Friday, November 16, 2012

Putting Novel Pieces Together

Oh, goodness. I'm late with my post today because I've had a busy week and I forgot my turn was up. And now I've got a half hour before I have to go to work, so I'm going to just riff here. Is that okay?

If I were writing a real post, I would pull things together that I want to talk to you about, like for instance:

  • The contradiction we touched on this week, of our dream of  literary success, and our desire for quiet, obscure lives. 
  • The one-year anniversary of Latayne's dream trip to The Holy Land to research her new book, and of her coming home to find her husband was desperately ill. You can read her latest update here.
  • The ways all of us ladies on Novel Matters have struggled in this new economy and new publishing world, and the ways you have struggled as well.
  • My long-time resistance to finding a real job for fear that my life would change in ways I would hate, which ended in my stumbling upon a dream job that I dearly, dearly love. 
  • Bonnie's book, Talking To the Dead going FREE for just a couple days - but it's still not too late. 

Then, if I were writing a real post, I would ask myself how these things connect to one another. I would probably think a long time for the obvious reason that the connection is not obvious.

But I would find the connection because I have twenty-five minutes now and I have to.

Here we go:

We told God we wanted to write good stories, but maybe He thought we said we wanted to live good stories. Which sounds fine on the surface, until you realize that good stories involve conflict, even tragedy sometimes, and stunning reversals, and we wanted - remember? - quiet lives and literary success.

We forgot that art comes out of pain. But He designed it that way. I don't know why. Still, this morning it all seems strangely beautiful.

If I were writing a real post, I would probably quote Marilynne Robinson's Gilead yet again, because I think it is the wisest novel I ever read.

Here's a good one:

"Strange are the uses of adversity." That's a fact.  When I'm up here in my study with the radio on and some old book in my hands and it's nighttime and the wind blows and the house creaks, I forget where I am, and it's as though I'm back in hard times for a minute or two, and there's a sweetness in the experience which I don't understand.  But that only enhances the value of it.  My point here is that you never do know the actual nature even of your own experience.  

I'm off to work, my friends. Please forgive my jumble here. I hope you'll comment anyway - I love to read what you have to say.


Nikole Hahn said...

"We forgot that art comes out of pain." So well worded. I've actually been behind in my blogging. Usually I'm two weeks out, but I'm slowly getting caught up again. There will be days like these...great post anyway. I love rambling posts.

Megan Sayer said...

Yeah. Sometimes I get annoyed at God when my life starts playing out as a story, and i tell him I wish I was an accountant. I'd be a bad one though, because I'm just wired for stories. On days like those I have to grit my teeth and accept that although stories are conflict and character development, they do resolve.

S. F. Foxfire said...

Our lives tend to be like good stories. True. So true. What's a life without conflict? Without despised love? Without adversity and beautifully painful songs and touching paintings and novels that make your heart ache with joyful grief?

Art comes out of the most painful situations, you're right, Katy.

I remember when I started writing. My father had just walked out on my family. I was six. I picked up story telling because I had been pushed to escaping my own world so full of pain, to invent worlds full of pain. Or, rather, stumble upon them. Why do we do that? Find our own pain in the books we read?

Jennifer Major said...

Ah, this was interesting! We all do live what we think are quiet lives, but they aren't!
I once told someone that I never go anywhere fun.
BIG mistake, cuz then she proceeded to remind me of all the cool things God has dropped in my lap.

He is teaching me patience and about His timing. I think, "one day I'll look back and smile". But I need to remember to smile NOW.

Cherry Odelberg said...

Could I stumble on one, please; a dream job?

Actually, I have been blessed with one, but the season is ending. Excited to see what is around the corner.

Kathleen Popa said...

Hi everyone - finally home.

Nikole, I am SOOO glad you like rambling posts. Many blessings on your catching up.

Megan, welcome to America! No, I doubt you would want to be an accountant. Here's to the resolving!

Foxfire - I forgot about the despised love. But yes, that too! I don't know why we so love to find our own pain in the books we read. Maybe it's true: to know we're not alone.

Jennifer, yes. Smile now. Such a perfect picture of faith. Somewhere I saw it written: "Hope is hearing tomorrow's music today. Faith is dancing to it now." Isn't that good?

Cherry, I pray for you a dream job, just around the corner. This has taught me yet again that you just never know.

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Wow! You are so profound in 25 minutes! I am in dire straits, shoals everywhere and your post encourages me! The Author is at work!
I just learned (James Study by Beth Moore) that anguish and joy come together in the Bible. Anguish is strongly connected to childbirth. It always produces something. If we let go and let God the something is beautiful. We have the choice to reject His way and produce ugliness and evil.
There must be an amazing library in Heaven where we can read the stories of the saints forever. The Book of Acts is the only unfinished book in the Bible.
"Tune in next eternity for the continuing saaaaaaaaagaaaaaa.....!"

Kathy said...

A lot was covered in your comments as well. I'm trying to keep my head above waters as virus hit me this week. Not much writing but rest and reading helped sustain me. Hope there is an opportunity to win the book, "Talking to the Dead" by Bonnie. It would help in my time of healing.

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