I write stories. I've been writing them since I was ten years old. For years I was in the habit of writing stories of my day in a journal or, occasionally, a blog. As I pursued academic endeavors, my practice of evocative writing for its own sake fell by the wayside.
Then, in October 2011, I began writing stories and poems on a weekly basis for a writing contest. The most intriguing thing I discovered there was the way folks other than me talked about God, religion, and living life.
What I encountered in these articulate writers was decidedly not what I heard coming out of the mouths of religious people growing up. I read in these writers a variety of life experiences, descriptions of crashing against, opening up, dismissing, and broadening the prescriptions of what life with God and religion should be.
As a result I've explored, in fiction and poetry, questions like these:
What do you get when you throw God and religion together with someone who doesn't believe in the God or religion they grew up with?
What sort of faith is possible when religion fails?
What sort of God do you get when the images you have don't look a thing like the person you see in the mirror? What do you get when they do?
What sort of faith can you believe in when evil deeds have been committed against you or someone you love?
How do you answer questions of ultimate concern when the answers you've been given in the past don't fit your experience?
What happens to God, religion, and faith when you ask questions that make the most powerful religious leaders squirm?
If a religion's beliefs and dogmas are inadequate or unjust, what might keep a prophetic person rooted in religiosity?
Fiction, poetry, and prayer are powerful forms in which to explore such questions in illuminating, heart-breaking, hope-inducing, rage-including, thought-provoking ways.
In my upcoming novel, Playing Gauche, I delve into questions of identity and loyalty from the perspective of an adopted middle-school girl in the Sonoran Desert with a sharp mind, a load of talent on the ballfield, and both a skin color and temperament that resemble nothing of her family's. In the Thean Psalter, I reinterpret Judeo-Christian psalms through a feminist, feminine lens. In my novel, Memory Stands Still, I explore the relationship between memory and space as a young woman encounters new and unexpected turns in her life's journey. In Life. Love. Liturgy., I explore through short stories and poetry how God and religion and life lived intersect (or miss the mark, or both). In my chapbook, Lifeblood, I explore blood cancer and its implications for life and death in four short stories; its proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.