Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All the Light We Cannot See

This is the gorgeous title of a gorgeous new book by Anthony Doerr.  I finished reading it on my way home from Houston and I felt transformed by the experience.

When you love a book as much as I loved that one, it's hard not to put on a white shirt, a tie, a pair of shiny Swedish knit pants from Mr. Mac's, and a nametag in order to proselytize the reading public so that they, too, can partake in the rapture.  (Right.  I'm mixing religious metaphors here.)  This, of course, can be a dangerous thing because maybe I just read this book at exactly, exactly the right time so that it spoke to me on a cellular level, which would make me a problematic judge.  Is the book as stunning as I think it is?

I don't know.  But I lived a life apart every time I opened it.  I could taste it.  It's been a long time since I've felt this way about a novel.

Incidentally (and not that it matters), four of my all-time favorite books are set against the backdrop of WWII--

The Madonnas of Leningrad  (Debra Dean)
Prince of the Clouds (Gianni Riotta)
The Lost Garden (Helen Humphreys)

And now this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The dogs of Liberty Park

I always think it's interesting to see what kinds of humans own which kinds of dogs, because you know!  It's always so much fun to generalize!

Anyway.  Running every morning in Liberty Park gives me a chance to draw some loose conclusions on this front and here's what I've observed.

Pitbulls are often owned by young females in their twenties or early thirties.  Tattoos are frequently involved, although not always.

Toy breeds are often owned by large men of color.

Golden retrievers and worthy rescue dogs are often owned by gray-haired couples who listen to NPR.

Feel free to add observations of your own.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

When selfies go wrong

Yeah, so I've mentioned before that I hate photos of myself.  And I hate that sometimes I have to send people photos of myself.  Like today.  I had a gentle reminder from someone that they're waiting for me to send a bio and a photo for a talk I have to do this January.  So OF COURSE I can't find any j-peg deals on my computer, so I run outside and start taking disastrous selfies.  Which you can see for yourself.

Yes.  People always like photos of walls behind your head.

Objects are larger than they appear  . . . (thanks Gary Larsen)

Hahahahaha!  I LAUGH in the face of danger!

And then I decide to tuck my chin in front of the camera and laugh some more.  Hahahahaha!

Ooooo!  Perky!

Less perky. . . but with branches coming out of my ears!

Suspicious Face

I'm in the dark.  As usual.

I had a neck once.  It was a good one.  I miss it.

Blogging resources

Kids, are you aware of any blogs that accept and publish material from writers (like all of us)?  Any responses will be much appreciated.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beat up shoes

And here's the visual to go along with today's column!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers

Chris Crowe decided to cooperate FOR A CHANGE and gave me this lovely interview on BYU's upcoming symposium.  It's a good one, people!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Through a glass, darkly

If I had to choose which sentences is the most beautiful of all the sentences in the English language I would choose this one:  "For now we see through a glass, darkly;  but then face to face:  now I know in part;  but then shall I know even as also I am known."

The arrangement and rhythm of the words themselves move me.  But the beauty for me happens on another level as well.

Lately I've been struggling (again) with the idea of suffering, specifically with the suffering that mental illness causes to the afflicted person and to that person's family.  I have so many moments where I just look at what mental illness does--the waste it engenders, the sadness, the helplessness, the hopelessness when things are going badly--and I just want to say Oh really, God?  What's the point of this one?  Will someone Holy please explain it to me?  Is that even a possibility?  Because guess what.  I. Just. Do. Not. Get. It.  At all.

But sometimes grace descends in the form of words, and I hear them call to me.

On this side of the glass.