Friday, May 09, 2008

What I Learned from Mashing

Mashing SC

Over at Middle Zone Musings, they're mashing. Not potatoes. But topics. School, writing, children, television, recreation, relatives, movies, friends, heroes, planes, food, pets, trains, time, space, automobiles, technology, mountains.

The challenge is to write something using at least two or, for the brave and inspired, ALL of the topics in a piece about... well, about anything one could come up with in a pinch...

I seriously thought of submitting the digital file of Stone Crossings, but decided that might infringe on copyright laws. Too bad. There are heroes (Indiana Jones and God both count, right?) There are automobiles (like the one in which my father broke the news about his fifth marriage).

Of course there are children, who play in creekbeds and poke in the dirt. Relatives (oh boy, are there... steps, halves, you name it... 18 siblings picked up along the sorry way.)

There's a school, where I hid in the bathroom, to weep during a season of being pursued by a good (bad) hunter. Of course, there's something on writing. How could a writer produce an entire book without mentioning writing? I remember putting something in there about Annie Dillard's writing process teaching me stuff about Sabbath.

Now, television stymied me. But then I recalled telling the story of my stepfather's temporary penchant for knobs. All kinds. Off of everything, including the TV. Hidden from us. (Oh, but he should have hidden the wrenches too! Where there's a will there's a way, as they say.)

Unlike television, movies came easy, since I watch them for recreation. Wit, for instance, became a great entree to discuss crossing the River Rhode (like unto the River Styx... a symbol of fording our way to the eternal.) Okay, that's a little hard to explain without summarizing the whole chapter. (Technology fails me here, or maybe my typing fingers are just lazy. For those who simply MUST understand the point, I could suggest borrowing Stone Crossings from a friend.

There's a brief mention of how I don't like to leave my family, especially not by plane.

Oh! And, can you believe it? Besides making mention of the man who threw our food out into the snow (and, ouch, our pet puppies into the pond), Stone Crossings actually has a vignette that includes... this is too good... mashed potatoes. [note to Robert: really, I'm not making that up].

I'm thinking that the poetic appearance of Venus rising counts for the topic of space. She rises right over the Hudson, just above the train line. Stone Crossings leaves out the part about the train, but it's there in spirit, directly across the river from the Palisades Cliffs, which are nothing more than mountains gouged by a passing glacier. The cliffs show up in a chapter about doubt.

At last there is time— for Stone Crossings traces a life through time. In hopes of healing the vagaries of hard times. In hopes of revealing the promises of time redeemed by God's hand.

Which is all to say, dear Robert, that I learned you can mash a whole bunch of topics together to make a blog post that kind of confuses people. Or you can take up a lot more time and space and mash up something for the night stand. Or the beach. The mountains. Or even a book club for cyber-friends.

Phew. I feel sufficiently mashed.

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Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good way to end it, L.L. Like a mini-book. Mashing in the title.

You pulled these all out of Stone Crossings, in or inherent in it? Interesting.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

l.l., I just finished the book and...well, there's a lot I could say, but for here I'll just say that it seems like a very special book. I'm so glad you listened to God and wrote it ;)

12:32 AM  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

You are hysterical!

I'm up to Ch 17!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Robert Hruzek said...

Thanks for joining us, L.L.! Looks like to did a great mash job to me. Hope you didn't sprain anything... :-D

3:11 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ted... as far as I know, they're all in there (unless I have mixed some things up with God in the Yard, but I'm fairly sure I haven't)

Sarah... thanks for your encouragements. It felt like a partnership, writing that book.

Susan... why... thank you! As for Chapter 17, then you are almost finished. (Tell me how it ends. ;-)

Bob... was feeling inspired by your tempting invitation. Sprain? Um no. (Just a little black and blue.)

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, L.L.! And to all the mothers reading this.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done my friend! I keep meaning to leave a comment or two in the chapters of the SC website. Soon...

9:35 PM  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

It ended with a sigh - and a thought of, "but wait, I want to know more about you!"

Now, if I write about the book and use a quote, do I need to have permission first or do I just acknowledge the location of the quote?

11:13 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Wonderful post brother.
The first time I fixed bacon I didn't have a shirt on. I quickly learned that when you fix bacon you need to be wearing a shirt. :-)

I want you to know I love your blog. Your information, your humor, and your wisdom. Thank you for taking the time share it with us and make our lives better.

I would love it if you andy your readers could stop by my blog and leave an encouraing message for a family in extreme need of prayer and encouragment.

In Him,
Kinney Mabry

12:49 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

A. An... I look forward to your thoughts! (As always, on any subject. :)

Susan... you are sweet (and clever in telling how it "ended"). When I quote a book, I usually just put a page number for reference.

Kinney... curious... did you mash the bacon? ;-)

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cleverly done and Yes, it will stand the test of time..

8:57 AM  
Blogger Robyn McMaster, PhD said...

It'd be fun to see the digital display to go along with this fine "Mashing!"

9:09 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


10:14 AM  

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