Convention Bound Yet Again! LosCon 39

On Air & In Print

13 Mar 2012, written by

I’ve been interviewed not once but twice in recent weeks.

Melchizedek Todd interviewed me on his Prolifick Radio show, The God Scene With Mel And Nicole.  My interview starts at the 24:43 mark on the Februay 21, 2012 show.  Topics include Serenity, Savage Angels, and other upcoming stories plus the Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS).

And speaking of the CCAS, be sure to read Sara Napier’s in-depth article on the organization in New Identity magazine #14, available online.  She does a great job covering the history and purpose of the organization.

Continue reading 'On Air & In Print'


01 Mar 2012, written by
Lori Serenity

Why did Parker yank you out of math?

Hadta piddle in a jar.

What?!  Again?!?!?


So…how did you do?

I ain’t in the back of a patrol car, am I?

That’s good.  How often do you have to do this?

Whenever Parker is in a pissy mood, I guess.

I’d think it would be better if you were in a pissy mood.


But you’re okay, right?

I’m clean, but not everybody I know is.

What difference does that make?
Just steer clear of the dopers.

Hard to do when you share a roof with ‘em.


Some of these drug tests are so sensitive they can
register a false positive even if you just ride in a car
where somebody smoked a joint earlier.


Tell me about it.  I’m busting my buns to stay clean & sober,
I don’t need to get busted ‘cuz the penguin hasta chill after work.

“The penguin”?

Skip it.

Okay.  Hey, can I ask you something personal?

Ax away.

That’s why you’re flunking English.


Skip it.  My question is why did you start smoking dope in the first place?

Oh, that’s easy:  ‘Cuz it feels sooooo fracking goooood.


Heard it on TV.  I like dropping it ‘cuz adults can’t say boo
when ya do ‘cuz the it’s a technical term, sumthin’ to do
with mining or oil or gas or sumthin’.

Okay.  But just ‘cuz it feels good?

Yeah.  Well…more like it numbs the pain.
Know what’s crazy?  Sometimes I’d hurt so much
I’d do anything to not feel it:  X, grass, booze, guys.
Then other times I’d feel so numb I was afraid
I’d never feel anything ever again.
That was scary.

Too much dope, huh?

No, I’d feel numb even when I was straight, like…
…like I wasn’t even really there, y’know?
I’d just be kinda watching myself do stuff,
not really knowing why I did it.

Well, no offense, but you still do stuff that nobody knows why.

Yeah, but that’s just me being stupid.
Nowadays at least I feel like I’m
at home in my head.

So the 12-step thing is working out for you?

Yeah.  Color me surprised.

Sure it isn’t the Derek factor?



It’s kinda hard to say.
Seriously:  I’m not ‘spose to talk about
the meetings outside of the meetings.

Somebody took great pains to explain that to me.

Derek, huh?

Ain’t saying.  But I can say this:
The meetings are to help us get clean and stay sober,
not into each other’s pants.

…not that I would object if that happened.

Somebody else might object.

She can unlax:  Ain’t gonna happen.
Derek’s pretty emphatic on that.


Look it up.

I just did.  It’s not on Wikipedia.

Gimme fifteen minutes and it will be.

Continue reading 'SERENITY: Unlax'


23 Feb 2012, written by


This is why Google was invented.  A quick search revealed that every island capable of hosting a permanent human settlement had a permanent human settlement.

But what exactly constitutes a “permanent” settlement?

The answer proved to be 30,
perhaps as few as two dozen,
but then things got precarious.

You see, a permanent settlement is one capable of producing a stable self-perpetuating population:  There are enough adult females producing enough children to replace those who die from old age, disease, or misadventure.

30 seems to be the golden number; any fewer than that and one run of bad luck wipes out your chances of staying abreast of the death rate.  Your population can’t reproduce fast enough, the old soon out number the young, and eventually you die out or get absorbed by a larger band.

There are numerous islands in the Pacific too small to support a village that could support a smaller band, say ten members or less.

Slowly, the island itself started to come into view.

Bidney Island (I named it after my aunt who gave me the Swiss Family Robinson book) needed to be small and isolated.  It couldn’t be part of a larger chain or archipelago or else natives might drop by on occasion.

No problem, there are lots of small atolls, reefs, and islands in the Pacific that the South Seas Islanders use as fishing camps, staying a few weeks or a few months then returning to their permanent villages.

Such an island could support six to ten people indefinitely.  And with two vast fleets roaming the Pacific in search on one another, there was precious little incentive for any long range fishing trips by the Polynesians.

To work it had be far enough away from Australia to not be part of their network of coast watchers (civilians and military personnel who stayed hidden but scanned the seas for signs of Japanese ship movements; see Father Goose, yet another schoolgirls-shipwrecked-on-a-desert-island story only with the added attraction of Cary Grant and Leslie Caron).

But that would mean the island could be a potential target for either side, which would bring the story to a screeching halt whoever found the girls.

So Bidney Island had to have no military value.  That required a small, shallow lagoon, too tiny for large ships to harbor in.  It couldn’t be a flat atoll but needed a big volcanic cone right in the middle of it, making it useless as an airfield.

That wouldn’t keep the combatants away forever,
but it would make Bidney Island a very low priority for both sides.

(to be continued)


Continue reading 'SAVAGE ANGELS — Update #4'


14 Feb 2012, written by

Hi, Mr. D!

Hi, girls.

Whatcha doing?

Getting ready for your next big story.


I appreciate your patience.

To heck with that — what have you got planned for us?


Sally!  You’re too young!

Says who?  I’m in high school!

Yeah, a freshman.

Maybe I wanna grow up.

You’ll all get a chance to grow.

Hey, Mr. D, can I ax you a question?

Chop away.


Ask away, Serenity.

How come you only put dialog here?

Yeah, why don’t you tell people where we are
or what we’re wearing or what we’re doing?

I would — and I will — if it was germane to the story.


He means “important to the story.”

Oh, well why didn’t ya say that?

Won’t people get confused?

I don’t see why, Sally.
It’s like listening to audiobooks or podcasts:
Our readers can fill in all their own details.
I’m more interested in what you guys say and
feel than where you might be standing
at any particular moment.

For instance, it doesn’t matter where
this conversation is taking place.
We could be at your church or the lobby of
a movie theater or on a bus traveling to Memphis,
none of that affects this particular dialog.
Let the readers imagine you where they want.


So they could be imagining us hopping up
and down on pogo sticks in our underwear.

Shut up!  We are not! 
We are standing in front of the school,
there are dozens of students all around us! 
It’s a chilly morning; we are all wearing boots,
jeans or leggings, and long wool coats!


No, it’s not; and no, we aren’t.


Continue reading 'SERENITY: Shut Up!'

Art Challenge: SERENITY Vs. The 10 Commandments — Brien Sparling art

11 Feb 2012, written by
SerenityYoke by Brien Sparling 12 02 06

This is my entry for the “Serrenity vs. The Ten Commandments” contest.  I could not imagine any scenario in which either Serenity or I could carry the yolk of the Ten-commandments to God’s level of perfection. Happily Ihave enjoyed having Jesus as my yolkmate, and I pictured Serenity making the same discovery here.

– Brien Sparling

Continue reading 'Art Challenge: SERENITY Vs. The 10 Commandments — Brien Sparling art'