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02
Mar 14
Last Updated on 02 March 2014

FREE Downloads and Kindle Countdown Discount Deals for your Spring Break reading!

High Adventure - The Solomon Ring of Kilimanjaro.18FREE DOWNLOAD!


Tuesday March 4th through Saturday March 8th!

Spring Break Discount on High Adventure: The Solomon Ring of Kilimanjaro

“an ‘Indiana Jones’ style adventure with a little romance, a little more God, and a lot more adventure and action.”

“I have not read a book like this in a long time, but it was a great adventure! I loved the fact it was from a Christian point of view and incoporated many historical facts. I loved this book and can’t wait to read another book by Dunn.”

The key to ultimate wisdom and is locked inside Mount Kilimanjaro. To protect it from the German Empire, missionary flier Jack Benjamin will need some wisdom of his own.

#HighAdventure

Click here to learn more!

 

 

Kindle Countdown deals!

Monday March 3rd through Sunday March 9th!

 

RedRider.14Spring Break discount on The Red Rider!

“Amazing! If I could give it more than five stars, I would. Packed full of adventure and drama with a hint of faith and a subtle amount of romance. A wonderful combination that is sure to please readers of many genres. I can only hope that the right person will come across THE RED RIDER and turn it into a movie that is sure to be a box-office hit.”

“The book is full of adventure, mystery, twists and turns with a fair amount of moral teachings included. This is a book that would be excellent for young teens and adults alike.”

Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves …
But she’s not little anymore.

#RedRider

Click here to learn more!

 

 

The ABCs of Making Fiction Funny.10Spring Break discount on The ABC’s of Making Fiction Funny: Building Blocks for Adding Humor to Your Writing!

“I was blown away by the author’s detailed knowledge of not only how to recognize comedy, but also how to construct it within a story.  Most people look at humor as a reactionary, visceral response, but Dunn takes it one step further and discusses tips and tricks for the reader to implement in order to create gut-busting scenes within their work.  As a Creative Writing Instructor, I plan to use Dunn’s book in upcoming courses about incorporating humor into my students’ stories.  And as an author myself, I found the different examples and definitions of comedy extremely beneficial, and the correlating writing ideas/exercises within each section helped to bring a hands on element to the subject matter.  Whether you’re a comedy writer or not, do yourself a favor and buy this book!”

Learn the techniques for charming your readers and keeping them entertained enough to fall in love with your stories and keep coming back for more! You’ll learn how to formulate the funny, making your stories more fun, your characters more endearing, and your writing more marketable for potential editors and agents.

#MakingjFictionFunny

Click here to find fun film examples referenced in the book!

20
Feb 14
Last Updated on 21 February 2014

What It Means to Look Flawless

four women photoshopped.01My daughter, Abby, told me she wished she had freckles like the rest of us in the family. I told her that her skin is beautiful the way it is, and I would love to have smooth skin like hers, but I’m happy with the way I am.

I told her about Cindy Crawford, one of the world’s original and most famous supermodels. When she started modeling, her production team wanted to airbrush away the prominent mole on her face. 74392980BM080_Warner_Bros_PThey did it for a few pictures, and after that, she insisted that they leave her face the way it was. Keeping her mole certainly didn’t hurt her career, or make her any less beautiful.

In an interesting experiment, four ordinary women agreed to let themselves be digitally enhanced to look like cover models. They were stunned by the results … and the false expectations they’ve had all these years.

Click here to watch.

four women photoshopped.04In the end, they realized they were already beautiful, even with their flaws. Their former views of “perfection” were dismantled when they discovered that the magazine pictures of models were mere fantasies of what beauty looks like. The real beauty rests in accepting ourselves and striving to improve as people – by being friendly, loyal, hardworking, and even getting in better shape - without striving for imaginary ideals that can never be attained.    

Be yourself. If you give yourself a chance, you’ll soon discover that you’re beautiful already. #fourwomenphotoshopped

photoshop effect.01Click here to learn more about how The Photoshop Effect transforms normal people – even celebrities – into impossibly beautiful icons, drawing us away from our own true beauty. #photoshopeffect

 

In what ways have you demeaned yourself because of a false image you tried to attain?

 

13
Feb 14
Last Updated on 13 February 2014

Beauty Is As Beauty Does

My Beautiful Woman.03

Beauty is love.

 

Beauty is joy.

 

Beauty is peace.

 

 

 

My Beautiful Woman.01

 

Beauty is sacrificing your reputation for the sake of someone else’s.

 

 

 

My Beautiful Woman.02

 

Beauty is hope.

 

Beauty is faith.

 

 

My Beautiful Woman.08

 

Beauty is expecting the best of yourself and those you love.

 

 

 

My Beautiful Woman.07

 

Beauty is diligence.

 

Beauty is blood, sweat and tears.

 

 

 

Beauty is refusing to give up.

 

My Beautiful Woman.04Beauty is undying love for someone else.

 

 

Beauty is what you do.

 

Beauty is who you are.

 

My Beautiful Woman.06

 

Be beautiful every day.

 

Love someone.

 

 

Watch the video #mybeautifulwoman for a haunting and inspiring story of genuine beauty.

      

31
Jan 14
Last Updated on 30 January 2014

MOVIE: The Mighty Ducks – Labels

Mighty Ducks.12

by Randall Allen Dunn

 

Mighty Ducks.01Labels can stick with you for a long time. Often much longer than they should.

When I was a kid taking vacations at my grandparents’ farm, the biggest thrill for me was getting to watch different shows on their TV that our home antenna wouldn’t pick up. (Yes, I’m that old, and yes, I was that shallow as a child.)

One day, my stern, hard-working grandpa told me, “I’m going out to bale hay. If you want, you can come help me.”

So, of course, I stayed at the house and watched TV. As every child knows, when adults give you a choice by saying “if you want”, but then expect you to do what they want instead, it’s their own fault for giving you all the power.

Mighty Ducks.04At the end of the day, I had packed in several hours of classic TV reruns. My grandpa came home at dinnertime, sweaty and mad. “I thought I told you to come help me in the field,” he said.

I was about to remind him of his actual wording and explain how this loophole allowed me to stay seated on his chair watching all the TV I wanted, but he kept going. He told me he had been working all day in the hot sun by himself while I sat there. I considered explaining to him that was the reason I didn’t go. With my hay fever and the way I sweat during the summer, I wouldn’t have lasted twenty minutes out there. But he wouldn’t have accepted that so I stayed quiet.

Mighty Ducks.02Then he said it. “What are you good for?” he growled.

He ordered me to turn off the TV and head upstairs. I did so without a word, embarrassed and angry. After all, just because Grandpa was a farmer didn’t mean I had to spend my summer vacation acting like one. And I was good for plenty of things like writing and drawing, things which held little purpose to him.

In my mind, I’m still defending myself against him to this day.

It wasn’t his fault, of course. He was angry and couldn’t relate to a “city kid” anymore than I could relate to his outdoor farm life. But his words stung and stayed with me, buried beneath the surface, without him ever knowing it. I didn’t know it myself until I was an adult, when that negative voice kept ringing in my head whenever I failed at something.

What are you good for?

Mighty Ducks.13In “The Mighty Ducks”, Gordon Bombay fails big as a child. A skilled player for his pee wee hockey team, the Hawks, Gordon is pressured by his coach to score the winning shot for a final play-off game.

Sadly, Gordon’s shot bounces off the goal’s outer rim and his team loses.

As an adult lawyer, Gordon strives to win at all costs, even when he has to play dirty. When he’s arrested for drunk driving, Gordon is ordered to perform 500 hours of community service by coaching a pee wee hockey team and learn about fair play. Unlike his childhood team, the Hawks, the District 5 team is made up of hopeless cases. They can barely stay upright on the ice, let alone score a goal. Since he can’t teach them the basics, he teaches to take falls and try to win by having the referee call penalties on their opponents. But the players and their parents don’t want to keep cheating.

Mighty Ducks.11Fortunately, a friend helps Gordon recover his genuine love for hockey, instead of focusing on merely winning games. Gordon apologizes to the team and their parents, wins them back, and gradually shapes them into a team.

But that negative voice keeps playing in his mind like a broken record. The voice of his old Hawks coach, Jack Reilly, telling him, “It isn’t worth winning if you can’t win big!” Telling him, “Now you miss this shot, you’re not just letting me down. You’re letting your whole team down, too.”

Telling him he’s a loser.

Mighty Ducks.03Then Gordon discovers that the Hawks’ star player, Adam Banks, is supposed to be assigned to the District 5 “Ducks” team. Coach Reilly persuades the Ducks’ sponsor, Mr. Ducksworth – Gordon’s boss – to lend a hand. Ducksworth orders Gordon to withdraw his protest or lose his job. Gordon insists that he learned about fair play from his community service, and refuses to let his team down by helping the adults cheat.

In the play-offs, after Coach Reilly orders his players to incapacitate Banks, Gordon confronts him, saying, “I can’t believe I wasted all those years worrying about what you thought.”

Mighty Ducks.15Life isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about proving yourself to anyone, or to the negative voices in your head. It’s about accepting yourself for who you are, warts and all. Recognizing your weaknesses and appreciating your strengths.

When I fail – or appear to fail – at something, that negative voice creeps back, asking me what I’m really good for in this world. I’ve learned how to silence it, through prayer, by reminding myself of my true value, and by surrounding myself with people who love and support me. People who can appreciate my worth and still confront me when I’m doing wrong.

I won’t always win. I won’t always lose, either. When I fall down, whether it’s my own fault or someone else’s, I can get back up. I can try again.

More important, I can be a loving husband and father. Mighty Ducks.10An encouraging friend. A willing servant to help people in need. I don’t need special skills or credentials to do or be those things. Just a willing heart.

When that negative label creeps back into my thinking, I’ve learned to re-label myself.

With the truth.

 

(Thanks to Dave Schramm for suggesting (years ago!) a blog about “The Mighty Ducks”!)

 

What labels have hindered you in life? How do you silence those negative voices?

20
Jan 14
Last Updated on 20 January 2014

MOVIE: It’s a Wonderful Life / A Simple Twist of Fate – A Better Definition of Prosperity

by Randall Allen Dunn

 

For the past three years, God has started my year by speaking a single word to me. Something to focus on for the coming year. I didn’t know what each word would mean until the year was well under way.

Wonderful Life.3The first word I received in 2011 was “peace”. That year I dealt with a number of stressful situations. Through it all, I learned to pray for peace in my soul and maintain it, no matter what was happening around me.

The word for 2012 was “prestige”. I learned that the real meaning of this word is not always positive. It has to do with a perceived image of someone or something, which is often untrue. That year brought me opportunities that enhanced my image among people. But in the end, I discovered that no matter what people perceived me to be, it was my true character – good or bad – that showed through in the end.

The word for 2013 was “prosperity”. A word like that would excite anyone, especially in a struggling economy.

Wonderful Life.7Of course, God doesn’t view prosperity the same way we do, any more than he defines peace or prestige like we would. This past year, I lost more than ever. I lost connection with some family and friends. I lost a house and a job. I lost the respect and trust of some family and friends and my own family suffered greatly. It was the most difficult year my family ever experienced.

At the end of it all, we continued with our lives. Moving forward as best we could, doing what we needed to do, while supporting and loving one another.

Still, when you’ve been badly hurt – by broken relationships, disappointments and hardships – you get scars. And those scars still hurt and discourage you, even after the beating finally stops.

MSDSITW EC001The hardest part is maintaining hope. Trusting that God has something good planned for our future, despite the hardships we suffered. I never truly lost faith in God’s ability or desire to lead and bless us. To provide for our immediate needs and lead us into a bright future. But the waiting makes me tired.

For about twenty years, fellow writers and readers have told me I should be published, while most agents and editors disagree. It’s frustrating to know you have something valuable to offer, for which you can find no outlet. My dream to write isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things, except that it’s what I do best so I want to make my income from it. To help us get ahead and be successful. To end the ongoing struggles with career, family time and tackling debt.

Wonderful Life.14After a certain number of failures, it’s hard to keep from feeling like the failure is me. I know that’s not true, of course. But I’m so tired of the waiting …

Ken, a friend at church, saw I was down and asked me what’s happening. I told him, in general, how our family just needed to see things move forward in the coming year. He encouraged me, telling me he had a single word for me: success. He said it’s there for me, and that he views me as successful.

The other night, Nicki and I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, a movie that speaks to me every year. My own life seems so similar to that of George Bailey, always working hard and encouraging others to see them succeed, while trailing far behind them in life. Struggling with bills and missed opportunities, while he and his resourceful wife maintain their family as best they can.

Wonderful Life.24This year it spoke to me about success. At church, Ken told me to remember there are lots of people who love and support me. At the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, after showing George how valuable his life is to those around him, the angel Clarence gives George a book with an inscription: “Remember: No man is a failure who has friends.”

A good reminder. One that’s easy for me to forget. In spite of all the hardships I faced this past year, I was blessed to discover who my real family and friends are.

M8DSITW EC002Later that week, Nicki and I watched “A Simple Twist of Fate”, in which Michael McCann, a lonely, embittered man, finds a toddler on his doorstep and raises her as his own daughter. Only to have her birth father, John Newland, engage in a legal battle to reclaim her, once she reaches adolescence. As a young politician, Newland wanted to avoid the scandal of his affair, but now he insists that his wealth can provide young Mathilda a better home and future.

Michael sees it differently. He tells Newland, “When you turn a gift away from your door, it goes to the one who takes it in.”

MSDSITW EC002Watching this emotional story reminded me of how much I love my wife and kids. How blessed I am to have a family of loving, clever, creative people, who make everything we do fun. A while ago, another friend, Jim, asked me how many kids I have now. When I told him we have two, he said, “Well, that’s prosperity.”

I never really thought of it that way. I should have.

There are things I wish I had in life. Things I wish I had accomplished. But focusing on what I don’t have makes me view myself as a “have-not”. Someone who doesn’t have all the nice things in life that other people do. MSDSITW EC007Such people tend to dwell on that fact, envying other people’s possessions and success in life. Instead of appreciating what they themselves have.

We would all like to have a little more. More time. More vacations. More money. More recognition.

But if we never take time to appreciate and enjoy what we already have, it does us no good to gain more of it. Having more “things” often distracts us from recognizing our true wealth. Family and friends. Wisdom and good character. Love and loyalty. Hope and faith.

Wonderful Life.23Being grateful for these simple things in our lives keep me from drifting off into greed, envy, anger and despair. Instead, focusing on my wonderful family and friends, my faith and my character, and the eternal hope in my heart, I can say to myself what Harry Bailey said, upon seeing the outpouring of love and support from George’s community: “A toast, to my big brother, George: the richest man in town.”

 

How do you define true prosperity?

Randall Allen Dunn

Randall Allen Dunn was raised on a steady diet of James Bond, Batman, Star Trek and Indiana Jones. His study of stage acting in high school and college helped him learn how to create vivid, compelling characters. He now shares his love of action, adventure and infinite possibilities through novels and short stories.

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The Red Rider

Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves …
But she’s not little anymore.

THE RED RIDER
The New Action-Adventure Fairy Tale Thriller
by Randall Allen Dunn
Come along for the ride.

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