Saturday, August 13, 2011

A New Look for this Blog and a New Direction

I want to thank Richard Griese for helping transforming the look of my blog. The truth is that I would have left things as they were if it wasn't for his suggestions. I don't know why I had those widgets on the side anyway. I was becoming so obsessed with checking the number of hits at my blog while I was using my smartphone while driving lately. It was just going too far. He got rid of that Biblioblog counter which was letting me know that I was in third place in the 'related' section of the rankings. No hard feelings but when I saw Jim West dropped out of the club I just lost interest in everything. Even fighting with Joel wasn't doing it for me any more.

I want to let my readers know that I am going to start working on a new book. Having my mother ask me why I never amounted to anything in my life was the last straw. My son still thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. When asked by his teacher what he wants to be when he grows up, he answered 'a daddy' which touched my heart.

So now, for a variety of reasons I think I am going to attempt to do the impossible - write book which attempts to tell the story of the Alexandrian Church's exodus to Palestine in the third century as the start of early Christianity as we know it. There is still a part of me that thinks it isn't worth even writing a book if it doesn't have a chance of making some money - at least for my publisher. You know I take that very seriously.

If someone came a long and found a publisher that didn't care about making money and just wanted to give me a platform to develop my theories - I would certainly try extra hard to write a money losing book. But I can't help but feel that I have to do everything I can to return the investment that the publisher put into making the book a reality. I don't know if writers are supposed to think that way. But I can't help it. I still have my father's voice ringing in my ears that literary pursuits are a waste of time.

If I was ten years younger - or even five - I would have lots of time to think of a clever way of fulfilling all my objectives. I'd think of a clever title, come up with a thread that ties together all the points I want to deliver. As it is, I am overtired, lying on a bed, typing on a laptop resting on my ever expanding stomach wondering whether I should quit and go to bed (or at least go to the bed I sleep in rather than 'work' from).

My wife wants me to write a book that could be made into a movie. Is this going to be that kind of book? No, certainly not.

That will not only ensure my wife will never read the book (she only reads books that she heard about from TV or which she read in a magazine are being made into a motion picture), but also only confirms once again that my book will be a financial flop (most people are like my wife I am afraid).

So what to do about this book? Can I make people like my wife read a book which people who read my blog might like to read? That also seems unlikely. After all, people reading my blog can get my ideas for free. Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?

The only way that my book could be deemed successful I think is if I find a way to write a compelling narrative. I think the way to do it is to develop a narrative with respect to the Mar Saba letter. There are 'hooks' here. I have a lot of interesting stuff that I can't publish here at the blog. The question is, can I get to all the stuff that I like to blog about after getting through all the preliminaries with respect to Morton Smith, the Mar Saba monastery, the discovery of the manuscript, the controversy and what it means?

And what kind of an eye catching title can you make up for material like this? The Mystery at Mar Saba's been done already (but even that sounds dated and boring). There are all kinds of title's I wouldn't want to be associated with. And then there is the question as to whether or not I am a capable enough writer to do the literary equivalent of the decathlon - you know, complete a well researched, cleverly written book that people recommend to their friends.

The jury is still out on that.

So where do you start a book which condenses all the stuff that a hundred and twenty people a day read at my blog into a two hundred and twenty page bound edition?   At the beginning I guess ...

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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