After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
Wallace Stevens, “The Well Dressed Man with a Beard”
I just returned from New York City, where I spent a delightful – and challenging – day with my dear friends and literary agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada. Ours is a special relationship where we can be direct and loving, knowing that honest criticism comes only with respect. (I hope that you have people like Michael and Elizabeth in your life, for they are a gift.)
In my case, they are enthusiastic about my writing and supportive of my book In God We Tryst. But Michael (author of How to Write a Book Proposal, now in its third edition and the award-winning blog http://sfwriters.info/blog) emphasizes that publishing is about writing and promotion. And so, he encouraged me to become more proactive about public relations, specifically developing and offering workshops, writing blogs more frequently, and encouraging people to sign up and comment on them. (Please do so, if you haven’t already; publishers need proof of a ready “audience” of interested people who will purchase what they print.)
Then, upon reading my latest proposal, he resonated with the notion of “being an agent of grace,” one of the themes of my book. Thinking this is a message the world needs, he encouraged me to be more explicit in explaining how we recognize grace and what we need to become agents of grace.
And so now the challenge is on:
- How do you define “grace”?
- How do you recognize grace – either God’s grace or another’s?
- Looking at Wallace Stevens poem, what is the “yes” upon which the future world depends? – Is it “grace” or something else? Does it come from God or another source?
Hopefully this blog can become a discussion of grace – how we define and recognize it as well as how we become agents of grace. I welcome your thoughts.