It is Thursday, classes are over for the week, and I have the day to myself, no schedule, nothing I have to do, so it seemed a good day to spend some time reworking the Prologue for Woman Alone, my second book but first novel. I am in the midst of searching for a publisher, so I often have to answer the question: What compelled you to write this book?
My goal in writing a prologue is to answer that question while enticing the reader to want to know more, to want to read the entire book. So I would love your feedback. Is your curiosity triggered? Or do you not quite get what I’m saying? Please send me your comments by clicking on Contact Jan on this site. I would so much appreciate it.
Woman Alone grew out of my greatest life lesson: be true to your own intuition or revelation. No one else has the answers to your questions.
In many ways Woman Alone is my story, and could be the story of every woman growing up in a culture that still clings to the concept that the white male of the species is superior. It is my story too, in that I grew up a part of Christian fundamentalism in America, and yet I managed to find my unique path. In doing so I found myself, my power as a woman, and my joyful place in creation.
There is a sense in which Jude Bennett’s struggle speaks to every one of us experiencing the polarization of belief systems within our contemporary culture. It is human nature that when we believe we have the truth it follows that our way must be right for everyone. Time and a great deal of honest seeking have taught me otherwise. I respect the path that works for you, but I must find my own way to God.
I believe that “inconsolable longing,” as C.S. Lewis termed it, is what triggers our creativity and most of all our reaching for the Divine. But, we must be cautious in our enthusiasm, for the very journey that is ours could be destructive for another. As William Butler Yeats illustrates powerfully in The Mermaid:
A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed, and plunging down,
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
So, Woman Alone is my way of asking you to answer these age old questions for yourself: Who am I, how did I get here, what does it mean? Oprah Winfrey once said, “Understanding that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege use it.”
Note: Photo is of the glass work of Craig Mitchell Smith whose work was on display at St. Louis Botanical Garden this summer.