S’Mary’s World: Magnus Albert

Magnus Albert is the name given to the mother house of the Albertine Order on S'Mary's World, also known as St. Mary's-without-the-Arm. To the Albertines the first colonists gave the task of preserving the Archives, the collected library of the colony ship Our Lady of Loreto, and disseminating its contents to the colonists as and when and in such measure as the colony was ready to make use of them. To this end Magnus Albert was built into the side of a mountain, Albertus Mons, into which … [Read more...]

Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy Sayers

Unlike the last couple of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, about which I had mixed feelings, I returned to Murder Must Advertise with no qualms and great anticipation of pleasure—and I was not disappointed. As the tale begins, a man named Death Bredon takes a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency called Pym's Publicity. We, of course, recognize him immediately: Lord Peter's full name is Peter Death Bredon Wimsey. An employee of the firm has died, falling down a steep spiral staircase, … [Read more...]

The Way is Straight, The World is Wide


This post is an attempt to capture something I've been pondering for awhile; we'll see how it works out.The diagram to the right is a picture of my (or any person's) position relative to God at any given moment. God is at the center, and I am not. No matter where I am in my journey, I always have a straight shot to God. If I will only turn towards Him, there he is. It looks a bit like a target for a reason: the aim of the Christian life is to end at the bull's eye.At every moment, … [Read more...]

Body: The Outward Affects The Inward

It's tempting to think of the interior life as something that takes place entirely within your mind and heart, but as I pointed out a few weeks ago, it 'tain't so. We are not souls who happen to be stuck in bodies for a while; we are human beings, a composite of body and soul, and whatever we do, we do with our whole beings. There's always been a tendency within Christianity to forget this, and act as though the soul is really what we are; this is called angelism, and it's simply a mistake. … [Read more...]

Island of the Panzer-Schnauzers

I have perpetrated a short story; and, in a stunning break with tradition, I've made it available on Amazon for the Kindle. It's called "Island of the Panzer-Schnauzers," it's vaguely steampunk, and it's quite silly. My first readers compared it to P.G. Wodehouse and Keith Laumer, though I confess I was writing under the influence of Lord Peter Wimsey. Feel free to check it out, and to tell all of your friends! … [Read more...]

The Old Man In the Hat Comes Back

This is an old Dr. Seuss/Lord of the Rings spoof I wrote about ten years ago. I managed to get Frodo and Sam to Rivendell, and then the wellsprings of inspiration dried up.We had no time for adventures We had smoke-rings to tend. It was time for some pipeweed At the door of Bag End.When old Bilbo left town With a bang for a joke, He said we should always Think of him and smoke. "Somebody, SOMEBODY Has to, you see." Then he picked out two somebodies, Samwise and … [Read more...]

App o’ the Morning: LilyPond


The tin whistle is a folk instrument; and the wonder and glory of folk music is that although it consists mostly of old standards, the old standards aren't particularly standard. For any well-known tune there will be any number of versions extant, with different words, slightly different melodies, different arrangements, and so on. And then, when you learn to play the tune, you're not expected to simply play it just like everyone else—instead, you're expected to take it and make it your own, a … [Read more...]

The Weavers: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

Not everything Pete Seeger sang was political. Here's one of my favorite tracks from The Weavers at Carnegie Hall: "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine", with Seeger singing a duet with Ronnie Gilbert. I regret his politics, but he was capable of beauty. … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Red Tsunami

He looked up at the duchess, towering over him now like a red tsunami over a small fishing village.— Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters … [Read more...]