I don't quite know where the month of June has gone, it seems like I just posted yet it was two and a half weeks ago. I've been up to L.A. for my RWA chapter meeting, and to celebrate my son's birthday. It was a nice weekend. Got to watch a couple of movies with my daughter as she tivo's everything. Me, if I miss it, it's my tough luck. : ) Anyway, one of the movies we watched was Kung Fu Panda and I have to admit that I loved it. What a great message.
Then on the following Wednesday we had our monthly bookclub where we discussed The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young. I don't quite know what to say about this book, I didn't dislike it but I didn't love it either. The premise is: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?
The story deals with Mack Phillip's youngest daughter's abduction and brutal murder, during a family vacation. Evidence of her murder is found in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, and still grieving, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack for a weekend. He goes and meets up with the Trinity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, all in human form and not quite what he expected. Some of the conversations with the three were rather childlike, based on what I recall as Sunday school bible stories. However, as the author says, he wrote this story for his family and self-published it. Word of mouth created frenzied sales and a print publisher picked it up for reprinting. It's still way up there on the best-seller lists too, so make of that what you will.
I'm not religious in the sense of structured religion, rather believing in a spiritual sense within myself, an energy force greater than me, that somehow guides me and keeps me on the straight and narrow. I don't think of God as being in human form; however, I do believe Jesus existed and was a good man trying to encourage others down a good path. If your religion is strong Young's story will undoubtedly touch you in a deeper way than it did for me.
Anyway, our group was amazing. We had some interesting discussion on the book and on religion itself, and because we're such a diverse group, I found it gave me some deeper insights into my fellow book club members. Our next meeting won't be until September when we'll discuss an author's debut novel, Girls in Trucks, by Katie Crouch. October's pick is one of my favorite authors, Adriana Trigianni, we'll discuss Big Stone Gap.
I've got quite a TBR (to be read) pile. Four friends new releases, By Hook or By Crook, by Betty Hechtman. A Hint of Wicked, by Jennifer Haymore, Temporary Doctor, Surprise Father, by Lynne Marshall, Who Dares Wins, by Bob Mayer (non-fiction, which I'm reading slowly and taking some of the exercises to heart). Last but not least, one of my all time favorite author's books just arrived. I'd pre-ordered it, The Angel's Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I couldn't resist a little peek or two, but can't risk a full read as I have so much writing to do before RWA National conference.
I'm doing what I hope is my last rewrite on my mystery before submitting it. I'm entering it in a contest before National, then pitching the story to both an agent and an editor. If I get any bites I'll be ready to go with no gnashing of teeth after coming back home. Meanwhile, the second mystery, set in the same location and a spin off, must sit and gel for a bit. I'll probably not write any more on it until the fall but it has progressed nicely and I feel good about it, just sorry that I can't revisit those characters right now. But they'll wait. : )