Monday, September 04, 2006

Novel Update

Bought Brandilyn Collins' Violet Dawn last night as well as Mary DeMuth's Watching the Tree Limbs. Finished both already. Read Mary's book last night in the hotel room. (We've been in Nashville for the weekend,) and Brandilyn's on the way home. Both were all I expected them to be and more. I just wish I had money to buy more. Hubby says I can get them on at a better price, but somehow I balk at it. It seems like cheating the author. I look at it as all part of my initiation. Still it can get to be an expensive habit. Even buying paperback.
Being a fast reader sets me up for disappointment. I'm always sad to see the story end. And yet, somehow once I start a good book, I can't put it down until the last page. That's how I know it's a winner.

It's the same way with the things I write. I was mildly disappointed to be finished with From Pharaoh's Hand. The only way I knew to remedy it was to start on a new book. I've got more done on the new one than the little graph shows. I just don't know how much yet, because most of it is handwritten. I've been writing while I wait in line at school to pick up CWGIII.

Another interesting thing about this book is that even though I have an outline--just like the last time--the scenes are coming in a peculiar order. I just hope when I go to string them together they make some sort of sense. I actually had to stop writing the other day. I wondered if I was doing the right thing--delving into this dark world of alcholism, abuse, and anorexia. (Not that I know a thing about anorexia. You should see me. But me and my sisters have decided that our family is a bunch of stress eaters.) Other themes are posttraumatic stress, guilt, infidelity, and war. It's proving to be quite the challenge.

I'm still struggling with what exactly this book will be. By that, I'm referring to genre. I suppose that's the hardest part to figure out. This book will be Christian. It will have romance. It will have suspense. It will rely heavily on recent history from the 70's to modern day. When I originally got the idea, my first thought was that it was a psychological novel. But that sounds so boring...and even complicated. When I got to a certain scene that I was painting, I actually shook. "I'm not sure I can do this," I told myself. And then I hear my friend Diane's voice reassuring me that maybe this is a path to healing.

But I've already let go of that past. Why dredge it up again? I thought. What good can dredging up hurtful memories bring? Because even though my story is going to be fiction, I have a broad range of experience to draw from. As I've said before, or maybe I haven't, my father was an alcoholic. My mother was a devoted, loving, Christian mom. This made for a somewhat turbulent childhood. I did not have it as bad as many children. The abuse that we suffered (and I'm speaking for my sisters, maybe out of turn) was more psychological than physical. As far as I know, none of the three of us were sexually abused. We had been struck at various times and seen our mother struck, choked, and threatened with a gun. Now, you tell me, what does that do to a child? Broken promises, lies, humiliations, and criticism...what does that do? At the same time, there were a few years when my father was sober. And from those years, we gathered some good memories and valuable lessons. But they are overshadowed by that man he would become when the bottle would overtake him. Overshadowed by the picture of coming home to a house full of smoke and him lying in front of the front door with a gun at his feet with us trying to get in. (He'd left a roast on the stove to burn and passed out at the front door with his gun. Who knows what that was all about.) But to kids, we thought he had set the house on fire and killed himself. That was just one of many terrifying moments of my childhood. Most of them I've kept tucked away for years--the admonition for secrecy ingrained so deep in me, the shame, the horror too much for me to tell. But Daddy's gone now. And Mama is too. Daddy's parents are aged and wouldn't have the faintest idea how to get on the internet. And so, now today, I freely tell the world what were to a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed 10-year-old the gravest secrets of all. Perhaps Diane is right. It needs to be told.

Am I writing a memoir? No. This is definitely a fiction storyline. I'm not about to do a James Frey. But as all good writers do, I write what I know. So who knows what From the Dust of Rose Hill will be when it's finished? I can only pray that it will help someone, that it will glorify God, and that it will not be written in vain. I can't promise you anything else. And I'm thinking that this week I'll send off my query for FPH if my printer will cooperate. Otherwise, I'll have to find a Kinkos.


MugwumpMom said...

Should your story be told? Absolutely! It is our stories that glorify God.
We can have saved spirits but continue to live on the floor, and our lives do not point to a glorious and restoring Father. You however, are not living on the're an oak tree that grew up powerful and strong out of the mess, and all the credit for that is God's..using some of your own God given strength and integrity of course. So tell the story!

Praying for your Prodigal said...


Yes, yuor story is valuable. Not only does it lead to your own healing--it will glorify God! There are lessons learned in pain....and when we surrender our pain to Him, His glory shines through our weakness!

A huge "way to go" for doing just that! Keeping secrets is dangerous...they grow and grow inside of us...and come out sideways, upside down, and implode when we least expect them! No--hidden secrets never come out directly--they usually come out in devastating ways that destroy us and those around us that we love! Remember, my dear blogging friend--you have no reason for shame. Shame says "I did something wrong"--you did nothing wrong. Something wrong was done to you. There's a world of difference in the word "to" and "I." Shame keeps us trapped in our box of horror. Take that blonde-haired, blue-eyed 10 year-old-little girl....and nurture her through the healing process! Bring Jesus with, of course, HE LOVES YOU!

Take YOUR power...tell the secrets in YOUR way. When harm was done to us--we had no power; the telling gives us the POWER to heal.

And remember.....just like the rooms of old seemed so-o-o-o big to the little girl? Well, the secrets of old have grown even bigger than they were! Just like returning to our homes of old, the rooms seem smaller, the yard seems smaller, the staircase--not quite so tall! From the eyes of your nurturing heart--the power of the secrets diminishes. His LOVE is greater than anything the enemy intended for harm. One of the enemies tools--deceipt! He wants us to believe the harm was too great.

Let the Master continue to weave your story, my friend! I am so proud of you!