Funny moment last night while talking to hubby. Somehow, we were talking about the sky, and I was talking about my favorite description of sky anywhere ever. It’s in Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop (I’ll post it in a minute). So I’m talking about Cather and then he says, “In Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader–” and I fell over laughing before he could even finish. I laughed so hard I cried. The juxtaposition of Cather and the Bathroom Reader (full name: Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into History) had me howling. I told him I was gonna blog this, and he said, “Great, make me sound stupid to the world.” I’m like, “Yeah, you mean me and the one or two people who accidentally stumble onto my blog from time to time.” I forget what was so important in the UJBR he had to tell me, btw. It isn’t a bad book at all, but it sure doesn’t belong in the same conversation with Cather. Ha! Hubby chalks it up to the dangers of being married to a snooty English major. Okay, here’s my favorite description of sky evah!

The ride back to Sante Fe was something under four hundred miles. The weather alternated between blinding sand-storms and brilliant sunlight. The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still,–and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one’s feet, but what one saw when one looked about one was the brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud. Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it. Elsewhere, the sky is the roof of the world; but here, the earth was the floor of the sky.

The earth as the floor of the sky makes me shiver every time. What an image! This is a book I highly recommend. It’s about two priests from France who come to the American Southwest in the 19th century and are charged with spreading the gospel, which they do in a respectful manner that illuminates the faith and goodness of these two men. And they do get contrasted with corrupt priests so that you see what true faith is all about. It isn’t about browbeating the Mexican-Americans into casting off their tribal beliefs and embracing Christianity, as some folks believed. This book is a beautiful story. I wish I could write like that.

Last night was critique. In talking with Ann Peach, I’ve finally realized that my hero’s goal isn’t good enough or heroic enough. So, I have some thinking and rewriting to do. And, honestly, I am sort of relieved because it means I can read for the thesis and not feel guilty for not working on the book. I have to let the situation marinate for a while. Ann likened the process to the old dial-up days when the computer screen would scroll down and everything was blurry. This would happen again and again until finally the image came into focus. She said that a book is like that too. You keep working it until it comes into focus, which can take several rewrites. I am not afraid of rewrites, but I am afraid of not getting the plot right yet again. I have got to learn to outline my books. In fact, I’m going to rethink this one and do an outline before I fix the problems. According to my hidden talent (see below) I will get there if I don’t stop working on my dreams. Why did I pick this image, btw? The sky. I love to take pictures of the sky when I’m lying on the beach.

Your Hidden Talent
You are both very knowledgeable and creative.
You tend to be full of new ideas and potential – big potential.
Ideas like yours could change the world, if you build them.
As long as you don’t stop working on your dreams, you’ll get there.

Waikiki, lying on grass, chillin. Think we climbed Diamondhead earlier that day.