Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Frustration, thy name is computer!!!
For those of you that may have e-mailed me lately and wonder why I'm not replying...well,the saga of my ongoing, seemingly endless computer problems continues. It's all too complicated to explain, but the bottom line is that at least for the next day or two (HOPEFULLY not any longer than that!) I am unable to retrieve e-mail sent to my email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org addresses. Grrrr!!!
As I said, hopefully it will be resolved shortly. A girl can dream, anyway.
I got a great e-mail from my friend Randy and never got to reply to it because of the computer problems, so Randy, if you're reading this, I was delighted to hear from you, and I'll reply as soon as I can. And Randy, thanks for pointing out my spelling error on John Kerry's name...no "e" before the "y" in Kerry! Why did I not catch that?!
Also, I saw an e-mail from Aunt Sandra about favorite songs, and I was only able to glance at it. Again, I'll respond to that as soon as possible. Thanks for being patient, everyone.
Finished a couple of really excellent Christian fiction books recently that I need to let you know about. Both were wonderful reads.
The first was "A Nest of Sparrows," by Deborah Raney. It's about a bachelor who's all set to marry a divorced woman with three children. He's fallen in love with her kids too, and they're happily planning a life together when the woman suddenly dies. Complications arise when their abusive dad shows up out of nowhere and wants his kids back.
The second, "The Salt Garden," by Cindy Martinusen, is unique and captivating. It interwines the stories of three women--one young, one old, one from the past--whose lives intersect in a small northern California beach community. This was the first time I had read anything by Martinusen, and I can guarantee you it won't be the last.
Now I've just started "The Way of Women" by Lauraine Snelling, and I'm finding it instantly absorbing. The story begins just before the eruption of Mount Saint Helens, and already I'm intrigued by the various characters and plot lines to which I've been introduced.
As I read these books, I can't help but marvel at the excellent quality of Christian fiction these days. I truly don't think it can be topped by anything out there on the secular market. In fact, Christian writers must make their stories absorbing, intriguing and believable without graphic sex scenes and offensive language, so they have to be more creative and original.
I admire all three of the writers I've mentioned here, although I'm relatively or completely new to their writings. I'm struck not only by their skillful use of words to create images, paint scenes and make characters real, but also by their talent in coming up with an original storyline that carries the reader along and makes her care about the ultimate conclusion.
All my life, I've dreamed of writing such books...but I'm stymied by my own doubts. Do I have what it takes to do what these women did so well? That's the question.
Meantime...I really, really like this quote on Cindy's website:
"Live a while within these books. Learn of them, whatever seems worth the learning, but above all, love them. For this love you shall be requited a thousand and a thousand times over, no matter what turn your life may take. This love, I am sure of it, will weave itself through the tapestry of your evolving being as one of the most important threads of your experiences, your disappointments, and your joys."--Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet
Meanwhile, in Atlanta...
The Christian Booksellers Association holds its annual convention in Atlanta this week. This according to the Associated Press:
"With retailers like Wal-Mart offering deep discounts on Christian books that Christian stores can't match, the eleven-thousand attendees at the...convention...are looking for new ways to keep and attract customers.
"Some Christian bookstores are now open on Sunday afternoons so customers can shop after church.
"Others are expanding their stocks of church supplies like communion plates, tithe envelopes and coloring books for Sunday School classes."
One thing that the CBA is touting this year: Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life" and Jordan Rubin's "The Maker's Diet" are two Christian books that have successfully crossed over to the mainstream market to the point where they have made the New York Times Best Sellers list.