London Calling.

Maybe not London, more like Saint Paul.  It’s so gloomy out today that my Christmas lights never turned off after what some laughingly call “sunrise.”

This, of course, meant that I spent the entire day in bed.  Nothing like a little nap after work – about 8 hours.

So, now it’s time to celebrate my beloved spouse’s birthday.  Russian food (as is the tradition) and then an exciting night of watching prison shows on cable.  Whew, the excitement of middle age.

I remember fondly the days when this noted birthday would provoke bouts of heavy partying, dancing, drinking, eating and general carousing.  I also remember feeling like death the next two days.  Tomorrow we’ll both get up early and go to church. All things considered, much better fun at church – and no hangover.

Priorities change, lives change, salvation never does.  We’re better people now than we were 27 years ago.  Our lives are better, our souls have been washed clean and our futures are secured in Christ.

Doesn’t mean I don’t smile when I think about our youth and the fun we had.  That was just a part of the journey.  I’m glad we survived.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

It may be an optical illusion, but God creates those as well.

Before you follow the link, be forewarned:  Don’t read the comments.  Lots of haters there.

Enjoy the story, revel in the mystery that is God and the love He provides.

And say a prayer for the soldier.

abc hero wardog ll 111122 wblog Not Photoshopped: Beam of Light Shines on Fallen Soldiers Miracle Dog

The magic number is: 40,097

Yes, the next book (tentatively titled “Bobby’s Back”) has hit the half-way point.  Soon it goes to the agent for perusal.  He wanted to see it when it was partly completed.  I’ve got to finish the first 1/3 of the story, about 20 more pages, and then it’s ready for my first submission. The first third in terms of the story arc, that is because it’s the first half in volume of words. AS the first big story about this character there’s a lot of back story that needs to be put in place for it to work.  That makes the next book about him much easier (and, hopefully quicker) to write.

Kind of nice having an agent waiting to see the book.  I’m hoping it’s what they expect and then I can call him “my agent.”  And, if not him (and he’s a great guy from what I can tell) there’s another agent who’d like to see the book, but only when it’s completed.  She’s pretty awesome as well.  This could be very interesting when all is said and done.

Now, what I need is some peace and quiet to just write…… In December?  I must be on drugs.  Oh, maybe that has to wait for the end of Santa season.  But I’m still sneaking in about 2000 words a week and I’m not throwing in the towel.  God’ll get me through this one as well.

Red Suit Rampage.

What the commercial looks like from the camera's point of view before editing.

The first week of full madness has almost come to a close.  Last week I was blessed to shoot some television commercials for  ShopNBC as their Santa.  The crew were magnificent and fun to work with  on the shoot.  Not only were they professional and quick, but they fed me cookies.  Lots and lots of green cookies.  Why green cookies?

Well, let me tell you a tale out of school.  When you shoot television or movies you have to worry about something called “continuity.”  This means that you wear the same shirt, same jewelry, same hat and have the same position in the scene for each take.  And because you do some shots from a wide angle and some close in, it’s the details that kill you.

Green cookies were a killer.  Santa had a plate of them in his hand the whole time, and there had to be three uneaten cookies on the plate and one in his paw when the shot was taking place.  Turned out that I chose a green sprinkled cookie for the first take.  And, consequently, that cookie had to be replaced with another green cookie for the next series of takes.  It would be subliminally jarring to people for the cookie in my hand to change color three times during the commercial as it went from wide to close up to wide.

And, since we weren’t using a “spit bucket” to get rid of the food between takes (yeah, kind of gross but a reality.  I once did a commercial without one and didn’t eat pancakes for over a year.  Kind of overdosed on the buggers) I was forced to eat about 8 cookies.  The first 4 were tasty, the next two were so-so, and the final two were a bit of a chore.

But, we wrapped it up in a reasonable time frame and I was off to bed.

The next event was Saturday and I spent 4 hours doing photos with the families from Hope Kids.  If you’re looking for a charity to support this year with your “gotta have a deduction” dollars, go to and do your soul some good.  These are truly fine people.  Most charities have a detractor or two around, but I’ve yet to hear a bad thing about this bunch.  We hold an event called “Cookies with Santa” each year just before Thanksgiving so that the kids have the pictures when they see family for the holiday.  I am honored to be their Santa, and we turn out some very special moments each year.  I’m blessed to be allowed to know those kids.

Finally, got word that my audition last week was a hit, and I got the job as Santa two weeks from now via video!  I’m ready and willing to take it on.  I did find out that pants were required, no shorts.  I have to be able to visit the kids in the room if there’s a technology failure along the way.

So, one week, two events and a successful audition.  God’s looking out for me as usual.  It’s been a lovely start to my favorite season of the year.