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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Life without diarrhea

I don't know why I wrote that... I'll be popping up in all the search results for folks who are looking to solve their bowel issues. Ah well, it's better to pop up for talking about poop than it is for talking about terrorists, right?

Anyway... what would my most loyal readers wish to hear about tonight?

Headache status... mostly gone.

Yesterday, we had a surprise farewell party for DSS, who leaves Wed for college. Then, I headed up to the mountains to my writer friend (of Defeating Self Defeating Behaviors fame) Margie's house, for a writer BBQ. No, we didn't BBQ writers. Actually, I was late and full from the other party, so I didn't eat. But we did talk writing. One of her guests was a NYT bestseller who is amazing, generous, and very free with advice on the business end of writing. Learned a lot of cool stuff, so that was good.

Once she left, however, I had a moment on the hotseat where I had to talk about what I was working on. And so finally, kicking and screaming, I might have a confession to make.

I think I'm supposed to be writing inspirational.

Peanut gallery, STFU.

I'm laughing at myself here, because some of you know what STFU means. Very uninspirational, I can assure you. But here's the funny part. I had a conversation with a SH editor, just shooting the breeze, and I made a comment about how I've been targeting a particular line, and my crits came back saying, "this sounds like an inspirational." And my response was, "sh*t". The editor laughed, and said, "well that's not inspirational." Yes, I know.

See, this is why I fight inspirational. I'm just me. Messed up, trying as hard as I can to figure it all out, but frankly, rather than sitting in my little choir group singing kumbayah praise songs, I'm plotting the rather violent deaths of all the people who piss me off. Those of you who know me well know I'm serious. Crap. Now I've probably got more cops watching me. Oh well. They'll eventually figure out that I'm a crazy lady with more bark than bite.

Back to the whole inspirational thing... when God asked me to write a nonfiction book about being a Christian, I said no because I never felt like I was qualified. I still don't feel qualified. Who am I to write some book about God-even on a fiction level-when I am so totally screwed up? When I was at RWA, I barely cracked open my Bible, and I think that was to prove a point about something I was arguing. Prayer-a couple of muttered things before a couple of meals, maybe when I was in the throes of migraine-dom, and definitely while Dana and I were braving the savage creatures who roam the streets of Atlanta at night. For all my blustering about God, I can't even keep it together for a week while I'm out of my normal routine.

The truth is, my life, and my view of the world, is diarrhea. It's messy, it's gross, and at the end of the day, some poor sucker has to clean it up. I can't imagine that anyone, save a few sick souls who, like me, happen to think diarrhea is hillarious, would want to read about it. I can't imagine not writing diarrhea. My books are full of it. And the thing is-a lot of the things you find in diarrhea are the sorts of things you just can't write about under the "Christian" umbrella. Not that I'm knocking those guidelines. I very much understand and appreciate why they're in place. But if what I'm supposed to write is all diarrhea, which has no place in the Christianity the publishing world is allowed to portray, and also has no place in the mainstream world because I dare talk about God and Jesus, then where exactly does it belong?

I'm potty training the two year old. She regressed while I was gone, and so today, as she stood pooping on the back porch (in her diaper, I just know the "I'm pooping look" she gets), I had to tell her to stop, carry her to the toilet, and remind her how to properly do her business. I guess maybe it's time I figured out how to do mine.

Toilet paper, anyone?


Patricia W. said...


So let's see...all of this makes you...human? I think you should write from your heart, and don't think that all inspirationals have to have perfect Christians in them (I personally prefer the ones with messed up folks like myself). If in the end, you write a non-inspirational (is that a word?) so what? That doesn't make you any less inspiring to the many readers and writers who have come to know and love and appreciate your humanity over the years.

This from a pastor's wife (who definitely is not the perfect Christian as you can tell by my tone). I try. And I suspect, so do you.

Danica/Dream said...

Patricia, so true. I guess I'm just feeling my humanness a little strongly right now. Thanks for the encouragement.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

welll no comments from the peanut gallery... was that aimed at me? LOL

Danica, do your thing. Write from the heart. Let the Lord guide you. He's going to take care of you and what you write for Him. He would never ask you to write something He didn't know you could do. Trust Him. Lean on Him.