Agnus Dei

A couple of years ago over at Thinklings, Jared hosted a Thinklings Writing dealio where each of the original seven wrote something to be published on the blog. In response to this invite I wrote a short story called Agnus Dei, based loosely on a church drama written by my friend David Arcos which I had seen years earlier.

In all the server angst Thinklings underwent this year I lost track of the “writings” section of the blog. But I was reminded of this short story when I got reconnected with David this past week, after not having had much contact for years. He’s a great, Godly guy and a great friend (and let’s hear three cheers for Google!)

I retrieved the html for this one off of one of our past servers and have redeployed it to our site.

A snippet of it is below:

The smell hung heavier in the air as he walked slowly up to the nearest pole. It was roughly-hewn. Could have used some smoothing, he thought to himself. Father and I could smooth this wood. He examined the pole, unconsciously mimicking the practiced carpenter’s eye of his father. He noticed that there were dark streaks running down the pock-marked wood of the pole. A fly was feeding on one of the streaks a few inches from his eye. He shooed the fly away as he noticed some large, rusty nails lying in the dusty ground near his feet.

He reached out to touch the pole. At its touch a tingle ran down his spine and a brightness appeared around the periphery of his vision. He could almost hear the wings rustling around him. He knew something big was about to happen, something he hadn’t seen before. He laid his palm flat on the pole and closed his eyes. And in that moment he was overwhelmed. He felt the presence of his unseen friends.

You can read the whole thing here: .

Or maybe it’s just something I ate

As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a novel, off and on, for quite awhile. Lately it’s been more “off” than “on” but I’ve been feeling more and more like I need to get back to it.

The working title of this piece of fiction is Twenty Three Notes. I don’t have any thoughts of being published at this time. I know, mainly from walking through this process with Jared, how hard it is even for good writers to get published, let alone a scruff like me. But the whole point has always been to finish it and let whatever happens after that happen, even if it’s nothing.

I’ve written a Prelude, chapters 1 through 5, bits of chapter 6, 8, 12, and the Postlude. Chapter six has been the sticking point. I began writing it and just stalled. The last thing I wrote in it was a big, bold, disgusted “REWRITE THIS” at the top of the first page of the chapter.

Well, I pulled chapter six out this morning on the bus and began to read it. One of the conversations in it touched me and I started crying. Well, not “crying”, per se, but my eyes misted up. I’m realizing that there is some good in this chapter. Either that or maybe it’s just something I ate this morning 🙂 – in any event, it got to me. I think I’ll keep it. The fact that it was dialog that got to me was heartening, because good dialog is the absolute hardest part to write, for me anyway.

I also read the Postlude. Yeah, I started crying after reading that too. I realize that this isn’t about getting published or even really about anyone else ever liking this novel. It’s about finishing it, and in some way being able to communicate what’s in my heart, what I think God has put in my heart, that I’ve longed to communicate but have never been able to verbalize. Maybe now I can, through the fictional lives of these characters that I’ve created.

I hope I can get moving again on this. I need to.