A Tree by the Stream

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Where I used to live

This was our old place outside town. We rented it for about 6 years; then my husband (now ex) left and after the divorce I moved into town. I still miss this place, which had character and charm. I keep reminding myself that it was the kind of charm that wore thin by the middle of February, and what the first winter there was like, when we were burning truckloads of wood pallets to stay warm. If you held a hand up to the walls on a cold day, you could actually feel the cold air coming in right through them. But it was on 5 acres with trees and a meadow and apples, plums and blackberries. I loved it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Safe? Unsafe? Good?

J. Mark Bertrand--a very talented writer--has a post on The Master's Artist on the notion of "safe" Christian fiction. I admit I had a time in my life when I enjoyed having a safe harbor in my reading life--but it's not what I want to read most of the time, and it's really not what I want to write.

This piece is more than a casual blog post. It's a very good essay. If you like it, you might also enjoy exploring his own blog, or his writing.

Safe or Good

Creative cleaning

DS12 aka Discreet is cleaning his room, without being asked. Many giggles from his room, where his best friend is helping him. They pulled the big outdoor trash can to a position under his window and are shooting baskets at it. Except to remind them that anything that misses outside has to be picked up, I'm staying out of the way and hoping that the expedition into order won't end with everything pulled out of his drawers and nothing put away.

Story contest

Dave at Faith in Fiction has announced a new short story contest. The goal: to write a conversion story that doesn't make the reader want to throw the book against the wall. To write a conversion story that makes the reader want to keep reading to keep reading, to beg for more. Prizes, publications, incentives are still undecided, but in his Christmas story contest last year, several very good stories were submitted and the best were published in Infuze magazine.

If you aren't familiar with Dave, he's an acquisitions editor at Bethany House who is carrying on an ongoing dialogue about the nature of Christian fiction with a number of Christian writers (most of them NOT signed on with Bethany House.)

The conversion story, a mandatory feature of most CBA fiction, is also one of the most frequently criticized features.