Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Art of Confession

The Art of Confession a novel by Matthew Thomas Baker

Matt's a good friend. He's an artist, thinker, communicator, and writer - those things aren't mutually inherent in one another, which makes Matt unique in that he displays each with great character. They are Matt's gifts and he uses them well in this novel.

The Art of Confession is a story of three young soul's exploring their friendship, love, intimacy, and interior expression. Set in Cambridge and Italy, Philip, Oliver and Silva struggle to discover their individual identity and their collective soul. As Philip said, Oliver spoke in actions, Philip in words and they were languages apart. Silva is the unspoken language between the two.

Matt's story telling skill and image crafting kept me reading quickly through the story. Typically I read at least three books at a time and make each wait its turn, not so with Matt's work. He owned the dance floor with this novel. His writing is subtle, gentle, alluring, passionate and intellectually intriguing.

Whether you personally know Matt or not I think you will find this story a fascinating journey into the life and mind of a young artist and those who seek love and affirmation. This book is well worth the time.

So, Matt, when is your next novel arriving?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Earthy Mysticism

Earthy Mysticism a new book by Tex Sample.

Real. Gusty. Confrontational. Erotic. Tex Sample’s latest book, Earthy Mysticism is God talk and God talks in language that is real, gusty, confrontational and erotic.

Sample has written a collection of personal stories that deal with real dirt under your fingers kind of spirituality. He uses language that you would expect to hear working in the oil fields or driving a taxi. He shares the emotions felt when a son dies in a motorcycle accident. Tex speaks the words shared between two young lovers. This is a book for people who never care to enter church but sense that God is al least worth yelling at.

I took a lot of time reading Tex’s stories, there was a need in my soul to savor them and let them do their work in my life. I cried more than I laughed. Often I found myself looking away, winching, not wanting to go on - like scripture I guess.

I’m not one for recommending books. But this one is worth the time and money. No bullshit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

First Draft

Stunned is the best description of my feeling of having finished the first draft of my novel. It ended. Not necessarily where I thought. Better perhaps? Of course, that’s where the story went, I simply followed it and it ended where it did.

I’ve been working on My Brother is Chasing Me for just over a year. I started writing while at a writer’s workshop at Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara. A week ago, sitting at the same desk at Mt. Calvary the story concluded.

Nora Gallagher encouraged me to just let go, to open my soul and write. Interestingly enough my mom told me the same thing about two months ago. Well the first draft is done. Of course Anne Lamont said that we all are entitled to a “shitty first draft.” So I need to get back to working on the second draft.

For the curious this is not a baseball story. It’s a story about a 30-something woman priest and college chaplain. No, it’s not autobiographical. I must admit though that they’re probably a lot of me in several characters. As taught, I must write about what I know. Maybe my next book will be about baseball. Or maybe a college president?