Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book Excerpt Is Up

So I finished the manuscript in early January...

I am going through the usual channels (query letters, etc) in search of a publisher, but in the meantime, I thought I'd put up the first chapter on the web for anybody who is interested.

Let me know what you think.


Steffi said...

Tess, you are a masterful storyteller and illustrator. I am completely drawn in by your depictions of people, places, faith, miracles, longing, inquiry, family, emotions, and more. I love the illustrations. Both words and pictures are vivid.

I didn't want it to end. I hunger for more of the stories. It's like a good mystery. Full of suspense. Is this because I know you personally?

I plan to share the excerpt (and book) with my family and friends. Our discussions about faith, politics and perceptions often collide, combust and strain our relationships. Your book may be a vehicle to stimulate a different kind of conversation... to help us better appreciate our differences.

Thanks for being committed to your faith journey. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing it with me and others.

When we meet, I'll share my experiences of hearing the Lord, my God. --Steffi


Let's get together soon and share our faith. -- Steffi

Jacqueline said...

Just brilliant Tess! Your work has a sense of mystery that pushes you to keep reading. The pace was just right. The illustrations were also great.

Robin said...

Tess--looking good, I like the revisions you made to this section. So much of this really resonates with me. Plus, you just rock. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the link to your first Chapter. Have been mulling it over for three days now, and I can’t resist taking a stab at some of the important open-ended issues that were raised – hope you’ll come back to some of them later in the book – especially literal bible interpretation. Hope you don’t mind if I use a pseudonym. (Some of your site visitors would know me, since I’ve known you for a long time.)

I was impressed that Brother Wynn appears soundly grounded in the essence of the Gospel message, despite the “Holy Roller” trappings – as well as being sincere and non-money-grubbing. “Behave like Jesus and treat others right” and “Thirst for Jesus” really sums it up well. Wynn does speak in tongues, but he calls them “a drop in the bucket”. Like St. Paul, he agrees they are a gift of the Spirit, but no where near as important as the gift of verbal communication (1Corinthians 14). Brother Wynn advises listening to the living Holy Ghost in your heart and using scripture for guidance, with the Holy Ghost’s help as an instructor, to help with interpretation. As Wynn puts it, scripture is like “algebra”, sometimes obscure & easily misunderstood! This is just what Paul & Peter have taught us (1 Corinthians 2 and 2 Peter 3:16).

You wrote that Brother Wynn’s daughter Tracey received direct divine guidance to move to Tennessee, and compared it to Abraham’s obedient, faith-driven journey to a new land – which was actually today’s Episcopal OT lesson! “Seeking guidance from the Lord” also happens to have been a theme of my personal bible study the past few weeks. It was a key behavior of the patriarchs, non-false prophets, and the “good kings” like Asa and Jehoshaphat (2Chronicles 15 & 18) as well as major NT characters, like Joseph and Peter.

I guess most of us church-goers routinely pray for wisdom & that “God’s will be done”, so presumably the Holy Ghost within us guides subconsciously - in fact probably guided you, Tess, to that internet sermon by Brother Wynn, that caused you to include him in your sampling of southern churches. And guided the authors of the Bible, for example, in writing breathtaking nature poetry like Job 38.
However, sometimes that guidance is explicit, in a dream (think of Joseph before and after Jesus’ birth), a vision, a voice, or guidance to a specific bible passage that is highly relevant to the situation at hand. Your recurrent question is how to know if such guidance is really from God? Multiple Wynn family members independently received the same divine direction before they acted on it. This was wise for such an important decision, and typical of the common sense that you report from this particular family and Pentecostal church. I’ve been taught to check to make sure that any “Word” from the Holy Ghost is consistent with scripture, as Brother Wynn says it should be. All I can say is that some experiences of direct guidance –in response to prayer - have blessed me and a few friends with a solid faith that is not abstract, though I, at least, am not yet at the level of “thirsting for Jesus”. I sympathize with your dismay at Tom’s definition of God as an abstract concept. Yes, too many liberal protestants seem to forget that the first part of the golden rule is fervent love of God, though they know the second part: “love of neighbor” (Mathew 22:37-40). Sorry to have been long-winded. Philomena

Anonymous said...

Tess -
Have you ever considered applying for publication through the Novello Festival Press? I believe they are accepting submissions through May 1, 2008. Just an idea...

I love the work. Can't wait to

CMA said...

Let me just say, I am blown away by your story telling ability. I went online to watch a Grey's Anatomy I'd missed, when I saw that I still had your book excerpt pulled up, and I hadn't read it yet. I was immediately drawn in to your tale, and like others who have commented, it left me wanting to hear more about your journey and personal revelations along the way. (Needless to say, quickly forgot about McSteamy as I became absorbed in your story.)

Like many others, I am constantly seeking to learn and grow through my faith. I have formed my own opinions over time, but am open to learning about and am fascinated by what drives others. I am looking forward to learning more about your personal journey through the rest of your book. I hope that it gets picked up by a publisher soon, because it's taken ahold of my interest and wont let go!

Bravo Tess! And best of luck.
Love, Colleen A