We screened it, we recommend it: Heaven is for Real

Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name,
HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.


Click Here For More Information or Tickets!

Posted in Books, DVDs, faith, healing, Heaven, human interest anecdotes, interesting people, Jesus Christ, Miracles, movies, pictures | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From my brother Ted

When you were ten
You were funny then.

When you were twenty
Your charms were plenty.

When you were thirty
Your faith grew sturdy.

When you were forty
you were still a shorty.

When you were fifty
You were kind of nifty.

When you were sixty–
A delightful pixie!

But now that you’re seventy
I can’t find a rhyme,
But you know that I’ve loved you
All of this time.

Thanks, Ted!

Posted in Humor, My brother Ted, Poetry, special occasions | Tagged | 1 Comment

My sentiment at 70

This was the shirt I intended to order. I enjoy the humor.
But this one expresses my heart so I ordered it instead:
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Lobsters and bit-maps

I’ve been without my computer this week. It kept booting up, turning itself off, booting itself up. Jerry couldn’t “fiss” it so he took it to Staples for repairs. While there, since I was using XP and that will no longer be supported by Microsoft, he had it upgraded to Microsoft 7. (We’ve been warned against 8 and 8.1.)

Bit of a high learning curve here. I’m almost back where I was in 1996. This is what I wrote then:

“Powerful,” my husband Rick called it. I had won enough money in a writing contest to buy a new computer and he thought it should be the latest Pentium, with Word Perfect 6.1 for Windows.

“I don’t need ‘powerful,’” I warned him. “No art, No games. Nothing complicated. Just something to write with. Like a pencil–with memory.”

“Your old computer is from the Stone Age,” he said. “You need Windows. You need 3-1/2 inch floppies. Trust me.”

I told him to go ahead and order it. He also bought me two books: WordPerfect for Dummies and Windows for Dummies. I bought 3-1/2 inch diskettes all by myself–and a screen saver with pictures of marine life.

The day after he set up my new machine, I went through the tutorial. I learned that icons have nothing to do with church. Other than that, it wasn’t much help.

The second day, I learned to open a file, close a file, and how not to save something I’d written that I wanted to work with again. . .

The third day, I learned to cut, paste, and print. But I was impatient. I don’t like learning; I like knowing. I had deadlines coming up and plots I wanted to develop. I felt handicapped. If this computer was so powerful, how come I couldn’t do even the simplest things I used to be able to do on my old one?

It was like wanting a cottage and being given a castle. I wanted something cozy, with a window box of colorful flowers over the kitchen sink. I wandered down hallways, an empty cup in my hand, saying wistfully, “I’d really like to find the kitchen and make myself a nice cup of tea.” Each door opened into great wings of new rooms. Many looked interesting but irrelevant–and there was no one to tell me a simple route to the kitchen. Worse, I think I inadvertently found myself in the kitchen several times and didn’t recognize it: instead of spatulas and dishcloths, there were forklifts and tarpaulins.

Doorknobs and light switches didn’t work the way I thought they should. Something else, which I touched by accident, worked instead. When I wanted bathrooms, I got pantries. When I wanted gardens, I got billiard rooms. When I wanted libraries, I got bathrooms and gardens. When I thought I knew a hall and where it led, a door would slam in my face: “Loading image” or “Warning–this is not a bit-map.” (Did I say it was? Did I even want it to be?) Or “Saved as read-me file only; may not edit.”

Questions leaped into my face like Halloween ghouls: “Current page only?” (I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.) “Convert file?” (Is it pagan?) “Exit Windows?” (Can’t I leave by the door?) When I thought I was home free, it wanted to know if I’d like to play Solitaire. I couldn’t concentrate on text for all the activity around it: arrows turning to hourglasses and crosses and cupped hands, blocks of writing turning black, tiny words and pictures appearing and disappearing: “italics,” “coach,” “font styles.”

I tried to delete a word, but where it used to be all my words rushed, word-wrapping upwards. They stretched and snapped like a rubber band, the letters and the spaces between them widening and narrowing, all hurtling into non-existence. I found my place again and sent the curser up to “save” what was left–triggering the screen saver, a full-screen vision of a lobster on alert. It was like fighting empty suits of armor and dodging spears that hurled at me through recessed windows which weren’t there a moment earlier.

Plus I still didn’t have my cup of tea.

Little by little, I relearned the basics. Keys, like trained dogs, waited eagerly to do my bidding. It was their very eagerness that had disconcerted me. Keys add, delete, cut, paste, and copy anything I want–and if I change my mind, they’ll undo it. They indent, underline, italicize, center, bold. They add headers, superscripts, and footnotes; they adjust margins, tabs, and spacing. They alphabetize. They check spelling and grammar. They show me how the page will look before I print it out–in any type style and type size I want.

I got rid of the fancy screen saver with its lobsters and bit-maps. I found out how to tell the machine to stop justifying right margins and the words stopped stretching and compressing. My computer doesn’t intimidate me anymore–although there are lots of rooms I haven’t fully explored yet.

Did you know that with this program you don’t have to retype names and addresses for envelopes? The computer remembers–and centers them for you besides. Did you know it not only keeps a running word count but line count, sentence count, paragraph count, and average number of words per sentence? It makes booklets. It does columns. It can print pages in reverse order so the title page ends up on top. You can find any word in the manuscript–instantly.

This is one powerful machine!


“Are you Sure You Need a Computer?” The Christian Communicator, January 1996.



Posted in amusing anecdotes, Humor, me, words, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments


“The only problem
with Haiku is you just
get started and then”

–Roger McGough

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Jack Views His Own Memorial

In the interests of full disclosure, I also wrote a poem during that hurricane month of writing. On the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’ death, a plaque in his honor was dedicated in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. I got to wondering what Jack would think about this celebration of him and that became a poem, “Jack Views His Own Memorial.” (What-ifs are great springboards for poems and stories.)

I actually wrote the poem before I wrote anything else and I shot it off still sizzling to a literary magazine which has published two of my previous submissions.

After I submitted it, knowing this quarterly magazine wouldn’t publish it for a couple of years even if they did accept it, I sort of hoped they’d turn it down. I thought I’d rather make it available at the C.S. Lewis 50th Anniversary Celebration at the 2014 C.S. Lewis Summer Conference, July 21-31, 2014, Oxford & Cambridge, England. The conference will commemorate Lewis’ death and celebrate his joining the other illuminaries in Poets’ Corner. The poem seemed so appropriate for that venue I didn’t care if it got published.

When the executive editor of the literary magazine wrote back, she sent me the response of their poetry editor, Luci Shaw, whose work I love and for whom I have the utmost respect. Luci Shaw called the poem “really fine.” (The executive editor commented, “This is high praise from her, most poems are rejected.”)

She accepted it–conditional upon my “gently cutting some of the middle sections” to meet their length guidelines. “The rest of the poem says enough,” she added. “I like the parallel between the epigraph and the ‘stained finger pointing.’”

But the middle section she wanted me to cut includes Lewis’ actual words, which show his disapproval, even horror, of publicity that threatens to take focus off the Lord. Hmm. I thought the poem really needed them. And I would rather cut my own words than his!

So I took a risk. I thanked them very nicely, apologized for any inconvenience I had caused them, and said I thought I’d rather send it elsewhere. The executive editor wrote back, “You have caused [us] no inconvenience. This will not impact your relationship with [this magazine]. We appreciate the articles you’ve written for our pages! But do remember that it is high praise for Ms. Shaw to say your poem is ‘really fine.’”

Don’t I know it!

But the dye was cast. So I emailed “Jack” to Dr. Stan Mattson, founder and president of the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Redlands, California, telling him I give the Foundation permission to use the poem any way they want–publish it in one of their publications and/or run off copies to make available to attendees at Oxbridge.

Stan’s receptionist,  who received the email, wrote back, “I read it right away; it’s incredible. Some of the word clusters and imagery you use are so strikingly beautiful. One of my favorite parts is: ‘Normans no longer strain to conquer but accept confinement with crumbled indifference.’ The image of ‘crumbled indifference’–and the close association in my mind of ‘crumpled’ and all that accompany those words–masterfully exhibits the crude reality of death, and the more miraculous affirmation of a ‘bodily resurrection.’ What a beautiful gift you’ve given the Foundation. Thank you for making my day!”

I wrote back, “You’ve made mine!” Because the passage which she quoted as one of her “favorite parts” was from the middle section of the poem I had been asked to cut!

Thank you for confirmation, Lord!

I haven’t yet heard from Stan. He may respond with “crumpled indifference” (crumpling it and throwing it in the wastebasket). When I know their wishes regarding using–or not using–this gift, I’ll post the poem for you.


Posted in C.S. Lewis, celebrations, celebrities, Important Occasions, interesting people, pictures, Poetry, special occasions, words, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whatever Happened to Tim Reynolds?

Halflife annotation“Whatever Happened to Tim Reynolds?” is the title of my Master’s Thesis from Cal State Dominguez (1993). The thesis was 50 pages long but for some reason when I submitted it I didn’t include the considerable amount of documentation I already had prepared in an Appendix.

This past month (when I was so manic and so productive), in addition to the five books we ran off on screamandpullmyhairoutPress, I organized and updated the Appendix, 47 pages worth of added material. Jerry printed out enough copies of the whole thing to bind and send to family members, particularly Tim’s three grown children.

The added material included personal autographs and annotations Tim made in copies of his books for family members. Here are two samples, the one above an annotation explaining his poem about his son Anthony (in Halflife) and the one below, an autograph in a copy of Dawn Chorus: “(wedding at) Cana, Christmas, in Ann Arbor).”

Dawn autograph






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