I just finished a non-fiction teen book on March 2, and this week I’m researching for my next novel.
The odd thing about writing fiction (which I’m sure the other writers will agree) is the challenge of living in two worlds at once.
Part of the day I’m here, in Montana. I homeschool and attend church. I cook dinner, take my dog on walks, cuddle with my husband on the sofa, and chat with friends on the phone while drinking my favorite double-shot, sugar-free mocha.
My other world is one I created in my mind. In that world, I’ll be traveling back to Spain. A harsh, cruel world very similar to the one in Pan’s Labyrinth. (Except for the mystical creatures, of course.)
Two worlds … and only one me. I’m sure you can imagine what a challenge it is. “Yes, Nathan, I’ll make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but can you wait until my bomber safely lands on friendly soil?” Then again, there is also a place where both of these worlds meet . . . and that is in my heart.
When one of my good friends, Kathy, read my first novel From Dust and Ashes, she wrote me and said, “That book was so much of your story. I felt it was you within those pages.”
Huh? In that book, I was writing about a pregnant Nazi wife, abandoned by her husband, and feeling guilty for what she’d witnessed inside the concentration camps. Yet her life is transformed by an American solider who liberates the prisoners and gives her love and hope.
Rescued by a liberator.
Yeah, I guess it was my story after all!
You see, I can write about concentration camps and about those chained in darkness, because I’ve been rescued in the same way. Not physically, but spiritually. Psalms 102:19-20 says, “Tell them the Lord looked down from his heavenly sanctuary. He looked to the earth from heaven to hear the groans of the prisoners, to release those condemned to die.”
When I was pregnant, abandoned, guilty (you get the picture) . . . well, those were the darkest days of my life. Yet, I praise Jesus my liberator. Like the American soldiers who opened the gates to the concentration camps-Jesus heard my groans and saw that I was condemned to die. Jesus rescued me from the darkness, swinging wide the gates, and releasing me from my death sentence.
So, I guess for me writing is not just escaping into a world that happened 60 years ago-one that I recreate in my mind. It’s creating a story where I can share His story. Not with preaching or a three-point sermon, but by showing how lives are changed by liberation and love.
So today, try to consider how His story has affected the story of YOUR life.
And I’ll think of you as my characters overcome obstacles and save the day, because even if I don’t know you . . . I know your heart.
And…today’s stops on the A Valley of Betrayal blog tour: