Archive for June, 2018

The manuscript of my newest and unpublished novel, ABSENCE, has been submitted for the Penn/Bellwether Prize, an award begun by best-selling author, Barbara Kingsolver, “The Poisonwood Bible.” The $25,000 prize is awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that exemplifies the prize’s founding principles. The winner also receives a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

The intention of The Penn/Bellwether prize is to support writers whose unpublished works support positive social change, and to “encourage writers, publishers, and readers to consider how fiction engages visions of social change and human justice.”

Will my work qualify? I hope so.

In my opinion, we cannot even consider human justice unless we first treasure the nature of a human being, that part which is immaterial and, I believe, comes from God. The natural law is a deep sense of the moral good, that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. It follows then that we should never use people as a mere means to our own ends as happens in my novel, ABSENCE, which may be my favorite of all the novels I’ve written because it is based on my belief in the divine value of a human being.

Here is a brief synopsis:
Throw out any preconception you may have of a novel about a southern, peanut farmer. Absence is a mystery, in the deepest sense of the word, about marriage, about fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters; all backed into corners and at odds with each other as they struggle with their human nature, and the nature of the world. The story centers around James Greene and one life-changing decision he makes. James’s family has farmed near the Chattahoochee River for three generations. He is a Vietnam veteran, seen by his wife, Katy, as strong as steel. His son, William, sees his father as a good man, almost a king; but James sees himself as a man who will stoop as low as he has to, to get what he wants. And he does just that—with destructive repercussions that alienate his entire family. And yet, even here, love can be found, along with its mystery.

The underpinnings of the novel are two:

1) The inevitable distance between human nature, which is possible to control, and the nature of the world which is impossible to control. i.e. moral evil vs. natural evil–and yet, humanity must deal with both.

2) The mystery of human nature’s innate ability to choose that which can be curative, or destructive.

I am a fiction writer who sees the world through the lens of my belief in God, and write what I believe is good fiction about that. OF COURSE, I ALWAYS INTEND A GOOD STORY, one that can be read and enjoyed with, or without, acknowledging its underpinnings

I would like my work to be taken seriously by today’s literary establishment, but I think that establishment is afraid of showing the depth of religious themes in fiction. And yet, according to the latest Gallup Poll, 89 % of Americans say they believe in God. Christianity is the world’s largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population. Still, this is a largely ignored readership when it comes to realistic fiction with an underpinning of faith. One has only to consider works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, and countless others, to see its value. The literary establishment’s fear might be their feeling that dogma constrains the artist; but for me as a fiction writer, dogma is a guarantee of mystery, and as Walker Percy said, “a warrant to explore the mystery.” Take for example, Christianity’s benchmark, LOVE. Who can understand its joys and sufferings without faith?

ARE YOU A BACK-STABBER??

Posted: June 12, 2018 in World On The Edge

Back-stabbing has become very popular in politics: Attack the competition without mercy. Ruin his or her reputation. Take them down at all cost, because my side is more important. The news is full of this sort of immature backyard brawling. So easy to do with social media because ‘anything goes’ and anyone can give an opinion, whether correct or not.

But it’s not just in politics that back-stabbers work. Have you ever attacked the character or reputation of a person who is not present in a conversation? On occasion, many of us have without realizing the enormous damage it can do.

And some people use back-stabbing very intentionally by throwing out information that is meant to put an un-present person in a bad light. This is done to damage that person, by playing the person he/she is talking to against the person not there and unable to defend himself.

These are people who–especially if they’ve been ignored–will play a so-called friend against another so-called friend in order to beef themselves up or to carve a place for themselves.

People who do this are dangerous. People who do this should be avoided, or at least seen as disingenuous and not truth-tellers. To listen to people such as this, to give them any slack or credence, can be very detrimental to anyone involved in the conversation. Because this is gossip at its worst, when words are used as weapons.

These word-weapons may be complete lies, or half-truths. Of course, any lie is sinful, but even if what is said about another person is true, but there is no real need to make the disclosure, then this harms the person’s good name. And that is slander if done maliciously.

We need to watch our words and our intentions in speaking them, both in face to face conversation and in social media. Words can indeed be weapons with disastrous effects for both the speaker and the receiver. After all, who wants to be around a back-stabber?

She who sees AD

Bridge-Man Burning by Kaye Park Hinckley

EXCERPT

“Coleman tried not to think about dying, though he’d seen it firsthand, soon after he had got to ‘Nam. A boy he’d made an acquaintance with had been in the wrong place at the wrong time–right over a land mine. The mine had blown the boy’s legs off. He’d lived for about an hour, until the reality of what had happened hit him worse than the mine. He’d died in Coleman’s arms, crying out for his mother to help him. Coleman threw up afterwards, went for days without shutting his eyes. The next four deaths happened, all at once, in an ambush. It was then he remembered to pretend that his father was with him, that his father would show him where the enemy hid. His father would help him survive– because Stern was right. Vietnam was a game of survival, of winning the simple gift of another day.”

Bridge-Man Burning

by Kaye Park Hinckley

Giveaway ends June 05, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter Giveaway

Water covers an enormous portion of our planet, and is needed for all life, human and otherwise. Without the presence of water, there would be no life at all. Water is our lifeline. But there are times when it presents trouble for us: hurricanes, floods, accidental drownings. A lot can be lost in these situations, and that loss affects us very personally, even to our core.

Families are also a mainstay of our planet, the core of human life, the domestic church. But the family is in troubled waters today. The family has been hit by the hurricane of misguided thinking, flooded with misinformation. And there are too many drownings because of it.

There are forces who hate what is right. There are forces who want to destroy the God-created family: Mother, Father, Children. There are forces who would dishonor the virtuous love meant to bind them all together, and replace it with a less than virtuous copy: a falsity of marriage, family, and even gender. And some of those forces rise high up in our government, and in our churches, as well.

How is this being accomplished?

By making something much less than good SEEM like good. Social media is filled with  propaganda like this:

That men and women are no different—that a person can even choose which to be.

That a baby in the family does not need to be welcomed, and can even be destroyed.

That boys and men are solely responsible for all that is wrong with girls and women.

That people can no longer judge what is right and what is wrong—even using the standards of God’s own laws. A bastardized meaning of LOVE will be used instead.

The family, the mainstay of our planet, is being snapped like trees in a hurricane. Family members are swallowing, and then, drowning in the contaminated flood water, without admitting there is a storm. Or if we do admit it, we lack the courage to speak out.

We don’t speak out with courage because we want to be broad-minded; we don’t want to be labeled–you know: Love vs. Hate, and all that. We have swallowed the propaganda as truth. Well, it is NOT truth. And we must cross the bridge of courage and say so, or drown as the people of God.

Broadmindedness, when it means indifference to right and wrong, eventually ends in a hatred of what is right.–Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

We must put ourselves in the presence of God and pray for courage. Then we must put ourselves out there, and lay ourselves down in defense of Truth.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.–Isaiah 41:10