history does matter

. . . But history does matter. There is a line connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Serbs and the Rwandans. There are obviously more, but really how much genocide can one sentence handle? You get the point.

– excerpt from Chris Bohjalian’s novel The Sandcastle Girls


there is no substitute

There’s no substitute for the love of language, for the beauty of an English sentence.  There’s no substitute for struggling, if a struggle is needed, to make an English sentence as beautiful as it should be. – Harper Lee


My visits to Clarity are soothing now. He never tells me what to think or feel or do but shows me how to find out what I need to know. It was not always like this. I used to visit other people who visited him. Finally, I summoned the courage to call on him myself. I still remember the first time I went to see him. Was I surprised. He lives on a hill in a little house surrounded by wild roses. I went in the living room and sat down in a comfortable chair by the fireplace. There were topographical maps on the walls, and the room was full of stuff, musical instruments and telescopes and gloves, geodes and crystals and old Italian tarot decks, two small cats. When I left, he presented me with a sketchbook and told me to draw the same thing every day until the drawing started to speak to me.

The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

How should we then live?

. . . Christian values, however, cannot be accepted as a superior utilitarianism, just as a means to an end. The biblical message is true and it demands a commitment to truth. It means that everything is not the result of the impersonal plus time plus chance, but that there is an infinite-personal God who is the Creator of the universe, the space-time continuum. We should not forget that this was what the founders of modern science built upon. It means the acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord, and it means living under God’s revelation. Here there are morals, values, and meaning, including meaning for people, which are not just a result of statistical averages. This is neither a utilitarianism, nor a leap away from reason; it is the truth that gives a unity to all of knowledge and all of life. This second alternative means that individuals come to the place where they have this base, and they influence the consensus. Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.

Note: the title of Francis Schaeffer’s book comes from the watchman passage in Ezekiel 33:1-11, 19.

Verse 10:

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

First Sentences


I’d come five years and two thousand miles to stand in the rain while they prepared my brother for his own murder.

I saved $$$

by borrowing




Seguin-Guadalupe County Library

Together Hubby and I have saved $5,724 in 2012!

And YOU can save money, too.

Visit your local library and feast on books.

An aside: a couple of years ago I went through my books and donated more than 36 bags of books to my local library.  Recently I was looking for Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live – spent two days searching every shelf – then realized: “Oh!  I donated that to the Seguin library.”

No problem.  Request the book and check it out. What a deal!

you could not have guessed

Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd.  It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect. . . .

Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, it would feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have.

– C. S. Lewis, The Invasion in Mere Christianity

“H. himself”

I have been studying Hamlet very intensively, and never enjoyed it more. I have been reading all the innumerable theories about him, and don’t despise that sort of thing in the least: but each time I turn back to the play itself I am more delighted than ever with the mere atmosphere of it—an atmosphere hard to describe and made up equally of the prevalent sense of death, solitude, & horror and of the extraordinary graciousness and lovableness of H. himself. Have you read it at all lately? If not, do: and just surrender yourself to the magic, regarding it as a poem or a romance. . . .

        –  Excerpt from letter to Arthur Greeves from C. S. “Jack” Lewis


in the car

with a cup of hot coffee

doughnuts and

Joshua Ferris’s novel

Then We Came to the End


lost in the book

No one writes like Edgerton! No one . . .

Clyde Edgerton continues to surprise.  No one writes as he does!

After a long afternoon ride we camped in a wood of low pines where there was grass for grazing.  My job was to hobble the remuda.

For supper we had a good stew from one Dutch oven and rice and raisins from another–Pete called it moonshine. For dessert we had lick dripped over canned Ambassador peaches and biscuits. it was the best food I’d had in a long time. Being outside, eating, tired, butt sore, the sun down, the sky purple, and the air clear and cooling fast, I felt pretty happy and comfortable.

We sat around our fire and talked for a while and the Indians and Mexicans sat around theirs. Most of the talk was done by Mr. Merriwether and the Englishman. They was sitting across the fire from each other.

books with hooks

Chris Cleave can WRITE!

Zoe was happiest when she was street racing. It was dirty and it was fast and everything you could see wanted to kill you. The car drivers were either dozy and inattentive or alert and seething, and either affliction might make them suddenly swerve out and hit you. The white chevrons you rolled on were slick in the rain and slippery with spilled diesel and strewn with broken windscreen glass that could shred your tire and spill you into the path of traffic. If you fell you could only roll like a gymnast and hope you hit the curb before you hit a car. The rain got in your eyes and made the approaching headlights a blur of speed and glare, and in the midst of this chaos you were racing another human being at the top of her game, so your heart rate was on the rivet and the adrenaline blitzed your senses.

I was hooked on Chris Cleave’s writing after I read his novel, Little Bee.  Always anxiously awaiting the next novel . . .

The Submission

Our beliefs do shape us.

Amy Waldman has written a very thought provoking novel.  The Submission is a “deeply human novel.”

Like Inam, Asma was in America illegally.  All of this official attention, she was sure, would end with her deportation. Resigned to this, she held only two hopes: that she give birth first, so that her child would be an American citizen, and that Inman’s body be found, so the three of them could fly home together. In the meantime she subsisted on money from the mosque’s Widows and Orphans Fund, to which Inam had always contributed, and on the generosity of the Mahmouds. “Stay for as long as you need to, for free,” Mrs. Mahmoud said, knowing that Asma would soon return to Bangladesh.

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