Every so often, I catch myself reevaluating this blog and writing in general. It’s probably a healthy practice, because I’m convinced a measure of discomfort and self-doubt keeps you honest. But at the same time, it makes me take these unexpected breaks and leave this place for dead. (or, at least, for a nap. A nap sounds more pleasant.)
Anyway. I haven’t done an Around the Internets post since July, and I miss it. It’s an excellent way to retrace my wanderings, and I enjoy reading posts like this on other blogs (for instance, Friday Faves and Sunday Superlatives). So why not? Here are a few things I’ve read and/or faved on Twitter throughout the week.
- Two things yesterday reminded me that I’m supposed to be making time to write because it’s important. One was an e-mail from my friend Josh that said, “This is your every few weeks reminder that you’re supposed to be writing.” (as in poetry/lyric writing. we’re planning a co-write soon.) Josh is writing a song a week in 2012, and you should listen to them at #52Worship. “Watch Over Me” with the spooky crickets is my favorite so far.
- Right after reading the e-mail, I opened Twitter and saw a link to an article on the Art House America blog called “Returning to the Writing Life.” Of course, that caught my attention, another small, unexpected nudge toward remembering that I should be writing.
“As I listened in at the gatherings and had conversations over meals, I found that no one has a perfect writing life. Some are university professors who write in the summertime and find it hard to remember what they were writing about after nine months of teaching. They long for sabbaticals. Some have a patchwork of other jobs and keep their deadlines by writing at night, on the weekends, and in waiting rooms. Others are dealing with sorrow, failing bodies, and the changing world of publishing.
It’s good for me to hear these things from people who’ve been at it for a long time, who continue to write regardless of the challenges they face. Through their faithfulness to the vocation of translating experience into words, imagination into story, and scholarship into beautiful writing, the world is blessed and my life is enriched.
- One more excellent reminder: “Your Big Idea is Not Enough” by Jeff Goins. Ouch. That’s all.
- What Makes Art Christian? Or: is the work of Jerry B. Jenkins and Amy Grant any more Christian than Flannery O’Connor’s Southern gothic tales and Sufjan Stevens’ quirky musical vision? Julie shared this article in the Hutchmoot Facebook group this week, and it was too good not to pass along.
The thing about good art seems to be that sometimes it finds an audience. O’Connor’s fiction isn’t Christian the way Jerry Jenkins’ is. Stevens is not a praise band leader. Flannery and Sufjan resonate in larger circles, yes, but their work, like Tolkien’s, casts wide nets of longing, questioning, devotion, anxiety, suffering, redemption, and grace. In this sense it could be no more Christian.
- Speaking of Hutchmoot friends… this was posted over a week ago, but it still needs to be plugged and read: “Of Being Made” by Alyssa Ramsey. Beautiful.
“The painting sighs at the touch of new hands – oh, but not new at all. Firm, sure, and so blessedly familiar.
And now it stops and says no more, for no more need be said. It simply is, and just by being, it tells a story.”
- My only successful clothing sewing project was a skirt made from old jeans. It’s wearing out like the source, but I love that skirt, even though sewing kind of scares me now. For the crafter in all of us that ends up taking ill-fitting jeans to Goodwill… 7 Reuse Ideas for Old Jeans. Makes me want to go through my closet and make a new skirt. Or at least a coffee cup cozy.
- Finally, a plug: New PReview at JFH for Audrey Assad’s forthcoming album Heart… or: in which I geek out. I freakin’ love this record. I can’t wait for the world to hear it. Enjoy the teaser review. (Also check out my recent review of Lindsay McCaul’s If It Leads Me Back. Interview with her coming soon too!)