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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why I hate my new book

I've mentioned that this is a Hosea book, right?

I need to rewind for a minute and mention a conversation I had with a friend. She was talking about her writing and how she felt that she was a Hosea. She said, "Everyone wants to be an Isaiah, but no one wants to be a Hosea." Um, okay. I sorta got where she was going with it.

And then I start writing this book-the book I didn't want to write. This family fascinates me. It started as I was editing my current book, and one of the secondaries casually mentions that his wife left him and the kids, leaving just a note. As a mother who adores my children (yes, even when they're blowing up my house), to just leave your kids like that, well, it's so unthinkable. I didn't want to write her story, nor did I want to like her. Which is pretty stupid if you're writing a book where the goal is to get your readers to like the character, right?

As I thought about this book and whether or not I could really write it, a thought hit me. This is my Hosea book. Here's this hero, with a wife who has gone and done the unthinkable. Not only does he have to take her back, but he has to chase her and fight for her to come back to their family. So I've been thinking a lot about Hosea. Yesterday, as I realized that I am in the midst of lots and lots of cop talk that will probably have to get cut in the final draft, I decided that I should probably dig in to Hosea. If I'm going to write a Hosea book, I might was well read it, right?

I think my brain is going to explode. I say that a lot, I know, and it's only by the grace of God that it hasn't already. But as I dug in, of course I discovered all the things I already knew, like Homer is fighting for his unfaithful wife, Gomer, and the Lord is fighting for his unfaithful people, the Israelites. Here's what made my brain start to short circuit.

I realized that we are all Gomers.

We are all a part of the unfaithful people, chasing after that which is not of God. We don't seek Him, we seek all of the other things. Worse, we aren't even honest about it. "No, Lord, we're not chasing after Baal," we argue. I mean, until I started digging in my Bible, I didn't even know who or what Baal was. And Asherah poles? I can't recall that I've ever actually seen one. What does an Asherah pole look like?

I can only guess what they looked like in Biblical times, but I do know what they look like in modern times. I think about the things I chase after, and I've come to realize that a lot of them are Baals. My focus isn't on God, but on those things. And while I say, "I want to honor God with it," the goal isn't God, but attaining that thing, or that goal. Honoring God is a part of the equation, but it isn't the THE answer. If it's not the answer, then it's nothing more than putting up an Asherah pole or worshipping Baal.

Which leads me to why I hate this book. On the surface, I am nothing like my adulterous drug addicted heroine. And yet, I am everything like her. It really sucks when all you're trying to do is write a book that people will like enough to buy, and instead you find your own heart being changed.

So instead of spending the month Nano-ing my heart out, it looks like God is going to be doing a little heart cleaning on me. Gotta love how that one works.


Anonymous said...

Danica,you've hit the nail on the head. Not many people realize that we are all Gomers. Maybe that is because not many people read Hosea. All most know is that she was a prostitute.

I'd love to know what happened after Hosea brought her back home. She may have become the loving wife he deserved after that. She may have realized what true love was, that she was truly loved, and that she had worth and value to God and to Hosea. These are things she obviously had no idea of before. I like to believe that Gomer had a real, lasting change of heart and identity. That she was no longer the prostitue, either in mindset, heart, or reputation, but that she was a new creation after Hosea took her on the desert honeymoon.

I love the second part of chapter 2, especially verse 16, and 19-20. When you think of it as Hosea taking his wife, who should have been stoned to death, and reclaiming her for his own, it is one of the most romantic passages in the Bible. When you think of it as God talking to us, it is just overwhelming! Those passages are so very intimate, and that is the Creator of the universe, my Abba Father, talking to me. Wow.

From my name, you can tell that I think about this quite a bit. Have you ever heard of the Christian band Third Day? Gomer is the name we've taken for their fan family. You can read more on Gomers.net and Gomertopia.typepad.com. The Gomers.net site has some further explanation of the name and why we chose it. There is also a wonderful study by Ray Stedman on this page: http://www.gomers.net/html/hosea___gomer.html It might help if you need any other reference material.

Blessings to you in your endeavor this month!
Corrine aka Mama Gomer

Danica/Dream said...

Thanks for stopping by, Corinne.

I do listen to Third Day, their music is great. Thanks for sharing the links.

I think that's what's fun about being a writer-I can imagine what happened after Hosea brought her home, and then put it into words for others. :)