This morning I had plans to watch/listen to a BYU Devotional rebroadcast, but had 15 minutes during which it was likely I’d forget to turn it on before the show started. I searched my music library for something 15 minutes long (by way of a timer), but that landed me in a list of book chapters (because I have a lot of audiobooks in iTunes). I decided to listen to a story I’ve enjoyed since I was a child: The Fisherman and His Wife from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. (Don’t know if you’re acquainted with Librivox.org—all readers are volunteers.)

When I was young we had this story in a picture book. I’ve searched in vain on the Internet for images from that specific version (black woodcut prints with colors in the background) because I wanted to share its cover, but can’t find it. I’ve had to make do with an image that reminds me of the pose the fisherman took when asking the fish for gifts.

artwork by Delia Mihai

Read More →

Kerry says if I keep adding photos to The Daily Sketch page it will take forever to load, so I’m abandoning the page idea and blogging about my recent daily sketches in a regular post.

It was late on August 6th, and I’d spent considerable time earlier in the day loading all my pictures and writing about them–and learning about myself in the process. I’d made a quick computer sketch (thank you, Paint program), but I’m a stickler for doing the thing right; I needed to put implement to paper. I also needed some quick inspiration, so I grabbed Cat Bennett’s book, The Confident Creative. I admit I didn’t read what all the words said, just looked at the pictures and creatively built my own art activity: I drew a basic body outline and then personalized it.

I got the idea for this sketch from Cat Bennett's book The Confident Creative.,  chapter 20 "Being True to You." You'll notice there are words--that's how I am true to myself, by writing.

I got the idea for this sketch from The Confident Creative,
chapter 20, “Being True to You.” You’ll notice there are words–that’s how I am true to myself, by writing in the midst of drawing.
6 August 2015

I also finished up a picture (by adding words) I started on 3 Aug, so it’s dated for both.

I associate myself with this hue of green. There's a small stack of pictures on this paper (I think it's Ingres) and most of them are dominated by this color.

I associate myself with this hue of green. I have a small stack of pictures made on this paper (I think it’s Ingres) and most of them are dominated by this color.
6 August 2015

Read More →

The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

It’s not unheard of for me to give a book five stars, but I usually reserve such a rating for excellent work that really appeals to me. Maybe I’m too stingy that way, but if you give everything five stars the ratings cease to lose their meaning.

With no reservations I can rate this a five star book. Mary E. Pearson is an experienced writer who knows how to tell a great story. Her writing style is so smooth, and not self-consciously lyrical–if you get what I mean, but there are plenty of pleasing passages.

Lia is a princess betrothed to a stranger. On her wedding day she and her handmaid flee the citadel where she grew up. Their escape is successful for a short time, but eventually she’s found out. The prince she was supposed to marry and an assassin both discover her on the same day at the same time.

Part of the fun is trying to figure out which guy is which, though that shortly becomes clear. Learning the history of the land where the story takes place, as well as the histories of the characters is exciting and interesting.

There are cross-country chases, escape attempts, a little bit of what might be called magic, a prophecy, sword fights, gypsies. Lia encounters danger and a number of engaging characters, some with secrets of their own, in her adventure.

Of course there’s romance–all very satisfying for a romantic like me and inoffensive for those who are concerned about such things.

I hesitate to call it a fun read because that sounds like it’s fluff. It’s an absorbing read. For days after I finished it I was still experiencing world-withdrawal. In fact, I still wish I was reading the book. That’s some good writing.

The Kiss of Deception is a fantasy adventure that rolls from start to finish with no long, dull passages–and it’s a long book. The end is satisfying, but will leave you wanting more.

Fans of Victoria Hanley, Sharon Shinn, and Sherwood Smith will enjoy this book as well.

I look forward to reading it again when it comes out in July. [I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy and was asked not to quote from it.]

quote from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

quote from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Here I am, typing on my blog.  No one will make comments on it, so there won’t be any nasty ones.  Sometimes I think I will never make a good Christian.

Some people think it’s all right, even healthy, to let off steam.  Maybe.  But when I let off steam at the expense of others, even people who have been unkind to me, I don’t think that’s right or excusable or healthy.  It just makes me feel worse about what was already a bad situation.

If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek

Five things observe with care:

To whom you speak, of whom you speak,

And how and when and where.

That’s some advice from Ma Ingalls.  Laura remembered it and so do I.  Unfortunately I’m still remembering it at the wrong end of events, i.e. AFTER I’ve been unwise, unkind, and un-Christian.

Aw, shucks.  Of course there’s repentance and I hope there’s no expiration date or limit to how many times I can be forgiven for the same foolish actions.  Just wish I could get it right more consistently.

Nevertheless, on my toolbar there’s a little house-shaped icon and I can come here, write out my discouragement, and probably no one will ever know it’s here, unless I tell them.  If I keep it a secret it’s not because I’m ashamed to have people know I’m fallible.  I’m ashamed of myself, true.  The secret is that I don’t want to burden anyone with reading it.

Oh well, their choice.