Archive for November 2013
I don’t often share chatty posts just to catch up here, because this blog acts more like a vehicle for sharing more in-depth reflections, along with a bulletin board reviewing what I’m reading. My reflections have grown a little thin lately and are about to get thinner, so I wanted to share why.
In the last several months, I’ve been invited to preach and speak for several special events beyond my local congregation, so I have been engaged in an enormous amount of writing shared in other places. I have been keeping up monthly posts at Practicing Families, and you can find my latest reflections about “A Day of Yes,” “Protect or Prepare?” and “Grace Rules.” With encouragement from many of you who read this blog regularly, I’ve also been investing some time and energy in trying to submit materials for publication.
The title of this blog has always been For the Someday Book. In an effort to get “someday” here a lot sooner, I have signed on to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November. NaNoWriMo is an online community of people who commit to writing 50,000 words in the course of the month of November. No, I’m not writing a novel, but I am tagging along to the community challenge to try and create a book’s worth of reflections in the next 30 days. I don’t know if I will succeed at getting 50,000 words (there are prizes if I do!), but I know it will bring me a lot closer than I am now. My username is RevJMK, and I believe you can visit my page here as I report on progress. All words of encouragement and support are welcome, now and all month long!
As you might have guessed, I don’t anticipate posting much (if anything!) here on the blog for the next month, as I’ll be digging deeper into the book-length project. If I manage to finish reading any of the books I’ve started, I’ll hope to get a review up, but that’s about all. I’ll be back again in December, I’m sure.
Thanks for reading, and for your encouragement on the way. Let me know if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, too. You can find me and sign up to be my buddy.
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw, Simon & Schuster, 2012, 288 pp.
I can’t resist used books. I dropped my son off at the YMCA for fall break camp, and they had a few tables full. I gladly made a donation to the Y in exchange for this one, because I just needed to escape into a novel for a day or two. Carry the One was a good read, not a great one, but it was enjoyable.
The novel follows the lives of a group of young people–interrelated by blood, marriage and romantic entanglements–after they are involved in a car accident that kills a young child. The rest of their lives, together or apart, they carry the burden of the one girl, a stranger, who did not live. The accident is with them all the time, together or apart. For some, the dead girl becomes a muse, as they dedicate their artistic work to her memory. For others, she is a ghost who haunts them with guilt and destroys them. For others, she is always a cipher. The novel spans more than 25 years of their moving from young adulthood to middle age, and the characters change and develop in interesting ways.
While the story is interesting and well-written, I did not find the characters as compelling as I had hoped. They fell too easily for me into archetypes–the artist, the addict, the activist, the actress. I had hoped for a deeper perspective on existential responsibility. While the characters all feel responsible in some way even if they weren’t behind the wheel, the author didn’t offer much that was new or insightful about the burden of that responsibility.
One special side note: I appreciated that this book was not pigeonholed as “lesbian fiction,” yet featured lesbian relationships and sexuality as prominently (maybe more so) than heterosexual ones. Hooray for moving beyond heteronormativity!
So, I recommend this to you as a good beach book, a good escape, a well-written story. It was all of those things. If you are hoping for more, keep looking.