Loved th e pictures of the snake. Ours in Australia are a little scarier than yours, but they are also beautiful. I have attached an inferior photo of Lady Banks, promised a while back. Can't seem to locate the good one of the Lady Banks that covers our rainwater tanks. Cheers.

Wild Acacias (Wattle) in early winter mode. Photo by DWC

Bush Block # 2, Winter Coming On

I can't resist writing because my story parallels yours in several ways, including my still remembering a high school incident very close to your wrestling match but with me in the Mike role.

Thankfully there were only two of us present. The story quickly developed very differently to yours.

I had never had sex with boy or girl though I was really ready and eager for both to happen, but never doubting I eventually wanted a wife and family. My buddy invited me for a sleepover while his parents were away. …

Part 2 of Queer Reflections on Religious Meanings

Hunting for proof that God hates lgbtq love. Photo by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash

And what is good, Phaedrus
And what is not good —
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

— from the dialogues of Plato


One Sunday morning in 1958, I was sitting in the Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, listening to a sermon by a visiting preacher devoted to ideas about Christian approaches to “living the good life.” In the midst of his message the preacher allowed himself a tangential swing into the evils of homosexuality. …

Getting Location and Setting Right

Photo by DWC

In earlier workshops we have suggested that when the Detective Novel was being born just a little over a hundred years ago, plotting was everything for the writer. Such matters as characterization, dialog and setting took a back seat. Needless to say, plotting remains extremely important in the mystery genre, especially in who-done-it?, thriller and suspense type novels.

But, gradually, writers became more attentive to issues relating to setting (consider Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles) and to memorable characters (consider Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes). …

As I was preparing my own weekly entry to the photo-a-day Snapshots challenge, I saw you had already published yours and I decided to take a peep. When I saw the red of your Andalusian 'poppy flowers' I was surprised to note the similarity of the shade of red to a rose bud photo I was considering for my entry. Guess the name of that rose: La Sevillana, no doubt developed in Andalusia! The rose flower had blown off the stem in a huge windstorm the night before

Thanks for your usual array of interesting and beautiful photos.

Actually, I have never seen any scholar say that same sex attraction did not occur through the ages nor that same-sex practice was not acted upon in antiquity. What scholars do say, and correctly, is that the word 'homosexuality' does not appear until the nineteenth century. It is mainly a question of linguistics and language usage. And the modern notion of loving same-sex relationships establishing loving and protective famiies can surely be accepted as a concept that is not even touched on in the Bible much less condemned.

It does seem that we disagree rather sharply about the use of the ellipsis. If you were only suggesting that ellipses are frequently misused in formal writing and indeed tend to be overused in general, then I would certainly agree with you.

However, there are a number of situations or contexts, noted in both the Chicago and the AP Manuals, in which use of the ellipsis is perfectly acceptable. In the case of the omission of words or sentences from a quotation, grammatical use of the ellipsis is actually required.

In the original usage about which you were complaining, the…

Easter Morning 2021. Photo by DWC.

Out walking on our Bush Block

For the past few months I have been posting weekly on Snapshots in the series Photo-a-Day. Virtually all of the photos have been taken directly on our five acres (2.02 hectares) (or within a couple of kilometers). We live on what Australians call a ‘bush block’, meaning rural, usually lightly forested, land (perhaps from five to a hundred acres) with a house built on it.

What is an Australian Bush Block?

In 1978, I bought a small parcel of land with distant ocean views bordering the Otways National Park about a ninety minute drive from Melbourne. Even though, sadly, all the old growth forest had been…

May I take the liberty of telling a personal story about my first encounter with Philemon?

When I was 11 yo I spent a summer with my grandparents, who offered, in place of an allowance, to pay me one dollar for every Book in the Bible that I read that summer. Of course, I jumped at the chance. And had the 'good' idea of starting with the shortest Book first! As you will imagine, at that age, I found the content of Philemon very puzzling: Paul says "I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. ... I…

David Wade Chambers

Words and Pictures, I’m queer, and I count myself among the weird and wonderful

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