Monday, October 09, 2006


I was wrong about the name for the grandmother's character. She's not Monica, she's Ruth. And she will be a fallen away Catholic who blames her faith for her decisions to stay with a hurtful man. DecisionS because she decided over and over to forgive, to try to forget, to let his people be her people and his God be her God.

She was hurt when her when her daughter walked out of her life, but anger and remorse swamped her after the husband's death from cirrhosis. She no longer believes she was following God's will but was instead taking the easy road. It will be after a visit to St. Joan of Arc, the first time she's stepped foot inside a church in 9 years, that she finds the courage to call her daughter and apologize. She will have had the tremendous luck to be there on a Sunday when a wonderful Gospel singer was performing, backed by the choir. They will have done a sort of medley of peace songs. The Gospel singer will shake the rafters with "Let there be peace on earth, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow. . . ." Behind her, the choir will whisper, "All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

When the chorus swells, the congregation will break into wild applause and join the choir. Ruth will stand along with the others around her, but she won't be able to sing through her sobs. After a few minutes, the strangers on either side of her will take her hands and she will feel their strength and love entering her. Together, the three of them will raise their arms above their heads, swaying back and forth together and triumphantly shouting, "All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

Ruth will call her daughter from the parking lot. She will be shocked when she finds out that despite all the angry words that have passed between them, her daughter wants reconciliation as much as she does.

Writers are so often told to write what they know. I know this church. I know the power of its people and its music. I know the pain of estrangement. I have felt the healing power of a stranger's touch.

I promise not to keep posting this stuff, but right now it's just bursting out of me, begging to be written down somewhere. It was after hearing a news report about North Korea's testing that I began to hear "Give peace a Chance" in my head and knew the song was asking to be part of my story.

Om. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
(Peace. Peace. Peace.)


Suzy said...

Keep it coming..whatever it takes to get the words out. Let them burst free.

This story seems to be so you-
I am envious....

Daisy Lupin said...

Thank you for visiting my site and the kind comments you left there. I have just been reading your site, what fascinating snippets there are here. Look forward to finding out how you do with the book characters you list.

tinker said...

I'm enjoying every word of it - and can't wait to hear more!

Yes, I hope we can give peace a chance, too. (Though I heard a report last night, that said there was some skepticism that it was an actual nuclear detonation. that it could have been an enormous amount of TNT that they were using as a saber-rattling ruse - I hope the skeptics are right.)