Underhill’s Mystical Stages and Plotting Adam’s Reformation

Icon of Evelyn Underhill by Suzanne Schleck

Icon of Evelyn Underhill by Suzanne Schleck

Yesterday I had a blinding flash of the obvious which must have been my muse returning after having a few drinks at the time-out-of-time bar while my head softened up enough to receive the transmission. Thanks, Muse, I’m awake now (or at least a little more so).

The information transmitted was this: Evelyn Underhill’s mystic stages of a soul’s journey towards bliss not only works as a framework for Adam’s Fall as a whole, but provides the contours for its story-within-a-story, Adam’s Reformation, Book 3. This is because Book 3: Adam’s Reformation, is essentially the story I really want to tell.

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Theosis, Deification and Adam’s Reformation

Reviewing the synopsis for Adam’s Fall after a long time away from the story, I realized the extent to which the Orthodox concept of theosis, the union of the person with God, is a central theme and the possible backbone for the troubling (for me) Book 3: Adam’s Reformation.  Continue reading

Hidden progress, boring progress… but progress, nevertheless

naked-male-101Thanks to the blizzard (that never really came) and Mercury Retrograde, I’ve been able to review and rewrite all of the book and episode synopses for Adam’s Fall, and all of the scene synopses for Book 1. Adam’s Temptation. Progress, but not the flashy kind. Progress of the sort I need to do more of. Continue reading

Adam’s Fall as Narrative and Theology

I have often said to myself that Adam’s Fall is my systematic theology. I was delighted, therefore, to come across this quote by Richard Rohr about Jesus’ approach to teaching:

Most of Jesus’ teaching is walking with people on the streets, out in the desert, and often into nature. His examples come from the things he sees around him: birds, flowers, landlords and tenants, little children, women baking and sweeping, farmers farming. Jesus teaches with anecdote, parable, and concrete example much more than creating a systematic theology. Particulars seem to most open us up to universals. “Thisness” is the actual spiritual doorway to the everywhere and the always, much more than concepts. Incarnation is always specific and concrete, here and now, like this bread and this wine, and this ordinary moment, or this half-crazy person right in front of me. – Adapted from Hell, No! (CD, MP3 download)–Coming soon!; and Things Hidden: Scripture As Spirituality, pp. 124, 126-127.

This encourages me because as I go deeper into the particulars of Adam I come closer to expressing universal values of life and death, faith and fear, joy and pain.

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Seven questions about Adam’s Fall: thinking through the story and the project

Today, I copied a series of seven questions which are supposed to make a story better. They came from a guest article, “7 Questions that Will Transform Your Writing in the New Year“, posted on Joe Bunting’s website The Write Practice by Jennie Nash of www.jennienash.com. The seven questions she asks (which I have physically taped to my wall in the physical Scriptorium) are:

  1. Story Basics. What’s your point?
  2. Audience. Who will care?
  3. Competition. What else is out there?
  4. Story Structure. How will the product look and feel?
  5. Objective. How will you measure success?
  6. Marketing. How will you reach your reader?
  7. Project Management. When will you launch?

These are good questions to ask about any story, but especially for a project as big as a novel or Adam’s Fall. How do I answer these questions, now? Continue reading

Re-imagining Teresa… and other characterizations

I so wanted Teresa to be Mexican American, but she’s a willowy, ghostly blonde like the women in the Wyeth paintings. She was raised white trash, was the first in her family to attempt college—a lot of the story is the same, but I’m not able to pull this diversity into the story. Todd, on the other hand may be half-Latino. His mother, deceased while Todd was rather young, was someone that Rev. Eaton met on a mission trip, fell in love with, got pregnant and married. There’s a lot of this going around, but it won’t all make it into the story. The idea is that life is precious, and sins of pride encourage us to stifle life and throw it away.

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The Ashley abortion scandal

Ashley involves Adam in an abortion scandal which happens not too long before Stephan leaves for college. What happens is this: Newton gets Ashley pregnant much as he got Teresa pregnant—while being her psychiatrist/therapist. He convinces her to say it is Stephan’s for a couple of reasons: (1) to get himself off the hook, and (2) to prove Stephan is a man (he assumes Ashley and Stephan have been fooling around, even though he suspects Stephan is actually fooling around more with Todd).

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