One thing is for sure about revision – no matter how we do it, we will be doing a lot of it. Or at least we should.
Revision has to become as second nature to us as brushing our teeth in the morning or eating three square meals a day – it has to become part of our regular routine if we are going to excel and succeed as writers. And as people! Working toward improving, refining – it’s applicable to any area of our lives. Without this dedication and focus, we will be destined for mediocrity.
How my faith and my art fit together has been one of the great challenges — and satisfactions — of my life and writing career so far.
For years, I separated my beliefs and my creative work — writing faith-themed non-fiction (articles) for Christian publications and audiences, and fiction (plays/screenplays/novels) for mainstream audiences.
Only here and there would I create small overlaps. But recently I decided it was time to fully integrate these two ‘sides’ of who I am, with a novel series and script adaptation I will share about more when completed (soon!) They’re not ‘sides’ really; they’re at my core. They don’t run contrary to each other. But in this world of ours, the various parts of who we are can seem that way.
Because here’s the dilemma I’ve encountered in the writing industry, or so I’ve been told: my writing is too spiritual for mainstream publishers/producers and too worldly for Christian publishers/producers.
Translation? Too many faith professions or references to Jesus, God and the Bible for nonbelievers; too much ‘language,’ sex/intimacy or misguided behavior for believers. (Not that there’s very much of either, outright — but even a single instance of one seems to bother somebody or other).
Why be so inclusive? Because I want to explore who people really are. How messy and imperfect we all are. I select contexts very carefully, and I strive to make all situations and choices believable for the characters in the story. Not glorified, but clarified. Even if I don’t personally agree with all that my characters do, and all that happens to them in the story, I want to show the reality of who they are and where they are at. I want readers/viewers to understand how and why they got there. Just like I’m called, in life, to understand and care for people who may be different from me.
Welcome to my blog! This is certainly long overdue but I look forward to sharing here with you often about what’s going on in writing, film/theater, faith, culture and community – in my life and in the lives of those I admire!
We just finished screening a short film I adapted and directed, “Reflection Day,” at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival, as well as the Western New York Black Film Festival.
The film is about Ms. Johnson, an elderly African American woman in a senior home, suffering from Alzheimer’s, who compels her caregiver Andre to ‘take her to vote’ on what she thinks is Election Day, to have peace with her past. It’s based on the stage play by Chuck Cummings.