Tag Archives: being used

Decades

It’s a season of transition. As always, only this year the changes are more stark.

Fall gives way to winter. Life focuses on the joy of the season, and a new year beckons afterward. Quibbling over Anno Domini reckoning aside, in this turn another decade ends as well.

If everything has gone as it should, because we have that many fingers the years group into tens as well, and order into the chapters of one’s life. Childhood. School. The Social Order. The Path. The Mission. The Changes. Eventually, The End Game.

I’ve been writing in ten of these most recently passed years, as I was purposed to do when they started. I was a child when they sat me in the pews of my local parish to stare at a sanitized image of Jesus on the Cross, and I thought how unfair it was that he had done nothing, but hung there for the sake of us, who should serve Him.

I was only a young man when times were bad, so bad yet so inescapable that I offered times such as those to Him, if He had a use for me. He did, as He does for all who believe in the magic of Christmas and the blessing of Easter. Afterward, the decades turn, His will is done, and we see more clearly all of it in hindsight than we are able in looking forward at the road ahead.

My lead characters Jon and Sean and Boone were given and changed that life. What was now is not, and it seems that the year in which I wanted to write was turned instead into seven of some sort of indenture, in which I was utilized to finish what was started.

This, due to the nature of transition that took us from where we were to where we are, unfortunately will be The Year Without a Novel. 2020, God willing, will bring Boone and Sean together in short order followed by another title of his. Afterward, a sixth for Sean and Boone’s first and last adventure will round out the catalog, should that be His plan as well.

Will I write another novel? I don’t know, just as I didn’t imagine more than a single effort in the first place. I am open to being used to a greater extent, and I am satisfied that I have been the conduit of what has come across already. Life should be lived in just such a manner of faith and contentment.

I know that in the pews of my childhood parish I wanted to be on His side, because even then, though I couldn’t yet articulate the intuition, I knew His work to be life, founded in love. Those greater premises took more than half my allotted years to formulate into relatable precepts. Now they are out in the world, in the nearly fifty-four thousand extant copies of the works people call mine.

I know it not to be so. The Editress is there, and the refinement of helpers and friends who want to be a part of what we were and are yet doing. Behind us all is the voice of the Spirit and the greater plan of Creation, being followed to perfection through those who believe and the others who do not.

Christmas celebrates only the first installment of His validation of belief. Jesus had to appear to assure us that we are not struggling through the chapters of this life in vain. He had to do so in a historical era to be documented not only by His followers but in the writings of the very Romans who hung him on the same sort of Cross as I contemplated in my youth.

Without the assurance that He experienced what it was to be alone and blind and dying, we might otherwise be tempted to make the excuse that He does not. Another device allowing bitterness a root in our souls rather than the assurance of His shepherding is thwarted. That excuse is gone.

Decades turn, and the world changes while we move through it. The hope He provided remains, as it has now for nearly two millennia and shall until He returns. Hope brings joy in its understanding. Mine is that you’re here with me this Christmas season.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, Boone and Ritter’s upcoming title, Ghosts of the Republic, stands at roughly eighty percent completion in production editing. Several weeks remain in editing, proofing and production, but it’s finally getting close. Prepare now for snug winter reading!

Mine

“You have created a wonderful piece of literature.”

“How is your book doing?”

“You wrote a novel? How cool!”

I get a certain amount of that. People who have read The Anvil of the Craftsman seem to like it, and are eager to share their feedback. It is great to hear, and I treasure every comment. To have written something that pleases others is rewarding. Most of the opinions include the words “you” or “yours” or “Dale’s.” I have a guilty secret.

AOTC is not really mine, though certainly I have written every word. To claim it as mine alone would be to ignore the contributions of a great many others that made the title what it is. My long-suffering Single Candle Press editress, under whose pen my prose bleeds red, has at least as much a claim to the quality of the work as I do. It is fitting then, that we are equal partners in the enterprise. The contributions, however, do not stop there.

I have a network of beta readers I did not intend to use as proofreaders. I assumed—because I had not produced a novel yet—that I could provide them an error-free read. I read and reread the drafts of AOTC until my eyes were bleeding, and I was not the only one. It went out in beta with at least twenty errors caught at various times since then. It was a harsh lesson, and led to process improvements that we are implementing in working on the sequel.

There are people who have not even read the work yet, and still provide their encouragement and their praise. That is another component of the fuel that keeps a writer going through the long process of becoming an author, and the result belongs, at least in part, to them as well.

Most importantly, there are the readers, the ones who I yearn to please. They are perfect strangers who, for whatever reason drew them, paid their money and digested a novel that I love so much. I hear from them as well, and their words make me determined to make the sequel and the third title of the Jon Anthony trilogy worthy of their expectations. To disappoint them would devastate me.

Having said all that, I cannot escape the thought that these words are something more. Had another pair of eyes not seen them, could I really claim them as mine? There is a magic in the storyline, the lessons, and the truths there inside those pages. All of those always existed, and perhaps my part was only to organize and present them for the sake of others. That is a humbling thought.

I love these words, but they are not really mine. I was merely the first one to see them come into the world. I can count that as the blessing it is.

Choose to love, -DA