Here are some good things:
Gregory Paul Smith: This singer and songwriter is a Kansas native and his album I Can Live Again has been released through Creative Soul Records. He led worship for us Sunday, which is how I became aware of him. I appreciated the honesty of his testimony -- both spoken and in his lyrics. The album is a nice blend of musical styles -- some rock, some mellow, some gospel. Besides his Web site, he has a ShoutLife page. (ShoutLife is a Christian social networking site, similar to MySpace. I was looking at it a bit today -- looks interesting. Like I need another blog.)
Double Vision: I blogged about this last week, but I hadn't read it yet, so I didn't get specific. But Saturday night I started reading it and I couldn't put it down until I finished it, at about 3 a.m.! Randy Ingermanson has done a fine job with this "humorous romantic suspense." His characters are distinct and memorable and the plot twists keep the reader guessing. Randy is a physicist and I got lost a bit among the science -- the story's plot revolves around a computer that uses the principles of quantum physics -- but not so much that I couldn't follow the story. One of the things I appreciated about the story was how the Christian characters interacted with nonbelievers -- it was genuine and believable. One of the things I want to do as a writer is show Christians as real people, not freaky stereotypes. Randy has done this very well. Faith is an important element of the story, but it is integral to the characters, and so is a seamless part of the plot. This is an entertaining book, but it also gets you to think a bit about faith and forgiveness, love and ethics.
Journler 2.5: (Note the spelling -- it's not Journaler.) I upgraded to Journler 2.5 today and it's got some cool new features, like a drop box that sits on my Mac's desktop. It allows me to drop a document or other item into it and it makes a new entry in the category and folder I specify. It also has a Lexicon, which is essentially a list of all the words you've used in your journal entries. It allows you to see new connections between what you've written, or see all the entries where you've used a certain word. And of course, Journler is searchable, lets you add tags and search that way, and is fully integrated with iLife applications. By the way, Journler is only for the Mac. I use Journler a lot to keep notes related to my work, such as InDesign tips, or procedures such as how to set up color separations for printing. It's also a depository of nifty quotes, blog entries, song lyrics, and random thoughts.
Rebecca reminded me of one of our adventures in music.