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2010/04/22

I finished reading Girl Meets God.  I’ve been reading poems from the anthology, and loving it!  I also did a writing prompt exercise and couldn’t believe the store that came forth.  I put a lot of just writing over on another blog at Open Salon.  I think it’s under juliawb.  It’s kind of a first chapter, although my intention was a short story.  A couple of folks asked me what happens next, though.  Perhaps I can think of a prompt for another chapter and see where it goes…

Now I’m reading a good ‘ole true crime book, by one of my faves, Jack Olsen.  It’s called Cold Kill.  As usual, he delves extensively into the mind(s) of the perpetrator(s).  I needed some True Crime after all the memoir, art & poetry I was reading.  I actually stayed up way too late reading that.  I will say again, Jack Olsen is the Original and best of the true crime genre.  He also wrote wrote for Time and other magazines, and wrote nonfiction about interesting events.

I’m going to look up a poetry prompt and see if anything comes up.  I LOVE prompts.  They suit my personality perfectly, and my best writing, I believe, is stream of consciousness.

Thinking & Reading

2010/04/19

My titles are probably lacking.  Well, still reading Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God.  Just realized I could have gotten it much cheaper at my favorite on-line bookstore, Better World Books.  Was so impulsive, ordered it from Amazon to get it quickly.  It has been very thought-provoking.  I thought I should read the Bible more.  The girl knows her Bible!  I even had a conversation with Tim today about embracing Christianity 100%, and what that would mean in my life.  I’ve been baptized, but I never felt comfortable in church.  I always felt guilty.  I’ve had a whole spiritual journey that would be a whole other blog post or 2, but suffice it to say I ended back up at a Baptist church.  The Baptists are supposed to be the free thinkers, believe it or not.  I love my church.  That’s where I met and married Tim.  But I find that no one in my church is my closest friend.  And some of my church friends are very judgemental.  I am also, of course.  I’m extremely judgemental of judgemental people, which makes me no better.  That’s probably why it bothers me.  I don’t always feel like my values are the same as other people in my church.  And so many poeple have been murdered in the name of God…

Back to embracing an orthodox Christian life–In ways, it would make it easier, because everything would be black and white.  I’d know exactly what to do and what not to do, and when.  Or would I?  The Bible says to call one’s Christian brother or sister out on their sin.  I’ve seen this done in a church and out, and it has always appeared a lot gentler, kinder, and more Christ-like when I saw it done in a secular setting.  I’ve even had my friends call me out (about something I’m doing that isn’t right for me and/or others) and done the same with some of my friends.  Never in a church setting, however.  And who chooses who the church calls out on their sin?    And why are we born with sin?  I just don’t get it.  I try to have humility, gratitude and hope.

Anyhow, I wanted a new Bible because I can’t find mine, and I thought I’d study more.  We went to an independent bookseller, because I really try to shop/buy local or handmade.  Doesn’t always happen, but I try.  It is called Carytown Books.  It was located in this trendy shopping area here in Richmond called Carytown.  I remember from when I lived nearby over 20 years ago.  It was around a long time.  They had a cat there, who just hung out with you & in the window.  They had to move because of rising rents, and have changed their business model a bit, but are doing well in an area called Bellevue now.  They now sell used & new books.  And I’ve found a great place to recycle the many books I’ve read.  I bought a bunch of used books.  I’ll tell you about them in a bit.  Oh, and there were 3 kitties there, all adorable.

First I’ll tell you about the books I checked out from the library last week.  Of course, I’ve mentioned the Hypochondria book.  I also checked out some larger picture books, one on the great smaller museums of Europe (which profiled Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, which I loved beyond all imagination.)  It appears to be an art history textbook.  It’s very similar to one I got when I took Art History I at VCU.  It’s about sculpture from the Renaissance to the present day.   The next picture book is really a sociological study (in photos) of America.  It’s called A Handful of Dust-Photographs of Disappearing America, by David Plowden.  It’s very sad.  It’s a lot of pictures of a dilapidated buildings in Smalltown, USA.  Haven’t studied it a lot.  The last one I got was by a favorite author of mine, Tom Wolfe.   Oddly, I’ve only read a few of his books.  My favorite is Bonfire of the Vanities, one of the funniest books I’ve read.  This one is  From Bauhaus To Our House.  It is his 1981 lament about modern American architecture.  I’ve read none of these in full, although I’ve looked fairly closely through the one about small European museums.  I plan to make a list of the ones I will visit after my ship comes in.  I’d much rather visit a lesser known museum than a huge one like the Louvre, swimming with all sorts of tourist humanity.  I think it’s a throw back to my old Kings Dominion (Amusement Park) days, but I hate to be where there are lots of tourists.

Is this post boring?  I’ll run quickly through the list of used books I got today.  I’m quite excited.  A Jack Olsen I haven’t read, a 1959 edition of Freud-His Dreams and Sex Theories.  Hadn’t thought much about Freud lately, and thought I’d give it a try.  Honestly, I was more attracted to its antiquity and the signature in the former owner’s fountain pen.  I also got a 1960 printing of a book called Great Poems, The Norton Reader, because I want to read some shorter stories by good authors, and I no longer have my copy, Hugging the Shore, Essays and Criticisms by the late, great John Updike.  My first attraction to him was through a short story.  I read several of his novels, but they were sometimes difficult.  I do feel like he captured the 60’s suburbanite era uncannily.  Anyhow, back to shorts by him.  I also got Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects.  A little oxymoronic, considering I was looking for a Bible in which I could scribble, cheap, since mine is around somewhere.

I’ll let you know how it all reads.

Did I tell you about reading The Man with the Candy by Jack Olsen?  It is about a serial killer in Houston, TX, in the 70’s.  He was an old school investigative reporter.  He wrote for many good magazines and also wrote 32 books.  I’ve read 5 of his nonfiction books.  All but 1 of them is about crime.  Have I mentioned I like true crime?  I’m picky, though.  I don’t want to read true crime that isn’t well written.  Oh I think I have written about some of my favorites-James Ellroy, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and more! I don’t  know if I mentioned Jack Olsen.  His books are well-researched and objective.  He passed on in 2002.  He was 77.  He is very underappreciated, I believe.  Before Into Thin Air, there was Olsen’s 1962 account of a mountain climbing tragedy,  The Climb Up To Hell.

Anywho, I highly recommend Mr. Olsen.  A lot of his books are available used on Amazon & Better World Books.