Tag Archives: a personal note

Sanity Break: ‘Christ Shall Have Dominion’

I have to flush the news from my mind before I get back to work on my book. This little hymn will do it: Christ Shall Have Dominion.

The first time I posted this hymn, someone objected to the whole idea of Jesus Christ having dominion. I don’t want to know whom he would have preferred to have it.

I pray for the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom in heaven and on earth.

‘Nearer My God to Thee’

Greetings from yesterday. I posted this yesterday in the expectation that Patty and I would be at the doctor’s this morning. Please pray for us! It may be there’s a treatment that can help her.

Meanwhile, Nearer My God to Thee, sung by the Sharon Mennonite Singers–and I pray that for us, today, “nearer” means in the spiritual sense.

Writing in the Cold

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I’m happy to report that Patty feels much better today, thanks to lot of sleep and to your prayers–please keep ’em coming. Maybe we’ll make it to the doctor’s tomorrow. It depends on how she’s feeling.

Meanwhile, I heated myself up with a bike ride up the hill and have been out there in the cold, scribbling away.

Now the problem is that a few of my characters have asserted themselves in ways I hadn’t been expecting and pulled some fast ones on me, and I’m just writing to keep up. I suppose I ought to thank them for that: it should make the story rather livelier–as long as I don’t drop the ball. I hope I can live up to their confidence in me.

(Uh-oh, he’s losin’ it–talking about his fictional characters as if they were real…)

I do appreciate your prayers for my writing. If, in spite of all the obstacles I’ve had to deal with, this book gets finished and turns out well, to God be the glory: I certainly haven’t had that much to do with it.

I’m almost warmed up enough to go back out and resume my labors.

‘Fiddling with Fantasy while Rome Burns’ (2011)

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People were asking me this seven years ago, and I still get asked today: with the world on fire all around you, why are you writing fantasy?


If anything, there’s more fire in more places than there was in 2011; and I have to work harder on my fantasy. Is it too simple an answer to say I do it because God has called me to do it?

This is my work. I do it in His service, and I pray it gives Him glory and that He will find a use for it.

I’m Bushed!

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So lemme tell you about my day, before I conk out on my perch.

Blog posts, then some more of Aunt Joan’s paperwork, requiring me to make trips to the accountant, the bank, the store, and the post office. Then it stopped raining for an hour or so, allowing me to write a couple of pages of my book. Then back to the bank–and everyone but Judge Crater and his brother was there, so I was stuck for a while. Then to the laundromat to pick up our laundry. Clean up hairball on the bedroom floor. More blogging.

And suddenly I’m all in. Maybe it had something to do with all the news “reports” I saw and heard today predicting an unstoppable Democrat sweep in the elections next month, and then they’ll impeach Justice Kavanagh–for what, they don’t care–and then President Trump, and we’ll all be back on course to becoming good little citizens of the world with a sex-change clinic on every street corner and no more Bill of Rights, blah-blah.

Until cat video time after supper, over and out…

Encore, ‘Revive Us Again’

I’m posting this yesterday so it will appear today, while I’m taking Patty to the doctor. She’s already getting cold feet because she feels a bit better today, so I don’t know. I’ll make ready to go and pray for the best. Please, everybody, pray for us.

Meanwhile, here’s Nathan and Lyle from Denton County Texas, with auto harp and guitar and Revive Us Again, one of my favorite hymns. I once whistled it to a couple of deer and they seemed to like it, too.

P.S.–Well, I managed to make a hash of that, so tomorrow’s hymn is appearing today, and I have to try to set up today’s hymn to appear tomorrow. *Sigh*

The Geography of Dreams

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I dream of places that don’t exist. One of them I visited the other night. In the dreams–I’ve been there several times–there is no golf course and country club at the end of Main Steet. Instead, the street dissolves into woodland, with a path leading in. Your car might just about fit, but you’re better off walking or biking. That’s what I do.

By and by the woods thins out and off to one side is an old railroad cut, rarely used by trains. At the bottom, along both sides of the rails, run little streams full of salamanders, crayfish, and pollywogs. Farther along, the land spreads out into meadows and marshes. There’s a train station there, sometimes with a passenger or two waiting for the next train. Here we see ancient, abandoned railroad carts and other equipment peacefully weathering in the sun. We hear assorted shore and marsh birds calling. If you’re into catching turtles, this is a pretty good place for it.

And you’d be surprised who you might out here. The last time I came here, I wound up having a nice long chat with Father Brown (as played by Mark Williams), which regrettably had to come to an end when Father Brown’s  bishop came striding up the railroad track to demand that Father Brown get back to church.

I have another dreamscape which I visit sometimes. It’s a fictional arm of Raritan Bay that reaches miles inland, all the way to the adjacent town to mine. It’s nice for boating and fishing: very peaceful. All my dreamscapes are peaceful. No leaf blowers allowed.

I know these places aren’t real, and yet I could draw you detailed maps of them because I’ve been there so often.

Maybe, somewhere, they are real, after all.

Welcome Back, Linda!

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On behalf of all our little blog community, welcome back, Linda!

We know you’re a long way from being out of the woods, medically–so keep those prayers coming, everybody. We need each other’s prayers. We all do.

Something seems to be happening here, something good, that I never thought of when I started this blog: just some guy in New Jersey trying to advertise his books. But now we have much more than that–and give God the glory for it, because He’s the one who’s doing it.

To Be a Writer–Read!


At last we have some young people joining this blog, and that makes me happy–because there’s plenty of work for everyone in regaining cultural ground for Christ’s Kingdom, and none of us is going to live long enough to do it all. As is the nature of things, we’ll have to pass a lot of this work on to another generation.

Some of you, I’m sure, will want to be writers someday, if not now. I know what that feels like: I started writing science fiction novels before I started high school. I sold my first book in 1986. I was a casualty of the implosion of the horror market, no one wanted to publish my books anymore, but I kept at it. Had to! A lot of changes–for the better–swept over me, and twenty years later I published Bell Mountain, copyright 2010. Now it’s 2018, and I’m currently writing the 12th book in the series.

So my first tip to any teen or tween who wants to be a writer is, keep at it. The goal of publication is fantastically hard to attain. You wouldn’t believe how many books I wrote that never got published, and never will be. There is no substitute for perseverance.

And my second tip is just as simple: read. Read as much as you possibly can, especially the kind of books you want to write someday.

We learn by watching others do what we want to do. By example, and by imitation. How would you ever learn to walk, if you never saw anybody walking? How would you learn to talk, if you never heard anybody talking? Reading is just as important to anyone who wants to be a writer. Read, read, and read some more, and never, never stop.

We all have dreams of hitting it big while we’re still young. Like Stephen Crane, or F. Scott Fitzgerald. But most of us simply aren’t ready yet. We haven’t seen enough, heard enough, lived enough. An awful lot of living has to go into your writing. And you, as a writer, are always a work in progress, never finished, always room for improvement, always more to learn. I believe God knew I wasn’t ready, no matter how passionately I wanted to be published: and He knew best. If God ever decided to give us everything we ever prayed for, He wouldn’t be doing us a favor. Sometimes, when we think He’s pounding us, He’s really blessing us: and maybe we’ll last long enough to realize it, long after the fact.

Anyway, I wish to encourage young writers. Don’t stop–the Kingdom has work for you to do.

I Don’t Feel So Good

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My allergies killed me last night–sinus toothache, no sleep–and I’m not yet out of the woods with it today. But the daily nooze is just as hard to bear.

We’ve got Nike making Colon Coprolite or whatever his name is the new face of their company, because he hates America and if you hate America, too, you ought to buy their sneakers. Nike’s stock went down a couple billion dollars.

Worse, by far, is the street theater perpetrated by Democrats at what are supposed to be Supreme Court confirmation hearings. This is supposed to be a serious activity involving the future of our country. I wonder if it even has a future. When U.S. senators carry on like collidge dorks from 1970 capering around the street in whiteface, it makes one question their fitness to govern. The thought that these twaddlers have anything to do with the serious business of America is a daunting one. We are ruled by showboating buffoons. This tantrum started on Election Night of 2016 and has been running nonstop ever since.

Is it really possible that millions of people are going to vote for these insects in November? Are we really that far gone?

Just trying to imagine what America would be like, if these morons ever had their way–no more immigration laws, prison for Climbit Change skeptics, stopping the nation’s economy in its tracks, the whole shooting match taken over by gargoyles who think Stalin had a lot of good ideas–

It’s even more painful than a sinus toothache.

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