Monthly Archives: October 2021

Jesus Come Soon… ?

The more our society collapses and evil grows ever more prevalent, the more I hear people pray the above.

Yet when their prayer continues to go unanswered (or at least a, “Not yet.”), they ask, “Why not? How much more does evil need to grow, to fester, and destroy? How many more people need to suffer and die under it? When will you, God, say ‘enough is enough’?”

For me, it’s a prayer I refuse to utter. Would I like him to? Sure! Yet, for me, saying that prayer would come from a place of fear, laziness, and selfishness. It would mean I no longer have to struggle, face uncertainty, and prepare for hard times that may or may not come to fruition during my lifetime.

There is another reason that has nothing and everything to do with me. Jesus is waiting in order to give people more opportunities to find him. I didn’t find Jesus myself until I was sixteen. If he had decided to come earlier, I would have been denied that opportunity. Who am I to say those who are still lost should remain lost, because I myself am tired of fighting and still seeing evil’s reign grow?

So, yes, I want Jesus to tarry a few more days. I want others to have more time and opportunity to find him—just like I did—and as such avoid the tribulations, the horrors, and the judgement that is to come.

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)

A Writer’s Work is Never Done

The first lesson I learned as a writer is I will never write the perfect story.

In fact, just when I think a story or book is as good as it can be, someone comes along and says, “Nope. It needs this…”

For instance, I finally received a response to one of my proposals that I had submitted a few months ago. It’s a rejection, but a positive one (yes, there is such a thing). Most of the time a rejection is either no response or a simple “Thanks, but no thanks.”

This rejection says in part: “The genre is potentially a good fit for our press, and many of your underlying concepts of worldbuilding are intriguing; however, we think that this story might benefit from a developmental edit to help balance out the various characters’ points of view and to regulate the balance of pacing between the characters’ internal processing and the action in the story. While we won’t be pursuing this manuscript any further at [this] time, we would welcome a resubmission after edits.”

So it’s a “sort of” rejection. I’m nonetheless now researching editors to see if they can help me with the issues above, and hopefully make my story even better to justify a resubmittal. There’s still no guarantee they’ll accept my manuscript, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

My not-so-secret hope is that any suggestions don’t require a complete rewrite, or I have to reimagine the entire story including the world, plot, and characters. I’m already working on a new novel, so diving into another one at the same time will be quite the challenge.

Good thing I’m still off social media…

Aside: In researching what graphic to use at the top, I typed in “work images.” Over 95% of the pictures were computer/office related. No construction, welding, farming, ranching, or other physical labors. I can think of many reasons why that is, including audience. After all, I’m on a computer, so it stands to reason looking for work images would be related to computers… Still, I hate to think the browser algorithm programmers don’t think that jobs where working on roads, buildings, etc., isn’t considered real work.

Now it’s time for me to go back to work…

A Time and Place

Every year the South Dakota Humanities Council holds a book festival where authors can purchase booths to sell their books. Along with that authors and college and university professors give workshops, readings and other presentations pertaining all things literary. It’s usually held in the Black Hills of South Dakota (this year was supposed to be in Deadwood).

Unfortunately due to the thing-that-shall-not-be-named, the council decided to cancel the festival and go all virtual. Because some of the workshops and other presentations looked interesting and informative, myself and two others decided to sign up and attend.

My favorite workshop on Friday was titled “Flash Forms Workshop” hosted by Joseph Holt (https://www.holt.ink/). It was about writing and understanding flash writing. He’s definitely a teacher in that he encouraged—and expected—lots of audience participation. His passion for writing was infectious. I managed to peek out of my virtual shell a few times (although I had issues with my microphone) and asked a few questions and added comments in the chat. He gave us some prompts and gave us ten minutes to do some free writing on those prompts.

In those ten minutes I wrote something that was rather outstanding–if I may say so myself. It’s good enough, in fact, I’m going see if I can get it published. It won’t work for the flash fiction magazine I currently edit for, but it might work for a different one.

At the end of Joe’s presentation, he gave us a few names of publications that specialize in flash form writing that look promising

The second day, however, was a bit of a frustrating disappointment.

Let me just start with this: I don’t care what a person’s politics are. If I am going to attend any class or workshop, I expect the presenter or instructor to stick to the subject at hand and not spout their political views. Even if I happen to agree with their politics, it’s still irrelevant and a waste of my time. It’s not why I’m there.

Unfortunately, during two of the events I was looking forward to, the presenters barely touched on the subject and instead focused on, shall we say, other matters. I ended up leaving both of them within ten minutes.

The nice thing about attending via Zoom, leaving the “room” was a bit easier than it would have been in person. No one to stare after me wondering why I was leaving with my jaw clenched.

There is a time and a place for politics, so unless the subject is about politics all personal political views need to stay out of the classroom–virtual or otherwise.