Monthly Archives: August 2012

Walking on Water

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I was first introduced to Mrs. L’Engle through A Wrinkle in Time.   A missing father, elements of magic and the mystery of a tesseract and the fifth dimension, pulled me in and has brought me back to read it over and over.

I read Walking on Water as part of my desire to learn how to become a better writer and artist.  Mrs. L’Engle writes with the belief that faith and art are tied together.

As I listen to the silence, I learn that my feelings about art and my feelings about the Creator of the Universe are inseparable.  To try to talk about art and about Christianity is for me one and the same thing, and it means attempting to share the meaning of my life, what gives it, for me, its tragedy and its glory – Madeline L’Engle

The thing which has stuck to my heart the most is this thought.

To write a story is an act of Naming. – M.L’Engle

To name something is to give it an identity.

To name a child is to give it a history, a legacy, and a future.

To name a pet is to give it a personality and a piece of your heart.

We get married and a wife takes her husband’s name, individuals become a family.

When writing, naming a character is important.  Does a bully need a name that fits his personality?   Like George or Biff?  Or does our bully need a name he is running away from?  An Ira or Francis perhaps?

When writing, our stories give name to our need.  I write about falling in love to remember the story my husband and I are living.  I write about pain to process the hard things in my life.  I write about joy to hold onto the overflow of happiness in my heart.  I write about family to keep the ‘ties that bind’ strong across the miles.  I write about friendship to give appreciation to those who have and do bless my life.  I write about confusion to give rise to clarity.

To name is to love.  To be Named is to be loved.  So in a very true sense the great works which help us to be more named also love us and help us to love. – M.L’Engle

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Feelin’ Crafty

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Is anyone else addicted to Pintrest?  It’s my go to app and website for wasting time getting ideas of things to do next.  I pinned this a couple of months ago.

Click on the picture to be taken to SewWoodsy.com for the original post and tutorial.

This looked fun, east and cheap.  Plus a trip to Target for supplies – just gets better and better.

The only decision that needed to be made was what to write on my shirt.  A quote?  Song lyrics?  Bible verse?  I decided to use the chorus from “Freckles” by Natasha Bedingfield.

’cause a face withouth freckles is like a sky without stars
why wasts a second not loving who you are
those little imperfections make you beautiful, loveable, valuable
they show your personality inside your heart
reflecting who you are

As you can see, by the time I got to the bottom of my shirt, the words at the top of the shirt were bleached through.  BUT, the tutorial said to let it sit for 30-45 minutes.  So I did.  What resulted for me was more of an illegible outline of words, and not the affect of the words being bleached out of the shirt.  So I improvised.

I took a sharpie in a contrasting color and wrote in the words, filling in the bleached outline.  Which I kinda love.

Next time:

  1. I’ll buy a darker color t-shirt.  I’m wondering if the light color contributed to the bleach bleeding through so quickly.
  2. I would like to try a shape or picture.
  3. Buy more white vinegar.  SewWoodsy, included a note from a reader to soak your shirt in vinegar after washing, so the bleach would not continue to eat through the shirt and create holes.  I did this, and it also gave my shirt a very soft vintage feel.

Definitely a fun craft that only takes about an hour (not counting wash/dry time).

Three Books…

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Once upon a time I had a journal titled “What I read”.  I had aspirations to keep a list of all the books I read for the year (2005).  It lasted for about 3 months.  Here’s my shot at keeping the spirit of that journal alive.

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

I have generally considered myself a well read person.  Then I hear mention of someone who is a bestselling author, with no idea who that person is.  Joan Didion is the latest for me on this list.  I heard about her when Blue Nights was released, and was struck at what tragedy she had lived through.  I was inspired by her courage to write it all down and share it with the world.  I can only hope to someday have this same courage.  I decided to start with The Year of Magical Thinking, which documents her journey through the first year after her husband’s death.

The way she has written this book, you feel the confusion and pain she lived with for the first year.  She shares beautiful memories of their life together, intertwined with the illogical belief that she could have changed the outcome.  This book is a heart wrenching portrait of what it was like to lose the person who had come to define her life.  Being a wife that is scared of losing her husband, it was not an easy read for me.

I am looking forward to reading Blue Nights, and will be adding her other books to my reading list.

11/22/63 – Stephen King

What if the assassination of JFK in 1963 had never happened?  What if you could step back into time and stop Lee Harvey Oswald?  Mr. King just might have your answer.

I’m a fan of Stephen King and was excited to read this book when it was released earlier this year.  He also stated in an interview, he had this book in mind soon after the assassination took place.  Sitting on a book idea for 30 plus years?  Had to be good.  And it was.  The main character Jake is a great guy, and you’re rooting for him against all odds the entire time.

The biggest problem with my copy of this book were the missing and extra pages.  I got about 200 pages from the end, and found 33 pages missing.  I texted my husband and said “I literally don’t know what to do”; I’ve never had a book where pages were missing.  I went to Barnes and Noble, sat in the café, and read the missing pages.  Towards the end of the book, I had a different set of 33 pages repeat on me.  It’s all kinda funny, but don’t ask to borrow my copy unless you want to do all this work too.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

Ms. Morgenstern was one of the authors at last year’s Southern Festival of Books.  I missed her panel for some reason, but have wanted to read The Night Circus since then.  Who wouldn’t want to read a love story placed in a circus that only happens at night?

It was delightful.  Set in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.  Her detailed descriptions gave you a sense of being in the middle of everything.  A love story so powerful, it affects everything around it.  And a good dose of magic brings it all together.

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I have piles of books around the house, all begging me to stop and jump in.  Next on my list are:

The Odds – Stewart O’Nan

Love, Lucy – Lucille Ball

Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter – Lisa Patton

Her fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

Goals

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I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on a series of writing exercises, to get the juices flowing and help improve my work.  Today’s prompt was “Write a letter to yourself about the things you need to improve over the next 6 months.”  It was easy – I just wrote EVERYTHING and was done! 🙂

Instead I decided to write a list of goals for each of the next six months, which felt great.  There are projects I have been wanting to create some space for and setting these goals made that space a reality.  But a list with 6 months worth of goals can be overwhelming to stare at.  So I decided to list out my goals by month and then seal them in an envelope.  One list per month with 5 goals to reach.

Here is my list for the rest of August:

  • Enjoy my time in CA for my best friends bachelorette weekend and wedding
  • Take LOTS and LOTS of pictures
  • Write my Maid of Honor speech (Hardest one on the list, I get teary just thinking about it.)
  • Publish 3 blog posts a week
  • Enter a writing contest

I’m excited to have specific list of things to work on.  I’m hoping it will help to improve my time management, and improve my writing skills.  I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes!

The Comments Section

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So in the last couple of weeks the blogosphere has blown up about many things.  Jared Wilson and his commentary on 50 Shades of Gray, the great Chick-fil-A debate, aka – Chickengate and Gabby Wilson’s hair, just to name a few.

All the opinions and comments surrounding these issues made me think of this sketch from SNL.

(Not that I’m saying any of you deserve a punch in the gut for your opinions.)

But as I was talking over these things with a friend of mine, she made this statement. “We need to stop writing and start living.”

Stop Writing.  Stop writing blog posts that are meant to anger and inflame.  Stop writing FB posts to see how many of your friends agree with your political or religious beliefs.  Stop commenting on blogs attacking the author or the position.  Stop needing to be right, all. the. time.

Start Living.  Live in such a way that your light leaves trails wherever you go.  Live in such a way that every person you meet is touched by the respect and love that you show.  Live in such a way that the joy of a good discussion is welcomed.

Now obviously, I’m not going to stop writing and sharing my heart in this little corner of the world.  But I want my writing to match up with the truth of my heart.  I want to make sure my words are loving.  I want to be strong and share the hard things I’m working through, but not in a way to start a fight with those who may disagree.

So here’s to:

  • A resurgence of civility
  • Thinking before we speak
  • Peppering our conversations with grace
  • Giving the other guy ‘the benefit of the doubt’