Showing posts from May, 2022

Wendell Berry and Youth Fiction

Back in the fall my wife made a passing comment to me. "I got this book from the library. Hannah Coulter. I think you might like it." Little did I know. This innocent remark has packed quite the punch. I was introduced to the world of Wendell Berry , and subsequently into Wendell Berry's fictional world of Port Williams. I haven't looked book. If you are unfamiliar with Wendell Berry's works, he is perhaps best known for his essays on preserving true farming, community, rural living, and all things common sense. However, he is also an accomplished novelist. So much so that you could swear his fictional Port Williams, and all its residents, are real.  Little did I know: Part 2. In the fall, as I was reading Wendell Berry, I wrote my first book. Disconnected: The Broken Path . It is a novel for ages 10 and up, and imagines a day when the internet crashes, and people are forced to live (or survive, I should say) in the real world.  Looking back, I see just how much

Those Nostalgic Hard Times

  Last year we went on an epic family vacation . At least it was epic to us, seeing as we don't get out much. We hit up the Rocky Mountains and spent a glorious week and a half camping.  I love the mountains. I frequently dream about the mountains. When I'm not at the mountains I want to be at the mountains. But I also could never live at the mountains. It sounds like some tragic Shakespearean love story. However, you may as well bury me in an abandoned mine a mile below ground if I were to live by the mountains, cause that's how my head would feel without an open prairie sky to look at. Nevertheless, the mountains are the best place to visit. They called us over last year, and we gladly obliged.  It was hard. Very hard. Borderline too hard. At the time our four children were ages 1-9. The daily temperature hit well above 30 degrees C (which is a nightmare for Saskatchewanians). There were long drives, troubles with food (never expect me to remember to pack frozen meat at 4

The Greatest Evil to Befall a Soul, Except Sin, Is...

I once went to a look-out spot which presented a stunning view of the Saskatchewan River. However, before I could get to the actual look-out spot, I had to stroll pass a fenced-in storage area. At that moment, there happened to be a deer within the fenced in area. Amused, I stood and watched. The deer looked up and saw me, and then utterly freaked out. In desperation to escape, he started ramming himself against the chain-link fence. With great violence he smashed his body towards the metal, harder and harder, all to no avail. Not wanting the animal to kill itself (which it surely would have), I quickly went out of sight. What happened afterwards? I imagine the deer calmed down, remembered where it was, and sheepishly walked out of the fenced in area by using the massive opening just a few feet away. * * * The deer story provides an example of what, according to St. Francis de Sales, is the greatest evil to befall a soul (besides sin). He is speaking of disquietude . Disquietude is as

"You're Not a Mother Yet!"

  Some eleven years ago my wife Becca and I entered a church on a fine Sunday morning. It was Mother's Day, and the local K of C were passing out carnations to all the moms. It was sort of a big moment for us. You see, Becca was obviously pregnant. There was no hiding the fact. It was her first Mother's Day as a mother. We approached the man passing out flowers in the back foyer. I asked for a carnation for Becca. The man looked at Becca, at me, and then back at Becca, before shouting, "You're not a mother yet!" No carnation for Becca. Whatever. This man was a nut, and certainly didn't represent the church we were attending. The blame is on him.  I can imagine this man as the Gospel is read by a priest:  A pregnant Elizabeth comments to the pregnant Mary,   "Why am I so honoured, that the  mother  of my Lord should come to me?" The man shouts out from the pew: "She's not a mother YET!" Never mind.  We are approaching another Mother'

Free Printables for Disconnected: The Broken Path

  “ This story came as a wonderful surprise—I was expecting a children's story (which I got), but the truths it touches on brought me to tears several times. The ending was special and beautiful.” - From a review of Disconnected: The Broken Path To purchase Disconnected: Canada: USA: