Sunday, May 22, 2011

First things first

            I’m told that in my first post I should tell you about myself. My initial reaction is to give numbers: feet, inches, pounds, years. But that’s the vehicle, not the passenger.
            I’m a writer on my way to being published. I’ll share my trek through that tangled path with others chasing the same rabbit and, hopefully, learn from those who’ve caught it. And I suspect that I’ll be guilty of sharing random thoughts along the way that have nothing to do with getting published. I’ll try to post at least once a week.
            I write because it’s the natural thing to do. Stories have been telling themselves to me for as long as I can remember. You read that right. I don’t believe we tell stories. We shape and craft the stories that tell themselves to us, which explains to me why sequels, which are constructed to meet a demand, are seldom as satisfying as the original story which told itself. Let me say that I’m not leaning toward channeling or automatic writing, unless it’ll get me a publishing contract - just kidding - sort of.
            I started writing twenty years ago. In the space of three years, I wrote four novels. Two of them told themselves so fluidly that I watched the video of them in my mind during the day and rushed to get the words down each evening. I offered them to publishers and got a read at Random House for ‘What Rough Beast’, the novel I’m pitching again. Then I hit a rough patch, as they say. Spiritual, emotional and financial crises moved in. Mid-life crisis. Yeah, boy! I left the ministry, got divorced and stopped writing, in that order. The stories didn’t stop telling themselves. I just stopped writing them down. Three years ago, I was standing on the sidelines minding my own business when my passion tackled me and dragged me back onto the field. I’m in the game, now, to the sweet end.
            A little about ‘What Rough Beast’. My understanding is that there are two types of divine grace: saving grace, which is applied individually, and restraining grace, which is applied universally. Restraining grace is that which keeps people from acting out the bizarre and sometimes violent impulses which pop up in our heads. I asked myself, what if all restraining grace was withdrawn for a time. ‘What Rough Beast’ was the result.
            Final notes: this won’t become a forum on the manifestations of divine grace. You can agree or disagree. It won’t be debated. I was simply letting you know the starting point for the story. Also, though it grew out of my understanding of divine grace, WRB is not a Christian novel (quote/unquote). It has a few sharp edges which some Christians will find uncomfortable.
            Thanks for your time.

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