A Conversation With Uriel

Uriel and I are waiting at a bus stop.

Me (singing): Bum-bum-bum, another one rides the bus . . .

Uriel: No! Bites the dust.

Me: Oh, right.

Uriel: Are there any dustarians around here?

Me: Dustarians? . . . I see, you mean people who only eat dust.

Uriel: Wait, I forgot. Definitely not good eats.

Me: That's true.

Uriel: Because why?

Yet another Uriel anecdote

One of Uriel's inexplicable hobbies is reading wikis about video games. He was doing that while I was cooking dinner, when suddenly I hear a distress call from the living room.

"Oh, help, help! Imma, come back!"

I came back to the living room. "What is it?"

"This page is making you sad!" He meant the page was making him sad. He still has some pronoun trouble.

"The web page?" I said. "What's wrong with it?"

"It's all stubby!"

I looked at his computer. Sure enough, This article is a stub . . .

Free to a good home

Has anyone ever written Father Brown vs Cthulhu? Chesterton and Lovecraft seem to have compatible worldviews, and it's not just the xenophobia -- well, actually, it's mostly the xenophobia. Read these lines from "The Wrong Shape":

"The colours are intoxicatingly lovely; but the shapes are mean and bad -- deliberately mean and bad. I have seen wicked things in a Turkey carpet . . . They are letters and symbols in a language I don't know; but I know they stand for evil words . . . The lines go wrong on purpose -- like serpents doubling to escape."

And tell me that Lovecraft couldn't have written them.

A review of Merlin and the Dragons

Last night I read Uriel Merlin and the Dragons, by Jane Yolen. As we got close to the end, he interrupted me to ask, "What gender is Arthur?"

"He's male," I said.

"What gender is Merlin?"

"He's male, too."

"What gender is Vortigern?"


Finally, in exasperation, "Who is female?"

So . . . my son, the feminist reader.


The other day, as I was walking to work, I was accosted by a man who told me he was the reincarnation of Reuben, son of Jacob.

During his lifetime as Reuben, he had claimed to be the messiah, and God had punished his presumption by reincarnating him as the obscure and humble man I saw before me. God had, of course, been in the right, and he himself was much happier now, he assured me.

He also told me that he had been only the first in a long line of false messiahs -- he showed me where Jesus' name was hidden in a Biblical verse about Reuben -- and that I shouldn't believe anyone who claimed to be the messiah. No messiah was anything but arrogance and forbidden worship. Then he wished me a happy holiday and went on his way.

I've met a few people with Jerusalem syndrome, living in Jerusalem as I do, but this is the first time I've met anyone with Anti-Jerusalem syndrome.


So a couple of weeks back when I was too busy to post, I finished Chapter 22 of Snatched-from-the-Water, and I just now finished Chapter 23, and that is the end.

It's not actually a draft yet because I have to go back and introduce key characters before their dramatic death scenes, and take out various things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but turn out to be inconsistent with or irrelevant to the story in its final version, and so on. And now that I know what the structure of the book is, I have to nudge it ino that shape a bit.

Among a whole bunch of smaller changes, this is going to mean completely rewriting one existing chapter and adding anther new one somewhere in the middle, so I am not out of the woods yet.

But I am in a nice sunny clearing.