Why I Hate Religion

I don’t hate religion; however, I do not trust religion and believe that religion can be deceivingly dangerous.  At any rate, this short “rap” Why I hate religion but love Jesus performed by Jefferson Bethke, tells you why I feel the way I do and why I wrote a book called Religious Wounds: A Search for Unconditional Love in Church and Other Places.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=1IAhDGYlpqY&NR=1

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Bungle

I’m in a bungle. Bungle means a good dilemma. My good dilemma is opportunity after unemployment. Not the job quite yet, but possibilities. Good things like being asked by the owner of the newest and possibly most impressive dog kennel and doggie day care in town to be one of their trainers, handing out surveys on election day for some quick cash, an audition for a bit part in a movie, and a great interview coming up next week.

Meanwhile, my manuscript sits and “seasons” while I ponder where to go with my writing from here.

In his memoir,…

In his memoir, On Writing, Stephen King suggests seasoning a manuscript for a minimum of six weeks.  This is easier said than done. I have not read my newly completed manuscript for Religious Wounds: a search for love and acceptance in church and other places, for two weeks. This has not been easy.  

No matter how much I have accomplished these past couple of weeks, I feel antsy, as if I am waiting around doing nothing of any significance. Of course this is not true.  I’ve done plenty of things including promoting a  self-employment endeavor training dogs, looking for a “real” job, going to church, making meals, babysitting my two-year-old granddaughter-of-heart, doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, shopping, and walking the dog(s), to name the things that come to mind.  But unless I have written something, it truly feels as if I am wasting time.  

Have you experienced a similar thing?

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Catching up with Sweet Baby James

Catching up on some neglected details. Going to Carolina in my mind with James Taylor singing Carolina; one Westie at my side snoozing between laptop and mouse pillow, the other, snoozing prone, on the family-room couch. Blog, website, edit text, another online job application, and tea. Gotta have tea, or a good cup of coffee.

Wondering what to write next, now that my manuscript–complete except for the epilogue–sits in a drawer.

Stephen King writes a first draft as it comes into his mind, without interference from anyone, including himself. Get the basic story down on paper…,”says King. “Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme-almost never from theme to story.” After his first draft is written, he thinks about the meaning of what he just wrote and fleshes out subsequent drafts with his conclusions (Stephen King on Memoir, p. 208).

I look on Craig’s List under jobs: writing and gigs. A business plan, short stories, photographs, poems. My mind is weary and flat like  soda without the fizz. Not sure where to begin.

I’ve seen fire, I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days, thought they never end…lonely days when I could not find a friend James Taylor sings strumming.

Nostalgia, like a former friend, fills me with my teenage years, the late sixties when James Taylor–hair thick and dense–was the heart throb.

And I didn’t have a friend.

Receiving Critique: Riddled with errors

I read your last chapter, he says.

His remark takes me by surprise.

Normally, he only reads my writing if I ask him to, and I had not asked him.

Hoefully, he liked it.

It’s riddled with errors, he says.

It’s a first draft.

Even though it is a first draft, not ready for anyone else to read, I already kind of like it.

What didn’t work?

Just about everything.

Can you be more specific?

Spelling, grammar.

What about content?

I was too distracted by the other problems to get into the story.

What other problems?

I can’t remember.

Try to remember just one thing.

Missing information, unclear, unorganized.

Has anyone else read it? He says without the “I hope” his tone implied.

Just the people I wrote about for a fact check.

Well, it’s riddled with errors.

I try to take his comments in stride; I want to use his observations to improve the work, but I’m feeling mildly unsettled. Not mad, but embarrassed.

The self doubt knocks: Was the writing that bad? Is the entire manuscript that bad? Am I fooling myself competing for a spot in the marketplace with some of the most talented memoir authors in the business?

Even though we need feedback, whether positive or negative, and we know we need it, why are we writers so vulnerable to critique? So quick to defend? So introspective?

In Season

No, I am not a female dog in estrus.  I am a writer on hold. Even though my alarm went off early enough to start writing before daylight, I’m not writing (except for this blog).  So, you probably wonder, why is that? The reason is simple. I simply don’t know what to write. What?  Yes, you heard me correctly.  After nine writing years, I can’t work on my book, because the manuscript is ready to season.

According to mega author, Stephen King (On Writing), “season” means the draft goes into a drawer for, he suggests, a minimum of six weeks–no peeking–before starting the next draft.  For Stephen King, the next draft is the second draft.  For Marsha Tracy, the next draft is the sixth draft.  Marsha Tracy has alot  to learn about writing books.

Though I should, I hesitate to start something new. I would like to write a novel; however, like a lover scorned, I’m simply not ready to commit to a long-term relationship with a writing project.  I need some time to get to know some new ideas like a short story, an article, or even a children’s book.

So, I’m taking a few days to catch up on some miscellaneous chores.