A Friend Goes on CNN ...

One of my dear friends, Bob Bavis, recently got to share some comments on CNN's website about his "dance" with brain cancer. It's worth a listen! Catch that here.

Also feel free to check out Bob's new blog
here :-)



... update your blog template at 10:30 PM. Trust me on this one.

Things I Have Done

Everybody makes a list of things they want to do, or need to do. But this savvy commenter over at Shannon Hale's excellent blog suggested making a list of things one has already done. It's good for the whole sense-of-accomplishment thing.

Here's my list of Things I Have Done. This is not exhaustive--in fact, I may have to add to it in the future, as I'm too sleepy to be confident in my memory tonight.

I have:
  • Been to Canada.
  • Flown in an airplane.
  • Ridden a horse (and taught it a thing or two.)
  • Completed the first draft of a juvenile novel.
  • Recorded, at last count, about 13 of my own songs—and written over 100. Most of which the world will never hear, thank God.
  • Journaled thousands of pages, also not for public distribution.
  • Been asked "Will you marry me?"
  • Said "Yes".
  • Worked potato harvest. (Loudest job I've ever had.)
  • Guided a raft through a class IV rapid—and for the rest of a six-day trip down the Salmon River.
  • Swum a class III rapid. In April. It most resembles being knocked off one's feet and hit in the face multiple times with five-gallon bucketfuls of ice water.
  • Climbed rock walls and rappelled off the top of them.
  • Taught a high-school girl to rappel, and watched her conquer her fears in the process.
  • Been the teacher's partner during a swing-dancing class at a wedding.
  • Read most of my favorite novels at least five times apiece.
  • Maintained two blogs (one for over two years).
  • Been kissed in the rain by a handsome man wearing a fedora. (How much more romantic can you get?)
  • Been homeschooled on a farm in Montana (seriously, how many people do you know that can say that?)
  • Graduated high school with "very high marks in English" (watch me make a typographical error in this post!)
  • Stayed up all night to read a book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; 1 AM start, 7:30 AM finish.)
  • Carried the gifts forward at the cathedral in Seattle. On my first visit.
  • Gone to Regionals in the spelling bee in fifth grade.
  • Accidentally spelled "mirror" with a "w" in the spelling bee in sixth grade.
  • Sheared a sheep.
  • Milked a goat.
  • Assisted at the birth of lambs and goat kids.
  • Read the Bible through in a year and 18 days. Didn't quite make the one-year goal, but shot close.
  • Gone deer-hunting.
  • Attempted to learn four languages at once. I still remember the two words of Arabic I learned (it was the fourth.)
  • Flipped a canoe in the Puget Sound, along with three other girls. We had to get rescued by a fishing boat.
  • Played guitar, piano, and sung in front of hundreds of people. Nobody threw tomatoes.
  • Took on the adventurous job of worship leading at about age 19.
  • Sung lead and baritone parts in a barbershop choir. (Also did "Singing Valentines" ... interesting work.)
  • Been chased by a headless snapping turtle. (I believe I've mentioned that before on this blog.)
  • Participated in practical-joking the youth pastor's house.
  • Grown my hair out to past my waist.
I'm not sure this list qualifies me as an interesting person, but I just might be okay with that.


Curtains, Greeting Cards, and Other Notes

This past Sunday was Pentecost. I love Pentecost, which commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church (for anyone who didn't actually know that); it's the grand finale of the Easter season, it's exuberant and happy and full of life, and it happens in the spring so I feel great anyway. The whole church gets decked out in red and I joined in, wearing a bright red skirt and top.

Funny Pentecost memory: Last year Lou and I were at friends' for a baptismal celebration. It being a beautiful sunny day, we all sat around outside, still dressed in Sunday best. Most of the men wore white shirts and red ties, and they all looked quite sharp. I remember thinking of how I used to favor the grunge look in guys and how much I really admire--and prefer--my handsome, neatly-dressed man. Part way through the afternoon, some young hoodlum in a T-shirt and backwards baseball cap drove by, hung out of the car window and yelled "Nice shirts! You all look like curtains!" We laughed shamelessly as he drove out of sight.

* * *

Sunday also being Mother's Day, I had a good time celebrating with the many mothers in my life. Unfortunately, I could not avoid the word "special" on all of the greeting cards. That word needs outlawing in the greeting card industry--that and "wonderful". Greeting cards seem to be growing steadily cheesier over the past few years; usually I won't buy anything with either the word "special" or rhyming poetry, but for Mother's Day I had to compromise my principles.

* * *

The return of greenery and bloom--especially the leaves on the trees--makes me so happy that the other day I mentioned it twice on one short walk. That made Lou laugh. But I miss green leaves every day in the winter, and spend all of March through May taking delight in every sprig of new growth.

* * *

I recently assigned myself one task which I keep forgetting: write a little something every day. The "something" can be a blog-post, a comment on someone else's blog or forum, at least one stanza of a song, or a journal entry. Despite my non-dependable short-term memory, which is presently overloaded with wedding and work projects and other things, something seems to come about at least most days, of its own volition.

* * *

Having this much going on makes my brain feel like exploding with unprocessed writeables. Some of my wedding-related thoughts, however, managed to make their way into my very-late Silhouette article for this season. I had told Justin I could only do a guest post for this four-month session of the blogazine; as it turns out, even that took unusual effort. It did happen, however, and has been posted here. Feel free to check it out :-)



The usual shame belongs to me for having not checked my email in a week. What's a girl with five email addresses, two blogspots, a Facebook, a Xanga, and a Myspace to do? Stop signing up for so many accounts, I guess :-)

Anyway, Chris sent me this link a week ago, because I happen to be very fond of both of these authors. And frankly, I thought what Orson Scott Card had to say about J.K. Rowling was both presumptuous and nasty. Presumably he's being facetious about the comparisons between Ender's Game and Harry Potter; both derive from the same standard, widely used situational plot formula based on archetypes, etc. That formula is no more original to Card than it is to Rowling, but her interpretation of it is every bit as original as his.

As to the suit by Stouffer, it's utterly ridiculous to think that the woman capable of structuring an incredibly thick, layered story based on literary alchemy (like that used by C.S. Lewis in the Space Trilogy), with character names more carefully and creatively linked to the story than any I've ever seen in fiction, ripped off a word and part of a name. It didn't happen. If nothing else, I know enough about the writer's consciousness to understand that sometimes there is no knowing whether or not the names and concepts being used are drawn from things heard of in the past or from thin air--although to be totally fair, accidental plagiarism is just as punishable by law as the intentional sort.

I don't know enough about copyright law to know how much of The Harry Potter Lexicon actually breaks the fair use laws, nor whether it actually does. But I wonder to whom Card has been listening. Melissa Anelli from The Leaky Cauldron said the other day that as a journalist, she is completely frustrated by media coverage of the Rowling/Warner Bros. suit against RDR Books. She says that every time she sees the headline "J.K. Rowling Sues Fan", she knows that person has never read a court document from the case, because they wouldn't find Steve Vander Ark's name there.

People listen to the news because they have to, I guess. I, however, have decided that the most generally accurate part of the daily news reports is the weather forecast. But that's a rant for another night.