Christian Writers and Writers who are Christian

Let me begin by saying that I had entirely TOO much fun writing those fake-book-blurbs. And it was even more delightful to find that so many of you got a kick out of it as well. But how many of you guessed the correct fakes?


Just five!


I think I missed my calling.  


To be fair, I think much of the fault lies in the CBD blurb writer. I don’t know who this person is, but I have a sneaking suspicion they could take any book, quality be damned, and make it sound absurd. It’s a unique gift. Many of you believed number 2, A Widow’s Hope, to be fake. I don’t blame you. The way it is written is borderline perverted. Is the gentle farmer interested in Hannah or her sheep?  I think Leviticus has a thing or two to say about that.


Sadly, though, this book is very real. I can only hope that the actual story is not as insipid as its summary. And a question, just out of curiosity: why are the Amish women on these book covers supermodel-flawless?


Then we had #3, Sweet Charity. Will the Lord cause Kent to choose between his daughter and his heart? His affection for his daughter dwells outside of his heart, presumably? His liver, perhaps? Apparently for this poor man there is no room in his heart for more than one sort of love at a time. Again, I will be gracious to the beleaguered author and lay the blame upon the summary-writer. This book is real.


Finally, we had #5, Pasadena Promises. I think I picked this one because the beginning was too delightfully sappy: Love blooms like a rose from the thorns of war. Pardon me while I swoon upon my fainting couch. Oh, and it’s “for three strong-willed women”. Of course they’re strong-willed. They must be. But what, exactly, does that mean? You’ll never know unless you read the book…you do want to, don’t you? Well then, you’re in luck…it’s real too.


So that leaves 1, 4, and 6 as fakes. Spurred by Love was written close to midnight and I was getting a little punchy. I giggled all the way through it. Nevertheless, it is nowhere near absurd, when you compare it to this or this or this.


Blue Skye was a pretty clever play on words if I do say so myself. Given that the current trend is towards psychological thriller-type novels with a twist of the paranormal thrown in, I thought it was pretty believable. I may have overplayed my hand with the name Skye Cerule, though.


Hourglass, though, is my favorite fake. I’m surprised it hasn’t already been written. I would totally read it!


The five of you who picked the correct fakes were Mary, Ruth, Fuzzytop, Amy, and Sheila. I put all your names into a little box and had Cowboy X pick one out…and the winner is Fuzzytop!


And what does she get, prithee? A $20 gift certificate to Amazon, where she can pick amongst innumerable and morally-upright Christian novels (A Widow’s Hope notwithstanding). Or she could pick a horrid old secular novel like To Kill A Mockingbird or A Tale of Two Cities. God forbid!


While I may have something of a prejudice against Christian fiction as a genre, that does not mean that I never read it or think it is all hopeless piffle. I *did* say, after all, that for every ONE quality Christian author there were 100 who were not, which implies that there are those “ones” out there!


In my opinion, one of the gems is Francine Rivers, whose Mark of the Lion Trilogy I thoroughly enjoyed (well, minus the final installment…the first two are amazing, though). I also loved her series on the women in Jesus’ geneology.  I have also been a fan of Frank Peretti in the past, most specifically these three books and The Oath, which I found brilliantly metaphorical.


Mostly, though, I have to give a hearty hear! hear! to Gretchen’s quote from C.S.Lewis who, when asked if the world needed more “Christian writers”, replied “No. The world needs more writers who are Christian.” If you are a Christian who is also a writer, won’t your values and worldview necessarily be woven throughout your novel by default? Is it essential to insert a scene of someone “getting saved” in order to make a book “Christian”? Must the gospel message be spelled out in order to be present?


These questions are rhetorical.


In order to prolong the fun, I’d like to extend an open invitation to any of you who’d like a chance to try your own hand at CBD-style novel summarizations. Leave me a blurb to an imaginary book in the comments, or a link to your own blog where you’ve come up with something absurd. As a token for spreading the joy, feel free to take Mr. You Tickle Me Octopus for your sidebar or whatnot! And thanks, as always, for making me smile.


Very Funny

Let’s face it: the world is a scary place sometimes. Life can be hard, and cruel. But I’m a big fan of laughing at life. Even if sometimes it’s inappropriate.


Actually, especially if it’s inappropriate.


With that in mind, I put together a little poll for your (I hope) amusement. Feel free to steal it for your own blog if you are having trouble coming up with fodder lately. I think a dearth of blog-fodder is somewhat epidemic in the blogosphere right now, so I’m doing my part to help out.


If you decide to play, just leave a link in the comments so I can read your answers! Whoever makes me laugh the most will win my much-coveted You Tickle Me award.



You know you want him! How can you resist the cephalopodishness? 


Here’s the poll:


1. Who can make you laugh the hardest (someone you personally know)?


2. Who has the most contagious laugh (of those you know personally)?


3. What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?


4. Who is your favorite comedian?


5. What’s the funniest cartoon you’ve ever seen?


6. What’s your favorite comic strip?


7. What’s your favorite joke?


8. Here’s a link to something that will make you laugh:


9. What was the last thing you laughed at so hard you cried?


10. Got a funny photo? Show me!




And since I’m starting this whole deal, I’ll go first. (ed note: my post is video-heavy. Yours does not have to be!)


1. All of my siblings can reduce me to a helpless blob of giggles at random moments, but for sheer reliability, I have to say that my brother Matthew takes the prize. He’s the funniest guy I know.



However, if he gets together with my other brother, Paul, together they are so hilarious it’s almost dangerous. Seriously. You could die laughing.


2. This would be my 11 year old son, Josiah. When he was younger, especially, when he thought something was funny he would get us ALL cracking up from the sheer contagiousness of his laugh. Remember that Bugs Bunny cartoon when Bugs comes up from the ground into the bullring in Spain and the bull is trying to kill him? Josiah got so tickled by the funny dance the bull did at one point that I thought we were going to have to administer oxygen to all of us.


Here’s the cartoon:

Bugs Bunny – Bully For Bugs


And here’s the kid:


Uncle Josiah. Don’t let the calm exterior fool you.


3. This one is reeeeeally hard. I love comedies. And I’ve seen a lot of them. So I’m going to cheat and pick two. Father Goose  is my favorite classic comedy because, hey, it’s Cary Grant being something besides suave and debonair, and School of Rock is my favorite new comedy because I laugh every. time. I watch it. Jack Black has never been more funny than this movie; it was made for him.


4. Gotta be Steve Martin. I cut my teeth on him, and with a body of work that includes scenes like these, what’s not to love?



5. Although Bugs with the bull is pretty hilarious, I gotta go with Bugs performing opera. The horse alone just slays me. It’s six minutes long, but guaranteed to make you smile, unless you are dead, in which case all bets are off.



6. Rose is Rose, but only the older stuff. I have always had a soft spot for Rose, a sweet and unassuming mommy to one, devoted wife to Jimbo, who periodically slips into the persona of a biker chick when life becomes too safe and predictable.


(click to see full-size)





7. This would have to be the knock-knock joke featuring an interrupting cow. It ALWAYS gets a laugh, even from people who despise knock-knock jokes (under normal circumstances: me), but you have to be quick to get it right. It goes like this:


person one: Knock knock!


person two: Who’s there?


person one: Interrupting cow.


person two: Interrupting—


person one, quickly! MOOO!


Trust me. It’s funny.


8. You’ve never seen Hugh Jackman look less like Wolverine…Punk’d at it’s all-time finest moment. I laughed through my cringing.


9. This.







Your turn!!


Oh my, how I enjoyed reading all your contributions yesterday! Can I just say that I’m delighted that you played along? I really didn’t expect anyone to be much interested in my challenge, but y’all took up the gauntlet with finesse!


I was impressed with the dexterity with which Kate, Susan, Adrienne, Angie, Maggie, TGray, Michelle, and my own dear Mother wielded the words in question. Y’all could totally go semi-pro in the the verbal circuit!


Then I read Sarah’s, and I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. Out Loud. Sarah, your ditty about the octopus and his unfortunate encounter absolutely tickled me. I didn’t think anybody could top it.


Until I read Prairie Chick’s, that is. Girl, you rock meter, rhyme, and thesaurus. Dude. The poetic form was completely superfluous (ahem, Julie, winkwink) for this exercise, and if I didn’t know you better I’d accuse you of being an impenitent show-off.


But I do know you better. And you totally cracked me up.


After that, I really and truly thought we were done here. Until Straight Shooter piped up. And she must know that I have a soft spot for the invented word as well as the established, because there I went again, snorting and guffawing.


And relating. But we’ll stop there.


In the end, I am giving each one of you: Sarah, Prairie Chick, and Straight Shooter, my amazing, home-did mollusk award. 




Thank you to everybody who made my day brighter by playing along! And I really, really love my little octopus award. I’m disproportionately proud of him. Methinks I’ll be trotting him out regularly in the future.


Yes, I know octopuses can’t trot.


Happy Thursday, my prodigiously groovy comrades!

Werds R Grayte

Hey folks, did you know that there are lots of words for things? LOTS. OF. WORDS. It’s thrilling, isn’t it? I think words are just sublime. I think they are so sublime, in fact, that I subscribe to the AWAD newsletter, and get a fabulous new word in my email box every single day.


I posted my superhero, the Baroness Von Blistering Monarch, a few days ago, but I think that, in reality, if I were a superhero (yes, I realize that the previous half-dozen words make no real sense), I would be some sort of vocabulary-stretching-crusader with a thesaurus in one hand and a wand in the other.


The wand would be a handy gadget that would instantly transform sub-par adjectives into rockin’ descriptives with a flick of the wrist. I have long held that it is simply a lack of imagination that causes average people to spew the F-bomb rather than find a rich and wonderful epithet to fling.


After all, if the corner hoodlum knew that words such as extortionate, termagant, puerile and lachrymose even existed, he wouldn’t have to say that the f***’in landlady b**** was p***’in him off for raising his f***’in rent, would he?


When I was a kid in high school, we had a little curriculum called “Word Wealth” that introduced us to new and wondrous words each week, and to this day I remember many of them. Obstreperous, pugnacious, and querulous, for example, are trotted out frequently now and then when I feel like making a good impression.


Here are a few of my more recent favorites:


Ambisinister: (am-bi-SIN-uh-stuhr) adjective: Clumsy with both hands. (Literally, with two left hands.)


Pantagruelian (pan-tuh-groo-EL-ee-uhn) adjective   Enormous; Displaying extravagant and coarse humor


Atrabilious (at-ruh-BIL-yuhs) adjective: Gloomy; Ill-tempered.


Isn’t this fun? Aren’t you just dying to try one of these babies on for size? Okay, a few more:


callipygian (kal-uh-PIJ-ee-uhn) adjective: Having well-shaped buttocks.


Jobbernowl (JOB-uh-nowl) noun: A blockhead.


Kerfuffle (kuhr-FUHF-uhl) noun: A commotion.


and one which is especially intriguing…


Ichor…(ahy-kawr noun)… because its meanings are a bit dichotomous, to say the least. On the one hand, it means an ethereal fluid flowing in the veins of the gods.  Which sounds rather lofty and exalted, doesn’t it? But the flip side is an acrid, watery discharge, as from an ulcer or wound.

Um. Ew.


So hey, let’s have some fun! Use one or more of these words in a real, honest-to-goodness sentence in the comments and if any of them make me LOL for reals then I’ll reward the appropriate wordsmith with this:



It’s my very first, totally personal award. Featuring my verymost favorite mollusk, your friendly neighborhood octopus. You know you want him. So go ahead: make my verbal day. Literally.

Attitude and Gratitude

Have you ever lost anything? Your keys? Your purse? Your diaper bag? Your marbles?


I’ve just lost something that I have never lost before.


My voice.


It’s just…gone….


Where? On holiday, I would assume. I hope right now it’s sunning itself on a beautiful Cayman beach. At least then one of us would be warm.


At first it was kind of novel, but it’s quickly becoming tedious. Have you any idea how hard it is to wrangle my mob with no voice?


Oh, but there are still so many things to be thankful for. Here are just a few:


  1. The voice packed its bags just in time for My Beloved to be home on vacation through the end of the year. He lacks the ability to yell at quite the same decibel that I possess, but he’s pretty good.
  2. I’m getting lots more exercise, as I have to travel to various people to relay information, rather than just shouting it out.
  3. I am providing no end of amusement for those in my household who have never known me to be at a loss for words.


While looking for the positive in this situation, I find that I have received The Lemonade Award, from Denise at The Full Nest.



I tried to track down the original origins of this award, but wow, that’s hard. I believe the meaning has something to do with turning lemons into lemonade, however, and it’s too cute, don’t you think?


Personally, I would use the lemon juice to make Lemon Bars, but that’s just my preference.


I will humbly submit to you that I’m not sure I’m worthy of this award. There are far, far too many times that I take the lemons life dishes out and squirt them straight into my eyes so as to pity myself as fully as humanly possible, but I’m grateful for the thought. And it does convict me and strengthen my resolve to fall more completely upon His mercy in those situations!


Without further ado, I will nominate some other worthy (tho probably every bit as insecure) bloggers for this award…bloggers whom I see taking the perceived negatives of life and admitting that perhaps there is A Grander Plan at work, and that it’s not all about giddy happy skipping giggling rainbows.


(I am supposed to nominate ten)


Toni at This Simple Life

Straight Shooter

Kimmie at Over The Moon With Joy

Kate at Life With Special Needs Kids

Mary Beth at Cheaper By The Half-Dozen

Sarah at Beauty in the Mundane

Ann Kroeker

Jody at Because I’m Me

Dana at Ventage Inklings

Marla Taviano


And now you, nominees, link back here, nominate ten of your own, blah blah blah…you know what? Don’t do any of that stuff, unless you really want to. You’ve got cleaning and shopping and baking and wrapping and suchlike to do! Just take the award. Here, TAKE IT! And thank you for your attitude of gratitude that has encouraged me.

Some People Are Really Too Kind

I've been really ambivalent about the whole bloggy awards thang since I started blogging…I accepted some, then I let some slide by me when I lacked time to pass them on…and then I felt really guilty…and then I said who needs that stress? and decided to never accept them again…but then I got another…and another…and I have to admit that I get so tickled when somebody tags me for one that I would be a big fat hypocrite to say I didn't care.

Is there a Big Fat Hypocrite award? Cuz I'm totally perfect for that one.

At any rate, I hereby swear that from this point forth, I will always (except when I can't) accept awards that people want to give me, and I will never (except when I do) forget to pass them on.

Because I'm just that decisive.

I was tagged for this award like, a million, billion years ago, and the person who nominated me should have moved on to greener, more appreciative pastures and declared my name anathema for all time by now, but she hasn't. Thanks, Prairie Chick. It's called the "Arte de Pico" award, and I think it means "little piece of art". Or maybe it means "ham sandwich". Either way, it's cool.


When I think of art I automatically think of Jody and Melissa, whose crafty talents are just so stinking cute I will never cease to covet them and therefore be reminded of the grace of Jesus that forgives me for that coveting (which is always a nice thing to remember and therefore makes me like them even more). So girls, please accept it with my compliments, although you probably already received it back when it made the rounds.

This award was given to me by two different people, Janera and PennyRaine, and I was quite flummoxed to get it. It may very well have been the first and last time anything associated with me was called brilliant. Or Brilliante, for that matter. At any rate, I appreciated the compliment!

Unfortunately, one of the most brilliant bloggers I know closed up shop fairly recently, so I can't give it to her (KATE). However, I can say that Candy Rant's brilliant(E) writing frequently blows me away and makes me wish I could give her an award. Oh wait, I can! Candy, this one's for you.

And then I received this award. But I don't remember when. Or who gave it to me. I'm such a loser!!! Who was it? Please, speak up and put me out of my loserific misery so I can give credit!


This really is such a cute award. It made me smile and blush when I received it. I hope it makes Amy and Minnesota Mom feel the same way, cuz I'm passing it to them.

Then, most recently, there has been this. It made my little scrapbookin' heart go a little flippity-floppity.

Ain't it just purdy? It was given to me by Tyler at Titus2:3-5, and I am so bowled over to receive it. I thought being called Brilliante was great, but Kreativ is awesome!

I'm sharing the kreativ love with Prairie Chick and Sarah, because they have such an eye for seeing God's creativity in the daily ebb and flow of life.

And I'm hoping that talent will rub off on me someday.

If I gave you an award, feel free to pass it on. I am absolving you of any lengthy set of rules, even though that means I will almost certainly receive at any moment the Black Spot of Death by the Award Pirates who moderate these things.

If there aren't any Award Pirates, there probably should be.