Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Quickly Moving Slowly
How is it possible that I feel like I'm treading molasses most days, and yet in only the span of one year, this happens?

Not to mention the size of my baby-tummy or the fact that I'm having difficulty tying my shoes already, and we're still four months away from meeting this new guy.

Of course, by this rate of time travel (which is the speed at which I seem to have found myself living), it won't be long before I'm referencing this same post and putting up Christmas pictures of three children in front of a tree.

In other news, yesterday I received my proof copy of The Simplest of Acts that I put together via Lulu. I can't say I was surprised, having read about the good quality of their products, but I was quite pleased. Cream colored pages, perfect binding, my collage of pictures on the cover and my own words right there - in book form - with an ISBN number and everything (yes, I am a dork.) And, I'm happy with it, yes.

And since most of the stories in it have already been published, there was really nothing left to do with them but put them into a collection of sorts, like having a portfolio of my work for anyone who might be interested.

(Though, my face on the back cover is way to big.)
It will be available on Amazon and other online book distributors in a month or so.

Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas Eve Service
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galiliee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7

She carries with her, peace. Not as a calming word or soothing touch, but as an infant. The hope of the world, knit in her womb and birthed in a manger. He is Lord and Savior, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel. But for Mary, in this moment there is only a mother’s joy.

Smooth skinned and warm in her arms, she marvels at his delicate features, counts his fingers and toes. She holds in her palms the feet that she has felt wriggling within her these past months. They are wrinkled with newborn skin and small enough to fit in her little hand.
These are the feet that will bring peace.

For this child, wise men will travel far only to bend their knee, to lay down gold and frankincense and myrrh. Angels with a multitude of the heavenly host will praise God, saying “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Through him, the blind will see, the lame will walk and the dead will rise. The world will change.

But for Mary, in this moment, there is only this: Her son is born.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign for you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And then suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:8-14

The light of the world has arrived. The Messiah has come - not enrobed in heavenly garment, but wrapped in swaddling cloths. He has come without the glory of a triumphant fanfare, but arrived in the still of the night. The Savior of man has come to us, not before royal courts or thrones, but before the weary, the dirt smudged, the watchmen of the flocks.

The glory of the Lord shone not around kings, but around these men, simple as shepherds. Shepherds wise enough to fear, and wise enough to follow.

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the Babe lying in a manger.

Now, when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.

Luke 2:15-20

This babe in Mary’s arms will grow. And these tiny hands that curl around her fingers, will one day be opened wide, giving freely that which no other man is able. As the shepherds gather in amazement and the word of this miracle spreads, as the wise men come and kneel before her son – Mary knows that this child is not hers alone.

She carries with her, the hope of man. Not as a king or a ruler, but as an infant, knit in her womb and born in a manger.

And for us tonight, in the stillness of our hearts and in the quiet of this room, there is only this:

Unto us born this day in the city of David, a savior, and He is Christ the Lord.

Our savior is born.

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Lulu & Me
After seeing a fellow MFA grad who recently published her first collection of stories through Lulu.com, I have spent the past few hours putting together this.

It's a short collection of my stories, the majority of which have already been published in other markets. I haven't yet seen the copy in hand, and until I'm comfortable with the quality of the production, I won't be advertising anywhere else but here. No mention of this on my "writer" blog or on Facebook, or any other networking sort of site.

Self-publishing wasn't a route I was planning on taking, primarily because I know that anyone can do it. Anyone with a word processor can publish, and therefore, it's quite hard to be taken seriously. Still, cabin fever from all of this snow has begun to set in and the idea of being productive while unable to Christmas shop or gift wrap or accomplish much of anything, made it seem all the more like a good idea.

And, since short story collections by unknown author's can tend to be a pretty tough sell, and since putting this book together cost me nothing (save for some time and frustration with formatting tools and Adobe), I am thinking that if the proof arrives in decent order, I might go ahead and attempt to market myself. Considering that some of my good friends from college had no idea that I was even a writer until after I was nearly done with my MFA and I get hives whenever I think about people I know reading my work...shameless self-promotion is hardly my bag.

I might need some help.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Spinning Wheels
Car got stuck in the mud today. I was home alone and couldn't manage to free it from the holes it was sunk into, try as I might.

So instead, I stayed home. Accomplished some small chores around the house, did some walking, did some submitting, some writing.

And here I am, spinning in place again. Writing in a circle. Might be time to take a break and walk away.

Friday, December 05, 2008
In our van earlier this week, we crossed over a set of train tracks that the children are familiar with.

Train tracks! Bossman shouted per his usual response to seeing the tracks.
You better be careful driving, Daddy, Lila warned.
Yeah, we don't want to be hit by a train, Boss concurred.

Vinnie and I agreed from our front seats. That would truly be a bad thing, being hit by a train and all. The following quick conversation followed:

Boss - How would we get home?
I laughed a little and said quiet enough that only Vinnie could hear me - Ambulance?
Vinnie - I don't know, maybe we'd just go see Jesus instead.
Boss - Oh.
Brief pause in conversation.
Lila - We'll need to get more gas.

So true, so true.

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