The effort I've been undertaking recently to sort through all of the stuff I've written and collected over the past couple of years has been very productive and helpful for me. A rough shape of the book is starting to form in my mind, and tonight is the first time I made an outline of the entire project.
It's all still quite malleable, but the bones are there, and the flesh is starting to take shape. I think I have figured out how I'm going to open the book, which has always been a question for me. I'm going to relay a personal story which really started me on this path of thinking about the whole topic of suffering, and then use that as a bridge to entering into the rest of the book. I think it's valuable to put a face to the story, and to share a poignant story that invites the reader in. Hopefully it will be intriguing enough to cause the reader to keep reading.
Though I plan to begin with a personal story, this book won't feature tons of personal memoir--only enough to share about the whole topic from the occasional perspective of my personal story. My story is not the book, but rather what God and his people have taught about suffering throughout history, and how this applies to my particular situation and others like me, with the hopes that what I've learned can be helpful to others.
On a related note, I celebrated Mother's Day with both my mom and my Godmother, and after dinner with the two them, as well as my dad, my Godfather and my brother Steve, all of us headed over to my Godparents' house and enjoyed dessert. We spent quite a bit of time talking about this book, and its basic thrust and I'm encouraged by what they said, and by their support for the endeavor. It was very valuable to talk with them about what I've been writing, and it's the first time I've spoken so much about all of this. I feel like I've reached another step in the journey: to begin speaking with people about what I've written, and to receive some wise counsel and help along the way.
I'm also excited by the contacts that my Godparents have, which will undoubtedly help in the publication and promotion of this book, if indeed it is God's will that it be published.
It was a good day today.