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Showing posts from November, 2006

And the research continues ...

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I've hit another stretch where I feel like I have nothing worth saying publicly. (That, and it seems impossible to sit at the computer long enough to write a post lately ... this one took me all day.) I did finish the first volume of the 4-book set I bought at the Camden reenactment (and isn't that a kewl photo by my daughter of Historic Camden's Kershaw-Cornwallis House?) and am well into volume two. This series is called Nothing but Blood and Slaughter, and covers the entire Revolutionary War in the Carolinas, 1771-83. The title seems overly dramatic and gruesome until one begins to realize just how awful the war was in this part of the country--not just in the aspect of usual "Patriots vs. British" but in "partisan" fighting, i.e., the bitter and vengeful conflict between Loyalist and rebel colonists, many of whom were neighbors and, in some cases, family members. Vol. 2 alone covers 1780, the year my story starts, and almost 100 pages are devoted

A psalm of thanksgiving

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good, His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. (Psalm 100, NKJV) The LORD--YHWH, literally "I AM THAT I AM"--is God, not us. Human history is the stage for Redemption, and I offer my humble thanks that He saw fit to include me in that plan. Baruch HaShem Adonai, HaShem Y'shua Mashiach.

Musings

My life seems to be filled with frustration of late. So much to do, so little time. Just when I determine to be more task-oriented, I get phone calls or run into people and have conversations that are undoubtedly divine appointments, but nevertheless sidetrack me from “important” things I have to do. But just about the time I decide that people and relationships are most important, some really big mess occurs or I look around and see three dozen tasks screaming for my attention. (Totally insignificant stuff, of course, like laundry and meals and grading school papers ...) Thanksgiving is this week, and I haven’t yet begun to cook. Discovered today that I need to make another trip to the commissary tomorrow to buy a bigger turkey. (Explain to me how fewer guests makes for needing more meat ...) After that comes preparation for the Christmas and other holidays (our family also celebrates Hanukkah), and I must get started on the next batch of ballet costumes (to be done by January). Oh

Day 2—Landon Snow

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Welcome to Day 2 of the CSFF Blog Tour! Something I neglected to do yesterday was post a link to the adorable Landon Snow site . It's the place to go for samples of the excellent artwork, a brief intro to the characters, and more information on the author and his stories. And thanks to Randy for his comment yesterday! It's been a couple of years, with quite a bit of water under the bridge, but I'm thinking now, after his comment, that it was Jenny Baumgardner's table we sat at together (the day she didn't make it?), and since I was freshly out of my appointment with Shannon Hill of Barbour, I'd passed Randy the tip that Shannon was looking for YA-ish fantasy. (Does that sound right to you, Randy??) I was thrilled later to hear that the conference had yielded the contact that led to these stories being contracted. Randy just recently moved to North Dakota, where he's busy pastoring a church, raising two little ones, and expecting a new baby. Actual

Take Seven: Christian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Tour: more Landon Snow!

This month’s tour is highlighting R.K. (Randy) Mortenson's latest book, Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum . I’ll be perfectly honest … I haven’t read this one yet. I haven’t read the one before it, either. And I’ve only recently gotten around to reading the first book, Landon Snow and the Auctor’s Riddle , which is terrible since I met Randy two years ago at the Asheville, NC, Writing For the Soul conference (sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild), where he first made contact with his publisher. It’s been exciting to see his writing career develop since then! I did, however, feature his first book in a piece I wrote for my local homeschooling newsletter, with a very short review: On the eve of his eleventh birthday, while wrestling with such weighty issues as chance vs. design, Landon stumbles into an alternate reality where he finds adventure and the answer to his question. I found this a light, fun read and a gentle treatment of deep philosophical truth. The next two

The Irony of History, Part 3

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I’ve had a few difficult days this week … “invisible” days I could call them, in reference to that freaky dream a few weeks ago. Wednesday was better, strangely enough … it was my 40th birthday, and turned into such a neat time to reflect on God’s mercy, and life in general. Never mind that it was the day after elections. I’m not sure what I have to say about that would please anyone … besides the fact that God is in control, and that nothing takes Him by surprise. I hate politics. Economics and politics both are subjects that most of my life have been guaranteed to make my eyes glaze over. And wouldn’t you know, both are essential to anyone wanting to do any sort of decent worldbuilding. So, the last few years, along with studying the writing craft more seriously, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to them, at least in a historical context, to help me in planning my stories. I’ve seen some modest growth in understanding both. In July, of course, I started seriously researching

God of Wonders

Since I left the last post so open-ended, I have no choice but to continue, but I’m still trying to feel my way toward explaining everything that’s been going on … Oh, yes, the new Beth Moore study. Believing God. I struggled for the first several weeks … until the recorded segment where Beth discusses the correlation between spiritual authority and our personal vision of God. She pointed out that as humans, we want to be able to explain everything (guilty as charged), and that to varying degrees, we want God to “behave”—to act in ways that are logical and comprehensible to us personally. We might deny that we desire this, but I can see so many things in my own life that prove it. And she pointed out that faith unchallenged is a faith stifled or unchanged. I thought to myself, not for the first time, that as Jan Karon wrote in her Mitford series, “It is the nature of faith to be tested.” I could accept the questions and apparent disappointments, I found, as long as I was assured th

Weakness and Obedience, part 2

In an instant … it’s all over. I am alone, cut off … invisible and immaterial. Surrounded by those I love, who go on with their lives as if oblivious to my sudden disappearance. No—they are oblivious, because though I move in their midst, I cannot be seen or felt. Frustration flashes through me, because although I’m gone, I’m not allowed to depart. I’m required, for no good reason I can see, to stay around, to hover and observe, pray and assist in my silent way. I realize suddenly as I flit here and there that to one, at least, I am not invisible—the one who lived with and loved me best, my husband, sees me and somehow is granted understanding of my purpose, where such is denied me. And then my two oldest children. And slowly, as I continue to labor in silence and obscurity, I become visible to others, and less immaterial, until at one point I beat my fists against a wall in renewed frustration, wondering why I am not released, since I was so obviously done with this portion of exi

Weakness and Obedience

One of the treasures I picked up at the conference was the book Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth. I was a little apprehensive about this story, given its content (childhood sexual abuse) ... but this story is anything but depressing. The difficult parts are handled with poetic finesse, and though painful they may be, hope and redemption thread through the story in an ever-brightening ribbon, culminating in joy and triumph. I hadn't yet begun to read the book when I happened to win its sequel, Wishing on Dandelions , during a recent online interview at my friend Tiff's blog. At that point, however precious my reading time, I decided it would be expedient to at least start the first one. Well. Once begun, I could hardly put it down. Fortunately, the second book arrived when I was about halfway through the first, so I was able to plunge right ahead. Mary's work has always moved me, from the time I first discovered her blogs ( RelevantBlog and Pioneer Parenting ). He

Day 3—DKA

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Happy November First! It's the last day of the Christian SF/F blog tour, so if you're interested in winning a free critique of five pages of your story or novel, or of one poem, please leave a comment telling me you're interested. The winner will be announced on Friday, on Mir's blog . An interview with magazine editor Selena Thompson is at the blog of Rachel Marks , and Jason Joyner features an interview with the illustrious Mir, who is assistant editor. See yesterday's post for the full list of participants. On other fronts, today begins the November interview on the Christian Fandom email list, this time with Chris Walley, author of the science-fantasy series, Lamb Among the Stars. I finally located my copies of the first two books (I loaned them out!!) and so hope to read at least the first one in the next couple of weeks. And on the personal front, things may be lightening up for me enough to start blogging regularly again ... I'm thinking of sharin