The other website

My previous post reported that writing in the Christian genre was pretty much complete for me apart from three doors that are always open. However, I remembered a useful website out there that lists publications that other writer’s websites don’t and so I’ve come across other Christian pubs that I can submit to. In fact, I’ve submitted one already.

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Endings and beginnings

A few years ago I had the urge to pursue Christian publications overseas, after realizing that the other genres I was pursuing wasn’t working. I prayed that if this is what God wanted me to do, it would come about, and it did, in terms of Christian-based articles and pieces like that. The last five years has been encouraging in that there has been work for me in the Christian genre. Now, a few doors are always open to me to submit work, but apart from this, the Christian writing I started five years ago, is complete for this period of my writing and there is nothing new to pursue in terms of Christian articles and those types of writings. I thought about religious book publishers, but books are on the backburner for me if not at all. At the moment, I’m looking into another genre, or genres, to see what happens with submissions to those, and continue blogging. Maybe star in a musical.

Rare and sympathetic

1980 was a year of prestige films Raging Bull, Ordinary People, and Coal Miner’s Daughter, but The Elephant Man stood out as the one to watch. Ordinary People won the Academy Award for Best Pictured and The Elephant Man came away empty handed after scoring eight nominations. But I would have picked The Elephant Man. It’s the more progressive of the films as it suggests a more humane treatment of people who suffer with kinds of conditions that hinder living for themselves as well as hinder interacting in society.

The Elephant Man hinges on a rare subject—severe disfigurement, in this case it’s of John Merrick in Victorian England—and the response to him in a society that is complacent. This is during the time of the so-called freak shows at the circus. It is also a time of poverty that drive some people to do anything to make a buck. Some poor people made money out of “Fat Ladies”, “Strong Men” and “The Elephant Man”, John Merrick’s stage name. Though Merrick was in a “freak show”, a good doctor, played by Anthony Hopkins, gives him a safe place to stay in a hospital where Merrick is safe more so or less. In a harrowing scene, he does have to contend with the attractions of curious onlookers who know where to find him.

The movie ends on a haunting, disturbing note that underlines the severity of his condition and how it affected his life. We could ask numerous questions about why he suffered, and how could human beings treat people in his situation unlovingly, but also see the hand of providence in looking after this man the best society could. Merrick’s doctor was like a God-send. Otherwise, society would do better in the future for others facing similar predicaments with the introduction of universal laws to outlaw freak shows, advancements in health care, and education of unusual medical conditions. The Elephant Man suggests a more humane treatment is the way people like Merrick will get along better in society.

The final judge?

There are different levels of engaging media and art, but the top level perhaps, is when a work or piece of art speaks to the heart. Then one has engaged with the “eyes” of the heart, which is a genuine response. One can begin to see everything in “level one”, the level of seeing what speaks to the heart, and this may be a genuine response. Would seeing with the “eyes of the heart” be the final judge?

Fiction confusion

It was going to be a work of longish fiction about 4000 words at least, but it turned out to sound better as poetry, free verse style. Wound up with 2000 word poetry instead. Have a month for it to settle before submitting. I call the “event”, in this writer’s calendar, fiction confusion, because it should have been fiction, but winds up as poetry with quite a bit of editing.

A little reading and reflection

What I’m reading. After reading and reflecting on the book of Job I went back to the start of the Bible with Genesis, with the intention of noting facts of the scripture rather than reading primarily for themes. Thematic analysis is what I had been doing, but I wasn’t sure if I was being true to the text by seeing themes that may or may not be there, for what was the purpose of writing devotionals.

I’ve also finished Star Wars, the original novelization of the film. This year it’s been re-published in a trilogy of books. This trilogy is the original Star Wars trilogy, from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, to Return of the Jedi. I was surprised how they condensed two hours that seems longish into a shortish book. I expected longer, but that’s how this film-tie in went.