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Part Two

Two weeks ago I posted about going gluten free and how it’s helped my health but really screwed with the baking side of me. I talked about how I want food to be good not “good for gluten free” just good. You can check that post out HERE. The entire experience got me thinking about books and writing (I’m capable of making huge leaps so bare with me). In publishing there are two worlds, Christian and secular. If your a first time novelist and you happen to also be a Christian this can cause some very extreme angst. I feel like writing is a gift that God has blessed me with, something I am very passionate about and I love the church and my brothers and sisters in the faith. However, I do not know if my book is “christian.” Is that bad? Am I somehow turning my back on my creator for writing a book that’s not obviously about church and faith? It can get very confusing…

This is how I roll. Dinged up table, homemade apple butter and sauce-canned and Ms. Marvel. All delightful things...
This is how I roll. Dinged up table, homemade apple butter and sauce-canned and Ms. Marvel. All delightful things…

Especially if your writing fantasy or science fiction (which I am) and your story doesn’t take place in the real world at all. If one’s not careful this thinking can lead to a very crazy place (I know because I’ve been there). I worked for a year on a story that I was trying to force into this Christian box and it was very frustrating. Then one day I started this new story, a story that has all the things about books I love; magic, adventure, long medieval dresses… And I felt all this passion. How could God be okay with me writing this not-obviously-churchy book? How could He not be? I mean the joy I get from writing it feels like it comes from a higher place (I’m not saying the book itself is from on high, just that the happiness from the privilege of writing is a gift). How could my God not be joyfully standing near as I do this thing that He himself sewed the seeds of passion for?

And that brings me back to this “good for gluten free” thinking. I don’t want to write a book that’s “good for a Christian fantasy” Years past I’ve shied away from reading Christian fiction because I’d been so disappointed so many times. Yet, hadn’t I also been disappointed by secular books as well? How many yummy books (desserts) did I pass by because they were Christian (gluten free). How many awesome, life changing books have many Christians passed by because they weren’t sold in the Christian bookstore (Here’s to you Harry Potter the best books of our modern age). I just want to read good books, and I want to write a good book. I want to write the story that’s in me no matter what and be faithful to that plot no matter where it takes me. I don’t want to miss out on good books because they didn’t fit into my box, and I don’t want others to either.

Here is a list (in no particular order and from all genres) of the best books I’ve read this year. I hope you’ll look into some of them no matter what shelf they land on in the book store:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Alif the Unseen by Willow Wilson

The Girl Who circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Catherynne Valentie

My Mother’s Chamomile by Susie Finkbeiner

The Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

What an awesome honor it is to create worlds in my head and put them down on paper. It’s an even bigger honor to read about the worlds other more amazing and inspiring authors have written for us.

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