Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Work in Progress

Megan looked up at Adam’s snarling face. She closed her eyes against the evil she saw, but she couldn’t close her ears. A raspy growl strained his vocal chords then a second sound emanating from deep within matched her thick scream with a demonic shriek.
She felt for and found the handle of the frying pan. She whipped the heavy pan up and over her head in a hysterical motion. She hit Adam’s arm and then his head, but still he snarled and shook and quivered above her like a chained and rabid dog.
The urge to fall back and submit to whatever mauling the demon-possessed Adam was about to launch pushed at the edges of her panic. A smell like rotten eggs assaulted her nose and drew a groan from her lips. She had to fight.
She swiped at his head again and screamed. “Get back!” The pan connected against his ear and he screeched louder, more in anger than pain. Then the growls stopped abruptly and the unexpected silence was accented by a far away horn.
Megan threw the pan at his head and reached up to pull his leg down, hoping to unbalance his attack. For an instant he seemed frozen in the air, much like Cori’s victim of the night before. Then his body flopped down unto her and pinned her to the floor.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Work in Progress

A pair of headlights flashed across the window. Maybe Ben was arriving.
No, they went on by. She finished the plate and started on a pan.
And in the reflection she saw Adam. His hand was still on the cabinet, but both feet were off the floor.
Megan spun around holding the pan like a weapon.
“What!? How?!”
Adam’s entire body was arched between ceiling and wall.
And he moved. Like a spider. Across the ceiling.
Megan ran out and into the dining room. She sprinted to the front entry and lunged at the door. She got the deadbolt turned, but Adam’s hand reached out from above and pushed against the top of the door. His legs were splayed between the walls of the tiny foyer, blocking her retreat.
Megan shrank to the floor.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lots of Questions

This is Ascension Sunday in the Christian calendar. Christ’s ascension occurred 40 days after the resurrection so actually it would have happened on a Friday. The significance of 40 days has to do with the symbolism of numbers in the Bible – 40 (days or years) signifies testing or probation and ends with victory or judgment. Here are the 2 little verses in Luke that pack more than a punch: Luke 24: 50, 51: When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

Why did he lead them? Who did he lead? Why Bethany? Why did he lift his hands? Why did he leave in the middle of the blessing?
Jesus was always out in front. His disciples had been faithfully following him all around the country for three years. Since he had appeared to them after the crucifixion and resurrection they must have thought they would continue trekking for the rest of their lives. Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives – a very significant place. Jesus led them to the same spot where he got on the donkey and triumphantly rode into Jerusalem just a couple of months earlier.
Back when Moses and Aaron were 40 years in the wilderness they instituted the priests’ ministry with sin and guilt offerings (see Leviticus). After slaughtering a goat, an ox, and a ram for the people’s offerings Aaron lifted his hands and blessed the Israelites. Christ’s same action paralleled and fulfilled this act once and for all.
Once and for all. No longer is there any need for sacrifice. The payment has been made.
What do you think the blessing was? And why did he ascend to heaven in the middle of it?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Today is Brought to You by the Hebrew Letter "Hey"

The Hebrew letter (and word) “Hey” means Behold, See or Look. That’s easy to remember since we use the English word hey in the same way when we want to call someone’s attention. Many Bibles also translate it “Lo”. Its lengthened form is “Hinney”, appearing over a thousand times in the Old Testament, still meaning Behold or Look.

Way, way back when pictograms were used this letter was drawn as a man waving his arms to get your attention.

“Hey” can be a vowel or a consonant, but the coolest thing about this letter is that it is used twice in the construction of God’s holy name, the name that is often pronounced “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”. The four letters that make up this name are yod, hey, vav, hey.  I think it’s pretty awesome that God’s name shouts at you through the very letters that are used. And, lo and behold, the hey is there twice.

Since each Hebrew letter has a corresponding symbol and meaning you should know that the other two letters in God’s name signify a hand and a nail. That’s right. That should really get your attention. Jesus’ crucifixion is pictured in God’s holy name.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Work in Progress

Cori stopped again at the corner two blocks before the school. She shook a cigarette out of the pack in her pocket and tried to light it with an empty Bick. No luck. She held the cigarette at arm’s length and wondered if her newfound skills included pyrokinesis. She focused her thoughts on the butt end and willed it to light. Nothing. A quick search of her bag revealed no emergency matches.
She looked back down the street. A block away a plume of smoke was circling Chuck’s head. She wouldn’t need magic or special powers to propel Chuck to her side. She raised her hand and waved him over. He covered the distance in five seconds.
“Gimme a light, moron,” she said. He obeyed, handing her his half-smoked Winston.
Rather than return the cigarette, Cori threw the butt into the snow and took a draw on hers. She blew the smoke at Chuck in lieu of thanks, turned, and stepped into the street.
She was jerked back and the cigarette flew from her hand as Chuck grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the way of a nearly silent vehicle that was rounding the corner. The driver gave a quick honk.
“You idiot!” she screamed. “Let me go.”
“Yes, m’lady,” Chuck intoned, he released her arm and tried to add a chivalrous bow to his impulsive response. He bent down to rescue the burning cigarette, but Cori was faster. Her boot snuffed and crushed it.
“Stay away from me,” she snarled. She held out her hands, palms facing him, and tried to levitate him away.
            Whatever special power she held over fat Marty wasn’t working this morning on Chuck. But he did take a couple of steps back. That was fine, Cori thought, she didn’t feel like going to school nauseated – boredom was bad enough.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You Can't Please Everyone

With the help of Google Translate I gleaned these comments from the reviews of Sommerfalle which is the German translation of my book EDGE OF ESCAPE. Yes, I’m bragging, but I included the negative stuff, too. The book is a Young Adult thriller and the reviews are mostly by teen girls (and an adult or two, even a man).

The negatives:
A thoroughly engaging, exciting youth thriller, but not recommended for young readers.
Disappointing and boring.
Very nice for a while but not a must read.
Ein tolles Buch, leider mit einem etwas - meiner Meinung nach - ungünstige
A great book, unfortunately, a bit - in my opinion - unfavorable end. Fast 5 Punkte, aber leider nicht ganz ... Nearly 5 points, but unfortunately not quite ...

The positives:

Interesting and well-portrayed characters, fast, high voltage.

Constructed so cleverly that I read it in one sitting.

5 stars, but if I could, I’d give it 10 stars.

The writing is very fluid and exciting.

I recommend this book because it is exciting, is not transparent, and you have to think a lot with it.

No clichés, no formulaic story, well thought out, simple and very effective.

I was intoxicated with the insanely great characters.
Das Buch hat mich von Beginn an gefesselt und ich hab es nahezu in einem Rutsch
The book captivated me from the beginning and I've read it almost in one go. Das Ende hätte ich mir zwar etwas ausgebauter gewünscht und noch den ein oder anderen Einblick in die Tagebücher gehabt, trotzdem bin ich absolut begeistert und werde dieses Buch gern weiterempfehlen. The end I would have liked a little more developed and still have the occasional insight into the diaries, but I'm absolutely thrilled and would like to recommend this book.

It goes very fast, it never gets boring, you break through the allusions always the head of what is probably happening, you're absolutely captivated - wow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Thoughts

This Mom is 90!

Things to think on this Mother’s Day:

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-7

So be happy with your wife, and find joy with the woman you married.~Proverbs 5:18

You made all of the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. ~ Psalm 139: 13

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.~ Psalm 127:3
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. ~Proverbs 31:30

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Work in Progress

Cori thought she was bad. Bad like tough, cool, wicked. A hard ass. A tough bitch. She loved a good cat fight. That was what had gotten her kicked out of regular school to begin with. Cori was irredeemable. Or so she liked to think.

She didn’t feel so tough, though, when a bald man, more than twice her weight and size, busted into the house and stared at her from the top landing. Drunk, she thought, as she watched him grasp the handrail and weave to the left, stumbling down three steps before catching himself.

The urge to scream was stilled by the same fear that created the terror. She was alone. She was trapped. Even if the boys had locks on their doors, even if she could barricade herself in one of their rooms, there was little chance that such a big man wouldn’t or couldn’t break down the door.

She held her ground. It wasn’t bravery that glued her to the spot. It wasn’t fear or terror or panic. Something else came over her and as this stranger reached the bottom step she held out both hands, palms facing ahead, and she began to chant.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Punny is Funny

Why do they say that puns are the lowest form of humor? I love puns. Here’s a typical conversation around our house.

Me: “Why did you throw out that sausage?”
My husband: “It was the wurst.”
Me: “Well, that really grinds me. I was going to put it in an omelet.”
My husband: “Sorry, that idea isn’t going to pan out.”
Me: “Oh, now you’re just egging me on.”
My husband: “Settle down. I’ll take you out for breakfast, but you’re going to have to scramble.”
At restaurant. Me: “What’s this white stuff on my eggs?”
My husband: “Sauce…age.”
(Okay, I guess it's not so funny. You had to be there.)
How about these?
How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
Broken pencils are pointless.
I used to work in a bank, but then I lost interest.
All the toilets in New York's police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today is Brought to You by . . .

Today is brought to you by the second Hebrew letter, bet, and the second book in the Bible, Exodus.
The name of the second letter is based on the word for house and is found in over 2000 verses. Its shape in the ancient script represented a tent, the typical house of the Hebrews as they wandered in the wilderness. It looks a lot like our letter b if you tip it up.

The Hebrew word for father is “av”, made up of the first letter, aleph (leader), and the bet (house): symbolically and literally the father is the leader of the house. 

The Midrash (Rabbinic literature commentating and clarifying biblical texts) asks the question: Why does the Bible begin with the letter bet? The answer is that since bet is closed in all directions except forward (reading right to left), it implies that there was nothing before. We can know only what comes from that point on.

The second book of the Bible gets its name from the exodus that occurred. In Hebrew this book is not called Exodus, but rather “Sh’mot”, which means names.  Look at your Bible and see how the book starts with the names of the sons of Israel. This book was written by Moses and records the redemption out of Egyptian bondage. Other major themes are the giving of the Law and the provisions of sacrifice and priesthood. You could divide the book into three sections: 1st, Israel in Egypt and under bondage for 400 years; 2nd, moving from the Red Sea to Sinai and God making the covenant with Israel through the Ten Commandments; 3rd, Israel at Sinai and the construction and consecration of the Tabernacle, the house of the Lord. Three “bet” words are evident in each section – son (ben), covenant (brit) and house (bet).

(Learn more cool stuff in Crossing the Scriptures.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday - Work in Progress (excerpt)

The candle cast flickering shapes down the hall. Cool. She tried to remember which drug Jason gave her last. She paused at the new girl’s room. A quick check of the door and she knew that Benny boy had helped new girl with a lock. Cori cursed aloud. She set the candle on the floor and dug through her pockets. She had nothing that would work. She went to her own room and looked around. Her head began to nod in mock anticipation as she picked up a wire clothes hanger from the floor and bent the rounded end into a sharper angle.

Slowly, quietly she opened Megan’s door the allowed eighth of an inch. She slipped the wire through and lifted up. The hanger caught the latch and she unhooked it in seconds. Her short black-polished nail tapped the door the rest of the way.

The candle still flickered from its spot on the floor. The tiny light made Megan’s shape loom larger and higher on the wall.

Cori fell against the door frame, grabbed it for balance. This could not be. The new girl was floating at least half-way between the floor and the ceiling.

Cori strained her eyes, grabbed for the candle. She burned her palm and thumb and swore again, stumbling backward. The candle went out, the hanger struck the floor and Cori backed away. She damned Jason for giving her something weird; she damned the new girl; she damned the candle.