Hey everyone! Thanks so much for an outstanding workshop. I've really enjoyed seeing your work and appreciated your feedback. Here's the opening of my novel for critique, thoughts, honesty, whatever:
Human sacrifice has an upside, doesn't it? Just look at Mahatma Gandhi. Sure, he garnered attention with rib-poking hunger strikes and non-violent disobedience on India's trash-filled streets. But it was that Beretta shot into his belly that made a lasting impression. Over half a century has passed and people still cite his inspiration. And Martin Luther King? Now there was a preacher who earned his own feast day. Martin knew the inherent dangers of a Southern black man spouting equality into a microphone, yet he risked it all to be a people mover. And he succeeded. So I have to wonder... what's one dead body for a valuable cause? Did Bapu and Martin feel their death was worth all the goodness that followed?
Oh! And what about Jesus? He turned sacrifice into an extreme sport. Thorns driven into his head. Nails through his feet and hands. Ouch! And that gigantic wooden cross he carried? Weighed a ton and had painful splinters. Yep. Jesus: the gold standard of oblation. His foresight and pre-planning? Remarkable. He died for sins that weren't even committed yet. His one human sacrifice paid for crimes that happen 2,000 years later. The very ones I will perpetrate this week.
Of course, my human sacrifice will be inconsequential by comparison. However: I, too, need to die. And for a worthy cause. No, I'm not a saint or superhero who can transform the world. Not even a cop, fireman or rescue worker who risks their life for the rest of us. No. I merely sell chocolate and will never know such grand, societal contributions. But I do know what it means to love my family. To serve and protect them. To keep them from excruciating pain. Is that so bad? Who among us wouldn't risk their life to save the person they love most in the world?
And taking a ruthless swine down in the process? Simply an added perk. Yes. Human sacrifice has its merits. Mahatma, Martin, Jesus – even my own Mama – will all be proud of me when it's over. If only I don't screw it up.
Wow - that's so sweet! (I can't wait to nose around the other groups too.)
I hope to self-pub this before the WFWA retreat. (Complications from a broken leg have slowed my timetable but fingers are crossed.) I beta tested the manuscript in a book club and it was surprisingly well-received BUT half the people felt the opening chapters were weaker than the rest. Of course, the other half vehemently disagreed. Ha. I'm rewriting the beginning chapters anyway and this course has been incredibly helpful by allowing me to get additional feedback. Thanks so much for your encouragement. It means a lot.