January 17, 2005

One Through Four (from Yesterday)

1) Here are the images I talked about uploading, handily set into pop-ups so they will not trouble our dial-up friends:

In Which I Have Clearly Been Hit In the Face with a Cast Iron Skillet, BUT OMG peep the boots. (Also, the book I am currently working on features a woman who raises butterflies, so I found this exhibit to be useful, but most importantly, OMG PEEP THOSE BOOTS!)

What you see in Seattle if you fall OFF your very tall and super-fabulous boots and plop all the way down onto your butt and then roll backwards. NOT THAT I DID OR ANYTHING.

The menu from Fourth Story, probably my favorite place I ate because it was INSIDE a bookstore, which, HELLO. Tattered Cover is all about "Coffee bars and muffins are FINE, I 'spose, but come HERE if you want a book with LAMBCHOPS. Which, now that you mention it, I DO.

The menu from the dinner at The Four Seasons in L.A. and HOW did I lose two pounds on this trip?!?! That Warm Asparagus Salad was...I cannot even SPEAK of it.

2) Because THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY is perfect, note perfect, and I just do.

3) Okay, maybe not THE creepiest thing I have ever seen, but...pretty. dern. creepy.

4) I am still sleep deprived, but not so sleep deprived that I would attempt to perpetrate MATH. Instead, here we come back to Haven Kimmel--- I've been discussing her with my friend Judith. See, the thing about Haven Kimmel is, if her prose was HANDS, then God would be Palm Olive and the whole dern book would be SOAKING in it. She writes about people who are REAL people living in the now and yet they are absolutely engaged with God, emotionally and intellectually. It's...astonishing. I LOVE how she writes about God and people who love God and accept God as a given, and yet her people are allowed to live real lives and have real struggles.

Just as an EXAMPLE, and this is NOT to pick on a genre many enjoy but...You look at the guidelines for writing Christian Romance, and you can't have...passion. Not just NO SEX, but no LONGING for it and, um, well. I have to admit, I HATE THE WARM PREMARITAL CUDDLING so often found in Christian fiction. I can respect celibate characters--- The protagonist of my first novel has banked ten years of celibacy --- but LORDY! It shouldn't be EASY! When I run across male characters who are placid, cud-chewing hand-holders who profess to be in love but their deep Godliness makes it a BREEZE to stop after a friendly peck, I always think, "OH, you STUPID Heroine, if that is all the struggle he has with sex, DO NOT MARRY HIM. He CLEARLY lost both testicles in a wheat thresher."

And here I digress, as per usual: REALLY if sex is so easily resisted or replaced by warm, kindly, SOGGY cuddling, then HOW is not having it until after the wedding a SACRIFICE? God doesn't want us to offer him our mild little luke-warm fondnesses. God does not want us to place upon his altar, say, a decent box of crackers and a note that says, "Yo, God, I rather like these with cheese, please open a nice merlot at your leisure!" God wants our PASSION, and any relationship ---with God or another human or, yes, even with a book -- that does not HAVE passion -- Bah. Why pursue it at all?

Back on point: I know I am going to take some flack for this book I have coming out. I often wonder how people from my home church will react to it because, honey, let me tell ya, there's a great teeming multitude of SIN going on in this book. Everyone in it sins every other page. But...that's only because, GOOD GRIEF... people do.

Posted by joshilyn at January 17, 2005 2:21 PM

I still agree with all your comments. Seeing them again doesn't change anything - which is seldom true in life.
I hope your church friends will understand your book. If not, they're not really friends. And the others at church..... Well, it's sad but the church is not always the place we can bare our souls. It should be. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of holier-than-thou criticizing -- other places it's called gossip. And the criticizers usually aren't holier; they just have good locks on their closets. If you and God are okay, then you have to ignore the human criticism.
It's too late to suggest you use a pen-name. :)


Posted by: Judith at January 17, 2005 4:19 PM

1. The boots are hot. How do you balance? I used to be able to dance the night away in such shoes. Now, I wobble all over the place. Cursed children.

4. Ding ding ding. This is why I have toruble with a lot of Christian fiction. There is no real conflict, and living a Christian life, I know better. I suggest Francine Rivers. WOW! Redeeming Love. WOW!

I love your image of the crackers on the alter. This is so true. For ages, the church has tried to suppress passion. They almost fear a sexually alive person. Leading many to hide behind masks and do things on the side they wouldn't do otherwise. Then there is guilt, so more hiding... It's a nasty cycle. Have you read Intimate Issues? Wonderful Christian book on a marriage's sexual side. Have an autographed copy. I went to the conference as well. Cause... um... I happen to like sex with my husband. Shouldn't we? Really hard to obey the whole command to never abstain from sex with your spouse if it's a chore.

Sorry... I am blogging your comments.

Posted by: Heather at January 17, 2005 4:51 PM

Even though I am a Christian, I've only read one Christian book of fiction, and it was tripe. Completely one dimensional. I prefer my people more human.

Hopefully people will understand about your book. I used to do a lot of acting and would sometimes get flack about playing characters who were...much less than squeaky clean, so I know what you mean.

Posted by: Sheryl at January 17, 2005 6:21 PM

I heart you. But you knew that.

Cognac morel sauce?? Damn, I need to write a novel.

Posted by: Mir at January 17, 2005 6:40 PM

Oh, also? Did you wake up with that stapler in your bed...?

Posted by: Mir at January 17, 2005 6:40 PM

I totally agree with everything you've said. I cannot wait to get your book. I've read a couple of Christian non-fiction books but just can't seem to find any good ones with "real" people with "real" problems. I tend now to just buy off the "sinner's" aisle. LOL

Great posts, it looks like you had a fabulous time.

Posted by: Debra at January 17, 2005 8:03 PM

Ok, see...your post today is proof positive to me that God is hearing my own whiny thoughts about my novel, which I'm editing through for the first time. I just finished reading through the whole thing today and wondered what people from my church would think if they read it. It's got passion and sex and all that. It's what my characters are doing and it makes them real. But the heart of the story is about redemption and love, and this particular story wouldn't get there without the rest of it. So these are the thoughts I've been tossing back and forth all day today. And now I'm going to quit worrying about it and just let it be what it's meant to be. Thanks! :)

Posted by: Lisa at January 17, 2005 8:06 PM

When my book is published, I will be excommunicated from my church, the parents will wear black for a year, and I will be forced to make my own church...wait, I did a blog on that. But really, it's gonna shake some crochet beanies right off their heads. But who cares?
Not me.
And you rock, so don't worry about it.

Posted by: tish at January 17, 2005 11:11 PM

Wow, lot of us going on about the SIN these days. But you're right...people DO. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's not real. Good for you for writing real!

Posted by: Shelley at January 18, 2005 9:16 AM

Duuuuude... I thought you weren't going to do the comments thing....

Posted by: zippy at January 18, 2005 11:16 AM

Amen, amen, and AMEN.
Because you know, He's not a tame lion...

Posted by: Kira at January 18, 2005 12:08 PM

My friend, there is much wisdom in what you say. And, being familiar with your church family, I think they will see that. Besides, you are so highly thought of that I think they will spot you a digression or two...*snort*

That stapler is just...wrong. In a lot of ways.

Posted by: Amy at January 18, 2005 1:40 PM