Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Where Do I Belong?

Not sure where I fit in anymore. Obviously not with the church. And frankly I can't drum up the hate to fit in with many ex-Mormons either. I get why there's anger, I just don't feel it that intensely. Not that there isn't things that get me riled up. It's just that I don't see evil or bad intentions every time a Mormon friend says hi or drops off a gift or states an opinion I don't agree with. Nor do I feel the need to mock everything about Mormonism. I still like a lot of LDS artists and writers. I have no desire to throw out all my LDS fiction, nor my Greg Olsen print of Jesus. I still find humor in Mormon people poking fun at themselves (which they're pretty good at). In fact I cringe at the nit picking that I find ex-Members indulge in. 

I don't fit in with atheists. I can't deny spiritual experiences and I find them condescending towards believers. I don't fit in with born agains. I find them condescending too and demanding that everyone believe what they believe. I'm not completely against abortion in the right situations but I'm not completely for it and find it grating lately that there seems to be a celebration of it. I still cringe at profanity although I don't want to censor anyone but it seems like a teenage rebellion thing when I read some ex-members posts and they throw around swear words simply because they can and not because it really adds to what they are saying. Now I realize that's a cultural thing for me, but I guess that's part of my culture.

I have no desire to become drunk or even experiment with alcohol. The devastation it caused my childhood was more than enough for me although I do like my coffee.

And part of me is torn. On one hand I want to continue writing about LDS subjects because it was over thirty years of my life, and there is the hope that what I have to say might help someone, somewhere. But there's the other part of me that says "really, now they're claiming that hatred towards children of gay parents is a direct revelation of God? I don't care anymore because it's just so stupid. They can do what they want. I can't change anything about them. I'm outa here."

But "I'm outa here" leaves me completely alone.

Book Review: Mainely Murder Mystery Series #1: Homicide at Blue Heron Lake - Susan Page Davis & Megan Elaine Davis

Homicide at Blue Heron Lake (Mainely Murder Mystery Series #1) 

When newspaper reporter Emily Grant returns to the family cottage on Blue Heron Lake to make it ready for possible sale, she doesn't expect to fall for Nate Holman, her high school crush, all over again. She really doesn't expect to discover not one, but two dead bodies on the peaceful island lake.

This is an inspirational murder mystery romance. So nothing hot and steamy, but there is a lot of grappling with Emily's past regarding her now dead step-father, as well as run-ins with former high school aquaintences.

Plus there's the threat of a conservation group that wants to buy up enough land to be able to rid everyone of their cottages (which I don't quite understand how that can happen).

The writer does an excellent job depicting life on a summer lake. It makes me wish that I had had that experience on a regular basis (I once was invited for a week to someone's summer cottage - and I loved it). It's a different world. Can you get nostalgic for something you've never had?

I did find the main character judgmental of another characters faith journey. But I guess that's to be expected in inspirational books where it's the main characters beliefs that are right and everyone else is wrong. Except for that annoying quirk, Emily is likable and capable.  

Nate Holman is a romantic character. He and his mother own the marina general store where they rent boats and deliver the mail. He's strong but not controlling. And he's in love with Emily, as he's always been.

The murder mystery was fine although I felt it wasn't quite finished. I would have liked to hear from the murderer. 

But really I was sighing more over having a cottage on a lake than about anything else.

Other books in the series

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: The Red Gloves Series 1: Maggie's Miracle - Karen Kingsbury

Maggie's Miracle (The Red Gloves Collection #2)
Eight year old Jordan has a simple request for his busy lawyer mother - address and mail a letter from him to God.

When Megan opens the letter she discovers the request is for a new Daddy, a request that Megan feels is impossible to give. After her cold marriage to a man many years older which ended in his death from a heart attack, she feels no need to try again. However she does discover a program for Healing Hearts, a way to provide Jordan with a male mentor.

Meanwhile, Casey is still in grief from the death of his wife and baby two years earlier. He deals with it by jogging, but one day he sees an ad for Healing Hearts, a program that puts adults together with grieving children. Maybe it's just what he needs.

Karen Kingsbury is a well known inspirational writer. This is a quick Christmas book - it can be done in an evening. As with many inspirational books there's no such thing as coincidence. All the seemingly coincidental occurrences are because God is in charge so you can get away with a lot more than a secular audience would accept. And we pretty much know what's going to happen in the end, because that's what romantic books are about.

Still it is heartwarming. I find the writer tells too much. Perhaps because she wanted to get all the information in a short book. But there's lots of background stuff that could have been handled differently. It's all stuff we needed to know, but it could have been done better. Flashbacks for instance, or mentions in conversation, instead of "this is what happened".

She does a good job telling the story from three different viewpoints in third person. Especially Jordan's viewpoint which really does sound like a young boy.

Still, I think this story would have been more powerful, if it had taken it's time and showed us instead of told us.

Other Red Glove Books

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Sky You Were Born Under

Last year I started a book called:
A Writers Book of Days: A Spiritual Companion and Lively Muse for the Writer’s Life – Judy Reeves
It's set up with a writing prompt for each day. I made it through the first month and then quit, because I'm a flake or something. 

Anyway, I thought I would start if up again in February, and in the meantime occasionally give you a taste of what it prompted me to write before I got lazy. Besides, I'm drawing a blank on what to write about today. So here's a bit of poetry. I would say enjoy but that would be arrogant.   

The Sky You Were Born Under (after Joy Harjo)

by Anna Maria Junus

The sky you were born under,
Left you open to abuse,
And to being undervalued,
Because you are a girl.
The sky you were born under,
Told you who you had to be,
And who you had to listen to,
In order to be loved. (But not truly loved.)
The sky you were born under,
Made you wear certain clothes,
And speak a certain way,
So as not to entice men, (but still wanted you to attract them).
The sky you were born under,
Turned you into a sex object,
Yet demanded virginity,
And still expected motherhood.
The sky you were born under,
Cut off your wings,
And restricted your brain,
But, if you can ignore,
All that you were taught to hurt you,
You can grow back your wings,
And unleash your brain.
The sky that you were born under,
Is the sky that you can soar into.