Monday, June 23, 2008

Tech Support & Editorial Consultant for Grandad

While in Arizona, I also had the chance to visit my Grandad's home in Prescott, Arizona. For an old guy approaching his mid nineties, he's doing pretty well. He still teaches his Sunday school class sometimes and still gets consulting calls on different beetles and insects that only he knows about. Evorine, my grandmother, is also doing well, and recently finished a week teaching all the little ankle biters at their Baptist church.

A retired entomologist, Richard Beal's been busy writing short stories and trying to promote his recently published, The Grand Canyon, Evolution, and Intelligent Design. He seemed especially excited about a recent endorsement. Awhile ago, he started up his own blog to promote his book, but was having some trouble figuring out how to publish certain things on it. I was happy to help him out.

He's also been writing some Christian themed short stories in his spare time and was eager for my input on one of his stories, The Blowfly Man. When the old entomologist presented me with a story of this title, I must admit I had a few misgivings, as 90 percent of his published work consists of dry academic descriptions of blowflies, dermestid beetles, and stored products insects. The story however, proved itself surprisingly entertaining, despite its amusing self indulgence in topics that my grandfather finds interesting: bugs and insects, evolution, theology, and Arizona history.

Knowing my grandfather well, I certainly found myself chuckling at all the lengthy descriptions of beetles he had. In the end of the story, an entomologist winds up solving a murder mystery using his knowledge of insects and larvae on decaying corpses long before the days of forensic science. A promising story and certainly one that my Grandad's family and friends would like, knowing the author as well as we do. If he wants a real evaluation though, he should take it to someone without any knowledge of the author or his prepossessions. An audience unfamiliar with his proclivities might prove less understanding and less amused by his diversions into the wonderful world of creepy crawlies. To his credit though, the story caught my attention and kept me entertained on the shuttle bus down to Phoenix.

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