A Question of Identity– Susan Hill Strikes AGAIN

It is easy, all too easy, to underestimate how difficult it is to write a whole series of novels with enough variety and differences on the one hand, and enough continuity on the other to make it continually interesting. I should know, I'm just finishing up the first draft of the seventh novel in my Art West thriller series, and A Question of Identity is Susan Hill's seventh in her detective crime series starring Simon Serailler and his sister Cat Deerborn.I would rate her latest entry in … [Read more...]

Jonathan Winters— A Comedic Genius

Jonathan Winters was indeed a comedic genius. I remember buying and listening to one of his comedy albums, over and over again. There was a Robin Hood routine, there was a Frankenstein routine, there was a Maud Frickert routine of course (his most famous character). He was the true master of the improv long before Robin Williams and others became famous for improvising routines on the spot. As the first picture above with attest, he was also the hilarious character Mearth (what an appropriate … [Read more...]

‘The Shadows in the Streets’– Susan Hill Strikes Again

I was listening to the sermon, and suddenly Susan Hill was mentioned.... as someone who got involved in ministry in a cathedral and it made her 'giddy with happiness' when she committed herself to it. The same Susan Hill, who writes these British crime novels I've been devouring. The Shadows in the Street is installment five in the series, and it is shorter than some of the others (372 pages). And in some ways, it is my very favorite thus far of this series. The plot is linear, the pace is … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles— Sunday Appeals

I awoke to the sounds of bells, and the wind. It was something of a conspiracy, a glorious re-bell-ion, so to speak. The bells were not merely pealing, they were appealing, they were saying on this side of the river and on that side of the river and downtown and on the edge town-- "it's time to come church. It's Sunday." As for the wind, it was rattling my shutters, no chance of going back to sleep. It was a 40 mile an hour wind, but at least it was much warmer than the previous winds in the … [Read more...]

Why I’m a Wesleyan Evangelical

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6sG08YuAZEU … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– the Telicious Tea Room

While in England, not everything stops for tea, a great deal does. Today I went into the new Tealicious Tea Room on Elvet Bridge in Durham and was transported back in time. The bright white washed walls were inviting, the flowers on the table, and the tea properly brewed (no tea bags need apply for admittance to this shop), and the tea served in proper china cups. Perfect.Then there were the non-caloric cakes by the dozen--- walnut, key lime, but I was having the 'squiggy ginger cake' … [Read more...]

Cruising to ‘Oblivion’

Have you noticed how Tom Cruise has a way of making Tom Cruise the focus of almost all his recent movies? About 75% of the camera focus time, when it is focusing on a character, is on him. Even with Mission Impossible, which is a team concept storyline, it was all about Tom and his daring do. "Oblivion' is no different, not least because, there are a bunch of Jack Harper the astronauts aka Tom Cruise, in this movie. Even Morgan Freeman, the other major star of the film, gets far less … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles— St. Cuthbert’s Journey

The story of St. Cuthbert, who is buried under the high altar at Durham Cathedral, is an inspiring one in many ways. When he died, his body was brought from Lindisfarne through a circuitous route through Northumberland to Durham (see map above). The story goes that when he arrived, they opened the casket and his body was preserved inviolate. There was no decay. The picture above is of a cast sculpture of the saints carrying his body to Durham. Durham of course is also famous for its other … [Read more...]

St. Andrews Highlights 2

Two of the nicest people on the planet, and certainly two of the nicest associated with St. Andrews are Scott and Deborah Hafemann. These pictures are taken from their house in Crail, except the kilt picture (what other university helps you dress fit to kilt) and the one of Scott and myself at the train station. Most of the villages on the North Sea are of course fishing villages. The problem with St. Andrews is that it is wicked expensive to live there, due to the golf etc. and huge influx … [Read more...]