Showing posts from August, 2006


So ends the third week of homeschooling in our household. "That's all I have to say about that." I feel like I've spent more time cleaning up my 2-year-old's messes (well, she's 2 in a week) than anything else the last couple of days. Granted, she's adorable even while making messes. Last night the almost-4-yo came running, IMPLORING me to "come! Meeghan's playing with a bag!" And boy, was she ... three large boxes of sandwich and ziplock bags, scattered across the floor. I sighed and picked them up. It could be worse. Today, it was worse. I came home from a trip to Sam's Club to find out that she'd gotten into the fridge and poured ketchup into the carpet. Blessings on my 12-yo daughter's head, for tackling the job with carpet cleaner, a scrub brush, and towels. When I stop to think too hard about it, I'm wondering just when I'll get all the papers graded, and my oldest son's grades tallied up for his first year

Kathy Tyers, Day 2

I’m not sure I have anything to add to today’s round of blog posts, except to point out Karen Hancock’s wonderful story about how she and Kathy became critique partners and walked with each other on the journey to publication, and Beth Goddard’s promised interview with Kathy. (links below) One thing I’ve always appreciated about Kathy Tyers, though, is the article at her site that describes her journey into writing “Christian” SF—the dry period when she didn’t write anything at all because she was in the process of examining her own life. I went through a similar experience, and continue to stop and re-evaluate occasionally. (I see that she’s updated this piece just a little since the loss of her husband two years ago.) May we all as Christians be so transparent … so honest, so willing to stop and make sure we’re really hearing the Lord’s voice and being obedient to it. An updated list of participants: Jim Black (NEW) John J. Boyer Valerie Comer Beth Goddard Rebecca Grabil

Take Three: Christian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Tour--KATHY TYERS

It’s that time again, and this month we’re highlighting Kathy Tyers, author of the much-referred-to Christian “space opera” Firebird. I already said a bit on my SpecFaith post a couple of weeks back, about how I found the book. I have to admit, the first time I read Firebird I did so more with an eye toward comparing Kathy’s concept of epsilon abilities to “the Gift” in my world. (I’m always afraid when I run across something similar that it’s going to render my stories redundant … and I promise, I came up with this idea before I read Firebird, or Marion Zimmer Bradley, or Katherine Kurtz … but I digress.) Of course, I fell in love with Firebird and her world. I found the doomed not-romance between her and fellow wastling Corey compelling from the start—and how that plays into her growing relationship with Brennan. (Oh, yeah, I’m all about character development … but the techie stuff was interesting, too, and I totally related to Firebird’s horror of needles.) At some point I join

Who needs fiction?

While composing my weekly post for Speculative Faith, I heard sirens outside my house. I listened, thinking they might be on the next street over, just through the brush of our dead-end street, but they weren't going away. Then one of my older kids announced that there was "an ambulance" in front of our house. There were, to be exact, three police vehicles, and an unknown car in the ditch beside our van. The police were busy combing the backyard of our neighbor across the street (really just a gravel driveway, here). With Daddy out of town, and bedtime approaching, the kids and I locked the doors and watched through the shades. Apparently, some personage of dubious character sought to flee the local constabulary down our street, obviously thinking it a thru-way. (First tactical error.) After running his car into the ditch, he fled through the neighbor's backyard, tempted by the utter darkness beyond. (Second tactical error.) Behind the neighbor's yard lies ...

Historical truth

Someone brought up a topic for discussion on one of my lists recently about a “new” movement back to a Germanic/Scandinavian pagan religion. Myths are not fanciful stories made up by savages to explain a world they do not understand. On the contrary, mythology expresses truths of great spiritual importance; it is the language through which the collective unconscious, the Folk Soul, speaks to us. Myths are those things which never happened, but are always true. They are the collective dream of the race. We understand that our myths are not history. To confine the Gods and Goddesses to space and time is to limit them far too much, and to deprive them of their nature. Thor, Odin, and the rest of the Aesir and Vanir are too grand to be confused with mere anthropomorphic figures, though of course they can assume any shape they desire. When a religion declares its myths to be literal, historical truth it exposes a great weakness - and gains nothing in return. I snagged hard on this la

Adventures in Historical Research

Okay, so, I'm doing more research on the American Revolution and last night ran across a whole site devoted to Banastre Tarleton , the impetuous young British colonel who galloped all over South Carolina in 1780, wreaking havoc as he went. He's also known as the Butcher of the Carolinas for the massacre of Rebel troops at Waxhaw in May 1780. I'm still out to lunch on whether he merited this title; of course the British say not, citing extenuating circumstances during that battle AND equal atrocities committed by the Rebels. He was recently tarred and feathered in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot, in the form of the character Will Tavington, but the real-life Ban Tarleton bears little resemblance to Will. In following links through the very entertaining account of his biography (which I still haven't finished) I stumbled across a reference to Henry Lee, otherwise known as "Light Horse Harry," the father of Robert E. Lee. Henry was also a rather hotheaded youn

Tagged again--counting my blessings

Today's dose of frivolity comes courtesy of my dear friend Ronie . Actually, it isn't frivolous to count our blessings, which is the theme of this one ... 1. A friend who has blessed me: just one??? very recently, hmmm … Pat Shelton 2. An unexpected gift: a basket full of Bath & Bodyworks products in one my favorite scents, without the person knowing what I like 3. A kind word shared with me recently: “thank you for being you!” 4. Something that makes me stop and praise God: the awesomeness of where I am in life right now … and the wonder of “amazing grace” 5. Something I'm looking forward to: ACFW conference 6. A particular part of me I'm pleased with: my long hair (my one physical vanity) 7. Something in my life that I wanted but never expected: a husband who truly thinks I’m beautiful 8. A place that moved/moves me: the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia 9. One thing/person that always makes me smile: my youngest, Meeghan 10. Most recent "love note" fro

Market news: Jeff Gerke

I almost typed, "Jeff Gerke for President" there but thought it might be taken wrong ... :-) Anyway. Jeff is a former editor for Multnomah, Realms, and NavPress, and is currently hanging out his shingle as a freelance editor. I've seen his work in requesting revisions for one of my crit partners and was favorably impressed. He also kindly turned down my first novel, Daughter of the Gift , with some helpful comments, one of which led to the birthing of my most recent story, that novel's first prologue. Please keep him in prayer as he shifts gears in his professional life. Jeff is a passionate proponent of Christian SF/F, maybe a little too much for the current market--but that's my own personal speculation, and I know full well that the Lord's timing is everything, in all things. For anyone interested in his editorial services, you can contact him at jeff at jeffersonscott dot com.

Romance in SF/F over at Speculative Faith

Because my dear friend Beth Goddard is experiencing a rather severe outbreak of real life, I've agreed to take over her bi-weekly Thursday post over at our team blog, Speculative Faith . Yeah, that means I'll be pontificating even more often. Thankfully my brain has congealed from the puddle it became last week, allowing me to actually string more than a couple of clear thoughts together. For today, I pulled out the summary I wrote several weeks ago, while on vacation in Missouri, on the Christian Fandom discussion of romance within sci-fi and fantasy. I'd meant to post it here, but it seemed more appropriate there. As usual, I feel that I just barely brushed the surface of the subject. :-)

… we preach Christ crucified …

… to the Jews a stumbling block [Gr: skandalon , a stone of stumbling or offense] and to the Greeks [Gentiles] foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the things of the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base [lowly or insignificant] things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are , that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘H


Today is the second day of school in our household, and my eldest started out the day Seriously Displeased with me. Wait, back up. Not started, precisely. He actually started the day being nervous. Today is the day, after 40+ hours of practice driving since he got his permit in January, and a driver's ed course he passed with flying colors, and the finishing of the required nighttime practice hours (do you know how hard that is to do in the summertime, when it doesn't get dark until late?), that I took him to test for his conditional driver's license. He passed. Of course. (Not that I'm proud of him or anything.) But then we had to come home and start school. The conversation went sort of like this: Him: Can I just do algebra today and call it school?? Me: No. *moment of thought* You know, if you really applied yourself to all the piddling stuff you have to do, you'd get through all of it by the end of August. [that's the finish-up stuff we didn't get


Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Better to be silent and thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt. In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking. I haven’t blogged since last week because not only did I find myself a bit worn out by the writing of my own posts and following everyone else’s excellent commentaries, but also because … I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to share. Then, too, over the past few days when I do engage in various conversations, I find myself putting my foot in my mouth—and swallowing. I feel the constant tension between being a writer, whose occupation is to heap together words in the hopes of communicating something meaningful, and a Christian who should be “swift to hear, slow to speak.” The subject I find tripping me up now is, oddly enough after the Christian Fandom tour, reviewing and critiquing. I expended my best efforts recently on the critique of a first