Convention Aftermath (Literally)

The AFHE convention last Friday and Saturday was one of the best weekends of my life so far! I would have posted about it earlier in my free time, except that free time was taken up with financial stuff. We had to count and recount receipts and deduct sales tax and all the crazy calculations that make my head pound. But now, after math, I will reveal my crazy, awesome weekend!

I shared some pictures of the setup last week. Here are some more and some with customers!

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Crossroads featured next to my sister’s nice little book!

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Slightly further down the line (you can still see my book!) you can see we accept card payment… which has a long story attached. 🙂 Basically, our card reader/app didn’t work the way we thought it would, and I spent most of the day trekking around the convention hall talking to others who could possibly help. We DID accept card payment finally, and we learned a lot for next time!

Despite our little difficulties, God blessed us with supportive customers…

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…and success! Several of the Generation Rising authors sold out of stock!

We all had a lot of fun promoting each other’s books and hanging out in the slow times. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

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The Generation Rising team (one not pictured)

In celebration of a great week and weekend, I’m now posting a third chapter of Crossroads! Follow these links if you haven’t read the first or second chapters.



Chapter 3: The Law

The cafeteria was bustling and loud. Jack looked over the crowd of students as he searched for a place to sit. He made eye contact with Cerberus who motioned him over. Two other students Jack didn’t know sat at the table as well. He looked them over and couldn’t distinguish a particular gender. He felt a little queasy; he never liked having to worry about being politically correct during lunch. Pronouns were a touchy subject.

He sat down next to Cerberus.

“This is Riley and Terry,” Cerberus introduced the two students.

Jack greeted them with a silent nod and started in on his food.

“One thing you’ll find out when you get to know Jack is that he is mute.”

“The best part about the lecture I just listened to is that now I know exactly where to break your back without completely paralyzing you. Very informative.” Jack gave Cerberus a meaningful grin.

Terry cleared his or her throat and started a topic of conversation, “What do you guys think of the new laws on prison terms?”

Politics. There was never more opportunity to be politically incorrect than when talking politics.

“I think it’s logical,” Cerberus said after a minute. “I mean, if someone’s gonna live their entire life locked up with nothing to do, then they might as well cut to the chase. Miserable existence isn’t even near the same thing as living.”

“I haven’t heard about this law,” Jack said, straightening in his seat.

“Basically, they aren’t handing out life sentences anymore. They’re going to euthanize anyone who already has a life term,” Riley explained matter of factly.

Jack raised an eyebrow and looked at Cerberus, “So you assume that life in prison isn’t worth living?”

“Well, it’s at least not worth it to taxpayers. They’ll pay to keep potentially dangerous people out of the way, but if that person shouldn’t see the light of day again they don’t want to keep paying his room and board his whole life.”

Jack choked on his food. He pushed it away.

“You all right man?”

“I’m fine. So I just had this thought: Christians automatically get life. Which means…” Jack stopped.

“The government will euthanize any Christians they catch. Again, a perfect example of what I was talking about. That’s a whole lot of criminals that we upstanding citizens don’t want to support for the rest of their lives. And you know Christians, it wouldn’t be safe to fill the prisons. They work together too well. They’d “convert” every maniac killer out there, till they were strong enough to break out and do what terrorists do.”

Cerberus took a breath in preparation to continue, but Jack cut him off sharply. “You think it’s right to kill thousands of men and women for their religious beliefs?! Just slaughter… I can’t believe it!”

Cerberus blinked at the onslaught.

“You know about what they called Word War Two, like over a hundred years ago? We’re right back to it. They gassed, starved―and who knows what else―millions of people just because they were born Jewish.”

Cerberus shrugged carelessly. “Hey, talk to the lawmakers. I’m not the one making the decision. I was just explaining how I think it’s logical.”

“Well, that’s the problem with logic. It can lead to massacres.” Jack slammed the table with his fist.

Terry and Riley looked confused. Jack turned on them, “What do you think?”

“Uh… I guess I like to leave the shots to the guys who know what they’re doing. Right?” Riley grinned uncomfortably.

Terry seemed a little solemn. “I don’t like it. See, my aunt has a life sentence, but there’s always a chance the court could change the ruling or something. Euthanizing her now would cut off any chances.”

“See, that’s also logical,” Jack elbowed Cerberus a bit harder than was playful.

“Well, it was a pleasure eating with you,” Cerberus cleared his lunch tray and stalked off.

Jack followed him trying to catch up without running. “Cerberus? I didn’t mean to upset you…”

“You didn’t,” Cerberus shrugged again.

They walked across the campus in silence, Jack stopped to retie his shoe laces. His friend stood nearby.

“Why did the thing about Christians upset you so much?” Cerberus seemed sincere.

Jack grimaced inwardly as he realized how much he had opened himself to questions of that nature.

“I, uh, was just using them as an example since they’re the largest demographic of criminals.” Jack used the word. It would turn off his friend’s curiosity and it was true. Christians were legally criminals. He suddenly felt vulnerable. There would be a lot of martyrs in the weeks to come. The blueprints he had stared at just that morning flashed in his mind. A cremation facility with a government contract. Jack stood looking at the sky, silently praying for strength and encouragement.

His earpiece beeped, indicating an incoming call. He looked at his watch. It was Melanie. “I’ve got to take this call before class starts. I’ll catch you later?”

Cerberus walked away and Jack was glad for the excuse to end the conversation. He answered the call.

“Hey Melanie, what’s up?” he said cheerfully.

Her voice was unexpectedly broken, “Hello Jack, I got mail today…”

Jack’s knees wobbled. He wanted to run, hide, anything other than hear her words. His words stuck in his throat; they wouldn’t go down or out but stayed where they were as a sore lump. He swallowed hard.

“Are you there?” she asked in wake of his silence.

“Yeah,” he stammered.

“I was drafted and they want me to report in six days,” she stated flatly.

Jack physically forced himself to speak, “That’s not supposed to happen.”

“Well, it did,” she started to sob.

He looked around the campus. ”I’m coming home.”



That’s all for now, folks! I’m working on a plan to get back to regular posting now that my book is safely published. 🙂

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