About the author:
Christopher R. Nelson, pursuing a host of unconventional jobs in his life, has worked as a beekeeper, soda jerk, construction worker, shelf-stocker, editor, gravedigger, and historical interpreter. However, his life-long passion has been teaching, which he has done full-time in Helena, Montana, for the past couple decades. Wanting to broach the topic of bullying and bring about a discussion on our schools today, Mr. Nelson has journeyed into the field of fiction in hopes of uncovering truths within our human stories.
Christopher R. Nelson has a BA from Carroll College, an M.Ed from Montana State University, and a Class 1 Teaching Certification. Growing up in Denver, he attended Regis Jesuit High School, which instilled a love of his faith and sense of service. Chris loves to play and coach soccer, strum on his guitar, paint, hang with his family, and help his community. He has served on local executive boards, produced radio programming, organized community service projects, and volunteered with youth at his church. His favorite subject to teach is history, but he also enjoys teaching math, Spanish, literature, and PE. Lastly, Chris loves historical quotes and mottos, one of his favorites being "Carpe Diem" or "Seize the Day."
About the story "Carving Names: The Hum of Hostility"
Passing through the gates of Forest Lake Cemetery, each epitaph added to the story of Helena, Montana, like walking through a textbook. Yet, no inscription would have as lasting an impact on Sean as Father Houlihan's: "Carve your name on hearts, not stone." Sean had tried that. Carving his name upon the hearts of those around him wasn't easy. The stone proved to be more giving; more easily etched and moved. The deep pockets of his family had quarried, mortared, erected, and demolished stone structures so easily. And yet, the weight and effort of moving a single heart had Sean reeling with exhaustion. He had come to a breaking point.
Struggling against bullying and self-worth his entire life, Sean actively beat down the voice inside his head, calling him to the unsavory. He convinced himself that his social awkwardness would eventually be overshadowed by his quality character and integrity. They would see it. He would change their minds. He just needed something bigger than before. And thus began his quest for friendship and purpose. Yet, every quest has its distractions. Will Sean be able to finish his journey with his morals intact? The pivotal decision of his life was at hand: Carving names on hearts or stone?