Friday, December 19, 2014


8. Is there any part of this book that was most enjoyable to write? Or least fun? 

Well, I already talked about the challenges that presented themselves, so that would be the least "fun"--and that applies throughout. As for most enjoyable, that's hard to say. Since the subject interests me, it was all enjoyable. I suppose if I had to pick a scene, it would be, oddly enough, the crucifixion chapter. Not because that was "enjoyable" to write in the sense of fun and exciting, but enjoyable in the sense that researching and writing it taught me a lot. Crucifixion was a horrible way to die, and the Romans had extending a person's suffering down to art form. Yet here is a man who chose to die in this way because he believed he was doing the will of God.

It raises so many questions for Joseph, who was almost four years old at the time, so he remembers the event although his parents did not let him witness it. He has, since then, however, and as an adult witnessed his fair share of crucifixions. So he's able to describe in detail what happened. And he still can't quite be sure why Jesus' death in this way had been necessary, beyond fulfilling prophecy. He understands the importance of the spiritual Resurrection, but a suffering death like that: why would God require it?

He finds an answer or two, but I don't want to spoil the book for readers. I'll just say it doesn't really have to do with Jesus being a literal sacrifice to God to atone for our sins. To repeat Jesus' words: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." He's quoting the prophet Hosea and trying to get us to see God in a different way.

9. How about a couple of easy questions? What are you, personally, reading nowadays?

Well, it's smack in the middle of finals week right now, so mostly I'm just reading student papers! But I've loaded up my Kindle for the break. I've got Donna Tartt's Goldfinch, Dolores Cannon's The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth, and Gag by Melissa Unger. I've already started Michael Tobert's Cryptogram because I just love the Cathars. So far it's been pretty absorbing.

10. Anything in mind for your next writing project?

Not off hand. I'm still a bit wiped out from this last one. Friends who've followed my blog for a few years have said I should do a nonfiction book about recovery, but there are so many of these types of books out there I'm not sure I have anything new to say. I'll just have to wait and see how the spirit moves me. This last time, it happened when I conjured Joseph as a character and then he wouldn't shut up in my own imagination until I finally started writing down what he had to say. It's funny how characters take on a life of their own and become real to you. I actually became fond of old Joseph. I imagine if something like that starts happening again, I'll know it's time to start writing. 

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