I ONCE HAD A BARBER TELL ME I had the ideal job, one that he would like.
Well, I love what I’m doing. That’s something. And I’ve had some success at it.
A friend of mine asked me how long I write each day.
I told him that if I’m writing something and not working on maps or video, that I write all day.
“All day?” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “Other people do their stuff all day, too.”
But the last couple of weeks have not been writing weeks. They’ve been map-making weeks.
Then I added those maps to the Casual English Bible Comprehensive Atlas, which contains every doggone map I’ve made for this Bible paraphrase: 497 pages of maps.
I sent a note out to people who bought it earlier and I gave them a link to the free update. The next update will come after I finish the maps for Judges. That’s going to take a fair number of maps.
Falling asleep in front of the TV
I was working on the Joshua maps all day yesterday until about 10 o’clock at night. I took breaks for a meal and coffee and tea…and for about an hour with the grandsons. My wife was grandson-watching that day since schools closed because 800 staff called in sick with COVID.
By 10 pm I was almost done preparing the maps for display and sale, but I was done in. I usually try to finish my evening work by 9 pm. I hate it when I go later.
I fell asleep in front of the TV and Buddy the Dog. Woke around 2 am. Worked more on the maps until about 3:30. Then I went to bed, not thinking of that barber who wanted my job.
Up this morning at about 8. It’s 2 pm now. The maps are live. And I’m giving you this update as I think about jumping into paraphrasing the next Bible book, Judges. That’ll be fun. Those are some great stories.
Projects on the side
On the side, both of my websites are being redesigned and redeveloped, to accommodate what the Casual English Bible® has become—a paraphrase with lots of resources, almost all of which I create from thin air. I had some help for a bit from Bob Huber, a retired Reader’s Digest Books editor. But he died a few weeks ago. I’m missing him as both a friend and a helpful colleague.
So, I’m looking at those coming websites with terror. They will involve a lot of extra work, and training, and money in a wheelbarrow.
I’m also hiring an editor to make my words better and to help me get the New Testament ready to go to press for printed copies.
At the moment, I’m waiting for proof copies of my first Casual English Bible® book to go to print: a New Testament Atlas. I saw an earlier proof and decided to change a few things. I sent the revised material to the printer late last night, shortly before falling asleep in front of the TV.
Video is on my mind, too. It has been a while since I made one—perhaps about an inch of hair. Uncut and styled by COVID.
It’s on my mind because of what I discovered while I was checking the internet to see how many people were pirating my maps. (Some just illegally publish them on their websites without asking or without buying the required license to publish a copyrighted map. Russians resell them. And my “intellectual property” lawyer charges between $you-don’t-want-to-know and $you-can’t-believe-your-ears.)
So, while I was hunting pirates, I saw a site that had analyzed my video channel. Who knew?
They said I had excellent content, but that I was in a period of stagnation.
They used that word.
Well, everybody has stagnation now and then somewhere or another.
I can’t do everything all the time. Not by myself. Yet the thing about running a one-person company is that if you don’t do it, who will?
Just about everyone has the problem of juggling their to-do’s.
And, I just remembered another one.
I’ve got two huge boxes of Bible reference books to evaluate for an annual Christian Book Award. I’ve served as a judge since the early 1990s. I enjoy that. Some of those books are wonderful. Others are paper.
Oh, and a writer asked me this week if I would read his soon-to-be-published manuscript that will become a Bible-background book competing with my books. He would like me to endorse his book with kind words.
I would like to endorse it with a plug for one of my books. Maybe I could say something like,
“…his brilliant writing reminds me of something I wrote in The Complete Guide to the Bible, which was inspired by a Bible verse I’ll quote from the Casual English Bible.”
In between paraphrasing Bible books, I sometimes have great ideas like this.
Blogging in a stag
I’m in stagnation with blogging, too. It’s not a priority on a par with paraphrasing and mapping the Book of Judges. Yet, here I am, blogging.
One reason I continue doing this is because of something a reader said during the idiocy of the politics that produced a treasonous insurrection that I watched live, with my God-given eyes, and then processed with an analytical brain that distinguishes lies from truth and goodness from damned evil.
The lady had said, “Where is Stephen M. Miller when you need him?”
I was somewhere with my head buried in the Bible.
She wanted me to address the politics. I do that on rare occasions in my blogging, though I don’t do that in my books. With blogging, I occasionally take a stand against the insanity, the treacherous violence in words and action, and the Cult of One Big Liar.
See, I just did.
But when I’m deep into paraphrasing a Bible book or creating 3D maps from satellite images draped over elevation data I harvest from competing space agencies, I don’t want to steal the time it takes to write a blog.
I’m like my dad was when he was tearing a car engine apart in the garage at midnight on a Friday. Just leave him alone.
I’m writing this now because I just wrapped up several projects. I’m in the gap. But when I’m done with this, I’m on to Judges. Unless the web developers finish up and the new site needs my attention, or the schools close again when my wife can’t get off work, or… who knows what?
In my free moments, I’ll think about how to address the video stagnation.
One hundred and nine videos on my YouTube channel, and they call me stagnate.
It stinks to be stagnate.
But it’s kinda funny that someone says I’m stagnate.
“Hey, see that guy over there. Stagnate.”
I’m smiling as I type.
Perhaps a good way to end.
The Book of Judges begins tomorrow, if not this evening—and if something else doesn’t get in the way.
Oops. Just checked my email.
Someone saying they are Mr. Liu Shiyu wrote me two sentences without punctuation:
“Hello I need your help”
If he’s that former securities watchdog for China who’s been linked to graft, some Bible verses come to mind.