- Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
- I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
- You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
1. You describe yourself as a part time writer. What, and why, do you write?
What I write: I freelance for a company I used to work for (little exceedingly boring-to-write blurbs about "stuff" for elementary teachers - for which I'm very grateful.) I have also begun writing some articles for Tyndale on the spiritual disciplines. I hope that will be a long-term gig, but it may be something short-term. I blog, of course. I write poetry and have written some 80 pages or so of a novel.
Why I write: The freelancing is for extra money. It's financially difficult having one parent at home when the other parent is a teacher. That's the main reason I do the freelancing. I also hope the Tyndale articles will help people who desire to know God a little better come with me on a journey to explore the disciplines. There have been others, better-qualified, who have written terrific books on the disciplines. But I hope the Tyndale articles can be a record of a discovery of the disciplines, rather than just a parroting of what others have said or even an exhaustive definition of them.
Why I write what I am not paid to write: I'm getting to the point where I just need to write. It's becoming something of an essential outlet for me to help me understand the world I live in - whether I write fiction or nonfiction. I have always loved writing poetry, though I'm not a terrific poet. And I have always wanted to write novels/stories. (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were my heroes when I was growing up - still are.)
2. Which author has been most influential on your life?
It's gotta be C.S. Lewis - his fiction. His essays are profound and helpful, but in my life it seems his fiction (The Chronicles of Narnia, Till We Have Faces, and the Space Trilogy) is more applicable. His thinking has pervaded my own for many years, though I do disagree with him about several things.
3. Describe one of the defining moments in your life.
The births of all my children are incredibly beautiful, emotional moments for me. The birth of my first daughter, however, was a defining moment in my life. Not because she's any better than the others, or any more loved, but because she was my first. When she was born, it was as if I had been re-born again. Life was new and fresh, and I couldn't wait to show this little girl her first duck. And God was in it. I was floored by the sense of blessing and purpose.
Birth is the most earthy and human experience I've ever been witness to - there are groans and struggle and pain and sweat. When the baby is born, there is blood. Your brain is flooded with sensory information. It is a total engagement of your humanity. But it is equally overwhelming in its ethereality and divinity. It's as if the two intersect, and you are an eye-witness to the incarnation. You are two and then you are three. It's hard to express the experience adequately. It's a God-thing.
I'm sorry, I don't do it justice. Some day I would like to take more time to explore it more completely.
4. How do you feel about paradoxes? Do they need explaining, or embracing?
Both, I think. The explanation side of the paradox is limited, obviously. When I was a boy we had an old oak tree in our yard that had a tremendous circumference. I remember on may occasions struggling to embrace the tree. I wanted to wrap my arms all the way around the tree, to encompass its girth. And though I could only get my arms around a fraction of it, I could get my fingers in the canyons of the bark and hold on. That's a picture of how I view paradoxes and the mystery of God. I must attempt to embrace it, but I will never be able to fully encompass it. Interestingly, I didn't go around hugging huggable trees - just the ones that I was unable to wrap my arms around. There is pleasure in attempting to encompass something that you cannot.
5. What inspires you with hope, energy, or excitement?
YHWH. My wife coming home. My wife, period. My children. Holidays. A new book. Friends. Beginning a journey. Moments of inspiration. Feeling the clarification of my Muse while I write. Solving a difficult problem. Trying to embrace trees that are unembraceable. YHWH.
Thanks, Ross, for the questions.