Since October 2011, I've been writing stories and poems in an online writing contest. The most intriguing thing I've discovered there is the way folks (who aren't me!) talk about God, religion, and living life. What I encounter in these articulate writers is decidedly not what I heard coming out of the mouths of religious people growing up. I read in these writers a variety of life experiences, descriptions of crashing against, opening up, dismissing, and broadening the prescriptions of what life with God and religion should be. As a result I've been exploring, through my writing, questions like these:
- What do you get when you throw God and religion together with someone who doesn't believe in the God or religion they grew up with?
- What sort of faith is possible when religion fails?
- What sort of God do you get when the images you have don't look a thing like the person you see in the mirror? What do you get when they do?
- What sort of faith can you believe in when extraordinarily evil things have happened to you or someone you love?
- How do you answer questions of ultimate concern when the answers you've been given in the past don't fit?
- What happens to God, religion, and faith when you ask questions that make the most powerful religious leaders squirm?
- If a religion's beliefs and dogmas are inadequate or unjust, what might keep a prophetic person rooted in religiosity?
I believe that fiction and poetry are two extremely powerful (some would even say subversive; I would say transformative) media in which to explore such questions in illuminating, heart-breaking, hope-inducing, rage-including, thought-provoking ways. In this book I will explore how God and religion and life lived intersect (or miss the mark, or both). Persons of all religious traditions or lack thereof are encouraged to add their own flavors of the human and divine to this mix. This book will be a collection of brand-new short fiction and poems inspired by you and your stories. If you would like a sample of my work, you can get a good dose of my non-fiction creative writing here, or I'm happy to send you a sample short story or poem by email request (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Life. Love. Liturgy. Inspire me.
- (29 days)