Friday, October 27, 2017

Group Therapy by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson
Would you visit a doctor who doesn’t keep up with the noteworthy medical journals in his or her specialized field? Or never attends conferences about the latest, greatest breakthroughs in medicine? Would you call 911 and trust a law enforcement officer who doesn’t recertify regularly on the gun range? Or never attends trainings that teach him or her what to do in an emergency?

Why are those things so important? Why is it a good idea for the pilot of an airplane to have logged significant hours behind the controls of the aircraft he or she is flying? Is it because you want them to be competent? Even confident? Your safety and the lives of you and others are at stake, right?

Of course. But there is one other aspect to a doctor going to a medical conference, a police officer attending a conference on terrorism, or a pilot meeting with other pilots at a training session.

They get to meet with others like them. They get to “talk shop.” They get to swap stories. They get to hang around people who “get them,” before they head back to their places of employment and become bombarded by us.

Now, on this blog site, we may not be talking about life and death here, but let me ask you a question. Do you attend a writers group? Regularly? Do you fellowship with other writers and actually talk about your writing? Do you read the latest and best books out there on the craft and swap those titles with those group members?

I am a chapter president of a local writers group. I helped establish one about seventy-five miles away from my home several years ago and decided it was time to help establish another closer to home. Why? Because it’s important to me. I need other people’s eyes on my work. I need to hear what people have to say about my writing…the good…the bad…and all the comments in-between. But it’s always a blessing to be able to sit and chat with people who “get me.”

You fellow writers know what I’m talking about. Family members love us, but if they are not writers, they don’t understand how we can get so excited about sentences, grammar, character development, and plot. They may be listening with a smile on their face, but their inner dialogue goes something like this:

“Oh, my word, how I wish I hadn’t ask how his writing is going…How can I excuse myself from this conversation…” Your aunt scans the nearby bystanders. “I always run into people in the grocery store. Why can’t there be anybody I know standing around here now? When I really need them? But noooo, they always stop me in the aisle when I’m in a hurry to get home.”

She takes a quick peek into her purse, acting as if her phone just rang. “Oh yeah, I am a concealed weapons permit holder…I could just shoot myself…in the foot…accidentally, of course. Looks like I have no other choice.” She grabs her gun, aims the purse downward, and—

“Harriet? Is that you?”

Startled she looks up and sees the man from her neighborhood—the one who lives two blocks over, has a long beard, severe dental issues, and who has been arrested three times for stalking other women.

Harriet slowly releases the gun and zips up her purse. “Oh, hi, Bernard, long time, no see.” She turns to you. “Honey, can you excuse me for a minute, I need to ask Bernard something.” Your aunt leans in close and pinches your cheek like she did when you were four years old. “Unlike some famous authors I know, this poor guy can’t catch a break. And I’ve been looking for someone to start mowing my lawn. Thought I’d give him a chance to get on his own two feet, you know?” She gives you an exaggerated wink and pats you on the shoulder. “I am so glad to hear that your writing is doing good. It’s been great catching up. You tell that momma of yours to call me, will ya? Phone lines run north and south.” And with that cliché and a wave, Aunt Harriet walks off with the makings of a serial killer.

You’re a writer. You’ve been there. You have your own “getaway” stories. You understand. But the Aunt Harriets of the world don’t. No fault of their own, but they just don’t get us. That’s why writers groups are so important.

At our group, we also pray for each other and get to know one another just a little bit more every second Saturday of the month. However, the best thing that happens when I leave each meeting is the boost of encouragement I receive from the group to “get back at it” with a renewed fervor. So much so that I have two series going now at the same time. Call me “insane,” but aren’t all writers? Just a little?

So, fellow author, to what writers group do you belong? What? You aren’t part of one? Why not? Oh, there aren’t any in your area? Why not start one? Maybe God is waiting for you to do so. What? You don’t have the time? Have you ever heard the phrase, “If it’s important to you, you make the time?” Hmm....

It’s really all about group therapy: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).

Was the Apostle Paul just talking about “church”?

I think not.

(The Blake Meyer Thriller Series, Book 3)

A Perverse Tale. A Precarious Truth. A Personal Tribulation.

Supervisory Special Agent Blake Meyer is at an impasse. Bound and beaten in a dilapidated warehouse halfway around the world, Blake finds himself listening to an unbelievable story. Right and wrong warp into a despicable clash of ideologies. Life quickly becomes neither black nor white. Nor is it red, white, and blue any longer.

Every second brings the contagion's release closer, promising to drag the United States into the Dark Ages. Tens of millions could be dead within months.

Every moment adds miles and hours to the expanding gulf between him and his family. What is he to believe? Who is he to trust?

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school.

His Blake Meyer Thriller series is out! Book 1, 30 Days Hath Revenge, is now available! Book 2, Triple Time, is also available! Book 3, The Tide of Times, just released! Also, the second edition of his award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, is now available!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.

Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page   
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson