Authoring

“Every time I write a book, I’ve probably taken five years off my life.” Rachel Cusk, an award winning memoirist.

It certainly doesn’t help to spend that much time sitting. Some recent literature suggests that’s not a good idea with regard to your health.

Nonetheless, I find it extremely relaxing and engaging to write books for publication. It is a beneficial, all consuming part of my latter years. The activity has enriched by God’s grace, this period of my life.

The paradox is a little like many things in life such as home ownership. It’s a wonderful privilege to own a home. But, it also gives you the opportunity for numerous instances of repair/maintenance. They come as a surprise and sometimes an expense that is more than you anticipated.

That’s life.

Looking Forward

“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.” Laura Ingalls Wilder, the late American author.

Our lives have depth and suffering. We have obstacles that find us pushing uphill. At the same time, silliness, laughter, and smiles sprinkle the days of our journey.

Sitting here today pushing 78 in a few months, I notice many of those “obituaried” never outdistanced me. I attempted to be remembered with some lightness in penning my memoirs.

The value of a wide-brimmed, beaming smile is incalculable as with its sibling belly laughter. May you and I be remembered by God’s grace with some of that lightness besides the tears.

Glancing at Where We Have Been

It was 1977. Kristine and I met and married in the last nine months of the year.

Two unique movies that year would later produce multiple, top-draw sequels, Rocky and Star Wars. I sat there watching Star Wars and just did not get it. Kris did love the film as did millions of others

Rocky I understood. It was about overcoming people’s expectations. It was a beautifully crafted film.

But those were only films. Reality is a far cry from filmdom

Today, 45 years later, we are blessed with the ultimate appeal, loving God and following His lead. He turned our life around for the first time 38 years ago. There isn’t anything even close that Kris and I have ever experienced.

The Doing

“He who desires nothing, hopes for nothing, and is afraid of nothing, cannot be an artist.” Anton Chekhov, 19th century Russian dramatist.

Desires, hopes and fears? They touch me and compel me to write blogs, memoirs and fiction in God’s hands.

I can almost carry a tune. My drawings haven’t changed since I was 12, probably have gotten worse.

By the grace of God, I so enjoy the writing and others like you enjoy the reading. Thank God for sweet favors.

Solace

“Writing is the supreme solace.” Somerset Maughan, English author of Of Human Bondage.

I wouldn’t go that far. To me the supreme solace can be found in following our dear Lord.

But there is solace in doing something so totally engaging as writing. It is deeply creative.

Originality is something we all need in our lives. Additionally, writing is a gift to others and time well spent.

How important are writers to earthlings? Amazon started with the sale of books.

Enchanting

I am looking out the rear second-floor window of our home office southward. The bright winter sun is glistening off the slightly wind-blown, green needles of a twenty-five-year-old pine.

We have been here 28 years. I can recall when that tree, along with several others, was planted on a small hill south of our property. A few months short of 78, I find the vibrant light and green pine needles lighten my day physically and spiritually.

It’s God’s handiwork. He has given purpose to our marriage and our lives. He continues to paint beautiful images 150 feet beyond that window. It is enchanting.

Your Music

“Many people,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, “die with all their music in them.” He was a 20th century American jurist and legal scholar.

I can’t even imagine how large a number that might be in the 21st century, but I plan not to die that way. I have blogged and published memoirs and novels for about seven years.

Although a relatively quiet person, I have had lots of stories to tell and blogs I hope have spoken to you. To have not done so would have turned my retirement into a parched land much to my regret.

Sing your song. It is likely at the very least your family is eager to listen.

On Love by Alain de Botton, a Book Review

Alain de Botton is a Swiss-born philosopher whose 5/28/16 article in the New York Times, Why You Will Mary the Wrong Person, was by a quantum leap the most-read NYT article of 2016. In 1993, his novel, On Love, was published. 

The book is about the making and breaking of the once-beautiful relationship between Chloe and the narrator. The novel probes the mystery, joy, and sorrow of their love. The fiction asks some age-old questions, reminding the reader of the complexity of love.

It’s a subject of universal interest treated uniquely by the probing mind of Mr. Botton. On Love is a story I believe is well worth your time.

I am reminded of the words of the late American author, Susan Sontag:“A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.”

The Scientist and the Novelist

“People assume that science is a very cold sort of profession, whereas writing novels is a warm and fuzzy intuitive thing. But in fact, they are not at all different. “Diana Gabaldon, an American author.

I have done experimental research and written fiction. From that experience and what I have read, it seems our creativity is at full throttle producing novels or scientific hypotheses. The editing of a book and interpreting one’s objective research data require creative effort. Neither process is cold or hot. They just are.

If you read James Watson’s The Double Helix, you’ll note his time was broken up with trips to the tennis court to re-create. Yes. The word recreation implies an activity that helps creativity. I guess it’s that quiet time for our neurons that, on return to creative work, is helpful. The same factors would have been involved had he written a novel.

I am convinced that our creative efforts are interchangeable and, thank God, feed our souls. Don’t you think?

Celebration

In this beautiful time of the year through which we have just passed, my spouse Kristine was reminded of St Patrick’s ancient prayer that so inspires her during her quiet times. Our Maker, incarnate, came to earth to bring each of us peace in days of chaos and abundant, eternal life. Nothing could be more celebratory.

We celebrate with you the enormous beauty and serenity of the Good News. Hoping you enjoyed a festive, Merry Christmas and are enjoying a bountiful, happy New Year.