Friday, October 31, 2008


For all my poet friends who are thinking of assembling some chapbooks of their work, there's a fine post on the Poetic Asides blog called "What makes a great chapbook?" It's actually a collection of responses to the question that Robert Brewer, the Poetic Asides' blogmeister, received from poets on the PA Facebook page.

And speaking of chapbooks, I have two for sale. You may not consider them 'great' - but they're mine and I feel like them a bit like I feel about my kids -- it's hard to be objective.

Calendar (2004). Regularly sells for $8.00 Cdn.
(I sold out the first print run and the reprinted edition has a slightly different cover)

Family Reunion (2007). Regularly sells for $17.00 Cdn.

Anyway, for you a good deal!

For a limited time you can have both for $20 (both U.S. or Canadian funds -- and that includes postage).

Email me to order.

Offer expires December 31, 2008.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a disturbing warning

A disturbing warning comes to Americans from an African pastor ("Fire In My Bones" newsletter from Lee Grady, Charisma Magazine - emphases mine):

Mbijiwe Mwenda (The Kenyan pastor, founder of Glory Cathedral Church in Nairobi) says we are being naive to ignore Barack Obama’s ties to a dangerous Kenyan politician....

Mwenda’s main concern: That Democratic presidential challenger Barack Obama has a cozy relationship with Raila Odinga, an avowed Marxist politician who now serves as Kenya’s prime minister. Obama, who made taxpayer-funded visits to Kenya in 2004, 2005 and 2006, campaigned for Odinga in 2006.

During public appearances in Kenya, Odinga introduced Obama as his cousin. But later a family member denied that claim, saying that Odinga and Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., simply came from the same village. Both Obama Sr. and Odinga are from the Luo tribe, Kenya’s third largest.

When Odinga ran for president of Kenya last year and lost by a slim margin, tribal violence erupted amid claims of voter fraud. About 150,000 people died (many were killed in machete attacks), hundreds of churches were burned and 600,000 villagers were displaced. The international community had to broker a peace deal, allowing Odinga to serve as prime minister while his opponent, Mwai Kibaki, was named president.

Today, Odinga hopes that Obama will win the White House on Nov. 4 to boost support for his bid to become president of Kenya in 2012.

Pastor Mwenda says he is amazed that Americans don’t seem concerned that Obama is tied to Odinga. He rattled off a list of facts that Charisma has verified:

Odinga was trained in communist ideology in Europe and holds Marxist views. “He even named his son Fidel Castro,” Mwenda says.

He has obvious ties to Muslim interests and even received funding for his presidential campaign from Libya. Although he officially claims to be an Anglican, Mwenda says, “[Odinga] has been very sympathetic to Muslims and some say he is a Muslim secretly.”

Odinga fits in nicely with Arab leaders’ plans for Africa. When they convened in Nigeria in 2001, they released a statement indicating that Kenya is to play a key role in spreading Islam throughout southern Africa. Says Mwenda: “Odinga is a dangerous man. A dictator.”

Odinga has promised to enact Sharia law in “Muslim declared regions” of Kenya—meaning that pork would be outlawed, women could not drive and crimes would be punished according to Islamic tradition.

Read entire...


1935 Hupmobile Coupe


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: THANKFUL (Things, People or Experiences You are Thankful For,...)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

werd nerd - univocalic

I've lately subscribed to A.Word.A.Day which sends me a just that -- an email containing a new word (and its meaning) five days a week.

That's how I got introduced to the word univocalic (yoo-niv-uh-KAL-ik) noun. It's a piece of writing that uses only one of the vowels. (It can also be used as an adjective - "Using only one vowel.")

Apparently "strengthlessness" is the longest one word univocalic.

Here's a challenge. How many words can you string together in a univocalic sentence?

My attempt: "Detergent Pete, the meek eel, rents even-keeled feet sets yet seeks
them well bent, prefers never-dented, the greener the better, beet red
the best."

But that's nothing. I just saw a 69-word univocalic sentence. Can anyone best that?

Monday, October 27, 2008

the black hole of the gospel

"Gospel" is a beige word, one of those words we read but it doesn't register because it's so common. It shouldn't be that way. For gospel" (euangelion), a word that means "good news," has significance to all of us. While in ancient Greek "gospel" referred to the reward given for bringing good news, in the New Testament it means the good news itself.

Good news about what? About God and humankind. About the promise of salvation and its fulfillment by the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

This month's feature at Rebecca Writes is the gospel. Every Tuesday and Friday in October she has been putting up links to posts from around blogland that refer to some aspect of the gospel.

The poem "Black Hole" does that.

I first did some reading around black holes years ago when one of the kids was researching a science project. The theory that matter and light swept into a black hole's vortex are lost to us forever remind me of what happened to sin when Jesus died on the cross.

"The darkness at the crucifixion" - Gustave Dore, 1865

"About noon darkness fell across the entire land..." Mark 15:33

Forbidden fruit’s magnetic lure,
crimson Jealousy, Murder,
consuming Lust,
that bangs down doors.

Fear, Conniving,
Lies – "She is my sister."
Complaints, Grumbling, Muttering
Demands: "We want a king."
Whining, Rebellion: "Who made you king?"
Gagging, Tormenting,
Killing truth-sayers.

Disease – rotting limbs,
glazed eyes, fever,
Demonized, rage-filled shrieks
Schemes, Betrayal, Mockery:
Curses, Spitting
"If you’re so wonderful
come down from the cross."

All vortexed that afternoon
in thick, heavy Evil.
Tear-your-hair-out Despair.
Darkness. Sin’s sum total
sucked into a black hole...

“It is finished.”

© 2007 - V. Nesdoly

Saturday, October 25, 2008

in the year of elections...

this interview with a politician has a familiar ring to it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Langford & Victoria

September 23 - 25

The last three days of our vacation the weather threw a tantrum. Happily for us, we'd planned to spend the time with friends in Victoria.

We did get a little reprieve from the rain now and again, when we drove and walked around Langford and Victoria.

These deer were grazing very close to where our friends live. They are not a favorite with the locals, especially not the gardeners, though they are pretty.

One day we went to Ogden Point for lunch and a walk around the outer harbour.

I caught this river animal (rat? or otter?), climbing around on the flotsam,

and the big west coast sky.

And then vacation time was over (sigh) and it was time to take the ferry back home to the mainland and all things ordinary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


... all by myself!


Thursday challenge

Next week: SHINY (Bright, Reflections, Polished, Glistening, Sparkle, Metal,...)

Englishman River Falls

September 22 (continued)

Our last stop of the day was Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.

Imagine the roar of water...

then the silence of the forest.

What a beautiful spot!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


September 22

On our way back from Port Alberni to Parksville, we drove through Coombs with its Old Country Market "Home of the goats on the roof."

Indeed, they still live on the roof, as they have done for who knows how long! The shot below shows that they actually graze on the roof of the building that houses the market.

This last shot was taken from the parking lot at the back of the building.

Also part of the complex is the strange Fengy market with these gigantic Buddha statues. (Who buys these?! - And how do they get them home?)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Port Alberni

September 22nd (a Tuesday - about a month ago!)

Midmorning we motored from Parksville to Port Alberni and ended up at Harbour Quay.

It was all quite fishy with a Gray's Whales mural,

a boat mural,

and this fountain.

At first I mistook Sir Eustace Hornswoggle for another tourist. But it seems he's a resident,

as is this ferocious looking carved eagle.

It was an overcast day, but still warm enough for lunch on the patio of the Water's Edge Bistro.

Someday we'd like to come back and board one of the passenger ferries that leave from Port Alberni for Barkley Sound and the Ucluelet/Broken Islands run. As describes it:

This passenger, mail and freight service has been a part of the West Coast for over 60 years. The Lady Rose and the Frances Barkley have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere rather reminiscent of yesteryear.

Join the crew on the Lady Rose for a day trip down the Alberni Inlet to Barkley Sound, and have a truly memorable experience. In the course of a day's trip the packet freighters drop mail, groceries, supplies and up to 100 passengers along the way at float homes and the Sechart Whaling Station - in the same manner as she did when she began her life on the B.C. Coast over 60 years ago.

The Frances Barkley spends her summers on the Port Alberni to Ucluelet/Broken Group Islands run. At times you'll definitely feel the motion of the ocean swells, but the better part of he journey through Barkley Sound is not as exposed as that experienced when you travel out of Gold River, on the MV Uchuck III. The trip makes for a pleasant outing in itself, or it can be a link for paddlers wishing to get to the Broken Group Islands.

Monday, October 20, 2008

get into character

The following challenge may be of interest to some of you artistes out there:

Author Switches Mediums to Host Virtual Film Festival

MINNEAPOLIS – Acclaimed poet and author David Athey is hosting a virtual Danny Gospel Film Festival in Palm Beach, FL. Participants are welcomed to submit their film interpretations of scenes from all but the last two chapters of Athey’s debut novel, Danny Gospel.

Entry Guidelines:
• Creatively read or perform a portion of the novel, DANNY GOSPEL
• Do not read or perform anything from the last two chapters of the novel
• The video must be between 3-5 minutes long
• Post the video on
• Email a link to your video on YouTube by noon, December 1, 2008, to
• Winner receives $100; several other prizes will be awarded.
• There will be a special big screen viewing of submissions (Date TBD)

Visit the Danny Gospel Facebook page, or the David Athey Facebook page, for more information.

About Danny Gospel
As a boy he performed concerts singing old-time hymns with his family and got so famous he’s still known around Iowa as Danny Gospel. But since then, things haven’t worked out quite the way he planned. And now Danny prays for just one thing: a normal, happy life.

What he gets instead is a kiss.

He wakes one morning to a perfectly lovely woman dressed in white who leans down, kisses him on the lips … and then disappears. The next moment, Danny finds himself launched into a quest to find this woman he’s sure is his true love. He is an everyday hero on anything but an everyday journey—dreaming impossible dreams and, no matter how much he must suffer, pursuing romance and heavenly glory.

About the Author / Film Festival Host
David Athey, a Midwesterner by birth, now teaches English and oversees the literary journal at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Athey has published poems, reviews, and short stories in numerous journals, including The Iowa Review, Oxford Magazine, and Harvard Review, and holds an MFA from Hamline University. He and his wife live in Palm Beach, Florida.

My mixed review of Danny Gospel is here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

four years?!

Today is promptings' fourth birthday!

My first post on October 19, 2004 has been followed by 1,377 others -- and I'm still finding things to say!

Thank you to all the visitors who have dropped by. It is an honor and privilege to have you read. I hope this blog has helped to make your day brighter, more beautiful, more interesting, and more meaningful.

And please come back again. I'll probably still be here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

steve bell concert

Steve Bell concert Oct. 17 at Peace Portal Alliance Church, Surrey, BC.
(Pianist extraordinaire Mike Janzen, guitar player and vocalist Jon Buller [some of his songs resemble the music of Chris Rice], Roy Salmond [talk about a music multi-tasker; throughout the evening he played several guitars, accordion, ukelele, percussion thingys and sang too], and Steve Bell.)

We attended the excellent Steve Bell concert last night. What fun!

The YouTube is characteristic of Bell's music - acoustic, feel-good, upbeat (usually) ballads.

He is currently promo-ing his new CD Devotion which has a slightly different feel to it. For one thing he's written none of the songs. Most are by his friend Gord Johnson, songs Steve describes on the album notes as "elegant worship songs." They were written for the Anglican church community of St. Benedict's Table in Winnipeg (where Steve attends).

Steve gave us a sampling last night. Liturgical, simple and catchy yet luminous, they are a wonderful contribution to the body of modern Christian music. Especially beautiful is "The Lorica" a rootsy adaptation of St. Patrick's Prayer (by Gayle Salmond).

We were invited to sing along with many of the songs. The fact that we were able to do so never having heard the tunes and lyrics before is testimony to how accessible they are.

Want a taste? Bell is offering a free mp3 download of "Praise the Father" from the new CD on his website.

There are more concerts happening in the area and around the country with new Signpost artist Kerri Woelke providing another listenable segment of the evening. So if you're free, hie yourself hither and get a ticket. You'll not be sorry.

You can hear more of Steve's music at
Steve Bell's MySpace
Steve Bell's FaceBook

Friday, October 17, 2008


Carrying on with vacation memories...

Monday, September 22

We reached our destination, Parksville, early Monday afternoon and were soon installed in the Sandcastle Inn, across from this delightful play spot (which we never visited - we'll have to come back someday with our grandbaby)

Lush baskets like this one decorated our patio.

We wasted no time finding Rathtrevor Beach, a place with lots of early '90s camping memories. It was still there in all its vastness, although on the afternoon of our visit the tide was in.

The next morning the tide was out exposing miles of sand with even the odd jellyfish.

A little browsing around town netted these murals.

All in all, Parksville was a lovely place to visit at the tail end of the holiday season with the summer rush of vacationers mostly over, but the beauty of summer lingering on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Autumn's Elephants


Thursday Challenge

Next week: HANDS (Young, Old, Sign Language, Fingers, Mittens, Rings, Fingernails, Handwriting,...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Kimberley at the Fit for Faith blog is running a series of posts on the fitness regimes of friends and fellow-writers. Today she features moi (yeah - I even gave away my age).

Campbell River

Monday, September 22

Monday morning we packed our things, checked out of the hotel, and hit the road.

As we approached Campbell River on Highway 19, we decided to stay on the old highway which follows the water (19A), rather than take the faster new road.

The morning was clear and crisp -- a perfect time to take in Campbell River's strung out sea side. When we noticed we were driving beside a rather nice walking path we pulled over and got out to stretch our limbs. On our walk we saw various driftwood sculptures. Most were weathered and though they'd seen better days, they were clever.

We were about to return to the car, with me congratulating myself on having stumbled across these beach treasures when we met a man wearing a Jesus t-shirt in the parking lot. We exchanged pleasantries, talked a bit about the art work and he asked if we'd seen this year's driftwood sculptures. They were still on display at the Arts Center, he assured us, which was up the road a little way.

We found them - and what fun. Here are some of the winners and contestants in the 2008 Campbell River Shoreline Arts Society 2008 Driftwood Carving Competition.

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