Sunday, February 22, 2009


Dear Readers (all five of you :)

You know that I’m going through spiritual journey. At first I had wanted to shout out everything to the world, but increasingly I feel the need to withdraw, look inward and cocoon. It’s an apt image … because I am literally being transformed. So I need to listen carefully to the voice I need to hear – that of my Lord, my God.

I need to quiet my mind. That means, minimizing distractions. Visiting the Blueboard and reading my favorite blogs is such a fun break but it has the opposite effect of quieting my mind. I get excited about a book or an author, or I want to participate in a conversation about writing. My mind gets filled with other people’s thoughts. So, as of today, I am taking a break from blogging and participating in other online communities. To be sure I will miss you all. And it will take an enormous amount of discipline for me to stay away from my favorite method of procrastination. I may even fail miserably. But I’ve got to try.

A good friend was telling me that what I’m experiencing actually has a term assigned to it: metanoia.

The Praxis of Prayer site defines it: METANOIA: This is the original term in Greek (often translated as "repent") which is at the root of the Christian message. As opposed to the idea of repentance which carries with it much moral and emotional connotation, metanoia signifies a turning or re-orientation of being and mind to an altogether different reality from the one we are used to. Precisely it means an inward reorientation of being and consciousness from the horizontal dimension to the vertical.

I do so love it when someone can articulate precisely what I’m blathering about. Thanks, Janel. Adios, my friends. You know where to find me if you need to talk. I’m still here. Just not *out there*.

God Bless You.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Andrew Clements is a favorite author in our home. I recently picked up two of his books for teens: THINGS NOT SEEN and THINGS HOPED FOR because I saw the second one reviewed on Marcia's blog. And I rememberd that Patti Gauch (the editor) had talked about it in a workshop once. The entire scene came flooding back to me ... the girl playing her violin in the dark. Both these books are amazing. I loved these passionate, intelligent teens and their stories.

I've also been reading a lot of Dick King Smith's books. He's famous for BABE (most people have seen the movie). But all his other animal stories are just as delightful and whimsical. We especially love MARTIN'S MICE and GEORGE SPEAKS. They are excellent read-aloud books as well.

For Christmas, my daughter received Kate di Camillo's GREAT JOY with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline. Today she picked it out again to read. Brings tears to my eyes every time.

I also just finished SALVATION IS FROM THE JEWS by Roy Schoeman. Much food for thought in this book. And I am hungry ...

I'm feeling too lazy to make a link to all these authors and their books. But I hope you'll check these books out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Books

I've had the pleasure of reading these new books that are coming out this month. Thank you Fiona and Jenny for the opportunity.

I cannot top the review that Kirkus gave, but all I can say is that Bubble Homes and Fish Farts is an amazing romp through the world of bubbles, how various animals use them. The writing is classic Fiona, and I should know because I kept running into her articles all over the place -- in Odyssey, YES, Highlights, and pretty soon, if I saw the name Fiona Bayrock, I knew I was in for a treat. Bubble Homes and Fish Farts is no differet. The writing is always lively and the beautiful pictures Carolyn Conahan has painted bring all the critters and their bubbles to life.


Winnie's War is a historical novel set in Texas during the Spanish Flu (1918). The spunky heroine, Winnie, at first seems quite typical, chafing over the instructions her grandmother gives, but very soon, we learn her fierce love for her sisters, her friends, her father and where it leads her. It's a story with depth and layers.
Some tidbits that I especially enjoyed:
A most unusual first kiss.
Stealing Vicks VapoRub.
Love between older people.


Have I whetted your appetite yet? Get thee to a bookstore this month and look for these beautifully made books. And there are so many more!