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Excerpt from Novel I'm working on

He walked into the great hall built by his mother’s cousin and marveled at the sight, for it was a wonder of fine wooden pillars made from living trees, with their branches cunningly woven hundreds of feet overheard in such a way as to make as tight a roof as ever the earth had seen, yet in appearance be nothing more than a greensward set in the sky. Its walls were made of the finest glass—after the fashion of the Huunites of the south—but a hair’s breadth thick yet stronger than the finest metals, even of those forged by the Pengri in the east.

Is this Science Fiction?

Ask your average man (or woman) on the street, “What is science fiction?” and they’ll usually reply by citing works of science fiction they are familiar with, such as “Star Wars”, “Star Trek” and “Avatar.”

Just kidding. Usually, they’ll just look at you strangely then walk on, trying their best not to make eye contact. “What sort of person stops a total stranger on the street and asks that?!?” they wonder, as they scurry on about their business.

Waiting for the End of the Whirled

By now, you have probably heard that the world is going to end on the 21st of this month (this is December, 2012, for those of you not paying attention or still using the Farah Fawcett calendar you got in 7th grade). The reason this is said to be the last month of history is because the Mayans—who were so smart they could accurately predict the weather*--made a calendar that accurately kept time right up until it runs out on the 21st of this month.

*Yeah, right.

How hard is it to make a calendar? One square equals one day, right? Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, does it?

Thoughts from the Day Before Thanksgiving

It’s the popular thing for the drummers in church bands to sit behind bullet proof glass. I wondered about this until I started listening more carefully to the drummers in church bands. Now, I’m thinking they made a good call.

The Wonderful Wonderful World of Encyclopedias

Remember being a child in school and having a question and your parents or teacher would respond, “Look it up”? Of course you do. If the information that had originally spawned this conversation was how to spell a given word, then the required (by natural law) counter-response of the kid was, “If I knew how to do that I wouldn’t have asked in the first place!”

Comfort and Security

Recently, we showed pictures during our Sunday morning service of a church we support in Pakistan. We’ve been trying to raise money to help with their new building and, praise God, we’ve been able to send them more than half of what they needed.

Crazy

Who gets to define crazy? And don’t tell me it’s the “American Board of Psychiatric Professionals” or some such group because, in this modern age, I doubt that they are even allowed to use words like “crazy”. At best, they can probably diagnose someone as “Neurologically Underperforming Traditional Stuff” (or “N.U.T.S.”).

To most of us, crazy is like art: we know it when we see it.

Man's Best WHAT, Again?

As I sit here watching my cat sniff the drying paint-brushes and picture him suddenly pulling a Pepe Le Pew (he’s black, the paint is white) I’m amazed to see that he’s actually smart enough not to get the paint on him. I’m amazed because this is not the world’s brightest cat. He frequently does things that make us look over at the dog—a big, lumbering golden retriever—and say (on behalf of the dog), “I’m the smart pet.”

Oh, Canada?

Many people, if a brief survey of my Facebook page is any indication, never think about Canada. If they do, they just think it’s a place “somewhere up north” like North Dakota, except perhaps larger. A place with lots of snow and twelve players on a side when they play football.

Big City Celebration

One of the things I miss about living in a big city are the city-wide brawls. Many of them just took place on the editorial pages of the newspaper, but some of them broke out in actual fist-fights.

I was thinking of that because I see by my calendar that we’re coming up on one of Denver’s big kerfluffles. For most of us, October 8 is just another one of those days when the Post Office takes a long weekend but—

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