Harper Lee and Go Set a Watchman sets up controversy


If ever a novel demonstrated the ability of its author to create characters that leave the page and take on a life of their own, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960did just that. Hence, the recently released follow-up novel, Go Set a Watchman, arrives fraught with expectations about the lives of Scout and Atticus.

When last we saw these iconic characters they had settled in an idyllic epilogue to the story that transpired over 3 summers in tiny Maycomb, AL during the Depression.

Atticus stood for truth and justice even when the legal system failed. The children got Boo to come out. Sheltered by their loving father, Scout and Jem grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with readers everywhere.

Readers can still imagine Scout tucked in her bed, Atticus reading to her––even though her teacher disapproves.

Now here comes a Watchman

In Watchman, Scout returns to Maycomb, her fifth visit home since living in New York.

The reader watches Jean Louise’s images from her childhood shattered by what she sees mirrored and distorted in the life of her beloved father. Atticus has become a Southern racist. Read more

Hearing Taya Kyle, the American Sniper’s Widow


When I saw the movie  American Sniper––unaware of Chris and Taya’s story, other than Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Texan Chris Kyle that won for Bradley an Academy Award nomination for his performance––I expected another movie about war that my husband would enjoy and I would endure.

Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, spoke at a dinner our Lubbock family recently attended. Hosted by Trinity Christian School, which 4 of our grandchildren attend, the event was held at City Bank Coliseum on the campus of Texas Tech. Last year, President George W. Bush spoke at this annual event. IMG_7156
But frankly, I was not excited about this year’s dinner. On Friday nights, it’s nice to curl up at home instead of dressing up for dinner. And jostle through crowds? I’d rather wait for the video. Reluctantly, I went.

Had I stayed home, I would have missed something special. Taya Kyle brought this crowd to their feet with something more than patriotism. Her vulnerability, transparency and authenticity matched the Lubbock vibe as she spoke to a room filled with spectators about the lives of military participants who put their lives on the firing line.

People who take a stand make easy targets. Read more

Reading Jen Hatmaker

Reading Jen Hatmaker

Shhh! Keep this under your hat.

Jen Hatmaker has a new book coming out in August, titled For the Love. I got to read an advance copy (read it twice!) and write an endorsement, which was due yesterday. As one among the 500 people notified on March 11 that we had been selected to read, endorse and later review the book, the earth shook under my feet. And I still feel the ripples.

On Deadlines for people like me

While attending graduate school at Dallas Theological Seminary, I had all sorts of deadlines. A constant stream of deadlines for four years and all of my life wrapped around those deadlines until I graduated in May, 2008.

In conversation with my husband back then he said, “Deadlines are good. They tell people like you when to stop. For people like me, deadlines force us to start.”

Read more

On Daring Greatly: Starting Over


Daring greatly to start over, I attempt to post regularly on this site.

Why Footnotes2Stories? Why not a brand new blog title? Why move from my previous blog site where I have blogged since 2009 (albeit with intermittent posts and random topics)?IMG_4938_daring greatly

I believe our stories are connected. I have never turned loose of this idea from Frederick Buechner, who wrote:

“So in the long run the stories all overlap and mingle like searchlights in the dark.… And my story and your story are all part of each other too because … we are at least a footnote at the bottom of each other’s stories.” Secrets in the Dark

As I see it, every story whether long or short fits as a footnote to larger stories. The best footnotes pique interest. Footnotes can lead to primary sources. And who knows where a trail of breadcrumbs can lead the curious when following a story’s footnote?

Read more