My new “Bell Mountain” book, The Wind from Heaven, ought to be coming out sometime this spring. But between now and then there’s a lot of nooze to cover: sort of like wading through a pestilential swamp.
Sometimes, by the end of the day, all I want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. The monsters are out there, ravaging our country. But you don’t win battles that way, and you certainly don’t win wars: and like it or not, we are in a war with Far Left Crazy–a war for the survival of our country, our freedom, and our way of life. They mean to take it all away from us.
Just now it seems we have nothing left but our prayers. They’ve nullified our votes, censored us off the social media. But if all we have is our prayers, then let’s use them. Pray often! Pray hard!
I’m tired of writing about the nooze. Tired of watching Democrats murder my country by inches. Nevertheless, I have to write for Newswithviews this week; and I think I’ll write about my books–because there’s a lesson in here somewhere, if I can dig it out.
When Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out last year, a few readers said the series had gone on too long and it was time to put it to bed: grant the good guys final victory and let them all go home, to live happily ever after. Like, it’s a fantasy series, you should be able to do that. Why not? Tolkien did.
In my series, the characters plod ahead through good times and bad, enduring one crisis after another, doing their best to serve God, although the world seems to fight them every step of the way. This pattern is also known as “history.” We don’t get a final victory, just a lot of little ones–and that’s if we’re lucky.
Was World War II a final victory? Hardly. The Cold War took its place. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East. To say nothing of the domestic crises each and every nation must endure. But that’s history. It doesn’t stop. When the Byzantine Empire finally defeated the Sassanian Persian Empire after some 300 years of war, the same emperor was still in office when Islam broke forth from the deserts of Arabia and crashed against the walls of Constantinople.
As Christians we believe in final victory. We can read all about it in the Bible. Jesus Christ has won it for us. Ultimately Christ shall reign forever and ever.
But we don’t know when. We just keep working. We don’t get to see God’s calendar. It would be a terrible mistake to show it to us, and God doesn’t make mistakes. We get a glimpse, in the Book of Revelation, of what Christ’s final victory will look like. And then, as C.S. Lewis hinted, the story really begins. We can’t even imagine what’s in store for us then.
God rules history. From time to time He intervenes in it. We have no idea what our history will be like after the restoration of all things. How could we? God has the whole universe at His disposal.
There’s no telling where He will take us from there.
Still plenty of snow on the ground, expensive car repairs looming, no one here is in the best of health, our country is being murdered by inches, right before our eyes–but I know that spring’s around the corner.
And Bell Mountain No. 15, whatever it winds up being called, is waiting for me to climb into the ring and wrestle with it. I hope I can get myself up for the match. It’s like Gorilla Monsoon is in there waiting for me.
When No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out, there was some talk that Bell Mountain had gone on long enough, time to put the series to bed, sayonara, nice knowin’ ya, etc. I don’t know. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a couple dozen Tarzan books. I haven’t counted the number of books in Walter R. Brooks’ Freddy the Pig series. Or Hal Goodwin’s Rick Brant. To say nothing of Hercule Poirot, Inspector Ghote, or Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, with its 54 books. If I thought my Bell Mountain books were no longer worth reading, I wouldn’t write any more of them. But I don’t think that
Writing is hard! Unless you’re one of the chosen few allowed to stand on the tip of the pyramid and get your grocery list published, you just never know if your work has any merit.
But spring is in the air, Gorilla Monsoon is waiting, and it’ll soon be time to rassle…
Well, we had to go all the way out to Scotland to find her, but now we have a comment contest winner. Congratulations, Ina!
Seventy thousand comments is a major milestone. We should be excited about it.
One thing I’ve learned about any kind of organization, any kind of club–and my blog. Ten percent of the readers make 90 percent of the comments. That’s why certain readers win more than once. Heck, there are readers who show up here every day and never make a comment.
Ina already has His Mercy Endureth Forever, and she doesn’t want one of those big stone heads that Byron the Quokka found in the mountains of Turkey, so her prize will be an autographed copy of The Wind from Heaven when it comes out, which should be sometime this spring.
Thanks to all of you who come here and read, and comment–and let’s see how long it takes to get to No. 80,000.
Blimey! What do I have to do, to get 13 more comments?
G’day! Byron the Quokka here, trying to whip up enthusiasm for what’s left of our comment contest! You’d think hitting 70,000 comments would be a source of wild excitement, a fabulous festive occasion–but no, here I am, trying and trying.
If you win, you get an autographed copy of Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. It’s got giant hyenas in it! And I’m sorry, it turns out we could get in trouble if we take any of those colossal stone heads for Someplace-or-Other, in Turkey. So you’ll have to settle for the book because Lee’s too cheap to spring for a bicycle.
Two months ago, I’d’ve gotten 13 more comments just while I was typing this… [Deep, heartfelt sigh]
It has been brought to our attention that some of you already have one or more of these colossal stone heads on your lawn and would rather not find room for another. In that case, we certainly won’t try to force one on you.
If you win the comment contest by posting Comment No. 70,000, you do not have to accept a huge enormous stone head as your prize. You can have an autographed copy of Bell Mountain No.12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. Or you can hold out for an autographed copy of No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, which hasn’t been published yet, but shouldn’t be much longer.
Byron the Quokka thought the allure of these magnificent stone heads would revitalize this blog’s readership. And I listened to him. Just call us Wizards of Marketing.
G’day! Byron the Quokka here, reminding you that we have a comment contest going. Our goal is 70,000 comments–with only 579 left to go.
[Editor’s note: We’re wondering if there’s an Internet outage somewhere, because we haven’t heard from any of our most prolific commenters today. We also have reports of readers’ email conking out. ]
Here I’d like to turn it over to Quokka University’s life coach, Horatio the jumping spider.
Thank you, Byron. First I’d like to say that bugs are good for you, catch as many as you can. This solves most of life’s problems. It’s always worked for me.
Anyhow, the winner of the comment contest will receive an autographed copy of Lee’s book, His Mercy Endureth Forever. If you already have it, you can hold out for the next book in the series, The Wind from Heaven, which has not yet been published but it won’t be long now.
Meanwhile, a select committee of quokkas is still working on the problem of how much tuition to charge and whether it should include a season’s pass to QU’s pick-up sticks matches.
But by all means we want to read your comments! Really, what’s the point of having six eyes if you don’t have anything to read? (That’s one for the Philosophy Dept.)
G’day! Byron the Quokka, back with comment contest news.
Would you believe it? Yesterday I announce we’ve only got 700 comments to go to get to 70,000, major milestone and all that, comment contest going, winner gets a book, etc., etc.–and today there’s just a single comment. It’s like telling everybody that the contest is reaching its crescendo… well, sort of shut them up. It’s like the director yells “Action!” and everybody just sits on the floor. Go figure!
Well, I told the guy he ought to offer a bicycle as the prize. Look behind me–there’s another perfectly good bike left standing there for anyone to take. Humans are so careless! You should put your bike lin your burrow when you aren’t using it.
Anyhow, the prize for No. 70,000 is an autographed copy of Lee’s new book, His Mercy Endureth Forever (instead of a bicycle–what can I say?), or you can hold out for the next book, The Wind from Heaven.
Ahem! The winner of our Second Annual Christmas Carol Contest, with Joy to the World by Nat King Cole, is [trumpet fanfare]–
Hey! You! I asked for a drum roll, didn’t I? Look alive up there, willya? Now where was I? Byron, have you seen that piece of paper with the numbers on it? “It’s right there in front of you, boss. Don’t be so nervous.”
Ah. Yes. Our carol contest winner. Y’know, it was a funny thing. The winning entry was posted on the day after the contest opened, got 25 views that day, and no one ever overtook it. I never expected that to happen. I thought the lead would change hands again and again, leading to unbearable suspense and lots of hyperventilating. But the only one who hyperventilated was Byron the Quokka’s Uncle Ulysses, who always hyperventilates around this time of year anyway.
What? What did you kick me for? Who do you think you’re poking? What’s that? “The winner, boss! Who is the winner?”
Didn’t I say? Sorry! Gimme another trumpet fanfare. [Drum roll] (He sighs. There is nothing to be done about it.)
The winner of our Second Annual Christmas Carol Contest is… Erlene!
That means you get an autographed copy of His Mercy Endureth Forever, Erlene–or any earlier book in the series (except Bell Mountain, I’ve run out of those), or you can wait for The Wind from Heaven, whenever it gets published: sometime this spring, I expect. Anyway, send me your mailing address and tell me what book you’d like to get–we’ll do the rest at our end.
Thanks, everybody, for playing and enjoying our carol contest. We’ll keep on posting Christmas carols for as long as you want them–and don’t forget the comment contest, which has started already!
A guy can go to his friends when he needs encouragement–right? And some of you out there really are my friends.
Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is, like, totally bombing. Hardly anyone is buying it. And except for Ina’s review on amazon’s UK page, the few reviews I’ve got are along the lines of “Why don’t you stop writing this stuff already?” Yeesh. Is it really that bad?
Oh, but a writer ought to have more confidence! Yeah? I don’t know about others, but every time I go out there with a new book, it’s like the very first time all over again. You expect to get booed off the stage.
Edgar Rice Burroughs got sick of writing Tarzan, and Agatha Christie got sick of writing Hercule Poirot. But they kept writing those series because the readers kept wanting more. I’m not sick of my series, I’m attached to the characters–but my confidence has been shaken.
So tell me, if you can–does anybody like this book?