Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ice Alaska (for real)

My family finally got to go to the ice park Friday night! We've all been so sick that we couldn't go yet...

Ice Alaska is this huge ice carving contest that happens every year, lasts about a month, and is such a big deal it attracts carvers from all over the world- Russia, Canada, Japan, China... Apparently, Fairbanks has the best ice in the world. I don't know much about it, but our ice is known for it's clarity and beauty. Go figure.

Fairbanks has been doing this for so long that I remember going and looking at the carvings with my family when I was in high school (probably 15 years ago or so). My feet would get so cold! It used to be pretty small, but now it's huge... Artists come in from all over the world and lead workshops, plus they spend time creating a Kids Park with slides, mazes, spinners, and fun things for kids. The sculptures are amazing and the Kids Park is pretty fun, plus it's not ridiculously expensive (about the price of a movie) except kids under 10 are free. Deborah remembered it from last year when she was 2 and kept asking to go again...

Anyway, we went and had a lot of fun.

Jake, Abigail & Deborah on a slide
(They went down the slides over & over & over, and poor Abigail cried the whole way home 'cuz she didn't want to leave...)

Deborah in the ice maze

Abigail in a spinner

(I think this one is my favorite...)

(some of the abstract sculptures are so incredible- beautiful or striking or just doing amazing things that show off the beauty of the ice and the incredible things you can do with it. Some of them are just plain weird. Don't get me wrong- I like art for art's sake. But some of the weird ones seem to be going for weird for the sake of being as weird as possible- undulating shapes coming out of the ground...
spikes birthing out of lumpy shapes...
Anyway, there was one I really liked but couldn't get a decent picture of it- the shape of a pregnant woman. I liked it, but my pictures were odd. I was surprised at how hard it was to photograph some of the ones with detailed work- they would just blend into a flat white plain.)

Outhouse bear invasion (that's a squirrel leaping from the top of the building as the bear's scratching shakes it.)

Asian Ice Sculpture (some of the Asian ones are absolutely incredible- itty bitty details, like the stairs on this one... Last year there was this amazing large boat, longer than a tall man, with shapes carved on the area all around it to represent water... I think it was the one with this really cool water dragon undulating through the water. Kind of like the pictures you see of Nessie.)

Ice Alaska

I had this incredible post with great pictures and it all just disappeared... Aaaah!!!

50 Degrees!!!

It was 50 degrees today! Yay!! Spring has sprung!!!

I took this picture today of our front yard and the road at 8 p.m. (notice that the sun is staying up later!!) There's still snow everywhere, but it's melting! Breakup means that everything thaws and pools during the day and then refreezes at night creating a lovely ice rink for car and foot travel. Still, it's the most exciting time of the year. (for hearts desiring the snow to be GONE, and for those trying to be safe on the road...)
It will take a while for all this snow to go away, but it is exciting to see it starting to go... It always snows on Easter, no matter how clear everything is- and we've had an unusually depressingly cold and snowy March. So maybe it will be green soon!

Isn't Snow Cool?

I took these pictures last Monday- This is our '89 Dodge Omni that no longer works and has been sitting in our driveway accumulating snow for the entire Winter.
The snow accumulates all over the car (as evidenced by the roof, trunk and windshield) and then slowly slides down the windows. You can see the layers of snow and freezes from the past Winter. The snow still clings to the car but the layers are so cool.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Completed Fire Choker

Yes, this is the WEIRDEST thing I've ever made... I had this idea of making a necklace representing fire with flames rising out of the fire's center. I'm pleased with the completed project, but even I admit it's pretty weird.
It was a conversation starter at our bazaar last weekend, though, and that's always a good thing. People kept picking it up and commenting on it - the funny ones were the people who held it upside down... I admit to you that the flames looked a little like spider legs when the necklace was upside down. Most people knew what it was immediately without even being told, but not the upside-downers...

Thursday, March 22, 2007


A strange season appears in Fairbanks, Alaska once a year and has come to us once again- an in between season- Not really Spring yet, but no longer true Winter. The season of Breakup.

We've had temperatures above 0 and a light snow fall. In fact, all the way up to 35 yesterday!! Snow has been melting! This lasts for about a month, sometimes more, and makes all of our hearts leap within us. Oh, to see the snow melt and drip off the roof!

Ice starts breaking up, we start seeing parts of the concrete on the roads, and everything starts looking dirty. All the pretty white snow of the winter starts subsuming and allowing the trash that has accumulated beneath it since fall to appear. The gravel we use to make the roads safe starts flinging around and cracking the windows more than ever. (by the way, if you use salt or some other chemical concoction to make the ice melt, it actually makes it worse, 'cuz then you get a light puddle of water on top of the ice...)

And all this dirt and trash and gravel make us happy! Our hearts are light and we smile. Unless it lasts too long... Then we start gnashing our teeth and gnawing our nails...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have bronchitis. I've literally been sick for three months now, since before Christmas with either a cold, flu, a different cold, sinus infection, pinkeye, or recovering from my neck procedure. I guess all that stuff has worn down my immune system to the point of me getting bronchitis.

I've never had bronchitis before, and I've got to say I've decided I'm not going to get it again. Bad stuff. I've napped twice today and I'm still tired. Pretty pathetic for the go, go, go mommy that I am. I still have to take care of my girls and get them to their appointments and school, and I still have to make dinner... Right now, my husband is washing a load of dishes for me- bless the man.

I never want to be this sick again...


I got to walk around over the weekend while we were at the bazaar and see all these booths with beadwork and fiber art and paintings and really cool stuff. Now my head is packed full of all these ideas I want to incoorporate into my beading and I'm afraid I'm gonna lose some of the best ideas... I guess they never really go away, but it's so easy for me to let them subsume beneath the ocean of diapers, dishes and driving that is my every-day life... Beth has suggested a journal where I draw and write and paste and tape my ideas, but I never seem to think of buying such an item when I'm at Freddy's. That's my homework for the week I guess- get a journal home so that I can empty my head of all these ideas and get them out on paper where they might be usable.

Poetry Contest + POEM: Identity

About a month ago Beth and I entered a statewide poetry contest sponsored by the Fairbanks Arts Association, and last Friday I found out I won! Okay, so I found out I won an Honorable Mention in a contest with three winners and three Honorable Mentions. Still cool, even if it was only an Honorable Mention. I got to go to an awards ceremony with the winners reading their poems (me, too!) on Saturday. I got to hear really good poems and read my own for other people who like poetry. Very cool.

So, even though I've already blogged this poem, I'm gonna do it again. This is the one that kind of won fourth place in a statewide contest. (all the Honorable Mentions were kind of like fourth place...)

I am…
The white girl
walking through soft brown eyes glaring
as I hide my yellow hair like a wound,
cover it like a secret,
a refugee alone in a library
sheltered by imagined worlds
from a brown skinned lunch room.
When will I represent just me,
not thousands of slave-owners,
wife-rapers, husband-beaters,
land-stealers, baby-killers,
destruction of tradition and language?
I am not white.
I lived amongst sod houses,
traveled by four-wheeler,
picked blueberries,
learned Inupiaq,
saw midnight suns and month-long blackness,
wore parkas and walked on iced oceans.
I am not Eskimo.
I think in English,
pray to Jesus Christ,
have no wise elders,
no home village,
wear a watch and keep a day-timer,
live alone.
I hate my white skin.
I stand apart from a white world,
which is traumatized by a whale hunt,
offended by a honey-pot,
and raises individuality and independence
as a lamp of perfection for all.
I wept horrified at the inaccuracy of Dances With Wolves,
raising native life as a pure
ideal, holy and good.
No lifestyle is faultless.
I wept silently
in history class in my white college
when the trail of tears was a comma
in a history book
and reservations were the concluding period.
No lifestyle should be stolen.
I balance on a wire,
a strand of taut sealgut,
between a white world
and a native village.
I am not white.
I am not native.
I cannot be both for each hates the other,
somewhere in their secret self,
buried below consciousness and clarity.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bazaar Thing- A Woman's Affair

My sister and I paid for a table at this big spring bazaar thing that took place over the weekend. The most expensive table we've ever paid for- really crazy expensive. We knew that we probably wouldn't make that much money but it was still worth it to just get our stuff out there in front of people. By the way, Beth did make back her half of the table fee, and I didn't do badly. Not as well as I wanted...

The most exciting thing happened, though. A woman introduced herself as the owner of a local shop- Willow Creek Clothing, and told us she'd like to carry our stuff in her shop! Don't know what will come of it. We didn't talk details or specifics, but this would be wonderful. It would mean our stuff is out year round for people to look at. We might still do bazaars. I don't know, but it wouldn't be the high pressure thing for us to actually sell stuf there, 'cuz we could say, "look for our stuff at ....".

Also, this gives us the extra courage/boldness/chutzpah it takes to go ahead and approach a couple of other local shop owners about carrying our stuff. We've talked about it, but neither Beth nor I are bold, confident people who like doing cold call stuff. We'll have to practice and figure out what we want to say, but we're gonna do it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Jake's Downloaded Songs + POEM: Singer

Caution: Do not attempt to hold me responsible for my husband's taste in music... It will not hold up in a court of law...

My husband has discovered the magic of purchasing and downloading singles off the web. He's in heaven. He's chosen a wide mix of stuff from U2 to Boston, from Five for Fighting to Stevie Nicks to Norah Jones (I hadn't heard anything by her before and I admit I'm loving it... so, I guess I can be held responsible for what I like...)

The song I find most hilarious/odd/strange in his new collection is 'Killing Me Softly' sung by Roberta Flack. What's fun about this one is that he got stuck on it 'cuz it's on the Fred Meyer music track... which means he hears it about every hour or so, and if the other guys in the sporting goods department knew he'd chosen it for a track at home... Anyway, I actually really like this song, and remember quite clearly the first time I heard it.

One Christmas when I was home from seminary & Fort Worth, I got the opportunity to go to a jazz performance on campus with my sister and my friend, Donna. We saw this great little group- I have no idea what they were called. I just remember how good they were. Piano, horn, and drums. Mostly we heard them play some good jazz stuff. I think the guy on piano sang some, but mostly it was just instrumental. Then about half-way through their set they invited someone to come sing with them. She was this beautiful tall black woman with a gorgeous alto voice. Smooth as silk and rich as chocolate. (very cliche, I know, but still true)
She sang 'Killing Me Softly', and it was amazing. I fell in love with the song. I went home and wrote a poem about hearing the song- probably a lousy poem, but that's what I do- I compulsively write about what strikes me.

Then I heard Flack's version... But after hearing the woman in the club, Flack just doesn't come close to that magic...

So, here's the story of the song, which Jake discovered on line while downloading all sorts of odd stuff- It's actually based on a poem written about an experience hearing Don McLean (of 'American Pie' fame) sing. So, this woman (Laurie something or other) heard McLean sing and wrote a poem based on that experience. Then her friends took the poem and wrote a song. And now, that song is a jazz standard.

It's funny to me that I wrote a poem based on hearing the song that was based on a poem that was based on hearing a song... So, here's the poem I wrote. I know it won't become a jazz standard :) but it's still a fun convoluted story...


I was alone
sitting in the back corner
protected by the dimness,
only a candle defining my memories.
The band played:
saxophone, drums, piano.
Three black men
filling the silence of my heart
so that I did not think,
did not need to feel.
You walked on stage
to the mike,
graceful and self-conscious.
An alto voice poured
over me like a healing
cleansing spring rain.
I held gold coins in my palms,
unspent and precious.
Summer whispered through
the room and danced
at my table.
Silk caressed my face,
soothed the wrinkles
of time away.
You whispered my name
not with lips,
but gently
your heart touched mine.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Reaching the Younger Generations for Christ

This task of designing the emerging church, new worship gatherings, and different ministries must be one that drives us to our knees. It is one that we cry out to God for, asking him to reveal if he is in this, or if it is simply our own ‘human origins’ and personal desires. And as we do that the burden is lifted. We are simply servants of the King. He will decide if he wants us to start something new or not. I personally take great refuge in that. As we experiment with creating worship gatherings, we need to always remember it isn’t about us and our dreams – it is about Jesus and his Church. It isn’t about being creative – it is about Jesus and his Church. It isn’t about rethinking our churches – it is about Jesus and his Church… There is security in knowing that if what we do is of God, then it will happen.

Quoted from Emerging Worship by Dan Kimball

POEM: Creator

This is a poem I wrote when I was living in Fort Worth and traveling with The Company. One of my poems that I really like... It's not perfect. I know that. But it says what I wanted it to say.

If God is an artist then
the ocean must be His percussion section,
playing the rhythms He buried
in the heart of it's deep.
And the clouds must be His dancers,
gliding and twirling
across the majestic blue,
And the mountains must be the canvas
where he paints the sunsets in golds and greens,
And the animals,
they must be His living sculptures
revealing His knowledge of form and function
entwined with His perfect eye for beauty.
And we, the thousands of people who
roam the majesty and beauty of His art,
we are His poems,
literature meant to be read and savoured,
meant to reveal His nature:
loving and gentle and good.

My Needle, My Neck

Yup, that's me... That's the big freaking needle they stuck in my life. And yup, I almost passed out... But NOT from the needle in my neck. Truly, oddly, that wasn't so bad. (which I believe is a hat's off to my doctor. She's excellent.)

Instead, I almost passed out from the IV... Aren't phobic reactions wonderful? It doesn't matter how much you tell yourself 'this will make you better' or 'you can do this' or 'needles are to make you HEALTHY'...

Your body just takes over and says, "NO FREAKING WAY are you doing that to me!!!!!! I'm going to do everything I can to make sure this doesn't happen!! I'm going to make you go away. I'm going to take all your blood and put it where I want it. I'm going to make you cold and I'm going to mess you up!! So just forget it. No needles for me, thank you very much!!!"

But I fought the stupid thing and I got it done. I got the needle in my neck, and right now the steriod stuff they stuck in there hurts like I don't even wanna say... It's bad. As my nurse told me, "There is no empty space in your body, so everything in there had to move over and get squished more, which means the nerves are going to be pinched more than they were before." So, now I get to wait until we see if it makes a difference in my pain level after everything shifts down and works itself out, which is supposed to take about a week. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Needle Thing

So tomorrow or later today (however you choose to think of it- I tend to be a "it's not the next day until I wake up in the morning" kind of person) is the needle in my neck thing. Whee-hee. That's why I'm up at 3:30 in the morning. Could you sleep if they were gonna stick a big freaking needle into your spine??? I know it's going to be worth it. Sometimes I can't sleep 'cuz my neck hurts so bad. I can't do a lot of things 'cuz my neck hurts so bad... But ugh!
Needle. In My Neck.

So, here's the first story about why I don't like needles. I was sick a lot as a kid. No big whoop, right? Just the way it was. But this one time, when I was around 4 or 5, my mom left me with a nurse to take care of my sister, and when she came back they had tried to draw blood from each of my arms and were moving on to my neck. So she comes back to find me flipping out while the nurses are holding me and sticking a needle in my neck. Plus I've got bandages on both my arms. Lovely image. Now that I'm a mom, I understand her anger. Those nurses were just lucky she didn't kill them...

Second story. When I was 7 I stuck my hand through a window on accident. I was running down a hill and smashed into a window in our house. I bled a lot and got taken to the ER where they stuck these incredible painful needles directly into the cuts in my hand and wrist, pulled some glass out of my wrist and then stitched the whole thing up. I've got five scars on my left hand. And yes, it does kind of look like I tried to commit suicide. But there's no way I could have even tried it that way 'cuz I would have passed out just thinking about it.

Third story. The summer before I went to seminary I had appendicitis. After the surgery I got really, really sick. Turns out I was allergic to the anasthesia and I had a VERY bad reaction. I ended up staying much longer than they thought I would. And then the IV went bad. It started backing up, and messing me up. And they had to stick the stupid IV back in.

I'm awful to try and draw blood from, 'cuz I start to go into shock. Do you know what happens when you go into shock??? Part of the fight or flight thing is that all your blood leaves your extremities and goes into your torso. Which means your veins go really flat and small. Which means they have to poke you and poke you and poke you to get a good stick... And since it's a panic reaction I can't just calmly make it go away. It is completely out of my control. It is shocking to me how many nurses take it personally, like I'm scared of them or like I think they're doing a bad job. Are you kidding??? It could be Florence Nightengale herself and I'd still be flipping out. My mind sees a needle and makes it into Dracula or something...

Anyway, I'm starting to get dizzy and light-headed writing about this. (I'm not lying about that either...) So I'd better stop before I pass out.

Fun thing is that my doctor gave me some valium to take so that I can do the needle tomorrow... Wasn't that nice of her? Makes me want to give her a hug. Maybe I should take one of 'em tonight so that I can sleep...

Here Moosie, Moosie, Moosie...

Jake stepped out last night to run to the store for some ice cream, and quickly stepped back inside... Seems there was a moose standing next to our vehicle. A very big moose.
I peered out our window and got to watch it moseying across our driveway and on into our neighbor's yard.
Today when I took Jake to work I got to look at the moose's tracks. She'd jumped our backyard fence, then walked along side our house, through our front yard and then across pretty much everybody's yard down through our neighborhood. Just your friendly neighborhood moose out for an evening stroll.

Snow in March

Yup, it was -20 today...
If you look carefully you can see the moose tracks from last night's moosecapade...

February's Books

Arrows of the Queen, Arrow’s Flight and Arrow’s Fall by Mercedes Lackey A
All re-reads ‘cuz I still haven’t been to the library… I wanted to read this trilogy again after reading the interview with Mercedes Lackey (in the Valdemar Companion from last month’s books) about her beginnings as a published writer. Arrows is her first published novel. (She’d had short stories published first, and then through a chain of wonderful coincidences, rewrite after rewrite, and a LOT of hard work got this trilogy published.) They’re so good! She establishes an interesting world, an interesting sympathetic character with a deep flaw, and an interesting story-line… Realizing that these are her first books and that I’ve read a LOT of first books, I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this story arc…

The Safe-Keeper’s Secret
by Sharon Shinn A
It’s so wonderful to get to read another Shinn book. I’ve read everything she’s got in print and I’m waiting with baited breath for her next book (The Thirteen Houses) which is due out soon. She’s got very little out there ‘cuz she hasn’t written long- maybe ten books and when I originally discovered her I gulped them down like they were going to be ripped from my hands. I like her characters and her fairy tale worlds- And when I say ‘fairy-tale’ I’m talking Grimm brothers (although without some of the gore), not Disney… Her books remind me of Ursula LeGuin (without the convolutions) or Robin McKinley at their best.

The Truth-Teller’s Tale by Sharon Shinn A
Another delight… I like these two, (they’re set in the same world and have one recurring minor character). They’re reminiscent of Ella Enchanted by Meg Cabot, and if you like fairy tales and you’ve missed that one, you’ve GOT to find it. Even the movie is good, although not nearly as good as the book… Yikes. I’ve gotten sidetracked. Anyway, like the best fairytales, they’ve got some romance elements, but they’re not really about romance- they’re coming of age novels and more about truth, keeping promises & being who you are…

Winter Moon (A Collection of Three Novellas by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and C.E.)
Moontide by Mercedes Lackey B
A sad disappointment… I think, I hope that somebody high up told Lackey that she had too many words and that she had to cut something out, ‘cuz if that’s not true, I don’t know what she was thinking... The story builds and builds, and then there’s this fight scene that’s like, “umm, that’s it?” And then the story ends… And I like Lackey, and she doesn’t normally do that. The story is kind of a ninja assassin / Hunchback of Notre Dame fairy tale thing, and is quite good- it just finishes badly.
The Heart of the Moon by Tanith Lee A
I’ve never read anything by Lee and I loved this. About a warrior who messed up and had someone else mess her up, and then she gets a chance to fix it all. Good story. Good characters. Kind of a dream sequence spiritual weird thing.
Banshee Cries by C.E. Murphy B+
I’ve never read anything by Murphy, but enjoyed this very much. This short story was a side trip in a series (Urban Shaman) she’s been doing on Jo Walker, a cop who’s just discovered she’s also a ‘shaman’ with weird paranormal powers. She hates these powers but has to use them to defeat a ‘dark side’ evil magician who is trying to take over the world. Good story.

By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey A
I enjoyed reading this one again after reading the interview with Lackey- She says that out of all the books she’s written By the Sword is her favorite… So, I’ve read it before and enjoyed it, but this time I read it looking for what makes her so pleased with it. Adventure, magic, romance, morals, choosing your own path, stuff working out, being true to who you are… We start when the protagonist is only 17 and her home is attacked during her brother’s wedding celebration. Her dad is killed, her brother is injured and his new bride is kidnapped. We then get the chance to see what happens to her over the course of a lifetime. Till the point when she is an adult who’s lived a full life mostly doing what she wants to do, but not always. Everything comes together in her life after some really HORRIBLE things happen, after she comes to truly know herself, and after she’s completely given up on love, virtue and truth.

Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn A
This is a retelling of Jane Eeyre set in a space-faring future. Since I’ve still not read Jane Eeyre (yes, I’m lame) it’s impossible for me to say if it’s a good retelling or not; however, I can say that this book is very good- a solid story, great protagonist, good characters, interesting setting, an intriguing take on the whole ‘mad woman in the attic’ thing…

Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce A
These are the next three in Pierce’s Immortals Quartet. I read the first one last month and then couldn’t find the rest… Aargh. Very frustrating to start a series and not be able to continue! Anyway, I used a Christmas gift certificate to buy the rest and now have gotten to re-read them, plus I have them for the next time I need ‘em. The main character has the power to communicate with animals and eventually learns that she can shape-shift as well. Evil powers are attacking good people and Daine ends up helping the good people get rid of the bad people through her communication with mice, dragons, dogs, bats, wolves, squirrels and any other animal that comes along. These are my favorite Tamora Pierce books- animals, good characters, scary villains, excellent endings. Plus they’re incredibly quick reads. This is a quote from Anne McCaffrey, not specifically about Pierce, but it works for me. “I keep her books on my comfort shelf.” When I want to know that a story’s going to be good, have a good plot, fun magic, interesting characters, and a believable, sympathetic female protagonist I read Pierce…
I do have one comment/complaint about this series: Daine falls in love with her teacher, who is in his 30's. She's 16. They end up in a relationship by the end of the series. Now, I'm not one to have an issue with age difference. I'm married to a guy who's 4 years younger than me. Plus, my parents had a seventeen year gap and that wasn't an issue in their relationship... I know spring/winter romances can work very well. But he's her teacher. That's what gets me. And the fact that she's a teenager. I actually don't think Pierce planned this on purpose. Since the two of them are some of the only magicians who can shapeshift, I think they're the only ones in the world they're in that get what their life is like. My impression is that it just happened; however, since these are YA books, I think she should have tried to kill the romance. Gone back and excised it. I think too many kids get crushes on their teachers and for her to have written a good book where that whole mess works out... I don't know. I just don't think it's such a good thing. There. Side comment/complaint over. I still really like these books. I just have an issue with the relationship thing.

Crossroads, an anthology of Valdemar stories edited by Mercedes Lackey A
This is the third Valdemar anthology, and it came out a year and a ½ ago. I didn’t even know it was out, which tells me it came out about the time Abigail was born… When I wasn't sleeping or going anywhere... Oh, well. I found it now. So good to read stories by so many excellent authors who love Valdemar as much as I do- Tanya Huff, Fiona Patton, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Judith Tarr to name a just a few… There were two stories in the book that were B’s for me, but the rest were excellent. I like getting a fresh perspective on the world, ‘cuz it fleshes out areas that Lackey hasn’t focused on yet.

Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House by Sharon Shinn A
Yay! The next book finally came out in paperback (I hate hardcover books and only read ‘em if I have to… They're just so dang heavy. Too heavy for my poor little feminine hands... yes, that was sarcasm…) I re-read M&R to remind myself of the world and the characters. So good. I really enjoy this book. Solid characters, interesting world, fun magic powers. Then I read Thirteenth House… It’s The Empire Strikes Back! Aargh! If I’d known the way it was going to end I would have waited to read it until the next book came out! It’s very good- same wonderful characters, excellent story line, exciting court intrigue, fun magic, shapeshifters- all VERY good, but it doesn’t really end, or else it doesn’t end the way it should, I’m not sure which. So, my recommendation is wait till the next one comes out to read 13th House, which probably won’t be for another six months or maybe even a year… Aargh.

Shatterglass, book 4 in The Circle Opens Quartet by Tamora Pierce A
Tris finds her new student to be rather difficult- He’s a gifted glassmaker who was struck by lightning which has caused his bit of glass magic to be mixed with lighting. He must learn to control his temper and new powers, but there’s more going on- a string of murders against the lower class of street entertainers in a culture reminiscent of India’s caste system. Excellent mystery and magic book. Quick read.