You Will Offend Everyone but Terrorists

Give people a story that echoes with familiarity yet rings brand new.

I had that thought several days ago, which was followed yesterday by this quote from Harding Davis courtesy of A.Word.A.Day (which I love): “The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or a new thing in an old way.”

I love the old echo. I also love the clarity of the newly ringing bell. The combination has created a novel about Mother Mary and Jesus returning to earth to discover bones from the South’s exploitive past rising from the ground in Memphis. A recent reader (I love my volunteer readers) told me the book, at some point, will offend readers of every race, culture, religious belief and political bent . . . except for terrorists, it probably won’t offend Islamic terrorists. He understood I didn’t intend to offend, but questioned who my readership would be if everyone was pissed-off. He also said one of the strongest suits of the novel was its humor. Freaky funny, were his exact words.

So . . . ringing bell or four-alarm warning: danger, danger, you are approaching the outer limits of rational decision-making?

March to a different drummer, you might be marching all alone. But you won’t know until you start marching. The key, I think: don’t look back. You might see yourself gaining on yourself.

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