Changing Course

Turn Signal


Living out in the middle of nowhere, the dirt roads usually don’t have traffic signs at the intersections. Let’s face it, going down a dirt road, there isn’t much traffic. Out of habit I’ll put on my turn-signal when I come to one of these intersections, even tough there isn’t anyone for a hundred miles. I have been known to put on my turn-signal and then realize that isn’t the direction I need to turn, and simply turn the opposite direction—who will know? Okay, I confess, I’ve done it in the city too.

Intersections in life often don’t have signs either. We assume a certain course is the best or correct course, only to discover it isn’t. So it has been with me. I considered a course for my life’s journey, and had my signal on getting ready to turn the corner, and suddenly realized the road was blocked, or washed-out, or simply not ready to be traveled on. It is at that intersection in life, with the signal on, that I recently came to. I believed that we should be looking at moving to Branson. Instead we are, for now, staying in southeast Arizona. Will we move to Branson sometime in the future, only the Lord knows. For now we are simply moving a few miles North.

The Agape ranch, where we have been living and working for the past fifteen months, is now the GAP ranch. We don’t feel we belong here. Living and working in Branson sounded exciting. However, a church here had their pastor resign unexpectedly leaving a vacant pulpit. I was asked to fill the pulpit and now have been asked to be interim pastor. This is a road I definitely didn’t think I would travel on, but my heart said yes, so this is where life’s course is taking us.

On a final note regarding the competition to raise funds. My linkedin aquaintence raised just over a thousand dollars, and I raised zero. He won the bet, but also didn’t make enough to build a Steam-Punk gallery in New Mexico. He is giving the money to a charity.

We will still travel down life’s path dreaming of avenues to travel on, our signal may even be blinking. However, we understand how our Lord Jesus, who is guiding our life, may have a different course for us to journey on. And one thing I have discovered, His paths are an amazing adventure.



Recently there was a campaign fund raising dinner for Billionaire HiLIARy Clinton. Charging $2,000.00 a plate, the approximately 300 guests raised nearly a half million dollars for her. Now my question is: WHY? How can there be so many people deceived by this woman. The answer, she is obviously a criminal master mind or she is one of the greatest deceivers of this century . . . and the last for that matter. Oh, and to make the dessert sour, she didn’t even have the time to attend the dinner in her honor, she was busy attending a similar dinner somewhere else.

There was a period of time in my life where I was learning slight of hand, or magic tricks. The slight or trick was to fool people into watching one hand or a distraction while getting away with the deception.

Take a closer look at the picture at the top of this blog. You may think it is a nicely mowed field of grass. Or maybe it is a field of wheat.

Computers and photography allow users to deceive the eye so easily. I can put my face on the body of Charles Atlas and you would hardly know. Unless you have recently seen me without a shirt, then you would know that I “photo shopped” the image.

By digitally enhancing my voice using computer software, I can almost sound like James Earl Jones, or Tiny Tim.

Computer video editing software, and a lot of patience, can allow me to make a video that is deceptive while being creative. Check out my promo video for Dean Ransom, the Trilogy—did I insert the deer, or how about the Quetzalcoatlus?

Deception isn’t limited to just corrupt politicians, the media and movie makers. Good, well meaning preachers and teachers are also prone to deception. Let’s face it, deception is a quick way to make a fast buck, or in other words, pick a pocket or two.

The Bible has a lot to say about deception; bottom line: don’t deceive, beware of deceivers, and don’t be deceived.

So I am not going to deceive you any longer, the photo isn’t a field of wheat or grass, it’s an ingenious closeup of a wool sweater.

On a final note. If Billionaire HiLIARy Clinton can raise nearly a half million dollars in a few hours, how about helping me raise $200,000.00 for a house. I’m competing with a Linkedin acquaintance to see who can raise a set amount of money first; he is raising $500,000.00 to build an art gallery. He says Christians are cheap and selfish. I tend to think that people on the whole are foolish with their money, ergo the reason billionaire HiLIARy Clinton doesn’t need to spend anything on her campaign, the media and fools are too willing to simply throw money at her. Here is the link to my donation page, scroll down to see how to donate.

Sorry, I don’t have a link to a place you can donate your hard earned money to Billionaire HiLIARy Clinton.

The Game is Afoot


I have been challenged by a linkedin acquaintance. The challenge is: Are Christians more generous than folks in the Science Fiction / Steam Punk culture? He will be using various means to raise $500,000.00 to build a Science Fiction-Steam Punk gallery/museum in Albuquerque New Mexico, while we raise $200,000.00 to buy a Ministry House in Branson Missouri  ( We have agreed not to disclose who our competitor is and that if we don’t meet the goal of either buying a ministry house or building a museum, any money raised will be given to a charity of our choosing. The game is afoot; which side are you on?

Life as a Bowling Pin

Do you ever feel like a bowling pin, constantly set-up just to be knocked down? Or how about being handed to a juggler and hoping they won’t drop you? Well that’s about how I feel this month.

The reason this blog is late and very short is due to the news that the place where we are living and working has traded hands.

As of this writing I am applying for jobs and we are looking for a place to live. I guess my April blog, “Home on the Range,” was prophetic. Wow, a motor home right about now would sure help.

After giving a year of labor to bring Agape Youth Ranch to a place where it is neat and ready to be used, Agape Youth Ministry made a deal with GAP ministries who will now own the ranch. And, sadly, we aren’t needed to serve the ranch. How long do we have? We are hoping to have until August to move, we’ll see and you will know.

So, we feel like bowling pins. So many times I have been set-up at either a Christian ministry or working with, or for, Christians, only to be knocked down. Why is it that so much of modern Christianity is all about buildings, money, stuff, and not about people? I have talked to numerous people who are also disillusioned with the religious Christian folks who offer platitudes of concern about people, but where the rubber meets the road, they don’t. It’s a “me, me, me, I, I, I, society and the Christian Church has way too many chanting that tune.

Do I have a solution? No. However I do believe that by truly discipling, being accountable, challenging people to listen to God’s word and their heart in sincerity, and not just offering ‘feel good’ messages, people may be triggered to change. Going to church isn’t the answer it is only a step. Weekly going to a living room or coffee shop and meeting with others who are sincerely seeking to be Christian disciples will do far more than a weekly dose of “church”.

So, from a fallen bowling pin who is humbly and prayerfully seeking God’s wisdom to seek where we will live and what we will do . . . or what lane we will be standing in, keep an eye out for my blog next month.

Oh, and remember to safely celebrate Independence Day and set-off a lot of cool fireworks Independence Day evening! Let your neighbors know that you are celebrating the eviction of a tyrannical government when this country declared its independence.



Yes, it’s true! ACID is free . . . at least the Kindle edition is from Friday, May 27, 2016 through Monday, May 31, 2016.

As my way of saying thank you for the HUGO Award nomination, I am offering the e-book edition of ACID, The World Has Changed, But Man Has Not, free for you to download and enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend.

So what are you waiting for? You’re looking for a new and exciting adventure to read over the long Memorial Day weekend. Look no farther.

However don’t wait too long, the promotion ends May 31.

If you already have ACID, then tell your friends, even your enemies, and let them know that ACID is free to download.

Sandstorm !


Life in the southwest includes sandstorms. The photo was taken from my front porch—the sand is being blown several thousand feet into the air by fifty to eighty mile-per-hour wind. Drive your car into that and you will probably need a paint job after only a few minutes. My folks would talk about the dust bowl of the 1930s. They would stuff wet towels around the windows and under the doors, and still the relentless dirt would invade their home. I can now understand. We vacuum and dust our house and in a matter of hours it looks like we haven’t vacuumed or dusted in weeks.

When I was a kid my dad would occasionally listen to his LPs on a Sunday afternoon. He had his favorites and one of them was a collection of Westerns called: “The Shifting Whispering Sands” recorded by Billy Vaughn and his orchestra and narration by Ken Nordine. “Shifting Whispering Sands” is a song and poem written by Vivian Clark Gilbert. The poem and song is in the top 100 Western songs of all time. When my dad had that LP on, I would always stop to listen. The poem is really good storytelling. On a side note, I am certain he would never have approved of how I listened to my Kraftverk or Pink Floyd LPs on his stereo.

If you want to listen to Ken Nordine’s narration of Shifting Whispering Sands, I found it on You Tube.

While watching the sandstorm I remembered the Shifting Whispering Sands. Okay these sands aren’t exactly quietly shifting and whispering, they are violently relocating and roaring! Still, I watched and remembered. Also I remembered a line from the Louis L’Amour book, The Marching Drum; allow me to quote it. “Coming to a crossroad I looked down and considered a crumbling pile of stone, where once had been a town. Wind and time had left the town all but forgotten.” (Italics mine.)

Witnessing the wind relocate the soil somewhere faraway, my heart tied some thoughts together that I want to attempt to put into words.

If you know me you probably know my frustration with the Christian Church, especially the big-box or mega churches. I lament how “Christians” want to build edifices to their glowing memories, complete with the greatest sound and light systems et cetera. Now I know you may be one of those who are already warming up to fire off an email in defense of your super church, but please hear me out. I’m not saying that these titanic churches aren’t doing good. I am saying that Jesus didn’t commission his followers to go into all the world and build churches, he commanded us to go and make disciples. Yet we insist on pouring piles of money into an edifice that is bigger and nicer than the one across town; while there are people in need of the gospel, the good news, who are hungry, poorly clothed and barely making it in the neighborhood.

You won’t walk down the streets of gold on the new earth and find it lined with fully restored buildings reflecting the greatest cathedrals and churches built by mankind. I really don’t believe you will find in the new heaven and new earth any need for high-end sound and light systems. The new earth isn’t being prepared for the most inspiring architecture of Christianity. The new earth is being prepared for people, specifically those who have chosen Jesus as their Lord.

Christianity is too willing to pour money into a building. Buildings don’t last! Wind and time will wipe that expensive building from the landscape. Steel, brick and lumber are temporary! People are eternal.

While watching the sandstorm carry away acres of soil, I considered the buildings Christianity has erected. If only a portion of the money invested into a work of architecture to make a gathering of Christians happy would be invested in the lives of people. Instead of throwing money into a building, invest it to help Christians use their living room as a place to disciple others in their walk with Jesus. A building won’t change people the same way your life will. And think of how much money we will save by investing in lives instead of buildings that wind and time will erase.

A good place to find some tools and information to begin the discipling adventure can be found at . Also look up Francis Chan, he has some great guidance in building a discipling culture.

Thanks for listening. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to dust and vacuum . . . again.

Home On The Range?


If I asked you to describe your perfect home what would it look like?

If you could have your ultimate house anywhere, where would it be?

Did you imagine a mansion in a prestigious neighborhood? Maybe you are the Robinson Crusoe or Swiss Family Robinson visionary. Whether you are the tropical island dweller, the mountain top dweller or the rolling ranch or farm dreamer, most of us have dreamed of our perfect place to live.

Growing up I learned the song, “Oh, Give Me A Home”. Allow me to share the original version—I say original version because there were two primary re-makes of the song. The original was written by Dr. Brewster Higley in 1876. Next was a popular version written by William and Mary Goodwin in 1904; personally it’s my favorite. The version I learned in elementary school, and has been sung by many popular singers was written by John A. Lomax in 1910.

Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam

Where the Deer and the Antelope play;

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,

And the sky is not cloudy all day.


A home! A home!

Where the Deer and the Antelope play,

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,

And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Oh! give me a land where the bright diamond sand

Throws its light from the glittering streams,

Where glideth along the graceful white swan,

Like the maid in her heavenly dreams.


Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,

Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;

On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,

Any poisonous herbage doth grow.


How often at night, when the heavens were bright,

With the light of the twinkling stars

Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,

If their glory exceed that of ours.


I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours,

I love the wild curlew’s shrill scream;

The bluffs and white rocks, and antelope flocks

That graze on the mountains so green.


The air is so pure and the breezes so fine,

The zephyrs so balmy and light,

That I would not exchange my home here to range

Forever in azures so bright.


–Dr. Brewster Higley (1876)

Here are a couple of verses from the other version I learned in grade school.

Oh, give me the hills and the ring of the drills

And the rich silver ore in the ground;

Yes, give me the gulch where the miner can sluice

And the bright, yellow gold can be found.


Oh, give me the mine where the prospectors find

The gold in its own native land;

And the hot springs below where the sick people go

And camp on the banks of the Grande.


Oh, give me the steed and the gun that I need

To shoot game for my own cabin home;

Then give me the camp where the fire is the lamp

And the wild Rocky Mountains to roam.

I wonder if children still learn this song?

Living out on a remote ranch in Southeast Arizona, I am able to appreciate that song now more than I ever imagined I would. Okay, there are no Buffalo here, just some free range cattle, and there are occasional days with clouds. Instead of curlew we have roadrunners and quail. There isn’t much in the way of poisonous herbage just poisonous snakes, centipedes, and scorpions. Aside from those differences we are living in the home on the range.

Recently I have come to realize something about life, I really don’t have a place that I call home. Growing up I could always go home because my parents lived in the same house for nearly 50 years. Every time I have attempted to settle down in a place and make it home, life seems to have an uprising and I am moving. I really don’t like to move, I really want the American dream and own a house—or maybe I just want a place to call home.

You may be wondering about the picture heading for this month’s blog; it is a 39-foot, Windriver Bershire motor home. That motor home is a first rate diesel pusher. That is our dream home. Instead of a home on the range, we are dreaming of a free-range home We don’t consider any city or state a place where we really want to settle down, so a motor home would allow us to roam.

On the other hand, maybe we are just feeling that this old world isn’t our home, and there is no place we want to hang our plank.

Now if we can only find someone who wants to sell us one of those motor homes for a couple of hundred dollars.

False Accusations, a Bad Rap, and the Smoking Gun – Part 2



This month I continue with my thoughts on being falsely accused.

If you don’t remember last month’s photo, it was what appeared to be a smoking gun; scroll down to re-view it. Had you accused me of posting a photo of a smoking gun, you would have falsely accused me. Compare this month’s photo with last month’s and you will see that it isn’t a handgun but rather a Ramset. A Ramset uses a .22 caliber blank to drive a nail. It is a tool, not a weapon.

Seeing a photo of a wisp of smoke curling from a blued barrel, one would easily conclude it was a fired gun. Okay, I admit that I used some powers of suggestion to lead the average individual to assume that the photo was a smoking gun. An accuser will, even after seeing this month’s photo, continue to vomit their opinion that it is a gun; they will explain, in not a few words, that a Ramset is a nail-GUN! I have known a lot of guys in the construction industry and all of them will tell you that a nail-gun is a nail-gun and a Ramset is a Ramset, and a Ramset is not a nail-gun.

False accusers tend to jump to a conclusion with only a partial image of evidence. Accusers want to be in the front of the line to state their case that I posted a photo of a smoking gun. An accuser will be adamant that they are right. The accuser is the person who loudly declares, and often with a profusion of words, their opinion is the only truth and no amount of arguing will persuade them otherwise.

Bottom line, if you are going to accuse someone, first and foremost treat them as you would want to be treated. Ask yourself: how do I feel when someone falsely accuses me? Then, if you are going to accuse your neighbor, go to them with a case, not an opinion. And when you present your case to them, do it with a few polite words. Next is the difficult part. Be prepared to calmly listen to their defense. Remember, treat them the way you would want to be treated! If your neighbor doesn’t want to treat you with the same decent respect you gave them, then that’s their problem. Leave the garbage on their front porch and walk away.

Last month I stated that I believed one of the disciples of Jesus has received a bad rap. I believe one of Jesus’ disciples has been falsely accused of being a loud-mouth always sticking his foot in his mouth. With that introduction you probably instantly assume I am referring to Peter. You’re correct.

My presupposition is simply this: I believe Peter was actually a man of few words, the strong silent type, not a blithering fisherman so often presented by preachers who blather on and on.

Have you ever been in attendance of a meeting, either in a business, church, or club? Most meetings will have the talker or talkers, they are the ones who obviously love to hear themselves talk. The talkers more often than naught really don’t say anything. If the meeting were held in a balloon, all their talking would give the balloon enough hot air to lift it drifting among the clouds. Talkers will tell about a time when they did this and such this way, and therefore it should apply now; or it may not apply at all, they only wanted to tell a story about themselves. When the talker has their mouth engaged and are speaking at inordinate length we may politely call them filibustering. An interesting side note: The American Dictionary offers an origin of the word filibuster as coming from the French flibustier; pirates who pillaged the Spanish colonies in the West Indies. Ultimately the english word comes from the Dutch vrijbuitier or freebooter; pirates who incite revolution often through sabotage.

I don’t know about you, but every meeting I have ever attended, I never took a single note or logged into my memory anything the talker said. Usually when they are blathering on and on, quite frankly they are sabotaging the meeting and making me wish the facilitator would politely move the meeting along. When I have served as secretary for a meeting, I don’t recall logging anything the long-winded individual imparted at the meeting—in my experience, what they rattled on about wasn’t worth recording.

On the other hand, in most of the meetings mentioned there is also the listener. They are sometimes known as the strong silent type. When the talker is satisfied that they have expressed their point in at least sixteen ways, and the facilitator asks for any other comment, the listener will shift their position slightly or quietly clear their throat. The air in the meeting room suddenly freshens. As the strong silent individual speaks, their language expresses rich and subtle meanings. People are often found jotting down what the quiet fisherman says, and they talk about it for a long time afterward.

Did you catch my segue?

As I repeatedly listen to the gospel writers, I am time and time again brought to the conclusion that Peter was a strong, quiet fisherman. When Peter remarked on something or made a comment, everyone noted what he said. When Peter spoke, you can almost hear the ripple of silence pass through the cloud of disciples followed by whispered comments such as, “Peter said something? Did you hear what Peter said?”

James and John, the sons of thunder, probably were much like their father: loud and talkative. Andrew, Peter’s brother, Thomas and Phillip may likely have been basically good conversationalists. Matthew, Judas Iscariot and Simon the Zealot were most likely always voicing their opinions and throwing in political comments or expressing concern about the resources of the group. Bartholomew and the other Judas were like Peter, but may not of had as deep of conviction to test their faith.

Jesus saw a lot of potential in Peter. Peter did more listening than talking. Like many strong silent types, Peter had great faith, some deep insights, but also had great struggles in his faith. Jesus knew that Peter would go on to do some really amazing work for the kingdom, so he gave him some focused discipling.

I challenge you to put aside what the blathering preachers say about Peter. Before you accuse me of heresy, read the gospel accounts in the light of Peter being a strong quiet fisherman. Listen to what he says and in the context of what is happening. And next time you or a preacher you know makes a comment like, “I know I talk too much and often put my foot in my mouth, just like the apostle Peter . . .” you, or they, are probably being more like Simon the Zealot, not Simon called Peter.

In review, keep your own front porch swept. If you know for a fact that you did not do what you are being accused of, the accuser will ultimately be the one whose porch will fall under scrutiny. It’s called having integrity. When you have internal consistency and lack corruption your honesty will stand, so that is where you need to stand. As a suggestion, the best place to weather a storm is on a rock, not on a sandy beach. The best rock is the Word of God and having Jesus standing beside us. And reflecting back on this month’s thoughts, If you are going to accuse someone, treat them as you would want to be treated.

Now go and read the four gospels in the New Testament and pay special attention to every instance when that strong, quiet, fisherman Peter talks. You will likely conclude he has been falsely accused.

Finally, beware of photos on the internet.

False Accusations, a Bad Rap, and the Smoking Gun – Part 1



Have you ever been falsely accused?

You are Colonel Mustard in the study with the revolver and have been accused of murder with a knife in the conservatory. There are no cards of defense you can provide and the truth falls on deaf ears. Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock are engaged in a lurid affair, you caught them, they now conspire to eliminate you, and break the rules of the game to guarantee you will never set foot in the billiard room again. If you are reading this and don’t have a clue what I am talking about, don’t worry, it’s just a game.

Have you ever been the focus of a false accusation where you want desperately to state your case, but the accuser only raises their voice louder and regurgitates their accusation against you with ever increasing intensity. And then when you believe you will finally have the opportunity to defend yourself, the accuser tromps away. Lastly the jury and judge exit without any desire to hear your side of the case. You are a chick wet from the shell feeling cold and exposed.

After publishing my latest book, ACID, The World Has Changed, But Man Has Not, I and my book repeatedly fall prey to accusations that are false. Throughout my residence on this earth I have been falsely accused of some minor transgressions, however this is different.

As an author and an actor, and a preacher for that matter, I am open to both compliments and criticisms; now thanks to email they come poorly written and from faceless people. I’ve come to know that some folks love me, some folks hate me, and most folks . . . well, they are silent fence sitters. Book clubs or reading groups are typically ones to sign-in with a review. Book clubs and reading groups generally offer creative criticism or humbling compliments. A representative of one group of readers referred to me in terms that if I shared them here would change my rating from G to R. They deemed my book a worthless bit of drivel focused on demonizing Hillary Clinton. (On a side note, they spelled her name Hillery.) First, Hillary Clinton manages to be demonized by the media without any help from me. Second, allow me to defend my book.

ACID, is an apocalyptic, science fiction, adventure with a twist of romance set 40 years in the future. The book is only shaded with politics. Yes Hillary Clinton is mentioned. There is a character named Hillary who is a pirate queen. Statistically speaking the book is 79,827 words long, the mention of Hillary Clinton is found in a brief conversation that takes 420 words. Queen Hillary never really appears in the story. The name Hillary occurs 6 times. You do the math to determine the percentage of the book dedicated to “demonizing Hillary Clinton”.

Have you seen the movie, The Princess Bride? If you haven’t you should. In the movie there is a character named, Dread Pirate Roberts. Actually he is not the Dread Pirate Roberts, he only assumes the name because the name instills fear and respect. So it is with my story. Queen Hillary isn’t Hillary Clinton, she only uses the name Hillary (and wears a blond wig) to instill fear.

Bottom line. Did I write the book to demonize Hillary Clinton? No. But you be the judge. If you haven’t read, or listened to, the book then please get a copy and decide for yourself.

What can we do when we are falsely accused?

Assuming you are a scholarly Christian you will likely quote Jesus’ sermon on the mount, specifically the part recorded by Matthew and found in our Bible in the fifth chapter of the gospel of Matthew, beginning in verse 38.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love you neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

– Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV)

That’s all good and right, and fine for Jesus to say, but it ain’t so simple to live, anyway not for a regular guy like me. Maybe you are one of them super Christians who have proven yourself by walking on water—living these verses in the adversity of being falsely accused is simple for you.

Now don’t go accusing me of something! Hear me out. And if you are a regular Christian like me, maybe, just maybe, my words will help. Admittedly I am not a theologian, anyway not by the standards set forth by the institutions of higher learning. However I am a theologian based upon the Latin: I think about, and or study about God.

I am very fortunate to have had a dad who was good, kind, wise, intelligent, good-looking, a hard worker, creative, inwardly and outwardly a Christian, loved his wife and family, and was generally loved by everyone. Okay, he would probably make a fuss and downplay all those . . . except maybe being good-looking. Throughout my life he offered his proverbs or sayings, some of which didn’t make sense until I was wise enough to understand them myself. Give ear to a couple of his proverbs that provided me with the stamina to get through the event of false accusations.

Keep the nose to the grindstone.”

Keep your front porch swept.”

 – Maurice Klinger 1920-2012

Beginning with the second, “Keep your front porch swept.” Basically keep your own business in order and don’t worry about the business of your neighbor; they need to worry about their own front porch. And, it is not important to point out that your neighbor has a messy front porch. Being an accuser tends to make folks scrutinize your porch. Do what is good and right. Be a Daniel and keep on honoring and praying to God. When the accusers come and demand you be thrown into the lions den, don’t worry, God will defend you. As long as you keep your front porch swept, you’ve done all you can do.

“Keep the nose to the grindstone,” took me a bit longer to decode. My dad was a welder for much of his life. I will add: He was a really good welder. When I was young he taught me some basics in metal working. Much of my welding required grinding afterwards . . . still does. He taught me to always, when holding material with a pliers while I was grinding, keep the pliers straight on at the grinding wheel. If you hold the pliers off to a side, the grinding wheel conceivably can catch the material and throw it, potentially injuring you. Referring to the pliers he would remind me to keep the nose to grindstone. In life I have come to understand that to keep the nose to the grindstone, is another way to say, whatever you do, do it right, approach it straight-on, and it likely won’t come back at you and injure you. Be like Stephen in the book of Acts, answer your accusers straight on with truth. You may get stoned to death, but you will have seen heaven open beforehand.

In life, I earnestly try to keep my front porch swept. Doing so provides me with the assurance that I am keeping my life in order. The accusations of my demonizing Hillary Clinton did not weigh on me too much. My book is science fiction not a political essay. True I occasionally wonder, knowing some of the history regarding people who fell into disfavor with the Clintons, if some strange accident will befall me or my book will be banned by the Feds. Typically I make an effort to keep my front porch swept by living a fairly transparent life. Admittedly there is some clutter on my front porch, I don’t hide the fact that I’m not perfect.

Being declared, in no uncertain terms, to be less than a male cow’s excrement when it came to my writing stung (maybe I should say it stunk). Because I keep the nose to the grindstone, I do all my work and my writing to the best of my ability, I didn’t suffer injury. I know the truth. I’m not doing anything on the sly, working an angle to demonize anyone. Like most writers I aim for an audience. Originally I aimed for a Christian audience, now however I find the Steam Punk culture more receptive. Again let me say, my book is science fiction not a political essay.

Although I wasn’t given opportunity to verbally defend myself, I don’t need to. My book speaks for itself.

This month I have attempted to defend myself from a false accusation or bad rap. Next month I will attempt to defend one of Jesus’ disciples from what I believe is a bad rap.

Scroll back to the top and take another look at that smoking gun. Beware of making a presupposition about that smoking gun, next month you will probably be proved wrong.

It’s All About a HUGO Award

HUGO Award Hopeful

2016 HUGO Award Hopeful

Years blur by. New Years celebrations pass blasé.

You may ask, have I been reading Ecclesiastes 1?

Now that you mention it, let’s read a portion of the words of the Teacher.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.

What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

All things are wearisome, more than one can say.

The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’?

It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.”

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

There was a day when I would read those words and hear despair and depression in the seemingly pessimistic words. Not any more. Now I hear the wisdom of hope carried in the words of the Preacher or Teacher of Ecclesiastes.

Take a moment and read the passage again, only this time put on the cap of optimism before you read it.

I have never been the type to make a New Years resolution. Long ago I began to live one-day-at-a-time; maybe that’s why New Years Day is jaded in my opinion.

As an author it is easy to be pessimistic about the present. Why isn’t anyone reading my books? What new story line can I create that hasn’t been told before? Why is that book by that first time author, who by the way is in my opinion a poor writer, selling a million copies?

You see there is enough despair, depression and pessimism in the life of a writer. Why make some outlandish resolution that likely will not transpire to add to the trouble?

Well all that to say, this year I made a resolution. I resolved to hope for my latest novel, ACID, The World Has Changed, But Man Has Not, to receive some extraordinary recognition. In what form is my hope for extraordinary recognition? The HUGO Awards. Every year the Science Fiction community awards a HUGO to various categories from the previous year, among them being best new novel. Truthfully I have a better chance of winning the Power Ball Lottery drawing for 100-million; except I would need to buy a lottery ticket, which I never remember to do. But I did publish an action adventure, science fiction,with a twist of romance novel in 2015, so why not hope for a nomination or award.

If you haven’t read my latest novel, it is available as a kindle e-book, paper back and audio book. So what is your excuse for not getting a copy and reading it or listening to it. After all, you may just like it.

Yup, the desire to write a novel is to come upon a story that is new; to break the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 1. Receiving the HUGO Award would declare that I did in fact come up with something new, and the science fiction community likes it. And if the science fiction community likes it, well maybe others will too. And there you will have something new under the sun.

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