Friday Five (Vol. 6)

— 1 —

A bit of fun on this Friday morning to get this joint jumpin’. Which is your favorite era?

— 2 —

There is no Triwizard Cup at the end of this maze.

During previous autumns my wife had accompanied our two boys on their pre-school/kindergarten field trips to the pumpkin patch. This year I finally got to go, this time with our daughter. We were able to experience her first bus ride together (the patch is south of our city) where once the bus windows fogged over we passed the time drawing hearts with our fingers. Once we arrived at the pumpkin patch we enjoyed a gorgeous, crisp autumn day together. Basically we spent two hours wiping her out with the fresh outdoor air and a lot of activities. She enjoyed the corn maze so much we went twice. She wanted me to feed the baby goat until an eager one hopped through the fence and put his nose right by my open hand, awaiting the grain to spill from the machine in which I’d just deposited fifty cents. She and I went through the “spooky house” as she called it with her best friend Eva and her mom twice. The first time through the girls held their parent’s hands tightly and opted for the “chicken door” exit about 2/3 of the way through. Promising to be more brave they pleaded to go again and holding hands with each other went all the way through the second time. We’d have gone again but it was time for a snack and then the hayrack ride out to the patch to gather our pumpkins before heading home just after noon. On the return bus ride my seat next to her was promised instead to Eva, so I sat behind them and across the aisle by myself. I didn’t mind. It’s all part of the process.

— 3 —

Our backyard is of a decent size and one of its more attractive features is that the back fence line is formed by large pine trees that provide a nice, natural break between our home and our neighbors to the north. When we first moved the wife of a friend suggested that it would be the perfect place to build a little grotto and garden. I haven’t ruled that out, though for now the area is dominated by a large play set/fort for the kids. But next to it is a little bench and a bunch of wild flowers and large stones. One item that I may consider for such a future space are these Gethsemane Garden Stones that I stumbled across while online last week. Modeled after the fourteen Stations of the Cross, the artist does beautiful work.

— 4 —

Yesterday I posted an excerpt from what I believe to be one of the best novels ever written. I’ve read almost all of Michael O’Brien’s novels and own them all. I just haven’t gotten around to 2-3 of them yet. The Island of the World stands alone among almost every book I’ve ever read. I’ve read all 830+ pages of it twice, and still find myself turning to it for certain passages now and again. In September he released his ninth, The Father’s Tale. And while I’ve held the thousand plus page novel in my hands I’ve not purchased it. I promised my family a few years ago that I’d stop buying books after September so that they’d have the chance to get me one that I wanted for Christmas. I do have several to read first, but I can’t wait to read this one.

Recently publishing companies have begun to produce “book trailers” to promote their books. They’re never as good as trailers for movies, but still they can peak your interest. I normally try to adhere to a “one embedded video per Friday Five” rule, but am making an exception this week. Actually, I think I broke it last week too. Shoot.

— 5 —

Quote of the Week: Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life is a writer’s lover until death. – Edna Ferber

I recently read this quote in the introduction to So Big, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ferber while visiting my favorite used bookstore. I immediately wrote it (typed it? poked it?) down in my smart phone. While it can be maddening and frustrating at times to the point where I want to scream and swear I’ll never write or type another word, I know that this would be impossible. I could just as soon saw off my left arm. Whether good or poor, I simply have to write if for no other reason than to flush the system out. Life is too big…too beautiful…for me to be so observant and just hold it in. I think I’d eventually burst. Or go mad. Either way would be messy and I’d just spill my words all over you in the end. So I turn the spigot on about halfway and let them flow. Sometimes, like the other night, I open it all the way and just write. Even though they’ll probably never see the light of day, I wrote. If I didn’t have to work to feed my family I’d stay up until dawn a lot of nights.

It’s maddening and frustrating, but also rewarding and I think a lot of the people I know who experience that call to write feel the same way.

I just wish I thought I was getting better at it.

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