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Showing posts from 2008

The Love of Money

Our family has some close friends who are caught with two houses. They built a new, fancy, house to sell right before the bottom fell out of the housing market. Now they are paying two mortgages and have had to put both of their homes on the market. A falling stock market is taking care of whatever else might be left. I should mention that they are very Christ-like people. It's easy to tell that they know God in a very intimate way. A couple nights ago they came over from dinner. The husband, Jack, told us about his recent trip to their financial advisor. He described it, with a hint of southern drawl, something like this:

Financial Advisor: "There's some cash left over in here. Do you want to pull it out? Do you need it?"
Jack: "Nope."
FA: "Ok, 'cause I want to invest it and it might be tied up for a little while."
J: "Ok, that sounds good."
FA: "I want to make sure you feel comfortable about doing this. How do you f…

My novel, in the works...

The primary difficulty I've come across in writing my novel involves saying all the things I hope to convey in narrative and dialogue rather than direct statements about these people. "Subtlety" becomes more and more in my eyes the true art of the author: the ability to introduce you to a character whose life encompasses those thoughts, actions, ideologies with which we are all familiar, guide you into their daily dilemmas, treat you to their philosophical outcomes, and thus show you yourself and your world in them without once your ever knowing that we had intentionally journeyed together through this.

The secondary difficulty involves simply writing it.

My life fails not to supply ample characters for a mighty work, rather my ability to truly capture them on paper does.

To a novel, a life, a character in progress, cheers!



Nation, let's talk Palin.
I certainly don't know much about politics.  I have opinions, just like the next Joe six pack, but nowhere near the level of knowledge to defend my ideas thoroughly, even adequately.  I do have observations and questions sufficient to supplement my lack of data.  I'd like to attempt to articulate some of these observations - particularly on the Palin-fanaticism rampant in areas across America.  
The McCain campaign chose Palin, among a myriad of reasons, to attempt to leverage the women's vote. How effective this decision has been remains to be seen. Newsweek recently put forth the statement: "Most women are saying thanks but no thanks to John McCain's running mate" (Are Voters Feeling Alienated by Palin, from the magazine issue dated Sep 29, 2008.) However, from what I have observed in the primarily conservative evangelical environment in which I now find myself, the response to Palin remains extraordinarily enthusiastic, per…

The Shack

The Shack... the buzz... the controversy... the middle aged black woman... the revolution... the lack thereof...  For months now, murmurs of The Shack have rumbled around me - reviews, recommendations, discommendations, swirling around me like the aromas from Sarayu'sfractalesque garden until I finally had no choice but to give in and read.  My dear friend, Ashley, first gave me the book months and months ago to read; but I, however, evaded her under the pretense that I am incapable of reading more than one book at once; moreover, I am a slow reader and must make careful choices of the books I read for woe to me for wasted time on empty pages.  And, hearing what I had heard about the Shack, I feared for the worst...  There is nothing like popular Christian fiction, or popular Christian music, or popular Christian anything to induce me to question its quality.But, alas, it is finished.  And I find myself very much where I was when I began the book.  The Shack failed to redeem itsel…


"There is, perhaps, no greater hardship at present inflicted on mankind in civilised and free countries, than the necessity of listenting to sermons."  Anthony Trollope " Barchester Towers vol. I, chapter 6.Truly there is nothing like a good sermon to draw a crowd to the chapel, and nothing like a mediocre, even bad sermon to drive us back to the ideals from whence we came.And here, for sheer comedic value, the quote in its entirety:There is, perhaps, no greater hardship at present inflicted on mankind in civilised and free countries than the necessity of listening to sermons. No one but a preaching clergyman has, in these realms, the power of compelling audiences to sit silent, and be tormented. No one but a preaching clergyman can revel in platitudes, truisms, and untruisms, (sic) and yet receive, as his undisputed privilege, the same respectful demeanour as though words of impassioned eloquence, or persuasive logic, fell from his lips. Let a professor of law or physi…


"So, the first question we must ask ourselves is, what is a boggart?" Hermione put up her hand. "It's a shape shifter," she said. "It can take the shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most." (Rowling, The Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 133) The boggart - "fear itself," as we behold it in Harry Potter, evolves from the British belief in a house spirit. The boggart exists to muddle intermittently in the conveniences of its house's inhabitants, (ie spoiling the milk, spooking the horses, chilling the beds.) As legend explains, a simple horseshoe on the door can keep boggarts away - but beware of claiming or naming a boggart - it'll become yours for life! This passage, as only children's literature can do, explores the mysteries of the boggart, touching on the immense and abstractions of fear itself in a particularly adult way of thinking and reasoning. What is the relationship between humans and fear? The trick to dispelling fear - re…

Road Trip

We realized what kind of people we are, sitting on our two folding chairs in the middle of a parking lot in Yellowstone, making our daily peanut butter sandwiches on a makeshift table (two cardboard boxes,) with utensils salvaged from a McDonald's run, marveling at the various makes and models of the RVs and campers surrounding us. Almost all of our earthly belongings crammed into our 4 door Elantra bounced (we have no shocks) across the country with us, a bike tied to the bumper, a box of vittles precariously laid over a crate of camping gear, and the two of us, two days into sleeping in the great outdoors, camping and driving through the upper 90's with no AC. A sight to behold! A sight to elicit responses such as, "now aren't you glad we have a camper?" or "y'all need any help?" or, resonant of my dad's personal favorite from growing up, "stay in school, kids, stay in school." Somehow we have become those people. And somehow w…