Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One thing in particular: a choir for the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at our parish. We will have a Midnight Missa Cantata for Christmas. Can we do it in a month? Except for a couple of families, the rest of us are a ragtag bunch of untrained voices. We begin practice next Sunday. God help us!

Next Sunday is a big week for the entire Catholic Church with a new translation of the Roman Missal. It is a more accurate translation, words that preserve the original richness and meaning. I was struck by the differences when we first went to the TLM in Seattle. I will never forget that it was the Feast of Christ our King and the prayers I read were so beautiful, truly fit for the King of Kings.

Here is a link to a video that my son watched in school explaining the reason for the change.

I have a grateful heart and am thankful to God for everything -- for family, friends, work and Church. God bless you all. And have a happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Mediocre Books

I was thinking of how a really, really good book makes me feel inadequate as a writer. I keep thinking if I had a fraction of the talent or discipline or perseverance of that author, that I'd be orders of magnitude better. I am simultaneously inspired and defeated. I find myself asking if the world needs another mediocre book written by me.

Then I come across books that are poorly written or don't grab me. I used to finish each and every book I picked up, but no more. I simply do not have the time to waste on books that I don't enjoy. But one of the things that a poorly written book does is boost my self-confidence. If that twaddle could be published, I can definitely write something better and get paid for it.

I'm not going to name books or authors that I do not like because frankly, I do not want to hurt anybody's feelings on what is a very subjective matter, but I was wondering whether others feel the same as I do.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Dark, Dark House

When my husband travels, I walk the dog in the evenings as well. Often it gets dark on my way home and let me tell you, it can be rather creepy as I walk towards the house. We are at the end of a dark, dark lane and all the sounds are magnified. I can usually recognize the rustle of leaves as the deer run away. But the worst sound is a low-to-the-ground croaking. I am convinced that's the alligator.

We didn't have any tricksters coming to our house, but this was the pumpkin my daughter carved. The location of our home and Ruth Brown's picture book A Dark, Dark Tale was the inspiration. We love that book, especially the ending. I wish I'd written it. My daughter has a little scene in her dollhouse that reflects it. I discovered it when I was tidying up her room. Yes, these are the hidden treasures of housework. 

What books do you not just admire but wish you'd written?

Spill ...


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free Books

Kristi Holl just posted that Writer's Digest is giving away free writing e-books until Nov. 12th. Go get yours now and read them later. You can read them on your PC if you don't have a Kindle.

Happy reading and writing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Requiem Mass

Yesterday evening we had the pleasure to experience the Requiem Mass at Stella Maris. The priest said the names of the dearly departed as the bells were rung. And then the music composed by Gabriel Faure started. Listen to the Introit and Kyrie. Doesn't it just transport you to a more holy and peaceful place?

Although I know that in every Mass, heaven and earth are joined, I feel it down to my bones during High Mass. I can imagine my mother and the brother and grandfather I never met joining in hymns of praise. I long to join them as well. I was especially touched that when we pray the Agnus Dei, we do not ask pardon for ourselves like we usually do, but for eternal peace for the dead.

Twenty five years ago, when I was singing in my college choir, we sang Verdi's Requiem. My mother had just died and I came down with pneumonia the week of the concert. So I went to Spokane on the choir bus and got myself a ticket to sit in the back. It was truly a blessing for me to be sick at that time because I could appreciate better the music for what it was -- a Mass for the dead. And now, as a Catholic, I understand it even more. 

If you are interested in the entire text, scroll down at this site.

After Mass, we had a potluck and I'm happy to say I met another fellow children's writer. What joy! A kindred spirit. I hope we can read for each other. I miss the weekly meetings with my writing partner Jen so very much because she always asked me questions and kept me true to my characters.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We have the perfect Halloween cat sunning herself, the witch-child carving her pumpkin and my husband cooking chicken wings on the baby Green Egg. Sigh of contentment.

As you can see I've been playing around quite a bit with all the blog settings. I think I finally have it at a place where I can leave it alone and just use it for sharing my jumbled thoughts and pictures -- I love the new interface because I can select the size!

Isn't this mossy oak tree marvelous? We have lots of squirrels that distract the dog on her walk. I wonder where the pumpkin will drift to ... 

And now I must direct all this energy I have towards my book! Not everything has to be in order.

For those of you who are doing Nano -- may your fingers fly across the keyboard. My shiny new idea needs to percolate some more, gain some structure before I begin to write. I wish I could be like the people who can just write without a roadmap, but the one time I did it, I ended up with a mess that I still don't know what to do with. I need to have a solid structure before I write a single word down.

Happy writing, all.