Saturday, September 24, 2011
Responses to our book: e mailed manuscripts, printed books, our discussion group
I was watching the financial news last night: not the craftiest of authors to launch a book this week, wouldn’t you agree? Books like babies, however, get conceived and birthed when they will. The evaluations have begun to trickle in. Actually, they have been coming in for a while as all those drafts in the filing cabinet can testify!
We first offered the final proof of the manuscript in an electronic form to a number of friends. The responses varied - or there was none. A very strong response, indeed! One was of particular interest to us. From our Wednesday night discussion group at church we asked a veteran who is married to a Korean lady to look the book over. I got an e mail back in due time; he said that he had shared it with a half dozen others and they had liked it. His closing comment was intriguing: “It really was hard to come home.” The context seemed to be of remembering returning to America after combat. My thought, as I typed out about Saul and his transformation into Paul, is that there is probably going to be a lot of remembering.
We recently also sent a hard copy to a widowed friend who had a long experience in Christian education; we call each other occasionally. She telephoned us to say that she had gotten into it and as she read she had begun to cry; she thought a lot of other people would, too.
On Friday morning our group got into the first chapter of the book, “The Fracturing of the Person.” In it Annelie and I illustrate the characteristics of the post-traumatic process from the Damascus story as recounted by Dr. Luke - whom you will recall, was Paul’s personal physician. As a highly critical person of myself, to my relief (and to my wife’s, you women will understand), it was a very gratifying experience. To my surprise, when read aloud many of the passages sounded poetic. There were two passages that were somewhat repetitious; if there should be a second edition I think the elimination of one sentence in the first passage will address the problem. I was reading along in my own copy so that I could mark anything that needed re-doing. The other man in the group that morning – a combat veteran - noted it. He said he had been reading ahead, noted a couple of typos and volunteered to circle them in his copy so that I could correct them. There was one other surprise for me, in terms of writing style. I had not been aware that in organizing paragraphs I had the tendency in that closing – summarizing - sentence to give it a real punch.
Well, there are now a thousand copies of The Apostle Paul and Post-Traumatic Stress, From Woundedness to Wholeness out. Soon the publisher will have it on Amazon books.com; we will use our blog to also be the web page for the book. The pictures on the right side will go; our son’s “trailer” will replace them with ones he has selected and using the hymn, “Amazing Grace” sung by our church choir for the background. There will also be links to order the book.
Looking at the noon news today there was a running commentary on the disasters people are experiencing across the world. We are each going to have to share with one another all the Amazing Grace we can muster. For Annelie and me, blogging is a part of it.