The Diary of a Reluctant Traveler T -1 (or -2)

I don’t want to go.

Tomorrow, or possibly the day after, I’m due for a holiday. A break where I get away form it all.

All, except me, of course.

See, the thing is, over the last 2 years, I’ve been slowly getting sadder, and I’ve not really had time to deal with it. I’ve been busy dealing with the fact that everyone else is sad for the same reasons. I always figured that eventually they would be able to sort themselves out, and then it would be time for me.

That didn’t happen. Continue reading “The Diary of a Reluctant Traveler T -1 (or -2)”

The Jara23 Midwinter Anthology 2016

If your wondering why this blog has been a little slow (I mean, is anyone still even reading this?), it’s because I’ve been busy working on a new project, a small e-publishing house.

For the last 3 years we have produced a Midwinter Anthology, and this year we have stepped up our game.

The Jara23 Midwinter Anthology 2016 is now available on Smashwords, and on Google Play.

We have Twitter: @Jara23_Press

And of course Facebook: Jara23Publishing

And your standard website: http://press.jara23.co.uk

Go and download it, it’s FREE!

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The 10 Books that have had an impacton on me

Following a Facebook Meme, I though I’d have a go at writing out which books had the biggest impact. So, for no particular reason, here they are:

1. Dragons of the Autumn Twilight, Margaret Wise and Tracy Hickman : It is very difficult to describe the impact this has, but it is the first book that changed my life. I had always been into Dragons, and high-fantasy, but I don’t remember reading anything that got me as hooked as this one did. It came free with the game based on it (something I still think we should do more of). It was designed to be read while the loading screens happened (on a ZX Spectrum, this could take several minuits). I remember that I actually got so absorbed in the book that I don’t think I played the game for more than few minuits. I then went on to read as much of the series as I could get my hands on. I remember a birthday where all I got was books from this series (The Time/War/Test of the Twins, 1 and 2 Chronicles, etc). It was epic. It was reading a book from this series that got me my first friend in Secondary School, as he was reading a collection of The Time/War/Test.
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Modern Poetry Idea

Recently I attended a beat-poetry evening, called Voicebox run by Un-deg-Un. There I had the pleasure of meeting the youth poet for Wales. I was not brave enough to share any of my work, beliving them to be unpolished, and unfinished.

They were definately too short.

However, it has occured to me that I write these.. rather odd short stories. Where I use words, and illeteration in order to make them stand out. Perhaps, then what I need is to check the lines, and to see what changes will be needed to make them fit a beat. Perhaps a simple, hidden beat, but a rythem of poetry.

Perhaps there is even a rythem hidden in them allready.

The idea struck me while I was writing the short story “Hell”, which was in turn fired off by a random post on facebook.

The story itself is too short, really, to be a short story. Less than 1000 words. This, however, does not necesssarily make it too long for a beat poem, or even an element of modern poetry. What that means, then, is me breaking that age-old rule that I have had of not going back to the things that I have written to make drastic changes (other than editing for sense, and for spelling).

I shall muse over this if I ever have time, and seek other advice. Perhaps I will even post the progress of “Hell” as a poem here for people to see the process.

We live in interesting times.

~Phil

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Nelson Mandala’s Inaugaration Speech

To commemorate the death of Nelson Mandela, and listening to the way he tried to live his life, I could find no better tribute than his own words:

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Inaugural_Speech_17984.html

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Women Bishops in the Church In Wales : Passed

I am tired. It has been a long drive back from Lampeter. It has, however, been a good day.

Today, the Church In Wales has finally voted for Women Bishops. I had the great privellege to be at the table next to Rev’d Canon Jenny Wiggly, and Archdeacon Peggy Jackson who proposed the amendment that makes this Canon the one that goes down in history. The proposal, which many of us thought might sink the bill, remved the original intention of the Bill. The original intention of the bill was to allow for Women Bishops, but only after provision had been applied.

Many people, myself included, felt that if this was all we could get, then we would take it. Visionaries like Jenny Wiggly and Peggy Jackson decided that it was likely to leave the bill forever being objected too. They worked hard on their ammendment, and showed how the Bill could be.

It was a vision that was infections, and one that when we came to the debate, we were surprised how many people actually saw it the same way.

It was a long, hard day of debate, with much of the debate being about the ammendment. There were, of course, some dissention. People were calling for a Flying Bishop, something that the Bench of Bishops had already ruled out. They also wanted to discuss issues of headship, and a strange notion of “Equal but Different”. Bishop Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St. Asaph, when introducing the Bill, said that these were modern ideas, long removed (thankfully) from the views of the likes of Thomas Aquinas. He suggested that these views were not a theology which led to predjudice, but rather, predjudice in search of a theology.

The Bill does, however, allow for those who dissent with the notion of women Bishops to be protected, to feel welcome and secure in our church. Their place will be guaranteed by a Code of Contact that will be put together by the Bishops, through consultation with the all members, both those on the Governing Body, and those who are not.

It is a good day for the Church In Wales. It is a good day for Christianity in the UK.

It is a shame that it took so long to happen.

~BX

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The Litteral Adam

This is one of those problems that’s been bugging me since I began reading a blog post about why, theologically, we _need_ a literal Adam. Annoyingly I couldn’t find the blog post again in order to take the points individually, but the general debate is based on the problem outline by Peter Enns in a blog post about his new book.

The problem seems to be that without Adam, Sin looses it’s force. It’s something that is not transmitted to everyone in a physical way. Of course, for this idea, we have to thank Augustine, and the way in which he approached and outline the concept of Original Sin.

I have, elsewhere, spoken about how I find the concept of Original Sin as expounded by Augustine unhelpful,and in the modern world incomplete. It was only when confronted, theologically, with the idea that Evolution that I began to explore what this implication truly means.

For me, of course, Evolution doesn’t pose a theological problem in that way, and I hadn’t really explored what problems others had with evolution. It seems to be that the reason why some people deny, or have difficulties accepting Evolution is that it means that their understanding of Sin falls down without Adam.
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Survival Craft : Tips and Tricks

What Is Survival Craft?

To say that Survival Craft is a Minecraft clone is close, but not entirely accurate. Klauus, the creator, felt that Minecraft wasn’t simply deadly enough. Survival Craft, then, is a game that looks, and in some way feels, like Minecraft (but with better graphics), and allows you to do some of the same things. The difference is that Survival Craft, at it’s heart, is much more deadly. Bulls, cows, packs of wolves, and even the occasional werewolf prowl around at night, meaning that a shelter of some kind isn’t just nice, it’s essential.

The game was also designed to run on mobile devices, such as tablets, and other hand-helds, including the new Kindle Fire. This means that, unlike Minecraft, it is very far advanced along the development path for handhelds, and is designed specifically for them. This makes it a better game for these devices than the current Minecraft offering, which is a little behind the desktop version of Minecraft in features.
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