Friday, December 22, 2023

On the verge of Christmas

 Christmas is almost here. December has been mild this year. The horses aren't consuming much hay. A dusting of snow comes and goes on the ground here at the farm. We thought about spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day up at the shack, about an hour north of Bemidji. I don't know if anyone has ever spent Christmas in that remote place. The forecast is looking like rain, though, so I don't think we'll go. 

Instead we will have a couple quiet days at home. We have one more big Christmas gathering this Saturday. Then the plan is to relax. 

One goal for those days is to get a temporary studio set up to start narrating audio books. I've had a few requests for Death on Disappointment Mountain in audio form, and I'd like to get started on that process. My early Christmas gift from Lisa was a technology package to make that process possible. Excited to get that set up and learn to use it well. 

Writing these days is a business of pushing little things forward. I've got two manuscripts complete and in the editing stages. Wait for the Lightning is a non-fiction book on Genesis 1-12. Goal is to publish that this late winter / spring. Altered Vows is a novel I've been working on since the mid-1990's. That's being read and edited, and then I'll have significant revisions to do. I had hoped to have it published this winter, but we will see how extensive the revisions are. 

Two sequels are in the stage of working on a first draft. I'm about 25K words into a sequel to Altered Vows already. And I've mostly finished an outline for a sequel to Disappointment Mountain. I'm excited about both those projects. Also I've got several concept pieces I'm outlining that will take shape during 2024. 

There's plenty of work to do; I just need to set aside time to do it. 

I find myself in kind of a strange place. I'm writing in three distinct genres. The non-fiction biblical books are totally different from the fiction books. And Disappointment Mountain is  literary fiction while Altered Vows is a medieval Christian fantasy. So very likely each of those genres will appeal to a completely different audience. That's okay, it just makes it challenging to focus in one direction. 

More important, I've been circling back to the whole reason why I'm writing lately. As a bedtime story, I finished reading Tolkien's "Leaf by Niggle" to Lisa a couple nights ago. That fun little story is such a good reminder that using our God-given gifts in a way that serves him is an important kind of stewardship. In his small way, Niggle contributed to God's new creation by using his art. In some small way, I hope to do the same thing in my writing. Or as I say it in my Amazon author bio, I want to connect people to the story of God's love for this world. 

It's that story that drives us at Christmas. We put out lights and buy gifts and prepare food because in Jesus, God shows his love for us. He makes it possible for us to love one another and to love him in return. May you know his love in a full and fresh way this Christmas!

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