Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting Personal

Welcome to my new blog and to what could be called the first real blog post of my career. I say this because I did have a blog once, a publication – and I use the term loosely being that publication means to Make Public and I have no knowledge of anyone ever actually having read the work – that I’ve long since abandoned because it turned out to be nothing more than a rehash of my newsletters, a lighthearted account of life on the road for an author. I can promise you with utmost sincerity that this blog will not follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. As to which path it might take, I am certain only that it will not be the most likely, the most traveled. I desire to learn about, and to explore that which is unusual. I hope you will join me on the journey.

Let me explain the twofold impetus behind this new endeavor. The joy of reading bloomed inside of me at an early age. However, the book, which captivated my imagination, causing me not only to want to read but to write as well, was a book of fantasy, titled A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeleine L’Engle. After that, if the book didn’t have an element of fantasy about it, or something extraordinary, it just couldn’t hold my attention. Not surprisingly, the genre heavily influenced my early writing efforts. My reading preferences still lean in that direction. However, my two published novels, Twisted Perception and Beneath a Buried House, while no one has described either as being ordinary, contain no elements of fantasy. With my third book, I hope to change that.

As indicated, the inspiration for change involves more than getting back to my literary roots. The balance of the formula is better demonstrated through the relation of a personal experience. This should also reveal what I hope to be an important component of the blog, the sharing of personal stories and experiences.
When I was young, around the age of nine or ten, I dreamed of being in a forest where a comforting, golden hue enveloped the landscape, including the sky and the trees and everything that could be seen. The peace and contentment that I felt there, something that escapes description, convinced me, even as a child that I was caught up in something, which was on a deeper level than an ordinary dream. But it didn’t end there. Soon, I emerged from the forest where I began walking along a roadway. I was completely alone on the roadway, but as I continued the journey I encountered pockets of people, whom I recognized as friends and family. Each group seemed to be having a good time and without exception they called to me, trying to convince me to join them. I knew that I should not do that. My mission was to stay on the road, and that’s what I did. The last group of people included my mom and dad. They, too, tried to convince me to step off of the roadway. I found this very disturbing, and it was at this point that I woke up.

Please keep in mind that I did not come from a religious family. We went to church maybe three or four times during my entire childhood. Sadly, this unfortunate condition was also the norm for my aunts and uncles on both sides. I had a few friends who went to church, but none talked of it. In short, At least in my young mind, I had no one to turn to. I carried the dream around with me for a few weeks, and when I finally decided that I had to tell someone, I settled on my sister. After listening to my experience, she stared at me for a few seconds and then said, “You’re going to die.”

My sister is a story in herself, but I won’t go into that. She wasn’t being silly or sarcastic. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that hearing such words come from her little brother’s mouth probably caused her a few sleepless nights.
I finally decided to pray about it. I don’t recommend making demands of the Lord, but remember I was just a child. In the prayer, I asked God if He was trying to speak to me and that if He was to please give me a sign. I even gave Him the sign to use. You see, there was this girl who rode the same school bus as I. I was deeply in love with her, but I knew she hadn’t a clue that I even existed. I asked God to make her my girlfriend because I knew that only a miracle could do that.

The next day, I’d actually forgotten about it, so I bounded onto the bus as usual. However, when she called out to me and asked me to sit beside her, the smile that stretched across my face could have reached into the next county. Here’s the kicker: That girl had never spoken to me before that day, and she never spoke to me again afterward. The next day was business as usual, like nothing had ever happened.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. For me, it was pretty rock-solid. As fate would have it, though, as I grew older and life called out to me, I stepped off that roadway. I will forever regret taking those wayward steps, but all is not lost. It never is. Recently, life’s journey has caused me to rethink my position. I’ve asked Jesus to come back into my life.

Well there you have it. Before this, only a handful of people had ever heard that story. Now back to my fiction. What I hope to do with it from this point forward is to season the plot with thoughtful fantasy and weave into the fabric the power of faith. I hope I can successfully pull it off.
Most importantly, I hope that reader participation will become an important part of this blog. Please feel free to leave a comment, send an email, or forward a guest blog post. I want to hear your stories. I’m intrigued by stories of faith, but all things interest me, especially the unusual, the unexplained and the bizarre.

Next week I’ll touch on The Southern Death Cult of the Spiro Mounds, some of the inspiration behind, Footprints of a Dancer, the third book in the Detective Elliot series.

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Miss Fletcher said...

Thrilled to be your first follower, and I look forward to seeing your blog develop!

Great first post. If you manage to to them as long as time goes on I'll take my virtual hat off to you :)

Brad Smith said...

Bob, thanks for sharing this. I look forward to more stories.

Bob said...

Thanks, Miss Fletcher.

Karen said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

Gloria Teague said...

Wow, a very interesting post, Bob. I liked it because it made me feel I know a little more about you now. I find all of life's biggest experiences to be wondrous, for different reasons. I look forward to seeing how you go forward with this blog. It's going to be quite interesting, I'm sure.

carla stewart said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Bob! One of the most transparent posts I've read in a while and refreshingly so. Hope that the "road" you're on leads to great places. Traveling with God at your side is always a good thing.