Wednesday, December 12, 2018

We Meet the Author

The Intergenerational Book Club met today to discuss Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.  The time flew by.  We had a bingo game as an icebreaker.  We had to walk around the room and talk to each other in order to find people to satisfy a square on the bingo card: are you left-handed, have you been to Paris, can you whistle a song, etc.

We also had food, with pomegranates prevalent because they were important in the story.  While eating we conversed with the author, who was on live via video chat.

Mary Amato is a wonderful, fun, and open person.  She told us how she goes about writing.  Her method is more or less cloud gathering. She takes large easel size paper and writes her characters on different sections of the paper.  Then her ideas that go with the characters are written around the character.  That's what works for her.

It is not unusual for her to make 40 revisions, or to scrap an entire book.  She sometimes writes two stories at once.  Her work schedule usually is set but if the spirit moves her, she'll stop writing and grab an instrument for a break or write a song.  But she is a disciplined perfectionist, like Lyla, the character in Guitar Notes.

That was one of the questions we asked; "are the characters based on real people?"  The answer was mostly "no."  Although Lyla had that one trait of perfectionism.

The interviewing with the author flew by.  All too soon, Mary Amato said, "just one more question."  I think the author had a good time with us.  I know we all did.  It was great fun.

Personally, I enjoyed the book.  I thought the telling of the story was unique.  Mary Amato told the story through messages passed between two people, Tripp and Lyla.  So there were two points of view.  The characterization was well drawn.  Tripp and Lyla were real typical teens.  The storyline appealed to all ages.  We, seniors, were once teens and parents so we could identify.  The teens are living the same story, presently.  The book was a hit.

Walking the Line.  this is a link to an article on  FACEBOOK  by the Dominican Sisters Looking to the Future.  There's a picture of a labyrinth created by the nuns asking people who walk it to pray for peace.

The one time I walked a labyrinth I forgot to pray. I was focused on walking on the path.  I was afraid I'd step over the lines.  It was only when I got to the center and was kneeling and praying that I noticed that the muffled voices I was hearing were prayers, from the labyrinth walkers.

Damn!  I missed the opportunity.  What a dummy!

Sunday, December 9, 2018


Silver Filigree

Elinor Wylie
The icicles wreathing
   On trees in festoon
Swing, swayed to our breathing:
   They’re made of the moon.

She’s a pale, waxen taper;
   And these seem to drip
Transparent as paper
   From the flame of her tip.

Molten, smoking a little,
   Into crystal they pass;
Falling, freezing, to brittle
   And delicate glass.

Each a sharp-pointed flower,
   Each a brief stalactite
Which hangs for an hour
   In the blue cave of night.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Today is Gonna Rock

Waking an hour earlier I had a little more time than usual.  Time to pray.  Time to enjoy a leisurely mug of coffee.  It's this cup of coffee (an early Christmas present--a mug with my name on it.) that initiated this post.  I've been using the same brand of sugar packets for years and only this morning, this relaxed morning, that I noticed that each packet has a saying on it.  What caught my eye was, "Today is gonna Rock."

Mmmm.  Why does it say that?  Does each one have a prediction?  I looked at another: "Believe in yourself."

I looked at a couple of more packets:

"Old friends are the best friends."       "Have a grateful heart."

Ha!  Can you believe this?  My sugar is speaking to me!  Today is gonna rock!

Friday, December 7, 2018


gentle caring people
Mary Connor

Walking in the woods
Means being in the moment
Surrounded by trees
The trails, mushrooms
Birds making their unique calls.

Being in the woods
With gentle caring people
Brings warmth to the soul
And a smile to the face
Our leader with the wonderful smile
Says go right or left.
As we go up hills
And down and around back to our starting point.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Intergenerational Book

The Intergenerational Book Club has called a meeting for next week.  This is a book discussion between high schoolers and senior citizens.  The book is Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.

It is a diary-type format.  But not as organized.  It started with a note from a cello player to a guitar player to pick up and dispose of his trash because he just left it on the music stand.  He responded with a snarky response of his own and the note passing took off.

He's a loner and she's stressed out.  He finds a friend and she learns to chill.  Before Lyla met Tripp her cello playing was mechanically excellent but had no soul.  Tripp helps her.  She helps him get better grades.

At first, I thought reading this "young adult" book was going to be a chore.  It was the opposite.  In fact, it was refreshing to read a book about love which had no sex.  It's a tale of true friendship.  The guitar diagrams were Greek to me but the song lyrics were good poetry.  And at the end of the book is a scan icon which I scanned and was able to hear all the songs!  Very different.  Very clever.  Very good!

At the meeting, we are going to meet the author.  I'll tell you all about it, next week!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018



Second Sunday of Advent
Year C

Reading 1BAR 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God’s command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company..
The Hebrews are in exile in Babylon.  The prophet, Baruch consoles the people with encouragement and hope with news of returning to a restored Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a sign for God's people.  Heaven on earth because the city will take off her robe of misery and put on a new identity with a diadem of diamonds.
Is it proper, Lord, to compare my heart to the exiled Hebrews?  My heart is filled with worldly things and concerns: money, appearance, worry, emotional angst, etc.  But I can work on turning towards Jerusalem, the place where heavenly things are promised.  I have heard it promised by Baruch that peace is living with God and glory is given to those who seek mercy.  That's where I am headed.
Lord, I am beginning to see your directions more clearly.  Guide me along the way.  Take my hand when I veer off the path and even push me along the way when I wander away.  
Stay with me, Lord.

We Meet the Author

The Intergenerational Book Club met today to discuss Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.  The time flew by.  We had a bingo game as an icebre...