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Monday, December 28, 2020

Logo Contest for The Myridian Constellation Series

Calling all clever and talented graphic artists!

Announcing the Myridian Constellation Logo Contest!

I’m looking for a seriously crafty artist to design a logo for my 7-book epic fantasy series called "The Myridian Constellation."

Here’s the concept: since stars and constellations figure prominently in the books, I’m looking for a full logo for book covers and merch. This logo would show a seven star constellation and the text “The Myridian Constellation” is some kind of epic fantasy composition. A small version of the logo would appear on the covers of each of the seven books.

Here’s the trick: the logo would need to be able to be subdivided on the spine so that each book gets its own numerical star. IE: the first book “Sword in the Stars” would have the beginning of the constellation with the first star alight with the number 1 imposed over the star.

Then, when all seven books are placed on the shelf next to each other and spine-out, the entire 7-star constellation will show across the spines.

All entries are due by January 31st, 2021 (is that enough time?) The prize for the winning entry? PRIZES (plural!)

1) All seven books of The Myridian Constellation, signed by the author

2) Direct promotion for your graphic arts services via a FULL PAGE AD in all 7 books

3) HTML ads for your work on all my websites

4) Frequent social media promotions, etc.

5) Fair payment (negotiable, but keep in mind that, I too, am a starving artist).

If you are interested in entering, please send submissions in jpg, png, or tiff format to me via the email below:
batguy21784 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

How's Your Christmas Spirit (or Spirits) Level?

One of the bright consequences of the pandemic has been the seemingly overwhelming amount of early Christmas decorating and Christmas spirit!

If you're looking for something to contribute to your Christmas spirit (or spirits), may I steer you toward "A Christian's Carol?" This is my modern retelling of Dickens' famous "A Christmas Carol." The audiobook narrator, Dave Cruse, absolutely crushed the reading.

Check out this free sample:

If you like it, pick up the audiobook on Amazon or This link will get you there:

PS: Please don't let the term "Christian" discourage you from giving this story a try. Like "A Christmas Carol," there are Christian themes, but also, I think, a more inclusive and circumspect view of Christians in terms of so many social issues that concern all people today.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Tough Love: When God Takes Out the Holy Chisel

My daughter Rachel Batson was telling me how tough her job is right now. Admittedly, her work is arduous, but I couldn't just placate. I had to tell her, "When I was your age {19}, at this time of the year, I was hand-weeding quarter-mile-long strawberry rows with the sun beating down upon my back."

We had a good laugh about it, but it got me thinking of how backbreaking that farm work really was. It wasn't just the weeding, but there was bailing straw, laying irrigation pipe, digging, pruning, etc. etc. Five years from my junior summer in high school to the fall of my junior year in college, I worked hard at the Darrow Berry Farm in Glen Dale, Maryland. 

Backbreaking work, but even if it were possible, I wouldn't go back and change a thing. If it hadn't been for that farm and that job, I might not have become a Christian as early in life. One early evening during Strawberry season, a friend who used to work with me at the farm came back to visit and pick some strawberries. Instead, he told me about Jesus.

If it hadn't been for that farm and that job, I wouldn't have met and married the love of my life Mary Lu Dovel Batson. If it hadn't been for that farm and that job, I wouldn't have made so many good life-long friends. I wouldn't have been in a heavy metal band. I wouldn't have led bible studies for 25+ years. The list goes on and on and on.

Please don't misunderstand, the work was HARD. It was relentless and hot, strenuous and mentally taxing. There were times out in the July heat, I thought I'd lose my mind. Once I almost started a fistfight with one of my best friends {I'm looking at you Warren Cramutola}. On the rare day off, I was in recovery. My neck hurt, my back ached, my knees were on fire, and I was sunburned to the point where, eventually, I'm sure I'll look more like a gator than a man.

In retrospect, however, I realize that it was hard work for a purpose. God had His fingerprints all over that time of my life and all over that arduous job. The experience reminds me of a couple of critically important Bible verses:

Romans 5:3-5
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

God used the lever of hard physical labor to cause me to persevere, to build character, and yes, over the years to give me hope beyond hope. God wasn't finished, either. He was just warming up the holy chisel. Through parenting, married life, career issues, sickness, death, loss, depression, and even the pandemic, God has shown me who He is and how good He is. He has continued and still continues to chisel away at me for His glory and my ultimate great benefit.

Trials, stress, hardship—none of that is foreign to the human experience. Some of you reading right now are going through the aching, searing, trial of your lives. It's hard. It hurts...bad. It feels like it will never end and that there's no way God could ever use it for ultimate good. He can, and He will. Persevere. Look for Jesus in the midst of the pain. Ask Him to hold you, teach you, uplift, and recreate you. He will. Hey, he plucked me out of a freaking strawberry field. He can pick you up too. 
PS: Fuzzy and Denise Kurtz, wherever you are, thank you so much for working my teenage butt off! I miss you. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Free Epic Fantasy Goodness! This week only!

Through Friday of this week (June 8-12), all Myridian Constellation eBooks are FREE on Kindle! 1700 pages of Epic Fantasy goodness, free!

Sword in the Stars:

Errant King:

The Forsaken Continent:

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Some Good News from ...Myriad!

Like my close friend {cough} John Krasinski always says, "It's time for some good news!" I am throwing a FREE Kindle Sale of Sword in the Stars, Errant King, and The Forsaken Continent from June 8th through 12th. You can get all three ebooks free from Amazon on those dates! Epic fantasy goodness coming your way! Never alone.

Monday, April 06, 2020

My Favorite "Author Thing"

My favorite thing to do as an author is read my books to people. I crank up the dramatic reading to 11 and absolutely LOVE seeing the expressions on listeners' faces. That's why, given our current stay-at-home crisis, I created a video reading of one of my favorite read-aloud passages: Falon's Stair from The Door Within. I hope you have as much fun watching as I had making this. And yes, I am a ham. US, Grade A Certified, Hillshire Honey-baked!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

More Contagious Than Covid-19

There's another sickness now spreading faster than Covid-19. Clinicians have tagged it NotMeSyn-20. It is an insidious illness that simultaneously attacks the brain and heart. In the brain, symptoms include: faulty reasoning, narcissism, rage, rationalizing, and discrimination. The sickness causes a hardening of different chambers in the heart, leading to callousness, judgment, numbness, and cold. Sociologists estimate that this illness, if unchecked, will add tens of thousands of deaths on top of what Covid-19 could already produce. 

Not Me Syndrome, as it has been dubbed, can strike individuals or large groups. How do you know if you have it? Check your thought processes. How carefully are you safeguarding yourself and your activities to avoid catching / spreading Covid-19? We're all social distancing, but if you aren't, why not? Are you thinking, "I'm young and strong. I can handle a virus." Or are you thinking, "I don't really need to take precautions because, odds are, I'm not a carrier?" If so, you are thinking small. You are thinking selfishly. And your thinking could get someone killed.

We are reading about this kind of viewpoint in headlines every day. We see it in the stores when all the meat or medicine or tp is gone. People thinking, "I've got to take care of #1 by hoarding." All that does is deprive the needy or less able among us, or at the very least, removes the possibility of equity. Thousands of Spring Breakers drunkenly proclaim: If I catch it, I catch it. No big deal. Subsequent articles report that many of these same young people are now positive for Covid-19. Who knows how many others are infected because of such callous behavior?

Selfishness has always been an insidious sickness. I know personally because I’ve been selfish in many ways throughout my life. It’s a struggle, especially with something so confusing and scary as this. I felt it when I went to the grocery store the other day. This particular grocery store didn’t have a hand sanitizer kiosk so you can clean your hands on the way in and on the way out. Once in the store, I kept my distance from people. I never picked up anything unless I was going to buy it. I didn’t touch my face—even though my blasted mustache chose that particular time to itch like crazy. But still, I kind of threw up my hands in surrender because I began to think: how can I possibly be safe enough? I mean, once I left the grocery store, I touched the steering wheel of the car. I turned on the running lights. I twisted the radio knob. I touched the door handle to my home…and then, I washed my hands again. It’s maddening, but I’m resolving not to rationalize. I’m going to take every possible precaution because it’s not just my life.

I don't know anyone with this view, but I've read that there are people out there who think that "old people" dying is an acceptable risk. I mean, "hey, they already had a full life, right?" Wrong. None of us gets to place an arbitrary value on human life. That is way above our pay grade. That is selfishness on a Hitler, survival of the fittest, scale.

Trump’s proposal to reopen the American economy by Easter is insane. We’re not even close to the apex of this virus. Spurring on thousands of potential carriers to get out and mingle for the sake of economic growth is reckless at best; diabolical at worst. Any national policy that values dollar health over human health is a sign of real sickness.

We cannot think, “Well if it’s not hurting me, then all is well.” Not Me Syndrome is deadly. It’s irrational. It’s selfish. Throughout human history, the worst human atrocities have been committed by those that dehumanize other people. Let us not, by taking chances, be guilty of such thinking now.

We all need to do a prayerful self check. We need to protect others, not just ourselves. Stay home. Wash hands. Shop wisely and take only what you need—not what you think you might need for the next three months! We are at a point where it’s not just a good thing for all of us to work together. We’ve got a pretty stark choice: work together so that we can save each other or go our separate ways to weep alone.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

He Wastes Nothing

One aspect of writing that I've taught my students about is "writing to find out." That's when you don't really know what you think on a certain topic, but you write to discover your deeper thoughts. It's as if your first halting words and phrases have a light tether to those deeper thoughts, and you must keep pulling that thread until you get to the heart of the matter. I'm doing that today. Here. I might delete it before I post it, but I kind of doubt it. The first time this topic came to mind, I dismissed it. The 2nd time, I took notice. The 3rd and 4th time, I said, "Ok, Lord, what do you want me to say? And, please help me not to screw it up." 

The pandemic is one of the strangest times I've ever experienced in my life. It feels like 9/11 stretched out indefinitely. I'm trying to do what the CDC recommends, social distancing, washing my hands, not touching my face, etc. And yet, I'm still going out to the grocery store or to get gas for the car. We can't see the germs, can't know if someone close to us has just randomly brushed up against someone carrying the virus. It's bizarre. One moment, I'm thrilled with the time off from work, enjoying the Spring warmth, and praising God. The next moment, I feel physiological anxiety start to boil up within me, and I find myself trembling.

In a time such as this, where even the floor beneath my feet feels unstable, I collapse at the mercy of God. I know a ton of theological concepts and a myriad of bible verses that tell me "be anxious for nothing" or "lean not on your own understanding," "hold fast to the confession of your faith," etc. I recognize the truth in each. And believe me when I tell you, God's word is the sure foundation upon which everyone and everything depends. And yet...

I still have questions, fears, and anxieties. I wonder, why now, Lord? Why at this time in human history? I'm afraid of what life might become or what it will look like after. And my anxiety is partly body chemistry that I have no control over. So I find myself thinking about God. Please don't roll your eyes and call me a wingnut. I'm not blaming this virus on God. I'm not seating myself in the heavens and declaring that God is punishing a sinful world or some such. That kind of lofty knowledge is WAY above my pay grade. I do know that God often allows tragedy, He allows natural disasters, He allows the due course of sin and consequence, and He allows the sun to shine on the wicked and the good. I also know that God never wastes our pain or our tears.

I've lived long enough to see God work through all kinds of terrifying events. At times, He works to bring me to my knees because I've gone astray. Other times, I have no direct correlation, but I recognize that God has changed me after the fact. Two seasons of clinical depression knocked the living snot out of me, but each season drove me to Him.

I don't know the future, but I do know that God will not waste the year 2020. Could it be that a world and nation divided will pull together to help each other? Could the social distancing and quarantine help us to recognize our priorities and our mortality? Since we can't go to the movies or the restaurant or the bar, might we attend to people and relationships that, in the end, are so much more meaningful? Is the potential spreading of the virus going to wake us up to recognize hour our action or inaction really does impact others? I don't know. I don't know the future. And I can't read God's mind. But I do know that God is good. He will not waste the events of our lives. And you watch, He will bring good out of all this.

*Amazing art by Jacobo Franger.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March 18 thru 22: All eBooks are FREE!

We are living in strange times, aren't we? I'm sure we're all tired of hearing about ...well, you know... so I won't mention it here. Still, a lot of us have a lot more alone time than we're used to, so I thought it would be a good time to give stuff away. 

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own Logo
Starting March 18 thru March 22, all of my independently published eBooks, novellas, and short works will be FREE. That's $50 worth of ebooks to load up on your Kindle or Kindle app...for FREE. I'd run the giveaway longer, but Amazon won't let me. Lol.

Here are the titles and links:

Sword in the Stars

The Errant King

The Forsaken Continent

A Christian's Carol


The Blackwood

Isle of Stars

The Misadventures of Strylun and Xerk

The Adventures of Sherluck Homey and Dr. Whatsup

Storms Captured (My personal poetry anthology)

Forget Me Not

The Dragon in My Closet 

Skeleton Project Episode 1

Skeleton Project Episode 2

Skeleton Project Episode 3

Skeleton Project Episode 4

Law of the Land 

Please spread the love by sharing this with book-a-philes you know! God bless you and keep you during these unusual days. 

Never alone!

-Wayne Thomas Batson

"FREE" Image courtesy of:  Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Not All Battles are Fought with Swords and Not All Warriors Win Every Battle

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My firstborn daughter, Kayla Mary Batson, aka Kaydoodle is an absolute bad--- warrior! But even warriors need help sometimes. Please read on...

Emergency Medical Fund: Kayla’s Relentless Battle
My name is Summer Smith and I have started this fundraiser on behalf of my dear friend, Kayla Batson, to help get her out of extreme medical debt and pay for future surgeries, the medications she needs to live, and anything that will help improve her living situation. In 2016 Kayla endured a surgery with extreme complications.  These complications were a direct result of severe  malpractice and negligence, but due to the statute of limitations in MD, Kayla has unfortunately timed out of the window to pursue legal action. Because of this, Kayla was left with 4 untreated major infections/super-bugs: MRSA(Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), another but different type of Staph Aureus strain and infection, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Diphtheria (despite the fact that she was up to date on all vaccines, she became so immunosuppressed that she was able to contract this). By the time Kayla was able to secure a better medical provider/surgeon, she needed to be hospitalized. She was treated with a substantial amount of IV antibiotics to rid- all infections and superbugs, and has had to endure 13+ life-altering surgeries (including a double mastectomy, different transplants, major abdominal surgeries, hip & femur surgeries on both legs, and operations on her spine- to name a few).* These extensive surgeries have been ongoing over the past three years to repair the damage done to her body and the hardships of these surgeries have rendered her permanently disabled.

*At the end of this page, per Kayla’s request, there are two quotes. 1. She asks that people PRIORITIZE reading these before they click the link to her medical pictures. 2. The second quote is a thank you directly from Kayla.

In the beginning of 2018, on top of all the complications presented by these surgeries, Kayla started experiencing serious symptoms associated with disorders characterized by deterioration of the nervous system. She has already undergone a series of tests, the results of which are associated with certain neurological disorders. She will need to continue consulting with a team of specialists regarding a final diagnosis, but at the moment is unable to until her medical debt is somewhat alleviated.

During these past three years, Kayla has experienced numerous tragedies and hardships while dealing with her extensive medical issues. In the spring of 2019, Kayla’s best friend passed away unexpectedly. Shortly after, Kayla was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in multiple areas of her body. She had to go through treatment, involving surgical procedures to remove the cancer, while still healing from the previous operations. Through everything, Kayla has tried to persevere, but the emotional, physical, and financial burdens have taken their toll, both on her and her family.

Until this point, Kayla has not received any financial aid outside of her family. She has applied and is waiting on disability income, but the process for approval takes months, if not years, in most cases. This is an emergency situation as she needs to continue paying for the medications she needs to live, as well as travel expenses to get to her doctor’s appointments, since she no longer has a working vehicle. The initial goal we are asking for will go towards the medications she needs for the month, the copays for weekly doctor’s visits, and towards a used vehicle, so she can get to her appointments with more ease. Any additional funds will go towards her and her family’s $200k+ worth of medical debt, as well as ongoing medical expenses and imperative upcoming surgeries. Anything is greatly appreciated; I assure you. Kayla is a kind, gentle, and giving person, and it is heartbreaking to see her deal with all of this, especially at such a young age.  Any donations would be an immense relief. If you cannot donate or even if you can, please share this link. And please send positive thoughts, any type of support, and please pray over this situation for continued healing for Kayla.