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 This more than likely won't matter to anyone but me, but I've FINALLY made progress on an original character I've created. I say character because at the moment she crosses into several story ideas I have so I haven't quite nailed her down to just one. Anyway...

...for years now I've wanted to create a Black female saint.

In the last decade or two, with the exception of Susanna Clark's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" and the Harry Potter series, I've fallen out of love with mainstream fantasy and sci-fi books. I can still stand to watch them in the movies (The Hunger Games) or on TV (Syfy's The Magicians). But when it comes to books, I haven't really seen anything that truly makes me want to engage. Non-fiction is fine. I have a taste for history and biography. But fiction has been quite a disappointment. When it comes to fiction, I basically only read fan fiction because I know that at least I'll find something that I like albeit I'll have to hunt for it.

Like a lot of folks I've given up on current fiction and decided that I'll have to write my own. As any aspiring writer knows, that's a BIG mountain to climb. But today I managed to rise a few feet.

I had an idea for a saint but how do I make her believable? I write her version of "scripture."

Today I finally managed to draft pages of "scripture" authored by my character, including her near end-times prophecy. Previously, I couldn't figure out when to place her. Currently, I'm toying with the era of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate and church scholar Augustine. (There's a reason for this). I've written her version of St. Paul's letters (to the Romans, to the Corinthians, to the Ephesians, etc.). And I've given her a revelation a la St. John the Divine. I can now also fit her more comfortably into the histories of the 3 fictional convent orders I've created for her: one in Alexandria, Egypt; one in Europe; and one in America).

And yes I know this is weird, lol. In my defense, I had an aunt who was a nun and once in my twenties I spent a week in the convent with her. Yep. That's what I said. For those among them who are still alive to remember, they'll remember me from when I was a baby because my family regularly visited my aunt from the time I was an infant. It's very weird (in a nice way but still weird) to travel to the Maryknoll convent in Ossining, NY when you're 7 years old and meet women whom you've "never" seen before but who remember YOU from when you were a baby. Lol.

In any case, I came by my inspiration honestly.

The Maryknoll nuns are some of the bravest, smartest, most dedicated women I have ever met. My aunt spent 15 years in Tanzania. She only left because she became ill and had to be flown out. I remember as a child (and this is dating myself) watching news coverage of Idi Amin's invasion and waiting for the phone call that my aunt had gotten out before he went in. Thank God she did. The nuns who were killed in Central America (I believe it was El Salvador but I know it was in the era of the Sandinistas) were Maryknoll nuns. My aunt taught Gertrude Mongella(sp?) who went on the lead the Women's Conference in Beijing. To me, imperfect as they are, these women are heroes. I am so proud I got to know them and forever proud of my aunt who passed away years ago. God bless you, Aunt Geneva. This one's for you.



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