Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I read some more.

Finished anthology Neutron Stars: had short story Love Among The Ruins by Evelyn Waugh, no date assigned to it but at least 40 years old: could have been written last week.
Finished Keeper of Dreams anthology by Orson Scott Card: amazingly good. Especially liked the notes after each story telling origin.
Working on Bitter Scent and On Combat
Reading in Galations. I have forgotten to mention where I am in the Bible when I post. I read a chapter every morning.
Wrote another page in Killing The Siij

Last week I put my daughter and granddaughter on a plane last week. She plans to make a new start half way across the country. I think it is a huge mistake and I fret (should be praying) about the safety of the two-year-old. Went on a chocolate binge.

We visited a friend in prison. Visited the sons in Kirkland. The one with ankylosing spondylitis was up and cheerful about some job interviews which did my heart good. Whenever I see him unable to move and in pain it breaks my heart. The eldest son is increasing his skill set at work, a dream of his. That and a silly thing like paying attention to his wife and children is keeping him from illustrating the trilogy I want to publish soon.
We got to see our grandbaby in Florida laughing on Skype, no, Facebook. This type of technology I love. But I do wish the telephones weren't so smart they can do a hundred things I can't tell them to do.

I have put off emailing to the pastors I support in Rwanda because I don't want to write them that I can't support them anymore as Frank's dental practice has lost so many patients for inexplicable reasons. Well, I know there's a recession, but goodness. He has commanded me to get a job so I am now waiting for the paperwork to go through the county and then I will provide respite care for my niece who is a companion home provider for my daughter. Just a little nepotism there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I finished Accedia and Me by Kathleen Norris. I think I need to read it again. I don't understand mystics. And her writing style confuses me. I have no idea why she included at least half of the anecdotes, quotes, and longer stories. But then, I don't understand mystics.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They came, they left.

It was so good to see Pastor Jeremie and Jane. But it was for such a short time. One supper, one drive to church the next day. They had so many people to see. I discovered they have been all over the U.S. for three months. Jeremie showed us pictures of the empty ground his church was trying to procure that Pastor Rob and I (and many others) had prayed over when we were in Bujumbura (how I love that name). Now there are school buildings on it and the president of Burundi had gone to the dedication of the schools. And he did receive the books for the beginning of a small library in his beginning seminary.  So I have started 11 school libraries in Rwanda and a seminary library in Burundi. Thank you, God.

Books read in the last few weeks:
Molt Brother by Jacqueline Lichtenberg: I liked this. Good aliens.
The Long Mynd by Edward Hughes: I liked the writing but it had an appalling ending that somehow a romance was supposed to make it all better.
Day of the Dragonstar by Bischoff and Monteleone: Reminded me of Jeremy Robinson's Antarctos Rising. The dinosaurs kill all your enemies, But Then...   Except Robinson has an intriguing interpretion of Genesis and Revelations.
The Restorer's Journey by Sharon Hinck: What an excellent Christian book about depression. Of course, that's not what the Plot is. You can never once think the word depression or home-bound illness and still enjoy the swords and sync-beams and poisoned daggers. My favorite line: I am His to waste. I am so sorry the trilogy is going out of print. I so enjoyed seeing a Housewife in a sf story.
I finished The Bookseller of Kabul. On my treadmill is Caravans by Michener. I've read The Kite Runner. I read the blogs of various people over there in Afghanistan. If I lived there, I think I would be desperately trying to live elsewhere.
Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee: poetic writing, a delight, and funny too.

I am working on Accedia and Me by Kathleen Norris.

I wish I hadn't read so many books. I wish I had spent all that time writing. But that is how it is for now. I fade by the afternoon and go to bed around 5. I have a lot of time between 5 and 9-10 to read. So I have joined Herbalife to lose weight because I don't do it by myself, and I'm on the treadmill for an hour or so a day. Unfortunately, I have to do it in the morning which is the only productive time I have. I start by reading heavy works like Accedia until my mind goes blank and then I pick up the stuff that is mostly plot.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Reading The Bookseller of Kabul.  What pits of misery Afghanistan and Pakistan are. And reading this just after reading about women and fistulas in Muslim countries makes me weep for the evil of Islam. I have had friendly relationships with Muslims and had them over for dinner. But after 9/11 and finding that Islam has a word for the duty to lie to Christians and Jews and Pagans took the heart out of me. How much were my friends lying to me? Of course, finding out that Muslims do not allow adoption (which is a central doctrine and habit of Christians) is sad too. I remember how surprised I was when a PhD from Bombay (now Mumbai) asked us why we had adopted, and then why had we adopted children of another race. He said mothers should keep and take care of their children. Well, nice ideal. Last I looked, though, this was hardly an ideal world.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wish I knew

I wish I knew exactly when Pastor Jeremie and his wife from Bujumbura were coming and what they want me to do? How many meals should I prepare? Can I invite friends over or do they want to be left alone? Will I be driving them to visit sponsors?   Oh, I need to look for the dufflebag of his clothes he left when he visited two years ago. I wonder how many kids he is fostering now. I wonder if he's forgiven me for showing him the American custom of shoving snow down his back.

Finished Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee. Beautiful writing with the occasional surprise of synesthesia.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ok, before I run these books down to the used book store and maybe get some credit for them, these are some of the books I read in the last few months:
Finished Language of God last night. I thought it would be a difficult book, but it was exceedingly easy with a clear presentation of what Christians call salvation. I'll have to think some more about his argument about the truth of evolution. He said that scientists have discovered a way for the flagellum to come together bit by bit. I'm not so sure and I still have problems with dating and strata formation. Mt. St. Helens made lots of strata with trunk stubs in one week at Spirit Lake. Well, all in all, I thought it a great book with much to think about in it.
Adult Children Of Alcoholics: explains Clinton the liar.
Siege Perilous by Lester Del Rey: fun
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: Fascinating at first and then grows tedious.
Icy Sparks: interesting throughout, but how do you pop out your eyes?
The Hollow by Agatha Christie: okay
Blasphemy by Douglas Preston: silly
Sticky Church: oops, haven't finished it yet, back to the to read piles
The Voice of the Night: Interesting. Ghastly
Passenger to Frankfurt: philosophical treatise disguised as a novel
The Seven Basic Plots: really long with lots of repetition. Cracked me up when Christopher Booker said that Jung and his discoveries were as important as those of Einstein and Newton. I scribbled Don't Think So in the margin. I was reading fast. He may have said that Jung was as important in psychology as Newton in physics. I still don't think so.      The constant repetition reminded me once of a final I took at the University of Washington in a storytelling class. One question. I filled in two pages of the blue book. For some reason I had determined not to be the first one to turn in my answer. I waited. And waited. And waited. All around me, people were writing furiously. I read the question and my answer again. I had answered the question. What were all these people writing? I waited and they wrote. I waited and they wrote. I broke into a sweat. What nuance had they picked up that I missed? I studied the question forwards and backwards. I had answered it. By now, some people were filling in their second blue book. I absolutely could not see what to add to my answer. Finally someone else took up their bluebook and I quickly followed and left feeling defeated. My test result? A.   I could rewrite Booker's massive tome as a pamphlet.
Shadow Fires by Dean Koontz: good writing which always surprises me in a thriller.
Jack's Life by Douglas Gresham: written for children. I liked it.
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse: eh. written better than anything by Brown
Cosmic Beginnings by Soyinka Ogunbusola: could not finish. Perhaps correct spelling and grammar are Western oppressions, but it was too painful to read in a book I had high hopes for.
Starfire by Stuart Vaugn Stockton: I don't know why it took me so long to get into it, but once I did, I found it delightful to see how a society made adaptions for such disparate sizes of people. Well done.
Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb, given to me by a daughter-in-law who must have figured out that my love language is the giving of pertinent books!  I wish that Dr. Gottlieb had thought to research the thinking of those on the autism spectrum before he wrote these letters to his grandson. I can guarantee that his grandson will understand only maybe one of them. He writes in a language my daughter-in-law uses and I don't. At age 57 I am finally beginning to understand that type of abstract word usage, but I'll never enjoy it.
The Parasite War by Tim Sullivan: okay
Dread Empire's Fall by Walter Jon Williams: good writing, as always, by Williams. Nothing to make you think after you finish the book.

Let's see, not in the sacks are the Tim Downs Bugman mystery and the latest Pratchett which became gifts. Oh, I need to set aside the Starfire and the sequel when it comes out for a nephew.

As I look over this list, I realize that I am not feeding my mind well. Need to do something about that.

In the meantime I am shutting down which is my response to Too Much To Do. It's better than a meltdown, but it means Frank has to take care of everything.  I don't know how I'm going to clean up everything with a daughter and toddler theoretically living in the basement and I still don't know where to put everything. And the dogs keep picking my purse and throwing around hearing-aid batteries and lotion and the toddler throws everything on the floor for them to chew on. Oh whine whine whine. It's time to get up and clean Something.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Tiny Bit Done

I typed a few paragraphs on Killing the Siij.
Last night Frank and I read through chapter three of The Pacifists' War, and neither of us saw anything we wanted to change. We'll see what the critique group says.
I have not found anyplace that our dimwit dog has peed on yet. I'm starting over and rewarding him with treats for doing the right thing outside. Remind me to never ever get a Chinese Crested again.
I cleaned off some of the dining table. I had told Frank about how I wanted to rearrange things someday, and so, because Zach was here they did huge amounts of moving and dissassembling, and then after Zach left, he did some more and hurt his back and decided my bright idea was a stupid idea and now we are waiting for help to move furniture again and in the meantime the house is torn apart with debris strewn everywhere and the pastor from Burundi is coming to spend a few days with us this weekend.
I have discovered that instant paper mache does not stick to pipe cleaners. I have discovered that toddlers make really sticky floors, but I don't feel like cleaning them yet.
I finished Karen Hancock's The Enclave. I liked it, though sometimes the dialogue bothered me, with the bosses sneering at a Christian worker. My experience with professors and researchers is that when they discover you are a Christian or a creationist, they grunt in surprise, and then they just never talk to you again. On the other hand, her professors are insane, so.... okay.
I'm reading The Language of God right now. I always thought it might be Stephen J Gould who converted me back to believing in evolution. I lost my faith in evolution in college when I started studying dating methods and realized the number of assumptions you have to make I was not willing to make for dating to work. And then...long story. But no matter how much Gould I read (and everyone really should read his Mismeasure of Man) or Dawkins or anyone else, I have not been convinced.   But Francis Collins might convince me.