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Posts posted by Balladeer

  1. The relevancy is in showing that the way we think we value life is flawed. It was to contrast a perceived injustice at God ending a life, or many lives. We, who can only see what our eyes show us, do not always see value in death of the already living, just like we do not always see value in life of the not already alive.


    Quoting a recent PM stirred by more abortion discussion, "My perspective on life, now, is... of a bigger picture. Life in the world is a speck whether it lasts a few seconds before being flushed from the womb or whether it lasts 100 years. Just a speck one way or the other. I will make the most of the time I do have here, but I'm not going to obsess about when it ends. And I'm not going to shake my fist at a God who's in charge of deciding how long that speck will be. Futile, at best. It misses the entire reason for life."

  2. Yes, many have died at the hand of God or by his direction...


    But why is death such a bad thing? I know from the standpoint of Athiesm its the end (unless you believe in spirit life w/out God), but otherwise, why would it be so bad? I have never understood the high value placed on corporeal bodies. A temporary shell, one way or another to oblivion or the afterlife.


    I mean, we can shake our fist at the injustice of God ending a life, but what is He actually doing? And if we think it so terrible, why end so many lives before they've had the chance to start? For the benefit of the mother? For the benefit of the unwanted fetus? For the benefit of all mankind through avoiding overpopulation? Enough of the world thinks that there is enough benefit in ending potential life to justify ~50 Million instances every year. Might God not see benefit in ending others? With a perfect perspective who could argue? Still in line with SoT's perspective. Life, when given is a benefit. Pain, when experienced is a benefit. Death, when claimed is a benefit. Miracles, when revealed are a benefit just as is the lack of them.


    Spinning that into fiction, though, does open up for quite a depressing read.

  3. @Alo


    Capable, sure, but some people just don't want to believe. Look at the ten plagues of Egypt and how little they moved pharaoh. Yes, God can but the fact that he doesn't tells me it is unnecessary for his end goal. Curing without a doctor is more prevalent where there is no doctor. God can't make people give you money, but he can prompt them to. An answer to prayer often comes through someone doing something they just 'had a feeling' they should do. If you do not believe in miracles, or rather if you refuse to believe in them, you will look for a different explanation even if there is none. The evidence for miracles is already there, it's a choice of free will to call it one.


    Ironically, 'a God willing to act directly sometimes' and a God that plays favorites pretty much sums up the Old Testament.

  4. I think one of the most often used draws for suspense in Christian fiction is man's refusal to believe in or submit to God. You have a main character who's rough around the edges but not that bad a person and you help the reader fall in love with them. Their journey and inner struggle on their way to Christ resonates with people who have struggled before or are struggling now. Miracles rarely have to be in the forefront of these types of books because they are more about the emotion and thought process of the characters.


    One of the standard cannons that I reconcile 'magic prayer' with is that sometimes the answer is Yes, sometimes it is No, and sometimes the answer is Wait. God is still in the business of performing miracles, but he's not going to do something where people are not receptive. A giant pillar of fire in America? You'll have thousands of scientists and meteorologists and master illusionists explaining it away as natural phenomenon or a hoax. Do the same thing in the heart of Africa in front of a small tribe that has no means to communicate it to the outside world or prove that it happened afterward? Could change some of their lives. If you spend time reading reports from missionaries, you'll see more 'big' miracles.


    Otherwise answers to prayer often come in a more conventional form. Educated doctors being able to fix a lethal ailment, a friend deciding to give you a monetary gift when the mortgage is past due, a rescuer in the right place at the right time to save someone's life; all of these can be explained as skill, good luck, or coincidence. Those who are receptive to power in prayer might see it otherwise.


    The tricky part in writing sy-fy/fantasy is in balancing how much of the normally impossible is given over to a different set of physics or new science and how much is intervention.

  5. Hmm, I've neve felt that way about Christian fiction, whether miracles happen in them or not, or whether God is portrayed as taking some action in them or not. In fact, I instead feel like it takes incredible courage to be a 'Christian fiction' author, not in the sense that they are mocking God to be His puppet master, but that they are committing to write at a different standard than the world, submitting to God to write at His standard.


    I suppose there are some Christian fiction authors at either end of the spectrum in their mindset. I personally would not try to write Christian fiction unless with the latter. And with Exodus and the Song of Solomon as my guide, what a bouquet that could be, eh? ;)


    More logical would just have been to ask, Who the heck is Randy?

    To which I would have answered, "Just some bloke I met on the internet." I've only mentioned Randy to Sy before, I think... Unless it came up in chat, can't remember. Anyway, my wording was in answer to her direct question. No apologies necessary; it was understandably informal.

  6. I think it's like an exercise in studying the nature of God. Asking questions like 'What would God do?' and 'What would God want to happen?' and 'What is God's ultimate desire/end goal?' really set the pace for writing about Him. To me it's just like writing about any other character only the back story has already been written.


    Randy's already locked into contract to do the series himself, and I knew that going in. But he's offered co-authorship in something else he's thinking about. Unfortunately, I don't plan on getting a divorce, moving to Georgia, and trying to convince him to marry me so we'll just be out that couple extra percent. :p I met Randy through his FB marketing of his first book. Got a signed copy hot off the presses. Too bad he didn't number them... I was in the first hundred to buy. My critique of it was my first correspondence to him.

  7. Indeed. Sequel to Rise Of The Magi. I gave him a rather thorough critique of <- that one (big on imagination, but lacking in wording and thesaurus usage) and he asked if I'd help edit the next. AFTER I said yes, he gets into Dragon Con and wants #2 published in time for it. He pumps out 60K more words in a month and I get one month to pour over all 80K before he sends it to the Publisher's editor. Talk about a hack and slash... The deed is done and the wheels are turning. For better or worse the publisher's got it now. Just hope the rush didn't mean he ignored some needed (imho) changes.

  8. Gah, now I have that song from Sleeping Beauty running through my head... It wouldn't be so bad, except ~I wonder, I wonder~ is the only line I know so it keeps repeating.

  9. *volunteers to hold Sy*


    I watched an old end-of-the-world movie today, too. Core or The Core, something like that. Kids complained that people kept dying. The rest of today has been pretty meh. I finished editing Randy's book yesterday, though. Should be published by September in time for Dragon Con.

  10. Truth is relative to the nature of reality. Reality is not subjective. Reality is reality whether a person perceives it to be real or not. A deaf person, though they may never hear anything, does not live in a silent world. A blind person, though they may never see anything, does not live in a sightless world. Do we, as humans with the senses we have, perceive true reality? I doubt it. Though no one ever perceive it in its fullness, reality still IS.


    Belief in a false fundamental truth is the root of all evil. If one's perspective is not false, there is no evil in the belief... Though given the previous, a complete perspective is doubtfully possible.

  11. Idk... like, lots. I just haven't made the webpages for them. But everything I have is available somewhere else, too. I don't make my own. You can check the SW site list for other places that have BoA graphics. Or download scenarios to see the graphics files in each one.

  12. Yeah, I haven't finished the BoA graphics section yet. Its rather time intensive to do and the only reason the bits that are done are there is because I was able to do it as a class assignment, like, a year ago. Its on my long term to-do list, but don't hold your breath, 'cuz you'd die n'stuff.


    Instead visit The Lourve for BoA graphics.

  13. There have been Spidweb meetups (I don't know if I count my half hour stay at Neb and Sy's- but Year Five will make me an official participant). To the best of my knowledge, none of them included Jeff. Perhaps an oldbie can say for certain.


    I don't suppose Year Five can be postponed until after I graduate... I'll be deep in the middle of my last class then. On the other hand I opted to take an 'Easy-A' class last. My Creative Writing assignments might be a whole lot more colorful if I write them while I attend.

  14. Hydrogen gas "is highly flammable and will burn in air at a very wide range of concentrations between 4% and 75%." (wiki) Oxygen is a strong oxidizer that helps flammable materials burn. Water (H2O) is made of 2 parts Hydrogen and 1 part Oxygen meaning that the gases from the separation of these elements would have a Hydrogen concentration of 66.7%. This isn't rocket science. Why do we not have engines built to run on water? Surely there can be a machine made that can separate the elements, introduce them to flame, and gain kinetic energy from the explosion of it. (And if built like car engines, the process itself should be able to charge the battery that lends to the process of separation.) There are rumors of such engines but no one stepping up to put them into production.


    I mean, in my mind I see H2O being separated into its elements, being channeled into a chamber and introduced to a spark which results in an explosive chemical reaction that generates force (both to move a piston and the coils to charge a battery) and turns it back into H2O again. Then it could be moved to the beginning of the process once again making it almost self-sustaining but for the flame/spark (which comes from electricity arcing off the battery anyway). I mean, am I totally off base here that something like that should work?


    I think if the gov't was serious about preserving the environment, making something like this work would be top priority. Too bad big oil pays a lot of the bills.

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