Home Again

We just returned Friday evening from a two-week visit to family in Missouri. Actually, my husband was away on reserve duty at Scott AFB, Illinois, for two weeks before that, and I drove out on the Thursday before he was finished, with all the kids, to meet him, then we went on to MO to visit our families. After all the canning and packing and getting ready, I could actually feel the stress slipping away as I drove (I’d had Toby Mac’s “Getaway Car” going through my head the last 24 hours or so...and my apologies for not finding a link to lyrics without typos).

The drive back was longer and more grueling—we were pulling a trailer loaded with my piano (which I finally get to “bring home” after all these years), a couple of cabinets, half the canning jars in Sullivan County, Missouri, a huge sack of new clothes for the kids, most of my mom’s castoff Tupperware and kitchen stuff, and our luggage. We were blessed to find a nice enclosed trailer to buy rather than pouring $400 down the drain to U-haul, and the thing pulled like a dream (yay for our van's V10 engine!)—but it took us 22 hours on the road, overnight, and I know I didn’t get more than 3 hours of sleep. I’m still recovering.

The visit overall was really good—I could feel the Lord’s Breath all around me so many times during the two weeks. Still, it’s nice to be home, in my own space.

Some things I learned …

Picking over gooseberries is even more tedious than snapping green beans.

Growing up a Midwestern farm girl never leaves one’s blood.

Having to release a baby back to the Lord’s arms still hurts, even after seven years.

95 degrees in July in north Missouri is cool and crisp compared to 85 in June on the South Carolina coast.

Fireworks are best viewed on a country hilltop, with the accompaniment of fireflies and the spangling of a waxing moon and stars.

A pond can be almost as much fun to swim in as you remembered when you were a kid—even if you are a slightly overweight, prissy 39-year-old mother.

Life really is best when embraced and savored as an adventure given by God, rather than something to be merely endured until that last goodnight.


And while I was away, I received an email from Chris Walley, author of the Lamb Among the Stars series that I was told Tyndale would not be continuing. (No, Mir, I’m sorry to tell you that the good news isn’t about the Birthrighters series—but I’m still praying that WestBow decides to take that one farther, too!) Chris tells me his series is still alive and well. I’m thrilled to hear this, because although the first two books, The Shadow at Evening and The Power of the Night, are still ensconced on my to-be-read shelf (bad girl … baaaad girl), both my husband and oldest son read the books and greatly enjoyed them.

Chris wrote, “After various hiccups the (very long) next book 'The Dark Foundations' will be out in Oct (it's already on Amazon.com). … I'm being shifted to Tyndale mainstream (largely on the basis of the warm Amazon.com reviews) and the old books 1 and 2 are being relaunched as an omnibus hardback ('Shadow and Night') along with Dark Foundations in hardback. So I'm heading for the epic trilogy with the final MSS (the new book 3) due into Tyndale by April 07. By all means share this. Incidentally whether my own books are fantasy or SF I am not sure; I have deliberately blurred the boundaries.”

Isn’t that great news?! (Note that the Amazon reviews actually influenced the publisher!)

And Chris adds, “As a provocative comment I think the current emphasis on an imminent pre-millennium eschatology in the US doesn’t help SF among Christians. Effectively there is no future!”

What say you all?


  1. Thanks, Shannon.

    I'm real glad for Chris. I browsed his books on amazon about two, three days ago, and wondered why I hadn't heard them chatted up, when the reviews were pretty nifty. I may have to get that Omnibus.

    Oh, and bummer about Outriders. I was hoping that got new life.

    BTW, why is my link on your sidebar dead? :=/


  2. The imminent/pre-millenium eschat doesnt' say there is no speculative future. One can assume the events are way, way off, and still have lots of room to have science fiction goings on. :)

    What it may do is keep readers from WANTING to read other futures, if all they want is for the Left Behind stuff to happen in the morning.

    I've actually talked to folks who say, "But Left Behind is TRUE!" I look at them with puzzlement and say, "Um, not, it's stories. It's fiction. It's not true. A couple guys made that up. And that's not even getting into how accurate the theological interpretation is."


  3. I tend to think SF is taking a dip because fantasy has taken a rise. The two don't seem to both stay hot at the same time.

    A lot is influenced by the culture at large. The Harry Potter phenomenon, I believe, is much more influential than people expected.

    That coupled with the emergence of LotR in movie version.

    Narnia keeps it rolling, and if they keep making the movies well, fantasy should stay alive and kicking for a good long while. However, SF will have a resurgence at some point, I have no doubt.--when someone comes up with something fresh and engaging instead of cloning one of the existent successes.


    Glad you made it back after your two weeks away. Yep, there's something about rural that changes a person. I guess urban does too, but I think it's easier to lose.

  4. And, let's not forget, fantasy is (generally) easier to read. Science Fiction is harder to read for the general reader.


  5. Though I've seen more sci fi movies than read sci fi books, one thing that possibly makes them a hard sell in CBA are the common extremes of a utopian optimism (seeing man as able to perfect himself) to annihilistic pessimism (no hope for the human race, but the monkeys might have a chance ;-) found in the genre.

    I'm not saying that CBA authors would come from either of those viewpoints, but I think people might make those assumptions (just like I assume all romances are boring because I know what's going to happen in the end. ;) (Which isn't always true.)

    Plus, like Mirtika noted, many believe there is only one possible course of events for the end-times (which thankfully is not the only topic of sci-fi/fantasy). I hope that a large portion of the Christian population isn't blinded to the second coming of the Messiah as so many were blinded to his first coming, just because his coming doesn't fit their preconceived notions...{{stepping off my soapbox, so I can get back to my laundry}}...:)


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