Summer Reading

“You thought you had failed, Captain Ban. But you did not fail. My mission was to save the cosmos, but I could not function until I found the focal point. And that focal point was in your strength, your human defiance of all destiny. It was your voice, crying, ‘I won’t, I won’t, I won’t!’ that guided me, brought me here. I go now, forever from your cosmos and your consciousness. But there is no need for me any longer. The Covenant is ended. I leave you with all you require to survive—your humanity, which is your strength.”
– Robert Bloch, from Isaac Asimov’s 15 Short Stories

I read some really awesome books during my summer vacation: Isaac Asimov’s 15 Short Stories, David Z. Hirsch’s Didn’t Get Frazzled, and Irene Pepperberg’s Alex and Me. Here are some quotes from these books that I thought my readers might enjoy:

“There was a moment beyond which there was no next second.”
– Murray Leinster, from Isaac Asimov’s 15 Short Stories

“The feeling was that the cosmos had turned askew, and the horizon had tilted so that what should have been the east was up, and what should have been the west was down—and he tended to fall toward it—and the beach was merely before him and the sky behind.”
– Murray Leinster, from Isaac Asimov’s 15 Short Stories

“They have attained to thermonuclear power, have they?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Well, that’s the criterion.” Naro chuckled, “And soon their ships will probe out and contact the Federation.”
“Actually, Great One,” said the messenger, reluctantly, “the Observers tell us they have not yet penetrated space.”
Naron was astonished. “Not at all? Not even a space station?”
“Not yet, sir.”
“But if they have thermonuclear power, where then do they conduct their tests and detonations?”
“On their own planet, sir.”
Naron rose to his full twenty feet of height and thundered, “On their own planet?”
“Yes, sir.”
Slowly, Naron drew out his stylus and passed a line through the latest addition in the smaller book. It was an unprecedented act, but, then, Naron was very wise and could see the inevitable as well as anyone in the Galaxy.
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“This thing was important. He didn’t know why it was, of course. Grand Masters rarely did. That’s what made them Grand Masters; the fact that they were beyond reason.”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“…always there was the driving effort on each side to break the stalemate, to develop a parry for every possible thrust, to develop a thrust that could not be parried in time—something that would make war possible again. And that was not because either side wanted war so desperately, but because both were afraid that the other side would make the crucial discovery first.”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“Each different squiggle stood for a different number. For ‘one’ you made a kind of mark, for ‘two’ you make another kind of mark, for ‘three’ another one and so on.”
“What for?”
“So you could compute.”
“What for ? You just tell the computer—”
“Jimmy,” cried Paul, his face twisting with anger, “can’t you get it through your head? These slide-rules and things didn’t talk.”
“Then how–”
“The answers showed up in squiggles and you had to know what the squiggles meant. Mr. Daughterty says that in the olden days, everybody learned how to make squiggles when they were kids and how to decode them, too. Making squiggles was called ‘writing’ and decoding them was ‘reading.’ He says there was a different kind of squiggle for every word and they used to write whole books in squiggles. He said they had some at the museum and I could look at them if I wanted to. He said if I was going to be a real computer and programmer I would have to know about the history of computing and that’s why he was showing me all these things.”
Niccolo frowned. He said, “You mean everybody had to figure out squiggles for every word and remember them? Is this all real or are you making it up?”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“Later on, I looked up how to spell Mesozoic, which is why I got it right, in case you’re wondering, and I found out that the Mesozoic Era is when all the dinosaurs were doing whatever dinosaurs do. But of course at the time this is just so much double-talk to me, and mostly I was thinking we had a lunatic talking to us. Joe claimed afterwards that he knew about this Mesozoic thing, but he’ll have to talk lots longer and louder before Ray and I believe him.”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“Take an individual cell out of your body, even a brain cell, and what is it by itself ? Nothing. A little blob of protoplasm with no more capacity for anything human than an amoeba. Less capacity, in fact, since it couldn’t live by itself. But put the cells together and you have something that could invent a spaceship, or write a symphony.”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“He focused on the other parts of the ship, marveling at the diversity of life. Each item, no matter how small, was sufficient to itself. He forced himself to contemplate this, until the unpleasantness of the thought grated on him and he longed for the normality of home.”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“It was a terribly unhappy and unnatural thing to be parted from all the rest of the unified organism, to be a life fragment oneself. How could these aliens stand being fragments?”
– Isaac Asimov, 15 Short Stories

“I can’t find myself here, there are too many people.”
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled 

“Listen. Forget about rounds, forget about everything except this: the patient comes first. You do what you need to do, even if it turns out you’d been wrong, or you’d overreacted, or you’d pissed somebody off to get it done — it doesn’t matter. As long as you have the patient’s best interests at heart, no one is going to be that mad at you, okay?” ​I nodded.
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled 

“On my way back up here — and I had a good ten minutes to think while waiting once more for the two local elevators — questions racked my brain: Why had that been so difficult? Why do we have to fight the system to give our patients the care they need, the care that everyone here except me is paid to provide? And if nobody else cares, how long will it be until I break, too?”
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled 

“But it’s not how it should be. It’s not conducive to developing thoughtful doctors. If you put all the emphasis on the cutting and devalue interactions with people, of course the patients will be thought of as no more than a slab of meat.”
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled

“The intake paperwork identified him as Alexander Hamilton, but I had my doubts.”
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled 

“But the one thing the Biblical period contained that the modern era did not was people communicating with God. At least, I used to believe that until I met patient after patient who regaled me with their idiosyncratic scriptures. ​This led me to the obvious question: were the biblical prophets schizophrenic, or were we medicating our modern prophets?”
– David Z. Hirsch, Didn’t Get Frazzled 

“Alex taught us that we are a part of nature, not apart from nature. The ‘separateness’ notion was a dangerous illusion that gave us permission to exploit every aspect of the natural world—animal, plant, mineral—without consequences. We are now facing those consequences: poverty, starvation, and climate change, for example.”
– Irene Pepperberg, Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence–and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process  

“Deb Rivel, a friend and The Alex Foundation board member, put it this way: ‘Alex taught me the meaning of oneness. What I learned from him also supported what I always have known to be true: that there is just one Creation, one Nature, one good, full, complete Idea, made up of individuals of all shapes and designs, all expressing their oneness with one God. We are not different because we look different, but we all reflect the eternal beauty and intelligence of one Creation in our own peculiar way. It’s what makes up the whole—this textured fabric of thought and existence—and knowing Alex has underscored to me how much the same we really are.’”
– Irene Pepperberg, Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence–and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

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Shameless Merchandising (because, you know, it’s Christmas and stuff)

The Good You Seek

I want to take a break, I said.
Can I step out of life for a moment,
or maybe stay in bed?
Can things go on without me?
Can you just pretend I’m not here?
For life is a messy business
and I’m tired and I’m weary
I’ve made too many mistakes to count today
And I’d like to not make anymore, not any.

And the still small voice reached into my thought
– gentle, peaceable benediction –
“All the good you seek and all that you’ve sought
you can claim right now – and that’s no fiction –
for Love is yours to express, to feel, and to be
– you are wealthy beyond description.
Nothing else matters, there’s no other power
no warring opinions, no need to cower
You are loved and you’re loving
and that’s all there is to it
Love’s loving child, and there’s nothing else
but loving, simply nothing.”
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from
A Poem Lives on My Windowsill <-purchase it here

Teardrop

A tear welled within my eye.
I held my breath and kept very still,
and for that few seconds,
the world was much clearer
through the lens of the tear.
– Xander Terrell, from
Dream Voyage <-purchase it here

Review for Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Mom and Dad
“I read this book cover to cover with a smile on my face the whole time. The author’s engaging conversational style takes the reader along on her journey to resettle her parents from farm to assisted living and the love, gratitude, and simple joys of life she experiences during the transition. I highly recommend this book and it would make a great gift.”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book:
“Charming and endearing to read. You sit with a grin on your face while reading.”

Review for Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist:
“Karen has touched my soul with her heartwarming and hilarious rendition of the road less traveled. Everyone I know has had to listen to me go on and on about how great a read this is! Whether you want to laugh, cry, or just smile about life again, read this!!!”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book:
“I think Karen has reached into my heart,and planted the seeds of love. This book gives inspiration and hope to all that read with open hearts and love.”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New:
“How inspirational, fun, and enlightening! As with the author’s two other Madcap Christian Scientists’ books, I thoroughly enjoyed this one for its honesty, spirit of adventure and enlightenment. It uplifted me without being preachy. The author graciously gives us a peek inside her life and mind and reader beware!!! She dares go there and everywhere! A great, fun read that I will recommend to others as I have with her other two. My only complaint was I truly wished she had written more and that’s just me being greedy!!”

Karen’s author page.
Xander’s author page

book covers 2016

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

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Rediscovering The Last Unicorn

“It all seems a bit unfair, my lord, begging your pardon. What could we have done to save the unicorns? We were afraid of the Red Bull. What could we have done?”

“One word might have been enough,” King Lir replied. “You’ll never know.”
– Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

I read Peter S. Beagle’s  The Last Unicorn for the first time when I was a university student – a long, long time ago. It was a wonderful read. There were passages that left me laughing out loud, and passages that filled me with courage and hope. The Last Unicorn left me feeling heart-filled and sort of… nobler, I guess.

A few days ago – when I’d read up to page 100 of The Nightingale  – another great read – I realized I was too fragile at the moment to go on, and set it aside. The thought entered my noggin (and where this thought came from, I still do not know – I hadn’t thought about this book for a long time) that I needed to read The Last Unicorn again. And so I did.

And oh, it was perfect – the exactly right book for me right now! If you’ve never read The Last Unicorn, I highly recommend it. If you’ve already read it, I recommend you read it again. I don’t know how anyone could read this little book and not come away from it feeling braver and nobler and more hopeful about the world.

***

“The universe lies to our senses, and they lie to us, and how can we ourselves be anything but liars? For myself, I trust neither message nor messenger; neither what I am told, nor what I see. There may be truth somewhere, but it never gets down to me.” 

“The most professional curse ever snarled or croaked or thundered can have no effect on a pure heart. Good night.” 

“Be still,” and the two words cracked like autumn branches. He said, “The magic knew what it was doing. Be still and listen.” 

“Witchwork, surely, Schmendrick thought, and nothing made by a witch is real, at the last.” 

“I love whom I love,” Prince Lir repeated firmly. “You have no power over anything that matters.” 

“No,” he repeated, and this time the word tolled in another voice, a king’s voice… a king whose grief was not for what he did not have, but for what he could not give.” 

“Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.” 

“She stood very still, neither weeping nor laughing, for her joy was too great for her body to understand.” 

“The magic lifted her as gently as though she were a note of music and it were singing her.” 

“You may plant your acres again, and raise up your fallen orchards and vineyards, but they will never flourish as they used to, never – until you learn to take joy in them, for no reason.” 

“Moths and midges and other night insects too small to be anything in particular came and danced slowly around her bright horn, and this did not make her appear foolish, but them most wise and lovely as they celebrated her.” 

“So they began their new journey, which took them in its time in and out of most of the folds of the sweet, wicked, wrinkled world, and so at last to their own strange and wonderful destiny.” 

 – Peter S. Beagle

An Ode to Black Friday

Ode to Black Friday

I do not like Black Friday, sir
I do not like the brrr, grrr, whirrr
I do not like to fight over socks,
I do not like to get crammed in a box
store, you will not see me at the Mall
I do not like it, no, not at all.
The crazy, scrambling, hunter’s race
doesn’t fit my ambling, gatherer’s pace
I like to feel, I like to sniff
I like to take my time and if
I take more time than Sally and Sam
it’s the way I shop, and it works for me, ma’am.
So you will not find me camped outside the store
You will not find me standing at dawn at the door
You will not find me wedged in the mall’s lot
or crammed in traffic, with wares newly-bought.
For I do not like Black Friday, friend.
Well, except online shopping maybe – they’ll send.
–  Karen Molenaar Terrell

And on that note… 🙂 perhaps you’d like to see some of the really awesome books (written by an extraordinary thinker… I mean… well… often there are moments of clarity… or… okay, it’s kind of hit and miss, but I’m pretty sure there’s something I’ve written that’s worth reading… maybe) you can buy online at Amazon.

Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist – the first in the Madcap Christian Scientist trilogy. I wrote this one to address some of the  “feargnorance” surrounding Christian Science, and to share my own experiences with this way of life. Blessings has 31 reviews and five stars on Amazon now! (It’s available in print book,  as a Kindle book, and as an audiobook, too.)

The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book is the second book in the trilogy. This one shares my experiences with severe depression during my Year of Insanity.

The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New is the final book in the Madcap Christian Scientist trilogy. In this book I share my adventures as I leave behind a career of 20 years and launch out into The Great Unknown. (Spoiler alert: It has a happy ending. 🙂 )

The poem you read above can be found in my book of poetry, A Poem Lives on My Windowsill.

Stories about the holiday season can be found in The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book.

And my most recent book is Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom – in this book I share the life lessons I learned from my parents during my dad’s 98th year.

So there you go!

Ahem. I feel I have now done my part to help you in your holiday purchases. Do what you feel you must do to get those Christmas gifts. And if you feel you must participate in Black Friday sales at your local strip mall, my heart (though not my body) goes with you.

– Karen

book covers 2016

 

 

Books!

When we begin reading a book by an author we’ve never met before, we’re meeting a new friend, aren’t we?

books

Really old photo (ca 1983) of Amby-kitty taken with a pre-digital, wind-the-film camera.

Birthing Books

If books are an author’s children, then I am now a grand-author. 🙂 The youngest son published his first book yesterday – a book of poetry – and it’s FANTASTIC! I mean… really FANTASTIC! I knew the son had some talent from the scribblings I’d chanced upon now and then while tidying the house. But when he generously shared his poems with me a couple of days ago, my mouth, literally, fell open! Ahem… and like any proud grandma, I have to share a photo of my new grand-book, right?

51DZ9UsVCRL

 

http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Living-Xander-Terrell/dp/1500959766/ref=la_B00N2CHUVU_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409148364&sr=1-1

 

And a couple weeks ago I found myself giving birth to another book myself – a Christmas book. In August. Yeah, I know. But our books come when they come (and don’t when they don’t, too), and my Christmas book decided to come in August. And my fellow authors will understand that, once the labor begins, there is no way to stop the book from coming…

Here’s the paperback link (it’s also available as a Kindle book) – http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientists-Christmas-Book/dp/1500855154/ref=la_B0044P90RQ_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409147148&sr=1-1

The_Madcap_Christian_Cover_for_Kindle (6)

I love books. We can never have too many. We can never be over-populated with them. More! More! Give me more to write! Give me more to read! 🙂