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Showing posts from February, 2010

A Week with no Posts

A week with no post? Now that would be interesting - no ads to throw away, no bills to pay, no forms to fill...

But a week with no blogposts? I have to stop a moment and wonder what on earth I've been doing all week. Reading, I guess: I did put some more book reviews on gather. And writing. And rewriting. And housework, and pulling weeds (ah, that's the trouble with the weather getting nice).

Remember that February Wrimo challenge our local writers' group was doing? Well, February's almost done, so I guess I have to confess I didn't succeed in my self-assigned task to write the third of my Hemlock books. In fact, a lot of last week was spent splitting up what I'd written to make two separate books. Somehow the events I'd planned for Hemlock 4 were appearing in Hemlock 3 and they really didn't fit. They prefigured entirely the wrong conclusion, resulting in a serious case of writers' block. So now I have two novels half-written in the month instead of …

Three Awards

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I’ve been writing—well, that’s my excuse. Which means I’ve been somewhat unprolific at blogging recently, so I’m not quite sure how I won these awards. It’s all because our local writer’s group is running it’s own mini wri-mo, and I promised myself I’d try to write the first draft of a novel. First draft half-done and almost three-quarters planned, I’m now taking time off to play a little catch-up.

The first (recent) award was a Prolific Blogger award from a prolific blogging friend called A.F. Stewart. The rules for this one are:
1. Pass this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers.
2. Link to the blog from which you received the award.
3. Link back to this Prolific Blogger post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
4. Add your name to the Mr. Linky.
Never having met Mr. Linky I was slightly nervous, but he does have a great list of interesting blogs and it’s well worth following the link, whether or not you aspire to be prolific.

Then came A S…

Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic

I'm still reading, still writing book reviews, still taking that journey. And I read the most amazing book this week - a bound galley, not even published yet, from The Permanent Press. It's called a theory of all things, and I was hooked from the second page.

The first page is emails to and from a young man called Mark. The reader learns he's done something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps embarrassing, but doesn't know what. Then on the second page Mark narrates his own tale. Having been a fairly serious mathematician myself back in the day, I feel like I know him. He's that genius in college who found everything so easy and just had to explain it all, the one who related everything to mathematical theory then wondered why the rest of us seem uninvolved in his great imagining. He's real; he's cute; he's intriguing; and he drives you up the wall.

Marks misadventures had me laughing out loud, his misunderstandings had me cringing for remembered embarr…

Because someone asked...

Someone who read the “about me” on my blog asked what I meant by a Mongrel Christian, so here’s my answer:

I’m Catholic because my Dad was Catholic; I went to Catholic schools and will always be grateful to my truly wonderful teachers; I was a Catholic chaplaincy representative at university; I married in a Catholic church; I became a communion minister, standing at the front holding the cup while my husband sat in the cry-room with our first-born son. And my brother’s a Catholic priest.

I’m Protestant because my Mum is Methodist; my Granddad was a Methodist lay-preacher and I loved to read his sermons; my Uncle served a term as president of Gideon’s in England; my husband grew up in the Church of England and our kids are baptized Presbyterian (USA) and C of E; I read prayers in the Church of England; I led worship in an Evangelical church; I taught Sunday school for kids and adults; I’m an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA); and I’m a regular worshiper at a Christian Refor…

The Continuing Journey

I posted lots of book reviews this week, not all related to the Take the Journey Reading Challenge. I realized I must have got a long way behind when I saw my review for one book claimed I was going to wait till after Christmas to read the next in the series. Now, when was Christmas?

Ah well. I did find time to read a bit too, besides posting reviews. Mary DeMuth's Thin Places was a beautiful read, and one that I actually reviewed at about the right time, since it's only just come out.

A very different book was Sarah Waters' The Night Watch which I borrowed from a friend. It brought World War II London very vividly to life, and introduced me to some fascinating characters. I was intrigued by the way the story goes backwards in time, rather like the way we meet people and learn later about their pasts; and by the way ones assumptions don't always prove true.

And in a lighter, or darker vein (depending on your point of view), was Greywalker, by Kat Richardson, which my husb…

Where time and plans wear thin

I had plans for today. Mostly they involved finally putting finger to keyboard and starting work on Hemlock 3. But today had plans too.

It all began with that new year plan to try to be organized. I finally set up hotmail's calendar and starting writing things in it. Which means, of course, that my emails have started sending me reminders...

Today is the release date for Mary DeMuth's Thin Places. It's a wonderful book - a memoir, which is not my kind of thing, but it's really so much more. She tells of those hardest places in her life - the sort of place where secrets hide away - and how their memory can become the thinnest of skins between here and eternity, where God's provision and love come shining through. I really enjoyed the book, and I really didn't want to miss the launch day celebrations... so I posted my review and a 259-word essay about a thin place of my own. And then I put the review on Amazon, which led to Goodreads, Shelfari, Librarything... and …

There's a plane over Canada

There's a plane somewhere over Canada and Mum's flying on it. Give her a wave please if she passes you by.

And there's a washing machine in Portland working overtime. Likewise the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and other such things as I distract myself from Mum's absence. The house feels empty; no one to open the door for me when I came home; no one to make tea for; no one to comment on the weather; no one to do those unexciting things that become so precious when mother and daughter are able to do them together.

There's a dryer just finished with the sheets from her bed so it's time to work on the towels. And somewhere over Canada, Mum, I hope you're getting a good meal and good company; hope your leg's feeling okay; don't forget those exercises; and know you're loved and being prayed for all the way.

Tweaking my way through the format

It's February. I'm supposed to be frantically writing book 3 of Hemlock for our writers' group challenge. But I promised my Mum I'd publish my next book of children's short stories soon, so I finally agreed to stop putting off reformatting it...

...and finally remembered why I'd stopped in the first place. 44 stories is okay - a few cut and pastes, file > page setup > set margins and headers and footers so they don't overlap, set the gutter, apply to all sections (and wonder where sections came from), edit the stories - start even, end odd - then you're done. I remember struggling to make the page numbers appear on the contents list - turned out it had hardwired the page-size in when I switched from docx to doc. But, as I said, easy enough.

That was Genesis People, last January, just before my Mum went back to England the last time. This one's Psalms and Parables, and she's going back on Thursday. There's one hundred and fifty psalms and…