Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's that time of year again, when bulwer lytton announces the worst opening lines in fiction. Thankfully, these sentences are created specially for the contest and will never grace the opening paragraph of a real book. Here are a few of my favorites. For more, visit the contest website.

The Grand Winner

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

Sue Fondrie

Oshkosh, WI

My Personal Favorite

Detective Kodiak plucked a single hair from the bearskin rug and at once understood the grisly nature of the crime: it had been a ferocious act, a real honey, the sort of thing that could polarize a community, so he padded quietly out the back to avoid a cub reporter waiting in the den.

Joe Wyatt

Amarillo, TX


From the limbs of ancient live oaks moccasins hung like fat black sausages -- which are sometimes called boudin noir, black pudding or blood pudding, though why anyone would refer to a sausage as pudding is hard to understand and it is even more difficult to divine why a person would knowingly eat something made from dried blood in the first place -- but be that as it may, our tale is of voodoo and foul murder, not disgusting food.

Jack Barry

Shelby, NC

Historical Fiction

Napoleon’s ship tossed and turned as the emperor, listening while his generals squabbled as they always did, splashed the tepid waters in his bathtub.

John Doble

New York City


The executioner sneered as the young queen ascended the stairs to the guillotine; in the old days, he thought, at least there was some buildup, a little time on the rack or some disemboweling, but nowadays everyone wants instant gratification.

Andrea Rossi

Wilmington, NC

Sci Fi

Morgan ‘Bamboo’ Barnes, Star Pilot of the Galaxia (flagship of the Solar Brigade), accepted an hors d’oeuvre from the triangular-shaped platter offered to him from the Princess Qwillia—lavender-skinned she was and busty, with two of her four eyes what Barnes called ‘bedroom eyes’—and marveled at how on her planet, Chlamydia-5, these snacks were called ‘Hi-Dee-Hoes’ but on Earth they were simply called Ritz Crackers with Velveeta.

Greg Homer

Placerville, CA

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Would You Say?

If you were given the chance to go back to your hometown and teach at your home church for a weekend, what would you say?

Would you thank the people for investing in your life and spirit?

Would you berate them for the mistakes they made?

Would you share a truth that you've "discovered" along the way?

Really, what would you say?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Border to Border

It's been a big week for the older kids.

Sunday, they turned 16. We celebrated with high tea in Victoria, BC.

Monday, we crossed back into the USA in time to hear the fireworks, if not see them.

Tuesday, we traveled south 200 miles. Each of them took a turn at driving. Highway 101 is not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, they got acquainted with their new laptop computers, a birthday gift that is cooler to them than any car.

Thursday, they said good-bye (from bed) to their NM grandma. One of the girls cranked out most of a quilt top that day. Packing began.

Friday, they squeezed in a birthday party with one of their friends.

Saturday, we dropped them off for their mission trip to Mexico. They'll be helping build a house for a poor family. They should be crossing the border by now.

Canada to Mexico in a week. What a way to turn 16!