Trying Something New

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My second loaf

Something happened to me during the last quarter of 2012. Usually, my life is pretty mundane. I’d tell you just how mundane, but I don’t want you nodding off on me. Better just to trust what I tell you. My life is normally very, very predictable.

As 2012 drew to an end, however, it was like God took my life and gave it a good hard nudge. Personally, I blame the Mayans and their stupid round calendars. As much as I liked to laugh with much mockery at anyone who suggested the world would actually end on December 21st, there was probably some small part of me that was clenching its cheeks in preparation for the explosion.

Then again, it could just be because I’ve finally reached a point where I’m not scrambling to achieve, finish, or pay for something. My daughter has almost finished university. My son has almost finished his first year of A-level study. My wife is almost ready to go live with her small business venture. My current client is on the brink of a complete overhaul with regard to contractors, leaving people like me facing a very uncertain future. And my books are currently being edited or waiting to be edited.

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Just around the corner

The result is a feeling of weightlessness. It’s like that scene in The Matrix 3 when Neo and Trinity fly out to the machine city and momentarily break through the clouds. Except this is Europe and it’s December. If you flew that high you would just see more clouds. And rain.

So I did a couple of things that I didn’t think I ever would. The first was to write a secular novel. Well, actually it’s an anthology of secular short stories. Those of you with good memories may recall a blog I posted on the NAF a couple of years back in which I proudly declared that I write for God and that writing for any other reason was a waste of time. Well, guess what? God made me eat my words. Seems every time I make a “never” or “always” declaration of any kind, I end up doing what I said I never would or not doing what I said I always would.

So my current WIP is a secular anthology. I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just that the stories follow a theme, and that theme is not a Christian one, or even a theistic one. They’re just stories for the sake of stories. They don’t even have a moral lesson, or even much of a purpose. They’re just bits of nonsense that I wrote purely for entertainment. Maybe God can use this to help widen my audience a little it, I don’t know. Maybe he’s just trying to teach me a lesson with regard to proud “never” and “always” declarations.

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My first attempt at scones

The second new thing I’m trying is baking. I don’t know why, but I got this sudden urge to bake a loaf of bread. This past week I’ve done two whole-wheat loaves, some scones, and a soda bread. This is from someone whose greatest culinary achievement is French Toast. And I didn’t need to have the kitchen redecorated afterwards. I just followed the recipe and tried to keep the ingredients on the table.

The last new thing I started doing was taking photographs. For my birthday this year, I received a cheap point-and-shoot camera and started taking pictures of some of the amazing landscapes we have in the area. I don’t normally like taking photographs. I always figured it was better just to enjoy the scene. Now, suddenly, I want to record these amazing images.

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On the way home from work

As this is the last day of 2012, I would like to say a quick neener-neener to all the scare-mongerers who started this Mayan end-of-world nonsense. I wish everyone at the NAF and all our readers a blessed 2013 and pray that God draws you closer to Him. And I pray that 2013 will be the breakthrough year for everyone writing in His name.


About P.A.Baines

P.A.Baines writes computer programs for a living but would much rather be writing Christian speculative fiction, which he does whenever he gets the opportunity. Educated in Africa, he is studying towards a degree in Creative Writing through Buckinghamshire New University in England. He enjoys asking "what if?" but is tired of how speculative fiction deals with religion in general and the God of the Bible in particular. His stories are for Christians who enjoy science fiction but who normally avoid the genre because of its tendency towards an atheistic world-view. His aim is to write entertaining and thought-provoking stories that stretch the imagination, but which keep God in His rightful place as Lord over all creation. P.A.Baines is British but currently lives in a small corner of the Netherlands with his wife and two children and various wildlife. He spends what little spare time he has keeping fit, watching films, and playing computer games with his children. He does most of his reading via audio books, which he listens to while commuting to and from work on his trusty bicycle. He speaks reasonable Dutch and is in the process of learning French.

2 comments on “Trying Something New

  1. My dad’s about your age and position, and last year he started learning how to do Bonsai. I think learning a new hobby is very beneficial to your mind. Also, let us know how the secular market goes!

  2. Better not give me any ideas for more hobbies :-). I’m enjoying the peace and quiet while I can. Although Bonsai does sound interesting….

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