Book Jacket

 

rank 1184
word count 57854
date submitted 30.07.2010
date updated 07.11.2010
genres: Fiction, Popular Culture, Christian...
classification: moderate
complete

Closeted Courage: One Pastor's Journey from Fear to Reconciliation

Anne Wright

Is "gay Christian" an oxymoron?

 

Newly-widowed pastor Vanessa is an envelope-pusher who stops at the edge of too-far. When a renewed friendship opens her eyes to the way the church has failed in the "unconditional love" department, she lets her courage out of the closet. It's a risk during a vulnerable time in her life - but how can she stay safe and comfortable when her friends have endured rejection, ridicule, hatred and even physical danger at the hands of people claiming to know Christ? How can she remain silent when she has a voice and a forum?


This story is Vannie's journey. When she begins the trip she "loves the sinner but hates the sin" and thinks "gay Christian" is an oxymoron. But studying issues and debating theology are one thing; getting to know gay people as friends and learning to love, understand and appreciate them gives her new perspective. She comes to conclusions that are balanced, biblical and most of all, loving. In the process she turns her time of loneliness into a discovery of the richness of friendship.

 
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tags

activism, christian, church, current issues, fiction, gay, homosexuality, relationships, religious

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Norma Posy wrote 221 days ago

I find “Closeted Courage” to be an absorbing read. That may be a consequence of my personal interest in the social implications of humanity’s obsession with religion (not said judgmentally).

Your “scene setting” is well done, as is your character descriptions. These are important aspects of fiction writing that are too often executed poorly (or not at all).

I’m happy to have your book on my shelf, and intend to finish reading to the end. If I come across any productive critiques, I won’t hide them. But I’ll leave such matters as “pushing semicolons around” to others.

- - Norma

Eunice Attwood wrote 1301 days ago

I love the message in this story. There is little enough unconditional love in this world, and you explore certain controversial issues in a sensitive manner. I think you have created a wonderful work here, and I am delighted to see it on Authonomy. I have backed it with the greatest pleasure. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

mvw888 wrote 1330 days ago

What a unique story and handled in a professional and highly readable fashion. Right away, Vanessa was real to me, as were her beliefs and the way that they structure and guide her life. Your writing put me in mind of Marilynne Robinson, Gilead being one of my favorite books ever, so I appreciate the religious speculation and discovery in the midst of a story. Really well done.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

memphisgirl wrote 1361 days ago

I am sneaking moments to read this one all the way through. This is my guilty pleasure. Kudos.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

Norma Posy wrote 221 days ago

I find “Closeted Courage” to be an absorbing read. That may be a consequence of my personal interest in the social implications of humanity’s obsession with religion (not said judgmentally).

Your “scene setting” is well done, as is your character descriptions. These are important aspects of fiction writing that are too often executed poorly (or not at all).

I’m happy to have your book on my shelf, and intend to finish reading to the end. If I come across any productive critiques, I won’t hide them. But I’ll leave such matters as “pushing semicolons around” to others.

- - Norma

curiousturtle wrote 1173 days ago

Anne,

I started reading your Opus and thought I would give you my cent and half:

The jewel in this narrative, and the first thing that pops my eye, is the urgency of the anomie.

This woman seems to be on speed wagon as if in a hurry to go somewhere yet there is nothing in her daily life that spells urgency. Here is a woman that has an urgency within that ebbs and flows between frustration and bitterness. And what makes this bitterness even more urgent and ominous is the lack of a clear target. Is it God that took away Josh or Cancer she is bitter with?

We don't know and that makes the anomie all the more ominous

for, we fear the most that which we know the least....

"His white T shirt....
I also like the mix of speed and precision you use to describe for, it fits with the urgency of the anomie.

"I was left with my thoughts
There you have another example were you are sprinting through events that occur through the lapse of months, with incredible speed, as if nothing had happened......
....all of that adds to the psychological urgency of your central character

"I reached some conclusions..."
This whole paragraph after a whole chapter dedicated to the religious interpretation of homo sexuality works and in fact works better than the whole chapter. Again, you have the repetitions that ad urgency but also, you unfold the awakening of your character;
"I was surprised...."
That makes the reader a co-pilot in the journey.

Some of my favorites:

"watched them turn dry....."

"Josh was an.....
I like the repetitions here for, they create a crystal clear map of the character at hand. Whether repeating the name Josh adds or takes away, I have my doubts.

"Deeply touched....'

Some Minor/Minorest/Minormost points:

I didn't get a clear sense of place in the first scene, and that is really a pity Anne for, you start with a devastating scene worthy of all the atmosphere and sense of place you can deliver. That is, you are under-shooting the power of your first scene.

Nor did I get a sense of place in the bar scene.

Now, this is not a craft problem for when you describe characters you have the precision of a surgeon and describing place and characters involve the same skills. My guess is that you see it so clear in your mind, you don't find the need to put into words,

Well, Ann I don't have access to you mind.....lol

"chilly drizzle" "comfortable routine"
I would also cut a bit on the modifiers. Why? Because the emotional speed of your narrative is the jewel.

And is a real jewel

Modifiers slow you down, unless you are going for a specific mind image, you might as well not use them.

Let me know if that helps,

Happy to back you and 6 star you,

david

Jacoba wrote 1173 days ago

Hi,
I saw you on a message list from someone wanting you to read their book and agreed with your sentiments on reciprocal reads, so I thought I'd give yours a look.
You definitely have a smooth, natural narrative style that is easy to read and fall into your story. I like the way you opened with Josh's death and the effect it had on your MC, the video and memory flash backs were done well.
Into the second chapter I liked the way you MC explored her questions about remaining as the preacher in the same parish.
Troy was well described, and I liked the way his sleeping form helped her to make her decision to stay and get on with her life.
Overall a good beginning. I will try and read more.
Star rated for now. Cheers Jacoba

Pia wrote 1198 days ago

Dear Anne, you're not active here, but you vote still counts. Please check my message to you. Thanks, Pia

Tom Balderston wrote 1232 days ago

The question for a Gay Christian is what does the Bible tell him. It is not for others to judge. If a gay person can reconcile his actions as not sinful, or repents and sins no more, then the Word, the revealed nature of God, will make the truth known to him - God's truth.

Tom Balderston wrote 1232 days ago

The question for a Gay Christian is what does the Bible tell him. It is not for others to judge. If a gay person can reconcile his actions as not sinful, or repents and sins no more, then the Word, the revealed nature of God, will make the truth known to him - God's truth.

RonParker wrote 1235 days ago

Hi Anne,

While this isn't my kind of reading it's very emotional writing. In the short section I have had time to read I found no errors.

One this I would question, though, is why a prologue? It's nicely wriiten, but too long. Why couldn't this just be chapter one?

I'm not fond of prologues at the best times, but here I just don't see the need for one. As I'm sure you know, many readers just skip prologues so, in this case, would miss some very nice writing, not to mention the background to the story. All of which can be avoided just by calling it a chapter.

Ron

KirkH wrote 1254 days ago

This is a good and challenging read. It demands the case between justice and judgement on one side and mercy and tolerance on the other, and we are still as a society struggling with the issue, both on a church level and personal level. You write the story very well and make the reader think about the issues. Well done.
Kirk

eric.swanson wrote 1256 days ago

I love the first person narrative. You do well with expressing thoughts of Josh. I just read the first chapter but you carry your plot well so far.

Tom Balderston wrote 1258 days ago

A topical topic, controversial too. Gay with God is possible, as it is between the Gay and God. The sinner decides whether his slate has been cleaned and justified in Christ, and his subsequent desires to follow meets the standards of Revelation 22. Will the sin continue? Is it sin? What is sin? Are the sins to be hated based on popular opinion? Challenging. Will read.
Tom Balderston
The Wonder of Terra

Tom Balderston wrote 1263 days ago

The real world can be difficult. Prejudices towards sexual preferences abound. Biblically judgment by God is clear. That is His arena, not man's. Man must choose to live his life as God commands and man himself obeys. We all sin, and will, no matter the depth of our commitment, until we are called. Justified in our faith, yes, but once that occurs, how do we deal with our transgressions. All sins, large or small, are crimes against God. Man can only form civil laws based upon society's authority and consensus and administer them accordingly. You have taken on a topic bravely and applied your skills and resources well. I commend you for this effort.
The Wonder of Terra
Tom Balderston

meemers wrote 1266 days ago

Such a sad beginning that catapults Vanessa into a realm of self discovery and what the real world is really like with all the hypocrisy and narrow mindedness. Compelling, uplifting and very heart grabbing.

backed
Sue
Fate's Chastening

mvw888 wrote 1269 days ago

An original slant on a story and certainly timely topics. I love that your story will be an inner journey; I tend to enjoy most stories about the human journey, relationships, self-discovery, etc. I felt that at the start of your prose, it was a bit too staccato. The first nine paragraphs of your prologue are all roughly the same length, and all are full of short, punchy sentences. I think that repeating this style for too long reduces its effect eventually. Often there are too many images or metaphors (such as a blanket, and then a puppy). Once your prose lengthens a bit, it seems to begin to breathe a bit and I enjoyed the rhythm of it more. I think I'd expand a couple of those first paragraphs to vary length and feel, give it a more poetic start. But you certainly do a good job of evoking emotion and introducing the struggle of this character, right from the start.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

M.A. Anderson wrote 1271 days ago

Hi Anne, have rated your book. Good luck.

M. A. Anderson
DARK LEGACY

Richard J. Dean Jr. wrote 1279 days ago

Thank you deeply for agreeing to swap reads and being so quick to back my novel Twin Fates!
Your own novel is quite well-written, flowing nicely from scene to scene without making the ready having to stop and regather their bearings. Well done! I hope you find luck with your novel!
Backed with pleasure!
~Richard
Twin Fates

Rusty Bernard wrote 1283 days ago

Hi Anne,

this has been on my WL for ages and I will come back to it again.

I have backed your book because I was hooked by the pitch, loved the introduction and read on. How much more I read depends on time and commitment.

Enjoy everything and good luck.

Rusty Bernard
The Mental Pause


Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 1288 days ago

This work in first person presents a depth of feeling by the main character that pulls one into the work. Well done. Backed. Chuck

nsllee wrote 1292 days ago

Hi Anne

I guess this is what they call an issue book and the way it is written makes it feel that way too. Your style is so down-to-earth and straightforward, it feels like biography, rather than fiction - I mean all that in a good way. It gives the story strength and authenticity. I particularly like all the discussion about what Vannie thinks it really means to be a Christian. It gave me real insight into the ideas in America's progressive church today and it was both illuminating and inspired hope for the Church and for the world. Backed.

Nicole
Chosen

M.A. Anderson wrote 1294 days ago

An incredible message here. Closeted Courage is an inspirational piece of work with an important message. Your book is sensitive and well written. Good luck. BACKED!

M. A. Anderson
DARK LEGACY

Colin Normanshaw wrote 1295 days ago

Engagingly written tale of unconditional love and empathy. Some minor points need addressing (such as two similes in the second sentence, and a propensity to over-use the word "had") but there is certainly enough promise here for my backing. Colin

Halsgal wrote 1299 days ago

I totalllllly think the churches and the "good" men of God have used their "good Book" to vilify and deomonize gay people. It is part of my book. Good luck with yours! tj burnett

Eunice Attwood wrote 1301 days ago

I love the message in this story. There is little enough unconditional love in this world, and you explore certain controversial issues in a sensitive manner. I think you have created a wonderful work here, and I am delighted to see it on Authonomy. I have backed it with the greatest pleasure. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

John Warren-Anderson wrote 1303 days ago

This is quite inspiring. Good characters, their dialogue pushes the story along. It's thought provoking. Backed

Roger Thurling wrote 1307 days ago

I'm not sure how much of this is fiction ... parts of it seem very real indeed.
I am neither a Christian, nor gay, but I support you 100% in all I understand you to say. My pencil would have been enthusiastically marking wriggly lines down your margins.
I will back this book with pleasure.
RT.

Despinas1 wrote 1314 days ago

Dear Anne,
Closeted Courage is an inspiration piece of work which you should be very proud of.... I have backed it on the strength of your synopsis, and look forward to returning with further comments once I have read further into the story.
Backed with pleasure
Helen
The Last Dream

CarolinaAl wrote 1318 days ago

Brilliant premise, brilliantly executed. An absorbing story told with grace and style. Well-drawn characters. Interesting dialogue. Thought provoking narrative. Well thought out storyline. Assured writing. An illuminating read. Backed.

Ellgain wrote 1322 days ago

You hooked me.

Not just with the short pitch and the long pitch - which was a matter of me being very warily curious - but with how deftly and smoothly you took me into your character's head.

Vanessa is utterly relatable and understandable. Sympathy for her comes very easily and empathy follows quickly after.

I mean this as a compliment, so I hope you don't take it the wrong way. Blue Like Jazz is a favorite of mine - and your writing definitely has the same vibe. There's definitely your own unique voice as well - don't get me wrong, but the whole journey scenario feels as transparent and honest. Which is a good thing!

Great work - backed without hesitation and to be read in full when I have the time :)

chvolkoff wrote 1329 days ago

Ah, the harm that interpretation of Scripture has done through time and various religions. It is as if people find in the Bible whatever they want to see, except of course the words of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they claim to be their savior, and whose words of peace, non-judgment and nonviolence they completely ignore.
Your book is sensitive, well written and precise. I am not into religion of any kind, but I greatly appreciate your story, and how it puts everything back in its place. Thank you, and backed!

Pia wrote 1329 days ago

Anne -

Closeted Courage - Your excellent writing engages, sensitively and intelligently, with a tale that honours the human being. I have issues with organised religion, but what you share here is a brave and refreshing take on the Christian path. I'd rethink the subtitle, make it shorter. Best success.

Backed, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1330 days ago

Poignant and moving...a shared dilemma painted with style and empathy.
Good luck
Stewart

mvw888 wrote 1330 days ago

What a unique story and handled in a professional and highly readable fashion. Right away, Vanessa was real to me, as were her beliefs and the way that they structure and guide her life. Your writing put me in mind of Marilynne Robinson, Gilead being one of my favorite books ever, so I appreciate the religious speculation and discovery in the midst of a story. Really well done.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

Sly80 wrote 1330 days ago

This opens with a very touching portrait of grief and the way illness can cut down the strongest and more resilient of people, 'took his dignity and silenced his laughter'. After that, it treads the line between fiction and theological discussion for a while, staying just on the right side in my opinion. Then in Chapter 1, the writing relaxes along with the protagonist at the Owl's Bran Tavern, 'one of Troy's Navajo days', and she makes up her mind... On to Jack and his problems reconciling his nature with the church's teachings.

There is a feeling here that the message is more important than the means, Anne, and that the novel was written to deliver that message. From what I've been seeing of American Christian Fiction, this is an acceptable format. Given that I find the writing good, the story absorbing and the message one that I would agree with, I shall if course back this.

Possible nits: Avoid mixed metaphors/similes as they lead the reader into mental gymnastics, e.g. the weather being both a coat and a puppy.

Ren Nowaki wrote 1333 days ago

Hi Anne! Remember: one (grumpy, pedantic git of a) person's opinion. Use or discard at wish.

Prologue

Take out the title and second Prologue heading. It's a formatting thing that clashes with Authonomy's - very minor point.

Oooh, actually: I don't particularly like 'from fear to reconciliation' in the title. It's a lot more intriguing (and shorter) if you have simply 'one pastor's journey'.

'it didn't stay outside' - this made me think for a moment that 'the chilly drizzle' followed her inside and that her house was getting wet :S perhaps be a bit more specific in referring to the gloomy atmosphere that's compounded by the rubbish weather?

'made him cry "uncle"' - perhaps this is a cultural thing....but what? I really don't understand this.

'great ideas about being the Church' - awkward, not quite right. 'great ideas to bring to the Church' sounds more appropriate.

'bragging on (about).'

Ren Fayre! A fair devoted to meeeeeeee :D I know I know, short for Renaissance blah blah blah.........

Nice idea - Christian-'pagan' interaction. However, I wouldn't call the festival-goers 'pagans' - paganism refers to alternative spiritual practices, not to a massive cultural shift starting in the 1600s. Plenty of Christian artists were part of the Renaissance movement.

What's with the number? Do you have a reference list?

'tweek'? Do you mean 'tweak'?

Nice message.

Another number. Hmm, perhaps there is.

'looking remarkably like a long-haired white man' - why is this remarkable? This is the usual Western depiction of him. (I could go on about how *technically* he would have been Middle-Eastern in appearance and so most Western depictions of him are racially biased, but that's neither here nor there really.)

'never gotten' - colloq. Replace 'gotten' - this is one of my 'things', I really, really REALLY hate 'gotten'!!

Overall: nice scene setting. We see Vanessa's grief and loneliness, the exploration of her faith, and her spiritual and emotional background with Josh. Did all that need quite so much text to explain? Not sure, but you did it very nicely. Simple, revealing, effective.

Ch 1

An owl-themed bar! I know people who would LOVE that!

Troy: ugh. Example of prime manliness ;) good description.

So we see why she goes to the bar, and we meet Julie and Troy.

Okay. This wasn't the most exciting of chapters. I would expect some confliction/complication/hook soon.

Ch 2

Again with the number. I suppose it does mean something.

Ah, the ex and the start of the story. Good good.

'It didn't get that serious at first' - lazy. Sorry, honest opinion. 'It wasn't that serious at first' is more correct.

Hmm, intriguing. What's going to happen?!?

Ch 3

And......the summation of Paul's letter. Okay, I'm lost. If this were spoken aloud, it would be fine, but written down it's not, well, great. I'm a reader who's here for story. I think it's great that you work in so many of the issues about the church, and that you explain it simply and effectively......but so much detail isn't necessary. Is this a blend of novel and theological debate? If so, you have to keep the pace, keep the story going, as well as explain the theology behind the narrator's thinking. There are readers like me who aren't particularly interested in the minutiae of Biblical interpretation, just in how Vanessa's interpretations help her and help those around her. I would say refine this. Massively refine it.

But I do realise that this is part of her journey, and that it's important. Keep it, just refine it :D

And don't, for the love of everything holy to readers, change the font!!!

Ch 4

she wipes away a tear....then is 'actually excited' - I know she's upset about Josh, but this does seem a bit unrealistic. One can be upset without a rather cliche way of showing it, such as 'wiping away a tear', especially when there's another strong emotion taking place.

See - now THIS is relevant. Again, too detailed, but if you could somehow sum it up without losing the precision, this would be immensely helpful.

Ch 5

Ah, so we see what kinds of effects Vanessa is having. Yay for her! And for Carrie!

I'm going to finish here because of time issues, but I need to let you know: despite all my nitpickings I did enjoy this. I really, really did. You have a lovely narrative voice: very easy-going, very engaging, very easy to read. There's a lack of descriptive passages after the first two scene-setting chapters - what kind of town does Vanessa live in? What's her church look like? Time of day, weather, sensations and colours, bring it all in. Vanessa is a lovely character in every way, and readers will sympathise with her. The message of love and acceptance shines through very clearly, and doesn't sound at all threatening and preachy. As a reader who doesn't particularly care for Christian writing - I find most of it far too didactic and assuming, to be honest - I was surprised to find this to be so pleasant. Using in depth Biblical study and interpretation to justify Vanessa's message is absolutely key - I would say keep it, absolutely, but don't go into so much detail, and remember to keep the narrative pace going. This is a novel too! A massive well-done, and I'll be sure to keep reading once I have a chance!

--R.N.

chantellyb wrote 1334 days ago

Wonderful narrative. You make things work, like sentence fragments, that I would never dare touch and have seen horribly abused. Masterful story-telling.

Summer D'Vine wrote 1335 days ago

Closeted Courage - I always start my comments to religious books with a disclaimer, so here goes: I'm not religious in the slightest and cannot comment on the religious aspects of your book, so my comments here are based on the writing itself. Having said that, This reads like a polished novel. You write Vanessa/Vannie with such heart and soul. And I'm sure this book would appeal to many. Gladly already backed.

Best of luck to you!
:-)Summer D'Vine, Women of the Trees

toussaint wrote 1335 days ago

Closeted Courage

[return backing ☼☼☼☼☼☼]

Quite a surprise this. The prologue is quietly uplifting, the characterisations very sympathetic. And it was a wonderful change to find someone writing about religious people living in the spirit of their religion, taking their inspiration from people rather than the “instruction manual”. Although a less spiritual reading would say she just got depressed and went on a bar crawl to drown her sorrows. Just teasing! It’s obvious from chapter one that Vannie has been visiting the bar for a long time and drawing spiritual inspiration from her time spent there. You get right down to business when we realise that her friend Julie is gay and has been rejected by her family. The picture you paint of her life with Donna is painted in a few words, but is very well done. This gets right to the core of your premise and it is one which is extremely important. There is indeed so much intolerance out there and I am so very glad I have been introduced to your book. Now I know where to point certain people to open their eyes. Vannie’s re acquaintance with Jack is particularly well done. I loved the bit where she was scared to tell Jack she was a Pastor, and he that he was gay I must admit I find writing punctuated with biblical references a bit offputting, but it is done with moderation. I guess you need to refer to the handbook every now and then. As your target reader seems to be christian, then they will expect the references to be in the main text although I might have felt better if they were in footnotes. Incidentally, these might be better at the end of the chapter to which they refer. Nice start to chapter three: a christian who comes out as gay and sings of black and white relationships. Boy do you visit all four bases of American social division! I think that’s what you guys call a home run!


Many apologies for the delay in reviewing your book. I eagerly await its publication as it is an important project. Of course I am backing your work.

agrariantimer wrote 1336 days ago

Hi Anne. Thanks for visiting Fires of Halcyon and for your encouraging comment. I of course had to take a look at yours. I'm not a Christian, but I can see how this novel will feel a deep need for people. I value real-sounding dialogue, and you certainly have that. You have a nice variety in your sentence lengths and flow. Much to admire. My story deals with religion too, but more toward the Spiritualist end. I appreciate what you've done here and the smoothness of your storytelling, but especially what your book can do for lesbian Christians in particular. Good luck; I can back you happily.
Renee

sjwilling wrote 1336 days ago

Very interesting story dealing with one of the hardest problems in our society. Bigotism and prejudice. I like the way you use Vannie and her situation to bring this about and like the way the story has developed so far. I did find the text a little dry, I think sometimes you edge very close to telling the tale rather than letting us feel and experience it but that can be changed easily. e.g "I'd been restless working in our church" is kind of telling. Something like "Working with Josh that day was a particular kind of hell. People whining about petty problems and refusing to acknowledge how fortunate they were...." helps to draw us into her feelings on the matter and makes the story more emotional I think.

Over all I'm intrigued, and will put this on my WL so I can come back and sample some more.

S.J.

Eunice Attwood wrote 1342 days ago

My goodness! What a brilliant writer and story teller you are. Brilliant narrative. I felt every part of it. Happy to back you. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Bocri wrote 1347 days ago

16 August 2010
Closeted Courage makes a positive impact very quickly after opening. Sensitive, clear and caring prose, describing the vacuum of loss but with an underlying hint of optimism, carries the reader forward. The descriptive power and facility with apt metaphorical wording is vivid without being overly done. There seems to be a strong biographical basis for this work, especially in the area of personal loss, but that does not detract from the evident skill of the author in bringing quiet verve to its pages. Before long, without change of pace or impact, the subject of homosexuality is seamlessly interwoven into the text and a 'mature' discussion on its acceptability in Christian life takes place. Well worth the read. BACKED. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run

Light Between Shadows wrote 1347 days ago

I was drawn to look at and back your book by one of your thoughtful and constructive comments to someone else. I hope I can offer you the same and hope also, that you'll read some of my book.
Your writing is easy, with a strong voice. In my humble opinion, I'd lose the prologue and get that info into the story - the backstory of the prologue goes on too long and is too much telling. I would suggest getting right to the heart of what your story is about - the drama of the story - in order to hook your reader. While your writing is lovely and you have a story to tell, in this day and age of speedy communication, you have to be able to tell it fast or the reader might move on, and in your case, that would be a shame.
best of luck,
Tricia

ravenwhimsy wrote 1348 days ago

Anne, I am finding this book quite compelling and am reading the entire story chapter by chapter, day by day.
I find the entire dialog fascinating. Exhibiting unconditional love and acceptance in everyday life, all the while questioning and exploring the Gospel and inner workings of an organized church.

Your characters are engaging, believable and well developed. I find myself reading quickly to see what self discoveries are being revealed next. Looking forward to more!

Backed with delight.
Ravenwhimsy

drachat wrote 1350 days ago

Hello,

I'm sorry it took so long to comment; I backed your book about a week ago and just had a chance to read further.

Wow is all I can say. So well-written and something I can relate to. I am a newer Christian, about 4 years now, and never even considered church for many of the same reasons gay people are discouraged. Hypocrisy! I have always believed in God but never had any "faith" Never knew what it was but I always tried to live right. We are all guilty of something whether it's pride or judgment, etc. I just know when I'm doing it and try and repent right away. I try to act it more than just talk about it.

Your writing brings the reader in from the beginning, feeling Vannie's pain at the death of her husband. Loved the line "I felt like a monkey picking off my own fleas" brilliant!

This was most deserved of my backing
Denise

Would you mind taking a peek at my book "Road to Redemption: From Cop's Daughter to Convicted Felon"

Barry Wenlock wrote 1350 days ago

Hello Anne, this is a very thought provoking read. If God is Love and love is unconditional, then you have surely hit the nail on the head here. Sensitive and, in my opinion, the true message of Christ. Well done.
Backed with pleasure,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

Anthony Brady wrote 1352 days ago

CLOSETED COURAGE - ONE PASTOR'S JOURNEY FROM FEAR TO RECONCILIATION by Anne Wright.

Such sweet sorrow, cruel kindness, make haste slowly are oxymoron examples. Not "some type of stupid cow" as my Great Aunt Agatha declares. The term "gay christian" is fine by her: what's more, the gay contribution in the service of population control should be acknowledged far more widely she reckons. Be that as it may, Anne Wright has added greatly to sensitive understanding and acceptance of those men and women who increasingly choose to live in committed same sex relationships. From an initial christian orthodox stand, she deliberately, through study of biblical texts and direct pastoral experience, charts her journey from fear to reconciliation by arriving at an ultimate acceptance that gay and lesbian love can be accommodated by christian believers even while at odds with convential church structures and condemnatory attitudes. The price for her is personal sacrifice: she looses her formal ministry but gains in solidarity with the rejected and triumphs in retaining a clear conscience and unambiguous christian outreach. For those readers willing to approach her subject matter without adopting a fixed position of either Pro or Con, this book is a revelation in living love and compassion. Divine love is not selective: it embraces all humanity, denying none and cannot be selective. Backed.

Tony Brady - SCENES FROM AN EXAMINED LIFE - Books 1,2 & 3

KW wrote 1353 days ago

"You should have taken me instead of him." Is it possible for a wife of a pastor to take over her husband's position? I guess since she's a pastor as well, it's possible. I thought the synod or whatever, would try to enforce a move. Anyway, I like the detail you put into this about songs playing on the juke box and the owl decor ("a harbinger of death"). It helps develop an atmosphere of the bar in which the pastor "was more alive" than in her "pastor cage." You continue to develop the story with the line about Julie's "rejection by her Christian family when she told them her dirty little closet secret."

I'm glad you uploaded the complete text. I can come back and follow Vanessa on her journey of life after the death of her husband and her attempt to tear down a few walls and her eventual realization that she could give "relationship counsel to a gay couple and not [have] a second thought about it." I want to see where this journey leads. Backed for now.

SingingOwl wrote 1354 days ago

Wow! I can sooo relate to Vannie. Not sure how I feel about all of this yet, but loving the reading of it, and backed. A courageous venture indeed. :-)

hikey wrote 1354 days ago

Anne. Quite a controversial and thought provoking subject thats effective in getting the readers attention. A well crafted story that drew me in.
Good luck with your talented writing
Jane

Dorothea wrote 1355 days ago

This is a great concept for a story. Your narrative is strong and really pulls the reader in. This is especially true in the case of Josh - the way you portray his presence in the story is both moving and strangely practical.

Tracy Buchanan
The Candyfloss Room

JD Revene wrote 1356 days ago

Anne,

I read the opening chapter and also chapter twelve.

The writing is crips and clean and both chapters immediately set the scene and do so well.

Observations on chapter one:

--there's a lot of exposition here, the voice is good and we're getting to know the narrator, but there is perhaps something of a lack of action or hook; and

--there appear to be footnote referecnes, but I didn't immediately find the notes (only as I wrote this comment did I think to look at the very end!).

Observations on chapter twelve. Here there's more action and less back-story--though Josh is still vividly present. One thing, though, in a couple of places I wondered if the dialogue wasn't too wordy. One example:

'Just a very vivid, bad dream last night. I woke still feeling the effects. I think I cried myself back to sleep just wishing Josh had been there to hold me. It was one of those 'fears and phobias' nightmares with a lot of elements from my life lately'

then

"It is tough to be suddenly alone. Lots of adjustment. Anything in those 'fears and phobias' you want to talk about?'

I'd be inclined to pare these sorts of lines back, perhaps something like:

'Just a bad dream . I woke still feeling the effects, cried myself back to sleep, wishing Josh was there to hold me. One of those nightmares with elements from my life lately'


"It's tough suddenly being alone. Lots of adjustment. Anything you want to talk about?'

It's a matter of judgement of course, but one or two of those line just didn't work for me, as I read them aloud.

However, I enjoy your style which is simple and direct and found this easy to read.

Backed.

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