Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Debbie Greenwald

So often the things of real value are under appreciated. I think the world needs to note the heavenly angel that is my friend Debbie.

She never forgets things of importance. For example, this year I had to put down my sweet Cavalier King Charles spaniel. For Christmas, she found an ornament for my gift. As you probably guessed, it was a Cavalier. However, not only did it match my little dog, it was an angel. I nearly cried.

Neil and I have found another dog--a Springer spaniel. Debbie and I always exchange crazy socks. This year--a pair decked out with Springers.

One year, she wrote a card relating all that happened to me during the year. She recalled things, I'd forgotten. Again, I cried. (I cried, too, when twelve pink flamingos showed up on my front lawn--but I forgive her.)

She is, hands down, the best cake baker in the world. She makes an almond torte that is worth every single calorie packed into it. When she enters an item in the county fair, no other cake contestant stands a chance. She'll take first prize.

She's devoted to her friends and to her children. Her faith genuinely reflects off of her. She forgets no one. If I run into her at an activity, often times she will have invited an old friend--one I hadn't seen in ages. I may have forgotten. Debbie wouldn't.

Dec. 24th is her birthday. She shares it with our celebration of Jesus--but I want the world to remember her as well.

I love you, Deb.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Books Written Out of Fire

Books written out of fire give me a great deal of pleasure. You get the sense that the world for these writers could not have continued if the book hadn't been written. When you come across a book like that it is a privilege. -Hisham Matar, author (b. 1970)
My friend Shelley sent me this quote, and it is my prayer for Dark Chocolate. America doesn’t know how it still enforces slavery. The issue hides from us because we don’t see the children in India with their little fingers in the mechanical looms. We don’t know how much of our made in the USA aluminum is fueled by enslaved charcoal makers in the center of Brazil.

I love it when I read a book such as the one Matar described. Grapes of Wrath is the first that comes to mind. I read that book when I was in my early twenties. For months after, I couldn’t pick up another book because none would ever measure up. Then Steinbeck’s social ideals compelled me to read most of his other works.

So, as the plot of Dark Chocolate stalls, the theme compels me to write. I need to change the world—and I cannot be satisfied if only one life changes. There is too much need.

What books have you read or written out of fire? Share with us.