Tag Archives: god

The Accounting

KoolauI don’t really think of myself as a poet, but sometimes when I’m just sitting looking at the mountains or the ocean thoughts just come to me; quite often in rhyme and meter. Because I always have a notebook and pencil with me I jot down those thoughts and smooth them out a little when I get home.

accounting-calculator-9-1241870-1600x1200The Accounting
by
Paul J. Stam

I look to the peaks and I see the glory,
I notice the trees and I hear the story.
You may not think I hear God’s voice
But how one meets God is a personal choice.

I walk a trail through trees, ferns and brush.
A breeze breaks through with a spiritual rush,
And I stopped right there to hear what is said.
Wanting to know what is living or dead.

Breathing alone does not make up your life,
There are breathers who spread discord and strife.
Avoid them as much as you possibly can,
For clinging to love is the far better plan.

And when at the end you must give an account
You won’t impress God by how loud you shout.
For the hurting did you have a kind word?
Or said you things that shouldn’t have been heard?

It’s not all about how much you can get,
Or if in this life you are very well set,
But with the hungry did you share your bread,
And say the kind things that had to be said.

There are some pious who are meaner than sin
Who hate you for not going to church they’re in,
Don’t let them tell you you are wrong
Just because you don’t sing their song.

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Wishing you all the best and Aloha – pjs/

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churchstepsBody On the Church Steps – A who-done-it that will keep you wondering to the end. Everybody is suspect, well, not everybody, but a whole lot of them and the police don’t seem to be to interested in solving the murder real quickly. I wonder why. Body On the Church Steps is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

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DES VOY cvr

Desperate Voyage, is a World War II story of courage, love, murder and an enemy attack on a British freighter. It is available from All Thing That Matter Press and on Amazon. The Kindle edition is only $5.99,

It is based on my recollections of crossing the South Atlantic as a boy during WW II.

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is a sea adventure. You know right from the beginning who the bad guys are. Can Chris escape the sinking of his boat and the death they have planned for him? Murder Sets Sail is available from Indigo Sea Press and on Amazon. The Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]The Telephone Killer – He calls a head of time to tell the TV station who his next victim will. It will keep you reading even after you have figured out who the killer is. The Telephone Killer is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

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R&R cover thumbC and G cov 1a smallTwo historical novels about colonial Congo where I was born and grew up are: Of Rulers and Ruled and Of Chiefs and Giants. The period covered is from 1885 when Leopold II of the Belgians claimed more than 900,000 million square miles of Central Africa as his private domain until independence in 1965. These books are available All Things That Matter Press and from Amazon. The Kindle  and Nook versions are only $5.99.
 
Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

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Words that Invade My Mind

And fold their tent like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

algerian nomads

Now where the hell does that come from? I know it’s from some famous poem and I could probably Google that line and find out all about it: the poem, the author, and all that kind of stuff, but in my life it came from my father. He is responsible for all the silly lines that come in to my somewhat aged mind.

When I was a kid my Dad read to us three boys every night before he “tucked us in.” It usually started with a poem. Then he would read us a story. He loved Rudyard Kipling and he read us Captains Courageous, Kim, The Jungle Book and all kinds of adventure stories, a few pages an evening. Continue reading

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If At First You don’t…

You know the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed; Try, try again.” Or maybe you are more familiar with the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, throw in the towel.” Or maybe you like, “If at first you don’t succeed, you probably shouldn’t have tried it in the first place.”

Poseidon, Greek god of water. The Roman water ...

Now you may be wondering what in the world a picture of Poseidon has to do with “If at first you don’t succeed.” Well nothing really, but since this post is about Poseidon, I thought I’d introduce you to him early.

What I was trying to do was a sculpture of Poseidon, or Neptune if you prefer, as part of the Hawaiian mountains. After all, the mountains came up out of the sea, which is Poseidon’s domain. Continue reading

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Murder Sets Sail – Excerpt 4

Sailboat red Cov 2 thmb

Murder Sets Sail coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

In excerpt 1 you met Chris. He’s the poor sap who desperately wants a charter.

In excerpt 2 and 3 you were introduced to the bad guys of the story. They are richer than God and more evil than Satan. They could buy a yacht of any size they want, but they need a couple of boats that are not in any way connected to them to bring in a shipment of China-white.

In this excerpt meet the other chump, but he won’t be around for very long. He owns the second boat the bag guys are going to appropriate for this little job.

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Alone in the cockpit Jimmy started thinking about Mary. He’d thought of her a lot since leaving Hong Kong. They had corresponded since he left, exchanging three or four letters a year. But it was not until this trip that he started wondering if she would like to join him. He knew she hadn’t married. They were still close enough he was sure she would have mentioned if she was involved. They’d had a lot once. It had been the situation that had driven them apart, not their feelings for each other. It would be nice to have Mary always alongside him, to share things with. She had always been one he could depend on.

When he got to Honolulu he would write her and ask if she wanted to join him for a while. She might like this kind of life and decide to stay on indefinitely. The more he thought about it, the more pleasant the idea became, and the more possible it seemed. It suddenly became a desperate necessity to write and mail the letter as soon as possible. Continue reading

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Live out loud

Life is too deep for words, so don’t try to describe it, just live it. -C.S. Lewis

Today started out like any other.  I was up and at the computer before anyone else in the house had even opened an eye.  There was stuff I needed to do, stuff I really should do, stuff I wanted to do, and the other stuff.

I started with the first two categories.  Since I am self-employed and work from home, by 6 a.m. I had updated a client’s web site, checked my work e-mail, and started a blog post.  I finished off my pot of coffee and showered once I knew I would be able to tell the body soap from the hair conditioner.  I even considered taking the dog for a walk before it got too dang hot outside.

That’s when it happened.  That’s when things got goofy.

“Psst.  Got a minute?”  It was a male voice, whispering.

Looking around, I didn’t see anyone.  And since the voice lacked a distinct Texas-drawl, I could safely assume my husband wasn’t the owner of voice.  The voice being male, I could also safely assume the voice didn’t belong to either of my children, them both being daughters and all.

“Pssst.  Over here,” the voice repeated.

“Um, God?  Is that you?”

“Yep.  Nice of you to remember.”

I grimaced.  “What can I do for you?”

“We need to talk.”

Gulp.  “We do?”

“Yep.”

“I’m a little busy.  Is this going to take along time.  I have to have this blog post done today you see. . . .”

“And I have a Universe to see to, so I promise to make it quick.”

Gulp.

“You’re seriously forgetting some things.  I know you don’t much care for change, but really, Nichole.  You’re taking it a little far.”

“What do you mean I don’t like change?  I’ve been considering a new hairstyle.”

“And those boxes in your living room?”

“Oh, those aren’t mine.  The kid is going to college next month.  But you probably know that, don’t you?”

“Yep.  But you aren’t taking it very well.”

“She’s my baby!  Do you know what’s like to lose your baby?  Oh, yeah, I guess you do.”

“I never said it would be easy.”

“It’s just that, well, she’s going to leave on her adventure.  She’s growing up and will be starting a life, an adventure, a journey, all on her own.  I want her to be happy and healthy and successful in whatever she decides to do.”

“Yep.”

“I’m so proud of her.  And so worried about her.”

“Did you tell her that?”

“Tell her?”

“Yep.  Tell her.”

“Okay, I promise to tell her just as soon as she wakes up.”

“Good.  Now about that shirt.”

“My shirt?  It says ‘Live Out Loud.’  I got it when I went to visit my parents.”

“Yep.  But are you doing it?”

“Visiting my parents?  No, I’m at home.  Oh!  You mean living out loud.  Well, I’m a bit shy you know.”

“There’s plenty of ways to be loud.  And plenty of ways to live.”

“Yeah, I suppose there are. . .”

“She knew that.”

“She?  Knew?  My kiddo is just sleep . . . .  Oh, you mean Jolee.  Did you have to take her?”

“It was her time.  She was tired of fighting.”

“Lung cancer.  She didn’t deserve that.”

“You know better?”

“Sorry.  But I will miss her.  I already miss her.  Her celebration of life is this afternoon.”

“I know.”

“God, I’m not sure I can go.  I really don’t like funerals.”

“Celebration.  Of.  Life.  It’s BYOB, remember.”

“Yeah, but. . . .”

“Her family should know you love her.  Her family should know they aren’t the only ones who will miss her.”

“I suppose.  It’s hard, though.  I’m about to cry just thinking about it.”

“I know.  Jolee understands.”

“Of course she does.  She was one of the most understanding people I even met.”

“Learn from her.”

“Excuse me?  Learn from her?  You took her, remember?”

“Live out loud.  Learn from Jolee. What do you admire about her?”

“Her humor.  Her ability to laugh at herself.  The way she always looked on the bright side of everything.”

“So do it.  Honor her by emulating those things you admire in her.”

“I’m not sure I can be as easy going as she was.  You just didn’t give me that skill.”

“Work on it.  But didn’t you also admire the way she told people how important they were?”

“Well, yes, but I’m not very mushy.  I get embarrassed when people thank me in public.”

“Work on it.”

“Yeah, but—”

“No buts.  Do it.  Besides, it’s better to give those messages in person rather than have to go through Me.”

“True.  I promise I’ll work on it.”

“Good.  Start now.  Remember those things you thought you needed to accomplish today?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t.  Move those to the ‘should do’ list.  Every day there needs to be one thing on your ‘must do’ list.  Just one.”

“Just one?”

“Just one.  Live out loud.  Tell people how much they mean to you.  Make the world a better place.  Laugh.  Don’t worry about being embarrassed.  Make sure the people you love know that you love them.  Live.  Out.  Loud.  The rest is icing on the cake.”

“Live out loud.  Got it.”

“And, Nichole?”

“Yes, God?”

“Start now.”

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MY RECENT PHONE CONVERSATION WITH GOD ABOUT MY BOOK

My hotline to God...Dial 1-800-... A few days ago I phoned God to talk to him about my novel, The Phantom Lady of Paris.

Upon hearing my voice, he sighed, “Well… well…well, it’s about time, Calvin. This is Calvin Davis I’m talking to, isn’t it?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good to hear your voice again. For a long while, Cal’, I thought you’d lost my number.”

“Well, to be honest, sir, I did misplace it a couple of times. But you know how that goes.”

“Indeed I do. I’ve certainly heard that story often enough. Fact is, I’ve heard it more time than even I can count, and I can count beyond infinity. Anyway, it has been a long while.”

“‘It really doesn’t seem that long.”

“Oh? You don’t call a ten year unexplained intermission in our conversation a long while?”

“Well, that all depends on what yardstick you use in measuring time.”

“Meaning?”

“If you use the universal clock, the one that calculates the age of the cosmos and beyond, then ten years is a mere speck. But if you use the clock of the earth as your measuring tool, a decade is indeed a sizeable chunk. So, when you say I haven’t contacted you in ‘a long while,’ it’s all relative, isn’t it?”

“Cal’?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You’re quite good at flipping words upside down and pulling verbal rabbits out of hats, aren’t you?”

“What are you trying to say?”

“Never mind. Look, Cal’, I’m sorta busy right now so if you could get to the point. I’d appreciate it. You see, running a universe keeps me jumping, especially dealing with some of the problems of Earth. Seems my tenants there are constantly trying to tear up my property – blow it up, poison it, you name it. As the landlord, I may be forced to evict them, and without the usual thirty day notice, I might add. I’m at my wits end. What do you do with tenants who are either destroying your property or inventing new ways of killing each other, then dreaming up excuses for using their newly discovered inventions? Anyway, tell me, why’d you call?”

“It’s kind of a long story.”

“Long, you say? Long by universal time, Cal’, long by Mars’ time, Jupiter time, terra time, Saturn ti–”

“I…I…I got your point, sir. You don’t have to go on with that.”

“Good…good. I’m glad we’re over the time hurdle. So, how can I help you? What’s on your mind?”

“Well, you remember many years ago I came to you and told you I had a dream. It was a dream that would define my life, the thing I wanted to do more than anything on the planet, no, more than anything in…the universe.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“I told you I wanted to write a novel. And I gave you the reason why: I hoped to pen a work that would resonant with that mysterious something, whatever it is, which resides in the human heart. I wanted to pen a work that would enrich the reader’s life and make him or her more compassionate and a better human. “

“Yes, Cal’, I remember…in fact, I remember it as if it were yesterday. And do you recall what I said to you then?”

“You told me you would make the creation of my novel my life’s assignment…the sole reason for my being on Planet Earth.”

“And was it?”

“After that conversation with you, yes, it was. In fact, I lived for the writing of my book, and, often, almost died for it: working constantly on it, night and day, before I went to my job, after I returned, laboring into the loneliness of dawn, losing sleep, almost ruining my health – writing and rewriting until I was convinced that certain passages would flow like word sonatas.”

“I’m proud of you.”

“Proud of me for doing what? Almost killing myself?”

“No, for doing what a lot of men never learn to do…l-i-v-e, live.”

“I don’t follow you.”

“Look, until a man discovers something noble beyond the restricting strait jackets of self and ego, something he is willing to die for, he has not learned to live and will never live until he makes that discovery.”

“Oh…I catch your drift. Anyway, I finished the novel, and a woman in New York bought an e-book version of it, read it and e-mailed me. In her e-mail she cataloged the things she found in the volume. She said my book had touched her heart and changed her life. In a word, The Phantom Lady did for her everything I set out for it to do. I was elated. Later, a Maryland reader placed a review of the novel on Amazon in which she said, in part, that after reading The Lady she now questioned many assumptions she once gladly accepted. Getting a reader to begin asking questions, what writer could wish for more? Oh, happy day.”

“I’m proud of you, Cal’. Good job. So, if everything is going so well, why are you calling me?”

“Well, you remember our original agreement, don’t you? You said you’d allow me to live until I finished the book and then to find just one reader who saw in it what I was trying to do and told me I had done it successfully.”

“Sure, I remember.”

“What I’m trying to say is, you’ve kept your part of the contract and I do understand that now you’re within your legal rights to…you know…pull the plug on me.”

“That’s true. So, what’s your point?”

“Well, I was wondering if it were possible for you to extend the terms of our agreement so I could stick around long enough to see if The Lady will touch hundreds, thousands, even millions of lives and change them for the better.”

“Look, Cal’, this is a most unusual request. Nobody in all the millions of years I’ve had this job asked ME to alter the terms of a celestial agreement. It’s unprecedented. I’m going to have run this past the lawyers in my legal department. And to be honest, I’m a little short handed in the number of lawyers in Paradise. I think we have only two out of the thousands who’ve been in that profession on earth. You see, most lawyers when they die go to – how can I put this delicately? – they go to a legal jurisdiction where barbecuing humans has become an art form, if you get my meaning.”

“I get it and let me commend you: you phrased it quite delicately.”

“Thank you. Anyway, with my lawyer shortage up here being what it is, I think I’m going to go ahead and grant you the extension you requested.”

“Thank you, sir. An extension for how long?”

“Well, I’ll get back to you on that.”

“Are you going to send me some kind of sign, you know, some…some indicator?”

“Well, let’s play it this way. You go on living your life as usual, and if you don’t hear from me, my answer is a positive one, but if you wake up one morning with a sudden chest pain you’ll know I’m getting ready to flip your switch.”

“Fair enough.”

“Oh, incidentally, there is one way you, on your own, can delay the time I pull your plug.”

“How’s that?”

“Stop gulping down so many of those Big Macs. And swear off pigs’ feet and chicken drowned in bubbling lard.”

“What about McDonald’s French fries?”

“Well, a small order is OK.”

“Small? How do you define ‘small,’ God?”

“Cal’, don’t play those word games with me again. As I told you I’m busy: I have a universe to run.”

“Of course, right…sorry, sir. Oh, by the way, I wanted to say that up to this point my life has been a struggle.

It’s had its…ups and downs.”

“You’ve just described the life of everyone, from a king to a clown. The secret is…”

“Yes, sir. What’s the secret?”

“The secret is, see the darkness, yes, but always, Cal’, always think the light.”

“Yeah, good advice. that works.”

“Anyway, glad you called, Cal’. And ah…goodbye.”

“Goodbye? I…I wish you wouldn’t phrase it quite that way, sir.”

“Oh, I see what you mean. So, until the next time we talk, OK?”

“Much better.”

“And try not to misplace my number again, Cal’.”

“I won’t. I got it memorized. Oh, by the way…I see the last three digits of your number are 8-9-0. Would you mind if I played that number in the lotto tomorrow?”

“Wait a minute, Cal’. Let me see if I got this right. You want me to give my blessing to your taking part of my telephone number to use in your gambling active –”

“Click.”

“Hello…God…God, are…are you still there? That’s strange; we got cut off. Wonder how that happened. Ah, hello…hello.”

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Interview: Mortals, Gods, and a Muse, Aphrodite

Interviewer: What’s your name?

Aphrodite: Depends on whom you ask.

Interviewer: I’m asking you

Aphrodite: I am Aphrodite, Goddess of love

Interviewer: What would others call you?

Aphrodite: Sherry called me Star, thinking she could just make up a name for me.

Interviewer: Why didn’t you tell her your name was Aphrodite?

Aphrodite: When I tried to talk, she couldn’t hear me. It was very frustrating.

Interviewer: She couldn’t hear you? You were quiet?

Aphrodite: Idiot, no! She physically couldn’t hear me. The words were coming out of my mouth and she looked at me as if it was my problem?

Interviewer: Okay you rude goddess, what is your role in Sherry’s story?

Aphrodite: If I still had my powers, you’d be a frog right now. I, of course, had to fix her little love life. How was I supposed to know she was his true love?

Interviewer: Sherry was whose true love?

Aphrodite: Lysander’s, of course. The Eros family line. Don’t you understand anything?

Interviewer: I understand that talking to you is like talking to a stubborn mule. Let’s take this one step at a time. Who is Lysander?

Aphrodite: Lysander was the last male born to the Eros family line.

Interviewer: Good, now we are getting somewhere. So, you made a love match of Sherry and Lysander since you are the goddess of Love?

Aphrodite: Not me! They did that all on their own. Well, he did that from Hades. I took away the love of Eros, God of Love, and kind of cursed the family and well…I don’t want to talk about that.

Interviewer: Well, please sit down and stop pacing around the room. We can talk about something else.

Aphrodite: Fine! I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Sherry, the insufferable twit.

Interviewer: So what did you do to the Eros family?

Aphrodite: You said we wouldn’t talk about that.

Interviewer: I didn’t know the Goddess of Love could shoot flames from her eyes. So, what would you like to talk about?

Aphrodite: I thought I was here to talk about me, not them!

Interviewer: If you don’t want to talk about their love life, how about yours?

Aphrodite: I have no love life since Eros put me in that stupid box. He really is a hot head you know.

Aphrodite: You’re calling him a hothead? Um, I mean, so… why did he put you in a box?

Aphrodite: I said I don’t want to discuss that. I’m done.

Interviewer: Where did she go? She just disappeared. Well, I guess this interview is over. Note to self: remove Sherry Duncan and Suzette Vaughn off my Christmas list for this.

 

Eros: Thank Zeus she’s gone, Miss…Miss, please snap out of it.

Interviewer: Oh my, it’s warm in here. I’m feeling a little dizzy

Eros: I get that all of the time. You’ll be fine in a moment.

Interviewer: You promise? I’d like to know how you’re going to make it fine?

Eros: Stay on task now Miss…you were asking about Sherry and Xander?

Interviewer: Ohh yes, those people. Okay, Sherry and Lysander, but first, please tell me your name? You look like a god.

Eros: I am a god. You want an interview do you not?

Interviewer: Interview? I can think of better things to do with our time together. Sorry. You’re a little distracting. Was that your girlfriend that just poofed out of here?

Eros: My ex by about three millennia.

Interviewer: So you’re single?

Eros: Yes my dear, I am, but we are not here for me, are we?

Interviewer: We can be.

Eros: I am getting nowhere here.

Interviewer: You could be.

Eros: Now listen here. I came to talk to you, not for you to be looking at me like that.

Interviewer: How could you love that vicious Goddess? Sorry, I mean, how did she get out of the box? And is there a way we can put her back in… forever?

Eros: I could put her back but she is serving a new purpose. Xander let her out, he figured out the riddle to the box, so he was the one to break the curse.

Interviewer: So that’s where Sherry comes in? She had to put her back?

Eros: Well the way it was supposed to go, Aphrodite was to find Sherry and lead her to Xander. But there were… complications, and well…Xander ended up in Hades.

Interviewer: Aphrodite sent him there didn’t she, that bit.. er.. bites. That bites.

Eros: Well in a way, yes, and then it was up to Sherry to bring him back

Interviewer: How did Sherry get him out?

Eros: She had to figure out how to open the box herself.

Interviewer: Did she shove Aphrodite in it when she got it open?

Eros: No, she got her second chance with Xander, which we all should know, second chances at love don’t always happen, and still the story didn’t end there. For once Aphrodite was smart and stayed far away.

Interviewer: Anything else you want to tell me, perhaps over dinner?

Eros: And drinks. Have you ever seen Mount Olympus in the fall?

 

Mortals, Gods, and a Muse written by Suzette Vaughn

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