Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mystery and Paradox: Madeleine L'Engle

A few months back, I wrote a post about Dorothy L Sayers and a personal friend of mine, Amy Marsland. I would like to continue the theme of women who inspire me by featuring a post about Madeleine L'Engle.

Years ago my mother discovered 'Walking on Water', and which I've been meaning to read for a long time. I finally managed to do so this spring. I was absolutely inspired! There was something on nearly every page which I ended up underlining to remember later. Her views on artists and Christianity were very freeing to me. L'Engle has a frank and inquiring approach to faith. Above all, I love her acknowledgement that we don't know everything, and mystery and uncertainty is just a part of life (I loaned my copy to my sister, so can't pull out any quotes).

I then moved on to the 'Crosswicks Journals'. I've read 'A Circle of Quiet' and have started the next in the series. I look forward to learning and being enlightened more by this wonderful woman.

Recently, whilst trawling google for a nice photo of L’Engle, I happened upon an article by a woman who came to the conclusion that since Madeleine L’Engle didn’t live the perfect life she portrayed in her ‘journals’, her views and truths were flawed and no longer pertinent for this particular author. Ever since reading that Article, I’ve been thinking about it, and wondering if knowing more about the flaws in L’Engle’s life has altered my assessment of her, or lessened the impact she’s had on my life so far this year.

It hasn’t.

What has Madeleine L’Engle done for me this past year? She’s helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin as an author. Sure, I haven’t published a book *yet*. My blog and my instagram accounts aren’t followed by thousands of people. But I write every day. I want to be a published author. I want that to be my job. But I know I’ll write anyway, whether that ever happens or not.

I am happier in my religion. I can now acknowledge that there will always be doubts. There will always be mystery. Yet that strengthens my belief, instead of weakening it.

I feel that I understand my mother (a published author, biographer and poetess Susan Evans McCloud) much better. All creative people fabricate their own world around them, and in recognising that in Madeleine and in myself, I feel I understand my mother a lot better than I did before.

Life is full of paradox, pain, joy and pleasure. Accept it all. It will help you become a better person, and, more importantly, a better creator.

Thank you, Madeleine.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Summing up the Summer

Busy writing. I've written 27,360 words since the beginning of July. 

I've never liked summer weather. Anything warmer than 75 Fahrenheit is just too hot. Why does all my family have to live in Utah, then? Even having a birthday in August (and I quite like my birthdays) doesn't help.

Summers are inevitably busy. I was able to begin a few (read: too many) projects, and I have written quite a bit in my current first draft, so that's a relief. Here's a visual of some of the projects I've begun, and which I hope to finish if not by the end of this month, then by the end of October.

Working on a new 1910scorset pattern from Scroop Patterns

As well as. A 1920s robe de style-type dress from Past Patterns

As well as a 1910s suit pattern (see photo below) from Wearing History

I'm working on a 1910s blouse from Wearing History as well, but that's not pictured. That's a lot of sewing projects! Wish me luck!