Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The End of Myself by Buck Storm

Buck Storm
At the western tip of Texas the I-10 angles north and cuts the Mexican border. Through my passenger window El Paso shines in the sun, clean and bright. On my left the low-slung shacks of Juarez, Mexico spread themselves across the desert hills beneath an ominous haze of dust and smoke.

I drive, carefully balanced at seventy-miles-per-hour between two worlds—a familiar state-of-being for me. Two weeks into a busy five-week tour, I’m already tired. We shave off the bottom of New Mexico then pass the Welcome to Arizona sign just as the sun digs its way into the desert floor. If I were to turn north right now I could find Paradise, Arizona—the setting for my first novel. A place that lives only in my imagination, but as real to me as Des Moines or Cairo. I’d have carnitas at Shorty’s, watch the sunset from the deck of Spur’s Tavern, and spend the night at the Venus Motel.

The speedometer nudges eighty and the lights of Tucson dot the horizon. Man! The hours, days, months working on that book… I’ve lived the characters, walked the streets of my imaginary town. I can smell the place.

In other words—I’m invested. I hope it’s a good book. I get nice emails from happy fans. My publisher put it up for an award or two… Then why isn’t that little 250-page package of my blood and sweat changing the world? Or at least paying my kid’s college tuition?

Tucson in the rear-view, the needle settles at a solid eighty-five and discouragement tugs my sleeve. I’ve done the marketing dance. I’ve gotten my social media friends in a “check my book out, I’m an author” headlock more times than I can count. What’s the story?

Then, at a gas station on the outskirts of Casa Grande, I am reminded (again). I pick up my phone—equivalent to Poe’s opium pipe—to check for new reader reviews. Instead, I see a message from an old friend saying she’s reading and enjoying The Miracle Man. I realize with a rush that this lady who doesn’t have any real knowledge of Jesus and would never step foot in a church is being touched by my story.

God laughs and slaps me on the back with conviction that is both painful and good. Who do I think I am? At the end of the day I don’t deserve to breathe air and He calls me friend! And by His grace I’ve just received compensation that infinitely outweighs any royalty check I could ever dream of.

Forgive me, Jesus! Please bring me to the end of myself.

I hope I can encourage you like that phone message encouraged me. We work so hard dreaming up with our beginnings, middles, and endings. But even so, we can’t see the whole story. We are part of something bigger than we’ll ever know this side of Heaven. The lack of sleep, the agent hunt, the publishers and rejection letters, the endless edits… Maybe it’s not about units sold at all. Maybe it’s about that one, broken person who suddenly finds herself awash in God’s love and hears those sweet words whispered, “Come home daughter, I miss you…” And she does.

Wouldn’t it all be worth it?

Hand to the plow, fellow pilgrims! Don’t let discouragement get the upper hand. We can always trust our faithful gifts will be well used in the loving hands of the real Writer.

And when the stars are a distant memory, we will remember and rejoice.

Fair winds,
Buck Storm

About the Author
Buck Storm has marked time as a commercial diver, fisherman, sailor, and musician. A veteran singer/songwriter, he’s bounced around the planet with a guitar and a pocketful of stories and made friends in venues everywhere. Buck writes about this mixed-up, out of control, beautiful cacophony we call humanity. About life as he sees it—or sometimes just how he'd like it to be. Buck and his wife, Michelle, have a happy love story, a hideout in North Idaho, and two wonderful children. The Miracle Man is his first novel.

Book two, Truck Stop Jesus is coming September 2016!

The Miracle Man
The Miracle Man
by Buck Storm

Welcome to Paradise. Off the beaten path, sleepy, backwater—call it what you will, police chief Luke Hollis likes his town just the way is. Clear skies and fair winds make for smooth sailing. Luke’s perfectly content to concentrate on nothing but a good cup of coffee and working up the nerve to approach his dispatcher, Ruby Brooks, with his feelings for her. When an unexpected miracle occurs at the Mount Moriah Pentecostal Church of God events are set in motion that will challenge him, test everything he believes, and ultimately change his life forever. Throw in a struggling minister, a world-class grifter, a stranger with an unbelievable story of love and redemption and the stage is set for The Miracle Man. By the time it’s all over everyone involved will come face to face with a Power that’s greater and more wonderful than any of them could have ever imagined.