Archive for August 2018

On Revolution   Leave a comment

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’m in rewrite mode for Book 4 of Transformation Project – Day’s End – and it’s summer in Alaska, but some interactions on Facebook have caused me to start thinking. I posted an 1818 letter by John Adams explaining that the American Revolution had not been the war that was fought against England, but the change in the “religious” affection of the Americans toward Britain that had occurred in the 15-years of spiritual revival that had occurred prior to the war. History records that as the First Great Awakening, but it was really more than just a rediscovery of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The American colonists were seized by a fervor for learning that included reading far more than the Bible.

Image result for image of revolutionThe war was coda to the actual revolution that occurred in the hearts and minds of the people prior to the first shot being fired. Adams believed this was what set the American Revolution apart from the French Revolution. After the shooting was done, Americans settled down to peaceful commerce once more. Meanwhile, in France, when the revolutionaries seized power, they commenced to kill a bunch of people of varying degrees of guilt and innocence. They found no peace, but only a growing hunger for blood. Why? Adams wrote it was because France pursued revolution as a war while in America, the revolution had been in the hearts and minds of the people prior to the war. They were already free in their minds. Had Britain simply accepted that, there would have been no war.

So, today we’re at such a cusp — on the verge of a civil war that will split not along clear regional lines as it did in the 1860s, but along ideological lines that are expressed in a mixed geography – rural versus urban, blue region versus red. We’ve got a whole chorus of voices screaming for “revolution”, people in the streets demanding “justice”, setting things on fire, beating their opponents into the pavement and insisting on fundamental changes to the political system that will affect our future in enormous and damaging ways.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you know I didn’t support Donald Trump for president in 2016 (though I also didn’t support Hillary Clinton … remember, crooks on the left, clowns on the right, I’m still not voting for you). So this post is really not about who occupies the White House. It’s about the shattering of America that we are so not ready for.

An impeachment is a darned hard thing on the constitution of a country. It has been hard on Americans in the past — pretty much every time — though sometimes it has been necessary. There have been presidents who violated their oaths of office and deserved impeachment … and some were impeached while others were not. And let us not forget there was enough evidence to impeach Bill Clinton, articles of impeachment were upheld, and Congress still didn’t remove him from office. And that was surprisingly less harmful to the fabric of society than Richard Nixon’s resignation.

I don’t really care if Trump gets impeached … though I do care if there’s actual evidence of a crime because impeachment should not be undertaken just because some people don’t like an election result that was determined under the existing constitutional system. If they want to change it, there’s a procedure for amending the Constitution. Meanwhile, the Constitution allows us to replace Trump with Mike Pence if there’s enough evidence that Trump — not his associates — did something worthy of impeachment. And, frankly, if it weren’t for the negatives, I could easily replace Trump with Pence and go on with my life because I didn’t vote for him, ao I’ve no real dog in the fight. But ….

The 47% of American voters who gave Donald Trump the presidency did not vote for Mike Pence. And that’s a problem because they will be disenfranchised upon Trump’s removal from office. What happens to them, to the hopes they voted for when they elected him? Do they not matter? I know most progressive Democrats will insist they don’t, but they are just about half of the population, so … do we just ignore them once Trump has been removed from office? How do you think that’s going to work out for the country?

And will those rioting in the streets be satisfied with the replacement of a populist progressive president with a very conservative one? Pence is a social and fiscal conservative. He’s everything progressives hate. He’s about as far from Barack Obama’s policies as Calvin Coolidge was from Woodrow Wilson. Can the progressives currently rioting in our streets accept Pence as the constitutionally-selected president of America or will they continue to demand that their wishes be assuaged?

And if they hold out for their demands to be fulfilled, what then? The Democrats LOST the constitutional election of 2016. The Russians may have provided information people had a right to know, but they didn’t hack the voting system. There are literally thousands of election systems in the United States and that makes our voting system more or less unhackable. So there is no way, constitutionally, that a Democrat should be in the White House before 2020, but mark my words — there will be Democrats demanding it and it is that tension – between the Democrats on one side who will not accept the outcome of a constitutional election and the Republicans who are about to be disenfranchised that will tear this country apart.

I want revolution more than most people do. It’s revolutionary and counter-cultural in this era to say we need to drastically cut government (by 50 to 75%), to close all our foreign bases and bring soldiers home, to get government out of the economy and let people make their own decisions without our nanny hanging over our shoulders. But here’s the rub … I don’t think this country is ready for revolution. We’re France in the 1780s. We want change, but the vast majority of the population has not been educated to think for themselves, so naturally the vast majority of them will scream for more government rather than less … and that way lays totalitarianism … the silencing of philosophical minorities, of anyone who can think for themselves, the wholesale enslavement of the economy to the government, and the loss of individual liberty and the concept of natural rights that are inherent in being a human being instead of something given to you by the government when it deigns that you will benefit from them. None of this is a good idea by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah … it may be that we’re actually Russia in the early 20th century. We’re certainly headed that way.

If that concerns you, I hope you’ll take some time – take a pause — and educate yourselves. You can certain read back in my blog. You can check out, the Ron Paul Institute and the Foundation for Economic Freedom.  Go to You-Tube and check out Dave Rubin or Jordan Peterson or the pod casts of Joe Rogan. In the case of Rubin and Rogan, it’s really their guests who are brilliant, but the point is to start listening to people who have actually thought out what it means to be an individual without being in conflict with society. We might potentially dodge a bullet for the next year or two, but unless we change our affections for the bloated totalitarian-lite government we currently have and start looking at the world we live in a different way, we’re head the way of so many countries that grabbed for needed change and ended up killing millions.

John Adams on the American Revolution   1 comment

From John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 13 February 1818

Quincy February 13th. 1818

Mr Niles,


The American Revolution was not a trifling nor a common event. It’s effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the whole globe. And when and where are they to cease?

Image result for image of john adamsBut what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the People. A change in their Religious Sentiments of their Duties and Obligations. While the King, and all in authority under him, were believed to govern, in justice and mercy according to the laws and constitutions derived to them from the God of Nature, and transmitted to them by their ancestors— they thought themselves bound to pray for the King and Queen and all the royal Family, and all the authority under them, as ministers ordained of God for their good. But when they saw those powers renouncing all the principles of authority, and bent up on the destruction of all the Securities of their Lives, Liberties and Properties, they thought it their Duty to pray for the Continental Congress and all the thirteen State Congresses, &c.

There might be, and there were others, who thought less about Religion and Conscience, but had certain habitual Sentiments of Allegiance And Loyalty derived from their Education; but believing Allegiance and Protection to be reciprocal, when Protection was withdrawn, they thought Allegiance was dissolved

Another Alteration was common to all. The People of America had been educated in an habitual Affection for England as their Mother-Country; and while they Thought her a kind and tender mother, (erroneously enough, however, for She never was Such a Mother,) no Affection could be more Sincere. But when they found her a cruel Beldam willing, like Lady Macbeth, to “dash their Brains out,” it is no Wonder if their fillial Affections ceased and were changed into Indignation and horror.

This radical Change in the Principles, Opinions Sentiments and Affection of the People, was the real American Revolution.

By what means, this great and important Alteration in the religious, Moral, political and Social Character of the People of thirteen Colonies, all distinct, unconnected and independent of each other, was begun, pursued and accomplished, it is surely interesting to Humanity to investigate, and perpetuate to Posterity.

To this End it is greatly to be desired that Young Gentlemen of Letters in all the States, especially in the thirteen Original States, would undertake the laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing Task, of Searching and collecting all the Records, Pamphlets, Newspapers and even hand Bills, which in any Way contributed to change the Temper and Views of The People and compose them into an independent Nation.

The Colonies had grown up under Constitutions of Government, So different, there was so great a Variety of Religions, they were composed of So many different Nations, their Customs, Manners and Habits had So little resemblance, and their Intercourse had been so rare and their Knowledge of each other So imperfect, that to unite them in the Same Principles in Theory and the Same System of Action was certainly a very difficult Enterprize. The compleat Accomplishment of it, in So Short a time and by Such Simple means, was perhaps a Singular Example in the History of Mankind. Thirteen Clocks were made to Strike together; a perfection of Mechanism which no Artist had ever before effected.

In this Research, the Glorioroles of Individual Gentlemen and of Separate States is of little Consequence. The Means and the Measures are the proper Objects of Investigation. These may be of Use to Posterity, not only in this Nation, but in South America, and all other Countries. They may teach Mankind that Revolutions are no Trifles; that they ought never to be undertaken rashly; nor without deliberate Consideration and Sober Reflection; nor without a Solid, immutable, eternal foundation of Justice and Humanity; nor without a People possessed of Intelligence, Fortitude and Integrity Sufficient to carry them with Steadiness, Patience, and Perseverance, through all the Vicissitudes of fortune, the fiery Tryals and Melancholly Disasters they may have to encounter.

The Town of Boston early instituted an annual Oration on the fourth of July, in commemoration of the Principles and Feelings which contributed to produce the Revolution. Many of those Orations I have heard, and all that I could obtain I have read. Much Ingenuity and Eloquence appears upon every Subject, except those Principles and Feelings. That of my honest and amiable Neighbour, Josiah Quincy, appeared to me, the most directly to the purpose of the Institution. Those Principles and Feelings ought to be traced back for Two hundred Years, and Sought in the history of the Country from the first Plantations in America. Nor Should the Principles and Feelings of the English and Scotch towards the Colonies, through that whole Period ever be forgotten. The Perpetual discordance between British Principles and Feelings and those of America, the next year after the Suppression of the French Power in America, came to a crisis, and produced an Explosion.

It was not till After the Annihilation of the French Dominion in America, that any British Ministry had dared to gratify their own Wishes, and the desire of the Nation, by projecting a formal Plan for raising a national Revenue from America by Parliamentary Taxation. The first great manifestation of this design, was by the Order to carry into Strict Executions those Acts of Parliament which were well known by the Appelation of the Acts of Trade, which had lain a dead Letter, unexecuted for half a Century, and Some of them I believe for nearly a whole one.

This produced, in 1760 and 1761, An Awakening and a Revival of American Principles and Feelings, with an Enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open Violence, Hostility and Fury.

The Characters, the most conspicuous, the most ardent and influential, in this Revival, from 1760 to 1766, were;—First and Foremost, before all, and above all, James Otis; Nex to him was Oxenbridge Thatcher; next to him Samuel Adams; next to him John Hancock; then Dr Mayhew, then Dr Cooper and his Brother. Of Mr Hancock’s Life, Character, generous Nature, great and disinterested Sacrifices, and important Services if I had forces, I Should be glad to write a Volume. But this I hope will be done by Some younger and abler hand. Mr Thatcher, because his Name and Merits are less known, must not be wholly omitted. This Gentleman was an eminent Barrister at Law, in as large practice as anyone in Boston. There was not a Citizen of that Town more universally beloved for his Learning, Ingenuity, every domestic & Social Virtue, and Conscientious Conduct in every Relation of Life. His Patriotism was as ardent as his Progenitors had been, ancient and illustrious in this Country. Hutchinson often Said “Thatcher was not born a Plebeian, but he was determined to die one.” In May 1763, I believe, he was chosen by the Town of Boston One of their Representatives in the Legislature, a Colleague with Mr Otis, who had been a Member from May 1761, and he continued to be reelected annually till his Death in 1765, when Mr Samuel Adams was elected to fill his place, on the Absence of Mr Otis, then attending the Congress at New York. Thatcher had long been jealous of the unbounded Ambition of Mr Hutchinson, but when he found him not content with the Office of Lieutenant Governor, the Command of the Castle and its Emoluments, of Judge of Probate for the County of Suffolk, a Seat in his Majesty’s Council in the Legislature, his Brother-in-Law Secretary of State by the Kings Commission, a Brother of that Secretary of State a Judge of the Superiour Court and a Member of Council, now in 1760 and 1761, Soliciting and accepting the Office of Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, he concluded as Mr. Otis did, and as every other enlightened Friend of his Country did, that he Sought that Office with the determined Purpose of determining all Causes in favour of the Ministry at Saint James’s and their Servile Parliament.

His Indignation against him henceforward, to 1765, when he died, knew no bounds but Truth. I Speak from personal Knowledge and will [. . .] For, from 1758 to 1765, I attended every Superiour and [. . .] Court in Boston, and recollect not one in which he did not invite me home to Spend several Evenings with him, when he made me converse with him as well as I could on all Subjects of Religion, Morals, Law, Politicks, History, Phylosophy, Belle letters Theology, Mythology, Cosmogeny, Metaphysicks, Lock, Clark, Leibnits, Bolinbroke, Berckley, the Preestablished Harmony of the Universe, the Nature of Matter and Spirit, and the eternal Establishment of Coincidences between their Operations; Fate, foreknowledge, absolute—and we reasoned on Such unfathomable Subjects as high as Milton’s Gentry in Pandemonium; and We understood them as well as they did, and no better. To such mighty Mysteries he added the News of the day, as the Little Tattle of the Town. But his favourite Subject was Politicks, and the impending threatening System of Parliamentary Taxation and Universal Government over the Colonies. On the Subject he was So anxious and agitated that I have not doubt it occasioned his premature death. From the time when he argued the question of Writs of Assistance to his death, he considered the King, Ministry, Parliament and Nation of Great Britain as determined to now model the Colonies from the Foundation; to annul all their Charters, to constitute them all Royal Governments; to raise a Revenue in America by Parliamentary Taxation; to apply that Revenue to pay the Salaries of Governors, Judges and all other Crown Officers; and after all this, to raise as large a Revenue as they pleased to be applied to National Purposes at the Exchequer in England; and farther to establish Bishops and the whole System of the Church of England, Tythes and all, throughout all British America. This System, he Said, if it was Suffered to prevail would extinguish the Flame of Liberty all over the World; that America would be employed as an Engine to batter down all the miserable remains of Liberty in Great Britain and Ireland, when only any Semblance of it was left in the World. To this System he considered Hutchinson, the Olivers and all their Connections dependants, adherents, Shoelickers and another epithet with which I shall not pollute my writing, and entirely devoted. He asserted that they were all engaged, with all the Crown Officers in America and the Understrapors of the Ministry in England, in a deep and treasonable Conspiracy to betray the Liberties of their Country, for their own private personal and family Aggrandisement. His Philippecks against the unprincipled Ambition and Avarice of all of them, but especially of Hutchinson, were unbridled; not only in private, confidential Conversations, but in all Companies and on all Occasions. He gave Hutchinson the Sobriquet of “Summa Polestatis,” and rarely mentioned him but by the Name of “Summa.” His Liberties of Speech were no Secrets to his Enemies. I have Sometimes wondered that they did not throw him over the Barr, as they did Soon afterwards Major Hawley. For they hated him worse than they did James Otis or Samuel Adams, and they feared him more,—because they had no Revenge for a Father’s disappointment of a Seat on the Superiour Bench to impute to him as they did to Otis; and Thatcher’s Character through Life had been So modest, decent, unassuming—his Morals So pure, and his Religion so venerated, that they dared not [. . .] attack him. In his Office were educated to the Barr two eminent Characters, the late Judge Lowell and Josiah Quincy, aptly called the Boston Cicero. Mr Thatcher’s frame was Slender, his Constitution delicate. Whether his Physicians overstrained his Vessels with Mercury, when he had the Small Pox by Inoculation at the castle, or whether he was Overplyed by publick Anxieties & Exertions, the Small Pox left him in a Decline from which he never recovered. Not long before his death he Sent for me to commit to my care Some of his Business at the Barr. I asked him Whether he had Seen the Virginia Resolves. “Oh yes.—They are Men! They are noble Spirits! It kills me to think of the Leathargy and Stupidity that prevails here. I long to be out. I will go out. I will go out. I will go into Court, and make a Speech which Shall be read after my death as my dying Testimony against this infernal Tyrrany they are bringing upon us.” Seeing the violent Agitation into with it threw him, I changed the subject as Soon as possible, and retired. He had been confined for Some time. Had he been abroad among the People he would have complained So pathetically of the “Lethargy and Stupidity that prevailed,” for Town and Country were all Alive; and in August became active enough and Some of the People proceeded to unwarrantable Excesses, which were [. . .]nted by the Patriots than by their Enemies. Mr Thatcher Soon died, deeply lamented by all the Friends of their Country.

Another Gentleman who had great influence in the Commencement of the Revolution, was Doctor Jonathan Mayhew, a descendant of the ancient Governor of Martha’s Vineyard. This Divine had raised a great Reputation, both in Europe and America by the publication of a Volume of Seven Sermons in the Reign of King George the Second, 1748, and by many other Writings, particularly a Sermon in 1750, on the thirtieth of January, On the Subject of Passive Obedience and Non Resistance, in which the Saintship and Martyrdom of King Charles the first are considered, Seasoned with Witt and Satyre, Superior to any in Swift or Franklin. It was read by every Body, celebrated by Friends, and abused by Enemies. During the Reigns of King George the first and King George the Second, the Reigns of the Stewarts, the Two Jameses, and the two Charleses were in general disgrace in England. In America they had always been held in Abhorrence. The Persecutions and Cruelties Suffered by their Ancestors under those Reigns, had been transmitted by History and Tradition, and Mayhew Seemed to be raised up to revive all their Animosity against Tyranny, in Church and State, and at the Same time to destroy their Bigotry, Fanaticism and Inconsistency or David Hume’s plausible, elegant, fascinating and fallacious Apology in which he varnished over the Crimes of the Stewarts had not then appeared. To draw the Character of Mayhew would be to transcribe a dozen Volumes. This transcendant [by choices]threw all the Weight of his great Fame into the Scale of his Country in 1761, and maintained it there with Zeal and Ardour till his death in 1766. In 1763 Appeared the Controversy between him and Mr Apthorp, Mr Caner, Dr. Johnson and Archbishop Secker on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for propagating the Gospels in foreign Parts. To form a Judgment of the debate I beg leave to refer to a Review of the whole, printed at the time, and written by Samuel Adams, though by Some, very absurdly and erroneously ascribed to Mr Apthorp. If I am not mistaken, it will be found a Model of Candour, Sagacity, Impartiality and close correct Reasoning.

If any Gentleman Supposes this Controversy to be nothing to the present purpose, he is grossly mistaken. It Spread an Universal Alarm against the Authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just Apprehension that Bishops and Diocesses and Churches, and Priests and Tythes, were to be imposed upon Us by Parliament. It was known that neither King nor Ministry nor Archbishops could appoint Bishops in America without an Act of Parliament; and if Parliament could Tax Us they could establish the Church of England with all its Creeds, Articles, Tests, Ceremonies and Tythes, and prohibit all other Churches as Conventicles and Sepism Shops.

Nor must Mr Cushing be forgotten. His good sense and Sound Judgment, the Urbanity of his Manners, his universal good Character, his numerous Friends and Connections and his continual intercourse with all Sorts of People, added to his Constant Attachment to the Liberties of his Country, gave him a great and Salutary influence from the beginning in 1760.

Let me recommend these hints to the Consideration of Mr Wirt, whose Life of Mr Henry I have read with great delight. I think, that after mature investigation, he will be convinced that Mr Henry did not “give the first impulse to the Ball of Independence,” And that Otis, Thatcher, Samuel Adams Mayhew, Hancock, Cushing and thousands of others were labouring for Several Years at the Wheel before the Name of Mr Henry was heard beyond the limits of Virginia.

If you print this, I will endeavour to Send You Something concerning Samuel Adams, who was destined to a longer Career, and to Add a more conspicuous and, perhaps, a more important Part than any other Man. But his Life would require a Volume. If you decline printing this Letter I pray to return it as Soon as possible to / Sir, your humble Servant

John Adams

Posted August 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty, Uncategorized

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Open Book Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Magical World Web

So here’s this week’s topic:  We’ve all experienced loss, what is a loss that has really struck you? Compare losing someone you knew with someone you didn’t, and your thoughts on how it affected you.

Loss is hard.  I have to admit that I’m not really in a place right now that I can talk as openly as I would like about loss.  But I’m going to try a little.

I remember losing was my great grandmother when I was 16ish.  I remember that she didn’t know who I was at the end.  I remember that I wore jeans and high heels at that time in my life.  I remember hearing stories about her, and I remember the few visits I had with her.

I remember that I lost three more relatives when I was in the last trimester of college.  They all died, one month after the other…

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Posted August 28, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop -27th August   1 comment

Stevie Turner

It’s a public holiday today in the UK and we’re out for the day with the family, so this post is scheduled and I’ll answer any comments tomorrow.

This week the topic is:

We’ve all experienced loss.  What is a loss that has really struck you? Compare losing someone you knew with someone you didn’t, and your thoughts on how it affected you.

It’s a sad fact of life that the older you get, the more of your loved ones pass away.  Many of my relatives are now partying on the ‘other side’, but the loss I’ve felt most keenly was when my aunt June died back in 2012.

Aunt June was one of those big-hearted people.  Large in stature, she was free with her cuddles and kisses.  She had a knack of making all those around her, including me, feel valued and loved.   She was the only one…

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Posted August 27, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

For Whom the Bell Tolls   4 comments

We’ve all experienced loss, what is a loss that has really struck you? Compare losing someone you knew with someone you didn’t, and your thoughts on how it affected you.

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.


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Related imageI was an orphan by the time I was 22 years old. My parents were older when they had me and so they died when I was pretty young. It’s been over 30 years for Mom and 40 years for Dad. I can’t say I miss them anymore. I do wonder what our relationship would have been like had they lived longer. But at some point, grief just seems … silly. What’s’ the point of it? I guess I’m a product of my mother’s farming background … where death is just another part of life. I grieved at the time and then I moved on. I remember my parents fondly, I have some questions I wish I would have thought to ask them when I was a kid, but I no longer grieve their passing because I focus on life rather than death.

I remember when Elvis Presley died. The story came across the radio at work and some of my coworkers were sad about that. I was 16 years old and I don’t think I’d ever known a time when Elvis had not been a part of my life. My mother truly enjoyed his music. But my reaction to his death was different from theirs. I was sad for his daughter, but not sad for myself. I didn’t know him. Whether he was dead or alive didn’t really affect my life. And I think that’s been my attitude as any famous person has died … it doesn’t affect my life so why would I grieve?

Same sort of feeling with 911. I felt horror at the thought of all those people dying, but I don’t mark it as a special day of mourning every year because to me that would be living in the past and that’s not how I choose to live my life.

But some deaths are more personal than others.

When my friend Dick Underwood passed, I felt profoundly sad for myself because I would not see him again this side of heaven. I can still get a little choked up over that two years later. But that feeling of grief was and is tempered by the knowledge that as Christians we will see each other in heaven. I anticipate Dick paddling some celestial river in a canoe and I smile when that image comes to mind. For Dick, death was an upgrade not a tragedy and so, for me to remember his death is not really sad.

I used to work in a mental health-focused nonprofit. About nine years ago, a schizophrenic patient stabbed one of my coworkers to death. I wasn’t there when it happened. I found out about it the next morning. The feelings I had that day and in the months and years since are powerful – angry at the client (we’ll call him Brian) for taking this young woman’s life and at the staff psychiatrist who ignored warnings that this client was off his meds and had a history of violence, sad for Genine’s husband of only a few months, perplexed at the rage my coworkers aimed at the Executive Director rather than at the client or the psychiatrist, irritation at the judge who kept fracking with the case trying to cause a mistrial because he disagreed with Alaska’s governing law of guilty, but mentally ill …. Unlike “innocent by reason of insanity” the Alaska legal standard means Brian will go to prison for the rest of his life if he ever convinces a medical board that he’s sane enough to be released from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. It does not risk this dangerous man getting out to hurt someone again. It recognizes that, while he is a schizophrenic, he is not the victim in this case — Genine was. That the judge disagrees with the standard … well, he’s been removed from office by a vote of no confidence by Alaska voters. Fitting … as fitting as the psychiatrist no longer being allowed to see patients at the local hospital. She still has her private practice, but she doesn’t have hospital privileges, which means she can’t work for a mental health agency any longer.

Probably the most salient thing to know about that experience is that I am pissed off that State law denied Genine the right to protect herself from Brian. When he pulled a big butcher knife all she could do was run and when she stumbled in the snow outside the emergency exit, he stabbed her three times in the back. In my current job, when we did an active shooter training, the FBI asked us how many of us had a plan for in case an active shooter came into our building. My plan is to take cover, let the shooter pass me by, and shoot the shooter in the back from my position of cover. The FBI trainer agreed that would probably save a lot of lives and only suggested that I put my gun down before the cops got there … which I already knew. So yeah, Genine’s death definitely left a permanent impression on me.

Now you sort of know what I have felt about different deaths I’ve experienced. I have a spectrum of reactions, highly dependent on the facts surrounding those deaths.  Everything that happens to us as humans can be used in our writing … even if that experience was germain to someone near us and not to us personally. In writing about Shane and Jill’s reactions to the bombings in Life As We Knew It, I drew from my observations of what my coworkers experienced when Elvis died and what I experienced right along with them on 911. Some of my descriptions of what Shane (who has PTSD) experiences in stressful situations are drawn from what I experienced while working at mental health. I also was a psychiatric transcriptionist for a while and sometimes I’m drawing on what I learned from the sessions I transcribed. Grief comes in many flavors and makes wonderful conflict for our stories.

So, we should go check out what my fellow blog-hoppers have to say on this topic. Has death coming knocking for them as well?

Posted August 27, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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“Day’s End” Cover Reveal   Leave a comment

Front Cover of Day's EndWatch for Book 4 of Transformation Project “Day’s End” on Amazon in the near-future.

Meanwhile, catch up with the series.

Stay Tuned for the Cover Reveal   Leave a comment

Days End 3rd Reveal

Announcing “Day’s End”   Leave a comment

Cover Reveal Brown Wrapper for ThanatosisAlthough I already announced this on Facebook, it seems I didn’t post it here.

Book 4 of Transformation Project has had the working title of “Thanatosis”, but when it came down to doing the cover, I decided to change the name to “Day’s End”.

The big cover reveal is Sunday.

Sand in Your Shoes, by Lela Markham   Leave a comment

via Sand in Your Shoes, by Lela Markham

Does your faith make you uncomfortable? It should. Jesus wasn’t comfortable. He struggled with temptation, He was cold, hungry and tired, sometimes He was frustrated enough to toss usurpers out of His Father’s house by violent means. He risked censor by correcting the churchy, judgey people of His day in public settings. They tried to stone Him a couple of times and then they nailed Him to a cross to kill Him in a very cruel way. He then died with the sins of the world seeped into His very flesh. Our Savior was not comfortable:

John 15:18-19

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, 48  the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason 51  the world hates you. 

Jesus promised us that we would be as uncomfortable as He was – the world would hate us, we would struggle with our efforts to be His followers, sin would dog our steps.

If your Christian faith does not make you uncomfortable with the world around you and how you interact with it, then something is probably wrong with your Christian walk. Being a Christian in this world ought to feel a bit like having sand in your shoes.

When I write, more and more often, I find myself pausing with my fingers over the keyboard, thinking about how what I feel led to write might make some people uncomfortable. Sometimes it will make non-Christians uncomfortable, but more often than not, it will make Christians uncomfortable. I mostly don’t fear that anymore. I know that’s what God wants me to do … point out the uncomfortable tensions of Christians living in this world. We shouldn’t feel cozy with the world around us, but in many ways, we shouldn’t feel snuggly within the Christian community either.

I want my readers to think about the soldier sitting next to them on the pew – the guy who just got back from the Middle East. Sure, he’s a nice guy and his wife is wonderful. His kids love him and he can quote Scripture. Nothing wrong with any of that. I take him at his word that he is a Christian who walks with Christ every day. Now think back a month or two. What is the job of a soldier? Killing and subjugation of a foreign population. Cut away the politics that took our pew mate to that foreign country and just ask yourself “What would Jesus have said about what this guy was doing a month ago?” Would He have automatically said “Thank you for your service”? I doubt it. I think He’d probably have written the number of the man’s kills in the sand before saying “I forgive those who repent of their sins.” Imagine how uncomfortable that soldier would be as he watched Jesus writing in the sand. Imagine how uncomfortable you would feel watching that if you’d just thanked the soldier for his service. I want my readers to think about the people the soldier killed or subjugated and feel compassion for them, but I also want my readers to think about the scars on the soldier’s soul that were inevitable from that behavior and feel compassion for the soldier. I don’t think Jesus would forgive the soldiers and damn the subjugated based on politics and that’s an uncomfortable thought.

I used this example because I have a lot of friends who are or were in the military and that works its way into my books. I could have used almost any example where our lives outside the church conflict with our Christian faith … those points where we ought to feel uncomfortable but often don’t. You could substitute bar owners, prostitutes, cops, pharmacists, authors … the list goes on and on. Everyone of us has tensions between our faith and our “regular” life and we ought to care about that. But, in our consumeristic society, being comfortable is the chief societal goal and so those authors who seek to market themselves as “Christian authors” feel the need to make their audience comfortable. That is a smart marketing decision that avoids controversy and topics that might make their readers think about uncomfortable ideas.

Is that actually a ministry or is God calling us to something higher … to be the prophets to our society through our narrative talents? Can we entertain readers while teaching eternal truths in a palatable form?

I suppose that depends on how uncomfortable we’re willing to allow God to make us.



Lela Markham is the pen name of an Alaskan novelist who was raised in a home built of books. Alaska is a grand adventure like none other with a culture that embraces summer adventure and winter artistic pursuits.

“I don’t seek to be known as a Christian author, but as an author for whom Christ is so central to who I am as a person that He shines through.”

Author Interview: Chris McKinney and The Importance of Small Groups   Leave a comment

Lost Pen Magazine

Can you tell us about your professional background or training and what led you to writing?

I had four courses in college which helped me learn some writing skills. They were composition courses, literary courses, and communications courses. Some of what I learned is still useful. Some of it I’ve had to unlearn.

The much more important training I got came through working with a group of Christians on some large writing projects. One of them had been a staff writer and editor for some of the major Christian publishing houses for many years. I was blessed with the opportunity to be personally mentored by him. He edited all of my work daily for three months. We spent many hours on the phone and of course going back and forth through editing notes, chat messages, etc.

At first, I was very resistant to the process because our views were so…

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Posted August 20, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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