Tag Archives: literary agent

My ugly Confession.

I have a confession to make.

ambition while missing the point

 

In about 2 weeks, this blog site will be a year old. In the last 5-6 months, I’ve been trying pretty hard to write interesting, helpful, or entertaining stuff for this place, almost every single day. I’ve made fantastic contacts, great new friends, and I’ve had a good time doing it.

This is hard to admit, but, I have to confess, that I’ve been blogging mostly to build a larger reading audience. A little while ago my agent told me that I stood a good chance to have my material published, but the biggest obstacle was “lack of platform.” Lack of platform sort of means, not too many care who you are, or what you do. A successful blog can change that, and help a writer build this much-needed platform. I know there’s nothing shameful about writing a blog and hoping others read it, but my remorse at this moment is that I realize I have made it my means to an end. I’ve been holding so tight to this idea that I can generate a solid readership base to, as Pedro says, “make all my wildest dreams come true,” that I didn’t realize I was putting it before the whole point, which is to share myself and my God with others. In a real sense, I’ve thought of this blog as a vehicle to “get me somewhere,” and I’ve made it an idol. Sometimes I have said to myself, “Well, it’s really both, a vehicle and my ministry.” This may be true, and I hope things work out like this, but if my priorities or motivations shift weight, things get off balance. And they have been.

I stopped long enough for God to speak to my heart, and in my spirit, it seems “he” said, “Let it go.” I got a little panicky at first. “Completely? What? Huh? What ‘chu talkin’ ’bout Willis…er, Father in Heaven?”

Then it seemed like God nudged me, and “said,” “Don’t be such an extremist.” This threw in off a little. So, I sort of looked around sheepishly for a little, almost looking for an exit, but without trying to be obvious about it. It seems like God “said,” “You’re clutching. Stop it. Just write and stop thinking about the rest. It’s none of your business.”

This bothered me. I felt out of control. Of course, it was a false assumption that I really have control like I was thinking I had. But, then I thought about what that might feel like…to hand things over… and I tried to “put that skin on.” Even just putting it on halfway felt SO nice. Relaxing. Like the pressure was off, and leaving the room, like a smog lifting. So, I stopped that exercise midway, I took a deep breath and I yielded. I took my sweaty feet off the pedals and coasted. I waited. And nothing happened. Nothing, for better or for worse, but I felt much better.

I wanted to tell you about it, because I know I haven’t been thinking the right way. I know that has to change, and I’m turning my heart the other way. I may post less often, but maybe there will be more true joy and inspiration when I do.

I do hope many are blessed by this blog, and resources, but I’m not going to transpose the priorities anymore, if I can help it, (with God’s grace). This will happen on a heart level, and it might not even be apparent to you, but I hope that my honesty will not only encourage you to look carefully at your own priorities, and goals, but also be a way to ensure that I stay congruent to my core convictions and values, in the way and nature of my God.

It’s hard to make confessions because, sometimes, it makes you feel really weak, stupid, or like some kind of a scum bag. It’s risky. The temptation to keep on a mask, and act like things are all pulled together, can be a strong influencer. Even though it feels embarrassing, it’s still the only way to move forward, and toward shalom (well-being/peace). I’m trying to be brave.

Thoughts… comments?

My Stinky Stones

Estone

I just mailed off my 1st Ebenezer Stone, (help stone) and 18 spiritual practices/remembrance ideas to use with it for a more enriching walk with God, and awareness of his presence in everyday activities.

To get yours, or better grasp what in the world I’m talking about, just read the info., and see my awkward video clip on the Ebenezer Stones page.

By the way, each stone smells fantastic! I just said “stinky” for alliteration purposes. 🙂

How can life *become* prayer

One big reason I set out to try to spend time on this message (with a book proposal and a blog) is to show that God is usually different than we make him out to be. This comes out in the Bible. He’s full of surprises. He sews leather outfits for the couple who betrayed him. He gives clemency to the first murderer. Jacob the devious trickster is father to a great nation. “Jacob have I loved, Easu have I hated.” In a better translation of the Hebrew, God says: “I am favoring Jacob, but not Easu.” God points this out much in a twist of the plot, and our normal assumptions, much to our surprise. It’s all to show his wild grace, which none of us deserve. The running narrative in the Bible isn’t much of a “how to do right living” book. The characters featured are usually full of flaws. It is rather a collection of stories where God’s power and grace shines through and saves the day.

This is a God we can love and trust. It is often a God we weren’t taught about too much in church or Sunday school. Perhaps Jesus was taught to us this way-a lamb draped on his shoulders, and such. But, God is often taught as something of a splintered off honcho, a petulant Being who has had a habit of smiting people.

The idea of understanding God’s character anew, through informed context, is that it leads us to understand the Reality of “him,” and the omnipresence of this Being, God Almighty, always in the regular moments of life. Every moment may be a chance for greater awareness and communion with the lover of our nefesh (soul-whole being). It doesn’t boil down to a set of rules or rituals. It is a relationship, a prayer between us and the Supreme Other. Our life becomes prayer.

Upcoming featured author- Keri Wyatt Kent

Keri

I’ve really enjoyed Keri’s books, most recently, her book called “Rest.”

I’m working on a feature post highlighting her main messages, including an exclusive interview. The issues close to Keri’s heart dovetail nicely with the theme of this site, and I enjoy connecting us to each other.

I gladly take suggestions for authors to highlight here. If you enjoy an author, drop me a line on the contact page, or in the comments below. If you have written a book that pairs well with ideas related here, let me know. This site isn’t all about me, it’s about sharing the journey, learning, growing, and enjoying this world anew.

Thanks for stopping by.

Where’s my Sunshine Mountain???

NOT sunshine mountain

I’m writing right now in the book “Life As Prayer”  about something those of the Catholic tradition are more acquainted with, and that is, that negative (so-called) portions of our spiritual journey are really a normal part of the process.

Usually we tend to see them as problematic, or like something has gone terribly wrong. Or, perhaps, we’ve gone terribly wrong. Dark times, un-SUNSHINE MOUNTAIN times, are part of what God uses, and are quite positive, though they might not feel like it. Many people tend to think of God’s displeasure, or his withholding of blessing when they don’t feel his love, or are suffering, or not being blessed. Is it because we live in prosperity? Maybe. But even the ancient story of Job reveals that his friends thought the same mistaken things. 

I’m going to unpack Gloom Mountain, and take the teeth out of it. Spirituality encompasses these dark times too, and may be what best prepares us for what God has for us. After the dawn, new richness is revealed than could ever happen before.

I’ll share some tidbits as I move along. Freely share your experiences or thoughts, if you’d like. 

Have you felt pressure to be happy when you were not, because you thought God or others wanted you to?

Brother Lawrence: Fast facts

• c. 1614-1691

• Lowly monk duties as a kitchen worker, and shoe cobbler (no standing or education to be a leader, priest, or cleric)

• Lived in a barefooted monastic order

• Said he did not enjoy religious routines (bit odd to admit for a monk, b/c this is their lifestyle)

• He sought continual communion and delight in the awareness of the presence of God

• Believed in the grace of God more than anything else

• His piety and devotion was so transforming and noticeable, religious leaders, young monks, and outsiders sought out his secrets and counsel

• At his funeral his sweetness and character were so exceptional that his letters of correspondence and remembrances of his conversations were gathered, read, and preserved for posterity–otherwise his life would have been forever lost in obscurity

project: Life As Prayer

Beyond a book

Two chapters and a book proposal have been turned in to my agent, Chip. When he gets back from Maui, we’ll talk and see where the next step will be.

But, this topic is far bigger than a book. For me, it’s a new way to see life in which all is seen as spiritual. What is vertigo about contemporary life becomes more calm and centered. It’s also a way to, as the bible says, “walk with God”. This is a day-to-day excursion, not just a book writing task.

What does it mean to walk with God?

Or to “pray continually?”