Thursday, September 28, 2006

Possible Christian sub-genres

Okay, I was pondering all the various kinds of fiction genres and sub-genres out there in the secular world. Am thinking it's a shame that we Christian writers don't have more types of writing. Basically it's romance, scifi, fantasy, historical, and I know of someone who writes Christian Asian chick-lit. . Found myself creating some Christian sub-genres.

Christian ecofiction
Christian business fiction
Christian cyber-punk
Christian urban fiction
Christian erotic fiction
Christian ethnic fiction
Christian feminist fiction
Christian outcast-fiction.
Christian lad-lit
Christian missionary-fiction (I think my novel Windfollower might fall into this category.)

Ah we could go on. I think I just want the Christian publishing world to really challenge the secular world.


Sunday, September 17, 2006


I spent Saturday at the annual NY state right to life convention. Things really are way worse than I would ever have guessed. Way worse. And downright scary.

In addition to the usual stuff -- post abortion healing, resources for children who were created by rape and incest, the big thing being discussed was involutary euthanasi and brain death. What I came away with was the terrible knowledge that greed, scientific racism, and medical arrogance are totally out of hand and dwindling away at our rights. I also got my cynicism about the media renewed.

I always knew the media was pretty jaded. After all, Margaret Sanger and her Negro Project and anti-semitism and anti-hispanic mentality are all well-known but one never sees the media mentioning it. One of her most famous lines, (other than the one in which she told in her letters how much the KKK loved her for her eugenics plans) was the one where she stated, "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population...and we don't want this idea to get out to its more rebellious members." Or her comments in her book Women and the New Race where she talks about the need to sterilize the genetically inferior races" and even called for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation and rehabilitative concentration camps for inferior Blacks, Hispanics, poor Whites, and Catholics. A couple years ago when Martin Luther King's daughter spoke at the convention, against Sanger's Planned Parenthood, she gave such statistics that I just thought..."oh my God!!! At this rate of abortion (and incarceration, and black-on-black crime) no wonder the black percentage of the population is dwindled to zip.

BUT the way the media totally ignores the fact that planned parenthood is a genocidal tool against blacks just annoys the heck out of me. They keep statistics hidden. And it really makes one wonder about how racist our society really is.

But what really got to me was the lack of rights and the manipulation of semantics when it comes to the notion of life. One guy talked about futile-care law. That's a law that says that even if the sick person and her relatives have declared that she wants to live no matter what, that the hospital bio-ethics committee has the right to overturn the family's request. This law is in several states, and was first signed by George Bush (a pro-lifer?) in Texas. Do I even have to say that this law has been used more on minorities, the poor, the disabled?

Then there is a law that is due to come into action in NY. This law concerns the organ donor check box on one's driving license. At present the law pretty much states that your family has the last word as to whether your plug can be pulled or you can be declared brain dead. In November, that right is taken out of your family's hand. If you end up in a hospital and the doctors think you should be declared brain dead or that your quality of life will be futile, they can take your organs without asking you.'

And this is where the creepy science fiction stuff comes in. Oh sure, we know that the medical world has always kinda aligned itself with arrogance, racism and cruelty. After all, there was the Tuskegee Airmen experiments where they didn't treat black men for syphillis just to see what happened with folks dying from the disease in the last stages. And there was Hitler's experiments. But now!!! We keep thinking we're enlightened.

Since certain organs can only be harvested by a living person, we need to have ways to have the person be still living yet still conveniently be called dead. There are 30 criterias for deciding if a person is brain-dead. (or heart-beating donors or neo-morts.) But the games tht are played. For instance, there is something called the non-heart-beating donor. That's a brain-dead person who has been taken off the monitor and whose heart is not "beating" And if the heart doesn't start beating on its own in the amount of time the hospital (and hospitals make about $1 million on each transplant) then the hospital can start taking the organs. But of course the definition of a beating heart, the amount of time it takes a heart to actually start beating after its been hibernating and healing, and the Apnea Test which is supposed to test if someone is brain dead actually damages the heart even more...are all administered by the hospital. Not to mention that the UDDA (Uniform Determination of Death Act) allows that a body can still be healing, still be breathing, still feel pain while the organ is being removed (that's why they give pain killers and paralyzing medicines to brain dead people when they operate on them so the brain-dead person doesn't flinch or wince or jerk from pain.)

And what really got me was the bio-ethical definition of "person." A human nonperson can be a comatose person, a disabled person who doesn't understand what it is to will to be alive therefore has no power to will to be alive, an unborn life, a normal young baby who cannot understand the nature of life. They passed out the latest journal fro, the Kennedy Institute of Healthcare Ethics -- the biggest most important bio-ethical institute in America-- and to say that my mouth opened when I saw words that could easily have been used by Hitler or slave-owners, and the greed and the desire to treat humans as a natural resource. We also had a disabilities advocate. The disabilities advocate were for Terri Schiavo but of course the media made it look like only nutty right-to-lifers were. And looking at the statistics of disabled, minority, severely disabled children, disabled or mentally-impaired old people, and the poor that have been subjected to the greed of medical science...well, it just made me want to weep.

I began to suspect at this rate in the next twenty years we will have a country where senile parents, disabled children, and poor blacks will become rarer and rarer. And when i thought of that, I said to myself..."I'm gonna work on my Daughters of Men book!" That's the book that had eugenics, racism, and a world with no weak people in it. I got my passion about that book back.

Anyway, the first thing I did when i got home was tell my son he's gotta get his name off that organ donor registry. Young Poor Black young men have good organs and fit into the genocidal plans really well. The statistics are staggering. -C

If you wish look around at the following sites you can get a better view than my ravings. (See Citizenlink)

Carole McDonnell Wind Follower June 2007 Juno (at) gmail (dot)com

Monday, September 04, 2006

Long journey to publication

I've got to say, that God has been very good to me and people --friends, strangers, etc-- have always been kind to me. A sweet grace and favor, that. So I was always getting helpful letters from editors and agents.

I started with a YA novel called The Herring Run which almost was picked up by Walker Books except that they said it was too episodic. The editorial assistant actually sent me a copy of the notes the editorial board had taken in deciding on the book. It was sooooo close. That was about ten years ago and I didn't really know much about writing.

That novel because Black Girls have always loved cowboys. Long story. But I tried to turn Herring Run into an adult novel. A collection of stories. I sent it to an agent I met at a conference. She said it was very melodramatic and boring and that I should really understand cause and effect and feel the emotions of the characters.

I began working on Treasures of Darkness. I sent it to an agent I met at a conference. He loved the beginning but said it went nowhere and that he wouldn't make enough money to feed his cat. Met a former editor at an art show and he said the story was drawn out. About 100 pages for the first night kinda thing.

I wrote Daughters of Men for Paul Witcover when he was editing for Harpercollins. HE liked it a lot and was really pondering buying it but then he left harper. He emailed me to say I should join some online writing and critting groups such as oww-sff and to show him DOM whenever I finished it.

I sent DOM to Rachel Vater at Don Maass but she said I was being redundant. I had to learn to show tension. I had to stop repeating myself. And my characters were always sitting down. She said to try to improve it.

I had to write a short story for an antho Brandon Massey was doing on black horror. Brian Jacobs was also doing an antho called Genre Noir. I figured I'd write a story called Father Gorgeous about a gorgeous semi-atheist priest who doesn't believe in the supernatural but who meets a demon. It missed out on the anthology because -- my usual problem-- my short stories never know when to quit. IT had two "beats" so I decided to make it a novel. I began fiddling around with it. It's about 66 pages but Lord knows what'll happen to it.

In the meantime I started writing Windfollower. It started out as a short story which I was writing for a contest. I like ballads so it was based on the Elizabethan ballad, "the trees they grow tall." But the contest came and went and I realized it was trying to be a novel. The flow of the story came so quickly that I said to myself, "this'll be my quick little shallow piece. I'll just toss it off. It'll be meaningless and just romance. Not as complicated or full of worldbuilding as DOM." Little did I know!!!! It became a story about a shamanistic culture meeting a monotheistic imperialistic racist country....with the Lost Book. Battles with demons and gods.

I sent it to Rachel. She said she had to turn it down because I still had that redundancy problem. I'm ebuddies with Cindy Ward who is the market maven for Speculations. NOTE: It is a weird thing in life that one cannot give without receiving, and all the folks who give tend to receive wonderful stuff...especially if they weren't expecting anything. There was an antho that Juno was doing -- best spec romance-- so I sent it to Cindy. She said thanks then emailed me to say that Paula Guran at Juno Books was really really really looking for good stories. She said I should send the story to Paula. So I sent DOM -- I sent mega synopsis and plot points and character studies and glossaries of DOM and just the synop and first 40 pages of windfollower. I told her however that I had been published in about 7 anthologies -- four or five fiction-- and I told her that with me "one word to the wise is sufficient." If she told me something, she could trust me to understand what she said...if she gave me a day or two to figure out what she meant. She figured she'd trust that I could write.

Because I had sent so much of DOM, she assumed DOM was the better written piece. I told her that DOM was written about five years ago and I really hadn't touched it in about two years. I said that actually Windfollower would be more finished of the two. But I sent her the first 200 pages of a 545 page octopus (Times New Roman no less) and Windfollower. I told her Windfollower was waaaay religious and she said the Juno guidelines said "No Christian fantasy...but Windfollower didn't seem religious like that...more spiritual."

She looked at both books and said she'd definitely go with Windfollower and she wants to do DOM except that DOM needs "a lot of work."

So that's about it. I tend to think it's just one of those grace of God things. Because she's been pretty cool about me fixing and repairing. I think it was because Wind follower is so odd and Cindy had said a good word for me and God had just given me grace and Paula was so desperate. All combined together.

As for what I want to do now, a part of me wants to work with DOM cause it's already finished and it's such a flaky world. But another part of me feels like I like Father Gorgeous and it's centered in this world. Like Windfollower, it's about the "real world" By this I mean, it has demons, humans, spiritual choices and both stories are things that have happened to missionaries or to people who have encountered the demonic. Unlike Dom which is truly creative....and deals with really far off fictive stuff that hasn't really happened.

Carole McDonnell Wind Follower June 2007 Juno (at) gmail (dot)com

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