Marching thru: February 2004

Thursday afternoon. I am theoretically packaging Laura's books to ship to Berkeley. What I'm ACTUALLY doing is reading one of her books, GIRL MEETS GOD. It's a memoir of author Lauren Winner's reconciliation of her Jewish heritage and her relationship with Jesus ($13.95). What I SHOULD be doing is dealing-with-things; the things in question being the fallout from the drips.
The drips I'm referring to are not whoever egged our freshly painted fence, but rather the water that descended from our ceiling all over the writer's shelf, warping Steven King, staining my favorite SELF EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, and making the 2003 WRITER'S MARKET mouldy. (moldy for you non Brits.)
In the process of fixing the ceiling various people got bright ideas which resulted in seven, repeat seven, pieces of furniture getting shoved about. And that's not counting the two chairs that did a dos-y-doe or the two shelf units currently awaiting their chance to join the dance. If you consider that all the units were stacked to the gills with books and other oddments, AND that the whole chorus line was bumping and grinding in a mere 500 square feet of space, you will begin to fathom height and depth of the things-to-be-dealt-with.
Frankly, I'd rather read.

Assuming that the piles of books stacked on the back table do get dealt with, and that a path is carved out to the bathroom, we will have CONVERSATIONS ON MINISTRY on Wednesday nights from now to Holy Week. I can't tell you exactly what this will be like, because we haven't had one yet. All I know is that we're gathering at 6:30 PM, bringing finger food that is ready at hand so that no one has to deal-with-dinner, and then different people are going to share teachings and testimonies on ministry. We'll pray too. End at 8:00. You are invited. Let me know if you're thinking of coming.

What a delight it was leading a workshop on my upcoming book, USING THE WORD at Order of St. Luke's Healing Mission in Carmel. Not only that, but I came home with a fat roll of bills in my pocket. This bunch reads books! Because of them we will undoubtedly be in the black for February. Thanks be to God. Keep us in mind if you are planning any events, retreats, conferences or workshops. We have a multi-talented staff and can provide booktables, speakers, workshop leaders, music....not to even mention storytelling that fits into a worship service.

The best book I read all month is BEL CANTO, a novel by Ann Patchett, set in an unnamed South American country ($13.95). The scene is a birthday party for an important Japanese CEO. Dignitaries from all over the world, including a brilliant opera singer, have been invited to the Vice President's Mansion for this event. In comes a band of terrorists, taking the whole bunch hostage. Outside the walls it is a global crisis. Inside is all the makings of a great novel. Like the English country house mysteries, you have a trapped cast of terrific characters in a tense situation.
I had many profound thoughts after reading this book. But I can't share them with you because it would give away the story. Sigh. Fortunately George wrote me that he liked my newsletters, "the infopinions are nice but I also enjoy 'hearing' from you."
I don't know if you pronounce that info-pinions or inf-opinions.

I am not, I decided on Ash Wednesday, going to go see THE PASSION. Given my exalted role of Book Store Owner and Christian At Large, I thought I SHOULD see it. The emails I've received make it sound like not going is "letting down our side." Besides someone might ask my infopinion.
But I hate torture scenes. I usually peek through slitted eyes until they are over. Is the fact that THE PASSION depicts someone I know and love going to make it any better? Why go to a movie that I have to watch for two hours with my eyes closed?
After prevaricating endlessly, I finally remembered "For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame...." (Hebrews 12:2). I decided that if the Lord wants to show me his suffering, as he's done with any number of others through the centuries, he's perfectly capable of doing so. Meanwhile, despite the fact that I appreciate the film's generating so much public dialogue, I don't want someone else's emotionally charged images cluttering up my innerscape.
I suspect that the book is better.

Meanwhile, secular books are threatening to take over the store. They do things in the night and multiply. The word sown is getting choked out by thorns and thistles. If you march in this month, you can have one used secular book from our steals & deals, history, food, health, fitness, mystery or romance shelf. Free. No purchase necessary. Come and get it.

This newsletter is short on info and long on pinions.

"If someone loves you for what you can do then it's flattering, but why do you love them? If someone loves you for who you are, then they have to know you, which means you have to know them." Ann Patchett in BEL CANTO.

Alliee +