Sunday, 18 March 2018

I'm back!

I just returned from a lovely week holed up with my book manuscript. No internet, no phone, just me at a desk with the dogs curled cozily on my feet and a blizzard out the window. I ate simple food when I was hungry and slept when I was tired and just listened to the silence...other than when the propane furnace came on, which sounded like a jet engine revving up. But such pristine silence in between times! When the creative juices ebbed, I would bundle up and go for a trudge along the river, walking out on the levee in the snow, or up and down the streets of the little village I was in, admiring the restored Victorian houses. It was so peaceful! I could live like that forever. I couldn't have pulled it off without my wonderful hubby, who shuttled me back and forth and kept the home fires burning while I was away. I'm not entirely sure the kids noticed I was gone, but Son #3 did say he missed the dogs...

And I'm pleased to report the manuscript is at 56,000 words, so only about 20,000 to go, which is pretty good progress, and I'm sure I can get the rest done by deadline. It was a difficult start, but we're in the homestretch now!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Where I am

My apologies for not writing lately. I need to turn in a new book manuscript to the publisher this spring, and this book doesn't seem to be coming very easily. I'm focusing on that right now. In fact, I've taken next week off work to do nothing but write. It'll see the light of day eventually! Thanks,  K

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Ideas for New Winter Olympic Sports

While out shoveling snow this morning (again!) I came up with some ideas for new sports to add to the Winter Olympics.

  • Slip on the Ice Driveway Luge
  • Road Salt Bag Shotput
  • The Dog Refuses to Go Out So We'll Just Play Frisbee in the Living Room Discus Throw
  • Don't Get Your Wet Boots on My Clean Floor Standing Broadjump
  • Spilled Hot Chocolate in My Lap Curl
  • Shoveling Full Speed Until I Hit the Crack in the Sidewalk Head-over-Heels Flip
  • Can't Pile the Snow Any Higher Shovel Javelin
  • Broke My Kid's Sled Going Over a Jump Downhill Tumble
  • Sneaking Out to the Woodpile in My T-Shirt 50-Meter Dash
and my personal favourite:
  • Trying to Bend Over in 10 Layers of Clothing to Fish my Sock out of My Boot Flexibility Challenge
Think they'll take off?

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Fun with Gematria

I teach a weekly Sunday School class to a bunch of youth age 14 to 18. This week I wanted to jazz things up a bit to catch their interest, so I started the lesson off with a brief Hebrew lesson. And I gave them a couple of fun things to do with Gematria. Because Hebrew characters each have a numerical value, you can add up the letters in a word and get a numerical value for the word itself.

For example, the word for "water," mayim, adds up to a value of 18. So does the word chai, meaning "life." So water equals life. This is certainly true in a desert culture, but it also brings new meaning to John 4:10 when Christ says he would give living water.

As another example, the word for "serpent"(nun cheth shin) adds up to a value of 358. So does the word for "messiah" (mem shin yod cheth). So the serpent represents the messiah (think of the story when Moses lifts up the brazen serpent on the staff for the people to look to and live). And notice that in 3 Nephi when Christ appears to the people, he doesn't tell them he was crucified; he tells them he was "lifted up." It's a reference to the Moses serpent story, and he is declaring himself as the messiah.

However, in Genesis, when Satan tempts Eve, he is also represented as a serpent. So one serpent is fallen, and one is raised up. It makes sense to me, considering Satan wanted to be the messiah. At the great Council in heaven he volunteered to be the saviour of mankind, but on his own terms. And in the Adam and Eve story, we see Satan's still trying to pass himself off as a messiah. He calls himself the god of this world. And there's the serpent image.

This brings another observation to mind. Several times in the scriptures Christ talks about how oft he would gather his people as a chicken gathers her chicks beneath her wings, but they would not. And the letter mem represents a bird or hawk as well as the messiah. So you have both a bird and a serpent representing the messiah. It brings to mind the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl.

The kids in the class found it interesting, anyway, and seemed to pay extra attention to the rest of the lesson. I'm not great at Hebrew or Gematria, but I know just enough to realize how many rich treasures enfolded in the scriptures I am missing!

(Gematria references taken from Joe Sampson in Written by the Finger of God.)

Friday, 2 February 2018

Indoor Gardening

So I got tired of looking at snow outside and pining for my garden. I now have 66 small pots on my counter under the grow light: lettuce, spinach, onions, beets, peppers, swiss chard, green beans, and rosemary and cilantro. Most will be eaten as small salad greens, but the beets, peppers, beans, and onions I'll let get to full size. I often grow green beans in my dining room -- they don't need insects to pollinate them -- and have fresh beans all winter.  There's just something wonderfully calming about the smell of damp earth, the sight of tiny sprouts pushing up against all odds and cheerfully just doing their thing. Not to mention the fact that I eat healthier when vegetables are there at my fingertips. Like my seedlings, I want to lie under the glow of the grow lights and pretend it's summer.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Teddy Bear on the Subway

The other day as I was coming home, I saw a young man standing on the subway platform with a giant stuffed bear. It had a red ribbon around its neck, and I assume it was a Valentine's gift for his girlfriend. There's something endearing about a six-foot-something, hulking young man out in public, hugging with both arms a giant teddy bear nearly as big as himself.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Where I've been

Sorry I haven't written lately. Time has flown without my even registering it. First it was heavy snowfall, requiring several shovelings a day. Then it was getting a manuscript ready for submission to the publisher. And then it was teaching my grand-daughter basic knitting. And then my husband's cousin moved in to start college. And then... Well, yeah, then I read a bunch of books and watched entirely too much "Escape to the Country" and "Hinterland" on TV...and time got away from me.

The funny thing is, one of the books I've been lost in is about mindfulness...