This month has been overwhelming. It’s possible that my plan to write an entire novel while finishing up an intense writing course and parenting 4 children was a WEE bit ambitious. But NaNoWriMo was actually fun and the 6 chapters I finished wet my appetite for writing fiction. Someday.
Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer and dozens of other bloggers for ‘What I’m Into’ this month.
November was a month of:
I met one of my favourite writers, one of the first bloggers I followed regularly when I found my way to the blogosphere. Sarah Bessey taught me that you can have a gentle, quiet spirit AND a powerful voice. She just released her book: Jesus Feminist; where we are feminist, not in spite of, but because of our faith. Brilliant. A must read.
She’s taught me a lot over the years and it was a struggle for me to play it cool ‘In Real Life.’ Hopefully somewhere between the enthusiastic rambling and a sweaty hug she heard “I love your work, and respect your words, and even though I don’t comment very often, I feel like I know you. Thank you for pouring yourself out for all of us to see.”
Confirming, once again, my belief that the book is always better than the movie. And the movie was pretty good. The Book Thief has a quirky, approachable style, even as it carries us through a dark and depressing time. I paused many times to reread a brilliant sentence or phrase along the way. Good reading for adults and teens alike.
Joining the pantheon of epic heart-breakers, 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man in the 1800’s who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, later writing about his experiences.
At the end, with tears streaming down our faces, we asked “what are we supposed to do with that?” I’m still asking. Especially in a world where slavery is alive and well in its various forms.
Ender’s Game is based on a classic Sci-Fi novel about a world of war games and child prodigies battling an alien threat. Intriguing. Even Glen enjoyed it.
Of course, Catching Fire was a must-see. It’s more complex and nuanced than the Hunger Games, which I enjoyed. Although watching this violence for entertainment makes me wonder if we are betraying the spirit of the story (which condemns a barbaric society for doing the same), it wasn’t glorified or gratuitous. They’ve done a good job.
I’ll admit. I first opened this video because the Star Trek characters in the preview slide set my nerd-y senses tingling. Cute. But that wasn’t really the point in the end.
The point is pretty profound: the power of Empathy to transform the world. Roman Krznaric gave me a lot of food for thought. Plus the animations make it fun to watch.
For those of us enmeshed in the debates of faith and politics, Anderson Campbell applies this same concept to church issues in his insightful article: Empathy and the Conservative/Progressive Theological Divide.
Our latest, greatest parenting tool is the Parent TimeLock App. No more worrying about how much screen time our pre-teens are racking up, or trying to enforce limits in the middle of a busy day. We simply start the app for however much time we feel is reasonable at the beginning of the day and that is all the time they have to wallow in technology.
It’s the hap-happiest season of all! That’s right, the Holiday Firelog is now playing 24/7 at our house. Intellectually, I know it’s not a real fire, but it somehow warms up the room… and my heart. Plus, every half hour, when a disembodied hand reaches in to stir the logs, B gasps and points in excitement. We’re easily entertained.
Earlier this month a story about our little country school went viral. Overnight we were infamous, subject of sensational news stories and misleading rants around the world. My response to this has become my most popular post to date. Nevertheless, I wish I hadn’t needed to write it: Hand Holding Ban, No Touch Play and the Real Story.
So here’s us, warming ourselves by a fake fire, learning empathy and trying to make room for everyone in our world.