I just finished writing and editing a story that I am going to submit to Suggested Readings which is the journal of writings by students and faculty of my Gradual School .
This story has had an amazing birthing process. It actually started life as an assignment for one of my professors. We were asked to write on any Johanine topic we wished. (kind of broad directions there don't you think ?)
I started thinking about all of the stories in John that I love (because you see, John happens to be my favorite Gospel). Then I began to wonder, What if . . .
Boy oh boy, when a writer starts thinking what if, amazing things begin to happen.
In this case my mind connected two very unrelated stories in John with a common character maybe. I started writing and came up with a plausible plot devise, and about three thousand words later I got very scared, because this particular professor has a very strict word limit on his papers. Strict in that if you go over the limit he will simply stop reading your paper before the twenty-five-hundrend and first word and grade you on what he has read.
Being not nearly finished telling the story the way it needed to be told, I abandoned it as a project for that particular class and started from scratch on another subject and wrote an entirely new paper for this professor (for which I got an A I might add.)
But, the characters, and this story just wouldn't let go and I kept going back to it and working on it from time to time. Eventually I got it into a pretty much complete narrative form, and asked a writer friend to be my editor and help me to whip it into shape.
She was merciless, as all good editors need to be. What emerged from her edits was a beautiful, touching story of one boy's encounter with the Christ; part biblical truth part midrash (imagination -- what if?). I am going to submit it to the St Meinrad Journal, and then after that who knows, maybe try to get it published somewhere else.
When it is in print I will let you all know so you can read it. Wish me luck.