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All Disquiet On the Western Front

[Editor’s note: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his book The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog/em>, Doug McKelvey is giving it away for free via Kindle for the next three days. Click here to grab your free ebook, or click here to get the paperback and read it like a real person.]

(A writer rambles in his process [and his fear]…)

I feel like a soldier, lost behind enemy lines, separated from his company.
Lost and alone, but still trying to complete his mission.
I am 111,252 words into the writing of a YA sci-fi novel.
And counting.
I would like to be finished.
This is dangerous territory.

I have spent the last two days rethinking how to bring it to a close in a way that doesn’t require too much more real estate, too many more words, too many more uncompensated weeks of writing. There’s the question of keeping the lights on and all that.

The 90-page backstory and outline document I spent three months creating last year is no longer a useful guide.

Unless I want a 220,000 word YA novel.
I do not want a 220,000 word YA novel.
And neither, I think, does any sensible publisher.
I have run off track.

Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Jill Phillips

Hello, Jill, and welcome to Sad Stories Told for Laughs.

Thanks, I think?

As I think you know, the idea here is for you to tell stories of the hardships of being an artists…specifically, hardships involving public embarrassment.

I think my first promotional tour (before my Word record release in 1999) was my intro into challenging shows.

1999? So you were 14? That’s a hard age for anybody.

I was 21, thank you very much. I remember playing at a bookstore of some sort and the young male employee and several older ladies watched me with little interest and crossed arms. He then commented, “Well, she’s OK but she’s no Jennifer Knapp.”

Jennifer Knapp? Is she the one who quit playing Christian music and became Daisy Duke instead? 

Free Kindle eBook: Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative

Hey folks, from November 30 through December 2, the Kindle eBook version of my book, Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative, will be available on Amazon for FREE.

Grab one for yourself and tell your friends. I’d love to give away a jillion downloads during those three days.

If you are a social media user and you want to help by tweeting about this or dropping it in your blog, I’ll make it super easy. Here’s a tweet you can copy and paste or personalize: (It looks long, but Twitter compresses it to fit.)

Need an Advent book? Grab ‘s Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative eBook for FREE, Nov 30-Dec 2. 

Thanks everyone. Merry Christmas. Hope has come.


Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Update #2: Mugs and aprons have now bee listed. Click here to get them before they’re all gone!

UPDATE: Sales are in full swing. We’ve just added a few new items…

—Jennifer Trafton has illustrated 15 coloring pages that go along with the Slugs & Bugs Christmas album. They are available by download on their own, or bundled with the CD. Great for kids and adults alike. Click here.

—Ron Blocks Carter’s Creek Christmas. Yep, that’s right, a second album from Ron in as many months. This time he’s doing Christmas tunes.

—Evie Coates painted four different 11” x 14” posters for the Burning Edge of Dawn release and they are now on sale individually or bundled together.

Mugs! We haven’t had a chance to list them yet (they just came in) but we’ll have them available by the end of the day. Note: we also received the 2016 Membership Mugs, so you may want to wait until 2016 Memberships go on sale next week.

—Our favorite seamstress has also hand made a selection of Rabbit Room aprons! These were available at Hutchmoot and we’ll get the rest of them listed in the store today.

We’ve got a whole mess of stuff going on sale this weekend. If you’re itching to start your Christmas shopping once the turkey is digested, check out the list below for a few ideas from the Rabbit Room Store.

The following are on sale from the wee hours of Black Friday until midnight on Cyber Monday:


Warden_small—The paperback edition of The Warden and the Wolf King will ship in early December. Pre-order it this weekend for just $8 and finally complete that matching set you’ve been after.

—The hardback edition of The Warden and the Wolf King is now sold out and will not be reprinted. But we’ve got a pile of mildly scratched and lightly dented copies that need good homes. We’re selling them off for just $5, and as a bonus, they are all signed! (Note that most merely have damaged dust jackets, but all are 100% readable.)

MITH_book_smallThe Monster in the Hollows limited edition hardcover. We’ve only got a few boxes of these left and they are 50% off. This book will probably be worth thousands of dollars one day when you are old and can’t remember where you put it.

Pembrick_Scan_smallPembrick’s Creaturepedia. We’ve only got a few of these left and they are 50% off. This is your last chance to safely navigate the wilds of Aerwiar. To venture forth without the Creaturepedia in hand is the invite destruction.

Everlasting_smallEverlasting Is the Past by Walter Wangerin Jr. If you haven’t yet read Rabbit Room Press’s latest book, now’s the perfect opportunity. Walt’s memoir of his pastoral vocation is a must-read. It’s 50% off for one weekend only.

Cymbal_Book_small—We’re bundling together Ben Shive’s Cymbal Crashing Clouds hardcover book and CD (+ download) for just $5. Yes, we’ve gone mad. Barking.

83eebfe20c056270bfa8ace9600cf66fddf507b0_1024x1024The Molehill vols. 1 and 2 are just $5 each. That’s like only a nickel for each short story, poem, essay, and illustration in there. The moles themselves are threatening to strike over the scandalous pay.

rise-and-fall-of-mount-majestic_zpszyo5h2ij.jpg_original_small—We got a handful of hardcover editions of Jennifer Trafton’s The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic left and they are just $5. Bonus: they’re all signed. Second bonus: Lickable—this book has been known to cause readers to lick it in giddy delight.

c513a28e6712eecc71498702171bb67dc12f4816_small—The Subjects with Objects hardcover art book will be 50% off, but still 100% awesome, and still 131% baffling, beautiful, odd, profound, poetic, and mysterious.

FiddlersGreen_small—We’re bundling together the Fin’s Revolution books (The Fiddler’s Gun and Fiddler’s Green) for just $15 and as a bonus we’re throwing in a free paperback copy of The Timely Arrival of Barnabas Bead. If you don’t like pirates, don’t read these books. But seriously, who doesn’t like pirates?



BTLOG_CD_cover_d8639822-2ff7-4260-b8f1-6ab350cd86c0_small—Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God 2-CD set is just $8. It seems bad form to say anything funny about this one, so I’ll just let you do the math.

7ab5224593af4756df517434_610x610_small—Andrew Peterson’s The Burning Edge of Dawn Commentary Edition is 50% off. It’s like a bonus feature on the extended edition of The Battle of Five Armies, only you don’t have to suffer through a really bad movie to enjoy it.

500x500_small—Andrew Peterson’s Clear to Venus CD is on sale for just $5. This album is about space travel. Not really.

Cymbal_CD_small—We’re bundling together Ben Shive’s Cymbal Crashing Clouds hardcover book and CD (+ download) for just $5. Yes, we’ve gone mad (again). Barking (again).

Leonard_CD_smallALL Andrew Osenga CDs will be on sale for just $5. Just to be clear, that’s $5 each, not $5 for all of Andy’s music. We’re aren’t quite that mad (yet).

unnamed_2_smallALL of Josh Garrels CDs are just $5 each. Josh is the special guest at this year’s Behold the Lamb show at the Ryman. You’re going to need these CDs.



Hutchmoot_2015_Poster_small—Get a bundle of all 4 Hutchmoot posters (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) for just $10. Don’t worry, we won’t ask if you actually came to all four of these Hutchmoots. We just want to make your walls pretty.

c513a28e6712eecc71498702171bb67dc12f4816_small—All Subjects with Objects art prints will be 30% off. Like I said, we’re here to make your walls pretty. It’s better than wallpaper, guaranteed.

p5582_column_grid_12—And here’s our favorite: The Box of Unimaginable Mystery. For just $10 you’ll receive a box jam-packed with surprises—it could be music, books, a mug, a piece of art, maybe even a rooster. The only thing that’s certain is that it’ll be a mystery until you open it. Don’t even try to imagine what’s inside. You can’t.


And the following sales are in effect ONLY on Cyber Monday.

downloadALL digital content is 50% off. Yep all of it. If you can download it, it’s half price for 24 hours only.

andrew-peterson-rest-easy_small—The Light for the Lost Boy 2-CD Deluxe edition is just $5 (there are only a few of these collector’s items left).

Christmas-MusicThe Rabbit Room Christmas Bundle (digital only)5 great albums for just $20 including: Christmas (by Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips), Behold the Lamb of God (by Andrew Peterson), December’s Song (by Buddy Greene), Christmas Stories (by Jason Gray), and A Slugs & Bugs Christmas (by Randall Goodgame)

Rabbit Room Gift Cards are also available, and who knows, we may just have a few more surprises in store between now and Christmas.

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone? (2012)

Happy Thanksgiving, Rabbit Roomers.

I’m writing this from Shiloh, my parents’ 150-year-old Florida Cracker house, where we Petersons plan to feast like vikings in celebration of God’s goodness. My favorite song on the new record is called “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone”, as appropriate a Thanksgiving tune as I’ve ever written, so I thought I’d give away a few downloads.

This first is of the acoustic demo (from The Lost Boy Demos, which is only available in the 2 disc deluxe edition). The second is a fairly embarrassing (to me, at least) soundboard bootleg of the song from one of the shows on the fall tour with Ben Shive and CALEB. I hope you like it in spite of my lumpy-throated singing toward the end. That song just got to me every night.

Click here to download the zip file.

Or you can listen here:

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone

I’m grateful for so much, but somewhere near the top of that list is YOU. Thanks for supporting me and mine this year. I leave you with a roundup of Thanksgiving-ish thoughts from some of our favorite writers. If you have more, post away. Oh, and for the last few years I’ve posted a poem called “Thanksgiving: A Confession and a Plea to the Almighty”, which I’ve heard has been read aloud at family gatherings; strange but true. Here’s a link to the old post, should you be interested. Now let the authorly wisdom commence.

Thanksgiving and Desire, Ordinary Time and Advent, and C. S. Lewis Week

I have always thought it a happy coincidence that in my country Thanksgiving Day occurs the fourth Thursday in November. That same Thursday happens usually to be the last Thursday in Trinity Season, at the end of what the Church sometimes calls Ordinary Time. That makes it the last Thursday before the season of Advent, the first Sunday of which is the New Year’s Day. As such, the American Thanksgiving Day is an ideal occasion to reflect upon blessings given us in Ordinary Time before proceeding into Advent and the New Year.

This summing up of Ordinary Time in Thanksgiving, by another happy coincidence, falls somewhere between November 22 and 29—a week I sometimes call “C. S. Lewis Week.” The earliest day on which Thanksgiving Day may fall is November 22, the anniversary of Lewis’s death; the last day on which Thanksgiving may fall is November 28, the eve Lewis’s birthday. So just as the approach of Thanksgiving Day reminds me that a resetting of the Church calendar is just around the corner, it also reminds me that I may be overdue for some extended meditation on some essay or story by Lewis.

I give thanks for Lewis every time I read him, which is often. I give thanks for him because he has taught me much of what I know about how to give thanks, and to Whom I give thanks. Take, for example, this passage from Letters to Malcolm:

Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun . . .

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