Why Fiction Matters: Saint Ralph

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Michael McGowan, writer/director of Saint Ralph, a Warner Bros. movie that will be released August 5th, spoke about one reason why he wrote this story.
...I was interested in exploring the notion of faith—or in this case, misguided faith—by using the Catholic Church as a backdrop. I felt a modern setting with priests at an all-boys school would necessitate exploring some of the darker issues that the church is facing and these weren’t part of the story. Perhaps more importantly, in the 1950s, for many Catholics, the church defined their world. It was the starting and stopping place. Either you were Catholic or you weren’t. This was important because the protagonist, Father Fitzpatrick, then becomes much more of a threat. To go up against someone like him, as Ralph does, would have serious ramifications. I didn’t feel like the stakes would be nearly as high today.

Question: Are there any raised stakes in Christianity today? What are they and can they be important enough to be discussed in our novels in progress?

Writing to see what the end's gon' be,

A New Face of Hunger, Without the Old Excuses

Lydia Polgreen at the New York Times talks about another issue of world poverty--from democratic nations like Niger. Click on title to read the article in full view.


From the Pulpit: Stop Hating on Reviews

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bible Verse for Thought: Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes."

Newsflash. I am a book reviewer.

Mostly, I write commercial reviews for a few local newspapers, two national print mags(one secular and one faith based,) and a slew of e-zines for free. My cashflow comes from writing reviews for publicists seeking an angle for their client or publishing houses looking for an in-house review before they decide if the book is contract worthy. And my bread and butter comes from literary magazines, whose soul's purpose is to dissect what's artistic. I also critique oils on canvas for my father's store, african dolls(a bad investment,) book arts(my love and pedigree), slave burial grounds and church iconography(my Master's thesis,) and people who criticize reviewers...priceless.

If you are a writer and not a reader first, then what are you writing about? If you are a reader and can't give a constructive review, then what are you learning about the craft? What do you know about your genre? And how can you defend it against unbelievers?

Breaking news. I am a writer.

I write christian celebrity interviews and christian life teachings for national print. Local christian news for local papers. Short stories for literary reviews. And I'm writing a novel.

For some strange reason I know that someone will go into my coat closet and read my novel and hate it. I also know that that same person won't call my characters two-dimensional, my writing weak and passive, my theme trite, and my voice unmoving. They may not like the story, but they will appreciate the effort to write something strong of all literary points.

See I don't care about reviewers, because I understand them. I don't care about people who may won't to tear down my business for unholy reasons, because I have on the whole Armor of God.

So if you can't write, for being upset with reviewers. If you can't do God's will for blaming reviewers, then stop typing. Get on your knees. And get yourself right. Because when it's all over, Christ don't care about your excuse and wouldn't have read the reviews.

Bless him why you can.

Writing to see what the end's gon' be,

Three School Boys Trapped in School Drainage Found

(CBS46 News) photo. Three boys trapped in GA Culvert.

-- Gwinnett County Fire and Police officials were on the scene of three boys trapped in a culvert.

Live images from Newschopper 46 showed workers trying to get to the children, who may be in the drain, which is located on the grounds of Taylor Elementary School, in Lawrenceville. Gwinnett officials say the drain could be several football fields long.

All three kids later found. Good news for a change.

2009 ·Dee Stewart by TNB