the occasional car that travels it. 

In the morning I wake up to the sounds of chickens, horses, and cows. A host of birds including hummingbirds, swallows, hawks and an occasional bald eagle frequent the nearby forest. Almost daily, deer stroll through my yard and as dusk falls they sometimes settle down for the night in a nearby meadow. When the snow is deep my wife will often leave them apples.

On warm summer nights, I usually leave the window open and fall asleep to the sound of frogs croaking in the nearby pond.

You’re right Bill, I don’t have access to world-class shopping or Wolfgang Puck, but those have never been high on my list of life’s perks. I appreciate orchestras and theaters but have given up being close to them for what I get in return—beauty, peace, and solitude.

I know all of that probably sounds horrible to someone born and raised in the New York City area, but I like it. So, please don’t colonize my area. I’ve lived in big cities and I left them.

I’m just a conservative, red state republican who loves the simple country life and doesn’t want to be like you. 


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about my political views, or see more blogposts with video

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Five Signed Copies

I’m giving away five signed copies of Through Many Fires!

Click here to enter!

Click here to enter!

You could be one of the winners. Just click on the Rafflecopter graphic to enter and win. Enter your email address to open even more chances to win. It's all FREE!


Through Many Fires is the 72,000-word first book in the best-selling post-apocalyptic adventure series, Strengthen What Remains. 


America is under siege. 


Terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union Address.


Army veteran and congressional staffer Caden Westmore is in nearby Bethesda and watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital.


The next day, as he drives away from the still burning city, he learns that another city has been destroyed and then another. America is under siege.


Panic ensues and society starts to unravel.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about contests and giveaways.

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Race to Refuge Available for Pre-order

My first book of 2019 is available now!

Pundits say that the second-best promotion an author can have is finishing their next book. Well, the graphic design and editing of Race to Refuge flew by and my first release of 2019 is now available for pre-order for only 99 cents.

I’ve agreed to give Amazon the exclusive right to sell the book for ninety days. After that, I plan to offer the book on all the major platforms.

In Race to Refuge, college student Ryan Palmer wakes up to his girlfriend Amy pounding on the door. She snaps on the television and he learns that the tense world situation is spiraling toward war. As the news grows worse, they decide to bugout of Seattle and go to his parent’s home in Idaho. But panic buying makes finding gasoline impossible and chaos soon follows.

The best promotion an author can have is readers that tell other readers. Please, click on the book cover and order Race to Refuge and, when you’re done reading, please leave a review!


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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Race to Refuge Cover Reveal

Race to Refuge will be released in March.

I received the cover back from the graphic designer, Domi, of Inspired Cover Designs, yesterday and I’m showing it here first.

In this story, University of Washington students Ryan Palmer and Amy decide to bugout of Seattle when world tensions threaten to boil over into world war. In normal times their journey to Ryan’s childhood home in rural Idaho would take less than a day. But these aren’t normal times. As they travel supplies become scarce, gasoline becomes impossible to buy, people panic and nuclear war erupts. Together they must confront their worst fears as they fight to reach home and refuge.

Race to Refuge is in final editing. The exact release date hasn’t been set but this standalone novella will be available as a 99 cent ebook on Amazon in March. In the summer the story will be released on other platforms.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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New Year Resolutions

I believe in setting goals at the beginning of the year.

The SMART method of goal setting works for me. I make my goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I also believe in making goals public so that friends can hold me accountable and motivate me toward achieving them. I admit that sometimes when they do this I think of their encouragement more as nagging, but it does help. So, with that in mind here are my goals for 2019 and a look back at how I did on my goals for 2018.

We don’t have a cover yet for Facing the Storm.

 The Solar Storms Saga

My 2018 goal for the Solar Storms Saga had been to release both a novella and a full-length novel. I released the novella as The Storm Rises, in September of 2018. However, time ran short for completing the next full-length book in the series. That next book, Facing the Storm is now my primary novel to complete in 2019.

 At the end of 2019, this is how I want the series to stand.

The Storm Rises, book 0, released 2018

Through the Storm, book 1, released 2017

Facing the Storm, book 2, scheduled for 2019

You can read more about the next book in the Solar Storms Saga on the projects page of my website.

 The Guardian Knights series.

As 2017 began I had completed the first novel in this series Seekers of Earth, a 39,000-word novella that ends in a cliffhanger. I wanted to finish the second, longer, book, Recall the Earth, and have both available near the same time. I succeeded in this goal. Seekers of Earth was released in March of 2017, and Recall the Earth was released with much fanfare and marketing in April of that year. While both books have had good reviews, sales have been slow.

Then in 2018, the Solar Storm Saga books did very well and this drove me to allocate time and effort to writing and marketing of that series. I had to push back the third book in the Guardian Knights series to 2019, but this is the year that I will finish Return to Earth.

I planned the Guardian Knights as a five-book series and this is my plan for completion.

Seekers of Earth, book 1, released 2017

Recall the Earth, book 2, released 2017

Return to Earth, book 3, scheduled for 2019

War for Earth, book 4, scheduled for 2020

Farewell to Earth, book 5, scheduled for 2021

You can read more about Return to Earth on the projects page of my website.

 Completing both Facing the Storm and Return to Earth will mean writing over 110,000 words. That’s a significant, but achievable goal for 2019.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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