Why I'm So Boring

If anybody wonders why I've been so boring lately, and why I haven't posted very often this week, here's the reason: I have a bad cold.

[A chorus of "Ooooh, poor Merrie."]

Yup. I know I caught it from those aliens who abducted me last week. By the way, my memory has been coming back in bits and pieces. An image here, a piece of conversation there. I have a feeling that in a couple of days I will know where I went.

And look out, because when I remember, I'm tellin'. No alien is going to drag me off like that again.

Spiders and Monkeys and Spider Monkeys, oh my

I should have expected an invasion. I mean, I did go after the monkeys and the aliens and the spiders. What a combo. Imagine if they all came after me at once. Wait, that really is too much to fit into one image, way too creepy. An alien with a monkey body and a spider head; a monkey with spider legs in a spaceship; a time-traveling spider that talks like a chimpanzee.

All of the above: ugh.

Back to the original plot line. After I posted about the monkey-spider-alien invasion last night, I went into the bathroom and what was waiting for me? A giant spider. But this guy had a death wish. He wanted to die. And I was more than happy to help him out.

By-by, spider monster.

So bring it on, spider-monkey-alien boy. I’m waitin’ and ready.


Shocking Video

Equal time for primates, that's what I always say. Seriously, as far as I'm concerned this video demonstrates the genius of a "certain" musician, and the successful marriage of song and cinema.


Monkey Gossip

There's nothing worse than a pack of primates with a story to tell. Apparently my "Shock the Alien Monkey" post has the entire zoo in a tizzy.

Once in a Lifetime

Spiders are on the prowl. Spider experts claim this happens once in a lifetime.

It's so creepy it's almost pretty. Until you know what it is...a spider web that covers a 200-yard section of a Texas park trail.

“At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland,” said Donna Garde, superintendent of the park about 45 miles east of Dallas. “Now it’s filled with so many mosquitoes that it’s turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs.”

Let's add one more screech to that. Mine.

British Sci-Fi

Just didn't want you to get confused. You know. With all the other stuff. The African Sci-Fi, the Brazilian Sci-Fi, the New Zealand Sci-Fi . . .

Shock the Alien Monkey

The aging process happens to all of us. Sometimes I barely recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I realize that I'm getting older. And I guess I've come to accept the many changes that come with it.

But it's not that easy for me to accept those changes in someone else.

This is how I remember Peter Gabriel.

And this is what he looks like today.

I guess I should be glad I'm not the only one traveling down this rugged road we call Time.

What He Really Said . . .

"Sweetheart, I keep tellin' ya. You're cute, really. And I don't care if you're not that smart. It's that wacky hair of yours. It's almost like ya got two heads."

Step by Step

I saw a father and son walking side by side down the street today. The 2-year-old boy charged blissfully through ankle deep grass, his head down, his focus intent on each exaggerated step. The father walked at his side, his pace steady, his gaze fixed upon the road ahead. The child obviously thrilled with the journey, enjoying both the freedom his father allowed and the envelope of implicit love that surrounded him. Meanwhile, the father watched for potential danger and made sure they stayed on course.

What I saw in that instant was a legacy of love.

We often follow in the footsteps of a parent or mentor, trusting those who have gone before us, benefiting from their wisdom and compassion. Sometimes, when we are really fortunate, these loved ones bequeath even more than a living legacy; sometimes they leave treasured mementos. A box filled with letters and war medals; a cedar chest filled with handmade quilts; a photo album filled with sepia-toned pictures.

Sometimes they leave a family estate behind as well, a home and property that must be cared for, rooms that pulse with cherished memories, flowers that continue to bloom with each passing season.

I have an afghan that my mother made for me. It is my garden estate, my castle-in-the-country inheritance. Every time I run my fingers over its patchwork surface I’m reminded of the fact that she passed away ten years ago and that she left very little behind. Even her own memories evaporated, one by one, in her later years.

She went on ahead, into some mythic land of sunlight and dappled shadow, yet this blanket remained behind with me. She chose the colors, she bought the yarn, she transformed it into a thing of beauty. And then she gave it to me. A few eternal moments before she charged boldly ahead into the great unknown, forging a path of faith for those of us who were left behind.

She is there now, on the other side, resting with the God who made her. Waiting. Patient. For her lifetime-legacy of love to return to her.


Philip K. Dick meets Sue Monk Kidd

The cocktail party started later than I expected. For some reason I thought it would be outside and that we would mingle in clusters on a Manhattan balcony. I thought there would be music and starlight and champagne. Instead there was cigarette smoke and red wine; elbow-to-elbow, the glitterati gathered, each one more talented than the next.

I felt invisible the moment I walked in the door.

White skin glimmered; red lips waxed long and low in sultry tones. Black dresses, low-cut, black suits, open collars. They didn’t have to work at being chic. It came naturally. After years of pretending to fit in, they finally did.

They broke the rules. I was still struggling to learn them.

A cacophony of voices—sweet as a mother’s lullaby, rough as a new lover’s kiss—rolled over me. Seduced me. They were all here, crowded into this one magnificent Art Deco penthouse. All the writers I had ever admired. I closed my eyes and took in one long jealous breath, wished that I could capture the magic of their words in my chest, wished that my fingers would tingle with their enchantment.

Then I moved through the slender, catlike bodies. Noted black and white shadows, long graceful necks, dark glowing eyes. I listened. I walked between them, searching.

Finally I paused, somewhere between Philip K. Dick and Sue Monk Kidd. Somewhere between rippling silk and replicant snakeskin. That was when I heard it.

The voice.

His voice.

Sensuous and lyrical; somewhere a broken-hearted musician was tangled in barbed wire cynicism. And while his voice was distinctly unique, I knew immediately that it was also a little bit like mine.

Then I saw him. Dangerous, with a take-you-to-the-moon-and-back grin.

I recognized the lilt of New Orleans jazz in his voice; saw the dusky color of Creole on his skin. He walked up to me, ice cubes tinkling in the glass he carried. He wasn’t drinking wine like everyone else. He nodded, introduced himself.

Chaz Domingue.

We talked that night, longer than we should have. We met, many times after that. Secretly at first. I didn’t want anyone to know about him. Then I realized his voice was strangely addictive, that it had poured like gasoline into all my empty spaces and then, with an unexpected flash of heat lightning, I was on fire.

I had the voice I had been looking for.

And now it belonged to me, something that I could keep hidden in a treasure box, or I could stand on a street corner and speak it out loud like a Beat poet.

For me, the party was over.

It was finally time to write.

Wonders Never Cease

Apparently somebody loves aliens, because we got nominated for a Very Cool Thing. Good pal, Rebecca Luella Miller over at A Christian Worldview of Fiction, nominated Alien Dream for the Rockin' Girl Blogger award.

It doesn't get much cooler than that. Well, unless the prize included a trip to the moon in a jazzy top-of-the-line spaceship filled with the crew from Star Trek. Spray cheese and Diet Snapple mixed in with scientific "jargonettes" with Spock. I can see it.

Since no good deed should go unpunished, I mean passed on to others, here are my top nominees:

1. Becca Johnson over at The Writers Sword.
2. Miritka Schultz at Mirathon.
3. Rachel Marks at The Shadow of the Wood.

All of these ladies love speculative fiction, so you should check out their sites.

And I agree with Rebecca, there should be a Rockin' Boy Blogger Award. Shouldn't be that hard to create and get the ball rollin'.

Great News for Alien Lovers

I just heard that Lyn Perry, editor of the new Zine, Residential Aliens, is thinking about putting together an anthology. Think of it. Science fiction, fantasy and supernatural fiction stories, all from a Christian worldview. So stay tuned for more information. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

Just In Case You Were Wondering

Television really can fry your brain. Read more science fiction instead.

Blast from the Alien Past

Margaret spent her days and nights dreaming of love, hoping her favorite alien, Willy Billy Bob, would return. She would gaze out the window, toward the meadow where Willy Billy's spaceship landed, and transmit fond thoughts using the alien antennae that he accidentally left behind.


I Finally Found It

I know this doesn’t matter to anyone else, but I finally found my spray cheese. I lost it when the aliens abducted me last week and I got pretty hungry, locked up in that room. But now I am home again and I have my spray cheese and life is back to normal.


Blast From the Alien Past

The McDonald twins tried to act happy when their birthday party-picnic was hosted by aliens. But Matilda would remember years later that she really wanted a puppy.


Right Here, Right Now

Don't touch that dial and don't walk away from that computer screen.

Alien Dream just got 1,000 hits. Thank you, thank you. A round of alien applause, a few screams and hollers.

Don't let those phasers frighten you. I'm sure they are all set on stun.

I think.


Home Again, Home Again

Like all alien abductions, mine has come to an end. I am finally home again. The days were long, the nights were short and the alien trees scraped the skies. It was a journey to be remembered, although I fear my mind will be wiped clean as soon as I fall asleep.

Thunder clouds on the horizon. Rain pelting metal skin.

I rest my head on the alien dashboard and dream of home...

Body of Evidence

I love the fact that the imaginary—or stories—can trigger deep, contemplative thought and reflection. To me that is the true heart of fiction. When it’s well done, it makes you think. About life, about faith, about the way your world interacts and overlaps the worlds of others.

“The Body” came out in 2001, a film that starred Antonio Banderas as a Catholic priest investigating what could have been the archaeological discovery of the remains of Jesus’ body. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie, but this was my “take away”: Would you still believe in the resurrection if all the current evidence seemed to point in the opposite direction?

In the movie, the priest continues to believe, despite the archaeological evidence, and it looks like blind faith. Then, in the very last scene, the viewer (but not the priest) learns that the evidence that challenged the resurrection was false.

That movie, for all of its cheesy melodrama and bad reviews, made an impact on me that I won’t forget. I believe that fiction has the ability to take the Christian worldview into places we, as ministers of the gospel, might not be invited. The world might not want to meet us, but they might want to hear our stories.

The Dark Pretty

They live in polished wood, with rich damask
curtains of silk brocade. Lanterns of red and purple
glow like meadow memories of summers long past.

Snow presses against the windows, her white skin
and red lips a symphony of purpose; he dances while
she sings. Together they build fires in their yesterdays.


Tinfoil, Anybody Got Any Tinfoil?

Mind Over Brain Matter

Dreaming about aliens can make your head explode. In a good way, of course.

The Abyss

I stood on the edge of the Abyss; that black night of the soul that never ends. I've heard others speak of it, terrified whispers, half-mad memories. I've heard it called a heavy black cloud that settles on you, rides you like a mantle, like a parasitic beast.

But that is not what it is.

It's like descending into Hell. Like leaving the world of light and air, sacrificing oxygen; it is like drowning in a lake of tar, black; it steals all light and hope; it rolls over you in waves of disaster, flows down your throat, into your lungs. You struggle to escape and then all of a sudden, a dull thudding sudden, you realize that you have adapted to this alien landscape that swallows light. You're breathing tar, it fills your lungs and heart and veins with viscous black night. You're cold and dead. Rock hard stone. Each breath brings pain and yet you can’t stop breathing. You want to.

But you can’t.

This black death is not death.

It is eternity. The dark life that never ends. It is the pit of despair.

And there is only one way to escape.

One drop of red blood. It cuts through the black monster night, it slices like a warrior blade through the unending river of black tar. It cuts all the way through to the heart of your soul.

Hope. Like the pulse of a distant tribal drum.

He calls. Pierced hands reach into the bottomless black.

He pulls. One drop of red. It stains the universe.

It changes everything.



Alien Abduction

Sorry I haven't posted lately. I've been kidnapped by aliens. I knew this was going to happen, sooner or later.

They're forcing me to stay in my room and work on my book, my Big Secret Book that I almost never talk about. So far, they've been pretty nice though. I have as much Diet Snapple and Diet Coke as I can drink (and that's a lot!)

Rumor has it that if I behave they will let me out for lunch. I hear I might get to have grilled salmon. And there may humans out there.

Not sure. Updates to follow.


Old Testament Space Opera

I think aliens and sci-fi go together like peanut butter and chocolate. So if you're looking for a literary treat, check out this blog.

A Man Who Speaks My Language

Time Travel

Interesting stuff about time travel.

Here and here and here.

And then someone is starting a Time Travel Fund. I guess it's like a savings account. Give them your money now. Someone in the future comes back and gets you, takes you into the future. For ten dollars.


I think aliens are involved in this somehow.

On a Street Called Humanity

Somewhere between Pleasure and Treasure and Abundance, there runs a street called Humanity. On a good day, echoes of traffic from the I-610 bounce off nearby buildings, a constant reminder that you are never really alone. If you walk down a few blocks, you run into Music and Arts, although you never have to go too far in this city to hear jazz, that sensuous blend of rhythm and melody, that song of the soul that was born here.

Way back before the world turned upside down and everybody forgot this little street existed, children played in the yards, women hummed while they washed their clothes, air conditioners waged a valiant battle against summer heat. Men worked on their cars in the street and dogs barked when strangers walked past. Teenagers formed a cluster on the corner, an adolescent huddle of shoulders, desperate to keep the outside world out and the inside world in.

On a street called Humanity, people looked forward to tomorrow.

Until the day tomorrow came.

Storms rage through our world on a daily basis, some we can prevent, but most we have no control over. How we respond to those storms is another story—it’s the dark and scary basement of the human spirit, that journey to the secret place where courage is found. Survival requires courage, but so do kindness and compassion.

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I want to go. I want to see the Spanish moss dripping from ancient trees, I want to smell the fragrant spice of Creole cooking, I want to hear the syncopated heartbeat of zydeco.

I want to walk down the street called Humanity, a silent prayer on my lips for the people brave enough to stay in the place they call home.

Photo by Troy Snow, courtesy of the book, Not Left Behind.

Aliens in the News

I know. It looks like a nose ring to me too. But it's not.

It's a dreaded alien implant. Those wacky aliens can make you moo like a cow with one of these puppies in your cerebral cortex.

Don't forget to wear your tinfoil hat when you go outside. It's raining aliens.

Aliens in the News

Here we see the dreaded Man from Mars, as he was carted off by the military police back in the 1940s. Apparently he was telling one too many flying saucer jokes at the local pub and the authorities figured out that he had "insider information."

We can't confirm this, but there have been recent sightings of our MfM in Ohio. I think he's been making crop circles.

Sooner Than I Expected

The end has come sooner than I expected. The end of the universe. The end of earth. The end of everything.

It isn't truly over yet. In fact, it's happening, one poignant story at a time.

Over at 8:20.

Apparently it all started in Naperville, Illinois. Not far from my home town. A little scary to have it all birthed so close to home . . .


The Continuing Legend of the Firefish

Here’s what I think happened…
One night, mild-mannered George Bryan Polivka went to bed. He was supposed to dream about aliens. All nice people do. But somehow the wires inside his brain got crossed.

He dreamed about a Firefish instead. Now, I agree, a monstrous seacreature is almost like an alien, but almost is never quite the same thing.

One horrible event led to another, and before you know it, poor George had signed a contract for three books with Harvest House Publishers. Well, there was little hope for him after that.

One dream about a seacreature led to anther. I bet the poor sweet man could barely sleep for months. Then the dream evolved and began to include pirates. After that it got worse and worse. There was danger around every corner, and nary an alien to be seen anywhere.

I think he may have tried to salvage his sanity by writing it all down, hence the entrance of Harvest House—a desperate attempt to save the dear man.

And in the end, all this turmoil and restless waking dreams led to a book of dastardly adventures called The Legend of the Firefish.

I don’t know if it is safe to read this book. It may make you dream of seacreatures (instead of aliens). It may make you want to read the next book in the series. It may make you stay up late at night, reading when you should be dreaming.

I just hope you will all say a quick prayer for poor, sweet George. He may have accidentally written a best-seller when he was supposed to be taking a nap.

The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work: Part 3

Today we will posting an excerpt from B.J. Taylor’s new book, The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work.

The book can be purchased through Infinity Books.

I have my spouse read my writing and a couple of my friends. They always love what I write. Isn’t that enough?

Family and friends mean well, but if you are serious about your writing, you’ll need unbiased, constructive critiques and support for your endeavors. Writing is the first step, and you must do a lot of it to get better at it. Ultimately, we all want to be published (and to get paid as well).

“I did it!” Melanie exclaimed. She flourished a check in her hand. “I’m a published author!”

The group members seated around the table jumped up and gave Melanie a big hug.

“Rub some of that off on me,” Lynn said.

“Me, too,” Janice replied.

“You guys will be next, I just know it,” Melanie said. As she sank back into her chair, she thought of how far she’d come. A year ago she didn’t think she needed a writers group, but her method of writing alone hadn’t produced any results.

Now, with a check in her hand, she realized how important this group had been to her.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” she said.

What exactly are the benefits of investing my time in a writers group?

Support, motivation, discipline, camaraderie, imposed deadlines, and a reason to write. Your life is hectic, and making time for your passion is something you must do for yourself.

Support, Encouragement, Motivation

The magazine arrives in the mail. You can’t wait to see your very first byline. You quickly flip to your page and drink in every word with your eyes. You can’t believe it. It’s finally happened! Now whom are you going to show it to?

“Honey, look at my story,” Gladys said to her husband one afternoon when he was reading the paper. She shoved the magazine under his nose. “Look, that’s my name right up there at the top under the title.”

“That’s nice, Sweetheart. Good job.”

Gladys knew her husband meant well. But did he really understand? She thought back to when she first sent in the query letter and the editor took an interest. “The magazine wants to see my piece on spec. Now I have to write it, she told her writers group. “What am I going to do?”

“Take it one step at a time,” Kay said. “First outline; then fill in the paragraphs with text; then revise and edit. We’ll help you, don’t worry.”

The first draft was rough. But her group members helped her talk out the theme for the manuscript and where she was going with each bulleted point. Over the course of several meetings, they helped her polish the document.

Now, with the magazine clutched in her hand, she called Kay. “You won’t believe it. I got my advance copy and my article is right there on page 16. My byline, too!”

“Oh, my gosh. I’m so excited for you,” Kay said. “I know how hard you worked to make that happen.”

Gladys basked in the glow of her friend’s caring words. The article was in print. Her first published work. It felt good to have someone truly understand.

Pirates in the News

The studies are inconclusive. Apparently there's some evidence that pirates and aliens may have had a common ancestor.

Who knew?

Well, maybe George Bryan Polivka knew. But he never mentioned anything about the Great Alien Connection in The Legend of the Firefish. So maybe the rumors about pirates and aliens aren't true.

But wait. Let's examine the evidence.

Pirates talk funny, walk funny, dress funny. They even smell funny. All of these characteristics sound an awful lot like alien skullduggery to me.

You might want to check out the evidence here and here and here before you decide for yourself.

Residential Aliens in the News

They've landed. They're here. They're on the Internet.


Big ones. Little ones. Mean ones. Silly ones. Some even have bobble heads, long broken-necked-giraffe heads that wobble and bounce when they walk. (Okay, I made up the part about the bobble heads, but the rest is true.)

Not only are they here—these wily aliens—but they've got stories to tell. Scary stories, exciting stories, wondrous stories; there are even stories that might just keep you awake at night.

If you're bold, you might want to check out their watering hole. So far, no humans have gotten hurt. But who knows what could happen next...

Consider yourself warned. There's got to be a master plan behind these Residential Aliens and their stories of home.


Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk

Okay, now that you've read The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka, you may feel like a pirate. You may even walk like a pirate.

But what I want to know is can you TALK like a pirate?

Because, that matey, is where all the action is. Arrrggghhh. And, if you can pen your worthy words, then you gots a small chance at winnin' some pirate booty. Not by diggin' for treasure, you muttenhead. By enterin' a contest.

The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work: Part Two

Today we are continuing our interview with B.J. Taylor, a talented writer who recently published The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work.

[Here's a photo of B.J. and me at the recent Mount Hermon Writer's Conference.]

MD: How will this book help other writers?

BJ: You can be a successful author. You can reach your goals. Whether you are a new or experienced writer, you will benefit from the stimulating environment of a writers group. All writers need cheerleaders. They need someone to celebrate with when they have reached a goal and they need group members they can commiserate with when their hopes are temporarily dashed. This book will take you step-by-step through WHO should be in your group and how to find them, WHEN and WHERE to hold meetings, and WHAT to do when you gather.

MD: Who has most inspired you as a writer?

BJ: The person who has most inspired me as a writer is Kay Marshall Strom. She is the author of more than 30 books in several different languages, a screenplay, and books written for others where she acted as the ghostwriter. Kay is a much sought after speaker at numerous writing conferences and events, and is a positive role model. Her desire to help other writers rubbed off on me long ago.

MD: Where can people purchase the book?

BJ: The book can be purchased through Infinity Books and here.

[Since we're on the Alien Dream site, I have to ask my two favorite questions.]

MD: What do aliens dream about?
BJ: Earth people.

[Good answer.]

MD: Where will you be in 10,000 years?
BJ: In heaven working with the angels.

[Even better answer. Me too!]

Thanks, B.J. Tomorrow, we'll get to read an excerpt from her book. Stay tuned. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

The Hunt For The Great And Fearsome Firefish

Stories have been coming in all week about a dreaded seacreature, almost too fearsome to discuss on a PG-rated website. But, to preserve life and to promote good literature, I’m willing to tell you what I can.

Survivors have been few. A little known country by the name of Nearing Vast stands in the center of all the turmoil. Pirates are involved, as well. I know. I didn’t want to bring up the part about pirates. Lately, with all the popular movies out, pirates have taken on a friendly sort of appearance.

Don’t be fooled. Pirates are not our friends. For all we know they could really be aliens.

One man seems to know the true story behind the dreaded Firefish. George Bryan Polivka. And he has written the first in series of exposes on the subject. His picturesque writing takes the fearsome topic and renders it entertaining, nay, fascinating.

The first book in the Trophy Chase Trilogy is now available. Aptly titled, The Legend of the Firefish, it tells a heroic tale of faith, adventure and sacrifice.

But reader beware. The Firefish is not to be laughed at.

More information about this legendary seacreature can be found here.


The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work

Today I have a talented writer, B.J. Taylor , in the blog studio with me. Between writing on assignment for Guideposts, she has been published in Writer’s Digest and a multitude of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Other credits include articles in Romantic Homes magazine, Victorian Homes magazine, Angels on Earth and Lexus. An accomplished speaker and a member in three active writers groups, she has conducted numerous workshops for writers—including one up-coming engagement at the Yosemite Writer’s Conference.

She recently completed a book titled, The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work. For the next two days we will be discussing her book and we will include an excerpt on Wednesday.

MD: Why did you write this book?

BJ: I was taking writing classes at a local college. It was just what I needed to fit writing into my life—it gave me deadlines and made me accountable. Then the classes ended. I knew I’d stop writing the first time I was rejected. It’s just so hard to stay positive without support and encouragement, so I started a writers group.

MD: What is the concept behind the book?

BJ: Successful writers don’t write alone. Yes, writing is a solitary effort, but if you want to get your work published, you need constructive, unbiased critiques. A writers group can suggest a different opening or hook, encourage you to try new word choices, guide you in polishing your writing to grab an editor’s attention, and empower you to find success. A writers group can elevate your writing to a quality level—a level that will get noticed by editors and agents—and that will increase your chances of getting published.

MD: Why did you decide to self-publish?

BJ: Many publishing houses will not take on a “niche” book such as Writers Groups That Work. After trying for quite a while to get it picked up by a publisher, I researched self-publishing. There is no longer a stigma associated with self-publishing. Even the big publishing houses are taking notice of self-published books. Many great books, like Bridges of Madison County and The Christmas Box, were originally self-published and later became bestsellers. And then there was the cost. It used to be that prices were pretty steep but costs have now plummeted with print on demand, and the quality of a self-published book is equal to a book put out by larger publishing houses. You can also make anywhere from 50-70% profit on each book sold.

MD: What are the advantages and disadvantages to self-publishing?

BJ: The advantages of self-publishing include complete control over the finished product: you design the cover (they’ll help you if you want), you set up and format the interior, you can include quotes or sidebars or text boxes. You write the back cover text and can include a photo of yourself and a biography as well. This is your book and you control all aspects of the publishing process.

The disadvantages of self-publishing encompass the considerable amount of time and attention which will be required for each and every detail of the finished work. But when you love something as much as you do your project, you won’t mind devoting time to it.

The book can be purchased through Infinity Books and here.

Stay tuned for more from B.J. tomorrow. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

The Honest-to-Dog Truth

After chauffeuring the dogs to the park every day and pampering them with egg burritos and bones, they still managed to convince me to take them to the movies. They just had to see Underdog, their hero.

I should have known better.

As soon as the previews started, they began to act up. Caleb got his nose stuck in the popcorn bucket and then they both started to laugh. Before we knew it, Caleb had snorted popcorn up his nose.

Trust me, it wasn't easy to explain to the vet.

What he said

Paul said,

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The Greek word, poiema, was translated to mean workmanship. It's the root for our modern English word "poem."

You and I are a page in God's book of poetry.

And He's not done writing yet.

Stay Tuned: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Coming up, in the week of blog-mania:

1. Book review of The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka. Published by Harvest House Publishers, this is the first in The Trophy Chase Trilogy.

2. An interview with B.J. Taylor, author of the recently published, The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work.

3. Blog review of the new and evolving interconnected website universe of Steve Parolini.

It all happens here and it all starts tomorrow.

Same bat time. Same bat channel.

On the Lighter Side

This dog is the coolest ever. Well, except for my two dogs, of course. I meant to say that Joshua and Caleb are the coolest ever.

After them comes Tillman, the skateboarding bulldog.

I've Decided

I’ve decided that I’m not short. I have a low center of gravity. Likewise, my hair isn’t turning gray. It suddenly has new, sparkling highlights. I don’t get tired easily. I have a wonderful, relaxed approach to things like . . . walking. And of course, I’m not becoming forgetful. I’ve simply been rearranging my memories so that the ones I prefer are the ones I dwell on.

At 50 (gasp, I said the unspeakable), life is actually better than it ever was. Strange, but so many of the things that used to hover over my future, scary and threatening, no longer have the power to paralyze. Things like getting stranded on an L.A. freeway. Or losing my job or my home.

I’ve learned--with God’s unfathomable grace--that I will survive everything I’m supposed to survive, will endure everything I’m supposed to endure. And when I have been here long enough (where ever "here" happens to be at any point in time, including earth), then He will guide me to the next place, the next situation.

And for me, because of what Christ has done, that final place is heaven.


"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."--Romans 8:38-39

As far as I am concerned, that even includes menopause.


Never Mind

Mr. Rat poses for his close up. At the end of his maze, he pauses, confused. But you probably would too. If those wacky scientists had just wiped away your long-term memory.

Part of a program to develop a treatment for people with Alzheimer’s, Mr. Rat unfortunately can’t remember whether he volunteered or not anymore.

Aliens in the News

I’m sorry. This one is so bizarre I just had to post it. It reminds me of the sleep-in protest by John and Yoko back in 1969, when they made a public outcry against the war in Vietnam by staying in bed for a week.

Wear pajamas for peace. Pose naked on a shrinking glacier for global warming. I see the similarities.

Whatever it takes to get attention. I guess.

It just bothers me that they forgot to wear their tinfoil hats.

I Wonder

As time progressed, it became more difficult for Wonder Woman to accessorize her super-hero costume. If only she had opted for all black, like Cat Woman.

The Squeaky Wheel

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. I’m sure you’ve even seen it demonstrated. Maybe at home. Your sister/brother/significant other frequently points out the unfairness of life, the smallness of their dessert, the rudeness of their waitress. Oddly enough, the next time around your beloved relative really does get the better portion.

Or maybe you’ve seen it at work. A fellow employee complains often and vehemently to a supervisor. Somehow that same employee manages to get exactly what he/she wanted. Bigger office, better title, more money.

And then one day you decide that maybe this principal will work for you.

Let’s just say, hypothetically of course, that you got a bad haircut. And please remember this is all conjecture. A piece of random fiction. No one ever gets bad haircuts. Least of all me. All of my haircuts are perfect.

But if we wanted to imagine such an event, it might go like this . . .

You arrive at a salon with great anticipation. One of your dearest friends gets her hair done here and she always looks fabulous. Of course, that could be because she is beautiful—but this realization can only be made in hindsight. If you had thought about it beforehand, the end result would have been much different.

You sit in the chair. Describe how you want your hair cut.

Strangely the stylist seems distracted. Is it because he’s color processing another client’s hair right now? Is it because he forgot to pay his rent? Is it because his underwear is too tight? There’s no way to know what’s going on inside his mind. If anything.

You wonder if he’s listening to you, but finally you acquiesce. Of course he’s an intelligent and considerate individual. He must have heard your instructions and being a consummate professional, he has absorbed them completely.

Snip. Snip.

Tufts of hair fly. Fall on the floor.

Scissors swing through the air at dangerous speed.

Layers. You are seeing layers. But you wanted your hair all one length. Is it shorter in the front than in the back? Is it feathered around your face?

Is it even remotely like what you requested?

Too stunned to speak, you leave the shop. Thinking that perhaps when you get home you’ll be able to fix it. Maybe if you style it yourself—

Hours later you realize there’s no hope. This is awful. It will to take months for this mangled mess to grow out. And even then, who is trustworthy in the hairstyling hierarchy? Are there any who wield a comb and brush that can be called honorable?

If you were married, right about now your husband would say that you need to call that stylist and let him know how you feel. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. And you are upset. You don’t normally do this sort of thing. Usually you let it go. Granted you cry in your pillow, wear sackcloth and ashes, and refuse to go out in public unless absolutely necessary. But you never call someone up and tell him what a bad job he did, either in cutting your hair or in listening to what you wanted.

Well, you never call. Except this time.

You know, squeaky wheel and all.

Snarl. Growl. Bang. Grrrr. Grrrr. Squeak.

Resolution? Not so much. Feel better? Not really. Still have a bad haircut? Yup.


Maybe it’s time to update the old saying. Change it to something like:

The squeaky wheel rolls downhill, really fast, destroying everything in its path.


The squeaky wheel irritates all the other wheels and should just shut up.


The squeaky wheel is probably broken and should take a short vacation.


The squeaky wheel is just a wheel, not a person, and any deductions, moral or otherwise, made on its behalf should be disregarded as hearsay and will not stand up as evidence in a court of law, nor should they be considered valuable to those who are seeking wisdom of a proverbial nature.