Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’

 

best

If life would calm down, I would have so much cool stuff to share wit you. Life at the moment is not calming down, it’s becoming if anything, more chaotic.  So, I’m no longer waiting for a moment to actually have the time to post something, but ruthlessly ripping time from another task that needs doing today. Why? Well because I’ve had so many people who live near me ask “What in the world are you wearing on your thumbs?”  And while I could merely say “rings” I know what they are really asking me “What do your rings say? Why are you wearing words on your thumbs?”

Thankfully, most of you know the second answer to this barrage of questions (um, she’s a writer and they tend to be fixated on words) but  the full answer is that they are aluminum, personalized, quote rings. The one on my left hand is a paraphrase of one of my favorite quotes by C. S. Lewis and reads “Theology can be smuggled into minds under the cover of fiction.” The one on the right hand is also a  paraphrased quote from Lewis and reads “Even a traitor may mend; I have known one who did” Edmund the Just, and has a crown symbol stamped at the end of his title.  Why these two quotes?

They are two things I’m trying very hard to tattoo upon my soul. The first, because as a writer who is  Christian,  I have a responsibility to make certain that my worldview,  my theology, and my stories  match up with what is true, ie what is found in Scripture.  Theology can be smuggled into people’s minds very easily. One day, I will stand before Christ and give an answer for my words, written and spoken.

It’s enough some days to make me put my pen down, and not write another word.

The second, because I am working on loving people in my life who do not love me.  No one in particular, just several people.  Edmund has always been my favorite of Lewis’ characters because I see so much of myself in him.  It’s also an example of what Lewis’ first quote; theology being smuggled into minds through fiction.

I wear them as thumb rings because there is an artery that runs through the thumb, and so to my way of thinking they are ‘catching my heart’ as they  act like shel yad of a kind, constantly reminding me of these truths.

How’s that for an answer to “What are you wearing on your thumbs?”

By the way, my particular quote rings are one-of-a-kind. You won’t find them anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go get your own. I found an amazing shop, called oneeyedfox and these particular rings are made of aluminum and incredibly inexpensive for what you get.  Even the custom things the shop makes ship quickly, and the quality is excellent.  I’m not getting paid to tell you this, I am just sharing in case you are looking for some shel yad of your own.

In fact, if you could pick out two phrases to wear as I am wearing mine, what would they be? From where? Tell me, in the comments below.

Until next time

Encourage one another, Scribes!

I  want to thank those faithful readers who have been faithfully pinging by, to see if I’ve actually updated this blog. I haven’t until now, and there are several reasons why (not excuses mind, but there are reasons):

1.) One of my friends went to see Christ face to face, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She, more than any other friend I know, embodies this thought from D.L.Moody “One day you will ready in the paper that D.L.Moody has died. Don’t you believe it for a moment, in that instant I will be more alive than I have ever been before.”

I can’t grieve without smiling though, and laugh at the thought of a fantasy book lover like Ginny pigeon holing C.S. Lewis (if you can pigeon hole saints in heaven) and J.R.R. Tolkien and asking them all the questions she’d stored up. Mainly though, I think of her worshiping Christ, dancing with King David before the throne of Yahweh with her own dear Mom and Dad.    She loves to worship, and worship Him with all of herself.

Those of us she left behind are aching for the loss—but she is more alive than she has ever been.

2.) My work schedule has been shot to pieces.  In the space of two weeks, I had four coworkers in the hospital or undergoing major surgery. Two were planned, and two weren’t. So there’s been a lot of schedule shuffling to cover for those who were out.
(Two were out for gall bladder removals, one had a bone in their foot removed, and the last was an unidentified and prolonged non-scheduled health crisis.  All of them are doing better, praise God)

3.) Because of 1. and 2.  I’ve gotten behind on my reviews for TCM and catching up has  taken up most of my free time.

4.) My amazing Aunt is out visiting for two weeks, so updating the blog hasn’t been that much of a priority, spending what time I have free with her, has. And I know you guys wouldn’t have it any other way. Christ, family and real life first, that’s how it should be for any Christian blogger.

All that said, I really appreciate you who have hung in there while I was ‘running silent’, now you know part of the reason.

So that’s the ‘life and universe part’ onto the cake,  tomorrow!

Dear Authors;

As a writer, I’ve  wrestled  with my reviewer’s heart, and have finally come to a conclusion that has brought me peace.

Instead of coming up with my own standard for book reviews, I’ve  adopted a  set instead. I’m only keeping one set,  and  I’m going to apply them to every book I read.  Below, you’ll  find the  outline of it. It’s built  on the  advice of  fellows who  created works  impervious to time and to critic.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov
“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” ~Mark Twain
“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something truly infinite.” ~C.S. Lewis

I’m also going to approach every tome I read with the expectation of giving it a five-star review.  I’m going to assume that since it survived critique groups, agents, editors, publishers, beta readers, and colleague reviews  it’s worth five stars.  That’s how I’m going to approach every book from now on.

However,  each time  a story  violate one of the pillars of my standard, it will lose half a star.  It won’t stop with five stars either, a book can garner from me, negative stars.   At TCM  I can only  give a book zero stars, and at that point I don’t have to mention any of the good qualities that might be in the story.  I can only write 500-700 words for a review at TCM. Here, however, I am under no such constraints.  Here I can go into exquisite detail on the failings of a book, and explain why it has garnered the number of negative stars I gave it. 

I have a category of posts called “Books That Have Met the Wall” ie were hurled across the room in disgust (and rarely, in anger at the author) and I’m going to start sharing the horrible wastes of paper I’ve read so readers are warned not to waste their time or money on them.

You see there’s a contract between a reader and an author.

It’s an unspoken one but it runs something like this.

“I the reader,  pledge to you, the author,  my undivided attention, full use of my imagination, several hours of my life, and between $.99 and $24.99 out of my pocket. I give you my trust and my mind. Now, tell me a story.”

To which the author should reply

“I the storyteller,  pledge to you the reader, hundreds of hours of my life, the very best of my words, only the finest of my stories, and on my sacred honor do now promise not to waste your time nor abuse your trust. I certify that the money you have given me is a justified expense and fair trade for the tale told. “

The problem is some  authors are breaking that contract. Repeatedly.
It’s time that those who have done so,  that those who are taking advantage of their readers, were stopped.

Stopping bad story tellers starts with holding an uncompromising standard for all books, and telling the truth about books that make it, and books that don’t.

Those of you who are working on honing your craft and continuing to tell amazing tales, have nothing to fear from me at all.

Those of you who have become sloppy, lazy, complacent believers in your own press and think gold drips out of your pen onto the page; you have been warned.

Sincerely,

one reader who has drawn a line in the print.