Monday, November 13, 2017

The Shakespeare Lover's Coffee Quote Companion


Coffee is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. 
~Saye, Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene vii

I find my zenith doth depend upon a most auspicious brew. 
~Prospero, The Tempest, Act I, Scene ii

Coffee is the soul of wit.
~Polonius, Hamlet, Act I, Scene v

See how she curls her hand around that mug. O that I were a glove upon that hand
That I might touch that mug!
~Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii

O brave new world, that has such cold brews in’t! 
~Miranda, The Tempest, Act V, Scene i

A coffee! A coffee! My kingdom for a coffee!
~Richard, Richard III, Act V, Scene iv

That I neither feel how decaf should be loved nor know how it should be worthy, 
is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me: I will die in it at the stake. 
~Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Scene i

Instant is a familiar. Instant is a devil. There is no evil angel but instant. 
~Armando, Love’s Labors Lost, Act I, Scene ii

The first thing we do, let's brew all the coffees.
~Dick the Butcher, Henry IV, Part 2, Act IV, Scene ii

What's in a name? That which we call a mocha,
By any other name would smell as sweet.
~Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii.

Is this a flat white I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee!
~Macbeth, Macbeth, Act II, Scene i

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can brew pour-over both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in coffees meeting--
Every wise man's son doth know.
~Feste, Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene iii

I do love nothing in the world so well as cold brew; is not that strange? 
~Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV, Scene i

Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Caffiene does murder sleep!” 
~Macbeth, Macbeth, Act II, Scene ii

There is nothing either good or bad, but coffee makes it so.
~Hamlet, Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

Coffee shall be my hope,
My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.
~King Henry, Henry IV, Part 2, Act II, Scene iii

Coffee sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better.
~Olivia, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene i

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? 
It is the east, and espresso is the sun. 
~Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii

By the pricking of my thumbs, something instant this way comes. 
~Second Witch, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene i

Frailty, thy name is decaf! 
~Hamlet, Hamlet, Act I, Scene ii

If coffee be the drink of love, brew on. 
~Orsino, Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene i

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Like coffee and Shakespeare? You might like my books as well.

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Photo Credit:
By Marco Verch (Coffee and Book) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Sneak Peek: The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles


Excerpt from 
CHAPTER 2:
WAY TO MAKE IT AWKWARD

THE AWKWARD PROBLEM

One Sunday, while away from my home church, I ran into some people who knew my parents. A man I’d never met before instigated the following dialogue, him half-shouting the whole time (possibly due to hearing loss):

MAN: ARE YOU DOUG AND TINA’S DAUGHTER?
ME: Yes.
MAN: ARE YOU MARRIED?
ME: No.
MAN: WELL... GET MARRIED!
ME: Okay.
MAN: YOUR MOM WANTS GRANDKIDS!
ME: My mom already has nine grandkids.
MAN: WELL, SHE WANTS MORE!
ME: Okay.

That was our whole conversation. 

It should be noted that this question would have driven some singles to weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth—especially singles who earnestly desire to marry or have recently suffered romantic disappointment. Fortunately for this man, I don’t embarrass easily, nor am I surprised any more by this sort of behavior. 

Why did this man feel comfortable walking up to me, a virtual stranger, and making pointed comments about my personal life in front of God and everybody? Would this man have approached an unknown young married woman to make loud-voiced comments about her marriage? 

Maybe he would have. But you know what I’m getting at. At least, I hope you do. My single friends know what I’m talking about. We all have some version of that story. 

OPEN SEASON ON SINGLES

For some reason, it’s always open season on singles. I don’t know why, but it seems that because we’re not married, others feel great freedom to ask deeply personal questions while we’re surrounded by an audience.

Even if these people are strangers. Especially if they’re strangers. It’s nearly always unsettling, but we’ve found that if we betray even a hint of frustration or annoyance during these public spectacles, we come across as defensive and are labeled as Bitter Singles. The general consensus seems to be that if we’re going to be single past our twenties, the least we can do is be gracious about it (even though the source of our frustration in that moment is most likely not our singleness but in having been called out in front of a group). 

When people find out that I’m in my late thirties and not married, they generally launch into a specific series of questions: 

You’re not married
Why aren’t you married? 
Did you ever want to be married? 
Do you think you ever will get married? 
What’s wrong with all these guys? 

Those aren’t easy questions to answer (especially the last one, which I’ll tackle in more detail later). Besides that, it’s hard to imagine a world in which, when I meet new married friends, I immediately start grilling them on their personal choices. 

You’re married?
Why are you married?
Do you want to be married?
Do you think you’ll stay married?
What was wrong with all the other people you could have married, but didn’t?

I certainly wouldn’t ask such questions the first time we meet, especially not in front of an audience. So why does this happen so often to singles?

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The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles: How Pastors, Marrieds, and Church Leaders Effectively Support Solo Members releases Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from Write Integrity Press.

Chapter Titles Include:

  • "I See Single People"
  • "Way to Make It Awkward"
  • "Tacked On"
  • "Mind the Gap"
  • "Singles Only"
  • "When Enough Isn't Enough"
  • "Perceptions and Misconceptions"
  • "When Harry Met Sally (and the Whole Church Got Involved)"
  • "Can't We All Just Get Along?"
  • "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
  • "Walking in a Dateless Wonderland"
  • "On Giving Advice"
  • "The Space Between"

Each short chapter concludes with discussion questions and practical action points. Praying for the Lord to use this book to strengthen and encourage the Body of Christ!

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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Different Levels of Lostness


I live in a very small space. So small that one would assume it's impossible for me to lose things. But lose things I do. There are, however, different levels of lostness.

Level 1: Huh

I flap a hand against the end table where my eyeglasses should be and encounter dead space. Since I'm not currently wearing my glasses, I have to lean forward and squint myopically to see if they've fallen to the floor. They haven't.

Level 2: I Must Have Misplaced Them

Standing up, I shrug my blanket around my shoulders and shuffle in a semi-circle, peering at all available flat surfaces to see where I absent-mindedly placed my glasses. When they're not immediately apparent, I heave a sigh and shift into second gear, which involves turning on the overhead lights and actually putting in some effort.

Level 3: Is This a Joke?

When all available flat surfaces do not yield my glasses and a search of the floor proves vain and they don't seem to have been accidentally stowed in a desk drawer, the freezer, the medicine cabinet, the closet, the rice bin, or my sock drawer, I step back to gain some perspective. This is a six-hundred-square-foot living space. How lost can one set of glasses possibly be?

Level 4: I'm Sure They'll Turn Up

After several days of this cycle, I decide that the best way to find my glasses will be by not looking for them. The hope is that one day while I'm dusting or straightening a shelf or cooking dinner, there they'll be. I'll post something on Twitter about what kind of person leaves her glasses in the microwave and we'll all have a good laugh. Only that doesn't happen.

Level 5: Right, This Is Silly

I check the pockets of every item of clothing I own. I pull the cushions from the sofa. I army-crawl under the bed. I shoulder bookcases aside and hammer the walls with my fist, listening for hollow spaces. I rip open freezer bags and separate each individual frozen pea. Nothing.

Level 6: Are You Sure You Owned Them

I owned glasses. I did. I have pictures of me wearing them! See, look. These are glasses, right? Not just little smudges. I mean, I think they're glasses. It's sort of hard to see without my glasses. Which exist.

Level 7: Resignation

Either I never owned glasses in the first place, or they've fallen victim to the world's first case of spontaneous degeneration. Either way, the time has come to break down and make an appointment with my eye doctor. Because nothing guarantees that a lost item will turn up quite like buying a replacement. 

But that's okay. Having two pairs of glasses will be cool. 

I'll have a pair to wear while looking for the set I'll inevitably lose. 

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Looking to lose yourself for a few hours? Check out my books on Amazon

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Photo Credit:

By Dori (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Monday, October 23, 2017

For Those Who Can Only Handle Being Moderately Creeped Out



Here's an admission: I don't like being scared. 

On occasion, however, when I'm taking a late-evening walk, I like to listen to something that will creep me out--but only a little. If you like to cover similar emotional territory, you've come to the right place. 

I made us a list. 

4 Podcast Episodes for Those Who Can Only Handle Being Moderately Creeped Out

From Stuff You Missed in History: "The Hagley Woods Murder." Truth is always creepier than fiction. I mean...who did put Bella in the witch elm??

From This American Life: "House on Loon Lake." Enjoy shivering your way through this account of one man's lifelong obsession with an abandoned house. I first listened while road-tripping home in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. Perfect conditions. Perfectly creepy conditions.

From Criminal: "A Bump in the Night." What would you do if you realized someone was living in the crawl space above your bedroom...and that he might be in the house right now...? As a woman who lives mostly alone, I found this true story almost too much to handle.

From Fictional: "Give Him a Hand." - A creeptastic modern retelling of "The Monkey's Paw." I listened one blustery night as I walked through my neighborhood at dusk. Palm branches flailed against low clouds and raindrops dribbled down the back of my neck as I shivered my way through this. I was never happier to get back to the house.

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I've listed the episodes from least creepy to most creepy. Although these things are somewhat subjective, proceed at your own risk.

If you only like being slightly creeped out, consider reading Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder. Also, coming this December from Pelican Book Group, Murder on Birchardville Hill--a heartwarming tale of holiday mayhem. A perfect choice for readers who can only handle being medium scared!

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Photo Credit: 
By Johnson, Helen Kendrik (Ed.) (?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, October 16, 2017

How to Read More Books


People always say they're looking for more time to read. If that's the case for you, here are some small, practical steps to get you started.

  • Get up early
  • Stay up late
  • Quit work/school
  • Train your pets to read aloud
  • Send your kids outside
  • Send your kids to Grandma's
  • Send your kids to the moon
  • Fill your swimming pool with books; jump in and never come out
  • Prop a book against the counter while you wash dishes
  • Prop a book in front of the TV
  • Suspend a book from the ceiling on wires and hooks next to the shower
  • Mount a book on the ceiling above your bed; use a T-rex grabby arm to turn pages
  • Listen to audio books while you clean
  • Listen to audio books while you run
  • Listen to audio books while you sleep
  • Give up sleep completely
  • Glue a book to your face

If you're ready to read and looking for a good place to start, consider one of my books - or, honestly, any of the billion other awesome ones out there. There are tons of great books but only one you; you'll never get to them all, but do your best to make a dent.

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Photo credit:

By Deivison Amaral (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons