The House on the Cliff
By Franklin W. Dixon
Grosset & Dunlap
REVIEW. I know I have said I don’t like The Hardy Boys, as the second entry in the series The House on the Cliff let me down. But when I started reading the third in the series, The Secret of the Old Mill, I liked the sound of it. It made me want to review that second book The House on the Cliff. Continue reading “The second part of the Hardy Boys: review”
On reading Dante’s Inferno, I was looking forward to Dante’s Paradiso where the imagery of heaven prevails, I was led to believe. Inferno is a very complex poem and for literary enthusiasts of a higher level, it lacks something for the ordinary reader and the beginner poet, unless you are a genius and need no further training. I found Paradiso lacking in the spiritual imagery I desired, probably because the words and images put me at a distance. However, I still believe in paradise.
Breaking out of the musical diary rut…
How does one respond to recent events such as the last three years? One mustn’t blame. It was his fault or someone’s fault. But if one survived and can see an opportunity in the mess, then one comes out with a better outlook and attitude than without. Adversity can make one see life anew. If one finds trouble, one adjusts their temperament to survive. One does not give up but can turn over with a view to stay alive and live. One can even think about how they relate to the Creator: what is my relationship with the Creator of the world like? How can I draw closer to God during adversity?
What about recycled movies? Or a haunting little masterpiece and something more mysterious? What was 10 Cloverfield Lane (Pictured)? Redisturbed on trend? Another in a long list of disturbing movies? A thrill? A pill? A chill? A fill? You wouldn’t want to meet the disturbed character in this not that we could. Run a mile away, but watch from a safe distance, while it’s trending. Art. Don’t waste. Recycle. Do it again.
I believe in not wasting, like when it comes to food, writing, books. Use everything, reuse, don’t waste it, it means more than that. Or they tell me I’m real tidy. So, here is a montage of some photos I didn’t want to waste but had little use for them. Call it recycled art.
But is some art worth recycling?
It can be recycled all together into montaged art and a new hybrid movie. Like my montage (above)?
A Christian perspective is quite easy really when it comes to it. Sure, one can think of theological and sociological things to bring up, while the ordinary, everyday filmgoer bites into an ice cream, and popcorn flows all over the place, but a Christian perspective is just this: it is reacting or responding to a film as someone who is a Christian. It is just reacting to the material and if faith is important to a Christian then there is a reaction or response that kind of way. Personally, I give the film or whatever a chance until the end and thoughtfully respond. I just give my thoughts. If you want my Christian perspectives on films, in a refresh of my reviews, you are more than welcome here: www.xsandv.blogspot.com. I’d love to see you there. It’s not theological, sociological, but just how one reacts to the movie with a Christian view.
This week I have been starting to post my pieces of writing through blogger as the other place was not technically working for me. Another place, Substack, requires a lot of work to get subscriptions to your blog, so I find blogger just a lovely place to post my older and newer work and get an audience where there are no hassles. Here’s my latest piece, here.
Crimson is a rich sounding word. It means rich as well, as in a “rich, deep red” inclining to purple (but not exactly purple). I asked myself, how would you use this word? When would you use this word? Crimson is an adjective so describes something. The word sounds so rich it could be used to describe the inner state of someone, as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson. One would have to know what a deep red would signify if using crimson as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson, but what does it mean?
Looks like I am unable to post at Vocal after all. There are problems with my account, so can’t easily navigate between pages. Vocal seems to work for others, though. So, that’s the latest writing news from here.
You have access to my reinvented film review of 2 Fast 2 Furious here. I am pleased to share this; do have a visit. @vocal_creators
My experience at Vocal has been good thus far though there are some teething problems which are being sorted but nothing major as in major. I found my first article, before I submitted to the editors, prompted me to write to a certain word count and I found this good as it enabled me to try a little harder, think a little harder, and improve the article overall. If they accept the piece, I will be submitting more, until there comes a point that I should stop writing there for some reason, but for now, all is good. Continue reading “New venture”
Good Reads references 190 Hardy Boys books from 1927—2005. For an author that is a lot of books to write. Continue reading “The Hardy Boys series”
There are some words one knows but doesn’t really. I know what whisked means instinctively, but would I know how to articulate what it means? If this is a question I ask, I add the word to my notebook of words I got to learn.
Whisked is easily remembered by me by recalling the word ‘suddenly’, as in a person or thing was suddenly taken away or “whisked” away. I took a second glance on how to spell it, not ‘wisked’, but with a ‘h’, as in whisked.
One of the things I have been recommended to do is to keep a notebook of words. So, I have, as this helps me learn novel words. I write down the word with a memory jogger as to its definition. But I got to review these words every so often as some will slip through the memory and be forgotten. I recommend keeping a notebook of words that one can learn and to review them every so often so one won’t forget. It can only make one understand that much better.
I am pleased to introduce FRAGMENTS OF WRITING, a new category… Continue reading “Not the ‘literary types’”
I spent a few spare hours of writing a couple of interesting posts (if I must say) on my new ventures with Medium and Substack, but my initial feeling was to not start out with it. To leave it be and not do it. The initial feeling was confirmed when the response to my posts and marketing of them were minimal. It’s not encouraging going ahead. Yet I forced myself to think harder about what other kinds of material I could produce so this material may come to fruition someplace else or closer to home base.
This blog has been various shapes and forms of which I think it has been a matter of experimenting with shape and form and content until coming to something satisfactory or a composite of all those. I trust that Talking Writing or peteswritingnotes.com is this, which brings back my notes on the writing life more to the forefront as well as keeping with positing old articles, etc, and new pieces when possible.
My aim, in the long-term, is to produce e-books (or some variation thereof) of articles and reviews, the kind of things I have been posting here for the last six months as well as include the material that did not get published here.
So, I am pleased to present Talking Writing…And Posting Writings which I trust is more in the form I find manageable. It means I can write freely about the writing life and publish writings when I like. A lot easier to produce and in turn brings more variety.
John had been lazy for hours but was brisk on the exercycle. John broke out on the stationary bicycle. John went “crazy” on the pedals. John erupted. Today’s word is erupted. It can mean ‘break out’.
To not confuse “obelisk” with “Obelix”, the word “obelisk” is a stone pillar of some sort. Obelix is a character. This kind of stone pillar narrows towards the end or gets narrower towards the end. It is tapering towards the end. Tapering simply means to get narrower.
Continue reading “It stood proud: the obelisk”
Time is on the writer’s side. But what kind of writer? Continue reading “Time is a friend”
This word reminds me of the character Obelix from the comic book series Asterix. Continue reading “Tell it like it is”
I love looking up unfamiliar words and finding out what they mean. But what’s the point? It may feel like a pointless exercise. Continue reading “Expanding the vocabulary–why?”
New Year’s honour for Wendy
Circa 2004. Lower Hutt woman Wendy Zamanek says it’s neat to be listed on the New Year’s honours list. Receiving the Queen’s Service Medal for Community Service not only makes her proud, but she says the award recognises the two women’s organisations that she sweated blood and tears for during the 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading ““You have a feeling that you are doing something worthwhile””
Some words are harder to pinpoint. There’s a scientific meaning which requires more than a dictionary, it requires a scientific dictionary. But for some writers where science is not their subject why bother? Continue reading “When to look up that word”
MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?
Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading “Genesis chapter one: God and creation”
Moral movies awarded
2005. The Passion of the Christ (Pictured) and The Incredibles feature in the Arts and Faith Film Critics Circle winners for 2004 film releases. Continue reading “2004 offered “an amazing variety of films to consider””
Around the world with your baggage
2002. It’s no easy road finding God. At least, for Ian Head (Pictured above). In 1956, he was going to end his life by jumping off the Westminster Bridge in London. A pull to go to the remotest part of the world was stronger. Ian arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, later that year. It was not until 1987 that the emotional baggage he brought with him started to fade. Continue reading “Brought up in a home for boys was hard, then life turned for the better”
Top one hundred “spiritually significant” films
2005. First there were the Top 100 American films of the 20th century. Then followed the top one hundred cinematic comedies and thrillers. Recently, top movie songs were honoured. After lengthy discussion and debate among a group of web users, the Top 100 “spiritually significant” films ever made evolved and were announced in June this year. Continue reading “Classic, foreign and Hollywood all feature on spiritually significant list”
Listening post for October 15-October 22. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. October 14-20, 2022. Good music which I feel I don’t have the patience for and instinctive music which compromises my principles and becomes suffocating.
Continue reading “The non-musician might do”
There can be a difference between writing a review and giving a view. A review stays within the parameters of review: explain your reasons for accepting or rejecting a piece. But a view can state the view without necessarily having to explain things in detail.
Although there are two kinds of views: one which can be explained and the other is like being asked a question about what you thought and answering without explaining why. You just say it. So, I intend to write more of that kind, where it is like someone asks me, what I thought, and I say it. These are typically short.
God’s rule and reign in every area of life
2000. God’s perspective must filter into every area of your life, says Barbara Thomas member of the Strategic Life Training board.
“God’s principles apply to every area of life. It’s not just for Sunday’s or church meetings or that you deal with any area of your life differently,” she says. Continue reading “SLT sees training for Christians as wholistic, for life, and from “God’s perspective””
Healing prayer ministry proceeding cautiously
2006. The facilitator of the School of Healing Prayer, set up last year in the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, says the healing ministry is a neglected area because “Satan has been getting his own way for all too long and has nearly succeeded in killing off the healing ministry, especially in the Western Church.” Continue reading ““Important” healing ministry given permission to work in archdiocese”
House of Hope making a difference
2000. Petone’s House of Hope (In New Zealand) was born out of a “fairly evident need for resources and ministry”, explains shop manager and chairman of Jubilee Ministries, Selwyn Stevens (Pictured above). Continue reading “Retail outlet for Christian resources has quite an extensive range”
At the listening post for albums released between October 7-October 14. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.
I’m really looking for music that moves me at the level of soul, it does not have to be soul music exclusively, but any music that moves my soul. Continue reading “At the level of soul”
Recovering “village values”
2003. Pictured above: The Hutt City Council. A community charter initiated by local churches and adopted by Hutt City Council aims to support Lower Hutt as a safe and connected community, what Lower Hutt Mayor John Terris calls an effort to recover “village values”. Continue reading “Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning”
Antidote for fearful society
2002. St. James’s Anglican Church in Lower Hutt hosted a display of local community and social help organizations throughout the week ending with an ecumenical service on October 20. Continue reading “Community get-together an opportunity to look after each other”
2002. Pictured above: The Hutt River. Hutt City Council and local churches (In New Zealand) are making moves to work at creating a safe city, particularly since two unsettling incidents occurred on April 13 this year. Continue reading “Local events stir up action”
My listening post session for September 30-October 6. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.
It may have looked good this week in ’72, at best. But nothing to write home about. Billy Preston put out an album in 1982, his last for Motown, and his back story makes for interesting reading. R.E.M looking strong with another album, but not up my ally. Life Goes On, for Le Ann Rimes in 2002; the song felt quite visceral, not the rest of the album though. What did you say? 2022 music? It must have escaped me.
Agony in a maelstrom behind the storm a week of pain from the well rising up It’s life again Beyond the walls that I had built in vain there was a vision of a place so light and cool with healing that I succumbed to its allure It’s life again Love subsided the pain.
Compassionate response to unemployment
2001. While watching a slide presentation of underprivileged children from India at a house group meeting, Ken and Wendy Fraser were impressed that God wanted them to help unemployed people in the Hutt Valley (in New Zealand). Continue reading “Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand”
Backing for beneficiaries
2005. A church agency representing the views of the national representatives of four mainline churches (in New Zealand) is concerned that a government bill at select committee stage will unduly penalise domestic purposes beneficiaries who do not establish paternity of their children. Continue reading “Penalising approach not welcomed”
Time makes such amends
For what’s missing in time
Just when life seemed hopeless
Along came time to soften wandering through the pages
Maladjusted by my unravelling
Depth and meaning were the challenge to my soul, but
Time had a way of healing,
For relief from superficialness.
I found soothing in an echo from time
The breeze blew toward me,
A grace I was assigned
Misaligned, I was, but saved despite the swirl of agony
In a moment of time
My music listening session that covers a week of releases September 22-September 29. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.
The verdict: What do you do when even the classics don’t speak? Catch Bull at Four, remember it? Why does Christian music from 2002 sound two note? 2012 just sounds a little bit fuller. Just commercial enough to satisfy the intended audience? Costs less to make? The oldies are just sounding above mediocre with their new releases. Two picks this week.
Loaves & Fishes only community meal
2001. The Community Outreach Mission for the Salvation Army Crossroads Community Church in Lower Hutt (in New Zealand) runs the only regular community meal in the city. Continue reading ““They were coming because they wished to meet with other people””
No let-up in demand for foodbank service
2006. While the Lower Hutt foodbank gave thanks for its 20 years in the community at a mid-week service at St. James Anglican Church, the use of foodbanks continued to increase in some areas of New Zealand. Continue reading ““I would not have imagined that the need would still be as great””
Getting Brash over welfare reform
2005. Christian-based organisations are calling National Party leader Don Brash’s proposals for welfare reform backward measures. Continue reading ““What will be the impact of proposals on the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society””
Minister shortage changes methods
2006. The thirty-one advertised ministerial vacancies in Presbyterian churches throughout New Zealand do not constitute a major shortage, according to the church’s assembly executive secretary Dr Kerry Enright. He conceded, however, that parishes with smaller numbers could not attract ministers. Continue reading ““We don’t think this year we are facing a major shortage”: Presbyterian secretary”
Anglican Church is not wealthy and does not invest in “sin”
2001. The Anglican Church in New Zealand invests socially, and social responsibility is of high priority. Chief Executive of Trust Investments Management Ltd, Peter Jansen, says the Anglican Church is not a wealthy church and does not invest in sin, in response to a 2 September Sunday Star Times article that investigated the Church’s finances. Continue reading ““We are never consciously investing in prohibited investments”: Anglican church”
I think I have finally done it, in that I have produced a satisfactory entertainment blog, streamlined to select movies and music, and sounding better than the two I have been posting from the last couple of weeks. You may like to visit this here: The Video Review Shop
The week’s music. September 6—September 13. 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022. Nothing made a strong impression. One stood above the rest, then opened the mouth to sing. Some you either like or you don’t. It is going to be harder to find Christian music week by week as I can no longer access the list I was using, but I will still look to use a list elsewhere.
2007. More Lower Hutt residents want to go to the library on a Sunday morning than go to church. Response from a Hutt library survey of 3700 residents showed changing library hours to start at 10am was popular. But this means parishioners from the adjacent Anglican St James Church would be competing for parking spaces at the morning service, according to representatives from the church. The church rents 23.5 carparks to the Hutt City Council for public use during the week, which could be cancelled, according to The Hutt News.
By Peter Veugelaers
Published 2007, Challenge Weekly
2004/2013. David Moxon became an Archbishop of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and then the Anglican representative to the Vatican in Rome for five years. This was a little of a trajectory of his activities in my interview with him starting with the interview in 2004 and then the interview in 2013. Starting with older The Lord of the Rings news. Continue reading “Applied theology of the Lord of the Rings sold out”
2004. I interviewed David Moxon (pictured above), the then Bishop of the Waikato (in New Zealand), about The Lord of the Rings movies that were released in the theatre. It seems quite timely to publish that interview in light of the latest ‘incarnation’ of the Lord of the Rings in the media. Here is David Moxon’s “review” of The Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson This is an unofficial review but an interview I had with him in 2004. Continue reading ““A serious misunderstanding of Tolkien’s intentions” says Bishop in response to critic’s malinging of The Return of the King”
August 29th—September 5, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022. My session at the listening post produced music that is almost acceptable then you listen to the second track on the album and it’s all downhill from there. Yes, there were one or two stand out tracks and on another one something like noise.
YungBlud seems to have the release of the week in 2022. This self-titled album sounds good but it’s something I would pass on not only for the lyrics I have reservations on, but the sound just did not resonate with me personally. Christian music is sounding quiet this week in 2022.
MEDITATION. Genesis 1:20-31: God created the creatures of the sea and the earth, and then God created human beings in God’s likeness.
I look at this passage and see that God does not let the creatures roam and the human beings to exist by them uninvolved. I see that humans and creatures are always in relationship somehow. In this, God does not take for granted how we interact, be that creature to creature, human being to creature and human to human. Continue reading “Humans and creatures exist side by side”
Writing the picture book manuscript
2022. March 28 was Children’s Picture Book Day. This brings back memories and inspiration. I must bring out that picture book manuscript I wrote all those years ago… Continue reading “Bringing out the old draft in a real genre”
Fifteen issues strong but still a way to go
2002. Since 1998 Soul Purpose magazine has targeted Christian and non – Christian young people aged between 12 – 25 years.
The magazine has reached its 15th issue and while the crew could rest on their laurels, Founder and Chief Editor Hamish Stevenson feels they have a long way to go. Continue reading “A “viable alternative for young people””
Launch of ‘alternative’ youth magazine
2002. In Manchester, UK, an alternative young people’s magazine was launched, which is especially geared towards those in the Church. Continue reading “To present advice in a way “that is cool and appealing to young people””
August 21st—August 28th, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012. The session opened with Neil Diamond’s Heartlight which was a beautiful way to begin the session, but the next song on the album fell short in my estimation. Continue reading “Another week of songs”
Greenbelt Festival “best yet”
2002. An annual four-day Christian carnival held in Britain over August 23 – 26 hit capacity attendances this year. Continue reading “Largest gathering of festivalgoers for over four years”
Zeal Studio a first for Wellington
2002. In the heart of Wellington City [in New Zealand] is the first semi-professional recording studio in the city managed by Christians, says FX Audio Manager Mat Barnes. Youth center Zeal’s latest development is FX Audio, a recording facility for college students and young bands so they can venture confidently into the music industry. Continue reading ““Our focus is to encourage and motivate youth””
Christian music hits mainstream retailer
2002. The CD Store’s latest venture in retailing Christian music may become a significant part of the music industry in New Zealand, says the chain’s Manager Roger Harper. Continue reading “Retailers saw an opportunity to expand gospel music in the marketplace”
The method of writing metered poetry may start quite from scratch. One forces the words to fit the meter as one drafts the poem. I have found another way that may work for me. Continue reading “How to transform free verse meter by meter”
Album releases for the week of Aug 13th – Aug 20th
For the years 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012.
And Aug 12th – Aug 17th, 2022.
Dates will be more consistent overall next time.
The week’s findings: Christian contemporary music (CCM) with that beat sound should not be discouraged if the content and music work together to help someone Continue reading “A quiet week”
Enrolments steady at Bible College of NZ
2007. Bible College of New Zealand enrolments are holding steady although they are well down on those of the early 2000s. Figures have declined in the past two years because of a drop in the number of international students.
The college expects 650 full time equivalent students this year at its national campus in West Auckland, nine regional centers, and distance learning center – the same as last year. Continue reading “People still trucking into Bible college”
Salt makes way for Light
2004. Scripture Union is making fundamental changes to their range of published resources which will take over from the old range of Bible materials in September this year.
Salt, a range of published resources to help leaders of children’s, youth, and all-age church-based ministry to run learning sessions and weekly services, will be succeeded by Light. Salt has been active since 1984, though Scripture Union has been publishing a similar church-based curriculum for over 60 years. Continue reading “New Bible materials are a ‘fundamental reshaping’ of older resources”
Unique man with a unique message
2000. Bible teacher and author Charles W. ‘Chuck’ Missler is described on his ministry website, Koinonia House (khouse.org), as a “unique man with a unique message”.
Mr. Missler was speaking throughout New Zealand over the Easter period and beyond. Continue reading “Sitting down with a Bible teacher: “Jesus Christ is the only relevant issue, churches are not””
LIFE. I’ve been reflecting on pilots this week. Some pilots are quite lonely people I assume. They may not be either. But they are on an adventure. Continue reading “Pilots are on an adventure, but is there more to it?”
….propaganda as they say? Worldviews? Human experience? What one is essentially? Faith? Religion? Politics? It matters.
Taking the sheen off the praise
When what was delivered was good,
I got to get away,
Get back to the place where I am understood.
Many years ago, an utterance of certainty,
Which I forsook,
Could they be so right,
When the praise is so good,
And delivers in ways that are wonderous.
I lift my soul and hand go up, the arms raise
No more the exercise of pain,
Inflicted by something unseen,
The shine comes back,
And I’m found again.
I was reluctant to headline this post the way it is, as it may sound too selfie. But poetry interests many people so it’s the poetry that counts here. Then I ask, how do I intersect with poetry? Continue reading “Poetry and me”
AMREADING. As well as my other readings, I’ve been looking into The New International Bible Commentary. The first edition was released in 1979. This second edition is part of Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series.
What’s different? The basic text used is changed from the Revised Standard Version to the New International Version (NIV).
What is it? A commentary is a verse by verse or chapter by chapter-by-chapter detailed analysis.
What do I think so far? Continue reading “The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update”
DEVOTION. Jesus’ lesson of the fig tree may be better understood as a figure of speech that teaches us something rather than give an ordinary description of life. Continue reading “Extraordinary figures of speech”
Someone predicting the ending of a story makes sense when there is an explanation for the prediction.
Continue reading “When the key character knows the end: how it should be written”
DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.
Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…
Continue reading “A vow of poverty to write”
Had a flurry of writing over the Easter period and beyond for some devotions I was trying to get through and published. Those ones were safely rejected I think all of them, but I am not counting, so I have an idea there is one or two that are on their list to publish at some stage. Wait for the cheque in the post. The rejections when they come don’t hurt as much as they used to. I am not counting.
In the Bible, in the gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 16 verses 24-28, a follower of Jesus Christ is challenged to live life in such a way that when he is judged by God, he will enter into life, rather than spiritual death.
Continue reading “Following the leader”
OMS – Reaching the nations for Christ
2000. OMS is reaching the city of Medellin, Colombia (pictured).
Over the last year OMS International has seen growth in missionary numbers and new directions in missions with a greater emphasis on international partnership with the emerging national churches on “mission fields”, says New Zealand National Director Denis Shuker.
Continue reading “Missioners OMS share testimonies from abroad”
Anti-slavery film likely to be shown here
2007. The pending release of a movie garnering Christian support in Australia is gathering interest in New Zealand.
Continue reading “Amazing Grace: “a timely evangelistic tool””
The Star Wars Archives Episodes IV-VI
509 pages, hardback
AMREADING. The Star Wars Archives is about the making of the first three Star Wars films. Film historian Paul Duncan interviews the creators and cast and crew to create a narrative of the making of the films as well as include developmental material such as from first drafts of screenplays. There are plenty of photos.
Continue reading “Reading through The Archives”
A good chance for “spiritual” broadcasting
2002. The Television New Zealand public broadcasting charter will gradually come into effect but TVNZ will not have an obligation to reflect programmes with a direct spiritual flavour as this will not be part of their objectives, unless there is a change to the charter before it becomes law.
Continue reading “Programming that contribute to spiritual and ethical development recommended”
Christians in secular radio and television
Law change in religious broadcasting gets apprehensive response
2000. The law change in religious and spiritual broadcasting in New Zealand means that church groups as well as minority groups should, by legislation, expect their fair share of radio and television programming, but has been responded tentatively to by some Christians working in secular radio and television.
Continue reading “Legal ground to apply pressure to NZ on Air and Parliament”