Where’s the Reset button for this day? We’re getting inundated with nuisance phone calls, some of them robo-calls in Chinese, and another one offering a reverse mortgage on our apartment: what in the world makes them think they can sell us anything by plaguing us?
So I typed up the third chapter set for my book and sent it off to Susan, to be informed that because of some computer claptrap, she can’t open it and read it… ah, fap. Just plain fap.
But I did get out there this morning and resume writing The Wind From Heaven, which is galloping headlong toward I don’t know where: the Lord has the steering wheel and I’m just writing everything down as He gives it to me. Chutt and Ysbott, you’re in trouble–let’s see you get out of these jams. Prester Jod, you need a telephone: too bad they haven’t been invented yet. The wind is blowing and all the characters are just hanging on.
And there’s another nuisance call–that’s at least half a dozen of them so far today.
And back to work I go.
Just looking at my workload for the rest of the day–oh, boy.
Type chapters of The Wind From Heaven. Create, type, and submit a Newswithviews column. More blog posts. I’ve already been to the post office, read another couple chapters of the Mangalwadi book, and done a few blog posts.
Oh Lord, give me strength, and make my work fruitful in your service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
All right, I give up on the nooze today, I totally give up. I’m old enough to remember when serious people used to run for president, but now it’s a freak show. I know it’s part of my job to cover nooze, but I’m sick of writing about these people. Bob Knight has a column on townhall.com today about questions he’d ask them if he were moderating one of their debates. I would ask, in addition to those, the following:
“What are you doing out of your straitjacket?”
“How many times a day do you sing ‘Imagine’?”
“What terrible thing happened to you in your childhood, to make you turn out like this?”
And so enough’s enough. And that means… well, what time is it, boys and girls? What time is it?
It’s Tanystropheus time!
I’m so happy I finally found one of these in an unexplored, uninhabited region of Lintum Forest. I don’t bother with the evolution fairy tales: this animal was just plain cool. Nothing like it before or since. It makes its debut in the story I’m currently writing, The Wind From Heaven–which, I say, is galloping like mad to some destination yet unknown to me. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
I went to the bike shop this morning and got my tire replaced, then settled down to write.
The Wind From Heaven is galloping along, and I won’t find out where we’re going till we get there. Ice Age hyenas on the rampage, mysterious strangers from an unknown continent, frantic efforts to make peace before another war can start, a venture into a legendary region of Lintum Forest where no one dares to go, savage barbarians in search of a heathen god–no wonder I’m tired at the end of the day.
But it’s better than writing up the nooze. And if I’m not too beat after supper, I can unwind with a bike ride.
It looks like the wind from heaven is about to blow some heavy rain our way, so I’d better get out there and write what I can before it rains.
When Ellayne shinnied down the vine into “the cellar beneath the cellar,” she had no idea what they were going to find down there. I know how she felt: the book I’m writing now, The Wind From Heaven, is very much like that. Follow where the spirit leads you and see what you can find.
Monday I was totally at an impasse, had to stop writing for the day because I had no idea, no idea at all, what Lord Chutt was going to do in response to the position in which he found himself (all his own fault, I might add). Tuesday I came out, said a prayer for guidance, lit my cigar–and botta-bing, botta-boom! It just came out of my pen, that chunk of the story, as if it had been there all the time.
I ask the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell, and so far He has–through twelve books, going on thirteen.
In 2011 I reviewed this book for Chalcedon, The Narnia Code by Michael Ward, chaplain of St. Peter’s College, Oxford–who said, “The Narnia books are much more Christian than we’ve realized.”
He also said this: “If only we had eyes to see it, we would notice the divine plan in seemingly meaningless events.”
Less than an hour before I read this, I was writing of Obst, the teacher, and Obst had this thought: The wind of heaven is blowing all sorts of people in all different directions, and to us it looks like chaos and confusion: but not to God. God never loses His grip on the reins of history, and He guides it where He will.
I’ve always said my Bell Mountain books are smarter than I am; and Obst certainly is. It’s not like I consciously think these things up and then put the words in my characters’ mouths. Those are words God gives me.
For which I give Him all the glory.
Sitting outside in the blistering heat today, writing The Wind From Heaven, called up memories of summers in the Ford plant. My father worked there all his working life, and my brother and I had summer jobs there to pay for college.
Here are the three hottest jobs I ever had.
Anything on the welding section of the assembly line. That place was hot even in the dead of winter; but in the summer, watch out. We were expected to gulp salt tablets and keep on spot-welding. If it got to be 120 degrees, they sent us home. Didn’t want anybody keeling over.
The wheel car. This was a boxcar packed almost to the brim with wheel rims. You climbed into the claustrophobic space on top of the cargo and they put a basket in front of the door, and you put the wheels into the basket until the car was empty. How hot was that? I had shoes with rubber soles that melted.
The water test. You’d think this would be a treat, driving a car through water jets that sprayed it from every direction. All you had to do was make a note of any leaks. But first you had to go out to the parking lot and fetch one of the cars that had been baking there all day. Then you tightly closed all the windows and the vents so you could drive it through the water test. You were expected to resist the temptation to open the windows and let the water in. By the time you emerged from the water test tunnel, you were so soaking wet from sweat, you couldn’t have gotten any wetter if you’d gone through the tunnel on roller skates.
As Rudyard Kipling wrote, “The heat would make your bloomin’ eyebrows crawl.” I don’t know how many times mine tried to crawl away, but I always caught them.
P.S.–They closed the plant some years ago and then dynamited it out of existence to make room for a shopping mall. For those of us who had missed the notification that there was going to be a colossal big explosion, it was a rather exciting Sunday morning.
For a change, today is neither boiling hot nor battered by torrential rains and explosive thunderstorms. So I went out and wrote half a dozen pages of The Wind From Heaven, and then decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by going for a bike ride.
So much for that. Flat tire. Had to walk the bike home a mile in the blazing sun. Totally shot, can’t pump it back up, have to take it to the shop and get a new tire, ka-ching, ka-ching…
“See, Byron? This is why I can’t offer a bike as the prize in a comment contest. Bicycles are false friends. They never pass up and opportunity to do you wrong.”
Oh, yeesh, am I hot! Just pouring sweat in buckets. I want to go home. (“Dude, you are home!”) Where’s the Reset button on this day?
I wonder if it’s safe to use my car…