Fears of Writing Books and Belonging to a Place

“Religion starts, as Frost said poems do, with a lump in the throat, to put it mildly, or with the bush going up in flames, the rain of flowers, the dove coming down out to the sky.” “Each of them responds to Something for which words like shalom, oneness, God even, are only pallid souvenirs” […]

Defining Warrior Faith from Bey to Z

Before I was a warrior, I differentiated between the secular person I was and the spiritual person I became weekly on Sundays. Sabbaths were for study, praise and worship, and a time to set those things aside in favor of regular life. That was before; I’m a big girl now. That was my first evolution, […]

We Light Our Candles in the Darkness

I am fearless and fiercely protective of those I love: Just try coming for one of mine. As I wrote in my personal manifesto #GentlyAngry, “I aspire to live in peace, but I ain’t no punk.” “I encourage you never to mistake my quiet or my cool for anything, please. Draw conclusions at your peril. […]

Books as Soulmates

Books are like soulmates— friends who meet us at just the right time and connect to our souls more deeply than we had anticipated. They teach us, help us, inspire and shape us. Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories are able to help us become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses […]

The Birth of a Book

Several weeks ago, I had my first conversation with a literary agent. A real literary agent! She had contacted me, inviting an introductory phone call, and I was just beside myself with excitement. I spent hours researching her and her agency before gathering questions and talking points for our call. When it came time to […]

The Weight of Our Words

“Some words are elegant, some can wound and destroy, but all are written with the same letters.” – Paulo Coelho The laughing ceased as I walked into the room, turning to piercing eyes and whispers hidden behind folders. I inhaled deeply, trying to hold back the tears stinging my eyes. I wouldn’t let them know […]

Jesus Speaks for the Marginalized

I thought I had to be white if I wanted to be a real writer. I loved writing since as early as I can remember – first grade, Mrs. Kazekwa’s class. I was the girl who, when given a picture of a clown to describe, would write a life story specifically for him.  In high school, […]

Lessons Learned Through Revision

  Last winter I mustered up the courage to query an agent in New York about a novel I’ve been working on. I sent him the first fifty pages of it. It’s a big fat fantasy love story that just so happens to hold the keys to my heart. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever […]

The Curious Blessing of Rejection

Ten years ago, in 2006, I was rejected by a publisher.  It went like this: after four years of student ministry and thinking about a post-modern culture, I had an idea for a book that explored characteristics of student ministry in the context of postmodernism – a sort of analytical, practical, theological-yet-readable sort of book. […]