Street Hockey Obligations and other stories

Anyone who smiles and cries and goes agog over Orson Scott Card novels as often as I do may not need another reason to love the author, but I found several dozen in this interview over at The Millions. I don't have a hard number on that; I didn't count the sentences in the post.

Among other things, he explained for me why I find present tense novels uncomfortable:
First person present tense [is] a convention that makes sense in French, which hates its preterite, but none in English, where our real present is present progressive: Not “I pick up the envelope from the table” but “I am picking up the envelope from the table.” Who could bear to read a story, let alone a novel, in the true present tense of natural spoken English? So we get stories written in this artificial, impossible voice.... It worked for Hunger Games because the story was so powerful; but the choice hampered the sequels.
and paraphrased Dumbledore* in response to a question about Xenocide and religion:
Even when we are genetically modified (and we all are; it simply is nature rather than government that usually does the modifying), our self is distinguished by what we choose to do about our drives and impulses, our weaknesses and strengths.
and gave further confirmation of his unusual perceptiveness about human nature:
All knowledge that we believe so firmly that we act upon it is faith, and almost none of it is based on our personal experience. We believe what others have told us, and consider “sane” those who agree with the people we agree with.
Advisory: if you want to save yourself a serious headache over the savagery of semi-anonymous humanity on the internet, do not read the comments. Judging by the dozen or so I saw, there's not much point, anyway, seeing as how they're not often responding to the article.

* * *

The question now is, should I get my next Card novel in paperback, or download it onto this?:

Less than twenty-four hours with that Kindle Fire, and... I think I might actually read books on it. Not that I didn't read books on the hardworking old 2nd Generation Kindle George passed on to me—I loved having it for book club books and free classics off Amazon, but I never figured out how to use it easily for anything I wanted to re-read.

The old Kindle burned out this week, and as I spoke with an Amazon CS rep, he said, "We can get you some good discounts on upgrades..."

He wasn't kidding. (Thanks for that, George!!) And now I have a Kindle Fire. And—not from Amazon—a cold, which has unexpectedly cleared up a bunch of my weekend. I'm furious about the cold; I wanted to have the book club girls over tonight and go to my friend Donna's party tomorrow, and I still hope to sing Mozart with the choir on Sunday and go see The Lonely Forest. But this does mean I'll have more time to set up apps and possibly start in on some Wodehouse.

* * *

Maia's favorite place to cuddle down this week: in my avocado plant.

* * *

I had to limit myself to a reasonable number of photos of exciting garden things this week. One of my favorites was discovering a hummingbird whirring around the hanging basket my in-laws gave us:

Lower left, just above the eaves of the neighbors' roof
I am also thrilled about having a way to keep cabbage worm butterflies out of my kale. Apparently tulle works well as a netting cover, even when it's bright pink stuff left over from tutu-making. Of course, I accidentally set one of the bricks on one of the long-suffering baby kale plants, but it seems to have forgiven me.

Then there's the up-and-coming fruit. This second-year blueberry plant is trying its hardest to please:

One of the surest ways to make me smile.
...and our cherry sapling is ripening its first fruit.

Then there are old roses and new roses, about to bloom their hearts out:

And the elderberry starts that my mom gave me just this spring are budding.

* * *

Music of the week: If you feature music regularly on your blog, and then you play a game of street hockey** with a musician, I think you're contractually obligated to feature them at first opportunity. But I would anyway—I've always loved John's voice and the thought he puts into his lyrics.

He's also an all-around good guy and one of our best hockey forwards. :)

* * *

The unfortunate thing about having a little cold is that it doesn't get you out of housecleaning. Lou would understand, but I'm not sick enough to overlook the hair in the bathtub and the even distribution of cat litter throughout the house. Off I go.

Happy weekend!

* The Dumbledore quote: "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."—from Chamber of Secrets, chapter 18

** The Great Annual Memorial Day Street Hockey Game, as I think of it. This was its fourteenth year. I'd never miss it if I could help (though sometimes people can't help... it wasn't the same without you, Matt and Darci!) All you street hockey Bible study friends, you're wonderful. <3


  1. The interview with Card was pretty fascinating. And yes, I read through the comments. A perfect display of the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant. A good example of ignorance too.

    Glad you got a good deal on the Kindle Fire. I really like mine. I switch back & forth between it & my Paperwhite. The touch screens are the bees knees. Or something like that. Did you get a month's worth of Amazon Prime with it?

  2. Congrats congrats on the Kindle Fire, Jenna. I've looked at those and they're so nice. Now you can play Angry Birds, which I find to be a great stress reliever!



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