Whew! I got THAT off my chest. (See my last several posts if you’re interested in my reflections on the intersection – or lack thereof – of politics and ethics.) Now I can move on to the things that keep me sane and hopeful.
I’m embarking on the fourth major phase of my life. (I’ll tell you about it sometime when I don’t mind if you know exactly how old I am. Let’s just say I’m seasoned.) But this is the phase where I’m beginning to try to do what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl: write a book that delves deep into people’s lives and says something significant that makes them want to be immersed in this other world and discover people with deep longings and real lives. A tall order for a former pastor. It would be far easier for me to undertake a book on prayer and the spiritual life – but in a way I’ve been doing that for the greater part of my life. A sermon a week with articles now and then on prayer and short takes on finding God in the world. In fact if you find yourself so inclined you could find examples of the latter in the archives of this very blog, which I founded under first one name, then under another, and still another, as my life morphed and re-formed. But I digress. Here I am now, retired from the church, beginning all over again.
In a way I’m a seasoned writer. Like every other pastor of small churches, I became a prolific writer of sermons. But that is as far away from what I long to do now than here to the moon. I learned the craft of writing by writing, but I had no idea how to create the kind of world that you find in a novel.
So here I am feeling like a newbie. My dream now is to live long enough to get this book written that has been percolating in my heart and brain for years, a story rooted in the events around The Great War (WW-I, for those who are not historians) and which cannot really be told without reference to the traumas and the social mores of that time. That means I need to learn how to write a novel (not a sermon) and re-discover the past sufficiently to tell the tale. I know my characters (all of the important ones), and I’m beginning to plot and outline the story.
I plan to tell here not the story that is unfolding in this prodigious undertaking, but the process I’m in and the joys and struggles of it. I’m calling this particular category of posts “the write life.” But knowing myself, I’ll also share my thoughts on lots of odds and ends. If you’re up for it, come along for the ride.