I always have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that in historically Christian countries–like the U.S. Canada, and Britain–there are people, born and raised in this country, who hate Christianity and embrace, with open eyes, alien moral standards dreamed up by crackpots and villains.
They can also look at Venezuela and still say, with a straight face, “Socialism works!”
If I only knew how to work our YouTube channel, I’d be famous already! But I have spoken with someone at the Popsicle company, and he said they might want to use my fantastic story in their publicity. It seems celebrity is just around the corner.
Popsicle Fruit Pops have these little riddles printed on the popsicle sticks. And my riddle the other day was, “What did the author say about his novel when it was finished?”
What’s so fantastic about that?
Well, I am an author and on that very day, I finished writing a novel. And there it was, all on a popsicle stick. Who can even imagine the odds against that happening? Kazillions to one? I wonder what I could get on e-Bay for this popsicle stick?
I will try not to let fame go to my head. I’m already dizzy enough from contemplating this exceedingly weird coincidence.
Working at a furious pace, I finished writing Behold! yesterday, just before the weather turned nasty. Yup, got it all done.
So that night I sat down to relax with a popsicle. As you can see above, they print riddles on the popsicle sticks. You have to eat the popsicle to see the answer. But for me–for this guy who had just that day finished writing a book–get a load of this question:
“What did the author say about his novel when it was finished?” (Answer: “It’s a complete mystery.”)
Whoa! How did this happen? Is that a bodacious coincidence or what? How unlikely was it that this particular popsicle stick would wind up in my hands on that particular day?
I wonder if I ought to write to the Popsicle Company. It might make a good commercial. Can I ask for Denzel Washington to play me?
Some of you have expressed curiosity about what a writer actually does. Well, here’s a recap of my workday yesterday.
*Before breakfast, put up two blog posts to get the day rolling.
*After breakfast, two or three more posts, at least one of which will require some thought.
*Go outside and write as much of my book as I can.
*Two more blog posts.
*Write Newswithviews column.
*After supper, post a critter video.
This schedule doesn’t leave me a lot of time for deep-sea marlin fishing, high-stakes gambling, amateur bull-fighting, or an interminable train of amours. We are all trying to live down Hemingway. And contrary to popular belief, drink and drugs do not sharpen your creativity. Neither does college.
My office was worse than this. I didn’t have a window.
Once upon a time, there was nothing like a few years as a newspaper reporter to prepare you for a career as a writer. Based on what I see of the nooze media every day, that’s no longer true. But it used to be.
I should have added, though, that when I first tried to switch over to fiction-writing, my short stories read like newspaper articles. That was a problem that had to be solved, and it took several years to do it.
Someday I ought to write about the Creative Writing classes I used to teach at adult night school. “At 8:17 p.m. Roger M. Pooh, height 5 feet 11 inches, weight 178 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, stood on the corner of Main St. and Pilchard Avenue…” Was this a short story or a police report?
The sun came out yesterday, and so did I. And I was sitting in my chair, writing, when I chanced to look up… and saw a full-grown buck with antlers trotting across the yard, just ten feet away from me. I couldn’t repress a “Well, look at you!” The deer paused to look back at me, then continued on his way.
I know this is no big deal for a lot of you; but this is the New Jersey suburbs. I’ve lived here all my life and this was the first free-running deer I ever saw with antlers. When I was a boy and you wanted to see a deer, you went either to a deer park or the zoo.
My neighbor tells me the deer are living behind St. Francis’ Convent, just across the street from us. They’re safe there. I like to think of them under St. Francis’ protection.
That buck was the best thing I saw all day yesterday. God’s stuff. It’s all around us, He has not abandoned us, nor will He.
When I was a weekly newspaper editor and reporter, back when we still used manual typewriters, I worked hard, trying to scoop the dailies. It was very hard to do! Because if I had a story on Thursday or Friday, it couldn’t be published until the following Wednesday, when our paper (The Bayshore Independent: R.I.P.) came out. So the dailies had several days to catch up, and they almost always did.
I’m still writing weekly for Newswithviews, which comes out on a Thursday, So if I write something today, Tuesday, Election Day, it’ll be stale potatoes by Thursday. And with the election uppermost in everybody’s minds, including mine, why bother? I’ll just have to wait till tomorrow and try to hustle up a column in time for the next day. And by then a lot of the readers will have election fatigue.
So I wrote a nice chunk of Behold! this morning, now that I know where I have to be to stage the climax, half a dozen blog posts, and I’ll spend the rest of my workday typing up my manuscript for Chapter Set 5 (Set No. 6 ought to do it). And I’ll have to try real hard not to get overwhelmed by the news of the election.
I’m almost tempted not to follow the results tonight, because if we lose this one and the Evil Democrat Party wins, it’s adios to America. I’ve pretty much emptied my quiver, and there’s nothing left to do but pray.
What a morning! Hand in our votes, supermarket, pay rent–and all with a cold wind blowing, with 40-mph gusts. Complete with a great big black walnut branch breaking off and falling in the yard. Fortunately it didn’t hit anything. And my leg was just killing me, too.
But all that hassle must’ve cleared out the cobwebs for me, because when we finally got home again, and I sat outside to have a cigar–voila!
I’ve got the climax for Behold! Now I’ve seen what the people in my story are going to behold. And if I can find the skill to write what I saw, as I saw it–well, it’s gonna knock your socks off.
Meanwhile the computer I normally use has gone on strike. Ain’t working.
So kick back and enjoy some dinosaur sounds: it has a bearing on the story.
If you’ve been following my progress, as reported here, I’ve really been sweating it, trying to come up with a climax for Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! The question gave me no peace: “Behold what? What’s there to behold?” And I’ve been praying about it, asking the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell. That’s what I always ask Him; and so far, He always has.
So I was out there in the cold yesterday, too cold to write, finishing up my cigar… and the idea just sort of drifted into my head. Sometimes it comes with a bang, as when the gunslinger in a movie shoves open the doors to the saloon. Sometimes it’s like a flashbulb. Sometimes I get the climax first and have to find the way to it. But this time it just drifted quietly into my head; and when I went back indoors, I got distracted by other things and didn’t think of it.
Until I woke up this morning!
Gee, it was still there. I don’t know how to tell you how unusual that is for me. I get a lot of ideas that don’t amount to anything. But this one was not only still there: now it was much clearer. It was better. It ties together the strands of the plot that were just sort of whipping in the wind.
Hallelujah, I can finish my book! I asked the Lord to show me how, and He did. Now all I need is some friendly weather–and a lot of energy–in which to write it up.
Oh–and I still need some good ideas for cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Kirk DouPonce is a great cover artist, but he prefers the author (which is me) to come up with the ideas. I’m still wondering how he gets my characters so real: you’d swear they posed for him.
We’ve just come back from our annual drive around our town to gawk at Halloween decorations; but there isn’t much to see this year. Even the side streets that had really spiffy decorations last year could only mount a half-hearted effort for 2020.
Why is that?
Well, for one thing, we have an election looming up that will land us very badly in the soup if the Far Left Crazy wins. Ghosts and monsters can’t compete with Democrats when it comes to scaring people. And for another, too many of us lost a terrible amount of money–and morale–when Our Experts decided we could beat COVID-19 by shutting down the national economy. The virus is still here, but a lot of small businesses aren’t. And the Dems are talking about shutting down again. Our misery really turns them on, big-time.
This is the year that the locusts have eaten down to the ground. The year “mandates” replaced laws. We lost big chunks of our freedom and are wondering if we’ll ever get it back.
Putting up all that goofy Halloween stuff around your house–it’s fun! It brightens things up. We’ve just had seven straight days of rain, we could use some brightening up.
But normalcy is never coming back until the Left is beaten down to dust.