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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Letter Exercise #1

A few years ago, I took on a writing exercise where I had to write letters from characters I was writing about based on what was going on in their heads that they would never say.  I did this exercise base on an alternate story line for a series of novels I've been working on since the early 2000s, then forgot about it. But, as sometimes will happen when saving writing ideas, I stumbled into it again while working on the Traditions post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, and thought the three letters I finished for it were too compelling to ignore.  Below is the first letter - I'm not sure when or even if I'll post the rest of them. I leave whether that happens or not in your hands. Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter! Owen: You know something? I think that college life is a far different story for me than it is for you. You got to stay at home. You never had to uproot yourself, move to a city you’ve never been to before, and live with someone you d

The Joyful Comedy Hour

Candlelight service. I know I wrote a lovely, nearly sappy summation of what I love so much about such things last year (read it here ). Sometimes they can feel that way, be that way - it really depends on the person responsible for putting the program together. This year, sappy is not the word I would use to describe what happened. I would have to use a phrase - specifically "The Joyful Comedy Hour." The order of the program was no different than the order of the program from last year. I know. I was the one to hear our pastor's extra-exuberant "All right!" from over my shoulder as I pulled up last year's slides. And the joy in those two words, "All right," made its way through the rest of the night. The pace was relaxed, and laughter was never far from anyone's lips. Which was a good thing, because when we readers failed to inspire laughter over mishaps adjusting (or readjusting) the microphone stand or word pronunciation, our au


Wednesday night was our last high school group meeting before Christmas. After we did our normal prayer walk around the park across the street from church, as we walked back into the building afterwards, my star (translation: only) pupil posed a question that gets asked every year in some way, shape, or form by someone I know. Christmas traditions - what is one of your favorites? Breakfast - one of my family's Christmas traditions (less than flattering picture of me eating aside) My answer to him, along with a long story about other family Christmas traditions that only loosely tied to the place I was going, was this: One of my favorite parts of Christmas morning, was curling up on a couch or in a chair or sitting on the floor listening as Grandma or Grandpa or Dad or one of my older sisters read from either the account in Matthew or in Luke - Grandma's pick. None of the stockings were handed out, and none of the presents under the tree were distributed until we had

Celebrating Friends

I woke up this morning to the chill of an unusually cold winter morning in Phoenix with a sense of excited anticipation. No, I didn't want to leave the warm cocoon of pillows and blankets I was buried underneath, but it's one of those things you have to brave the cold for when you're expecting something wonderful to happen. That sense of anticipation did not disappoint, because this arrived today. It's a book! Yes, it's a book. No, it does not feature any of my writing (I wish!). It does feature the writings of one of my favorite people on the planet - a best friend who has become far more like a sister than just a friend in the fifteen years or so we've known each other. Bama, the nickname my family has so lovingly given her. How many hours have we spent texting/calling/IMing/etc, in the name of venting/spilling the beans/crying/collaborating on the next great writing project (that may or may not ever see the light of day)? I lost track a long t

Good Weeks

It's Sunday morning, and I'm sitting in the sound booth during morning worship, looking back at the last week while my pastor expounds on the good news of great joy for all people. Yes, we're in Luke 2 (one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story), but I'm already getting off track. I guess it's been that kind of week. My pastor came in to the classroom where I teach the teenagers in high school before Sunday School this morning, sat down across from me with a smile on his face and asked me that simple and frustrating question. "How was your week?" "Good," is what I told him, a little bit awkwardly because this wasn't normal. Normal was him asking in the sanctuary between Sunday School and morning worship, or the hallway with people milling around. Normal was not him coming in and taking a seat like he intended to make himself comfortable and stay for awhile. He did not get much more of an answer than that because I had no idea


My last full year at university, I broke my arm. Well, technically, the math professor coming off of a blind curve on his bicycle broke it when he hit me. I was, by the way, on my roommate’s bicycle on my way back to my dorm after work that day. It was a lovely late afternoon, early enough in the autumn months that the leaves were just starting to turn towards the vibrant shades they take on just before they die. Afterwards, I had a really good laugh in sharing the experience with a friend who was a math major and student of the professor in question. But that is not really the point. The point is that my arm was broken, but I didn’t know it at the time. Yes, I did go in to get things checked out the next day. My arm was in massive amounts of pain, but the x-rays didn’t show anything, so they gave me some good pain medicine and a sling. Give it a week, they said. Should be good as new. A week went by. My arm was mostly better, but every once in a while it would start hur