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As we re-open our hearts

When we open our cottage every year, after its long hibernation, it takes us a little time to bring order and beauty back into our special spot. Dust coats books. Mice have moved in and made themselves at home. It appears they threw a party or two, and sat on my couch. As I wipe …

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What I learned about recording an audio book

On the day before I flew to Chicago I spent some time arranging outfits on my bed for Holly to inspect and approve (or not). I wanted to look professional, yet warm, be comfortable, but not too casual. Fun, but not weird. Who knew about the crinkly, unwelcome sounds made by the blouse and sweater …

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She wore her elephant costume and she still flourished

Our daughter, Holly, took ballet, as little girls do. When it was Halloween, their teacher, Miss Lynn, invited them to wear their costumes to class. Every other little girl was a fairy or a princess. Tiaras sparkled. Pink chiffon rustled. It was all delicate sweetness. Except for Holly. She wore her elephant costume, thick and …

She wore her elephant costume and she still flourished Read More »

Licorice, Flannery O’Connor and I did also get more Lysol wipes

I actually have no idea what a book launch day is supposed to look like. Maybe they are all like this? I started with my espresso and a zoom meeting with the team from Tyndale House. Andrea’s children had made celebratory signs that hung behind her on a wall. One said “Karen.” That touched me, …

Licorice, Flannery O’Connor and I did also get more Lysol wipes Read More »

I sat like a cat

The other day, at the end of the day, my book The Minister’s Wife: a memoir of faith, doubt, friendship, loneliness, forgiveness and more, arrived. All the watching and waiting and drumming of my fingers on the table in the weeks prior did not make it arrive any sooner, as it turned out. And then, …

I sat like a cat Read More »

My giant zoom head with its terrible hair

Zoom is starting to remind me of going to get my hair cut. How you sit there for an hour or more, looking at yourself in the mirror, thinking about your stupid hair. In times of trouble, my hair usually serves me well. When I have travelled roughly, staying in small, rickety hotels with only …

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I cannot read through a pandemic

Once, when I was a kid, my sister burst into my bedroom and yelled at me that my room was on fire. I had placed a rabbit puppet on top of my nightside table reading lamp, and there it smoldered as I read on, page after page, completely oblivious to my burning and beloved toy. …

I cannot read through a pandemic Read More »

This morning I sat and listened

Brent either leads or participates in Morning Prayer via Zoom most mornings, usually sitting at one end of our dining room table. I have joined in, but this morning I read the paper instead. As I flipped through the pages, skimming the stories of face mask debates and very ill prime ministers, of death counts …

This morning I sat and listened Read More »

I don’t think I’ll be building birdhouses

I don’t think I’ll be learning macrame, or another language, or finally learning how to build a birdhouse during this time of being set apart and locked up and locked down. I also don’t think I’ll be writing a sequel to The Minister’s Wife at this moment in time (The Minister’s Wife Who Climbed out …

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Our neighbours are definitely having more fun

The other night I drifted off to sleep with our neighbour’s party music in one ear and Brent murmuring “The global death toll has now reached 10,000,” in the other. I think our neighbours are definitely having more fun. I personally don’t want to sit on our balcony and listen to loud music late at …

Our neighbours are definitely having more fun Read More »

Will I be a good pandemic wife and mother? I doubt it.

Even though I did just cut up a cantaloupe into bite sized pieces — which is a bit of work, actually — and placed the tiny bits into two matching bowls, and sprinkled them with kosher salt and cinnamon (who knows, really, how this will actually taste?), as a kind of surprise dessert, I am worried …

Will I be a good pandemic wife and mother? I doubt it. Read More »

We write better when we are not alone

Last week I was in Winnipeg with Patricia, my writing buddy and co-author of Craft, Cost & Call: How to Build a Life as a Christian Writer. We visited Providence College & Seminary and spoke and shared with writing students in an afternoon class. That night, we participated in a book launch and conversation about …

We write better when we are not alone Read More »

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