Friday, April 17, 2015

INKBLOTS--Help me find the right WWI book title!

Inkblots gathering under sunny blue skies and springtime. It's finally come. Thank you, Lord. Cotes du Catalenes, courtesy of John Schrupp and Jeff Jauvert. Five men. Good discussion of IBP prospects and plans. Carl leads off with another of his country parson James-Herriot-esque reflections on ministry in rural Grays Harbor County, Washington.

Cougar snarling in the timber near their remote home, surrounded by dense forest. Had their dog become the cougar's midnight snack? And there were the chickens. And there is the menagerie of cats, one of whom Carl was secretly hoping the cougar had taken a fancy to. These are first-person accounts, conveyed in an engaging almost chatty style, with easy application to Scripture and lesson to be drawn. Where are you going? How in our haste we fail to plan, be prudent, in our daily life and walk of faith, failing to grasp the reality of what we're doing or entering into. I look forward to the completion of this reflection. "Are you going to go look at that?" asked Carl's wife. "Are you going to come back?" she added.

Doug Mac suggested that Carl not let it out too soon that it is a cougar. Give the information incrementally, bit by bit, before you let it out to the reader that is is a cougar. We discussed the importance of reading aloud with our children, with out families.

Return to Tarawa, chapter 19, first-person elderly veteran recollecting blow-by-blow the conflict. Would an older, more mature, Christian man who had spent his life sharing the gospel as a missionary in the South Pacific, would he show more compassion on the dead Japanese strewn about the battle field? I would suggest showing more of the complication at the death of the enemy for a Christian. Wounded soldier bleeding to death, his friend full of emotion, and grieving the death of another companion. Doug Mac found some awkward syntax by reading aloud. Wipe away tears. Could you vary this with wiping his sleeve across his face, sweat dripping from face. I am really excited about this book. Doug Mac writes with vast knowledge of weaponry and warfare, with grit and realism, but with deep tenderness for the plight of fallen human beings caught in the grinding maw of war.

Next I read from chapter two of my forthcoming War in the Wasteland (or Surprised by War, or This is War, or... Help me out, here!). As they did last week, the 'Blots gents gave me helpful push back and suggestions. Which I am setting to work on at this moment. Here's a rough-draft sample:

Help me out with title suggestions for my WW I novel

Sauerkraut Spy
“Halt!” barked a sergeant. “And what precisely is it we ‘ave ‘ere?”
Nigel swallowed hard, clutching tighter to Bullet’s lead. “A dog, Sir,” he managed.
Sneering, the sergeant retorted, “A dog? And might I make so bold as to inquire,” his voice rising to vein-bulging shouting, “just what is it you think you’re doing bringing a dog on my boat?
It was the moment Nigel had dreaded. For three weeks he had managed to keep Bullet concealed. It had been easier than he had feared. It turned out that other Tommies liked dogs too and had helped keep the dog from discovery. But he knew it couldn’t last forever.
“He’s keen, Sir, quite keen,” said Nigel.
“Keen, is he?” snarled the sergeant, looking with revulsion at the scruffy terrier. “That’s as may be. But keen compared to what? A rat? If that cur happens to be smarter than it looks—which I doubt—it may be keen at herding sheep, chasing rabbits, at working the farm. But this is war, boy!”
A low growl rumbled in Bullet’s throat. With a glance from Nigel, the dog sat on his haunches and was silent. Staring through a wiry, unruly mop of coarse gray hair, the dog fixed his eyes unblinking on the sergeant. At rigid attention, not another sound came from the animal.
“This is war, my boy,” repeated the sergeant, lowering his voice and feigning a paternal tone. “You’re not embarking on a holiday in Flanders’ fields. Your pets stay home—in England! Am I making myself perfectly clear?” He was shouting again. Shouting seemed to come naturally to the man.
“H-he’s not only keen, Sir,” stammered Nigel. “He’s well-tutored.”
“Well-tutored, is it! My great aunt was well-tutored, but do you see her on a lead, tail wagging, marching up the gangplank to war? No, of course you do not! Well-tutored, bah!”


  1. Well, if I had any voice in the matter, I would commend "Surprised by War" as the final title! Such a clever and subtle hint towards who, I'm guessing, is a major infulence/inspiration of this book: C.S. Lewis.

    I've not read too many books on WWI just yet, but something tells me I might binge read on the topic after this book! :D

  2. Hello Mr. Bond,
    I liked “This is War”. That would be an interesting title. I am not an expert on marketable titles but that one suggestion really stuck out to me. It sounds like it is going to be a very interesting book.

  3. Hello Mr. Bond,

    How about the title, 'No Glory in War'? C.S. Lewis said this when talking about his experiences in World War I. I think it would be a fitting title considering the book is about one of the biggest wars in history, and many who joined thought there would be glory, honor, and prestige, though most of whom, if not all, found it to be bloody and dark.

    Sounds like and interesting book, and I cannot wait to read it!

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Cheyenne! I'll put that one on the list. Days are ticking off before Rome! See you there!