20 June, 2009
Don't like to be so self-involved, but one question keeps bugging me. Over a period of months I gave away my entire novel, Small Boat Sails into Big Mystery, a chapter at a time. What I want to know is, who read it and what did they get out of it? The response at the end was minimal. One friend said the ending was more "religious" than most of the books she reads. A friend who is a pastor said he was disappointed by Claudia's behavior at the end, but he saw it as the typical excess of a "new Christian."
The story that unfolded as I wrote the book continues to unfold within me and resonates in waves with what is currently happening in my life. Other people, in stories, songs, conversations, letters, are using the image of a small boat sailing on a big, dangerous ocean to describe the mystery of our current era.
I don't know what else to do with this book. It is not my first novel, but all the others seem like "practice" for this one. I know there is something to be said for the craft of art, how it is something to be honed, like fine woodwork or watercolor technique. I put a lot more into the craft of this work than anything else I have written. But ultimately it was more like a storm that raged through me than a project I was working on. I have no idea if I have created a marketable product. That's why I gave it away, rather than tried to sell it. Some say that people don't take seriously the things you give away. They only value the things they pay for.
The book was not intended to be "religious" or promoting any specific religious doctrine. Among other themes, I was exploring the contrast between a spiritual presence taking the form of Jesus against the confines of organized Christianity.
If you haven't read the book and you want to, start with the posting dated January 8, 2009, Chapter One, and continue from there. My light is still lit. Stop in a see me anytime.