Food for thought

"Every Girl in the World Oughtta Be Daddy's girl
but the World Isn't Open to Reason"

"Fool for All" by Daryl Erentzen

(used by permission)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


By J.C. Christian

“You have a real gift for writing and if you are going to be a successful author, you need to take it seriously and make time for it.”

This bit of wisdom was shared with me by a New York Times best-selling author at a writer’s conference I attended this past year. She reviewed a section of my first book Reaching for the Light: An Incest Survivor’s Story. I was both honored and a bit star struck that an author of her caliber is willing to review my work.

Putting her advice into practice has proved much easier said than done.

Writing is a favorite hobby of mine, something to do here and there whenever I have some down time. Before Reaching for the Light became a reality, the idea of being a published author was a “maybe someday” pipe dream. Between working a full-time job, being a full-time college student, and going to therapy every week I had no time for any writing that wasn’t part of my college program. After I graduated, finding time to write took a back seat to working along with the other myriad details of daily living that fill our days.

It was my therapist Tee who, in 1996, suggested I write a book about my recovery journey as an incest survivor. “You have a powerful story that needs to be told”

Over the next year, I’d scribble down a few thoughts here and there whenever I could find a spare minute to write. I quickly discovered I was not yet healed enough to write about what had happened to me starting when I was just 8 years old. The few pages I had written were put in a box where they remained for the next 20 years.

In the winter of 2011, I celebrated my 50th birthday. About this time, my husband David and I decided we needed to clear out the clutter in our small house. In between our full-time jobs and other responsibilities, we gradually sorted through old boxes and other miscellaneous items. One Saturday morning as I opened yet another box, I found those long forgotten first pages of what would become Reaching for the Light.

As I read the words I had written two decades before, I knew the time had come to write my story. I had lived a half-century of my life and I knew without absolute certainty that if I didn’t write my story now, I never would. Beyond the emotional challenge of writing such a personal and painful story, finding the time to write proved to be no small challenge in itself.

At this point in time, I was a full time social worker working with the mentally ill. It’s a high stress, exhausting job and most days I came home with no energy or enthusiasm for anything more than vegetating in front of the television before going to bed. And yet it was as if there was some indescribable spirit spurring me to write my story. Overworked and stressed out, I had no time for pipe dreams of becoming a published author so I pushed the feeling away. Besides, I told myself, what are the chances that anyone will want to read it anyway.

For the next 3 years, I sketched out ideas, thoughts, memories as they came to me whenever I had a few minutes here and there. The book was still just a hobby and not something I really thought seriously about.

And then a remarkable thing happened.

I’ve been a chronic insomniac all my life. It’s a left over from my childhood when sleeping was often dangerous. The internet is an insomniac’s dream. There is always somebody awake somewhere in the world. One night I was chatting online with a lady who mentioned she was an independent publisher. This intrigued me and I told I liked to write though I don’t really have much time for it. She asked me to send her a sample of my writing. This brief exchange changed my life for all time.

My “someday” pipe dream now became very real. And finding time to write now became a necessity. Insomnia became my friend as it allowed me to spend a few hours at night writing after David had gone to sleep. On the downside, sleep deprivation was my constant companion. I was constantly exhausted. David works a high stress job as well in addition to being a musician. Many times, we were like two ships that passed out in the night.

Something had to give. I received rave reviews from my publisher and a few trusted individuals who were my beta readers. And while this boosted my confidence and motivation to keep writing, finding time to write continued to be problematic. If I was going to pursue writing and actually have my book published, I could not continue working around the clock.

The functionality and underlying dynamics of the agency I worked for had always been a bit questionable through the years I had been there. By late 2015, it became unbearable. After talking it over with David, I resigned my position. With David’s support, I spent the next several months finishing the book and handing it off to the publisher. It debuted in July, 2016. I am proud to say it has earned 5 stars from the day it was released.  

I’ve learned a lot in the process of writing Reaching for the Light. The author who spoke to me at the conference is indeed right. I must take my writing seriously. God has given me this gift and I must give it the time and attention it requires for me to continue to grow as a writer. This means I must schedule time for it in my daily life. It’s an ongoing struggle I am determined to win.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Click on the link above.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Excerpt from "Searching for the Light Together: Incest Survivors and the Challenge of Relationships" the eagerly awaited follow up novel to "Reaching for the Light"

For people of suffering, the search for God is synonymous with the quest for justice. If there is a God, then his eyes are always upon the suffering of his children, figurative or literal. And a righteous consequence for those who bring suffering upon others. Yet too often justice eludes. 

J.C. reminds me the events of history are the outcome of the variety of human choices, for good and for evil. There is undoubtable truth in that, but is that all we have?  Are we merely subjects of history, confined to the limitations of humanity in the glory of all its brokenness? If the miracle of healing comes only in certain arbitrary cases then it seems we are only alone, that God is nowhere to be found, that we are but victims of the events of history.  

J.C. has come to tell us another story.