‘Serving Up Slop to Teen Readers’ (2013)

Stupid Children by Lenore Zion | Goodreads

Is this true? “Stupid people are born, not made.”  I think an awful lot of trouble goes into making them.

I don’t scout the Young Readers shelves in the supermarket anymore. There’s only so much that flesh and blood can stand. That anyone is still reading anything by the time they finish college is a mystery to me.

Serving Up Slop to Teen Readers

Come to think of it, I used to read and review these books, too. I wonder if I ought to start doing it again. What do you think?

My Writing Mentors

Livy (3) - Livius

Titus Livius–a great historian

[Let’s see how much I can get done before taking Robbie to the vet.]

It might be asked of me, “Hey, you’ve got a book to write! What the dickens are you doing, sitting there and reading Livy?”

For those who don’t know, Livy, aka Titus Livius, was an historian who lived in Augustus’ Caesar’s time and wrote a history of Rome going all the way back to the beginning. I read the edition published in several volumes by Penguin Books. Livy was suspected of having republican sentiments at a time when maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have them; but as Augustus himself often said, “I’m a republican at heart,” he was hardly likely to persecute Livy for sharing them.

When I’m working on a book, it helps me a lot to select another writer as my mentor. For my previous book, Ozias, Prince in Peril, my mentor was Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose History of the Kings of Britain (including King Arthur), was a runaway best-seller… in the 12th century!

Now I’m writing Ozias, Prince Enthroned, and Livy has stepped forward as my mentor. Not that I’m imitating him; rather, I see in his work an inspiration for my own. Livy wrote real history, while I have to invent a history for a fantasy world. His vivid descriptions and keen analysis of early Rome’s one-after-another social, political, and military crises suggest to me the kinds of things that King Ozias would have to deal with. How should he respond to crisis? Livy knows! In fact, he knows about not only successful responses, but also failures.

Prince Enthroned is going forward rather slowly, from my end; but my editor, having read my most recent set of chapters, says “You’ve got your foot on the gas pedal, haven’t you?” I take that as encouragement.

I now suspect that maybe the Lord wants me to slow down a little. Okay. I’ll try that. A good book is worth taking risks for. Not to mention the abundant distractions we’ve had this year: Patty’s hernia, new computer, refrigerator dies and we lose a raft of frozen food, and my accident that badly damaged Patty’s car, and now Robbie’s sick. Oh–and tons and tons of really bad weather, lots of workdays lost.

So I hope it’s sunny and clear tomorrow, and that Robbie will get better, and that I can start another set of chapters. For “hope” read “pray.”

What Is ‘Woke’?

Snow queen Stock Photos, Royalty Free Snow queen Images ...

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “Woke” and what it means.

I found the answer in a fairy tale.

Martin Selbrede sent me a book, Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination, by Vigen Guroian, featuring a chapter on “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen.

“Once upon a time the devil invented a magic mirror” that would reflect all things beautiful as ugly, and all things ugly as beautiful. The mirror broke into innumerable pieces which found their way into people’s hearts and eyes and made them see good as evil, evil as good, etc.

That’s what “Woke” is. And no wonder the Far Left Crazy loves it.

Woke persons see evil as good and good as evil, wisdom as foolishness and foolishness as wisdom, love as hate and hate as love–George Orwell saw nothing that Hans Christian Andersen hadn’t seen before. But Isaiah saw it first (“Woe to those who see evil as good and good as evil,” Isaiah 5:20).

The whole Far Left Fun-Pak is nothing but those pieces of the devil’s mirror–with a few evil wrinkles, like transgender mania, that Andersen never thought of, nor Orwell.

We pray the LORD removes those icy splinters.

‘An Open Letter to My Critics’ (2013)

I used to get a fair amount of heat from readers who objected to “all the religious stuff” in my Bell Mountain fantasy novels. As in, “Leave us alone to be our own gods!”

See that raspberry up there? That’s for you.

An Open Letter to My Critics

Sorry, but I just never got the hang of “winsome.” I don’t like their books any better than they like mine. I don’t like what they’re doing to my country, and I don’t like what they’re doing to the world. As for their fantasy novels, they can take their Invincible Female Warriors, All-Knowing (crusty but benign) Wizards, and Insatiably Oversexed Barbarian Big Guys and conduct them in a long walk off a short pier.


‘Behold!’ Is In Kindle Now

Behold! (Bell Mountain, 14) by [Lee Duigon]

The sales figures aren’t bad today, but I don’t have a single customer review on amazon.com and therefor have absolutely no idea of how my book has gone over with the reading public. In fact, I probably can’t prove there is a reading public.

Behold! in Kindle format will cost you $4.99. In paperback (so you can read it in bed, like I do) it’s an exorbitant $18. I think that’s less than it costs to go to the movies anymore. Yeah, that’s another nice little amenity in life that’s pretty much vanished. Unless you don’t mind shelling out for yet another comic-book movie with a wokie subtext… but I digress.

So how about it, Ms. and Mr. Public? Do you like the book? Don’t worry about crushing me by saying “no, it was bloody awful.” ‘Cause I know it isn’t!

Reading My Own Book?

Behold! (Bell Mountain, 14)

Our landlord saw me doing something yesterday which made him look twice.

“You’re reading your own book–that you wrote?” he marveled.

I could’ve said, “Oh, how about that! I thought there was something familiar about it!” But instead I just explained, “When you write a series of books, like I do, it’s so easy to forget details as you go on from book to book. You’d be amazed by the things I forget.”

That’s all true.

Now jump ahead to the next book, The Ocean of Time. For that book I tried something very challenging and only rarely seen–a double climax. In fact, I can’t think of any examples of one, just now. So part of the job of Behold! was to set the stage for events covered in the next book–

Which it does! And don’t ask me how, because when I was writing Behold!, the next book wasn’t even a half-formed thought. And yet the one book flows beautifully into the other. I really have no idea how that happens. Give God the glory.

(After Ocean of Time comes Ozias, Prince in Peril. That would be 2,000 years before the present time in Obann.)

Behold ‘Behold!’ Is Here!

I got my box of author’s copies yesterday, so I guess it’s official–Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold!, is now on sale.

Can our heroes use an ancient weapon to defend themselves, or will it wipe them out along with the enemy? Is there power left over from that vanished world?

Behold! is on sale at the Chalcedon Store (www.chalcedon.edu) and will soon be on sale at amazon.com and elsewhere. A paper shortage held up publication somewhat, but now it’s in print… and the rest is up to you, the readers.

I hope you’ll read this and let me know what you think of it. Let’s switch the lights on in the stadium, shall we?

‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’

*Sigh* No hymn requests this morning. Oh, well… it’s been a while since I posted one by Alan Jackson, isn’t it? So let’s go with this one–Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

The hymn shop’s open, everybody…

Bell Mountain Illustrations, No. 6

everybody with lee

Whoa! I got so busy with the “ban gas stoves” nonsense, I almost forgot to post this picture–another Bell Mountain illustration by Katheleen and Kerolyn, young readers in Brazil.

So here we have a group portrait of Helki the Rod, Jandra the little prophet, Jack and Ellayne, King Ryons–and some bearded guy in a black T-shirt. Holy cow–that’s me! They drew me, too.

I love these kids, and it humbles me to think their artwork was inspired by my books. Gives me something to live up to!

Bell Mountain Illustrations, No. 5

banjo real

Here we have Obst and Chief Uduqu giving King Ryons a bath, which he sorely needed at the time–another Bell Mountain illustration by Katheleen and Kerolyn, young readers in Brazil. I would love to use these inside the books, but we’d need a new edition for that. Think of it, though–a book illustrated by its own readers. I don’t know that that’s ever been done before.

I have one more picture of theirs to publish, and that’s scheduled for tomorrow–so stay tuned, I’ve saved the best for last.