Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

Gustave Doré/Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis

A curse and a gift

| Words can be twisted, but God uses them to tell straight truths
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 12/04/09, 09:58 am

How does one write heaven?

John Milton, setting out to "justify the ways of God to men" in Paradise Lost, faced the challenge of representing not only heaven, but hell, the great gulf, and the unfallen world. The first section of the poem lays out the landscape of chaos, where Satan and the other fallen angels land on a lake of fire after their expulsion from heaven. After recovering from the shock they organize themselves and decide what to do next.

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Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Art in the heart

| Why do we find joy in things that serve no practical function?
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 11/20/09, 10:06 am

A little before 6 a.m., the horizontally striped sky in the east rolls out a news flash. Up next: spectacular sunrise. Regular early-risers will know to pause for a few minutes; it'll be worth it. If they missed the advance notice, a flaming sky slaps them in the face when passing a window. It always comes with a command: Look! LOOK!

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Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Shurtleff

Something to smile about

| True positive thinking comes at a very high price, and God paid it
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 11/06/09, 04:29 am

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