Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Maggie's Advice: How to take a vacation

"If it feels like work, looks like work, smells like work, or even slightly reminds me of work, I'm not doing it. I add an Amen to let god know it counts as a prayer, a rule make under His watchful eye, and is therefore revocable should he so desire." Margaret Becker, Coming Up For Air, pg62

I wrote niegh on to 45 pages in that red journal from Friday night to Monday night(including photos of the Richmond trip and drawings and collages - pictures are worth a thousand words, right?) . Oh, and drained two pens that were on the way out. And beyond the Haiku-a-Day segments, no poems.

At first, I was shocked. Then, as I wrote Monday night, " I felt that happening - felt the resistence when forming lines and trying to OUTPUT. No. This weekend was about INput. And it's going to continue through this nextweekend. Then what?? I turn into a poetry-writing machine? Mmmm. Probably not."

The Three-Day Get-A-Way... Beginnings

It all started with a book. A promotional book at that, which ended up on my desk for possible interviews and give-aways. As always, I perused a few pages to see if our listeners would be interested. About three pages in, Margaret Becker asks the all-dread question for self-motivated work-aholics, "When was the last time I had a vacation?"

I just about started bawling right there. And I started planning my get-a-way with God for Memorial Weekend. No cell phones. No radio. No watch. Brand new red journal, some new pens, and a notion to visit a random coffee/bagel joint in Richmond. Three days to sit and learn to listen again. To find myself in the midst of the continual monologue of my self-narration.

I bought the book, Coming Up for Air, on Wednesday, May 24th.

I had internal begun spending afternoon hours thinking about how to center on Monday, May 22nd. The biggest problem was trying to decided why I felt I was about ready to split down the seams. I wasn't sick or depressed, really. I just needed... space. Three days worth.

Honestly, Friday night I just had to break down and yell at that internal editor and tell her shut up and get out of my way, I was trying to hear the owls. Romans 8:1 sustained me: "For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Hear that?? I yelled. You cannot condemn me for taking this time!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Second Star to the Left...

Title: Peter and the Starcatchers
Authors: Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
Genre: YA (Young Adult) fiction
Length: 451 with plenty of pictures

Snapshot: How Peter Pan got to be Peter Pan (the flying boy, not the peanut butter).

Best stuff: For all those who ever wondered where Neverland really is, what Cap’n Hook’s name was before Peter fed his hand to the alligator, and when Tink and Peter met, this is really fun addition to the J.M. Barrie legend. A great read-a-loud, though my cat did get a little annoyed with me and just decided to leave the room whenever I’d pull out the book. Good humor, especially in the dialogue. Strong character development with the children; you watch Peter become the mischevious, ageless boy.

Bummer points: Quite a bit on the predictable side – but what do you expect, when you already basically know the ending.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pearls & Lace

I've had a couple requests for the text of what I read at our Mothers & Daughters banquet night at church. Here's the intro and the basic outline for the "beauty tips" (again, I am indebted to another writer who had the same10 "treatments" - though I did change their definitions and the scripture references).

It almost comes naturally for us to know how to care for (preserve, hide or draw attention to) physical beauty. Many of the same principles apply when caring for spiritual beauty.

But you need to be aware you have a spirit to care for. So before any of the treatments, we have to find a mirror, someone in your life who reminds you that you are more than this body on this earth at this time. You have to have someone who holds up a “mirror” by saying, “This is how I see the Eternal Creator God in you.” Something esle also acts as a mirror, revealing what we are supposed to look like: the Word of God.

1) CLEANSER: removes all unwanted impurities. CONFESSION – forgiveness though the blood is our spirit cleanser. I John 1:9, Ps 51:2, 7

2) MOISTURIZER: soften, nourishes. COMPASSION – seeing others and their needs (how God sees them) will soften us. Phil 2:3-4

3) WRINKLE CREAM: smoothes, preserves against effects of time. FAITH – letting go of worry (no worry lines!) Heb 11:1, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Peter 5:7

4) FOUNDATION: provides an even base on which to build. WORD OF GOD – the starting place for everything. John 1:1, I Cor. 3:11, Rom 10:17

5) BLUSH: brings color and radiance. GOD’S LOVE – sets us apart, highlights our beauty. Matt 5:16

6) EYE MAKEUP: accents the beauty of our eyes, protection. VISUAL INPUT – what goes in comes out. Matt 6:22, 1 Cor. 6:19

7) LIPSTICK: makes lips full, sweet, pleasant. OUR WORDS – how we speak to others, how we talk about our lives, how we praise. Prov 16:24, Prov 18:20-21, Song 4:11

8) HAND LOTION: Keeps us touchable, soft and feeling. GOOD DEEDS/GENEROSITY – when we think of others first. Prov. 31: 13, 31, Ja 2:14-16, Prov. 28:27

9) FOOT THERAPY: gets rid of our calloused roughness. GOOD CHOICES – treating our feet as special, the paths they travel important. Jer 6:16, Ps119:59, Ps 18:33

Friday, May 12, 2006


I'm enjoying my apartment now more than before, probably because I'm at the one-month-and-three-day mark before moving into a new place with my beloved brother. A co-worker brought a huge computer box in for me today for packing purposes, so that just brought it home (er, rather brought my home to the box, or something).

Just this morning I was admiring my plant and photos arrangement on the TV of all things. But I have to admit that I am having strange nesting tendencies while thinking about the new place. I have a list of projects that I want to do for it and stuff I want to buy (top on the list: a big red reading chair). I want to frame artwork and put down payments on dishwashers and arrange rugs. I'm planning yard furniture and garden arrangements. I'm thinking I'd better own my own place soon, or all this hard work will just be temporary.

Better get back to putting stuff in square, marked cubes.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


No, that does not have anything to do with my social life, except that these are likely what's been occupying me otherwise. That and I've for some reason picked up an old cross-stitch project that I never finished when I was in high school. I have some strange desire to see "Girl with Wildflowers" completely done.

Anyway, I'm pasting part of my In My Ears and Eyes segment here, as what I'm reading/listening to/watching has changed some.

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson, Ed. Thomas H. Johnson. The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis. Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. Coming Up for Air, Margaret Becker.

Phil Wickham, Phil Wickham. Add to the Beauty, Less Like Scars, Sara Groves. Seeds. Shane & Shane.

"Walk the Line" - it's my dad's birthday present, but don't tell him I watched it first.
"Millions" - kids with English accents, finding hundreds of thousands of pounds, beautiful cinematography.
Just finished the last of "24" taped by a friend's mother. After three years, I'm still allowing myself to give up nearly an entire a day to watch the beautiful agony of Keiffer Sutherland's narrow escapes. Part of my knows this could be especially dangerous addiction once I actually have cable here in about a month...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Interactive Haiku

Yes, I'm addicted.
I count while you speak, my dreams
rhythm themselves silly.

I'd like to see yours;
haiku me. Under the scar,
is something that feels.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'm back and this is new, so be nice

I know I've been gone so long. The past couple weeks have been some of the most trying and most rewarding - isn't that how it goes??

So my present is a new new new piece that I just wrote last week at the Bloomington Women's Writing Center. I read it for them, but otherwise it is uncritiqued and I welcome your comments.

Anesthesia, or Anticipating Holes Where Once was Wisdom (Teeth)

One hundred. Ninety-nine. I practice
deep belly breaths and believing
this sleep is the same as last night’s.
Just a few less teeth when I awake.

Ninety-six. Ninety-five. The room is so
small, my heart-beat echoes off
the far wall. A mauve-framed country
scene, a girl picks blue flowers. Ninety-one,

ninety, eighty-nine
. My hair relaxes into
the smooth, tan lap of the chair. I try to keep my arms
from floating away. Eighty-five, eighty four, my mother’s
shadow is next to me, I think it’s singing with the musak.

eighty my toes dance
to meet me later seventy nine
seventy ei-
the blue picking
flower girl looks at my soul –ght
my eyes seven sink in seven
for a closer in
ty spect