Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rejoicing in the flak...volume 2

Just got an e-mail last night from a fellow Christian writer who congratulated me on riling up the likes of Nora Roberts, Jennifer Cruisie and Pat Gaffney...saying getting reaction from the likes of these names is probably a feather in my cap. 

I don't doubt it--after all, Queen Nora spends precious little time penning letters to the editor of RWR, and ditto for the other two. They would no doubt plead more pressing engagements, like deadlines for their latest million-selling books. If I were in their shoes, I probably wouldn't write letters to editors much either. But they made an exception in this case, and it's all about what I had to say. Or, maybe I should clarify--what I believe a great many people in RWA want to say, but are afraid to.
Which brings up a whole 'nuther idea, a nagging thought that I've had over and over and have no answers to. Posting about it here will verge on preaching to the choir, but I'm tempted to do it anyway, because even Steve, my buddy, brought up the curious fact that there were no letters printed in the RWR this month agreeing with my position. 
And this is something I've been wrestling with for awhile. 

One woman did put up a letter several months back, asking RWA not to mess with the idea of one-man, one-woman romance stories as their foundation. She basically warned of much the same things I did, only perhaps without so strong a connection to pedophilia as I made.
(There's a whole 'nuther subtopic we could go into about the recent Church scandals, pedophilia, and homosexuality, and their interconnectedness...but that's another topic for another day. It's just a real curious, and real obvious, connection, one that you're not hearing about in the same liberal media attacking our Church. But, I digress.) 

But other than that one letter, and one refuting it, which basically I ended up turning around and refuting back... :-) There's been precious little evidence in RWA of not only any Christian presence but even of a more traditional presence and mindset that would have said, "Well, DUH, of course," to the notion of one-man, one-woman being the foundation of modern romantic fiction, and something we might want to stick with, even to the point of defining it if we felt that necessary. 
Which makes me wonder a couple of things. 
1) Is the moral, upright point of view really that rare nowadays? or, 
2) If it isn't, where are the other letters? 

I can tell you a short answer: people aren't writing them because they know what kind of abuse they'll be subject to for doing so. Heck, I had to completely delete one blog of mine from the system, there was so much of this abuse coming in. I despaired of leaving the blog up for Round Two, so I didn't. People don't want to stick out their necks only to see the blade coming down, and I don't blame them. 

On the other hand, however, isn't right worth standing up for? In public? And damn the consequences? 

I still think so...and I used to think lots of people would agree with that. But it's a little troubling not to see more evidence of it at the moment. It makes you think, and it makes you wonder. 

I'm hoping it's not an accurate barometer of where we are as a group of Christian people--that we're only willing to take moral stands where it's "safe" to do so. We wouldn't be here if that was the background of our faith and of our predecessors. 
So we do have to be very careful, and concerned, if we're passing on the wrong message to those who could most benefit from our being brave. Standing up for right only when we're sure nothing will "happen to us" as a result certainly isn't the legacy we inherited from the Church thus far. In some circles, it's become the legacy of the Church today, but we have to fight against that, too. 

To my mind, it's a fight worth waging. But I sometimes wonder how many of us really feel that way anymore. And what will become of us, and our faith, if we stop fighting the good fight the minute things get nasty. 

Pondering, 

Janny

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thought for the day!

My new favorite quote.... “Paradise is not made for slackers. Let's get to work!” --St. Ignazio da Santhía, d. 1770
...Not to be confused with the more popular, “Jesus is coming--look busy.” :-)

I'm more than looking busy at the moment, but with any luck at all, I'll be able to get back into posting with the usual elan. Took a few days off to go to ACFW over the weekend, as well as Michigan Football at the Big House (and other things too good to miss!). So, hang in there, read on, write on, and watch this space for further updates!

Janny

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Buy yet another book!!!

Those of you who browse this blog regularly may notice there's a new link in place, one from a certain Kelley Renz (popularly called "Venerable Kelley" around Editorial, but that's a long story for another day!). Go to this blog. Read this blog. And then buy the blogger's book, God Listens to Our Children. It's absolutely wonderful, and a great devotional for ANY age. In fact, I'm beginning to think that if you can write good devotionals for the very young or the very old, you can write great devotionals, period. Because I love our Stations of the Cross for the Elderly as well, and while I'm certainly in the Boomer generation, I'm not...er...exactly elderly yet. (Which beats the alternative, except, of course, for that nice part about going to heaven.) :-) Anyway, ads over for today. Just go to the blog, buy the books, and no one gets hurt. Janny

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Two Reasons I'm Glad...

...that the opinions, writings, and principles espoused by the USCCB are not binding! 1) The ridiculous rants they go through on the "just war" theory and how it's painfully obvious that our presence in Iraq violates Catholic principles. Beg to differ, gentlemen. Just war theory is just that: philosophical THEORY. It does not have the rule of law, or even of papal edict, and in this particular case, you guys are WRONG. Yes, the pope said it was a bad idea for us to go into Iraq. Fortunately, he didn't speak ex cathedra when he said it, because he's wrong on that one, too. The pope did not watch 3000 of his countrymen get killed on his native soil by fascists trained, equipped, and subsidized largely by sources in Iraq and surrounding areas. To call what we're doing "aggression" is to fall victim to leftover 60s mamby-pamby peacenik nonsense, and clergymen should know better than that. Or would they rather more American cities get bombed? Weren't 3000 American civilians enough? 2) The immigration question...who's in, who's out, who's legal, who's not, and who we're obliged to take care of. Sorry, gentlemen, but once again, you've bought into nonsense. I don't believe for one second that Jesus thinks we should treat all immigrants--legal or otherwise--the same. I don't believe for one second that, if Jesus were standing before us in human form, He wouldn't be gently turning back many of these people on the basis that they're not here to better themselves...they're here to cheat the system. If they weren't, they wouldn't come in illegally. Period. End of sentence. And as far as accommodating these illegals further by then enabling them to get drivers' licenses and other documentation...without any further obligations? Please tell me it's only because they haven't thought these things through far enough. Or they've had bad advice when they did. Because otherwise, I've got to wonder why a bunch of U.S. Catholic Bishops are so far out of touch with common sense. Feeling feisty today, Janny

Friday, September 01, 2006

More summer reading...

And the reading just keeps on comin'.... Latest reads: THE DEBT by Angela Hunt; after my thorough enjoyment of THE JUSTICE (what an awesome book!) and THE AWAKENING (if anything even more awesome), I couldn't resist going into that murky area well-known as the Back List. (mwah hah haaaah)

THE DEBT isn't bad; it was a real page-turner for me, and she had me, until the last couple of chapters of the book. I won't spoil it for anybody who hasn't read it and still wants the pleasure, but the ending didn't work for me. It seemed...a little too pat. As if she was perking along and suddenly discovered she had a page count to get in under, and so (poof!) the story takes a turn. It's a logical turn in one sense...but to me the book could have been so much more than it turned out to be in the end. Not bad, but not necessarily something I'd buy and keep.

One of the other books on said backlist, I have no interest in: it centers around the Peruvian jungle/rain forest, among other things, and there are very few places on earth I want to spend time in LESS than a tropical rain forest or jungle. So for now, that one's a pass. The other was nonfiction, dealing with a chimp and communication...and that's about the second least favorite interest of mine. (Could never understand, and still can't understand, the fascination so many people have with monkeys and chimps and such. My husband even likes 'em and thinks they're cute. Not me.) So I took a pass on those. Tried to read THE NOVELIST...didn't like it. Set it aside. Which only proves that no one hits a home run every time. (sigh)

Am presently embroiled in James Patterson's THE BEACH HOUSE. No, not inspy fiction, definitely. But suspense? Holy smoke. For years, some of my friends have told me I would love James Patterson. So far, they're right. I may not read everything on his back list, either...but I certainly am enjoying this book to the hilt. (You know when a book is really good--you enjoy your job, but you're reading on your lunch hour and you don't want to go back to work.)  

The other side to the coin is, of course, because I'm supposed to be a Catholic WRITER Chick, I am pushing super hard at this point to pitch the book of my heart. I've been pitching agents like crazy...three requests for partials, two rejects, three submissions with no responses yet. (Not unusual...it's only been a couple of months, and these are for the most part high powered agents at high powered agencies. I'm trying to go for the cream.) Just pitched an editor I think will be a lovely match for my voice, style, and stories...now we just have to see if God's got him in mind for me as well. Time will tell on that one...if I can be patient long enough!

And then I need to finish one traditional romance that's in pieces, one romantic suspense that needs heavy duty work (we're talking major surgery here, folks)...and I still have to sell that @#)%#@&^%$ Golden Heart Book! So...it's after 9:30 here, and time for us munchkins to retire to finish our bedtime reading.

Recommendations, anyone?
Janny