Toasting Technology

I like technology … when it works.

Living in an internet-challenged domain has given me a perspective most other people probably think about only in theoretical terms. In the civilized world, citizens pop online to look up information.  They pay for purchases with the punch of a button.  They let their cars tell them where to go.

And then – zap – a storm or power outage or fried chip causes those conveniences to crash.  People who have only ever known the latest technology suddenly can’t find out about something they can’t even pay for, much less know how to get there.  Luckily these electronic face-plants have been few and limited, but you got to admit, when you get caught in one it’s aggravating.

So I raise a toast to technology – until it gets toasted. And while we’re on the topic of the digital realm, you’re welcome to take a peek at my About page and check out the couple of videos I’ve put out in reference to Equal Access. I’m deeply grateful to the people more talented than I at stringing together pictures and music.  It was good practice though … now I’m working on a trailer for the next book to come out.

What’s the new one about? Well, this entry is a hint to a major event that takes place in the story.  Yes, I’m going to be coy for now, but as the publication date gets closer there will be plenty more to be said about the latest novel that will come out this spring.

Created Equal?

But I’m not like other people….

This whole blogging thing has just been a thorn in my side. I’ve had ideas for philosophical explorations (okay, I admit it – they’re ravings!), and I’ll draft something.  A few days later I would look at it, go “Blech!” and trash the whole thing and start over.  A few days later, I’d look at it again, go “Retch!” and trash the whole thing….

You get the picture.

So finally I decided that if I’m going to rave about something, I might as well rave.  You see, I’m not like other people … in a developed country.  My lifestyle is more like the well-to-do on a wild frontier where you have to watch out for “bitey” things.  And well-to-do might be pushing it.

Internet access is a joke in the rural area where I live. And by joke I mean I’ve got to laugh about it or use the loudest profanity you’ve ever heard.  Therefore this whole social media thing isn’t part of my reality.

I’m neither a follower nor a leader, but I do have a tendency to wander off by myself.

Then there’s the other aspects of my less-than-modern lifestyle, but I might as well save it for another raving. There, now I have something to blog about regularly.

And how does this have anything to do with my books? Well, my characters tend to not be like other people….

Regarding Mother Hens

Hen Chicks

Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings from the wicked who obstruct me, from deadly foes who throng round me.     —Psalms 17:9


Each chapter in Equal Access begins with a quotation or scriptural verse. These harken to an idea not only in the chapter they head but provide food for thought in general.

Those who raise chickens that brood their own chicks are very familiar with the imagery provided above. To call someone “chicken” designates that person as a coward, but there isn’t much other in this world that can match the ferocity and courage of a mother hen.  Our hens know me, so when I have to pass close by in the process of completing chores, they only puff up a bit and sometimes “growl” a little.

But I have seen dogs and even roosters blunder into a hen with her chicks. I guarantee that no manner of gyrations enabled them to move fast enough to escape from her wrath.

If it abruptly begins to rain, she will gather the chicks underneath her, spreading her wings enough to accommodate them all, and weather the storm.

It’s quite fitting that our Lord should be compared to a mother hen. And just imagine if we had more parents who guarded their children with the same selfless devotion.  I once heard a mom comment how when she grew up, she took her parents for granted, and that as her kids grow up, she hoped they would take her and her husband for granted as well.

As an aside, the use of the word shadow contributed to my choice of beginning the book with this verse. Although the protagonist goes by Shad, his actual name is Shadow.  Not only was this to illustrate how his immature birth mother gave him a moniker more associated with a dog, it was my way of reminding the readers that a shadow isn’t just darkness caused by blocking light.  It can also designate the shelter of something that provides protection.

I also liked how that name could be shortened to Shad, which is also the designation for a certain variety of fish.

But we’ll save fish for another post.