Story Bound

Today I've had fewer things going than on many days previous; consequently I've spent a bit of time in front of my whirring magic box with the keyboard and colorsome screen.

I am also reading books, however. Three at present. It's been a long time since I made way through so many novels at once, but as a kid I used to do it often. I'd read a chapter of Charlotte's Web, for instance, then switch to Old Yeller or perhaps my Super Goof comic book before returning to E. B. White's classic. Maybe I had ADD tendencies in the arena of prose.

The stories I'm into now are The Mermaid's Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, Dwelling Places by Vinita Hampton Wright and C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, all of which are new to me. I enjoy bouncing between the three, spending time usually for more than one chapter on each before reentering another. All have women protagonists, two of whom are about to cheat on their husbands, it looks like. Places is told in present tense, and I like the immediacy. Chair has a location I'm somewhat familiar with, having lived the first year of my marriage in Charleston, S.C. A good friend, who's also named Deanna, just finished and loaned me her copy; we'll get together after I'm done and discuss where we think Ms. Kidd is coming from. (I know, we can read another book she wrote that'll tell us her spiritual secrets, but Deanna and I'd rather postulate first.) Then, of course, Faces is living up to the imaginative fare I expect from dear Mr. Lewis. It's hard to believe he's been gone from the earth since 1963.

A wonderful book I finished reading deals with small, yet often profound, life events. Dorcas Smucker lives just up Interstate 5 from me. Her recent work, Ordinary Days: Family Life In A Farmhouse, describes "raising six spirited kids on a grass farm. Today." Dorcas writes a local newspaper column and is part of a writing group I recently joined. She's Mennonite, doesn't watch TV and is faith-wise (those may follow one another naturally).

Authors are cool. I hope to talk about more in the future, those I know personally, more whom I missed living on earth at the same time as. Some who, coolness notwithstanding, puzzle me greatly. Beware, if you write anything to which I've had access, you may show up here next.