Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Request

Hey everybody (and anybody who reads this...)! I have a request from you....I am now writing for the Salt Lake as the Folk Culture section. If you could please subscribe that would be wonderful! Here is the link:
Next what I need you to do is this:
1. Click on this link (or type it in if it decides not to work).
2. When the page is loaded up, click on a little rectangular button that says Subscribe.
3. Type in your email address to the little pop up window and click "OK" or "Subscribe" (I can't remember which one it actually is).
4. Tell everyone you know about this! The more people subscribing and looking at my page, the better!
Thanks you guys for your help and I hope all is well!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 100: Archenemy

This is a momentous occasion, my friends....I have accomplished my 100 day goal! Thank you to all of you who have been with me throughout this journey. It has been a pleasure and an honor to give my humble thoughts on one of the things I hold dear...books. This book in particular, is the last book of a trilogy called The Looking Glass Wars, putting Alice in Wonderland in a whole new light. I am not generally a fantasy-type person, but even I enjoy these books. Instead of Alice being real, Alyss, the Queen of Wonderland (who in the other books is a princess who finds her destiny) is fighting her evil Aunt Redd and her neighbor Arch, who are both trying to thwart the good in favor of evil (of course...). Also there is her bodyguard Hatter Madigan (Yes, I awesome is that?!) and her love interest, Dodge Anders. So, will Imagination win the day and good triumph over evil? I sure hope so....I enjoy it that way. Anyway, my dear friends, Romans, countrymen...thank you for joining me on this most enlightening, thought-provoking journey!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 99: The Third Book of Nephi

I am writing about this book because I think it's important, and because that is what I read today. This book is about what happens to the people on the North American continent during Christ's lifetime (33 years) in Jerusalem. These people see the resurrected Christ after His Ascension and the experience with Mary in the empty tomb on Easter from the Gospel of John. When Christ tells his disciples in Jerusalem "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; but they shall come unto me, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd", these North American inhabitants, called Nephites and Lamanites, are who he means. During the last chapters of the book, Christ comes to them and teaches them the entire Sermon on the Mount, performs the sacrament and the same miracles that He performed in Jerusalem. This book, that is a part of the Book of Mormon, tells me that He knows and loves all of His children, and what He wants one people to know He wants other generations and peoples about the world to know as well. He is no respecter of persons, and He is a loving, long-suffering God who wants all of His children to return to Him.

Now, just so you are aware, for those who have been with me on this journey, and those who have recently joined it, I am one day away from my goal. Spur me on, good friends, and help me to win this objective!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 98: Crutch, the Page

This long story is one by George A. Townsend, who I had heard of but never read. It is about the social troubles and class problems that arose after the Civil War, with most possibilities represented. There are the loiterers, the Southern congressmen, the ill and suffering poor who have so much pride in their heritage that they will never yield to another way of life, regardless of the fact that they will die poor, and one Northern congressman. This story takes place in Washington D.C., while Congress is in session, and a Mr. Reybold, the Northern congressman, is trying to win the affection of Joyce, a Virginia girl who has a consistently absent father (If he exists at all), a dying brother and a prideful, abusive mother. Crutch, or Uriel (Joyce's little brother who is terminally ill) works as a page for Congress, and Joyce works as a maid and cook in her mother's boarding house. Not only does this story represent all these characters, but also uniquely shows the barriers that confronted the North and the South after the Civil War (also called "The Lost Cause" by those in the South) between people, not just social classes. I would suggest this reading to anyone who wants to know more about what happened after the Civil War and also to any historian--it certainly makes for an interesting read.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 97: The Turtle by Ogden Nash

I've had a few qualms about putting this poem up, and so I've held off for a while, but I think it's really funny. I feared that some of you might have gotten offended--Fear not, it's not really offensive, but I didn't...Anyway, enough. Here is the poem:

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.

I'm not really sure why I think this poem is so funny; maybe because of the rhythm? Or the rhyming? I don't know--but for some reason I definitely feel like Ogden Nash knew what he was doing. He wanted something very mundane to be funny...That's what he is famous for. As an author, I think that he wants us to reflect on the mundane routines of life and maybe stop and smell the roses, or observe closely that which surrounds us every day. Anyway, I hope you all have a great day and Happy Birthday, Kristi!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 96: Silence--A Fable

This is a really interesting story by Edgar Allan Poe...I thought I had at least heard of all of his stories, but I hadn't heard of or read this I decided to read it. If you ever want a weird story to read, this is the one for you. Honestly, I couldn't really wrap my head around it. I don't mean to necessarily put a religious thought into this, but it is really the only way I can possibly find the meaning behind the story, if there is any.

The Demon= The Devil
The narrator= least I thought so at first. Then he began to control the elements and I thought he might be God.
The man on the rock= Christ....possibly. Until I read on and when the narrator hiding in the lilies makes everything fall silent, then the man on the rock is stricken with terror and runs away...Therefore, he might be Man.

Do you see why I'm having trouble with this? It's really sort of confusing, but the only thing that does for sure make sense is that the Demon is the devil, or the servant of him. Isn't that interesting? Do you think Poe intended it to be that way (I'm not completely sure he "intended" anything, considering that half the time he was drunk or on opium.)? Anyway, like I said, if you want a strange story, this should be one to tickle your fancy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 95: A Lickpenny Lover

Another story by O. Henry, this is a great story for anyone who has worked retail ever in their lives. I have worked retail for almost four years in different stores, and it was really funny because I know girls like Maisie, the protagonist, who is a beauty but cunning beyond belief (from a third person perspective), and men like Carter (Although Carter is actually less creepy than most men who drop business cards or try to persuade you to see them...). The question now is, is Carter really wealthy and Maisie misunderstood, or was Carter trying just to get her through lying about wealth? I'm not sure... whoever is out there in this void and is reading this, if you read this story I want your thoughts on this question. It was really interesting to see retail from the perspective of someone outside--I have played both roles, so I guess I have that same perspective; but I wonder if O. Henry actually went into a store and observed people for a while to get this story. Observing mankind is one of the greatest ways for a writer to get ideas for stories or books--believe me, I know. Anyway, for anyone who has worked in a store before as a sales associate, this rings somewhat true, or maybe completely true for some of you...I hope it's fun all the same, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 94: The Dark-Brown Dog

Stephen Crane, who wrote this story, is one of my favorite authors. He wrote another story called "The Open Boat" that I absolutely love, but I had never read this one before. Like all of his stories, it is realistic, and while they usually have some hope, something usually happens in them (generally near the end) that is unexpected, but still possible and true...If you read this story, you will know exactly what I mean. It is about a child who takes in a stray dog and who also has an abusive family...You believe the child and dog will grow up together, because the family allows the child to keep the dog, and then that something that I told you about happens. The story also tells us a lot about companionship in itself, between humans and dogs or humans to humans. Miscommunication leads often to suffering, but if the friend is true and loyal, the relationship will generally stay strong. Now, I am not saying that if you're in an abusive relationship stay in it; what I'm saying is try everything in your power to help it to together to make the relationship loving and mutually beneficial. Anyway, I would suggest this to anyone who likes Stephen Crane. For anyone who doesn't know too much about him or hasn't read his work yet, try "The Open Boat" first to get an idea of how he works. It is also a really good story.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 93: In Honour of the City of London

I chose this poem by William Dunbar (who I had heard of but never officially read yet) because it has been my wish, ever since I was twelve years old, to go to London and Scotland and immerse myself in the history and literature there. This poem, I must warn you, is in Middle English--which means that spelling was not standardized and French was still partially a part of our language. Luckily for me I had taken a History of the English Language class at BYU and went backwards. We studied Modern/Shakespearean English first, then Middle English, then Old English (Try translating Beowulf from Old English to Modern English some time in your life--it's a trip!). Anyway, Middle English is about the time frame where Chaucer, Dunbar and others were first making the attempts to have English be more than the peasant language. When you read this poem, if you're a little confused please ask me...I would love to help you. The poem itself is about the greatness of London--it's knightly, chivalrous gentlemen and it's lovely, delicate ladies; the kings and queens who can not compare anywhere else in the world and the lively, prosperous merchants about the city. Though it is probably not so much this way now because of our modern technologies and society, the poem made me want to go and see it all the more!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 92: Abide with Me

This is one of my favorite hymns in our hymnbook (It is hymn 166), but I knew that it had an earlier history than just the LDS collection of hymns. The first LDS hymnbook was written and collected in 1835 or thereabouts and revised until our copy in 1985, which we still use today. Anyway, I love this hymn and now that I know the history behind it, it makes it even more moving. Henry Francis Lyte, the composer, was a minister who worked tirelessly for his parish and family. In 1844 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and when he gave his farewell sermon in 1847, that would be the last time he would see his parish congregation. That same afternoon, he wrote the first copy of the song, and then went on a trip to Italy to regain his health. While there he sent a revised copy to his wife, and a few days later he was gone. While this song has been a favorite throughout the Christian world, for me it tells us of the love of God, His mercy and need we have for God in our lives. He is my stay, my rock and my Redeemer, and He will take care of us if we keep Him with us in our hearts and in our daily lives.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.