Monday, December 28, 2009

Becca By The Book

Having friends who are authors expands my reading horizons, as I take an interest in books that might not have otherwise caught my eye – whether that be a book of wacky quotes (CRAZY JANET) or chick-lit murder mysteries (KILLER COCKTAIL).

And thus it was a friendly author that got me to read BECCA BY THE BOOK, a “Getaway Girl” novel from a Christian publishing imprint.

I trusted author Laura Jensen Walker when she asked me to read the book, because I knew her witty writing from her cancer-survivor novel (RECONSTRUCTING NATALIE), and because she knew me – mostly that I had little interest in chick-lit (unless someone is murdered, thank you Sheryl), romance (unless in comedy, preferably starring Sandra Bullock) or contemporary Christian fiction that has prominent shelf space at Christian book stores.

Laura knows me, and she said don’t worry. And I needn’t have.

Chick-lit? Not so bad, as Becca, the heroine/narrator of BECCA BY THE BOOK is not girly (like her roommate Kailyn).

Mushy romance? Again, nope, as Becca is not defined by her search for a mate.

Christian fiction? Here’s where Laura did me proud: Becca is decidedly not a Christian. The novel does take her into that world, but as an outsider looking in, with plenty of comedic ammunition to prevent this from becoming a “this is for the choir” type book.

It is Laura’s comedic pov that makes this book a delightful read. The Getaway Girl books are about a women’s book club; each book is from the point of view of a different member, this one being Becca’s turn.

Snarky, non-conformist, and “says what I’m thinking” honest, she finds herself in trouble when she makes a bet with her club to prove she can commit: the next guy to ask her out gets three months before being shown the door.

Except the next guy to ask her out is churchy (Becca isn’t), and insists that most of their dates be to church functions. And that’s where the fun flies, as Becca gets to play “guess the famous woman of faith” at the high tea (who the heck is Esther and how come she doesn’t have a last name – is she like Madonna or Cher or something?), spend a long ride in the van with Bible thumper Donald (who just loves to hide Bible tracks in her pockets), and walk through the kitsch sales aisle at the Church Convention (“Blood of the Savior Red” nail polish, anyone? If only such things were confined to fiction…)

As Becca searches for her own sense of meaning, it helps to have a sense of humor along for the ride. And this is an enjoyable ride.

Along the way, Becca makes a list of Christian phrases that she doesn’t understand, so her churchy friends can help translate. The “Getaway Girls Guide to Christianese” is included in the back of the book, and worth the read all of its own.

My favorite: “Be in the world and not of: Kind of like Lucky Charms cereal; there are lots of pretty marshmallows in with the cereal, but they’re not the same. So live with the cereal, but remember: you’re a pretty marshmallow.”

Here’s hoping some smart publisher gets Laura to expand the Guide to book length.

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Games Are Afoot

Tripoly. Miles Bourne. Quelf. Taboo. Phase Ten. Apples to Apples. Ping Pong tournament (Team Motrichell rules!).

Even with a day of the icks, still a great Oregon vacation.

Merry pre-Christmas to me!

Just my thoughts,


Monday, December 21, 2009

Tonight You Will Be Visited By The Ghost Of Virus Past...

The thing is, part of the joy of spending the holidays with Mary is the chance to get the extra layer of winter fat as Mary is a great cook/baker. However after spending the majority of my first night of vacay negotiating with the grand porcelain attorney in hopes of getting out of a deal with a stomach bug I somehow contracted, I fear my stay will be dominated by Gatorade and dry white toast as others will have to cover my share of the goodies. 'Tis the season...

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Documentary Style Acting Class - For Realsies

I'm really finding Betty & DD's School of Acting Arts to be eye-openers -- where were they when I was studying back in the day?

This class is on documentary acting (after their success earlier with hidden camera acting, which was supposed to be documentary style but hit a snag or two).

I still think the first girl is cute -- but man does she have troubles!


Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can't Dance, Can't Sing, Can Act - A Little

Here's your chance (I can tell you were waiting for one) to see me act.

Our church drama group did a series of shorts, each in a different style, retelling the parables. Here's the last part of the Prodigal Son story, done as a Shakespearean Drama.


Just my thoughts,


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas When He Already Owns a Comb?

Been that kind of day -- where it's either shots of stuff from that bottle under Jason's desk that's so old the label has fallen off and no one remembers what kind of liquor it used to be, or repeated viewings of cute (see here) in the hopes of a contact giggle high.

But it could be worse.

I could have been the one responsible for "Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album."

Warning: I-Mockery is a bit salty in his review, so some of you might want to just find the link to click that allows you to listen to C3PO sing to R2-D2's harmonies and skip the rest.

The music is especially useful if you've never heard of bells and wonder what they might signify.

Or if you thought that the Star Wars Holiday Special was as low as the long, long time ago property could sink. (I await the Jar-Jar Easter Extravaganza.)

Enjoy, and think as I do, "Wow, it really could be worse..."

Just my thoughts,