Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cool Narnia Website
Check out Beliefnet.com for a really great intro to Narnia.
Interesting stuff on Iraq War
Read here and here to find out some interesting stuff on Bruce Willis who is making a pro-war movie. Apprently, he is working with Michael Yon who is the former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics. On Yon's blog, he posts many moving photos of the good things happening in the war that we don't see in the media. The photos of the children in school, smiling with the soldiers at their sides are outstanding.

Thanks to Noah Bawdy for some of this info.
Dog proverbs for the day

"Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."- Robert A. Heinlein

"In dog years I'm dead."- Unknown

"My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That's almost $7.00 in dog money."- Joe Weinstein

"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."- August Strindberg

"I wonder what goes through his mind when he sees us peeing in his water bowl."- Penny Ward Moser

"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend, and inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."- Groucho Marx.

"A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down."- Robert Benchley

Friday, November 25, 2005

My Movie Hero
We watched "Signs" yesterday, the M. Night Shyamalan film starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. My husband finally convinced me that this movie was not too scary for me. (I am a movie wimp.) I loved it.

The thing I love about Shyamalan's movies is the way he weaves this very human, very emotional story into a fascinating setting. The writing is phenomenal, the cinematography breathtaking--I just love these movies.

His other films are The Village, Unbreakable, and The Sixth Sense. The latter freaked me out, but I loved the others.

On the other hand...
Recently, we saw the Will Ferrell movie "Kicking and Screaming" which left me bored and rolling my eyes for 90 minutes. We had just re-watched "Elf" a few days before, and my 10-year-old asked while we were watching the dumbest soccer movie in the universe if this guy was really the same one who was in elf. Hmmm... I wonder. Who stole Will Ferrell?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving! Today, I'm thankful for:

...the love of God and hope in Christ...

...all those who share God's love with me...

...Colorado skies...



...grandmas, cousins, sons and all family near and far...

...a soldier's sacrifice today

...and back then...

...the gift of story, literacy, and books...


...models of the faith who have gone before...

...for my country, for its founders, for the soldiers who preserve our freedom.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Did you hear about the ugliest dog in the world? He's pretty nasty looking, but loved. Apparently, he died last week. The owner says: "I don't think there'll ever be another Sam. ... Some people would think that's a good thing." Poor Sam. Reminds me of God's undeserved love for us unlovable sinners.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven
Read Burr in the Burgh's awesome review of this lousy film. He delves into the shockingly bad theological problems with the movie. From an artistic point of view, there were some terrific cinematic moments. The way the snowflakes hung in the air at the beginning and the landscapes were spectacular at points. But casting is so darn important, and it was totally messed up here. Orlando Bloom may be pretty, but he simply does not have the presence needed to carry off this role.

And on a common theme in many movies today, the catholic priests were portrayed as devils. And we wonder why people think the church is irrelevant. Most movies and tv shows portay pastors as 1) crazy, 2) devilish, or 3) immoral. I know a lot, I mean A LOT of pastors, and while they are certainly sinners like the rest of us, I find almost all of them completely sane, tireless, and faithful to God and their congregations. So, it burns me up when movies demean them.

In the same week, we watched Hotel Rwanda. Don Cheadle was amazing. He embodied the role with such skill and precision. The story was sad but important. And it demonstrated wonderful values of courage, familial love, and generosity, which was sorely missing in Kingdom of Heaven.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Quote for the Day
A line from a poem called "Symbol" By Robert Francis from Robert Francis: Collected Poems. © University of Massachusets Press.

"Fall has fallen yet winter is not yet here."

I heard this poem on the Writer's Almanac this morning. Lovely.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thanksgiving Book

The time has come to unashamedly plug my children's picture book Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration. This was published by Concordia Publishing House two years ago. I was so excited to see it in Barnes & Noble last night here in Pittsburgh, and other people have told me they've seen in at other B & Ns.

The book follows the pilgrims on the Mayflower across the ocean to Plymouth Rock and chronicles much of the first year in America. These were Christian people who thanked God for the blessings of their first harvest, so that is where I end the story. It's simple enough for young children to understand, and is a nice story for families to read together. A friend of mine told me she read it to a Cub Scout group, others use it in churches, etc. Hope you like it!

Wish for the Day, Part 2
To be more specific, I'd like to see Venice, Rome, Florence and some other places in Italy. And see the catacombs in Rome too.

In Germany, I'd love to travel to Wittenburg and see the Luther sites. See Rev. McCain's photo tour. Awesome stuff.

It would be cool to go to Israel to see Bethlehem, Capernaum, the dead sea, Nazareth, Jerusalem.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wish for the Day
Within the next five years, I'd love to travel to:
1. Italy
2. Germany
3. Israel...
not necessarily in that order. And I would just take one if that's all I got!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A "New" Old Church Found in Israel
This is cool. The mosaic in this photo from MSNBC is really big and clear. The fish in the middle is an ancient Christian symbol, which I think comes from the way Christians would secretly refer to themselves when they were under persecution. The word "fish" was similar to the acronym, ICTHUS, which stands for "Jesus, Son of God, Savior." Here is a cool link to a very cool-looking website and a lot of info on Christian symbols.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Project I'm working on
Often, people ask me what I'm writing. Am I working on a new project? Any new ideas? I always find that question difficult to answer because I'm always working on several projects at once. My projects fall into one of these steps: 1. I get a brand new idea, 2. I make notes and jottings on the new idea, 3. I write a rough draft of the new idea, 4. I get my draft critiqued, 5. I revise and clean-up a version so it's ready for submission, 6. I revise, sometimes endlessly.

Lately, I've been struggling with revisions, and if there's any "writer's block" that I get, it's in this stage. The piece isn't "connecting," it doesn't have enough tension, etc. These are problems that are not easy to fix.

Right now, I'm currently working on 4 brand new ideas for picture books, 1 project that I'm revising that is close to being finished, and 2 projects that are stuck in the revision process.

And by the way, here's a great site for children's writers. It's Jane Yolen's official website, and this info she has for writers is really helpful.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another kitty post
aawwww....isn't she cute? This is my kitty, Penny, who is on "her" leopard blanket.