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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Working on the book

I've completely redone my opening to Bona Dea and the main idea of the story. I realized that what I had was fine for a short erotic story, but it needed to be toned down and have a different message for a novel. I'm happy with it so far. Up to 12,000 words so I'm kind of jumping the gun for NaNoWriMo, but the whole idea is to get to 50,000 words. I'll be happy to get to that milestone by the end of the month, but it'll take a bit more time to get it up to 100,000 by the time its ready for publication.
I still have The Fan Plan to work on and someday I'm going to write that novel on the life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, not to mention the sequel to Optimus. Wow so much to write!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Excerpt from Bona Dea


Bona Dea
Javan Tenebrae
(Pen Name)

“Skreee, Skreee.”

Steve hears the noise and looks up into the blue cloudless morning sky. An eagle rises on a thermal surveying the ground below. The man hears the bird’s screech again; stopping and like many of his kind over the centuries longs to be free from gravity and soar in the sky. More than that, he yearns for a simple way to find love. How easy it must be to fly up to a female eagle, flap your wings a few times and find a nest together. Of all the things he yearns for this most of all.

Earth Mother in the form of an eagle looks down on the man getting out of a car, she sees him looking at her and  feels his desire to join her. Something about the loneliness of the man touches her spirit. It is time? The bird screeches and circles over the apartment. The man stands like a statue shading his eyes watching as she flies out of sight.

Father Amun-Ra bestowed on her the power of love and happiness, but in his wisdom forbid her to have love and happiness in her own life;  knowing if she drank of her powers all would suffer being distracted by the one and forget the many. One of the creators she fights alongside Amun- Ra (Sun), and her brothers: Thoth (wisdom) and Horus (Pharoah) to build a peaceful world against the forces of Sekhmet (destruction) and his sons: Seth the desert, Ammit the destroyer and Apep the snake.

 The war between the forces of creation and destruction is eternal. Over the entire world they build thriving civilizations under different names where peace and prosperity reign on the foundation of love and happiness only to see the forces of destruction grip the hearts of men filled with lust and greed who fight wars for land, gold and slaves crushing all that the creators build. Amun-Ra and Thoth reassert their powers quickly through Horus, but the lust for gold and misery of slaves destroys love and happiness for many centuries and when the civilization is stable for her powers to once again hold sway for a brief moment there is harmony, then Sekhmet strikes again.

It grieves her that mortals are so easily led into destruction when all the creators wish is to touch the lives of mortals, see their love grow and the happiness of spending their lives together in peace and prosperity. Instead she watches them time and time again waste their lives marrying for titles, land or money and living miserable lives.

At times her despair becomes so great she assumes physical shape and joins with mortals to experience if only fleetingly what they feel hoping in this manner she can better know how to impart a lasting love and happiness. Amun-Ra warns her during these times that love and happiness is for mortals and when the one she loves dies her sorrow will wreak havoc for all time so she guards her heart and joins with men and women to feel their love, but somehow this isn’t enough to learn happiness.

One day Apep hears the warnaing and scoffs, “You aren't denied love and happiness because they will make you weak. Amun-Ra is afraid possessing the gifts you bestow will make you stronger than He and you will rule the heavens. He fears a Queen of Heaven and a world filled with mortals in love and happiness for then there would be no one to worship any god but you.”     

The snake’s words eats at her for millennia. She knows he's not to be trusted and is the father of all lies, but they wedge in her heart doubt and curiosity. Then she finds a man to love: Beautiful, smart and artistic she lives with him, loves him and is engulfed by passion. Not merely the physical feeling of oneness, but an all-consuming devotion to one man that makes him her god.  He paints a portrait of her earthly manifestation becoming his most famous work. She loves him with all her heart and when he dies as Amun-Ra warned her sorrow becomes a pit of such despair she loses the power of becoming corporeal and is condemned to remain spirit with limited powers to touch those she was created to influence. Her portrait lives on and her spirit watches hoping that someone who owns it would find a way to bring her back. Napoleon slept with it in his room, but being consumed with war and plunder he never knew she was near. Now it’s behind glass hanging on a wall for small minded mortals to gawk at it. Songs are written about her face and smile, but they miss know the spirit who longs to return.

She gains enough strength to become an eagle and enjoys the feeling of blood coursing through veins, breathing air, mating and giving birth. Ra’s rays are warming her again and evaporating the hold of Anubis. For a hundred years she searches and finds one small area of Earth with receptive minds to listen and share her message and slowly the chains on women begin to break. A woman writes a book showing the damage to the human spirit by slavery and other brave women working to end slavery begin taking the battle to Ammit and Apap letting them know their days of unbridled rule are ending. She continues to use women who will listen with their hearts to tell her message of love and happiness. It is a long struggle for women to vote, cast off pounds of clothing, and finally to demand the right to control their minds and bodies. My strength is being restored. There is still much to do. I need followers to spread love and happiness far and wide. Centuries of seeing love and happiness being cast aside causing wars more terrible than imagined when she grew weak and knowing when they are missing from most people’s lives while Sekhmet rules unchecked. Ra and Thoth can’t balance the conflict between creation and destruction without her, and she failed them. Women listen and respond, but I need men as worshippers too; maybe this man who is so lonely and desperate will call me forth and bring me back to power.

*

Smirking at his crazy thought about just flapping wings and nesting with a woman, How the hell will I ever find a woman? Taking out his keyes, I'm bushed.
Steve was friends with girls in high school, but never found one who was interested in anything other than saying hello, general chit-chat and goodbye. He wasn’t a top athlete or even an egghead; one of the many of average looks, height, intelligence and ability. No one notices the C student. Mom tried to get him to ask a girl out on a date, but his generation hangs out. He took Sandy Gentry to the prom, but he and two buddies chipped in for a limo and the six riding to and from didn’t give him much more of an opportunity than a good night kiss at her front door.

One semester of college ended when he didn’t make a high enough GPA to maintain a lottery scholarship. Working a graveyard shift as a night watchman leaves little time for socializing; he’s at work when women are at bars wanting to be picked up. Sometimes on his night off he’ll get lucky and spring for a motel room, but it’s like they’re both scratching an itch and there’s nothing more meaningful. The women with good jobs use him as a human dildo, but would never give someone with his low level of employment the time of day, and the women who are at his low level of employment want to trade up.

A few of his high school buddies meet at a nearby park where they play touch football and two on two basketball on Saturday mornings and Monday nights watch sports taking turns hosting beer and snacks. He was the embarrassment of the group living at home and always going to their place never his. Finally in an apartment it feels like a rite of passage and in two weeks they’ll be coming here.

At home he wasn’t alone. There was always Mom, Dad and his two younger sisters, but three days in his own place and the walls feel like their crashing in. Lowering his head to unlock the door something inside him yearns to find a woman to love and be happy with. There has to be more than mere existence.

Unpacked boxes; clothing and other items greet him on his couch, bed and chairs. Glare from the windows makes everything glow. Closing the blinds, I need to put up curtains. Tossing a bunch of stuff off the couch he plops down with his breakfast burrito and orange juice, unburying the remote he starts watching the idiot box to unwind enough for sleep.

Graveyard shifts are the pits. Heading to bed, throwing more stuff off and starting to lie down he sees a beautiful woman standing in the window: pale skin almost shimmering, straight reddish brown hair dropping down from her bent over position, high firm breasts, thin body and long legs.

“Well, hello,” he says. “Who are you?”
She disappears.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

  • I posted some pictures with different views of Sandia Mountain taken from three different golf courses at Captain's Log.
  • Daughter is busy actually making money working in the campaign, too bad the pay check ends with the election, but hopefully this will give her enough experience to find meaningful employment. Keeping fingers crossed.
  • Trying to keep two vehicles that are over ten years old running is proving very expensive lately, but still much cheaper than buying newer. With four drivers in the family going in different directions and only three vehicles is a logistics problem in itself, but when one of them is down it turns into a  nightmare.
  • I'm turning a short story into a novel for National Novel Write Month (NaNoWriMo). I did this about six years ago and it resulted in Human Sacrifices. Now available at smashwords.com and on the provided link at Amazon for the very reasonable price of only 99 cents. Bona Dea, the one I'm working on is up to 10,000 words right now with half a month to reach 50,000. I'm not ready to post the opening yet, but will in a few days for my few loyal readers.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Math and Science

On last nights policital debate and the hype that this would be a game changer for Romeny. Come on, the only televised political debate that decided an election was in 1960 and that was because Nixon's face melted on TV, everyone who heard it on radio felt Nixon won. This election hinges not on debates but blind faith over reason and reality -- lies vs facts. Two thoughts to make my point:
  1. On the morning news they showed Obama repeating Clinton's point that the Republican plan of further reductions in Billionaire taxes plus closing loopholes will ballance the budget, and the arithmatic doesn't add up. (Paul Krugman's been saying this ever since it came out)
  2. Bruce has a post about Oklahoma Baptist University hiring as head of its religion department a guy who is a "Young Earth" theologian and the ongoing fight with religious right dunderheads who keep advocating Creation Science or Intellegent Design over Astronomy, Geology, Biology, Zoology, Antrhopology, Achaeology and a host of other ologies.
Christian fundamentalists have been fighting against science from the beginning. Charles Darwin's Origen of Species and Descent of Man and the theory of evolution started the war against science which is ongoing and will never cease as long as Christian fundamentalists continue in their idiotic insistence on a literal interpretation of books in the Bible like Genesis and Revelation that were purposely written metaphorically and symbolically.
Science is at its bedrock mathematics. All science is a numbers game, they simply add empiricism (scientific method) to their particular discipline. So why do so many Christian fundamentalists have a problem understanding that the Republican plan doesn't add up? They've been brainwashed by their preachers and professors and home schooled or private religious schools to be skeptical of math. They've been taught that Carbon 14 dating, which relies on the same math that produced the atomic bomb is wrong, so trust their preachers and what they say about the origens of the universe based on the Bible.  When Romney and the Republicans say "Trust me" they've been brainwashed to place their faith in God's political party instead of arithmatic. Their preachers said so.

The religious right does use math, and Blind Faith in their childish literal interpretation of the Bible to do great harm to education and our country. Why do these morons still insist that the universe is only 6,000 years old.  The basis for this is the computations of Bishop Ussher a17th century theologian who added up all the ages of the patriarchs listed in Genesis until Abraham. He then calculated back from the birth of Jesus and settled on creation happening in 4004 BC.
This theory of creation was refuted by many theologians but I like this one written in 1890 by Professor William Henry Green in his Biblioteca Sacra:
We conclude that the Scriptures furnish no data for a chronological computation prior to the life of Abraham; and that the Mosaic records do not fix and were not intended to fix the precise date either of the Flood or of the creation of the world.
For those who insist "God said, I believe it, that settles it" guess what, God never said he created the universe in 4004BC or that those ages added together meant anything; Bishop Ussher did. Do you believe God or Bishop Ussher?
There is no scriptural or common sense reasoning to support the mathematical calculations of Ussher that God created the universe only 6,000 years ago even if you believe as I do that He did. Many Christians believe both the Bible and science. To us evolution is how God did it and is continuing to work His creation. There is no conflict between faith and reality or between the Bible and science because we interpret the scriptures metaphorically and symbolically like the reasoning beings we are:
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. I Corinthian 13:1 NASV.
Only children and the feeble minded interpret everything litterally. Think of Abbot and Costello's classic comedy routine "Who's on first" why is it so funny? Because Costello can't get past his literal interpretation of the word 'who' to figure out that it's the players name.

Ultimately this war on science is doing irreparable harm.
  • It weakens the message of Christ by limiting His power. Who are we to say He had to create the universe in only this way and at only this time?
  • It limits the Bible to only one possible way to read it limiting the power of the Bible for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. II Timothy 3:16b NASV
  • It separates all Christians in the eyes of our culture and country and weakens our witness about the saving power of Jesus to change people lives, because the lost see us as out of touch with reality.
  • Insisting on adding creationism or intellegent design to public school curriculums paints all Christians as childish or stupid and anti-science, anti-education, and no sane person would believe a word any Christian says about salvation destroying our witness.
  • It is making generations of our children intellectually retarded and unable to think for themselves.
  • Fundamentalist Christians are being used by greedy preachers and politicians in an unholy alliance in the Republican party to squeeze more and more money out of our economy and because they have been brainwashed that evolution is evil and science is of the devil they have their minds made up so don't confuse them with facts.
Romney and Ryan can lie over and over again on the campaign trail, in their advertisements and in the debates and the Fundies will eat their words like cotton candy. Unfortunately if Romney gets elected all of us will get stuck with tooth decay.