A Writer’s Journey (Encouragement for Creators)

Share

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

John Wayne in Hondo

Louis Dearborn LaMoore, who wrote the above statement, was born in North Dakota on March 22, 1908, a time when the Great American West was beginning to fade into history. As a boy, Louis would talk to the cowboys who frequently traveled through his hometown, driving livestock to and from ranches in Montana. Louis often fantasized about the by-gone days of the Wild West, played “Cowboys and Indians” in the family barn, and devoured scores of historical adventure novels.

Louis’ father was a farm veterinarian and politician who’d arrived in the Dakota Territory to make his fortune in 1882. But in the winter of 1923, following a series of bank failures that devastated the area’s economy, Dr. LaMoore headed South with his wife and seven children. During the next several years, the LaMoores worked the mines in Arizona, California and Nevada, baled hay in New Mexico, and skinned cattle in Texas. Along the way, Louis met dozens of fascinating people, from all walks of life, which would eventually inspire the colorful characters in his fiction.

LaMoore dreamed of being a writer. And although he initially found some success writing articles about his travels, his short stories were repeatedly rejected. LaMoore would eventually publish 105 books (89 novels, 14 short story collections and 2 works of non-fiction), but before then he had a long ways to travel.

LaMoore took to the road. Along the way, he spent time as a mine assessment worker. He later became a professional boxer. And as a merchant seaman, he traveled the world, visiting England, Japan, China, Arabia, Egypt, and Panama. But he returned home in 1933, settled in Oklahoma, changed his name to Louis L’Amour, and pursued his writing.

L’Amour mostly wrote novels about the Wild West, classics of the genre, many of which would be adapted for movies and television — including Hondo, starring John Wayne, and The Sacketts, starring Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott. But getting the first few published was laborious. LaMoore once wrote, “Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.”

Tom Selleck & Sam Elliott in The Sacketts

L’Amour slowing gained ground with American publishers, but the writer was extremely prolific and wrote more novels than he could place with the few major publishing houses. None of these companies were willing to publish more than two of his books a year — and L’Amour had already placed novels with several of them.

Bantam Books finally took a chance on Louis L’Amour, and contracted to publish all of the novelist’s works: past, present and yet to be written. And the publisher never had occasion to regret its agreement. L’Amour was a perennial gold mine for Bantam, ultimately selling over 320 million copies, and the publisher continues to keep the L’Amour Library in print.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.  (Louis L’Amour)

A person’s gift opens doors for him, bringing him access to important people. (Proverbs 18:16 ISV)

Share

Dr. King’s Angelic Message!

Share

Today we commemorate the life of a great servant of God, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We also celebrate the fourth anniversary of our website AngelAtTheDoor.com and the first of our three ongoing series of inspirational articles, Diet for Dreamers.

We chose to launch our website and our first series on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for two big reasons, the most obvious one being that Dr. King had a great dream — and we intended our weekly articles in Diet for Dreamers (along with our Encouragement for Creators) to feed the spirits of dreamers everywhere. We genuinely wanted to encourage people to pursue the goals and visions with which God has inspired them, and we’ve stayed the course through hundreds of “adventures” that examine the origins of such cool and iconic things as Star Trek and slinky toys, cotton candy and Liquid Paper, Peter Rabbit and Edison’s lightbulb; and the success stories of dreamers and creators such as Stan Lee and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Orville Redenbacher and “Rocky Balboa,” Morgan Freeman and Agatha Christie, Irving Berlin and Satchel Paige.

We conceived AngelAtTheDoor.com to be our internet home, a base of operations for our mission as messengers of love, hope, truth, and hospitality. In Biblical times, God employed supernatural messengers called angels to deliver such truths. These angels had a habit of showing up on the doorsteps of some of the great heroes of the Bible, and a few times they looked exactly like normal people who were just passing by. We realized that in a manner of speaking, we all have the potential do be God’s “angels” — whenever we choose to be God’s hands extended, His messengers of love. Hence, the curious name of our website.

And in a way, every thing that God created, such as a blade of grass or a rain cloud, can take on an angelic role, teaching us important truths about the nature of life and relationships. And we discovered that even in the kitchen, working with food and kitchen tools and appliances, we could “see” examples of God’s wisdom. This inspired our third series of whimsical articles, Angel in the Kitchen, many of which were recently published as a book — along with another volume, a collection of our Diet for Dreamer articles. Which brings us to the other reason we chose to launch on January 18, 2015.

Dr. King was exactly the type of angelic messenger we had in mind when we conceived our website. He chose to be God’s emissary in a divided world, an “angel” of peace but with a steadfast message of equality. Dr. King had a dream that “one day [all people will] live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His angelic message is one of unity and harmony, and as followers of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, we share both his dream and his message!

We pray for the destruction of every last “wall” that so easily divides us: age, gender, ethnicity, and religion, as well as social and economic status. We intentionally leave out the word race, because we feel it’s a misnomer. We are all members of a single race, the human race, created in God’s own image and descended from a single bloodline. Each of us, on this basis, has great worth, value and potential — and is deserving of respect and no small consideration.

Yes, we are all equal! But thank goodness we’re not all the same! We may have our differences, and come from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, but that just keeps life and people interesting. God loves diversity — just take a look at nature and you’ll understand this — and when He created the human race He seasoned the world with a wide variety of “flavors” (sabor)!

The prophet Samuel wrote, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) In other words, God determines who we are by looking inside; it’s the condition of our hearts that signifies the kind of people we are, not a set of external factors. So, as we reflect on Dr. King’s message and legacy, let’s also examine our own hearts — honestly. Once we do, we should ask ourselves if what we discover would be pleasing in the eyes of the God who is Love!

Let’s work together to root out any prejudice, hatred, or bigotry toward our fellow man. We don’t have to agree with another person on every single issue in order to accept them; and we don’t have to adopt their worldview in order to love them.

Please join us in this prayer from the Biblical King, David, whom God declared “a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22 NIV):

Search me, O God, and know heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 KJV) Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Most of us dream of a better world. If we’re going to pursue this dream, we’ll need to start by being better. With God’s grace we can do it — together! Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Share