Friday, September 30, 2011

We be livin' in a dreamworld.... (?)

It's really early. I like to rap in the wee hours.
This blog doesn't have much to do with anything. But rarely do my blogs ever have much to do with ...well...anything.

For some reason I was given the gift (I consider it a gift) of dreaming. You know how some people tell you: "I never dream. I don't know why. I  mean, if I dream I don't remember it when I wake up." I am not one of those people. When I dream, there are explosions and car chases and star crossed lovers and mutants and daring rescues. I dream in movie format. Ebert and that other guy tweet their level of thumb approval to me after I wake up. And I love it! I don't know if I eat weird food at weird times or if it's all that crack cocaine (just a joke...). I used to write my dreams down and use them for book ideas. Maybe I'll blog some of them sometime. Yeah that's a good idea, Liz! (pats self on back)

Anyway, the point of this blog (the small and awkward point) is...have you ever had dreams about places that exist around you? I, for years have had reocurring dreams about an old fashioned gas station near my house. It was preserved for historical purposes but no one goes in it or anything. And for as far back as I can remember I've had dreams that someone turns it into a restaurant or a working gas station and I go eat there everyday. Now that may not sound magical to you...not yet. But imagine a place in your waking hours that's routine and everyday and there's nothing special about it. And suddenly in your dreams it becomes alive and new and exciting! Everything's more exciting in dreams. But whenever I drive past the gas station I remember that dream...

The counters were repainted light blue and the meals we're served Steinbeck-ian style - right there on the counter. It was opening day and a friend of mine and I walked down the road to check it out. The place was empty - but the guy tending the counter let us try a sample of his fresh baked cheesecake...just to entice us to come back. The cheesecake was...very good. But who really knows in a dream.

Anyway. Dreams are fun. It's hard to pull my thoughts together this early in the morning.

Good day, sports fans.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Do you ever have those weeks where you think of a word and then you hear it all week over and over again? Last week the word was: "pariah." A neat word. A sad meaning. But after I heard it once and noticed its neat/sadness...I heard it everywhere. Today I was thinking of Jason and the Argonauts, because when Owl City sings "There are beautiful things seen by the astronauts," I replace astronauts with "Argonauts." Why? Don't ask questions. But then I watched Psych and Shawn called someone a "flaxen-haired Argonaut." Why does this happen?

That doesn't have anything to do with this blog, I just thought it was weird. Last week I read Jon Acuff's Quitter and reviewed it for Relevant Magazine (go here to read). One of my favorite elements of the book was when he wrote about "hinge moments" or moments that resonate deeply with you in relation to doing something you love - that make you realize you could spend your whole life doing this. One of his qualifiers was that - if you would do something without having to be paid to do might be a hint that you've discovered your dream.

That chapter of the book made me really analyze why I want to write. What were the hinge moments that made writing stand out for me as something that I felt called to do above say, fly fishing, or oil drilling, or doily crocheting? 

This morning I was thinking about all the times I've read something I've written to whoever would apartment mates, when I'd make them stay up really late at night listening to the latest chapter of a book I'd been working on.  The time when I read my short story to my writing group and they liked it. People who would read my books and respond positively (even with books that were inevitably abandoned) were significant in their ushering me closer to what I love to do. This may sound haughty, but I write because I feel like I have something to say. Like I've been given something to say, and I need to say it. One of my favorite things about writing and reading is how the written word puts feelings into words, where most people can't express or can't find the words to express. When you read it you think: "Hey, I've always thought that too! I thought I was the only one!" That's fun.

The most important thing: I write because I believe in the truth. And by truth I mean Jesus Christ. I don't like Christian fiction. I don't feel that a fiction writer has to have christian characters to write about truth.  I am passionate about the human experience - and what the human experience says about humanity's need for Jesus Christ.

I read a verse this morning that floored me: because it describes exactly what makes me want to write:

"The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly."
 Ecclesiastes 12:10

Boom. That is all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I've recently discovered that I'm a big fan of post-apocalyptic lit.

A couple weeks ago, our town (yes our entire town) lost internet access due to someone introducing their car to a pole on a major highway. Hi car. Hi pole. Nice to meet you. BAM no internet. No one was injured...hence the jocularity. People roamed the streets like wild dogs, tearing their clothes, foraging in trash bins for a wifi connection. People sat on curbs, stared at the clouds, mindless, listless...wondering what life would be like without the internet. As amusing as it may seem, it was a little jarring, coming to the realization the utter dependence we have on the world wide web.

Fast a little forward. Hurricane Irene. No power. Hauling water from the pool, from the stream, from whatever just to be able to flush the toilet. People wandering around in PJs, fighting over jugs of water in the store. Roasting park franks over a fire in the rain. Again, it was a little jarring.

These things made me realize again my appreciation for that genre of literature. I guess what I like so much about it is that it forces you to see your life in a new perspective. If you were one of the last left, cut off from civilization, how would you be resourceful with what's around you? I used to work as a cook at a conference center and whenever I'd walk past rows and rows of canned peaches, pudding and four bean salad and into a massive walk-in cooler, I couldn't help but wonder if the world caved in, and we were suddenly I-am-legended, how long could I last on all the food that was in those coolers/pantries/freezers. Would it be a well kept secret or would people from all over town discover it and run me out of there? Would I fight? Would I flee to save my life and live off of berries and tree bark?

Now, I'm a believer in Christ, and a believer in His word...and I trust Him to take care of me, even in the most frightful of circumstances, so I'm really not too concerned about prepping for a post-apocalyptic living arrangement. I just enjoy reading about it and thinking about it sometimes.

Some good post-apocalyptia:
By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet
Zombicorns by John Green (this novella was never meant to be a legit, formal novella, per the author but was a prize for a fundraising event. Listen to John Green read the first bit here.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Reading this right now. And loving it.

I'm sure there are probably more that I've read and forgotten.If you can point me in the direction of any other exemplary pieces of post-apocalyptia, I'd gladly accept.