Wednesday, August 21, 2019

At It Again

“Oh, Janet, you have SUCH an imagination!” my mother used to say.

Well, my imagination is at it again.

I recently learned that a family from India has bought several service stations in my community, and that gave me an idea.

What if our enemies in the Taliban were to arrange for hundreds of their members and friends to buy every service station in the USA? Then they could cause major problems for us by refusing to sell gas so we’d have no transportation. And maybe they’d even blow up all the stations and start huge fires all over the country. 

Of course that couldn’t really happen because not all service station owners would be willing to sell. And many people could use electric cars, bikes, or other forms of transportation. (And I’m sure the local family from India are not members of the Taliban.)

But it might be an idea for a sci-fi book. (Writers, feel free to use the idea since I don’t write things like that.)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Writing History

When I was a kid (back when kids could play outside without adult supervision) sometimes we’d write notes to each other by scratching the backs of leaves with sticks, or by scratching sticks in the dirt. Those would soon disappear. 

I wonder if early humans gave messages to each other that way. They couldn’t read and write, but could have used symbols.

The first writing we know about was scratched onto rocks or clay tablets. Those lasted.

Then some people wrote on animal skins or papyrus on scrolls. 

When paper was invented books had to be written and sewn together by hand. It took a whole work day for scribes to write one chapter from the Bible and those had to be translated.

When Gutenberg invented the printing press he didn’t sell many copies of the Bible. (I once got to mend one of those when I worked in a library!) Rich people already had handwritten copies of the Bible and the lower classes couldn’t read. Gutenberg made most of his money by printing small things - like fliers. The advertising industry can thank him.

A few hundred years ago lots of people were literate and books were published by the hundreds or even thousands.

Today lots of us read on our phones or other electronic devices.

Maybe someday instead of cellphones we’ll have brain implants. Then some evil world government will take over and control us. (Can you tell I’m a writer?)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

We Too

I rarely review books for adults, but I can’t resist sharing about this powerful book for adults. We Too by Mary DeMuth is about sexual abuse.

The author experienced this herself as a child, and has written this book in hopes that it will help the many other women who have experienced that kind of trauma.

Our culture tends to hide things like that, but by sharing the information in this book DeMuth will probably help hundreds -or possibly thousands - of people deal with their own traumatic experiences. And, by making the rest of us aware of the problem, hopefully the book will help our society as a whole find ways to prevent others from becoming victims in the future.

This book is not for the squeamish, but it can make huge difference in the lives of people who have experienced this kind of abuse and those who want to help them.
I admire the author for having the courage to share everything in this book.

Saturday, August 3, 2019


A week or so ago I mentioned some problems on my blog and on Facebook.

I’m sorry to have been whining. Actually, problems can be a good thing.

As a writer I can tell you if there’s no conflict, there’s no plot.

Imagine how boring the world - and people - would be if nobody ever had any problems.

Like the characters in fiction, the interesting things in our lives are how we dealt with problems and what the results were.

Looking back, my life has included some tragedy, comedy, romance and, at my age, some of it is now historical fiction. And the fact that I’m writing this at my computer and sharing it on the internet would have been considered science fiction when I was young.

And, like characters in books, I’ve been shaped in many ways by the plot events I’ve experienced.

My life has been exciting and I anticipate a happy ending.

How about your lives?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Great Devotional

I’ve read so many devotional books in my life you’d think by now I’d be so holy I’d glow in the dark. ;-)

That hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to, but I have just finished reading an extremely inspiring devotional book.

Waiting For God, Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Place is probably the best one I’ve ever read.

It’s designed to be used for one month and could be read at any time of the year. 
Besides the usual Bible readings and quoted verses, the author, Xochitl Dixon, shares deeply meaningful and entertaining stories and Bible readings.

I don’t usually review books for grown-ups on my blog, but this one is so good I couldn’t resist sharing about it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


I recently reread that classic book, 1984, by George Orwell.

I’d been thinking about how many things in that book that were science fiction when it was written are actually happening today.

For instance, people can watch you in your home from far away.

But I’d forgotten how depressing that book was.

Thank goodness we don’t have the evil kind of government in that novel.

There are LOTS of problems in our world and we have plenty to complain about no matter what our political or religious beliefs may be.

But that novel makes our current world seem wonderful by contrast.

Things could be much worse, but I doubt that they will ever become like those in that novel.

And, in many ways, things were worse in centuries past.

I’m glad I live in 2019.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Writers Groups

I love writers groups.

But, as a writer, I’m concerned about punctuation and can never decide if that term should be writers’ groups, since the group belongs to writers, or just, plain writers groups since it’s plural and lots of us are there.

Probably other writers understand why I care about what I just mentioned.

Writing is a solitary job, but writers are communicators, so when we get together we just click. We understand each other in ways ‘normal’ people can’t.

I only belong to two groups with speakers and events and one critique group, but I have belonged to others in the past and still consider members of those earlier groups to be my close friends.

If I ever stop writing I’ll probably have to change my identity, because I am a writer and that’s an important part of who I am.