Friday, June 25, 2010


I guess I will just write about whatever comes into my head at this point. I am thinking a little bit about color and about beauty, but that’s seems drastically whimsical and even annoying. I do believe that there are real, weighty, important statements yet to be made about color, but I’m not sure that I’m the one to make them or that tonight is that night. It is interesting to listen to writers talk about words, and in the same way, to artists talk about color. I have a new friend named Will who is an artist, and when he talks about color, I know that he has a relationship with color the same way that I have a relationship with words. They are our territories; they are our joys.

Words, to me, are possibilities. I think of all the many ways that words can line up, like a puzzle that has an infinite number of solutions, and about the way that particular words in particular orders can create a light or dark tone, the way background music makes a scary movie even scarier. A writer’s job is to align the words to her desire—whether that is in the most pleasurable way, or the most disturbing, or the most endearing.

Today I met with a prospective student who said that she liked to write. I immediately got excited (as I always do) and took a break from discussing the college search and possible majors to discuss what truly interests me – what kind of writing does she like to do, what are some of her favorite books, favorite authors? When I taught a class at camp last week, I asked the campers to introduce themselves and to share what they were passionate about. When someone would say, “books,” or “reading,” I wanted to pause the entire class to have conversations about our mutual friends – Lucy and Edmund, Harry and Hermione, Liesel and Rudy and Max.

I know that there are some people who read a book once and then the book is over for them—they cannot enjoy it again because they already know what happens. I feel sorry for those people. I love to re-read favorite books. It is like spending time with an old friend, reminiscing. It is, of course, wonderful to discover new favorites, to be on the edge of one’s seat, not knowing what is coming next, but I find that I get so into old favorites that I end up on the edge of my seat anyway. I am stressed literally every time I relive the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a little ridiculous, but I wouldn’t change it. I experience books. Sometimes something lovely will jump up off the page and tap me on the shoulder, and I have to stand and admire it for awhile. I hope that, in time, my own writing will wave to people from the page, will make them stop and stare.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

back in the saddle

I have not written in several weeks, so I’m pretty sure that anything I write tonight and for the next week will be fairly terrible, although I’ve been known to stumble into brilliance accidentally. That’s always fun. When you’re tired and cranky and want to sleep and feel like you’d just as well wipe your butt with printer paper and publish that instead of the words you’ve been hammering out for a couple years, and then instead of cashing it all in, you decide to write for ten more minutes and something beautiful lands on the page. It stares at you, blinking a few times like a young doe or a cartoon puppy, and you can hardly believe that it belongs to you and that it’s resting there on your page. It’s like the most wonderful thieving, when something ends up on the page that you never intended, something that you just stumbled into, but since you’ve found it, and since your hands happened to be the ones touching the keys at the time, you get to claim it as your own.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

next week

I am headed up to Long Lake for a week at Pine Haven Christian Assembly to spend time with a crew of senior highers. My dearest friend Jesus, being so wonderfully omnipresent, will be up there as well. It works out great, you see.

I'm teaching a class this week on evangelism. I wouldn't mind your prayers. Not just for my class, but for the Holy Spirit to move this week and to shake these kids up in real and lasting ways. Pray that I can be a conduit of God's love and that I will have the energy to keep up with the campers! Pray that the kiddos come ready to listen to God.

Pray that I would be able to carve time out of the busy camp schedule to be energized by Scripture and time alone with Jesus.

I'm sure I'll have some fun pictures to post when I come back!