What am I working on right now?
I’m working on a couple of things. One is a workshop for MADE, a creative e-course, that will begin this fall:
‘Using Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea as inspiration, we will explore 4 themes related to living ‘in grace’: Shape, Simplicity, Solitude, and Significance. Using beach-themed imagery, we will learn how to make ATCs, and use them as reminders of the truths and lessons learned.’
The other more immediate project I’m busy with is researching and writing a blog series for a couple of weeks in May, around the issue of AIDS and gays; specifically the documentary God Loves Uganda that will be broadcast on PBS on May 19th. What’s going on in Uganda and Russia is the same thing that happened here in the 80s, and silence and ignorance is not an option anymore.
Why do I write what I do?
Dan Allender talks about how the pain of your past is related to your calling in the present, and I’ve found that to be true. The themes of rejection and disapproval in my life have been powerful catalysts for me to learn to love other people, and to see if God really is who he says he is.
How does your writing process work?
I write everything out longhand, using only Pilot G2 pens. I usually write and write until I have pages of random thoughts, and then I rewrite it, picking out the main parts and the good thoughts. Then I go through and heavily edit, and rewrite it one more time. When it’s pretty good, then I’ll type it up and start formatting it to post.
It’s a time-intensive way to write, but I find that my words flow so much better, much more natural, when I handwrite vs. typing.
I don’t have a set time for when I write. I try to do it in the afternoons when the kids are having their quiet time, but often it bleeds into the evening, or in the mornings during breakfast. I do best when I have a couple of hours to myself to really think. I finally got a pair of silencing headphones that I’ll wear, and tuck my earbuds inside of them, so the only sound I hear is music. That’s been incredibly helpful to get silence even when the house is noisy. My favorite music to write to is Sleeping at Last, but also Matt Moberg, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and Birdy.
How is my work different from other of its genre?
Other people, other cultures, other stories have always fascinated me, and when you combine that with the realization that anyone different is typically excluded, then it makes perfect sense that I would look for ways to find the sameness in all of us. I have seen some books and blogs on justice issues, or church issues, or different cultures. But the angle I come at it from seems to be somewhat unique, and I almost wish it wasn’t. I wish it was normal for people, churches especially, to focus on the outsider and the unwanted and to find ways to empathize and understand them instead of denigrating them. But from pain comes redemption, and I hope the words I spill out are ones that bring hope and healing.