Friday, April 27, 2007

Where am I?

It's possible the five people who read this blog are wondering where I am -- this week I'm in Colorado at the Midwest Conference Annual Meeting (of the Evangelical Covenant Church). It's at Crossroads Covenant Church in Loveland, Colorado. I'll be back to regular (or semi-regular) blogging next week.

Friday, April 13, 2007

CFBA Tour: Coral Moon

If you're a fan of mysteries and grip-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, then you will want to check out this week's featured book: Coral Moon by Brandilyn Collins. This is the second in her newest series of books, all set in the fictional town of Kanner Lake, Idaho. And if you want to get to know the characters and town better, visit the Scenes and Beans blog. (Coral Moon is on my bedside stack of books, but I haven't gotten to it yet.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This is April?

Ah, spring in Kansas: rain, thunderstorms and a winter storm watch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rainy Tuesday

Yes, it's raining and it's about 46 degrees here, on this 10th day of April. We had a hard freeze over the weekend, but my little hyacinths seem to have survived. Welcome to Kansas, where it doesn't really get warm and stay warm until about June, when it becomes hot and stays that way until about October or so (or at least it seems that way).

I haven't done much updating of the exercise and dieting thing, but that doesn't mean I've given up. I'm on a Walk Kansas team and I'm making progress. My cholesterol has dropped back to within the normal range and the proportion of bad to good cholesterol is where it should be, too. And I've lost about 8 pounds. I know, that's not a huge amount, but it's progress and I'm glad.

I saw all my children over Easter weekend -- Megan came home, Julia and Mike came for Easter dinner and then after they left, Bob and I went to see John in Emporia. It was good, though exhausting, day.

I've been rereading Lloyd Alexander's Prydain stories: I finished The Book of Three and now I'm on The Black Cauldron. One thing struck me -- while many people draw comparisons between the Harry Potter books and The Lord of the Rings, they really have more in common with the Prydain Chronicles. With each book, both series go a little deeper and become more serious in tone, which is fitting as both tell the story of a boy becoming a man. As Taran (Alexander's protagonist) gets older, he encounters more challenging situations and must make more difficult choices. He also learns more about himself and learns about his origins (like Harry Potter, he's an orphan). Taran starts out impetuous and impatient, but he does grow up. But it doesn't happen overnight.

This is how J.K. Rowling has handled Harry Potter's coming of age, too. Harry starts out as a child, but by the end, he's almost a grown man. (It will be interesting to see what happens and how Harry handles it in the last book.) He, too, has to forge an identity without having grown up with his parents. One of the complaints I've read about Harry Potter is that he often acts irresponsibly and breaks the rules. But it seems to me that he's acting like a teenager, which is to be expected since that's what he is! But he is growing up and learning from his mistakes, and learning to deal with the consequences of his actions. I, for one, appreciate that Harry is allowed to act like a kid, not a miniature adult.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm living on the air in Cincinnati ...

Children, if you want to make your mother very happy for Mother's Day, give her this:
The first season of WKRP in Cincinnati is coming, at last, to DVD.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good stuff Wednesday

I seem to be managing about one blog post per week these days. 'Fraid it won't get much better for a while. But here's a few good things for today.

April 1 was the day for the FIRST tour and I missed it, but the book is a really good one so I'm going to give you the links a few days late. The book this month is Mary E. Demuth's Wishing on Dandelions. I haven't read it yet, but I did start it and realized it was a book I didn't want to race through. Mary's prose is worth savoring. You can read the first chapter here. You can find out more about Mary's writing -- both fiction and nonfiction -- at her Web site.

My friend Chris has the coolest writing gig in the world (or at least in the religious-satire-loving world) -- he's getting stuff published in the Wittenburg Door Insider (The Door's e-newsletter). Check out his latest contribution.

While I haven't been the submission machine that Chris is, I did get a story submitted for Coach's Midnight Diner, which will be published by the folks at Relief. I wrote a little story about a diner that could be more than it seems. Keep your fingers crossed -- CMD comes out in July, so maybe I'll know something in a month or so.

I've posted my April Notes from the Windowsill Column: Easter People. I hope it will be a reminder of the hope we have, even when all around us seems pretty dark.

Have a blessed Easter.