I started reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young and so far, I love it. Well, for a little while I hated it and now I love it. Spoiler Warning: I hated it because of the subject matter. It's hard for a mother of small children to read about an abduction, especially that of a little girl taken by a cold-hearted killer who does God-knows-what-unthinkable-sins before brutally murdering her and then disposing of her body in some way that she is never found. I just can't even begin to comprehend the evil . . . but I don't need to. That's what I tell myself whenever I start to get crazy and paranoid about my kids. I am not walking that path. I pray I never have to. Ever. Please. God. I don't need to put myself through the fear and pain and worry of the "what if" when it's not happening to me. Still, my sleep was restless the evening after I read that part of the book. And I checked and rechecked the locks. I almost wished I hadn't started reading it. But I knew I had to read on because the rest of it would be about afterwards. About the healing. So now I'm reading on and finding joy . . . little by little.
But the whole point of this post is that millions of people can read a book. It's on library and bookstore shelves for anyone to pick up and browse. In fact, the author wants everybody to read it and be touched. Yet, writing it and reading it can be so . . . intimate. If I talk about the emotions I have when I'm reading a novel, I almost feel as though I'm opening a window into my personal love life. What is it about the magic of words that so envelopes my soul that I think it's just me and this book? I'm alone with the ink on the page and the feelings I have in that moment are nobody's business.
It's the same way with writing. It takes a lot to read a story to my writing group. Those words were written in private and to have them prodded and picked at and evaluated almost sullies something sacred. (Alliteration intended.) However, it's a necessary unveiling. I didn't write the words to keep them to myself forever. The story needs a reader in order to be complete.
A side note here: I miss my writing group! We haven't met since before Adrian was born. One of our pillars, Demery, moved away last year. And having a second baby has made it difficult for me to keep up with things (obviously). But, our annual writing retreat is coming up. My goal is to complete my novel in time for the retreat. I've made some good progress. And now I'm basically at the end. But I don't know how to close it. All these years and so much hard work and I'm stuck. I had coffee (read that a humongous caramel mocha) with Pauline a couple weeks ago and she suggested I read something. Therefore, my decision to finally make myself read something other than Super Baby Food or Boundaries. I'd been wanting to read The Shack for some time. So finally I am. If I remember (that's a big IF), I'll write about my final conclusions after I read it.
And in case Adrian reads this some day and thinks he was the undoing of his mother's writing group, I have to add this face.
Sorry my friends, but he is totally worth every sacrifice. Even the (hopefully not permanent) marshmallow belly I still sport, which I suppose prompted somebody to ask me last month if I was expecting again. And they knew I had a six-month-old baby. Come on, now!
I am about to hit the Publish Post button--with as much trepidation as though I am reading a story. Let the circle be complete.