Posts Tagged With: author

The Golden Pocket – part 8

Golden Pocket cover 30%

A full day’s ride by horse led me toward a clearing I recognized. The small woodcutter’s cabin stood exactly as I left it. It appeared as small as a shack against the surrounding towering cedars. I dismounted and led my horse down the dirt path toward it. My stomach flipped over and I wondered what my reception would be like.

At a distance I could see the front door open and two young men running toward me. The first to reach me was Eiver, strong and handsome.

“My lady,” he panted and bowed in half. “Are you in need of assistance?”

Escher stopped right behind him. “We would be delighted to afford you shelter and feed for your horse.”

I looked past them to the cabin, but Eshrun never appeared at the door. Glancing back at the two young men, I put on my best mask: a disarming smile. Down the path and inside the cabin they led me.

I immediately saw Eshrun sweeping and cleaning. He glanced at me once and then looked away back toward his duty. My confused heart sank into the sea of my own disappointment. I had come back for him and he would not even look at me.

Eiver and Escher seated me in the lone armed chair by the fire. I accepted.

Escher then kneeled beside my chair and asked: “My lady, may I ask your name?”
“A…” I stopped before finishing, realizing that they did not recognize me at all. My appearance had changed so drastically that I was a new person to them. “My name is Araina,” I said.

I looked over at Eshrun. No light of dawn upon him illuminated me as his betrothed. I was a mystery to them all.

“I’ve heard there’s an old woodcutter who lives here with his sons. May I speak to your father?” I said.

All of the young men looked at each other, none speaking.

“He passed away,” Eshrun spoke from the corner. “His grave is amongst the trees, if you are seeking his attention.”

Eiver and Escher chided their youngest brother, but he shrugged them away. I asked for a refreshment and they brought out a flagon of wine. Upon my insistence, there were four cups laid out and I offered to pour.

“I must confess,” I said, “I am alone in the world and seeking the other half of my heart. I’m looking for a husband to join me.”

Eiver and Escher lit up with puffed chests and shoulders stretched out like wings. Eshrun remained back in the corner.

I poured each cup of wine, handing the first two to the eldest sons. None of them saw the thing I dropped into the last cup, offering it to Eshrun.

Eshrun refused the cup. “I cannot partake, my lady.”

“Why not?” I asked.

His eyes traveled out through the window to the trees beyond. “I made a promise…to my father.”

Escher snickered. “Eshrun’s betrothed.”

“And what good is a commitment to a dead man?” I asked Eshrun.

His eyes looked at me, filled with tears. “It’s as good as to one living. I await my betrothed’s return.”

Eiver waved him off. “You’re waiting to marry a bear. Your promise was foolish.”

Eshrun glared at his brothers and looked away.

I nodded and handed Eshrun the cup once again. “You have already been chosen. Please drink to our good health before any more choices are determined.”

He received the cup. We all drained our wine. My eyes traveled over the faces of the young men and halted upon Eshrun. His face changed, confused. Holding out his hand, he spit out a small, golden half-circle. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the other half of the ring and he placed the two halves together perfectly.

“You’ve come for me,” he said. “I should have seen it in your eyes. The eyes never change.”

“But how could this be?” Eiver said.

“But you’re beautiful,” said Escher.

“She was always beautiful,” Eshrun said, taking my hands, kissing them and lacing them around his neck. The strength of his embrace around my frame felt safe. For the first time in seven years I sensed what it meant to be home.

Without a word but not without much puffing, Eiver and Escher arose and left. We never saw them again.

~

Golden Pocket: Kindle Ebook

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Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Conversation Between Authors

Last night a very challenging question was posed to me by my good friend and fellow author, Tina Bustamante.  What follows below is the chain of conversation we shared beginning with the original challenge and followed by our responses to each other.  Tina’s first book AS WATERS GONE BY is due to come out in November, and trust me, it’s an excellent read.  Please feel free to visit her and read about her adventures living in Chile: tinabustamante.com.  I received her permission to share this conversation and so I hope it will be encouraging to all of you who read it.

_________________________________________________________

 My dear friend Doug,

Okay … here’s a very direct question and one you need to be very honest about with me. What is your hope with your writing career? Are you hoping to write more books? Make a living at it eventually? Or are you loving the idea of writing a novel every few years and keeping it containable? Please tell.

I ask because if you want to build up a readership and grow your platform … you need twitter and all those other media things to give you a platform. But you seem reluctant, so I’m trying to understand.

Talk to you soon.

Tina

***

Tina,

You are a very good friend and I appreciate your direct and pointed questions. To drive the point directly home, it would be best to simply state that I’ve chosen a God-driven path, not a career-driven path. Other books I’ve written were meant to drive toward a writing career, and by all accounts they should have been picked up as I observed the reading market and recognized gaping holes that needed to be filled; I had meticulously plotted, written, and edited the books; I studiously hand selected appropriate agents, categorized them into spread-sheets, queried them and ultimately received well over a hundred rejections in the process. It became obvious that my efforts were being deliberately–and divinely blocked…and trust me, I got angry about this. Angry at God.

It was in the Fall of 2010 that He confronted me directly with His response in the Genesis story about Jacob wrestling the Angel; it was no different with me. I was pleading with God to bless me, fervently, but in the end He “broke my hip” and I was convicted about the way I was trying to drive toward success. It was time I tried something different and OLDE MYSTERIUM is the product of obedience, not of market research, not of meticulous plotting. It was a process of freely letting God breakdown my strongholds and ideals regarding career paths and success, and in the end He began changing me into a greater likeness of Jesus.

The process of giving things up to Him hasn’t ended, in fact it’s continued. I searched for agents for OM, but He asked me to make Jesus my agent; so I did. I searched for publishers for OM, but He convicted me and asked me to give that path up and do it a different way; so I did. I started a FB page for OM and began attracting some followers, but He asked me to step away from it; so I have. He’s asked me to refrain from marketing and promotion so I can learn how to rest in Him, to take time to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) . And it even goes deeper into my personal life as God has used this summer to reclaim and restore my marriage and my family life…something I could not have expected in my wildest dreams (although I remember pleading in prayer to be closer to Caity and have more time with the kids); yet it was a full trust fall into His arms to do these things, both frightening and full of promise.

It looks backward, but remember: this is the God-driven path, not the career-driven path. He has a tendency to reveal the world’s wisdom as foolish…and God’s foolishness is wiser than the world’s greatest wisdom.

And now here I am, a better husband, a better father, a better person…and it’s all because of giving over these obstinate areas of my life to Jesus the Messiah. Instead of being filled with anger and resentment over rejection, I’ve been able to grow closer to the ultimate source of joy, be filled with an unending abundance of peace and learn how to pour out my love in every direction upon the broken people all around me. That’s really all the platform I could ever want or need…and I’m more than happy to let Jesus do all the promoting. Yet I do see a growing audience, but any and all success belongs solely to Him and is fully dependent on His timing; I can’t force it, and I’ve stopped trying to speed it up.

It’s a far cry from where I was, but when I look at all of the things I was asked to give up, they’re miniscule compared to what I’ve received in return. This is all why I often sign off my emails with SOLI DEO GLORIA (Latin: Glory to God Alone) and I’ve also been signing copies of OM the same way. It all belongs to Him anyway…and all I want to do is be in His presence and perhaps even have a chance to “touch his garment” (Luke 8:43-48).

I apologize for the lengthy explanation and I hope this helps to resolve any confusion. You are truly a wonderful and supportive friend and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about this with you. I look forward to seeing you in November on your book tour!

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Douglas

***

Doug what a great email.

I appreciate your life and love for God so much. I’ll respond or in length later, but just want to say thanks.

Thanks for sharing, being honest, and for being a great example.

More soon,

Tina

***

You bet Tina. I also forgot to add that “yes” I’m very serious about writing. I know it’s taken root in my heart, as well as it has yours. I will be a writer for the rest of my days, and I hope that means many, many books to come.

Douglas

***

And to add – I think God himself will establish you and as you trust him, listen to his voice … He’ll lead you to green pastures.

Tina

***

Thank you Tina. It’s refreshing to receive encouragement from a good friend.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Categories: On Faith, On Life, On Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Soul Sisters Round 2: A Review

Last Thursday, August 22nd, I was again invited to go and meet with the Soul Sisters book club at Crista Ministries.  Last time I went and Caity accompanied me; we spent a majority of the time sharing our own stories, our joint testimony.  And it was wonderful because for the first time we both had our sight unveiled and were able to see God’s handiwork through all of the turmoil and layers of crises we have been going through recently.  It was a complete joy to share that time together with her among the Soul Sisters.  And the women we bared our souls to were kind, gracious and filled with compassion.  It was pure glory.

This second visit was different in contrast.  We were unable to secure a sitter for our kids so Caity stayed home with the kids and I ventured out alone.  When I told her about how nervous I was to go by myself, she simply replied (in her wisdom and to her credit), “You’ll be doing this on your own at some point in the near future…it might as well start now.”  We both prayed for divine guidance to give direction in the evening, and boy-howdy did it go.  Some of the ladies who were unable to read OLDE MYSTERIUM at the last visit had finished the book by this second round.  So many questions were asked about the characters and their struggles; it was truly fun to relive and walk through those portions of the story and expand upon the layers of meaning hidden within those moments.  Finding Jesus in the hardships of OLDE MYSTERIUM was utter joy; but most of all, I was able to observe the Soul Sisters diving into their own exegesis and expand upon their own personal findings from the book.  This was most meaningful to me because all I had to do was sit back and watch these dear readers in their exchanges.  It felt like sitting next to Jesus and watching his glory flow outward.  And I realized there was nothing I had done to cause this moment, it was all designed ahead of time…a divine appointment.

I must give a goodly amount of thanks and credit to these gracious ladies who invited me into their group for the evening; they invited me again into a lovely and safe space to be able to talk about ideas, characters, plot lines, personal struggles, and loving others like Saba…the way Jesus loves each and every one of us.

To be loved unconditionally; to love others unconditionally no matter how broken they are in body and soul.  We can do this because Jesus first loved us in our brokenness.  He is in the business of collecting broken people for restoration; it is his divine hobby and I know that Jesus is filled with delight at each point my personal restoration because I too am filled with the same joy.  This is, after all, the heart of OLDE MYSTERIUM.

SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM

Final notes of thanks:

To the Soul Sisters for both invitations to visit, I give you all the greatest of my thanksgiving.  You have blessed my wife and me with your love, support, prayers and ultimate cheerleading for OLDE MYSTERIUM and for us personally.  Your kindness and generosity in a multitude of ways have filled our cups in knowing that Jesus is hard at work, both upfront and behind the scenes.  Should you ever decide to invite us back to continue our discussions about the return of Jesus, we would be happy to join in!

And finally, it was brought to my attention that OLDE MYSTERIUM was initially introduced to the Soul Sisters by Julie Gwinn Holve via an old friend of mine, Tina Bustamante.  Tina, thank you for all of your encouragement through the years of writing, editing, publishing and other things that require blood and tears.  I’m excited for your book AS WATERS GONE BY to come out in November; and as I’ve already had the honor to read and enjoy it, be assured that I am excited to be a cheerleader for it.

 

Categories: On Faith, On Life, On Speaking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank you Soul Sisters!

So last night was a first for both Caitlin and me.  It was the first speaking engagement to which we were invited by the Soul Sisters–a raucous and fun-loving group of ladies who fancy themselves as a book club…but they are so much more.  The Soul Sisters meet at Crista Ministries campus twice a month and review all kinds of books from fiction to bible study publications.

Why were we invited to speak?  A couple of weeks ago they ended up choosing to read and discuss OLDE MYSTERIUM, and apparently they loved it!  Caity and I had no idea what we were going to say when we showed up, and we were both a bit nervous, but as it turned out, the Holy Spirit completely took over and we ended up sharing our joint testimony with these very sweet ladies.  Somehow allowing that to connect in conjunction with the message of OLDE MYSTERIUM was more moving than I could have expected.  It was powerful to openly acknowledge that while going through a difficult journey of writing and publishing, all the while experiencing our own joint journey of trials, surrender, redemption and triumphs…that at the heart of it all Jesus is the hero of our story.

This is why God’s timing is amazing and perfect; that in the midst of a very difficult, hot, and transforming summer when it looks like I am surrounded by chaos, God would extend an opportunity for my wife and I to open up and share our stories with complete strangers.  However by the end we were the ones to get the most out of it because the veil was lifted; we could see God’s handiwork along the whole way…and He has never missed a beat or skipped out on us or let us down.  He hasn’t yet and He won’t start now.

The Soul Sisters invited us into a safe space to share.  We told stories.  There was a din of laughter.  And they saw a grown man cry.  Caity and I were refreshed and all the way home we held hands and issued prayers of thanksgiving.  There could not have been a more beautiful time spent together…a true balm to my soul.  Thank you Soul Sisters!

And an extra special thank you to Julie Gwinn Holve, who found my book, read it and suggested it to her book club.  Thank you for being a cheerleader; I am truly humbled by your enthusiasm.

SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM

Categories: On Speaking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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