Monthly Archives: June 2014

How

Cost and Payment options:

The cost of Perelandra College classes is $100 per credit. Most of the classes are given for three credits.

In order to minimize our administrative costs and thereby keep our tuition low, we decline to offer financing. We can, however, allow monthly prepayments, by check or through the Paypal button on our Friends page.

Once a minimum of $50 is paid toward a class, we can send the syllabus so that the student can begin with the reading and writing projects required. Then, once the class is paid for, the student can be well on the way to finishing the class under the mentorship of one of our professors.

Should a prospective student prepay any amount then decide not to enroll, the prepaid amount can be considered a donation, for which we will send a receipt usable for tax deduction purposes.

These options allow students the opportunity to study on their own, guided by our syllabi, for a donation of $50 per class to a most worthy cause.

Please send enquiries about the current availability of classes to: ken@perelandra.edu

 

– See more at: http://perelandra.edu/classes/#sthash.HaD4hnBw.dpuf

Living as a Writer — a free trip to Midheaven

I was studying in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop when an editor from Viking Press came to visit. We got to talking, and she took my novel Midheaven in manuscript back to New York with her.

Months passed. More months passed. I wrote her. I wrote her again. More months passed. I drove to New York from San Diego and went to her office. She was in a meeting. I returned the next day. She was in a meeting. I met with an editor at Knopf about another project, and had lunch with my agent (who had opted not to submit Midheaven to publishers) I returned once again. She was in a meeting. I drove back to San Diego.

I was working as a welfare eligibility worker when Maureen, a Viking editor, called. She told me the original editor had quit and gone to grow citrus in Florida and left a stack of manuscripts on her desk.  Midheaven was one, and she wanted to buy it. But first, she needed to pitch it to a committee. She did. Viking offered to buy it, for a small advance. Then my agent (the same who had chosen not to submit) called and wanted in on the contract, for his 10%, though I hadn’t told him about the offer. Word gets around New York, I guess.

A couple months before the book came out, Maureen resigned from her job at Viking. Some years later, when I met her at a book signing in Berkeley, I learned that she quit because Viking had declined to put any effort whatsoever into publicizing two books she edited, one of them being Midheaven.

But when the book came out, I knew none of that. I was simply elated that I had a book, with my photo on the cover, and reviewers praised it, and none of them panned me for writing from a young woman’s point of view. And imagine my delight when Midnheaven was chosen as a finalist for an award for best American first fiction book of the year. Now, I thought, Viking would publicize.

They didn’t. And I moved on. And now, Midheaven is an ebook, and it’s free this week, through 6-20-14, at Story Cartel. You can’t beat that deal. Nor will you be disappointed. It’s a mighty fine story.

Here’s the jist of it.

In the early 1970′s, high school senior Jodi McGee turns from drugs and boys to Christ, but soon thereafter falls for her English teacher. As a result, tragedies test her will, her faith, and her sanity.

Some clips from reviews “… a pleasure to read.” “… gritty and honest.” “One of those rare gems of a novel that sneaks up on you and nestles in your soul.”

Remember to get your copy at www.storycartel.com/books/midheaven before the deal ends on Friday.

A Trip to Midheaven, Free

I was studying in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop when an editor from Viking Press came to visit. We got to talking, and she took my novel Midheaven in manuscript back to New York with her.

Months passed. More months passed. I wrote her. I wrote her again. More months passed. I drove to New York from San Diego and went to her office. She was in a meeting. I returned the next day. She was in a meeting. I met with an editor at Knopf about another project, and had lunch with my agent (who had opted not to submit Midheaven to publishers) I returned once again. She was in a meeting. I drove back to San Diego.

I was working as a welfare eligibility worker when Maureen, a Viking editor, called. She told me the original editor had quit and gone to grow citrus in Florida and left a stack of manuscripts on her desk.  Midheaven was one, and she wanted to buy it. But first, she needed to pitch it to a committee. She did. Viking offered to buy it, for a small advance. Then my agent (the same who had chosen not to submit) called and wanted in on the contract, for his 10%, though I hadn’t told him about the offer. Word gets around New York, I guess.

A couple months before the book came out, Maureen resigned from her job at Viking. Some years later, when I met her at a book signing in Berkeley, I learned that she quit because Viking had declined to put any effort whatsoever into publicizing two books she edited, one of them being Midheaven.

But when the book came out, I knew none of that. I was simply elated that I had a book, with my photo on the cover, and reviewers praised it, and none of them panned me for writing from a young woman’s point of view. And imagine my delight when Midnheaven was chosen as a finalist for an award for best American first fiction book of the year. Now, I thought, Viking would publicize.

They didn’t. And I moved on. And now, Midheaven is an ebook, and it’s free this week, through 6-20-14, at Story Cartel. You can’t beat that deal. Nor will you be disappointed. It’s a mighty fine story.

Here’s the jist of it.

In the early 1970′s, high school senior Jodi McGee turns from drugs and boys to Christ, but soon thereafter falls for her English teacher. As a result, tragedies test her will, her faith, and her sanity.

Some clips from reviews “… a pleasure to read.” “… gritty and honest.” “One of those rare gems of a novel that sneaks up on you and nestles in your soul.”

Remember to get your copy at www.storycartel.com/books/midheaven before the deal ends on Friday.

Living as a Writer (1) Why Write?

A prologue: Though I have plenty (probably too much) to say about many subjects, I need to limit my blogging or else give up other pursuits, such as writing novels or helping with my Zoe’s softball. I’d rather limit. A blog post once a week seems to fit my inclinations and circumstances.

The first week of each month goes to a blog for my mystery publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. I try to post something that might be of interest to mystery writers and readers. My day is the 8th.

And as I’m the guy in charge of communications from Perelandra College, I attempt to post on the college blog insights primarily relevant to writers who are Christians, which lots of our students are, though I hope those posts might also resonate with other writers.

The last week of each month I devote lots of time to The Scoop, a newsletter mostly about happenings within the Perelandra College community (you could subscribe through the link on the college website home page).

Which leaves me about a week a month to pursue thoughts about a subject dear to my heart, which is living as a writer, how to do so with the minimum of tragic or debilitating consequences and instead with the maximum of inspiration and joy. So, I’ll try to offer some words on this gnarly topic each month. Please note the word “try”.

Today I’ll tackle a question at the heart of the matter: why do we choose to write, anyway? Because, if we can’t answer that one, how can we begin to make sense of our lives?

I’ve attended dozens of writing conferences. Almost always, the keynote speaker tells the story: How I Got Rich and Famous. I find that story offensive, because in the context it implies that the reason we write is to get rich and famous.

In the film Citizen Kane, the tycoon’s old and wise advisor tells a reporter, “Well, it’s no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want is to make a lot of money.”

If I chose my career for the sake of making money, I would turn to buying, selling and developing real estate, and thereby boost a thousandfold the odds of my getting rich, if not famous.

So if not to get rich and famous, why should anyone choose to be a writer?

Some of us may be cursed by a need for closure. A story idea comes to mind, perhaps as a character or an image, and we get obsessed by a craving to follow it and see where the story goes.

Once I went to a party in a cabin on the shore of Lake Tahoe. In the living room were two distinct groups. One group was reading and discussing the Bible. The other group was passing a joint and laughing about something (probably about the Bible fans). A pretty girl stood between the groups, staring back and forth, appearing bewildered by the decision to join one group or the other. At last, she turned and rushed outside, ran straight to the lake and plunged in. I watched until she came out and trudged in her sopping boots, jeans and t-shirt, away down the beach.

I should’ve run after her and tried to make friends, but I’m shy. So instead I made her into a girl named Jodi, got inside her head and wrote Midheaven.

Even now, some decades later, I love that girl.

I miss her and wonder what became of her after I wrote The End, which I intend to find out in a year or two when she meets Clifford Hickey, another of my favorite people.

By the way, Writing and the Spirit, my book of reflections about inspiration and how to find it, was released not long ago by OakTara Press. Every writer and other kind of artist ought to read it. No kidding.

Why Write?

A prologue: Though I have plenty (probably too much) to say about many subjects, I need to limit my blogging or else give up other pursuits, such as writing novels or helping with my Zoe’s softball. I’d rather limit. A blog post once a week seems to fit my inclinations and circumstances.

The first week of each month goes to a blog for my mystery publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. I try to post something that might be of interest to mystery writers and readers. My day is the 8th.

And as I’m the guy in charge of communications from Perelandra College, I attempt to post on the college blog insights primarily relevant to writers who are Christians, which lots of our students are, though I hope those posts might also resonate with other writers.

The last week of each month I devote lots of time to The Scoop, a newsletter mostly about happenings within the Perelandra College community (you could subscribe through the link on the college website home page).

Which leaves me about a week a month to pursue thoughts about a subject dear to my heart, which is living as a writer, how to do so with the minimum of tragic or debilitating consequences and instead with the maximum of inspiration and joy. So, I’ll try to offer some words on this gnarly topic each month. Please note the word “try”.

Today I’ll tackle a question at the heart of the matter: why do we choose to write, anyway? Because, if we can’t answer that one, how can we begin to make sense of our lives?

I’ve attended dozens of writing conferences. Almost always, the keynote speaker tells the story: How I Got Rich and Famous. I find that story offensive, because in the context it implies that the reason we write is to get rich and famous.

In the film Citizen Kane, the tycoon’s old and wise advisor tells a reporter, “Well, it’s no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want is to make a lot of money.”

If I chose my career for the sake of making money, I would turn to buying, selling and developing real estate, and thereby boost a thousandfold the odds of my getting rich, if not famous.

So if not to get rich and famous, why should anyone choose to be a writer?

Some of us may be cursed by a need for closure. A story idea comes to mind, perhaps as a character or an image, and we get obsessed by a craving to follow it and see where the story goes.

Once I went to a party in a cabin on the shore of Lake Tahoe. In the living room were two distinct groups. One group was reading and discussing the Bible. The other group was passing a joint and laughing about something (probably about the Bible fans). A pretty girl stood between the groups, staring back and forth, appearing bewildered by the decision to join one group or the other. At last, she turned and rushed outside, ran straight to the lake and plunged in. I watched until she came out and trudged in her sopping boots, jeans and t-shirt, away down the beach.

I should’ve run after her and tried to make friends, but I’m shy. So instead I made her into a girl named Jodi, got inside her head and wrote Midheaven.

Even now, some decades later, I love that girl.

I miss her and wonder what became of her after I wrote The End, which I intend to find out in a year or two when she meets Clifford Hickey, another of my favorite people.

By the way, Writing and the Spirit, my book of reflections about inspiration and how to find it, was released not long ago by OakTara Press. Every writer and other kind of artist ought to read it. No kidding.