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Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Five-Playful Christmas

I have debated with myself for weeks about today's Friday Five.

Self 1: It should be deep and theological.
Self 2: But it's almost Christmas, it should be fun and warm and sweet.
Self 1: But your last Friday Five was sort of silly. You should show your more serious side.
Self 2: You worry WAY too much!
So after consulting with my fourteen year old daughter, we're going playful, pals o' mine! I love stories, so I hope you'll tell some about your favorite Christmas memories.

What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?
-I remember few specific gifts that I gave except that I always gave them. I usually made them or bought them at the "five and dime" which wasn't five and ten cents even then. I often gave my Aunt Julie earrings that had interchangeable buttons of colors, so that may be my favorite. I probably didn't register that once was enough.

What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.
My mother's Christmas cookies that I have a cookbook full of recipes, but never make. I can't seem to find the cookbook right now, so I may add a recipe later today.

What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)
OK, Here's what the NY Jewish folk do. I'm Catholic, but my Beloved is Jewish and sometimes we have done this. You can too if you have already had too much Christmas and want a break;
Eat chinese food and see a movie. All the best chinese restaurants are full of Jewish
folk and you can see the new movies before anyone else!

Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?

If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?
Speed up my recovery and go to a nice warm island with sand, sun and water!

Merry Christmas to all and to all well-factoid ...The Night Before Christmas was written across the street from me in what is now the General Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Very Sad, Jane Rule Dies

from the New York Times:
Jane Rule, Canadian Novelist, Dies at 76

Published: December 9, 2007
Jane Rule, a prominent Canadian writer whose first novel, “Desert of the Heart,” is considered a landmark work of lesbian fiction, died on Nov. 27 at her home on Galiano Island in British Columbia. She was 76.

The cause was complications of liver cancer, said Deborah Windsor, executive director of the Writers’ Union of Canada.

A major literary figure in Canada, Ms. Rule wrote seven novels as well as short stories and nonfiction. But it was for “Desert of the Heart” that she remained best known. Published by Macmillan in 1964, the book appeared five years before the Stonewall uprising, at a time when lesbians were all but invisible in mainstream letters. It told the story of a woman who goes to Reno, Nev., for a divorce and there finds love with a dynamic younger woman.

The novel was the basis for a film, “Desert Hearts,” released in 1985. Directed by Donna Deitch, it starred Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau and Audra Lindley.

Ms. Rule’s other books, some of which also centered on lesbian themes, include the novels “This Is Not for You” (McCall, 1970); “Against the Season” (McCall, 1971); and “After the Fire” (Naiad Press, 1989); the story collection “Theme for Diverse Instruments” (Talonbooks, 1975); and a volume of criticism, “Lesbian Images” (Doubleday, 1975).

Jane Vance Rule was born on March 28, 1931, in Plainfield, N.J., and raised in the Midwest and California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College in 1952. In 1954 she joined the faculty of the Concord Academy, a private school in Massachusetts. There Ms. Rule met Helen Sonthoff, a fellow faculty member who became her life partner. They settled in Vancouver in 1956.

Ms. Sonthoff died in 2000, at 83. Information on other survivors could not be confirmed.

Ms. Rule, who became a Canadian citizen in the 1960s, was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 1998 and the Order of Canada last year.

Over the years Ms. Rule’s opposition to government censorship of gay and lesbian books made her a highly visible public presence in Canada. She did not, however, support same-sex marriage, which was legalized there in 2005.

“To be forced back into the heterosexual cage of coupledom is not a step forward but a step back into state-imposed definitions of relationship,” Ms. Rule wrote in BC Bookworld, a Canadian trade periodical, in 2001. “With all that we have learned, we should be helping our heterosexual brothers and sisters out of their state-defined prisons, not volunteering to join them there.

ed. note Jane Rule was the first author I read where the couples didn't end up killings themselves or going off with a man. She was a wonderful writer and I will miss her. I had the honor of meeting her once on a rare visit to NY.