The following post is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I came to the Glen Workshop while on sabbatical. For fourteen years, I’ve served as a minister to Mexican migrant workers, jail inmates, and addicts at the ministry of Tierra Nueva in Washington State.
The sabbatical was my chance to finally focus on writing, a lifelong passion that had gone dormant during the busy years of ministry. My inner voices told me that it was difficult to justify writing fiction when people are struggling and dying from addiction. Ministry updates became my primary genre. And testimonies. And grants.
But a novel about Baja California—a world of colonial missions, priests, soldiers, indigenous, pearl divers and saint-makers, the roguish and the devoted—lay dying in my drawer. [Read more...]