AP.jpg A great lesson every Christian needs to learn is that it is all right to be human. Now this does not mean it is all right to be sinful. Sometimes we get the two confused as we minimize our sins by the fact that we are “just human.” We use the safety net of human frailty to rationalize our weaknesses. We almost blame God for our character flaws rather than assume any personal responsibility for our misdeeds. Although we are created in the image of God, we must address the weaknesses of the flesh with integrity and grace. Continue reading ON BEING HUMAN

Twist of Fate

For the month of October I’ve been posting true life tales of adventure,  daring and creepiness. This one goes in a different direction from the last three: while a serpent is mentioned, it is not the main character.  It’s a true-life story I first published in 1987.

Fate is like an overly long serpent, twisting and coiling back upon itself until it seems certain to tie itself into knots. Somehow, it never does. I found myself snared in a bight of this serpent a few years ago. I was late for work. I took a short cut past the old airport and pushed the accelerator closer to the floor.

car,automobile, thunderbird
My ’69 T-Bird

I drove a 1969 Thunderbird–then only five years old–with a 429 Thunderjet engine, high performance cams, valves and pistons. The car was too heavy to be any good at street drag racing but on a long haul it was one of the fastest cars around. I could make the long run to Chicago at 115 miles per hour with the engine just purring along. Twice–that I know of–I had flashed past a highway patrol car which was hiding off on the roadside. Neither time did they try to pursue. Continue reading Twist of Fate

Book Review: 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp

30 day clutter bootcamp30 Day Clutter Bootcamp is a lively, active book that will spur you on if your goal is to get rid of the clutter and streamline your home.  Some of its features are:

  • 106 pages of decluttering magic.
  • 40 sure-fire decluttering techniques.
  • A 30 day clutter action guide.
  • A personal cheerleading squad on every page.
  • Inspiration quotes in callout boxes.
  • Quick and easy action days. Most under 30 minutes.
  • Flexibility. You can go at your own pace and comfort level.
  • 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. (No one’s asked for their money back yet!)
  • A unique category approach to decluttering so you won’t get overwhelmed.
  • All decluttering all the way. It’s not watered down with organizing tips. (declutter first. organize later.)
  • A ton and a half of inspiration to keep you bootcamping your way to a clutter free house.
  • 100% new content. This is not a collection of blog posts. None of the material in the book has been posted before.
  • Free support on her blog. Ask your questions or ask for inspiration and she’ll be here for you!

If you are looking for a guide to organizing your treasure-trove storehouse, this is not he book for you.  If you want a practical guide to sorting through and clearing out the mess, here is the answer.  And it’s all written in Tanja’s light-hearted, friendly style, so there are no lectures, no browbeating. Continue reading Book Review: 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp

Autumn Arrives

It’s late October; the mountains are splashed with autumn red, gold, yellow and russet as the hardwood trees settle in for a long nap.  There is a bite of winter to the crisp nighttime air.

Most of the garden is slowing to a crawl if not wilting up entirely.  But not everything in the garden is going dormant. I have a fresh crop of lettuce, beets, squash, chard, Brussels sprouts and onions that have sprouted and will continue to grow and provide us with fresh vegetables well into the winter.  Winter gardening?  Outdoors?  Yes!  Continue reading Autumn Arrives

Difficult Voices: First Person Plural

First person is a very common voice for writers to use in fiction, especially in mysteries and crime thrillers; this voice allows the reader to discover the plot as it unfolds through the protagonists eyes.

Harold said, “I never knew her.” But I knew he was lying. I knew for a fact that Harold and Liz went to school together, shared a few classes and even dated for a while after they graduated. Why was he lying? I decided not to press the point just yet; I’d dangle a rope and see if he’d hang himself first.

First person can be limiting because the reader can only experience what the POV character knows, or experiences.  This means that the scope of the novel needs to be fairly tight.  Using multiple POV characters (first person serial) can expand the view considerably. Generally this is done by letting characters take turns in relating events as the story unfolds. Sometimes someone does something unusual such as in Levi Montgomery’s The Death of Patsy McCoy where the same story is retold through the eyes of several characters and each retelling reveals new facets of the complete story. Continue reading Difficult Voices: First Person Plural

A Whisper or a Brick – Communicating with God

Last night Marie was coming home with a pick-up truck load of groceries. It was late, it had been a busy day for both of us and she knew I was tired too; lugging a weeks worth of groceries up to our house from the workshop was not something I would be looking forward to. She reached over and pressed the Four Wheel High button on the dash – and it ENGAGED! This was a great surprise since it had been fluky for a while, working sometimes, not working at others, but mostly not. She happily swung into our driveway and came crawling up the steep gravel grade. I was working at the computer in our dining area, the windows of which look out over our driveway and I wondered who had gotten lost – I sure wasn’t expecting it to be Marie! Continue reading A Whisper or a Brick – Communicating with God

Encounter at Copperhead

Here’s another creepy tail of adventure for Halloween month.

I had completed my morning gardening chores, made my mail run, had lunch, gotten the riding mower out and was starting my mowing when I spotted a snake crawling out of a hole in the underpinning (skirting) of my workshop – a mobile home that was on the property when we bought it and served as our home until we were able to build a house. It looked a lot like a copperhead. Or at least what I remembered a copperhead to look like. But before I went into snake eradication mode I decided to do some fact checking: sometimes good snakes have coloring very similar to the bad snakes, and I don’t want to kill a King Snake because I mistook it for a viper. Continue reading Encounter at Copperhead

Book Review: Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge

Stopover at the Backworlds Edge by MPaxStopover at the Backworlds’ Edge is the second book in Mary Pax’s Backworlds series about bio-engineered human life forms that were created to be able to thrive in the harsh environments of planets that are not exactly, “Earth Normal”.

The Story

In this tale we find Craze and his new-found friends from the first book encamped at Pardeep Station, a sort of rest stop along the galactic interstate system, except Pardeep is out in the sticks, galactically speaking, and not an especially inviting place to go.

Continue reading Book Review: Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge

Snakes Alive!

Sometimes we find adventures – or inspiration for fictional adventures – in the common occurrences of every day life.  Since this is Halloween month, I’m going to share with you some ‘creepy’ stories from my life.

My buddy Mike, who lives in Alabama, was weeding in his yard the other day.  He reached into a clump of plants and found a large snake skin.  Fortunately that snake skin was uninhabited!  He has a lot of copperheads around there and copperheads are just flat-out mean!

king snake, snakes,
Photo of and from Brian O’Hare – Snake Wrangler

My bro, Brian picked up a new golf partner, fortunately it was just a King snake.

I found a snake skin hanging off a hickory tree beside the house a while back.  From the size of it I’d say mine was from a black snake – it was pretty big.  We’ve seen black snakes around here get 6’ to 8’ in length.  I came across one just the other day while I was mowing the grass – he was only about 4 feet.  He hopped and wriggled comically to get away from the mower then slithered through a chink in the skirting under the trailer.

Note to self: next time I have to go under the trailer for something; MAKE A LOT OF NOISE! Continue reading Snakes Alive!