Where’s Randy?

I guess my loyal blog readers are wondering what I’ve been up to all week.

Answer: working on my deck while the weather’s good. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a deck doesn’t last many years unless you maintain it, because of all the rain. So we’ve been working on cleaning our deck during odd moments through most of August. But we’ve also been waiting for a solid week of sunshine to arrive so we could seal it. You don’t want to seal in the moisture right after a rain, and August has been alternately hot and rainy.

Well, that week has finally arrived, so I’ve been pretty much working nonstop outside to get it all done. We have a large deck, probably around 1500 square feet, and there’s quite a long section of railing around one part of it. I’ll try to post a picture of it here when we get it all finished.

Today is going to be hotter than normal, and we’re within a few hours of finishing it up, so I’m going to wait till mid-afternoon to go out and work. Which gives me a few minutes right now to blog.

I’ve been reading through all the comments that my loyal blog readers have left in response to my question about what we’ll be talking about next. There are a couple of clear contenders–MRUs and “voice” are topics of high interest. And there are some questions that I can answer in a paragraph or two.

I have a couple of non-craft items to talk about just for today:

First, some of you might be interested in an article I wrote recently. It’s got rather an odd title, “Jesus and the Numbers” and it’s about the work I’ve done over the past year and a half on probability calculations on the alleged “Jesus Family Tomb.” As some of you know, I’ve become one of the world’s leading experts on this issue, and I was one of the referees assigned to vet the official statistical journal article by the documentary group that started the whole brouhaha. So my article has a few reflections on that whole experience. Marcus Goodyear, one of my loyal blog readers here, was the editor who asked me to write this article. Thanks Marcus!

Second, my friend Sue Brower (senior fiction editor at Zondervan Publishing) has sent me word of something that will be of very high interest to unpublished novelists who are wanting to break into the Christian publishing market (which has been growing very rapidly in recent years). Zondervan, in conjunction with the Mount Hermon Christian Writing Conference, are sponsoring a competition for a novel by an unpublished writer. The winner will receive a $10,000 contract with Zondervan. This sounds like a FABULOUS opportunity. All the details about the contest are on Zondervan’s web site here. Zondervan is a great, great organization. I believe that my two best novels (PREMONITION and RETRIBUTION) are the two that I published with Zondervan.

OK, I have lots to catch up on, because I’ve been letting everything slide all week while I work on that pesky deck. I’m going to play catchup for a few hours, then go hit the deck and hope to get it finished today. Tomorrow, I’ll answer some of the questions that have shorter answers.

See ya then!


  1. Liz C September 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    According to the weather report, it looks like you’ve got another week to get that deck done! Odd weather for Sept., but I’m not complaining.

  2. Linda Clare September 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi Randy,
    I’m a fellow Oregonian writer, teacher and editor just down the road in Eugene. I have an editing client who attended your recent crit group and she really enjoyed it. Now if I can teach her to use your great ideas on writing, my job will be easier.

  3. Daan Van der Merwe September 12, 2008 at 5:04 am #

    Yeah… the Pacific Northwest. I think back with nostalgic to the wonderful month of May which I mostly spent in Vancouver.

    I very much enjoyed reading “Jesus and the Numbers” and also the comment posted by Mike. I fully agree with him. He wrote “You had the training, the skills, the motivation to do the job with the right attitude.”

    I would like to add, and also the ability to write the article very well.

    Thank you.

  4. Sam September 12, 2008 at 5:17 am #

    Just what makes a novel a Christian novel instead of (for lack of a better term) a non-Christian novel?
    I would list some assumptions (such as referencing prairie romances from your ‘Manly Guy and Christian Fiction’ article), but I don’t want to take away from the seriousness of the inquiry.


  5. Pam Halter September 12, 2008 at 5:44 am #

    One thing about that contest – your novel has to be 75,000 words or more. That leaves out us middle grade and YA novelists … at least me, anyway. But it sounds like a great contest!

    My favorite Randy novels are Oxygen and The Fifth Man. Yeah, yeah, I know he co-wrote them, but I liked ’em best anyway … and I did enjoy Premonition. I’ll get to Retribution someday. It’s in the never ending stack of books I want to read. 😉

  6. Amy VR September 15, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    One more question that is kind of craft related…

    I am on Step 8 of the Snowflake Method. (I am also writing some chapters along the way…) I have shared my completed steps with my critique group. Was that smart thing to do? Will it give away too much information? I worry that if they know the whole story, it will ruin the effect of my attempts at foreshadowing and character and plot development. Or maybe it is good for the critiquers to see everything up front so they can possibly catch inconsistencies sooner? What are your thoughts on this? Do you share your Snowflake Steps with anyone?

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