Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sticky Notes: Rich Mullins

"I think, writing-wise, I am probably more of a quilter than a weaver because I just get a little scrap here and a little scrap there and sew them together."  — Rich Mullins

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


During the 18th & 19th centuries, in an effort to conserve the expense of paper and postage, cross-writing was often used. Although it seems rather cryptic, writing this fashion was a great way to economize. Perhaps we could learn a lesson from our ancestors in this regard.

How it works:  After a page of writing had been completed, often when both sides had been filled, the write turned the page 90 degrees and continued writing, adding a second layer of text.   To decipher the letter, one simply must read in the direction of the text. The reader's eye tends to naturally tune out the perpendicular lines and can follow what was written.

Although cross-writing was used, it wasn't always advised, especially later in the century.

"When you get to the end of a notesheet, and find you have more to say, take another piece of paper—a whole sheet, or a scrap, as the case may demand: but whatever you do, don’t cross! Remember the old proverb 'Cross-writing makes cross reading.' 'The old proverb?' you say, inquiringly. 'How old?' Well, not so very ancient, I must confess. In fact, I’m afraid I invented it while writing this paragraph! Still, you know, 'old' is a comparative term. I think you would be quite justified in addressing a chicken, just of of the shell, as 'Old boy!' when compared with another chicken, that was only half-out!"
~ Lewis Carroll on How to Write a Letter (Rule #9), 1894

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sticky Note: A Writer of Real Taste

A writer of real taste will take great pains, in the perfection of his style, to make the reader believe that he took none at all. The writing which appears to be most easy, will be generally found to be least imitable. The most elegant verses are the most easily retained, they fasten themselves on the memory, without its making any effort to preserve them, and we are apt to imagine that what is remembered with ease was written without difficulty.
- Hannah More,  1834

Monday, October 11, 2010

Carol Kent: Between a Rock and a Grace Place

A few years ago when I heard bestselling author and speaker Carol Kent was coming to a women's conference in Maine I had to go. I was excited to hear her because I have taught one of her Bible studies, Secret Longings of the Heart: Overcoming Deep Disappointment and Unfulfilled Expectations, to several groups of women through the years and, in fact, in changed my own life. She is an inspiring author and speaker with great wisdom. And when she shared her heartbreaking story Laying My Isaac Down there wasn't a dry eye in the large room.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Books of All Time

"All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time." - John Ruskin

I think every author's dream is to write a timeless piece of work that would be enjoyed through the ages. Many authors (fiction and non-fiction, poets and preachers) have experienced this achievement:  Shakespeare, Dickens, Rossetti, Austen, Byron, MacDonald, Twain, Lewis, Hurnard,Tolkien,Spurgeon, and the list goes on.

There are some novels that I have read in recent years that I believe deserve to be kept on the shelves. So often in this day of faced paced publishing books go into the bookstores for a set time and often disappear. Unless they end up in a library, they have a limited audience to reach - the one contemporary to the time of publication.

I've read some glorious works of fiction that were so well written I wish they could fall into the ranks of those that would stay in the forefront so that people could enjoy them for years to come. So today I thought we could share some of our favorite novels that have been written in recent years that we would consider "books of all time".  I'd like to hear what they and what makes them timeless. I'll share my own in the comments area. I hope you'll chime in.