"A little bit of this. A little bit of that. Nothing much. Only Anatevka." Fiddler on the Roof is a favorite musical of mine. I guess that’s why, as I thought about writing this post, the words from Anatevka popped into my head. Yes, this is going to be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
I finished the revisions on A Carol for Christmas on Monday afternoon. It was an intense weekend as I worked toward the finish line. Now I wait breathlessly for the response of the editor to the changes I made. I should have the line edited manuscript back in two weeks she said, so it won’t be a long wait.
My last post was a link to a post that referenced the James Frey controversy about his "memoir," A Million Little Pieces. I have not read the book, but because of my own experience as someone affected by the alcoholism of a loved one, I have thought I might. But this Publisher’s Weekly article by Heather King makes me think I would prefer to read her memoir, Parched, instead. Here’s a clip of the first paragraph:
I first read about James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces in a New Yorker review. I was working on my own memoir, Parched (Chamberlain
Bros.), at the time, so I scanned the piece with interest. Frey and I
had a couple of things in common: we’d both had major substance abuse
problems; we’d both been to Hazelden (him for six weeks, circa 1992; me
for four weeks, six years earlier). But there the similarities seemed
to end. It wasn’t so much that we were of different genders, that I was
a teensy bit older than him, that we’d chosen different approaches to
staying sober. No, it was that Frey was angry. The whole tenor of the
review was that Frey was angry. The testosterone-fueled rage! The
studly ire! In light of my own 20 years as a falling-down blackout
drunk, it struck me as an odd stance. The people who really had cause
to be angry, it seemed to me, were the ones I’d trampled, cheated on,
stolen from and lied to on my way to the nearest bar.
I wrote my novel, Beyond the Shadows, to show alcoholism from the POV (point of view) of the people who love the alcoholic, the people who are "trampled, cheated on, stolen from and lied to," those who watch the decline and live through the disaster and chaos. I have more than a passing knowledge of the 12 Steps of recovery, and I believe Ms. King has a better grasp on alcoholism and recovery than Mr. Frey. And so I hope her book sells many more copies.
Friend and author Deb Raney has been collecting a list of social issues that are covered in Christian fiction. Criticisms often leveled at this market include the one that says these novels give a sanitized view of the world we live in. People who say that are woefully uninformed and haven’t read much fiction from CBA publishers in recent years or they would know better.
Deb gave permission for other writers to post the list to their blogs. Angela Hunt beat me to it, so I am going to point readers to her blog. Angie is adding to the list as other writers inform her where their books belong on it, so check back every now and then, especially if you want to see what today’s Christian novelists are writing about — or if you’re simply looking for another great read.
This morning I completed Day 21 of the Bible in 90 Days reading challenge. I am deep into 1st Samuel, reading about David on the run from Saul. The last thing I read was about Saul visiting the medium/witch of Endor who calls up the spirit of Samuel. Spooky and something I need to check into a little more.
I am enthralled with reading the Bible in this fashion. I was afraid that it would seem like speed reading (almost disrespectful to the word of God) and that I wouldn’t get as much out of it as when I read the Bible in a year, four times as long as this challenge takes. I was wrong. I’m just getting a different picture. I would encourage everyone to try this at least once.
Well, with the revisions off of my desk, it is time for some office clean-up and a return to the rewrites of my next "redeemed" novel. I’d love to have those rewrites done by next week so that I can get to work on my July 2007 release the first week of February.
In the grip of His grace,