From Brothers Karamazov


Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once thou perceive this, thou wilt thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until thou come at last to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.



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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share. I’d tell you that I started the pilot episode for a sitcom I want to submit to Act One’s Upfront event, which I hope to submit for 2019. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while so I’m glad to have that push to start it.

I’d mention that I had another interview with the library I interviewed with a couple weeks ago. They changed the job a bit so a different librarian needed to interview me. I think it went well. Alas, it’s still just a part time position, but it is a good library. I’ll find out by tomorrow.

It’s snowed twice last week and yesterday it stuck for quite a while. This is quite unusual. In fact, many years we get one snow before Christmas and it’s rare that we have the proverbial White Christmas. I’m afraid this winter will be rough.

I went to a reception for University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Alums. The new Chancellor seems to be doing more outreach. I’m a new alum so I didn’t realize this was a change. The event was held at a nearby country club and they had a wonderful food: hot appetizers, a buffet with pizzas, flatbreads and roasted vegetables, another buffet with cheeses, hummus and breads and finally a dessert table with dozens of tempting pastries. They had a full bar and servers walked around with wines. I met some interesting people who studies Business, Liberal Arts and Engineering. I didn’t seen anyone else from iSchool, but there were over 400 guests so that’s no surprise. The Chancellor, head of athletics and another administrator gave speeches on how U of I plans to grow.  I learned the Illinois chant, which I hadn’t heard since I was an online student and I learned that no other Big 10 school has more Nobel Prize Winners.

Today I start a part time retail job that will prevent me from dipping into my savings. I have training today and tomorrow. I’m eager to get my schedule since other than one event, I haven’t made any plans. I’d like to be free to make a dental appointment or say yes to some friends’ invitations.

I enjoyed the film The Southerner and think it would be a good film for a history class. It’s a little bit like The Grapes of Wrath, but there was some hope for the future.

Yesterday I attended the NanoWriMo Write In at my library. I’m not doing NanoWriMo this year as I want to do revisions and start another project, but I enjoy the esprit de corps of writing with other local writers. I won a prize for a writing sprint. I missed a few people who normally turn up to these things. I did notice that there’s a smaller group compared to last year.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I enjoyed being an election judge again and I’d urge you to try it. It’s a long day, and though you’re paid, if you divide by the hour it’s not a lot. Still it’s a necessary role to fill so that we can all vote. I met some interesting people and got to see the election up close.

I’d report that most of the trees have lost their leaves and that it’s as cold as it usually is in December (i.e. in the 20°s). Last Thursday we had a couple inches of snow. I’m wondering if this portends a rough winter.

I’d tell you that I’ve been wrapped up in Masterpiece’s series Poldark, which will finish next Sunday. The writing is nail-biting as the characters’ are all taken to the brink of disaster, some over the brink. I only wish it ran for more than 8 weeks.

I’d tell you that I loved Kurosawa’s adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. The film is beautiful and moving. There’s emotional depth, which made me care about even the gruff characters.

Yesterday since it has been cold, I prepared fondue for my brother and his family. It was a fun cold night dinner.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Word of the Week

Eucatastrophe: n. the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears. Coined by J.R.R. Tolkien.

But the ‘consolation’ of fairy-tales has another aspect than the imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite — I will call it Eucatastrophe. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest function.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially ‘escapist’, nor ‘fugitive’. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.

Retrieved from Tolkien Gateway at

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I’m sad that Halloween’s over. Soon the decorations will be gone, as will the vividly colored leaves. The rainy cold of November is hard for me to take.

I had three job interviews last week. Two were for part time jobs, with low pay. One of these was at the library for my hometown. It’s small and cosy and would be a good place to start working. Alas, it’s only 18 hours a week. It galls me because in Illinois for government jobs if you work 19 hours a week you get benefits. This rule turns out not to help anyone and it just means penny-pinching organizations will not give more hours to part timers. They’ll get the most they can. If you are scheduled to work 18 hours, you wind up working over 19 as you come into work a few minutes early and leaving a little late.

The other part time job interview was with an Apple Store. The two people I met were personable and authentic. There weren’t any trick questions. I felt at ease. However, I wonder if they’ll opt for someone with an “edgier” look.

The full time job was as an Instructional Designer for a manufacturer. The company makes steel pipes and fittings. It was a pretty good phone interview and I was blown away by the salary range — about double what full time librarians make. I wound up not getting called in for a face to face interview, which I attribute to my lack of industrial experience. As an Instructional Designer, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of the subject matter, the experts on the team do. However, there probably were candidates who did have more familiarity with that. The experience has made me think that Instructional Design is worth pursuing.

Saturday I got to see a wonderful production of Jane Eyre at Northwestern University. They have such talented students and the set and costumes were great. More on that soon.

I also saw three compelling films on DVD, all recommended by Sharon, my film guru in the A/V department at Skokie Public Library. They are: The Rocket, The Cave of the Yellow Dog and Kedi

I’m so tired of the election campaigning and the ads. I believe in democracy and care about elections, but the campaigns drag on and the TV ads are unrelenting. Tomorrow I’m an election judge, which I enjoy. I’ll also be in a safe, electioneering-free zone! I so look forward to respite from the ads, punches and counter-punches. I think there should be a few days before the 2020 would-be presidential candidates start their barrage.

I have just finished my television adaptation of an old (public domain) novel that’s another delightful American Downton Abbey. The bigger challenge is getting it to see the light of day, i.e. get produced. Now I’m going to start on a contemporary series idea. If I can finish that soon, I’ll have three submissions, two that are new, for the Act One Upfront. I hope to submit these before the Early Bird session is over.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?



If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I loved the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns where they display probably over 1,000 carved pumpkins that fit a variety of themes like sea creatures, optical illusions, monster couples, horror stories, sports, etc. The event typically sells out and this year was no different. We lucked out on weather as it was neither wet, nor cold. The event was a delight for all ages. Kudos to the garden for hosting this event.

I’d also tell you that I finished the called The Manager’s Toolkit: a Practical Guide to Managing People at Work. I learned a lot about hiring, resolving conflict, decision making and performance management. The six week course, which is offered throughout the year and takes about an hour a week, featured substantive articles and video content. I did gain insights that I probably wouldn’t have if I just searched for articles or books. I took the free version as I don’t think the certificate would help me that much for job hunting.

I’ve started an adaptation of a novel for the Act One Upfronts, a program for alumni where selected writers get to pitch their ideas to producers and agents. My aim is to meet the early deadline in November.

I’d toot my own horn to say that with only a few glitches I managed to change my MacBook Pro’s hard drive and so it operates much faster. However, I’d add that this did not fix the problem of the computer just shutting down at random times, not something I relish as it means I can lose pages of work I’ve completed. Fixing that issue, is my next challenge. Wish me well.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.