All I want is a copy of the current standard BCP for the Church of England.

I am discovering that A) I am apparently more hide-bound than I thought I was, B) that I am hide-bound about the weirdest things, C) I am mildly annoyed by something that doesn’t even affect me, and D) that it is really, really difficult to lay hands on a copy of the CoE BCP.

What I really want is nothing more or less than a Coverdale Psalter, but as far as I can tell a single volume of Coverdale’s Psalter (with numbered verses, that’s very important; Lutherans Online has a lovely PDF of a mildly-modernized CP but there are NO VERSE NUMBERS ARGH) does not exist. Coverdale’s Psalms are still in use… in the CoE’s Book of Common Prayer.

So, okay, I’ll buy a copy of the BCP. It can hang out with my ’79 Episcopal BCP and they can be friends. Awesome.

Except that apparently someone somewhere decided that the BCP was, I don’t know, too convenient or something. The CoE has been infested with ‘Common Worship’, which is basically all of the bits of the BCP/Alternative Service Book broken up into separate volumes. Like, six of them. This is where the hide-bound bit comes in: all I can think is that I have enough trouble juggling the BCP and the hymnal and the bulletin, why in the name of all that is seen and unseen does anyone want to ADD another volume (or two) to that? *Grumble* What’s wrong with one book, I ask you? You kids get offa my lawn!

One of the other problems with the Common Worship book(s) is that the Psalter isn’t Coverdale’s–or it is, but modernized. I’m all for modernized-yet-still-poetic versions of the Psalms! I love the adaptation of them that’s found in the Psalter in my EBCP.

Thing is, though, that they are modern and some of them are fairly different from Coverdale’s version.

For instance, our friend Psalm 121. The first line in my EBCP says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?”

Coverdale says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

That’s not a question, that’s a statement. Unless it’s some kind of punctuation weirdness? Now I have to go find out the history of the question mark. Excuse me. Here I am–while mildly entertaining, it wasn’t terribly helpful. All right, so let’s see what people who’ve read more bibles than I have to say…

(As an aside, I would like to have the non-word “prayerfully” struck (preferably by lightning) from all vocabularies everywhere.)

(…I can’t decide if I want to object to ‘literalness’. On the one hand, I don’t like it. On the other, ‘literality’ isn’t a word. It feels nicer in the mouth, to me–and it’s the quality of being literal, yes?)

(This… This page is written by a person or persons with some good ideas, but I don’t enjoy reading it because I feel like I’m being shouted at while they’re throwing rocks at me. Ugh.)

(On the other hand, Paul Stroble offers an explanation as to why Episcopalians (and, I’m assuming, other members of the Anglican communion) sing ALL the verses: “[…] It is the same with “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”: if we only sing verse one, the devil wins.” Yes, I know, that’s not precisely what he meant but I take my fun where I can get it.)

Okay, I give up on Shouty-Pants over there. The consensus is that there is no consensus. There is one school of thought that says the use of “whence”, meaning “where”, indicates that the sentence is intended to be interrogative and therefore requires a question mark. The other school of thought argues that it’s a statement–These are the hills (the holy hill(s), the hill upon which the temple at Jerusalem is/was located) of God and therefore they are the source of help.

The temptation to put the question mark in parentheses from now on is awful, I tell you what.

I have no idea what I was originally talking about… Oh, right. The difference between Coverdale and the modernized version of Psalms. Here’s another example, this time from Psalm 91 (one oft-quoted by Justinian.) Technically, this is recited by Ezekiel (and now that I think of it I shoooooould probably have him recite the Coverdale version. You’ll see why.)

The (Episcopal) Book of Common Prayer, Ps 91, verses 5 and 6: [5] You shall not be afraid of any terror by night; nor of the arrow that flies by day; [6] Of the plague that stalks in the darkness; nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.

Coverdale, Ps 91, I HAVE NO IDEA SORRY: Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, nor
for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noonday.

“Afraid for” and “Afraid of” are two decidedly different phrases, to me. Is that because I grew up learning 20th-/21st-century American syntax/connotations, or is it something else?

Then there’s the verse about being covered by feathers (Coverdale) or pinions (EBCP) — I had feathers in, once, and my mother said ‘No, that’s supposed to be pinions’. I shrugged and changed it…and then discovered that the version of the Psalm that Ezekiel and Justinian would be most familiar with said feathers. I give up! (But I’m not changing it back. I like pinions.)

So now that we’ve failed to clarify the mystery of the question mark in Ps 121, I’m trying desperately to remember the point of all of this.

…Oh! That’s it. The point is that for whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be a mildly-modernized version of the Church of England Book of Common Prayer for sale for love or money. EVERY standard edition of the CoE BCP on the Cambridge Press site is marked “unavailable”, and searching Amazon got me bupkis. I just want a physical copy that’s been updated with current spelling and features the Coverdale Psalter with numbered verses.

Learning New Things Is Good For You.

However, I would have liked to have learned this a little sooner…

Gmail lets you insert inline images. It has since 2009. I did not know this, nor how to accomplish it, until TODAY.

Turns out, you have to go to settings, then labs, then scroll waaaaaaay down and enable “insert images” before you can. Not terribly intuitive, and not terribly nifty, considering.

But now I know, and you do too. Hooray?

And Now For Fun With Search Strings Theater!

I use Woopra Analytics to keep an eye on visits to my site, mostly because there’s a plugin for WordPress that makes it easier to check them. My favorite part is seeing the stuff that people are looking for that leads them here, like the following:

books about things that are not awesome
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

writing without adjectives or adverbs
…is pretty much impossible, I think. All you’ll find here are arguments against even trying.

I don’t know what their FWBs stands for, but mine is short for “Filthy Welsh Boys” (which is what I started calling Max and Trev during the long-distance phase of their relationship — it involved a lot of sex-heavy text messages/pictures and of course video chats.)

name of someone easily entertained
Connor J. Wright, at your service. *Hat tip*

why am i always the odd one out
Because you yourself are strange and unusual? It’s okay to be the odd one out. I honestly think that odd people are more fun, most of the time.

how to tell a story without adjectives or adverbs
You pretty much cannot do it, is what I’m saying. Still, if you manage to do it, please let me know.

why is reesa awesome
It would take too long to tell you all of the ways in which she is awesome, so I’ll stick with these two: she writes (and shares!) Awesome Stories, and she can do that whole plot thing, which makes me a little jealous at times.

how to right a two paragraph story with adverbs and adjectives
…Well, you did ask about writing, not spelling or homophones. First things first: decide what you want your story to be about — titles and all of that can come later, if they ever do. You don’t have to have a detailed idea, just something to aim for. First Flight started with the really simple premise of “I love ravens and I wanna write a story about them/one!” From there, it grew into what we have today. I have another story (which may or may not ever be finished, never mind published) that started life as “there’s this war, and a soldier in love with his immediate superior, and the one in love just wants to go home and never see another sword again…Plus he’s gone and confessed to his officer that he’s in love, but the officer is thisclose to dying of pneumonia, so then what?”

The next thing to do is both the simplest and the most difficult: WRITE it. And if it takes more than a couple of paragraphs to get your characters and your story where you want it, that’s okay — it’s what rewrites and editing and revision is for. The only “real” rules for writing are that you absolutely cannot get anything written if you don’t do the work, and that there are as many methods (outlining, seat-of-the-pantsing, hybrid, snowflake, etc) to getting from “idea” to “story” as there are authors. If one way doesn’t work, try another.

which is done first revisions or edits
This is a great question! I don’t really know, but I suspect it really depends on the author. With First Flight (and Tobias’s Own, to an extent), I actually started my own “This Stuff Needs To Be Changed” file before I got anything back from the editors/proofers. My sailors story was sent back with suggestions for revision, as well as edits, which means that some people see them as synonyms.

because science thats why
“Because it’s science, that’s why!” is a line from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Eegah. Dr. Forrester has installed a radiator in Frank, and Joel asks why he didn’t just leave Frank alone; the doctor starts his reply by saying, “Since Frank’s blood was a previously unknown type, the money that brings in will–Why!? Because it’s science, that’s why!” At my house, ‘because it’s science, that’s why!’ has pretty much become a way to (jokingly) tell people to mind their own business… Or to admit that we’re not sure why we’re doing whatever. Heh.

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My browsing history is a little suspect.

I have results for ethylene glycol poisoning, phlebotomy equipment, testing for ethylene glycol poisoning, and poison control centers of America. I also have the poison control jingle stuck in my head, so it’s at least effective on that count. (I do own a copy of the handbook of poisons, but it’s somewhere in a box in another state, at the moment. And I don’t know if it would tell me how much blood is needed to run an ethylene glycol assay, anyway. From what I’ve turned up, it looks like it only requires about a teaspoon (5 mL.)

I’m actually doing research, though whether or not the story will ever be published remains to be seen. My poor character has been having a tough life as a were-creature, and now that he seems to have found stability–and even a family, though some of them are no longer alive–he’s been poisoned. (I know who, how, and why, too, which is a huge achievement. Normally I have crimes and investigators but no idea about any of the rest of it.)

I think that my number-one weird research query will forever be “do birds burp?” (The consensus I got from a local bird-care group: not unless they’re ill, no.)

I try not to get too personal or political around here…

because, frankly, if we want personal and political, there are about 50 billion other places to go.

However, something odd/interesting happened to a family member of mine, recently. While she’s an ally and a half, it was still something of a shock–and a wake-up call–to her. See, she’s married to a man who works at a gay bar, and part of his job requires him to be in drag. They’re very serious about it, making him look his best, finding him awesome shoes and outfits, etc.

She was talking to another woman and when she mentioned her husband the drag queen, the woman turned and walked away without another word. My relative says she felt snubbed, and more than that, judged for who she loves. That she knows there are too many people living with that kind of hurt every day.

Instead of getting vindictive about it (or taking up one of many offers for revenge of the subtle and not-so-subtle sorts; that woman would probably keel over from apoplexy if I cheerfully detailed my odd but ultimately harmless interests), she chose to use it to steel her resolve to keep working to provide a welcoming attitude toward ALL people.

And in my own weird way, my writing is an attempt to do that, too. Most of my characters are surrounded by people who just accept them as they are; there may be some that require an adjustment period or some that get a little uptight about it it (Hi, Desmond Swanson), but for the most part, no one cares.

While I can’t remember where I saw it, I’d like to leave everyone with a little slogan I swiped from someone’s marriage equality banner as well as my relative’s new battle-cry: It’s okay, it’s just love. All means ALL.

Now, walk in love and be good to yourselves and one another.