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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Greetings, Bearers!

For those who are so inclined to have a physical book in your hands rather than an eBook reader (and I admit, some days I prefer the feel of bound paper to that of an electronic device), I’ve got some good news.  The Summoning of Clade Josso has been lowered in price a few bucks, and if you’re like me, you might need that extra few dollars to take care of that sweet tooth addiction!  So if you’re waiting for a reason to check out the first novel in the epic of the Vein, here’s your reason!

Okay, back to writing.  Must.. hurry.. before.. Internet.. distracts me!!!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers and others who have come here,

Today’s post is about something that’s a bit off topic for me, as it’s not about my writing.  But it deals with something far more important, and it needs to be brought up, as it brings embarrassment to me and others like me. I want to depart from my normal format for a moment and talk about this May 21st thing.

I am a Christian, and while I don’t shove it down anybody’s throat when it’s not wanted, I don’t hide it either, and am more than willing to talk about it with anybody interested in talking about it.  I believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone.  His perfect life and death on the cross pays for the sins of those who believe on Him and trust in Him for salvation, and He covers them with Jesus’ righteousness, making them acceptable before God and granting them eternal life.  

That being said, this whole thing about Harold Camping and May 21st is flat out embarrassing.  Camping is doing what Jesus tells us not to do in Matthew 24 and Acts 1: predicting Christ’s return.  This is foolish.  It makes Camping look foolish, and gives the unbelieving world more fodder for anti-Christian sentiment. 

Hal Lindsay did this more than two decades ago with his book The Late Great Planet Earth.  His prediction of Christ’s return ended up making himself look foolish, and only gave critics of the Bible another reason to badmouth Christians.  Camping, either ignorant of Lindsay’s prediction or unwilling to learn from its failure (or learn from his own failed 1994 prediction),  has trod down the same path. 

So let me say this to you if you are not a Christian and are reading this.  Harold Camping and his fringe ideas do not represent the beliefs of biblical Christianity.  Please talk to somebody a little more knowledgable and wise about the Christian faith if you have questions or just want to know what it’s all about.  I’ll be happy to provide you with any links or references if you’d like.

Okay, time for me to step down from the pulpit.  Thank you for indulging me.  Back to work now!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

Here’s a little sneak preview from me, a short story I’m working on and am almost finished with, to be put into my upcoming short story collection.  Enjoy!

J. Dean

***

Austin shut his eyes.  He’d had enough of the police car’s irritating roof-mounted strobe light.  The cop hadn’t approached him yet.  No surprise there; cops seemed to enjoy dragging out traffic stops for as long as possible.  The unseen officer was probably getting a chuckle out of it, cracking a joke with his dispatcher about the make and model of Austin’s car.  Well, no point in watching for his approach anyway; the combination of the strobe along with the patrol car’s blinding headlights in his rearview mirror made it impossible to see anything over than a painful nighttime illumination made up of sharp blues, reds, and whites. 

His ear caught the unlatching of a car door, followed by a slamming of metal against metal.  Heavy boots smashed roadside gravel into the earth with each step.  Austin spied a dancing flashlight beam on the roadside, jittering here and there, moving closer to his car door in rhythm with the falling footsteps.  A broad silhouette obstructed one of the headlights, swaying back and forth in unison with its plodding strides.

Bright flashlight exploded in his eyes.  “Evening, sir,” boomed a deep voice.

“Evening.”  Austin answered, looking downward.  The officer’s free left hand rested upon his hip, just above the angled grip of his firearm.  Austin swallowed, forcing his face to try to retain a nonchalant expression.  Regular Oscar nominee, I am…

“I’d like to see your license and registration, sir.”

“Sure,” Austin began, gesturing toward the glove compartment.  “They’re in there.  Mind if I get them?”

“No, sir.  Move slow and smooth, and there won’t be a problem.”

Austin nodded, turning to reach for the grey panel.  The officer’s light followed his hand, centering on the tip of his index finger as he pressed the release.  There was little doubt in Austin’s mind as to where the cop’s other, weapon-wielding hand was positioned while he did this, and the soft unlatching of a holster’s snap button did not escape his attention.

The panel dropped, revealing a plastic identification card coupled with a folded, white paper.

“That’s them.  We good so far?” Austin asked.  

 “Yes, sir.”

The policeman carried a tone that struck Austin as one of forced civility.  Was the guy looking for a reason to throw his weight around?  Austin decided not to remark about it; any other time and any other situation, he’d whip up some witty joke, but not here.  Not now.

Not if he wanted to get out of this one.

He handed the information over, catching a glimpse of the policeman’s face: square and unhappy.  A thin mustache laced with grey hair traced his frowning upper lip.  Two frozen pupils stuck in a perpetual glare shifted between the license photo and Austin’s impassive face.  Austin wondered whether the man knew how to form a smile.  Or whether he’d ever want to.

“Do you know why I pulled you over, sir?”

“No,” Austin shook his head.  “Actually I don’t, officer.”

“You were straddling the lanes back there for a good mile and a half.”

“Was I?”  Austin pressed his lips together, clinging to the steering wheel for dear life.  A nervous trickle of sweat skittered down the right side of his neck. 

“You haven’t had your vehicle converted yet, sir?” 

Austin looked up.  The officer had diverted his attention and his flashlight beam to the back of the car.  “I’ve still got four months before the conversion law takes effect,” he answered. 

Careful, Austin.  Not too argumentative…

“Don’t wait too long,” the officer replied.  “Most of the gas stations in town have closed up.”

And the remaining ones are charging an arm and a leg for filing up.  Don’t remind me.

“You still live at this address?”

“Yes, sir.”

A pair of noiseless lights coasted in the opposite direction.  Austin frowned; he didn’t like the sluggish pace of the converted cars, didn’t like losing the sound of a ravenous, rumbling engine hungry for pavement, didn’t like losing the feel of tires lapping miles of earth.  That’s what he had now.  That’s what he loved.  His was not a top of the line sports car, but he’d spent several years tinkering with it here and there, giving it a little more power and pickup. He kept it in good shape, changing parts more frequently than he needed to.  The car in return rewarded him with travels free of mechanical problems; nothing more than an occasional flat tire to deal with.  Power shivered the metal frame every time he turned the key, and the pulsing rhythmic growl of the motor sang to him every time he took the vehicle out.  He loved it.

Then came the Conversion Law.  

Conversion… More like castration.

“I need to run these.  Wait here.” 

Heavy footfalls traced their crunching path back to the police car.  Austin slouched, letting out a tense breath, running a hand through sweaty hair.  He rolled his eyes toward the passenger side of the car, first examining the seat, then the floor.  Anything that betrayed evidence of a crime in sight?

No.  Nothing at all.  No reason for the policeman to ask him to step out, to open the passenger side door, the backseats, the trunk.  Everything looked just fine: a normal, everyday traffic stop.  That’s all this was, and that’s all it would be.  Over and done with before he knew it, and everybody would be on their merry way.

Right?

So why’s your heart still kicking so hard against your chest, buddy?  

“Because we’re not done yet,” he whispered, staring at the rearview mirror.

Greetings, Bearers!

In between more writing (which I have been doing a LOT of in the past week: color me happy 😀 ) and taking care of other business, I made sure to enjoy Mother’s Day with my wife, mother, and mother-in-law (yes, even her).  I trust that all of you did the same and had fun while doing it.  I think most of us were blessed by God with good mothers, which is something we shouldn’t take for granted (If you were not, you do have my condolences, but be a good child to your mom anyway 😉 ). 

So back to work for me.  And make sure you fix yourself a nice, big bowl of chocolate ice cream.  Add hot fudge and whipped cream.

Repeat as necessary.

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers and others,

In light of what happened Sunday night with regard to the finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden, it’s been interesting to see the reactions that have filled the airwaves and the Internet.  Some people are absolutely giddy about the SEAL team going in and taking him out.  Some are angry that Bin Laden was shot rather than brought to trial (although it’s been said that Bin Ladin himself started shooting back once the SEALs breached his compound and entered).

My take on all of it: while I am glad that Bin Laden is no longer a threat, I take no pleasure in his death.  There’s nothing great or enjoyable about killing somebody, even if it is done on behalf of justice.  If you talk to  soldiers, policemen, or civilians who have had to kill in self-defense, most of them don’t relish the idea that they had to end a life-and rightly so. 

By no means is this an indictment against those who have killed with justification.  Far from it; it’s a necessary evil at times, and it’s one that is sanctioned by God in the Scriptures.  But that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to do, or any more enjoyable to hear.  It’s something that had to be done, though, and God bless those who did the job.

And that’s my take on it.

J. Dean.