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Monday, December 31, 2018

The Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey New Year's Day Thoughts.

And no, I'm not talking about the Doctor Who's New Year's Day special. Which to me just seems to avoid dealing with Christmas. At any rate, that's not what this blog post is about. More about the strange time warp I've experienced this past year, wondering how long it will last.

Yes, my last "productive" year was in 2013, five years ago. And most of that was editing a couple of books and publishing them, that I'd had in the works for some time. I did write some short stories, which can be found in book two of my Ethereal Worlds anthology in 2013, but not much else, that I recall, at least. It was the last year I did NaNo before 2018, but like this past November, I didn't finish then either. The last year I finished NaNo was 2010.

Friday, December 28, 2018

First Book of New Series is Available

Start off the new year with a new book, a new series, and a new hero! That's right, on the heels of finishing one series, I'm off to start a new one, that is planned (though that could change at any time) to be a five-book series.

The series is called The Legend of the Dragons' Dying Field. This first book, as you can see, is named, "The Magic Within."

This series is set in Sisko's world from The Reality Chronicles, and as the name implies, does indeed involve dragons. From Sisko's world you'll encounter Kaylee, Josh, and Joel. But the main character is Cole, the baby born to a "dead" Gabrielle at the end of "Reality's Fire," which is recapped in the prologue of this book and can be read in the sample provided on my site. Now 18, he is ready to go find his place in this world as he searches for what to do with the magical ability he was born with. What he and George, his unique friend, discover is a new world rich in traditions, where people work to hide the dragons from society at large.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

They Walk Among Us

I started working on this story yesterday when I received news of my brother Rob's impending loss to cancer. He died earlier today. This Christmas Story, which revisits Sikso's world, is in honor of him. May he rest in God's arms and mercy.


A heaviness settled over Holly’s heart. It was Christmas morning. Why should she feel sadness at such a time?  She shuffled her feet through the leaves scattering the forest floor. She took her sword out and hacked at a couple of branches.  Even that didn’t seem to help. Gloom hovered around her and she had no idea why.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Novel Out: Reality Game!

Yes, after publishing the third book in this series back in 2013 (has it really been that long? I'm afraid so,) I've finally finished the series with book four: Reality Game. For the handful of people who have been waiting all this time to find out what happens to our heroes--Jeremy, Mickey, Bridget, and Natalie--your wait is over!

This series started with an idea I had back in 2006: what if one could have virtual reality and reality interact? Sort of like Star Trek's holodeck in reverse. So I came up with the planet Zori, where blobs of sentient goo lay around on the planet, were made movable through the virtual technology of an alien race. They could construct virtual bodies and houses and such. Then, another more military race, came to their planet and took over the virtual technology to construct a world taken from Earth's movies and TV shows, then he created a virtual "game" which was to virtually transport players from Earth to Zori to fight his war with another planet's inhabitants.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo - Day 0.5

On this beginning of Nov. 1st, I decided I would give a half-day progress report.

So, I attended the Denver NaNo kickoff party. I went in hopes of getting to know some people. As it turns out, it wasn't as organized as Austin's kickoff party used to be. I arrived at the designated coffee shop, walked in, looked around to see if anyone was in charge. No one approached me. The first person to actually talk to me was handing out "grab bags". She told me "welcome". Aside from some brief interaction of a practical nature with two other people, that was it as far as "getting to know" anyone. Rather, I noticed I was the only older guy there. Most of the people came into the shop, sat with friends, and talked for two hours until midnight. Aside from a brief announcement by whoever was in charge and the countdown to midnight, I could have been alone at home doing the same thing.

I'm not knocking the group. I'm sure it tends to be more of a college thing, and so has gravitated to what it currently is. I'm an intruder to that group. I had expectations, I suppose, that it would be like Austin where I knew different folks and all and there were a lot of college age folks, but there were also a lot of older people like me. So, chalk up one to knowing better next time.

On a positive note, however, I got around 1200 words written in 1.5 hours. Not great, but not bad for a PD patient on DBS. I can type faster but still not quite as fast as I did before PD. At least I can make a good run at getting 50K in a month now. Before it would have been very difficult to pull off.

So I wrote until around 1:20 am, then packed it up and went home. Today's schedule is to go do a Zumba class, then I'll return home, probably take a nap, then see how much I can get written before the day ends. I'll report tomorrow on how well I did today. Until then, see you later!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

It Is Finally NaNo Time Again!

After a four year break in any attempts at doing National Novel Writing Month, I'm now taking another stab at it.

For those who don't know, National Novel Writing Month, otherwise shortened to NaNoWriMo, or its even shorter version, NaNo, is when writers from all over the world get together online to encourage each other to write a novel in a month of at least 50K words.

"Nay, nay," I can hear someone saying. "You can't write a novel in a  month! At least not a publishable novel."

"Nay, nay," I say, most of my published novels were originally written during NaNo. The only exceptions to that is Reality's Dawn, and two that are recently done but not published yet, Reality Game and Rebellion. And all of those the bulk of them were written in around a month or less. Professional writers write even faster than that.

What takes me so long is editing!

Anyway, I'm going to write my third novel this year, come November. Except, this one will be special. It is my Parkinson's novel. I plan upon publishing it, to have most, if not all, of the proceeds go to Parkinson's research. I'll probably donate it to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

It is called "Deep Brain Invasion," and obvious spin on Deep Brain Stimulation, otherwise known as DBS. DBS is a procedure I went through last September where two leads are planted into one's brain, where electrical impulses from a battery pack, also implanted, block the erroneous signals from the brain that cause the tremors and problems with other muscle movements. It isn't a cure, but does help people like me live a "normal" life for a while longer. Hopefully, for years. Prior to this, around every four hours I would take a dose of my medication that would result in about an hour of feeling "normal." The other three hours, using my left hand wasn't easy.

Anyway, due to that, I not only can type more freely, I also have a story for my Parkinson's novel. I came up with the idea shortly after the surgery, and wrote out a short story that will end up being my first chapter. I've written one other chapter. Now I simply need to write another 50k words this coming month to hopefully finish it out.

So this is special for several reasons. The last time I finished a novel for NaNo was in 2012, Virtual Game which is currently out for sale. That was the 4th year I had ever won NaNo. It was to be my last . . . until now, that is. I fully expect to finish this year, and hopefully for years to come.

Anyway, I wanted to let my readers know that I'll be posting my progress and other related things, hopefully each day of November. If you want to follow my progress, subscribe. If you don't want to be bombarded with daily or near daily posts of my progress during November, then unsubscribe, at least for November.

You have been warned!

But seriously, I hope you'll stick around and cheer me on to the finish line.

Friday, October 19, 2018

7 Suggestions to Writing Action Scenes

Here in Colorado, I missed a chance to attend the local writer group this past Sunday. Basically, I'm not used to going to anything on Sunday afternoon. So I missed even the reminder I had set to go off to, you know, to remind me of the upcoming event. I regretted missing it, because an author was going to discuss writing action scenes. Since I do write such scenes, I was interested in what he would have to add to my knowledge base.

So, since I missed that, I thought I would share what I do know about writing action scenes. Then I'll go next month to the next meeting. If I remember, that is. To look at my phone, that is.

So, what do I know about writing action scenes? I know I don't know it all, but what I do know, I'll share.

Definition of an action scene.

First, we need to define exactly what we are talking about when we refer to "action" scenes. We are talking about whenever any action that moves the plot forward needs to take place. It could be running from something or someone, or a fight, or a car chase, or even a board game. Any action which involves increasing tension until it resolves to some degree.

A lot of authors say they don't like writing action scenes. If so, they are probably doing it wrong, and it comes through in whatever action scenes they do write. What they generally mean is they don't like writing fight scenes. But an action scene is much more than fighting, as I've described above. Most every book will have some action scenes in it, even romance. Thus the need for us to examine how to write them in a manner that not only becomes enjoyable, but realistic.

Now, here are seven suggestions I have for writing action scenes.

1. Keep in mind the purpose of an action scene

Why have an action scene? What do they accomplish?  Two words: tension and resolution. That's why so many climaxes use them so often. But the goal, whether one is talking about action scenes in movies or in a book are to create tension about what will happen to the character, to put him or her in jeopardy that you are not sure they will escape. If you are having an action scene purely for its own sake, you're missing the whole point of having one in there. Instead of it being an important plot-moving element, it becomes mere plot decoration. Sort of like having a token action scene because it is expected.

Basic rule of thumb, if it does nothing for the tension of the story and the character(s), it is best to cut it or just say it happened without describing it.

2. Action scenes have a narrow focus.

By that, I mean that when a character goes into a battle or such, he or she focuses on the battle rather than a lot of other stuff going on around them. They won't notice the color of a drapery unless it falls on them or their opponent. So sensory data gets narrowed to whatever is going on in the battle or action. Think of all the adrenaline going through their veins. They will tend to only focus on the task at hand, or if well trained, only relevant data like noticing a fist coming at them from the side.

So your writing will need to reflect that narrow focus. Don't take time to describe any scenery except for that which directly is relevant to the action, to make sense of it. For instance, you could say something like, "A blue Dodge van careened toward them." But you wouldn't want to say, "We ran past a blue Dodge van as I plunged my fist toward his face."

To be realistic, you only should notice what your character would in that situation.

3. Action scenes happen fast.

This is good news for people who write an action scene: you don't need to spend pages writing out blow by blow accounts of everything. What does this mean for writing them?

It means action scenes should only be as long as required to describe the action adequately enough that the reader doesn't get lost. Probably one of the harder action scenes I've written was in my book, Mind Game, where I describe a space battle between three ships. It was a challenge to give enough detail that people could follow or get a picture in their minds as to what was happening in this three-dimensional-movement environment, but not so much that I made it appear longer than it would in real life.

Let's focus on sword fighting, for instance. Most sword fights happen in two or three moves. You rarely see the types of sword fights you see in movies where they battle it out for several minutes. It usually takes 2 to 5 seconds. Therefore, your writing should reflect that. If you have them swinging at each other more than three times, it starts to work its way toward non-realism.

That also means you'll want to use brief, short, sentences to describe action scenes. Conjunctions are not your friend if they are tying two long and complete sentences together. Break them up. The only thoughts of the character need to be focused on the battle or action at hand. This is not, generally, the time for long monologues or thoughtlogs as the case may be.

4. Focus more on the experience of the pov character than on the action itself.

That could be counter to what I just said above, but a balance needs to be maintained. Describe the action as necessary, but what the reader is really interested in is the character's experience. This is where showing can be very handy. Take these two examples:

Example 1: I hit him in the mouth and he slammed his fist into my gut.

Example 2: I swung my fist. It rammed into his jaw with a loud crack. My lungs expelled their air as a force slammed into my gut. I collapsed. The steely taste of blood rose into my mouth.

See how the second example raises the tension more than the first? The first just conveys what is happening. The second conveys what is happening to the character, what he or she is experiencing.

5. Don't have your characters talk a lot in an action scene.

What they do say should be short, to the point, and matching the drama of the moment. You might get "Look out!" or "Duck!" What you shouldn't get, unless your writing a literary piece, is long thoughts and discussions that put all the action on pause.

Just think, if you are in an action scene, like I was one time after my car spun out on the side of the road. The car's wheel stub was on fire, I didn't talk much. I ran as fast as I could to a nearby gas station to tell them to call the fire dept.

You wouldn't expect (though you often get) long discussions between characters. Or friendly banter like Spiderman or Deadpool. Those two are character traits. You don't often see much dialog (there are always exceptions) for instance, in Captain America's fights. There always tends to be pauses in the action to discuss something, but other than for characterization, you don't want most of your characters to say a lot during action scenes. Whatever they do say, should be to move the action forward or to build further tension.

6. Don't attempt to mimic the movies.

Movies use a lot of action scenes. Camera work is designed for it. You can see what is happening, and just seeing the main character dangling over that pool of acid is enough to keep you glued to the screen to see whether and how he escapes, or not, as the case my be.

However, as in point 4 above, just describing what happened from a camera pov is boring in writing. I've had people tell me they tend to skim and/or skip action scenes in most novels. The reason is they don't increase the tension in a novel as they do on the silver screen.

That's why point 4 is so important to include in any action scene. The tension will come more from what will happen to the character. So whether we are talking being hit or being dealt a bad hand in a poker game, we had better know what it means to the character's pov or you haven't conveyed good tension.

7. Your point of view will be an important factor how and what is described.

The above assumes you are writing in first or third limited person. If you are using an omniscient pov, however, your tactics can change. Keeping in mind the building of tension, you will have more freedom to get by with abbreviated action scenes. You can pull back for a broad view of a fight, as J. R. Tolkien does in Lord of the Rings, or you have the freedom to go into a specific head for a more personal view.

In either case, you do what will build tension most. For instance, I recall the scene in the movie, Lord of the Rings, where you have an extended fight scene with orcs and Legolas at Helms Deep. However, in the book, Tolkien only describes it in a sentence or two, referring to the sun glinting off Legolas' blade as he swung his sword over and over. In that pov, he could get away with that brief description. But to have focused on what happened, blow by blow, as he killed orc after orc, would have been tedious and wouldn't have built the tension as it did in the movie. Some complain that the movie's fight scenes were too long as well.

In first or limited third person pov, you would have to use a telling transition to skip over all that, something like, "My muscles grew weak as I hacked away at orc after orc. After several minutes of killing, I saw a bright light coming over the hill." But the omniscient pov has the value of being more descriptive in this instance.


So keep tension in your action scenes. They should build tension through them until it resolves, or partially resolves. All the above points focus on that aspect and making them as realistic as possible. If you can accomplish that while breaking any of the above suggestions, more power to you. But keeping the above points in mind will help to keep your action scenes pulling the reader into them, instead of something to skip over.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Scary Ride

My Halloween story for 2018. Enjoy!


“Mom, can I go?” I held out a flier to her. It read, “This Halloween, ride the Spookiest Roller Coaster you’ve ever rode in your LIFE!”

My mom scanned the flier. “Stephen, is Greg going with you to this?”

I nodded. “Everyone will go there. I don’t want to be the only one in school who hasn’t gone.”

She shrugged. “Don’t see any reason why not. But, be back in time to take your younger brother out trick-or-treating. Okay?”

“Oh, I guess.” Though I’d rather spend the evening with my friends. But I couldn’t tell mom that. I smiled instead. “Thanks, mom.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Cosmic Cowboy

It is said we all run from something. I was running. Probably for most of my life to tell the truth. On one such occasion, a special man came into my life. I had decided to move to a seaside community of North Carolina, named Cedar Island. That’s when I encountered him. A man known as Cosmic Cowboy. I say a man, only because he was as old as a man. Yet he only appeared to be around eight years old.

He stood there at the end of my driveway when I pulled up in the moving van, as if he was waiting for me. And for all I knew, perhaps he was, now that I know what I know.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Commentary on Commentaries

Yep, I found another gem while going through some stuff. This one from September 20, 1979! I would have been 19 years old when I wrote this. That would be shortly during my first semester at college. Based on the markings, it appears it showed up in the school newspaper. Could easily be said to be the first thing I ever officially "published." It's a silly piece, but I think I'll go there anyway.


Ricky Copple
September 20, 1979
A Commentary on Commentaries

I consented to create some conclusions and comments about commentaries. Many commentaries can be creative, catchy, or constructive. However, can the "common person" collect the conclusions that could create a concise consensus? Can commentaries continue to claim that creative and constructive criticisms and conclusions are being conducted? In the coming paragraphs, I will concentrate upon these concrete questions.

First, commentaries can be catchy. Many a creative commentary has been conducted as a catchy collection of ideas. The common commentary can draw your consciousness to keep its contents contained in your cranium. One catchy use has common words or letters through the contents, while in others it can create a commotion in the consciousness. Commentaries can also concentrate the consciousness of contemporaries to a contagious problem which can cause it to be catchy. The creative commentary can be contagiously catchy.

Commentaries can also be constructive. A concise constructive commentary can construct the credibility of composers, conservatives, candidates, conductors, kids, con artists, and other contemporaries. A colossal credibility can be created by a creative commentator. Other constructive commentaries can collect the conclusions and comments of experts on a contagious problem. A credible commentary can be very constructive in its outcome.

Lastly, commentaries can be creative. Can you create a commentary? A creative commentary is created by a creative commentator. If you can create a creative commentary, it concludes that commentaries can be creative and that you can be creative. Klutzy commentaries are to be condemned. Only colossal commentaries can be creative. Commentaries can also create more freedom for the creator to create. The common column consist of conclusions of collective data while a commentary can cross the creeks and climb the crevices of the consciousness. Commentaries are considerably creative if colossal.

Can commentaries be catchy, constructive, and creative? Close, concise criticisms, and comments in one's own consciousness can create the conclusions to these common questions. You can now conceive my conclusions and comments on commentaries. What can you conclude?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

It Was the Night Before Christmas and Everyone Was Stirring!

This is a play I wrote a long, long time ago. I'm not sure of the exact date, but I suspect it was around 1990 or 91.

Yep, in preparing for our move, I've been digging through lots and lots of old papers and such. Every once in a while, I come across little gems like this one. I apparently started several different short stories and such. Most of the not all that great, though a couple of them have good premises. But most remain unfinished. But occasionally I run across something like this one that I did finish and is good!

Now when I say "good," I don't necessarily mean according to what I can do today. This was long before I started writing professionally. So I'm going to retype this, flaws and all, though I'll correct any typos and grammar errors I find as I go.

But one thing this confirms for me is that all my life I've been a writer. I know of stuff I wrote as a teen in high school and college. But I didn't realize just how much I'd written in the other times. Most of it I had forgotten about.

One note on this play. It was originally written to be presented in a church setting. If anyone reads this, and wants to use it for that purpose, be my guest. But it will, as a result, have a more overt gospel presentation in it.

So with that, I present to you, my Christmas play, "It Was the Night Before Christmas, and Everyone was Stirring!"


Narrator: This is a story about a family on Christmas Eve. A time of joy, relaxation, and fun. Or is it? Let's look in on this family and see.

Be prepared to sing with us when the hymns numbers are announced. And now, I introduce to you, "It Was the Night Before Christmas, and Everyone Was Stirring!"

Scene: Opens with Dad sitting in his recliner reading the newspaper. Other living room decor can be used to give the appearance of a living room in a typical house.  After a few seconds, two of his children, between the ages of 7 and 10 come running in and stop in front of him.

Son 1: Daddy, could you tell us the Christmas story? Pleasssssse!

Dad: Well, I'm a little busy right now.

Son 2: Pleeeeeease, Daddy! We want to hear it!

Dad: Why don't you ask your mom to read it to you?

Son 1: She told us to ask you.

Dad: (with exasperation), Oh, okay. (Yells to his wife), Honey, where is the Christmas Story book?

Mom: (pokes her head out the kitchen doorway) I lent it to our pastor, I didn't think we would need it. (Ducks back into doorway)

Dad: Well, maybe I can tell it from memory. (Kids get excited.) Once upon a time, there was a big fat man who lived at the North Pole--

Son 2: No, no, Daddy. Not the Santa Claus story. The real story, about Jesus.

Dad: Oh, well, I guess I will need a Bible for that. (Yells to his wife.) Honey, where is the family Bible?

Mom: (pokes her head out the doorway.) Probably among all of your other books. Now quit bothering me. I'm trying to fix dinner. (Ducks back into the kitchen.)

Dad: (He walks over behind stage and begins to pull several books out from behind a "wall". Finally he comes to a big Bible.) Ah ha! I found it! (He blows the dust off of it as he walks back to his recliner.) Let's see, (he opens the Bible up) I think the story is in 1 Kings.

Son 1: No dad, it's in Luke. Chapter 2.

Dad: (Somewhat sarcastically) I knew that. I wanted to see if you both knew that or not. (Opens the Bible to the table of contents.) Looks like that would be page 1057. Wow, a long book. (He flips some more pages until he reaches the page number.) In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree--

(At this time, their teenage son runs across stage and into the kitchen. Dad gets distracted and stops reading. In a few seconds, the teen runs back across stage, headed to the "front door.")

Dad: Whoa, son. Where are you going?

Teen: I'm going to the Church Christmas party. Mom said I could. (He points toward the kitchen.)

Dad: Well, you haven't asked me.

Teen: Well, can I?

Dad: No! Sit down, I'm reading the Christmas story.

Teen: But I've heard that story a thousand times. And besides, they will probably tell it at the party tonight anyway.

Dad: It doesn't matter, I only do this once a year, and now is it. Besides, this is a family event; so sit!

Teen: (dejected and frustrated) Oh, okay. (He walks over to the "front door" and opens it. He yells to his friends in the car.) Sorry, I can't go tonight. Bye. (He waves his hand. Then he comes over and sits with his head in his hands appearing sad.)

Dad: All right. (Looks back to the Bible and says in a monotone voice) In those days . . .

(After a few sentences a knock on the door sounds out.)

Dad: Now who could that be? (He walks over to the door and opens it. Several teens enter the room with their youth pastor.)

Y.M.: Hi Mr. --use a name of someone from the congregation--, we thought that since --teens name--  could not go to the party, we would bring the party to him. (He gives the signal for everyone to begin singing. The congregation joins him at this point singing, "Deck the Halls.")

Dad: (After the song is over, says) You might as well take over. I'm sure not getting anything going.

(Youth Minister now leads the congregation in singing a couple of Christmas Hymns)

Church Teen 1: Once upon a time, there was a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem. However, this was no ordinary baby because his father was not Joseph who Mary was betrothed to, but God Himself. This baby was named Jesus and He was the Gift of God to the world. Jesus was born to die upon a cross so that we all might walk in newness of life as He walked. For this reason, we give gifts to one another. Jesus gave us life. What gift shall we give Him?

Church teen 2: Let's pray. Our loving Father, how wonderful a gift was given to us on that first Christmas morning. You, yourself, healed their sicknesses, loved the unlovable, fed the hungry, taught the wandering sheep, and forgave the repentant sinner. How wonderful a gift was given, our very own souls. Our very own life. Let us therefore rejoice at your birth, and let us give of ourselves to You. For the only gift that we can bring of any value to You is our complete dedication: our lives for Your service. Thank you for this season, this family, and your gift to us, Jesus Christ. Now, let's go and not only give gifts to each other, but you also. In Jesus' name, Amen.

(The Youth Minster and teens start to shake hands with each other and to leave.)

Mom: (Pokes her head into the room and says:) Come and Eat! (Then quickly ducks back in.)

Teen Group in unison: Eat! (Everyone runs into the kitchen with the family until the stage is empty.)

Mom: (In a couple of seconds stomps out of the kitchen and onto the stage looking angry. Stops center stage and faces audience.) How many times have I told my husband not to invite company over with discussing it with me first! (Begins to walk toward the "front door" On her way off stage, she says:) I'm going out to eat!

The End

Friday, June 15, 2018

Notes of a Time Traveler

I've decided to attempt to put out one of these short stories a month again. One, because now that I can type better, I'm able. Two, because I'll need something to read to my writer's club, and three, because it will help to populate new stories for Vol. 3 of my next Ethereal World anthology. So here is my June 2018 offering, a time travel tale that I hope will be a bit different from the others you may have read. Enjoy!

Day 1: June 14, 2018 - Jerusalem

Today is the big day. Today I go into my time machine, which I’ve worked on for the last five years in earnest. I’m keeping these notes as to document my experiences.

Dr. Johnson said it could never be done. There were plenty of skeptics to join his camp. Today I prove them all wrong—that we can go back in time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Convicted in Total Blackout

Starry the Space Hippie Series


Starry Skyward inhaled deeply the aroma. “Ah, what a wonderful smell.”

Tramal, Starry’s half-alien wife, set a plate down in front of him. “You’re favorite.”

The people in the mess hall scurried around them. They were here to do a show. At least that is what everyone thought. They were also here on a secret mission, to discover why or who was causing this starship to breakdown, usually at a critical point in a mission. It gave the starship Herman a mission success rate of 0.01. Compared to the fleet-wide rate of 0.8, it was pretty lousy.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Valentine's Valentine

Note: As far as I can recall, this is my very first Valentine story. I've created several Valentine poems over the past years, but this is the first Valentine Day story I've created. Enjoy!


Jana listened eagerly as her father, Asterios, told the stories he’d received from Valentine. He’d related to her father, a judge overseeing Valentine’s house arrest, about a man named Jesus who did all sorts of miracles. The story she liked the most was of the man born blind receiving his sight. She hoped such a miracle could be preformed on her. She’d not seen anything since she was born either.

“And then,” Asterios said, “Jesus walked right out onto the water to them. When Peter, one of his disciples called out to him, he also walked on the water.” Asterios paused for dramatic effect. “At least for a little while. Then he sank. But then Peter called out to Jesus and Jesus saved him.”

“Wow!” Jana said. She bounced in her seat. “Tell me the one again about the man born blind who Jesus healed.”