Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Out of the Cave | Author Newsletter from Veronica Dale via @verniedale #Michiganwriters #Motownwriters #writerslife

Out of the Cave

First, welcome to my new subscribers, including Paul, Mary, and Connie. I now have readers not only in the US receiving my newsletter, but also in the Philippines, France, Switzerland, and Germany. Glad to see you all on board! 

Like so many of us this past month, I was worried sick, impressed beyond belief, and finally immensely relieved when twelve little boys I never heard of were trapped and then rescued from the water-filled tunnels of a cave. The whole world was rooting for those brave kids and their coach in Thailand, and their rescue was termed miraculous by many.  I actually cried when the last boy got out and then was bursting with pride at how many people had worked wonders or risked their lives to save them all. Now, I thought, I understand why God loves humanity so much, in spite of the many ways we screw up.
Yet, at the same time, I couldn't help but ask myself how many other little kids, in those weeks when that international effort was going on, were killed in Syria, or starved in Somalia, or were the young victims of violence in our own country. When I worked as a pastoral minister, I published a monthly "blog" about peace and justice issues. Over and over I mentioned how one in five of our little ones are suffering from poverty and hunger. Amazingly, after two decades, after all our progress, it's still one in five. Kids, it seems, still desperately need rescuing.
That's one of the darker themes that runs through my Coin of Rulve books: little ones are stuck in very dark places and cry out for someone to get them out.  The protagonists, twin brothers Sheft and Teller, grow up acutely aware of how the children of their land are suffering. They gradually come to realize they are called by the Creator to rescue them, and—in spite of their original doubts—were given the power to do that.

Like the two brothers, many of us are also aware of our call. We feel the deep-down desire to pull these kids out of the cave, to help the children who depend on us for everything, even to be allowed to grow up. People fortunate enough to live in democracies have the power to help. We don't have to struggle with the challenges Sheft and Teller face, because one of the best places to wield our power is right there in the voting booth.

What's Happening

So far this season I've brought my books to three author book festivals. The first was the second annual ComicCon put on by our local public library, another took place at the big Detroit Eastern Market fest, and last Saturday's venue was Sterlingfest, the popular mid-summer festival held in one of Michigan's largest cities. I met some interesting people, including a lady who said she grew up in a haunted house in Pennsylvania and a nice guy dressed up as Captain America.
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"Dale is particularly gifted at creating a web of stories, interlacing multiple plot lines to bring a rich, three-dimensional world to life. Her prose is at time breathtaking, with an inherent profundity to much of the writing." Wow. This is a review of Time Candle I recently received from The Book Life Prize. 
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I wrote the short story "Heeringone Marsh" to take place in the Coin world, and it features one of the characters in the series. The story was selected for an Honorable Mention in this year's New Millennium Writings. "It made,"  NMW editor Alexis Carr told me, "the top 15% of our entries. Or, as I prefer to look at it, your piece beat out 85% of the competition." 
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Coming soon! The last book of the Coin Series, Leaf and Flame, is moving forward. It's finished, and I'm now in the critiquing process. 

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