It is Wiseblood Books’ fourth anniversary. This small Christian press published my book of short stories, A Flower in the Heart of the Painting. The editor, Joshua Hren, wrote a nice article on Wiseblood Books Weblog. Here is an interesting bit:
And yet Flannery O’Connor, in spite of her crutches, gave us legs to stand on. She gave us, in spite of her bad eyesight, a vision. She raised some crucial problems: in literary works written in a world that lives as though God is dead, do we need to shout so that the deaf can hear, draw large and startling figures so that the blind can see? Does not grace feel like violence, sometimes, and is not fiction particularly capable of dramatizing the awful conversions that can come of such disruption? Certain things have changed a great deal since O’Connor’s time. And yet things have largely stayed the same. When we try to say “God” in contemporary fiction, should we fake a sneeze at the same time? Lest it actually sound as though we were narrating some of the eternal questions of religion—of the nature of grace acting upon human life, of the problem of suffering, of the sacramental dimensions of nature, of conversion—even here in the Year of Our Lord 2017.
I really don’t like Flannery O’Connor’s writing much, but I don’t like to admit it because she is Christian and writer at the same time. Plus famous! And not sappy romantic. I like what Dr. Hren has to say about her work… do her figures have to be startling so the people in this world, with their eyes covered up to all mention of Christianity, are forced to see Christian truth? Maybe so. Sadly so. And I hope it’s not always so. I hope mainstream fiction can embrace thoughtful Christian truth in a more subtle way without being pushed aside as “too preachy” or “old-fashioned.” Until then, there’s Wiseblood Books. Perhaps it’s not mainstream, but it is an outlet for Christian literature.
This weblog article makes it sound as if Wiseblood Books publishes all Catholic literature. I just wanted to add that my book adopts my Protestant worldview, as does the book of short stories by Robert Vander Lugt, also published by Wiseblood.
I don’t buy every book I want to read. In fact, I don’t buy many things on a whim. But when Wiseblood Books announced the publication of its first book of poetry, I almost bought it instantly. I held back a month or so, and then, when I needed ten or so more dollars to reach Amazon’s $35 free shipping, I slipped Cave Art by Charles Hughes into my cart. When it arrived (it was a Wednesday, around 11:00 am) I put it prominently on the table (I had to make dinner yet). I don’t remember exactly what the children were doing, but I somehow finished the book before supper of that day. I announced this fact to the children excitedly. My six-year-old begged me to read him some of it. I read him the poem about the poisoned raccoon. But this following poem is one of my favorites. An insider look into a marriage that has weathered the seasons. I’m happy for Mr. and Mrs. Hughes.
Hostas die back, don’t simply die. The first
Hard frost, I rake their raggedy leaves gone pale
And crooked, though the fall’s been wet. You call me
To come indoors for lunch in your young voice–
A memory partly, partly a wish rehearsed
For years, for our long love. I’d sing you summer
And warm June rain, but we both know the yard’s
Deciduous lei of limes, green-golds, blue-greens,
The roots now burning with a perennial thirst.
Find out more about Cave Art and Charles Hughes here.
Here is an exciting announcement from my very favorite publishing company:
Announcing the “301 Likes” Wiseblood Lottery
Why: Win a book, any Wiseblood original of your choice. (A Flower in the Heart of the Painting by Amy Krohn is an excellent choice!)
How to enter: Everybody who follows the Wiseblood facebook page is automatically entered in the drawing. We’ll announce the winner on June 30.
The catch: We’re looking for 301 likes. So invite your friends to “like” our page, and we’ll announce the winner on June 30.
Anything else?: Nope.
A Flower in the Heart of the Painting is officially released for publication! The journey to publication has been wonderful, and I thank God for blessing me with one of my life-wishes–to be a published author. I thank my blog readers, too, for being interested. It is a nice feeling to know my book and all its characters and places can now be known by others.
If you want to immerse yourself into the quiet worlds of my stories, you may purchase your own copy of A Flower in the Heart of the Painting at Wiseblood Books and Amazon. Enjoy!
That day ended the romance of our marriage; the old feeling from thereon became but a precious and irrecoverable remembrance; but a new feeling of love for my children and the father of my children laid the foundation of a new life and a quite different happiness; and that life and happiness have lasted to the present time.
–from Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy, 1859
My novella, “A Portrait of Happiness and Love,” is inspired by Tolstoy’s novella, Family Happiness.
Not only that, I was given the great honor to write an introduction to Wiseblood Book’s reprint of Family Happiness. It can be found at Wiseblood Books and on Amazon.
They walked into the sitting room. Genevieve had somehow maneuvered through the throng of Israelites, and was lifting a small figurine off a shelf. She turned it over in her hands and glanced at Tom. He moved as close to the shelf as he could get and leaned over, balancing himself on one of the cement hoods. He took the figurine from Genevieve.
“That’s for you, Allie,” Genevieve said, holding onto the shelf.
Tom handed over the figurine, and Allie looked at it, rubbing her thumb along the sanded wood. It was a boy in a robe.
–from “An Abstract Copy of My Heart,” A Flower in the Heart of the Painting by Amy Krohn
Genevieve and Allie are my favorite characters in the book. To find out more about them, pre-order my book today at Wiseblood Books!
(wooden figure pictured is by Kenneth Anthony Krogmeir, American, 20th century)
“On his easel rested a painting of Kristen in a modest black dress. She sat primly in the exact center of a blue-gray couch, her hands folded in her lap, her bright face, erased of emotion but shining with freshness and youth, a flower in the heart of the painting.”
–from “A Portrait of Happiness and Love,” A Flower in the Heart of the Painting by Amy Krohn
My new collection of stories is coming out November 1st. You can pre-order it now at Wiseblood Books. For the next few weeks this blog will provide insights and quotes from the book that you won’t get anywhere else! I hope you enjoy it.