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Seems that blogging had been light the last few months and it has. Most probably directly related to the stress I'm feeling at work and in life. And yet, the stress is not decreased by not writing and so, I continue to increase my own stress in a never ending cycle.

So, I'll try to be more aware and make more time for writing.

First, I'd like to respond to one comment I've received and half respond to another which I have deleted.

A very conscientious and kind-hearted person wrote to me requesting that I say nothing bad about The Shack as it might be the only encounter some people have with God. While I sympathize with the intent, I must say that I do not see this blog serving the needs of those seeking God. That is not to say that such are not welcome, but I rather doubt that the first place they home in on is a peculiar blog with a Latin Name that lies in the obscure outskirts of the mainstream Catholic Blogs. If so, I stand corrected and delight in that hitherto unknown and un-looked for audience. Thank you.

That said, I don't think The Shack is a best-seller because it is converting thousands. Rather, I think a lot of people of faith are reading it to bolster their own faith and fire their own spiritual lives. This is laudable. And people will do this whether or not I say that it is bad writing--just as my own review of The DaVinci Code did nothing to stem the tide of best-sellerdom.

As to the second response--suffice to say that I've received a number of comments in recent days about my own inadequacies as a reviewer, a person, and a thinker. While all of these things may reflect some truth, I allow those to stand that come with a real name and a real address so long as the language is not to inflammatory. However, when such comments come from anonymous sources, they are worse than useless and they reflect more upon the courage of the person making them than upon me. I've never claimed to be a particularly deep thinker in matters of theology or even literature. However, I do love literature and do reflect upon it in my idiosyncratic fashion. Nothing says that these reflections are true, valid, or particularly worthwhile. Nevertheless, because I care for good writing, I will continue to make such points as occur to me. And I will continue to delete posts that while perhaps making good points about the inadequacy of my thought do not come from people who are willing to correspond or communicate on the matter.

I won't say I don't mind being insulted--everyone does to a greater or lesser extent. But I will not tolerate being insulted by those who lack the courage to post under their own names or to leave information about where they might be communicated with. This form of behavior is just short of vandalism and shall be treated as vandals should--all memory of their actions shall be eradicated.

Hopefully more on more pleasant topics later.

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You are a fantastic reviewer ... thoughtful, open-minded and honest. Period. The thing about The Shack is that even if it is badly written (yes it is and I did not notice because I was interested in the ideas being presented), as you point out, it still may serve a very laudable purpose. However, it will never serve the purpose of being recommended as a "good book" for the sake of reading good writing. :-)

Writing as a stress reliever would seem to beat other ways:

In preparing to teach a class on how thoughts generate feelings which can (depending on the thoughts) foster disease, I did a search on "metacognition and stress" and came up with your blog. Just thought you'd find it interesting to note that your perception of this blog being obscure might be in error.

Dear Nancy,

Thank you. It is easy to forget that every word is logged, every thought cataloged by the great spiders of the web. So people land here with all sorts of searches. I hope that what they see here (at a minimum) does not offend.

But thank you for the reminder that nothing is truly obscure or forgotten in the linked-up world. It is a fascinating characteristic.

Even more fascinating is the research you were doing. I wish you the best with it. And if you have something from it that you could share, I would welcome that information. It sounds like something I would like to read.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 5, 2009 7:25 AM.

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