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January/February Giveaway!

I ran a giveaway in November and December last year, and meant to start one for January. This time it will be ~6 weeks, ending February 27 to announce and deliver prizes February 28.

Entries can be gained on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Prizes are:

  • coupon codes for Inside a Writer’s Head (all)
  • a pdf/epub of the preview and bonus content for Inside a Writer’s Head (1/10)
  • a pdf/epub download of The Diary of Kaashif Sarwan (1/20)
  • a free commission or critique (1/40)
  • a pdf/epub of Inside a Writer’s Head (1/60)

I will use a random number generator to draw the winners. Every entrant will win something. There are no losers.

How to enter:

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On Facebook and Twitter you have to like and share the giveaway post. I will then message you your entry number as confirmation.

On Instagram, you have to like the post and tag two people in the comments. You can get another entry by sharing the post to your story. I will message you your entry number as confirmation.

On my blog, like and reshare this post, either on WordPress or social media. Comment below with the link to your post and why you want to win.

Featured

Welcome!

Welcome to Insanity’s Hiding Place!

Here we (you the readers and I the author, and perhaps sometimes special guests) will discuss a myriad of topics related to my wide range of interests. That, in fact, was the inspiration for the name of my blog. I have so many interests and projects that it can be more than a little crazy sometimes.

Blog posts range from updates and discussions of ongoing projects, short stories or poems I’ve written, responses to articles or books, book reviews or recommendations, and more.

Thank you for checking out my blog and portfolio, and I look forward to seeing you on this journey through my artistic and career life!

To get started, I recommend checking out my portfolio, published work, and my core posts.

Thunderstorm (Poem)

Arguing violently
amongst themselves
over little things:
Which temperature is better,
The prefered precipitation,
Whether electricity should be outlawed.
All of which
violence is
Unnecessary to solve.
But they are soon overtaken
by their anger for the “opposition,”
and the Storms begin,
Tormenting the surface of the earth.


I wrote this in August 2013. I made some changes from that original version.

[The Desire to Write] Overarching Writing Goal

A burning desire
to pen more words.
A need to continue
and finish what I started.
I began with the intent
to finish, to publish,
And still that is the goal.
The sooner I prove
to myself I can do this—
What I’ve wanted
for so long to do,
the sooner I can
do it again.
I have too many
ideas to write,
to develop, to work on,
too many worlds
and characters
who need my attention
and words.
It only matters
that I want to write them,
not that you do or do not
want to read them.
That is your business,
this is mine.


This poem is part of my debut collection Inside a Writer’s Head.
You can read more poems from Inside a Writer’s Head here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

Observation Paradox

The paradox of
attention to minute details
While overlooking many surroundings
is exactly how this writer lives.
The detailed descriptions,
The marvelous imagery,
but still oblivious to many things.
Sometimes so obvious,
they disappear from existence
Other times, the keen eyes pick out
what doesn’t seem to be there.
The paradox of this living is
defying of reason after all.


This poem is part of my debut collection Inside a Writer’s Head.
You can read more poems from Inside a Writer’s Head here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

Seeing Might not be Believing

Some things are simply not meant to be
heard
But to be
read, seen.
The impact of same-sounding
different’-spelled words is not
made or experienced without
seeing this difference.
Sometimes a combination of
hearing and seeing
is required to grasp
the thought or idea
being expressed, communicated.


This poem is part of my debut collection Inside a Writer’s Head.
You can read more poems from Inside a Writer’s Head here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

An Atheist Bible Study: Genesis 1-4

When I was a Christian I set out to read the whole Bible. I have never actually done it. Now that I’m an atheist, I want to know what the Bible says. Not what people claim it says, but what it really, truly says.

I want to first make a disclaimer. I am not a theologian. I am a layperson. I went to church for 16 1/2 of my 18 years. I went to a Christian school for all but two years of my schooling. That included daily Bible study classes, and my two years of dual-enrollment included theology and evangelism classes. I was surrounded by the Bible, a biblical perspective, and Christian teachings my whole life. So I am approaching the text not so much as a scholar but as a normal, everyday sort of person. Please comment if my post contains any misinformation, with sources supporting your claim.
This post is based on my personal reading and informed by my experience in Christian circles as described above.

Chapter 1-2: The Creation Story

Genesis 1 describes how God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. This is familiar.
But the order is a bit odd.
Light, sky, land and seas and plants, sun and moon, fish and birds, and finally all land animals and two humans.
God made the light before the light sources. The moon is treated as its own light source, though it reflects the sun. God also created plants before the sun. How did they not die without the heat it provides?
Genesis 2:5a & 7 (NIV) says, “Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up… Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” That appears somewhat contradictory to the story that God created plants days before humans.

Chapter 3: The Fall/Introduction of Sin

Genesis 3 describes how sin entered God’s perfect creation and has subsequently been passed from generation to generation. Sin is frequently defined as anything someone thinks, says, or does that God disapproves of.
God tells Adam and Eve not to eat fruit from a certain tree in the Garden of Eden or they will die.
A serpent, said to be Satan, tells Eve about the benefits of eating the fruit in Genesis 3:4-5, “‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”
After they eat it, they realize they are naked, sew clothes from leaves, and then hide from God. Once they come out, God asked what they did. Adam pointed to Eve who pointed to the serpent. Christians point out that they shouldn’t have blamed others for their actions. God not only punishes Adam and Eve for eating the fruit but also the serpent for convincing them to eat it.
Instead of Adam and Eve being killed by God, they are kicked out of the garden. Christians often say that they died a spiritual death and after eating the fruit they were separated from God until their eventual physical death. I don’t know if that is the case or added later to explain the (seeming?) inconsistency. In Genesis 3:22 (NIV), “And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'” This could be how their physical death would come to pass. It reads more as though they were not immortal at all, except by eating fruit from that tree.

Chapter 4: Cain and Abel

Some time passes and Adam and Eve have two sons (and presumably some other unnamed children), Cain and Abel. Cain is a gardener and Abel is a shepherd.
They both make sacrifices to God, giving what they have. Abel offers a lamb, and God accepts the sacrifice by burning it. Cain offers some of the harvest from his garden, and God gets mad at Cain. Cain then kills Abel out of jealousy, and God rebukes him. Cain is cast out, marries his sister, and gets some kind of mark so no one will kill him.
God has not given instructions for proper offerings, and it’s unclear why he rejected Cain’s offering. Cain offered what he worked hard to earn/produce, and God rejected it.
She has no name, but Cain had to have married his sister. A lot of people in Genesis marry their siblings, cousins, or other close relatives. Yet no problems from inbreeding are ever mentioned, and they continue to do it. Later on, the Israelites are told not to marry non-Israelites. They all basically descend from 12 brothers, with some unrelated wives at some points in the genealogy, but still no issues? Also, if God is all-knowing (omniscient) as a lot of Christian teaching claims, couldn’t he have thought to make more humans to increase the diversity of the gene pool? Two humans for all people ever to descend from is tiny!


I grouped Genesis 1-4 because they are all closely tied together. Next time I’ll work through Genesis 5-10, the story of Noah.