Thursday, December 15, 2011

In honor of the season, here's a repost of the "Christmas" chapter from The Carpenter.  Enjoy! 


"We're almost there, Mari."

"I'm sorry, Yosef.  I can't."  She gasped and dug her fingers into my arm.  "Not one more step."

"It's less than a mile."

She glared at me, sweat beading on her forehead.  "Fine, then!" she yelled angrily.  "You can carry the baby the rest of the way!"

What's Wrong with This Picture?

First impressions carry a lot of weight. Although we warn against making hasty judgments ("Don't judge a book by its cover"), the truth is that we do tend to judge things—and people—based on our first impressions of them.

Take this movie I was watching on Netflix, for example: Snow White, a Tale of Terror.  I was in the mood for something unusual, and the evil stepmother was played by Sigourney Weaver (who was admirably creepy in an unorthodox depiction of the most beautiful witch of them all). But any lack of bias I might have had toward the movie itself was destroyed in one of the opening scenes, in which a young Snow White hides from her nursemaid in a graveyard. I do not want to debate the choice of playground locale, which was actually excellent for the genre and tone of the film. But look at this picture and ask why it inspired me to take an hour from my busy day to write this blog:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What the Blazes? Reflections on my TAG, part 4

So there I was, hiking the Paisley Trail through the Ocala National Forest, about four miles from Lake Clearwater and not a soul around. Only an inch or two of water still sloshed in the bottom of my bottle, the windbreaker tied around my waist was covered with sandspurs, and my back had begun to throb with each step I took through the loose sand of the elusive path. Nevertheless, my spirits were high, as was my voice: inspired by the tracks of a large carnivore, I'd been singing at the top of my lungs for about half an hour, mostly in Hebrew.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What the Blazes? Reflections on my TAG, part 3

After two hours of climbing through burned-out longleaf pine uplands, I was covered in burrs and sandspurs, had consumed half of my water, and was no longer appreciating the lesson in path-finding. So I decided to take a mental break. Translation: I worked on my latest novel, the sequel to Brothers.

Last summer, I hit a snag in the plot about the same time school started; the only writing I've done on the book since August is the "frame story" (prologue, interludes, and epilogue), which you can find published elsewhere in this blog under the title "Temptation." But the novel's main plot line stalled out completely while Yisu was dragging one of his brothers across Samaria,