Author Archives: jrcoggins

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is www.coggins.ca

Keeping Busy during COVID-19 by James R. Coggins

The lockdown due to COVID-19 has given me a wonderful opportunity to slow down and pay more attention to the world around me. Here is what I have observed.  1. It has rained the last seven weekends and ten of … Continue reading

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After The Plague

Cataclysmic historical events are often followed by massive social changes. The effects of such events are complex, varied, and unpredictable. As well, these effects interact with the effects of a host of other events and developments, so that the direct … Continue reading

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Replacement Policy

“What do you mean my coverage has been denied?” “I’m sorry, Mr. Grey. It’s company policy. This is the third total replacement claim you have made in—what?—a year.” “Well…” “Precisely. The company can’t keep covering these losses.” “But I need … Continue reading

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Of Better Homes and Gardens

It was a great relief to realize that out fears were unfounded. Having newly acquired a house—and with it yard responsibilities—my wife and I were apprehensive that we might not be able to keep our lawn and garden in the … Continue reading

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Blowin’ in the Wind

I am a baby boomer. I was a teenager in the 1960s and in university in the first half of the 1970s. It was the era of the sexual revolution, the youth movement, the civil rights movement, the drug culture, … Continue reading

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Urgent and Important

Have you ever met people who just have to talk? If they know something, they just have to tell you? Take the other night, for instance. My wife woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me … Continue reading

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Silent Saturday by James R. Coggins

April 11 this year is the Saturday before Easter. Christians have much to ponder on the day before and the day after. The Bible records many events on both days. Good Friday is the day on which Jesus was crucified. … Continue reading

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Letter to Leo by James R. Coggins

In the course of my historical research, I came across the following letter in the Russian Archives. Books for Today Publishing Company, 123 Fourth Avenue, New York, New York Dear Mr. Tolstoy: Thank you for submitting your book War and … Continue reading

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Reflections on a Pandemic

Unique world events offer a unique opportunity to learn new lessons. Here are a few we have had an opportunity to learn recently. 1. It’s a small world.  The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically demonstrated how interconnected the modern world is. … Continue reading

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Plush and Plastic Puppies by James R. Coggins

I learn so much from my grandchildren. For instance, if it were not for my grandchildren, I would never have become acquainted with Paw Patrol. And I would not have had the opportunity to watch each episode so often that … Continue reading

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Twice upon a Time by James R. Coggins

The handsome prince kissed the beautiful sleeping princess, and she woke up. They got married and lived happily ever after. That was in the good old days when writers could write stories they way they should be written. Nowadays, the … Continue reading

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How We Did It by James R. Coggins

A little while ago, my wife and I quietly celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. Many friends our age and many people at our church just accepted this milestone as a normal part of married life. The week we were celebrating … Continue reading

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A Darkness More Than Night by James R. Coggins

“You don’t go into the darkness without the darkness going into you,” Michael Connelly says in his novel, A Darkness More Than Night. It is one of the very interesting and highly successful murder mysteries Connelly has written. In this … Continue reading

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Drummers Drumming by James R. Coggins

When my daughters were teenagers and began to bring home young men, I would attempt to engage them in conversation. One day, the conversation gravitated toward music. “Are you a musician?” I asked one prospect. Yeah,” he replied. “I’m a … Continue reading

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Who Were the Wise Men, and Why Did They Go to Bethlehem?

Matthew 2:1-12 tells the familiar story of the “wise men” coming to worship the baby Jesus. The story forms part of Christmas celebrations every year all over the world. In fact, in traditional church calendars, the wise men have their … Continue reading

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