Why can’t all writing days be good writing days? I had such a great one on Tuesday. Then yesterday wasn’t worth spit. Sigh… Hoping for better writing today.
Netflix: I’m loving it! We’ve already received, viewed, and returned our first rentals. Actually, we are still in the two weeks free period. Anyway, another movie shipped yesterday and two more ought to ship today. I’m having fun looking for those films I never would have seen otherwise. And a friend in another state joined because of my blog entry, so now we can see what the other is watching and how they rated films (where we agree and where we disagree).
American Idol: We said goodbye to Anthony last night. Now it is down to three. Unless America goes totally nuts, the final two will be Bo and Carrie. I love them both and want them both to win. Since that can’t happen, I will probably base my final vote on the performances from the finals night only.
But I have a request for Bo and Carrie. Please do an album together. Your voices blend so well together. Every time they have done a group song and those two have been paired, I’ve thought how terrific they sounded as a duo.
This morning, I read a letter to the editor in Christian Retailing (May 16, 2005) from Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay. He had been misquoted as calling the Christian music industry a "monster" because artists can’t make the kind of music they want to make because of industry restrictions. (That is my interpretation and abridged version; I don’t want to put more words in Mr. Haseltine’s mouth.) His letter to the editor detailed the full context of what he said and where he said it.
The reason this letter drew my attention was two-fold. First, I have been savaged on the Internet (three years ago) because of a newspaper article that took words out of context and made it seem I said some things I didn’t. So I can certainly empathize with Mr. Haseltine. It is frustrating and disheartening to see the distortion of truth.
The second reason I took note was because this same sort of discussion goes on regarding Christian publishing of fiction. I could send you to numerous sites that discuss how the CBA keeps a tight rein on authors and that authors can’t write what they want to write. Someday maybe I will write a longer post about my thoughts on this.
For now, I can only say how blessed I feel that I’ve been able to write the stories of my heart. Oh sure. I think it’s silly what some publishers won’t let me put in a book (the word "drat" for instance). But that’s a small thing when I’m trying to write about God’s grace in a culture that believes there is no black and white, no absolute right and wrong.
I have had two readers write to tell me they threw my books into the trash can. In Ribbon of Years, I allowed my protagonist to date a divorced man (his wife left him for another man she was having an affair with; after the wife divorced him, he became a Christian). Trash. In The Forgiving Hour, two unbelievers have an adulterous affair (while the reader watches the lead up to the affair and can see it is coming, the reader is not taken into the bedroom; and it’s forgiveness for that betrayal that is the essence of the novel). Trash.
But I believe those two readers reacted the way they did because of issues in their own hearts. For each of those letters, I’ve received dozens of others thanking me for those same two novels.
As a writer, all I can do is tell the stories that God gives me to the best of my ability. I look at the hurting world around me — including the walking wounded in the church (the readers I consider my primary audience) — and I want to touch them with the love and grace of God through my stories. I want to offer them hope and peace. I want to send them from my words to the Word.
I spent nearly two decades writing in the general ABA market. I was restricted in many ways from writing what I wanted to write. I have enjoyed far more freedom writing Christian fiction than I ever knew in the general market place.
Oh, my. How did I get onto this soapbox? I think I’d best step off it and get to work.
In the grip of His grace,