The Associated Press put out a story a few days ago with the headline, “Survey: Americans Don’t Know Much About Religion.” The survey was conducted by the Pew Forum. Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers out of 32. Twelve of the questions were about Christianity and on those, Mormons scored the highest. While I hardly think this is representative since they surveyed 3,412 Americans (out of 300 million), it is thought provoking and might spur you to learn a little more about your own faith if not all faiths. What I found most interesting about the results, though, is that only 23% of those surveyed knew that a teacher can use the Bible in class as an example of literature. The misconceptions about “seperation of church and state” are frightening. Two things to remember: 1) That phrase came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson–not the constitution; and 2) Jefferson was talking about keeping the state out of churches, not the other way around. Curious to test your knowledge? http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php And here’s the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39397251/ns/us_news-life?gt1=43001
So when you’re waiting it can be tempting to do things that waste time. I consider watching television almost always a waste of time, but I do it anyway. I’m hooked on HGTV and FoodTV, although I don’t care for all the competition shows. And there are a couple of weeknight series that pull me in. Yesterday began the new season of NCIS, a favorite of mine. Gibbs, Abby, Ducky, Tony, Ziva and Tim–I’ve missed them! It’s like sitting down to eat ice cream from the carton when no one is looking. Q4U – What are your favorite ways to waste time?
This week: Pages written = 9 Total pages = 90 When I log into my blog there’s a “Blog Stats” link that let’s me see how many visitors I’ve had each day. In these early stages getting more than 10 is pretty great (thanks mom!). Earlier this week I had 78 visits in one day. Wow! Who could all these people be? Is word getting out about my fabulous blog if not my fabulous books? I was feeling pretty good. And then I found the random “spam” posts. I had been visited by a web crawler. Programs are designed to search for and collect e-mail addresses that can be spammed and to post random ads in the comments sections of blogs. Ah well. A reminder that quality really is better than quantity. Thanks to those of you hanging out here with me while I write–you are much appreciated.
I had a flat tire yesterday. And, of course, I was on a four-lane highway traveling about 60 when the car began pulling strongly to the left and I got a funny sinking feeling on that side. I pulled off, peeked out and sure enough the left front tire was flat, flat, flat. I left a message for the friend I was meeting for lunch and then called a co-worker for help–I was only 5 minutes from my office. I know how to change a tire–dad made sure of that. But it’s been more than 10 years since I actually did it! For example, did you know that the jack is actually tightened into that little cubby on the side? You have to loosen it just to get the jack out. And people make fun of me for making sure the car booklet is in the glove box before I buy a used car. I had things well on the way when my co-worker arrived and was gracious enough to lie down on the side of the road to position the jack correctly. We changed to the spare and then I headed for the tire shop where I bought my still nicely treaded tires. They patched me up and sent me on my way–no charge. All in all, this turned out to be a one-hour, unexpected side trip in my day. I missed lunch with my friend, but I found out […]
I finished the second of two books I didn’t think I’d like yesterday. And I liked them both. “North River” by Pete Hamill is about a doctor in Depression-era New York who comes home one day to find his daughter has abandoned her child on his doorstep. The doctor is haunted by the disappearance of his wife and his horrible memories of the recent World War. He’s also threatened by what amounts to the local mob. I didn’t think this sounded particularly cheerful. But it’s actually a lovely, sweet story with charming characters and a just-right ending. I really liked it and would highly recommend it. The second book I thought I would like initially. It’s “The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters” by Elisabeth Robinson. After reading the title and the jacket I was very interested. Then I flipped the book open and realized it’s entirely composed of letters, notes, memos and e-mails from the main character to the people in her life. Yuck. How good could that be? Turns out it was pretty great. And I have to admire a writer who can develop strong characters that we only meet through another character’s point of view. Bravo! It’s about a woman who’s trying to produce a major movie while her sister is battling leukemia. Fun Hollywood insights and poignant family scenes. Yummy! Ironically, both of these books were sent to me by my mother. You know, the […]
On August 21 I wrote about waiting for fall to arrive. Well today it’s here! Of course, we’re having a streak of warm weather, highs in the mid 80s and we did turn the air conditioner back on last night so we could sleep, but nonetheless . . . Something I waited for is here–not like I imagined it with sweaters, the smell of burning leaves and pumpkins everywhere. It actually looks a lot like summer–the lawn needs mowing, the leaves are still mostly green and I’m wearing a summery dress today. But fall is here. When publication comes it may not look the way I picture it now (and my picture is really too vain to share). But I think it will come and when it does I’ll accept that it’s arrived the way God meant for it to. Whether in a blaze of russet and orange leaves or a summery, blue sky afternoon. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I just sent the first chapter of my novel to an editor in Tennessee. She has great credentials and has been very nice via e-mail. It’ll probably by October before she reads my work and provides feedback. In the meantime I need to not think about what she might say and focus on book two. Monday Writing Update: 5 pages (and plans to do better this week!)