I devised this blog at midnight last night, in a howling snowstorm that swept loose bits from the top of the Rockies. Three weeks from now, I’ll be in London, where daffodils typically bloom in yellow waves in Regent’s Park during March. Two days after that, I’ll return to Israel. I’m assessing my literary endeavor, tightening production schedules while bouncing around the globe, feeling like the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland — “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”
The first manuscript, When Camels Fly (WCF), is being evaluated by acquisitions editors everywhere, including Big Six publishing houses. The second, The Brothers’ Keepers, is about to bounce back from a professional edit. (I’m confident in my work, but realize I can’t see some of the flaws in my children, much less my manuscripts.) The third story is pushing to the front of my head, behaving like an impatient two year old. Behave!
Last night’s bout with insomnia included finalizing a shot list for Israel. Before you panic, a shot list is a marketing term used to direct a photographer to ensure the client gets photos he or she wants for an ad or campaign. In the Middle East, I realize shot list could have dangerous connotations!
My list includes the Monastery of the Temptation, perched high above the Jordan Rift Valley, which is part of the 3,700-mile Great Rift Valley — the pathway for humans spreading from Africa, through the Fertile Crescent, and across the globe. The Western (Wailing) Wall of the Temple Mount, the most contested piece of real estate in the world. The Ascent of Adummim (mentioned in the Psalms of the Ascent — 120 through 134), once the main route from Jericho to Jerusalem and now a mere camel track.
These photos and videos will become integral parts of my marketing campaign. But more importantly, they’re part of a shared cultural heritage, and my Christian history. I’ve seen these places before, but they thrill me every time. I wander the Judean wilderness, observe commotion in the plaza below the Mount, or see the dusty trail above Wadi Qilt, and catch my breath at God’s grace because I’m there.
I look forward to sharing all of this with every one of you. Stay tuned!