Category Archives: Jim Denney

A Holy Calling

Opinion by Jim Denney “Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?” … Continue reading

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An Assault on the Bride of Christ

Opinion by Jim Denney Brace yourself. This is going to be different from the usual sort of post I write for this blog. Recent headlines have triggered memories and emotions from a long time ago. I don’t need to mention … Continue reading

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Write what you DON’T know!

By Jim Denney Saul Bellow once said, “A writer is a reader who is moved to emulation.” I know that’s true in my case. I’m a writer today because I wanted to emulate my literary heroes. Maybe you know that … Continue reading

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Blessed by Adversity

By Jim Denney I recently read a short story by W. Somerset Maugham called “The Verger.” If you’ve never read the story, here’s a SPOILER ALERT. That’s right, fair warning, I’m about to spoil the ending. But here’s a link … Continue reading

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Do You Have Lemon Juice on Your Face?

by Jim Denney Many aspiring writers assume that, because they’ve done a lot of reading, they know how to write. This is almost never true. Writing is a craft that must the mastered through intensive study and practice. The problem … Continue reading

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Do You Have a Why?

by Jim Denney In 1969, I sat in a university lecture hall and listened as Dr. Viktor Frankl — psychiatrist, author, and Holocaust survivor — talked about living a life of meaning in a world that makes no sense. Hearing … Continue reading

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C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and the Life-Changing Power of Stories

by Jim Denney Clive Staples Lewis — “Jack” to his friends and family — was raised in the Church of Ireland. The death of his mother when he was nine years old shattered his happy childhood. By age fifteen, he … Continue reading

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A Prayer for the Blank Page

by Jim Denney “Almighty God, bestow upon us the meaning of words, the light of understanding, the nobility of diction, and the faith of the true nature. And grant that what we believe, we may also speak.” —Hilary of Poitiers (A.D. … Continue reading

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Fiction is a Different Kind of Truth

by Jim Denney “All good books have one thing in common — they are truer than if they had really happened.” —Ernest Hemingway I’m a fan of Lawrence Block and Stephen King, but there’s something these two fine writers have … Continue reading

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Writing is Finger-Painting with Words

by Jim Denney A few years ago, I taught a workshop at a writer’s conference. After one session, a young woman came up to me and said, “My problem is that I never finish anything. I’m so afraid that someone … Continue reading

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Who Are Your Inklings?

“Is there any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”  — C. S. Lewis The Inklings were C.S. Lewis’s closest friends and toughest critics. During the time of his greatest productivity as … Continue reading

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Do you dream of being a writer?

by Jim Denney Mark Twain retreated to a shed at Quarry Farm in New York, where he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne used to write his books in a high tower of his château … Continue reading

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The Harvey Weinstein of Star Trek

By Jim Denney Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was the first to fall. In early October 2017, several courageous women stepped forward and accused Weinstein of various acts of sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, assault, and rape. So far, more than … Continue reading

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Dinosaurs, Amazon Reviews, and This Thrill-Ride Called Life

by Jim Denney I just did something authors are NOT supposed to do: reading Amazon.com reviews of my book. Why shouldn’t writers read their reviews? Some say nothing good can come of it. The five-star reviews will swell your head … Continue reading

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Lessons from the Wildfire

By Jim Denney A little less than a month ago, I was returning from a medical appointment, with a brief stop at Target. From the Target parking lot, I saw a thin plume of smoke in the distance. After I … Continue reading

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