When we ordered copies of A Spent Bullet in 2010, we selected several hundred hardback copies. This would allow options for libraries and discerning readers who wanted a more durable copy.
I was deeply pleased with the format and look of the hardcover copies, until I looked at the spine. The publisher at mispelled bullet, adding an extra t to make it A Spent Bullett. (Look for yourself at the spine lettering).
After pulling out my remaining hair and threatening to drive to Nashville to whip the publisher (just kidding, kind of) I decided to make the best of it, calling these “collector’s editions.”
Ironically, when I’ve mailed these out, I’ve yet to have a reader catch the mistake.
Today’s your last day to get one of these “collector’s editions” (thankfully our supply of hardbacks is nearly gone. The next batch will have Bullet spelled correctly).
A reminder: Today, Feb. 28, is the final day to get a hardback copy of A Spent Bullet with its companion children’s book, Uncle Sam: A Horse’s Tale. The normal price for this set is $35 plus shipping. Today, you can order for $20 plus $5 shipping.
Here is a shortened version of my favorite scene from A Spent Bullet: Harry Miller and his future father-in-law are having a spiritual discussion.
*See note at end of scene.
Chapter 51 Excerpt A Spent Bullet
Elizabeth’s father pointed toward a nearby lone pine. “Our tap root’s pretty deep too.”
“Mr. Reed, your tap root is way deeper than mine will ever be.” Harry picked
up a coil of wire. “I got a question that’s been bugging me: what do folks mean when
you talk about being ‘born again’?”
Levon Reed hefted three rolls of wire on his shoulder. “It’s something that happens
in a fellow’s heart.” He seemed deep in thought as they walked toward the house.
“Let me give you an example: my boy, Jimmy Earl, joined the Air Corps. He
and I both love aeroplanes, but there’s a distinct difference: He’s flying in them now.
I’ve never flown in one and probably will die without getting off the ground. We
both believe planes can fly, but there’s a difference in our beliefs. Jimmy Earl believes
He scanned the horizon as if he expected a plane to fly over at any moment.
“He’s willing to put his butt in a seat and let someone fly him up into the wild blue
yonder. Me? I just believe about planes. I believe they can fly, but I’m not willing to
Mr. Reed pointed to his head and then his heart. “There’s a heap of difference
between head knowledge and heart knowledge. It’s commitment. It’s a willingness to
strap yourself in and trust something else or someone. I believe a fellow’s ‘born again’
when he goes from standing on the ground admiring the plane to crawling in and
trusting. It’s letting Jesus be the pilot of your life.”
“Do you trust Jesus like that?” Harry said.
“Sure I do.”
“How do I get that kind of faith, Mr. Reed?”
“I believe you’re getting it.”
“But I haven’t . . . I haven’t felt any fireworks go off.”
“Fireworks ain’t a sign of being born again. I’ve seen folks jump high for Jesus
and two weeks later be back living like the devil. My experience has been that being
born again happens in an instant, but becoming a true follower of Jesus—growing to
be like him—is a lifetime process.”
- * Author’s note: Just before he died in his mid-90s, I met distant cousin John Iles of Shreveport. Cousin John had lived a full and famous life. He was best known for his lifetime friendship with John F. Kennedy that began when both were PT boat captains in the South Pacific during World War II. They maintained this friendship up until President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
- Regarding the “born again” passage you just read, John Iles sent a note to me: “Curt, I’ve spent my life studying the Bible, attended seminary and numerous classes. Your passage on Mr. Reed and the plane is the best explanation I’ve ever read of what being born again really means.” Cousin John died while I was in Africa. I will always cherish his note and our brief friendship.
- You can read this entire chapter of A Spent Bullet at www.creekbank.net