A Fifteen-year Old Dream Is Born

Almost 15 years ago I wrote a Coffee Stain called Strange Eagle (Coffee Stains celebrated its 18th birthday last month). At the time I felt a “nibble” in my heart that it would be a good idea for a book. Bruce, a Coffee Stains reader, wrote me and said the same thing.

I’ve spent 15 years trying to be a better writer, trying to sustain momentum, incubating and writing the book that developed. The hero changed a bit and became more human. I found out some things about him I didn’t know, and he found some excellent friends to help him (so did I. Thanks to all my readers, grammar experts and infographists who contributed).

Some of Wesagi’s friends are a bit comical, but they’re excellent all the same. Plus, he faced a challenge I didn’t even know he would have.

I thought you might want to read the Coffee Stain that gave him life. If you’re interested in the paperback or the Kindle book, you can find where to order it at the end of the Coffee Stain.

Strange Eagle


Strange Eagle peered through the shimmering darkness to the lake far below.  From his perch on the mountainside he sucked in his breath as he had so many times, reacting to the beauty of the moon reflecting on the dark waters. Tears sprang to his eyes.

His father had called him War Eagle the day of his birth.  The name “Eagle” fit.  His people knew that no warrior fought more bravely than he and no hunter filled the lodges with winter game more than this young man did.

But he was different.  Peculiar. They remembered the day he had stopped a furious Mocking Wind from beating a slave boy they had taken from another tribe.  The two warriors had been near blows when the older men stepped between them.  Mocking Wind took every occasion to ridicule him after that.  Strange Eagle kept silent.

Why would anyone care about a slave?  Especially from another tribe!

Oddest of all, he took very little part in their religious festivals.  He often wandered the forests and mountains alone, thinking.  Even the most famous warriors knew that all sorts of dangers lurked in the woods at night.  Spirits roamed freely.  Who knows? Maybe he was consulting with them…

He was strange all right, this War Eagle. The name stuck.  Strange Eagle.

And he was strange enough not to care.  Something deep inside him was restless.  When he looked into the explosion of stars filling the night sky, he knew that something more than petty spirits or ancestors created all that.  Someone seemed to call him from just beyond the black veil and his heart hungered to know that Someone.

Tonight, as his eyes turned again towards the heavens, something came alive inside.  The moon, the stars, all creation itself seemed to shout to him, excitedly announcing the coming of a King from beyond.  A Judean shepherd heard the same voice more than a thousand years before.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Ps. 19:1-4, NIV).

Strange Eagle opened his heart.  Deep, deep inside he knew that this was the One he searched for in all his wandering.  “Take me,” he whispered into the fiery night.  “Take my life.  I’m yours.”

Men said afterwards that Strange Eagle was different, but they liked him all the same.  They couldn’t help it.  He fought to protect them in battle.  He stopped to help them when problems troubled their lives.  He smiled more than a normal person.  He even treated his enemies justly.

Mocking Wind always hated him, but men kept their distance from that rascal.  They noticed that those who followed him always ended up hurting.  On the other hand, Strange Eagle’s smiles seemed to infect his friends.

He was an odd fellow, this Strange Eagle.

Lord, bless us all with your strangeness.

Here’s where you can buy the book: $3.78 for the Kindle version, $9.56 for the paperback (plus postage).  CLICK

After you read it, think to review it on Amazon. Reviews are gold.

Image by James Wheeler from Pixabay



Two Horrible Wrecks Avoided

A friend of mine, Christophe, had every little boy’s dream job–he drove trains through the beautiful Alsatian region of France.

I say, “dream job,” but I’m not sure that’s what every little boy dreams of doing these days. Judging from my grandkids, they probably dream of killing three-headed monsters in space castles. It’s good work if you can get it.

One night, as Christophe piloted his speeding train through the countryside, the train’s headlight illuminated something on the track ahead. He reacted speedily and halted his fast-moving monster just yards before it ran over a desperate young man who stood on the tracks.

The man had planned his suicide and my friend was to be the unknowing executioner. But, Christophe was awake at his post and his quick reaction saved a man’s life. We hear about engineers impaired by drugs and alcohol who cause wrecks and many people die.

But, one man owes his life to the fact that Christophe was alert and doing his best.

We Owe Our Life

Someone else saved you and me from an eternal train wreck. Continue reading

Can You See Invisible Things?

A straight-forward, scientific approach to life rips the heart out of reality.

One man notes that his scientific-minded wife thinks that “love” is just a question of bodily hormones, etc. acting on the brain. Those who subscribe to this religion think everything can, or eventually will be, explained under microscopes, in test tubes and by mathematical formulas.

Is existence neatly described by what we perceive with the five senses? If you can’t see it, taste it, smell it, hear it, or feel it, does that mean it doesn’t exist?

Something deep within man knows that is wrong. We struggle to make sense out of what we can’t understand—and testtubes and scientific formulas only provide a partial answer.

For instance: war is a horrible thing. We recoil from death and maiming. But, some of our poets have reached beyond what we can see to seize some sense out of the senseless.

Listen to Alfred Lord Tennyson describe a moment in the 1854 Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. A brigade of English Calvary has received the order for a suicidal charge against the enemy.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!” Continue reading

The Gospel of the Beer Commercial

Sometimes I wish my brain functioned normally.

Why is it that I can remember jokes and useless information from 50 years ago while all that suffering in Algebra class was for naught? Anyone know what the square root of the hypotenuse of 333 to the twelfth power divided by the square root of 896 to the fourth power is?

Me neither.

I suppose it comes from watching too many football games when I was in the United States but some of those stupid phrases from beer commercials stuck in my mind. (By the way, if the typical American male resembles the young men in those beer commercials, we’re in big trouble if the Russians attack).

One famous beer commercial pictures guys doing he-man guy things, then at the end as they swig the sponsor’s product a strong masculine voice says, “Hey guys, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Sorry, fellows, but if that’s the best there is, we’re in bad shape.

I guess the commercial that struck me most though, is the one which proclaims, “You only go around once in life, so grab for all the gusto you can get!” Continue reading

Vote for Me As King of the World!

Compared to God’s righteousness we’re all crooked.

They should name me king of the world. Why? Well, don’t broadcast it widely but (shhh, keep this to yourself)–I know everything. If you don’t believe it, just ask me.

Want to know who is right or who is wrong? Ask me. Want to know how it should be done? Ask me. Want to know the answer to some deep moral dilemma? You’ve come to the right place sweetie. Continue reading