Posts Categorized: Writing

Stuck in a rut?

Augustine wrote 15 commentaries on one book (Genesis). Beethoven composed 16 string quartets. Jeremiah spent 23 years saying the same thing (with no one listening). Were they stuck in a rut? Not exactly. Beethoven was fascinated by the quartet form, but was never satisfied with what he had done. He kept going back to do… Read more »

Supplies and Greek

Are we really to have a blog about office supplies, now? No, fortunately we are not. Instead, we are going to have a lovely way to start the week. It’s Monday and, instead of reading my To Do List, I started the morning reading this–a great reminder from Eugene Peterson: that God is the one… Read more »

why there’s no such thing as children’s books

“I don’t believe that I have ever written a children’s book,” Maurice Sendak once said. “I don’t write for children. I write–and somebody says, ‘That’s for children!’” Madeleine L’Engle said, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it… Read more »

limits and freedom

Imagine if you could do anything you want, and absolutely nothing was off limits, and your choices were unlimited, how would you feel? At first you think, yes! I’d feel great. But the reality is, if you’re like me, you don’t feel free. You feel trapped. There are too many things you could do so… Read more »

From the heart, to the heart

It took Beethoven over four years to write The Missa Solemnis (1819-1823). It is a masterpiece. “He pretty much prevented anyone writing a mass again!” the renowned conductor, Sir Colin Davis once said. Beethoven dedicated The Missa Solemnis to Archduke Rudolph of Austria. Over the score, Beethoven wrote these words: “Von Herzen—Möge es wieder—Zu Herzen… Read more »

Shadows and Lies (and beautiful equations)

“By doing things badly, we make ourselves less real.” Thomas Merton Less real? Wow. Shoddy half-baked careless work makes you less real? Is that true? I think we know it is. In fact, I think it has something to do with beauty. I once heard Sir John Polkinghorne (yes, that really is his name) say… Read more »

Careless in his care

“careless in the care of God” That’s a phrase from Eugene Peterson I read this morning. (From his translation of Matthew 6:26 where Jesus is talking about the birds and how they don’t worry about what to eat or what to wear. And how life is about more than that. And anyway look how God… Read more »

Coloring Poor Doreen

Have you ever seen a fish carrying an umbrella? How about a fish wearing a headscarf? Poor Doreen wasn’t even supposed to be in my book. She just arrived without me inviting her. And took over. (I got the idea for the book when I was out running.) The book I wanted to write was… Read more »

Running and Writing and Cups of Tea

A few years ago, I was on Fripp, a barrier island in South Carolina. (I was there with great friends on a writing retreat.) I got up early one morning and went running — and happened upon a magical scene… As the mist hung over the marsh, the sun was just rising, a fisherman in… Read more »

Picture Books, Theater and the Turn of the Page

A good picture book is like theater. You’re probably familiar with The Caldecott Medal (awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children). But who is this Caldecott exactly? Beatrix Potter called him, “one of the greatest illustrators of all.” Maurice Sendak credited him with inventing the modern picture book…. Read more »