Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weekly Links

My weekly round-up of interesting reading from around the web:

"A Sonnet Is Not a Martini: the Art of the Narrative Turn":
The problem, in a nutshell, is that our minds habituate too quickly to mere escalation. We adjust too readily to the simple addition of orcs. Plenty of films seem not to realize this, relying on faster car chases and more elaborate fight scenes to keep us engaged. Far more effective is a narrative turn.

"Open Letter to a Trapped Wife":
Abigail dealt with her blockhead husband with all wisdom, and everything consequently came to a head. She was submissive to him, up to a point, and went completely around him in another sense. In this way she was very much like her future husband David, who honored the Lord’s anointed, refusing to take Saul’s life when he had the opportunity, while at the same not cooperating with Saul at all. David honored Saul as his anointed king, even while disobeying him. David did not turn himself in. Abigail did the same kind of thing. She honored her husband as her husband, but also did what was necessary to save her household. This was not simply a discrete, stand-alone action, but was rather a step in the story that helped bring everything to a head.
"20 Years":
More than a decade ago, I wrote “Marriage is work. It never stops being work. It never should.” I stand by that observation. Krissy and I were in love the day we were married and are in love now, twenty years later. But that love is not a default state of being. It is a choice we make every day, and work follows that choice. Work is the proof of that choice. Love is the result of that work. Love gives us another day together, and the opportunity to make that choice once more.
"Prepping for an Author Visit? Read This!": for my fellow authors. Good stuff.

A Goodreads Q&A with Lois McMaster Bujold:
"How high is up?" is one of those dangerous questions that each writer must answer for themselves. Setting goals unrealistically high guarantees frustration, too low risks not challenging oneself to do as well as one otherwise might. (As a rule of thumb, it is also better to focus on what you can do, and not on other people's non-controllable responses. "Finish a book" is controllable, "sell a book" less so, "become a bestseller or win an award" still less so. Unhappy is the writer who boards this train wrong way round.)
"The Preach Moment":
And so here's what's wrong with Andy Stanley, and everybody else really, because I know you're longing for my summation of three minutes of TV preaching. Here it is, ready? I Can't Do It. I can't do the work you're telling me to do. I can't be welcoming enough. I can't be happy enough. I can't be positive enough. I can't be good enough. I can't be sinless enough. I can't pray enough. I can't rest enough. I can't do it. I'll just repeat that, as if I were actually saying this to Andy Stanley, I Can't Do It. And you telling me to work harder actually just makes me angry and slightly hating of God. Stop piling work on me. I can't do it.

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