Friday, February 27, 2009

The Shack Author is Keynote Speaker at OCW Conference where I am leading a Workshop on Freelance Writing

I am leading a workshop on Freelance Writing at the Oregon Christian Writers Winter Conference, Sat. Feb. 28 in Salem, Oregon, where the keynote speaker for the event is The Shack author William P Young!! I am so looking forward to meeting him -- his book really impacted my life.

Here is the internet link to Oregon Christian Writers- This is the first time I have led a workshop with the organization. The web address is:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Next Rolling Hills WRITERS CONNECTION Meeting

Just getting the word out to Rolling Hills Community Church members about our next Writers Connection Meeting and it is now listed online- here is the information!!

Writers Connection Meeting
Monday, March 9, 2009 6:30 PM

6:30-8 PM in the Future Bookstore

All writers are welcome for connection, inspiration, encouragement.
If you would like, bring something short to read for feedback.

Questions? Email Cornelia at
For more information, visit:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Keep the Art- Drop the Politics- Night at the Oscars

I enjoy the Oscars every year - I love movies and a good story and the Hollywood glam and what the actors will wear. I like to see when actors who win are humble and acknowledge others in their lives. Kate Winslet was a class act. Heath Ledger's family wonderful. Slumdog Millionaire amazing. However, I do not like it when actors use the Academy Award ceremony to push their political agenda.

Talk about art, talk about the movie making process, talk about people who helped you, talk about the privilege you had of being in the movie. Do not talk about politics which divide. The Oscars are a time to bring people together not tear people apart. I like Sean Penn but was very disappointed with his acceptance speech. Gus Van Sant the Portland director was not even mentioned by Sean.

I love the Academy Awards but wonder why certain actors and films are not nominated every year. What happened with Gran Torino and Clint Eastwood - what an amazing film – why was it not even given one nomination? I enjoy seeing the actors and the film makers walk the red carpet. I enjoyed the five pastor category winners talk about each of the nominees, which was something new this year.
Acceptance speeches are fun to watch and Kate Winslet has really grown as an actress from her Titanic days. Her speech was pure class, thanking the many people in her life, including her family. Slumdog Millionaire was a wonderful film and the winners were very humble as well. Penelope Cruz had a nice speech but the film she was in was terrible. Pure trash once again with women kissing women.

And, again, Sean Penn, though I think he is talented, I get tired of his politics and propaganda. Do not use a fun evening to push your political agenda on us. And, your wife standing by you. Can you thank her. She is a wonderful actress whom I loved in Princess Bride (Robin Wright Penn) and was not even acknowledged by Sean. He was too busy scolding the voters. Why the Academy succumbs to this is disappointing.

But, we keep watching and hoping for the best. Which is, focusing on art not politics. Hugh Jackman brought back art in his role as MC.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Outreach to Morton Washington with Youth Group

It's so good to get students out to serve in the community. Today, the Rolling Hills Youth group drove to Morton Washington to partner with Forward Edge in its outreach to a family whose house was destroyed by a son Ryan and I met them later as we were at the Eagle Court of honor for Mitch Tofte [another blog entry for that story]--

But today, a two plus hour drive to give a family hope...and physical help. . .moving their furniture out of their home which was filled with mud from the mud slide. The home is ruined. Just like that...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A new book I am reading...Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

I just got the new Kathleen Norris book, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life and love it. Before this book of hers, I read Cloister Walk which I also like. I love books that make you think about life and spirituality and contemplation and quietness and prayer.

In this new book, Kathleen talks about Acedia, a term monks have used to describe a state of apathy and depression. She writes in a narrative style that interweaves her own experience of the spiritual life as well as and that of others’ reflections and thoughts on faith.

One thing that stands out is the idea of boredom and how we abhor the term. I know I have told my children you should not be bored or I will find something for you to do. But, actually, boredom is not in and of itself a bad thing, Norris points out. Boredom is a type of stillness and it takes stillness at times to draw closer to God. In our ever hectic chaotic lives, we want to fill every moment with something to do and somewhere to go and to be entertained, but that leaves little room for contemplation and prayer. Precisely, the point Norris is making. Wow, in our modern world of being plugged in 24/7, this hits home. We have tried to make it a practice to not use our computers on Sundays. To call the 7th day a day of rest in practice in our family. I have to work at it. To not go to the computer. But, how can I tell me children not to plug in on Sundays if I do not have the discipline to stay away as well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why I love International Films...seeing Snow at the Portland International Film Festival

I cannot stop thinking about the Portland International Film Festival going on these three weeks. Last week, I went to see the Bosnian Film "Snow" at the annual film event with a friend and I have wanted to go back to see other international films since then, including a German and Austrian one, but did not end up making it there. I have been talking to other people about international films, finding common ground with certain friends on this -- there is something about international films.

They are mysterious and paced differently and do not give away all the answers and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers and there is plot and layer after layer and, like good poetry, you have to come to your own conclusion by thinking about the movie and talking about it and musing.

"Snow" follows the tale of a handful of women in a village after recovering from War in 1997. Some of the women are widows and many of their children have been executed by Bosnian Serbs who live nearby but the children’s bodies have not been found. All the women have are their memories and their homemade items they try to sell with little success. Two businessmen arrive with an offer to buy the residents out which gives the villagers a tough choice. Other hopeful elements are interwoven in this Critics’ Week Grand Prize Winner at the Cannes Film Festival. Snow is this year’s Bosnian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

I found myself intrigued by this story of devastation after war, yet the film does not get political. Again, a difference that I see comparing American films with international films. American films tend, in general, to jam messages down people’s throats, while international films, again in general, will allow you to make your own conclusions or show several sides to a story.

Like good poetry – a bit of a mystery that intrigues and leaves you hungering for more.

When I mentioned my interest in the Portland International Film festival to my husband, he said he'd like to go with me, and so for Valentine’s Day [or the day before depending on when we can get a baby-sitter] we will find an international film to see. My husband mentioned two of his favorite films- which happen to be international - the 1986 French film "Jean de Florette" and its sequel "Manon of the Spring", two films that I had forgotten about but now that my husband mentioned them, I realize how much I too enjoyed them. The mystery of the heart and family and human nature were explored in those films.

The calendar for the PIFF is posted on line - . . . I will blog about which film we ended up seeing... stay tuned

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chaperoning My Son's Overnight Field Trip. . .

Okay, so there was a two to one ratio of parent helpers for my fifth grade son's overnight field trip to Astoria- how's that for parental involvement, and I confess, that when I heard that so many parents were going, I told my husband, well, perhaps they do not need me, but he said my son is looking forward to me going and I need to go . . . and I am glad I went-sleeping on the floor in a cafeteria is after all, priceless . . .

It was fun to be a part of this annual tradition at Cedaroak Park School and just talking to the parents and seeing kids outdoors interacting and learning first hand by exploring is wonderful - I love to see my children interacting with their classmates and their teachers.

My favorite part was walking to the Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment. They had originally discouraged us due to the mud, but I was able to check it out and, though I did fall once, I told Mrs. Grabow that it was worth the .75 mile walk just for the view-

I took photos but do not want to download right now. . .I need to get ready for the week ahead- just when I thought things would slow down, I get ready for my taping on the Paul Linnman 1190 KEX radio show in the morning.


Hidden Lake


Cousins bicycling at Champeog Park

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