Notes about a novel: desire YOUR feedback!

I want your help with some ideas.

I’ve been musing about the structure of a possible novel. I think the opening will have a woman killed in a hit & run “accident.” Prior to her death, she and the story’s main character would have met every morning in the last month during their daily exercises. Though the “hero” doesn’t know it, she’s intentionally bumping into him, trying to discern if he’s trustworthy. Part of how the “hero” will begin to realize she may not have died accidentally will be based on some of the brief conversations they had during their morning encounters. He will recall several key, troubling comments or questions she asked him.

But first, I need them to get to know each other.

If you met a stranger, say on a morning walk/run, what would you say to get a conversation underway? Maybe there will eventually be a little flirting, but I wonder about authentic questions and comments that help two strangers know each other, and make them look forward to the next day’s brief sharing.

What might you ask or say?

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Limping Away*

Like the Biblical Jacob, I limped toward my future. Unlike Jacob, RICE helped me take more steps into my future without limping.

My last Sunday as a full-time pastor ended on the first Sunday of June, 2007*. After nearly nine years, it seemed the right time for a new direction. However, not all on my last day went as planned.

The 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time – for July 31, 2011

“Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.” (Genesis 32:24)

But the planned events were grand: Communion was celebrated, newborn twins were blessed with gentle words, some of my favorite hymns were sung and a few surprises for me were tossed into the worship mix. What a wonderful day!

And I was also injured.

Near the beginning of the second worship service, I tore or bruised a muscle in my left leg. Yikes! Just after the greeting time–when church members exchange hugs, handshakes and a hearty, “May the peace of God be with you”—I retreated to my seat near the pulpit. On my return, I did a little hop-skip step. What a happy fellow!

With one step, life felt good.

With the next step, it seemed like a BB gun pellet smacked the side of my left calf. In the proverbial split-second, a burning sensation spread across the entire calf. Suddenly, I could barely walk.

Physically, the remainder of the day was miserable. I preached with pain rippling up-and-down my left side. At the afternoon farewell festivities, an outdoor picnic, I leaned all my weight on the right leg. Instead of wandering about a lovely tree-shaded patio to share with folks, I claimed the nearest chair. Grrrr. Continue reading →

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R is for . . .

READ (those verses aloud)

In the craft of writing, reading aloud helps uncover mistakes, from weak sentences to simple typos. Reading the Bible aloud, whatever the translation, is never about finding mistakes though.

First, the Biblical words were passed along by reading aloud, by one person sharing with another. The Bible is not filled with infallible written words that arrived intact and fully formed. The library called the Bible is filled with verses and phrases once memorized “by heart” and frequently sung or dramatically presented. They were first children’s stories, campfire tales and word pictures.

Second, reading it aloud claims community. Read the Bible aloud as part of your prayer time and anticipate God’s communal presence. Read to others, with the expectation that another both listens and questions.

We are a “people of the word,” but the written word was second, while the spoken word—a voice rising to publicly seek and receive forgiveness between individuals or to call for and demand justice from institutions—came long before carefully numbered verses and tables of contents.

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