I've published a book of short fiction on Amazon's Kindle store.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Where's Barney?

Today I'm sharing a (gasp) forward I received. Normally, I detest the way forwards clog my inbox and my work schedule, as well as the way they broadcast my email address to everyone. This one, however, is a special one—cute, funny, and profound. (But don't take this as a request for more forwards!)

A four-year-old was at the pediatrician's office for a check up. As the doctor looked in his ears with an otoscope, he tried to break the ice with a silly question, "Do you think I'll find Big Bird in here?"

The little guy just stared at the doctor, as only a preschooler can.

Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down his throat. Still not ready to give up, he asked, "Do you think I'll find Cookie Monster down there?"

Again, nothing but the unblinking stare.

Then the doctor put a stethoscope to the little boy's chest. As he listened to his heartbeat, he made one last attempt. "Do you think I'll hear Barney in there?"

"Noooo!", the little boy replied, clearly amazed at the doctor's ignorance. "JESUS is in my heart! Barney's on my underwear."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Seeing Things

The other day, I had a couple incidents of "seeing things"! Now, before you think I'm having a reaction to my meds and get all freaked out, let me explain.

First, I had a glimpse of a dream. What do I mean? Let me explain. That morning, I was "stuck" in one general area, with several hours on my hands. So, I did what I typically do.... I headed for the nearest "word source"—in this case a bookstore.

I love bookstores (and libraries)! The hush, the scent of paper and ink, the feeling that here is knowledge and insight for the finding - much like panning for gold. In this case, it was a university bookstore, so I had the added benefit of enjoying paper and ink in its as-yet-unpreserved state—the tempting assortment of blank papers and complementary pens and markers!

I wandered around, reading greeting cards, glancing at textbooks, checking how many pockets there were in the various notebooks and binders. I went on to the area reserved for general books, looking at the different categories—fiction, devotional, marriage and family. Suddenly, there it was! The section that stopped me in my tracks and made my heart skip a beat! "Local Authors"! "LOCAL AUTHORS"!

I'm sure my eyes glazed over as I fantasized about my book on that shelf. Would it be the devotional, the picture book, or the children's chapter book? (none of which are ready to send to a publisher) That was my first "episode."


Then, in the afternoon, I was in my second floor office—you know, the one with all the windows looking out into the trees—when the second "episode" happened. My daughter came in to say something to me, but instead stared out the window and said, "Woah! Look at that bird!" At first, I didn't see anything, which probably made her feel like she was hallucinating!

Then I spotted it! In the fork of a tree, maybe 20 feet from the house, sat a turkey vulture! Across the yard, on the roof of the storage barn, sat another! We gasped and started yelling for my husband, running through the house, calling his name. We found him, but the birds were gone by the time we told him what we'd seen, and he thought we were joking! It took five minutes, or more, of insisting, describing, finding pictures on the internet, before we could convince him!

Why do I lump together these two incidents of "seeing things"? In both of the events, the "vision" had both a real and an unreal quality. "Seeing" my book on the Local Authors display could be considered something that could very easily be real. But, unless I do the hard work necessary to make it happen, it will remain merely a figment of my imagination. The second sighting was verifiable reality, but with an unreal, hallucinatory quality. It would take hard work on the part of my daughter and me to create belief in our hearers that birds of such "Jurassic Park" immenseness (and ugliness!) were actually in an ordinary Midwestern backyard!

There has to be a "parabolical" lesson here (see post on 9/9/05). Something about the hard work necessary to make the as-yet-unreal into reality, or to inspire others to believe in the true-but-implausible. I'm not sure exactly what the lesson is, though, or how to put it into words, so I'll just leave you with this quote:

“Vision without action is Hallucination.” —Don Clifton