Related to: 'Sanctuary of the Soul'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Streams of Living Water

Richard Foster
Authors:
Richard Foster
Hodder & Stoughton

Celebrating the Disciplines

Richard Foster, Katherine Yanni
Authors:
Richard Foster, Katherine Yanni

'We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practise the disciplines,' writes Richard Foster. 'The primary requirement is a longing after God.'CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE, Richard Foster's guide to the classical spiritual disciplines, has enriched the prayer and spiritual growth of thousands. This carefully designed and practical workbook puts the bestselling book into practice, offering new ways to experience the spiritual disciplines and integrate them into daily life.

Hodder & Stoughton

Celebration of Discipline

Richard Foster
Authors:
Richard Foster
Hodder & Stoughton

Prayer

Richard Foster
Authors:
Richard Foster

This book is a comprehensive, profound and immediately accessible book which opens the way for all to increase their understanding and develop their practice of prayer. Richard Foster explores the riches of the historical classics of prayer as well as his own personal experience. No one who reads Prayer will remain unmoved; all will find encouragement within its pages.

Hodder & Stoughton

Longing For God

Richard Foster, Gayle Beebe
Authors:
Richard Foster, Gayle Beebe
Hodder & Stoughton

Life With God

Richard Foster
Authors:
Richard Foster
Hodder & Stoughton

Money, Sex and Power

Richard Foster
Authors:
Richard Foster

No issues touch us more profoundly or universally,' writes Richard Foster. 'No topics cause more controversy. No human realities have greater power to bless or curse. No three things have been more sought after or are more in need of a Christian response.'Money, Sex and Power discerns the biblical principles that enable us to live out a relevant and authentic response to the three greatest temptations of our age.Gerard Kelly writes: 'Foster follows a road few in recent years have travelled, and does so with depth, wit and down-to-earth wisdom. Don't assume for one moment that this book is anti-money, anti-sex or anti-power: the author has a healthy respect and admiration for all three as sacred gifts of a loving creator. What he does urge us to do, though, is to "live rightly" in respect of these key ares, and so to be freed into a life of creative celebration.'

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Alex Loyd

Dr Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND, is the international bestselling author of The Love Code (hardcover title Beyond Willpower, Harmony, 2015) and The Healing Code (Grand Central Life & Style, 2011). He has been featured live on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and PBS news programs as an expert in healing the source issues underlying illness and disease. Dr Alex lectures all over the world in person and on radio, Internet, and television, with approximately 150 speaking engagements a year. With little money and no advertising, he built the largest practice of its kind in the world, with hundreds of thousands of clients in 50 states and 167 countries (and counting). He lives in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, with his wife Hope and sons Harry and George.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren is a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and outspoken advocate for 'a new kind of Christianity'. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes, and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy (brianmclaren.net). @brianmclaren

Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson was a pastor, author, scholar and poet. He grew up in Montana and earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a pastor for 29 years and then became Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, retiring in 2006.Eugene Peterson is perhaps best known for his book THE MESSAGE: THE BIBLE IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE and is also known for his involvement in the Renovaré spiritual formation movement. The books in his spiritual theology series, including THE JESUS WAY and PRACTISE RESURRECTION, are widely acclaimed.After retiring from full-time teaching, Eugene and his wife Jan lived in the Big Sky Country of rural Montana. Eugene Peterson died in October 2018.

G K Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton ranks alongside C. S. Lewis as one of the twentieth century's leading Christian thinkers and writers. He is perhaps best known for his much-loved Father Brown series of detective stories.

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.

Gerard Hughes

Gerard W. Hughes is author of God Of Surprises, God, Where Are You?, In Search Of A Way and Walk To Jerusalem. He now works on the development of a spirituality for people who are active in peace and justice work and is based in Birmingham.

J.I. Packer

J. I. Packer is an eminent theologian. Professor Emeritus at Regent College, Vancouver, he is a bestselling author known the world over for such classics as Knowing God. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.

J. John

J.John is the UK's leading Evangelist and founder of the Philo Trust. He is regarded as one of the most creative speakers with an appeal that transcends gender, age, race, culture and occupation. His much-loved art of storytelling helps people to discover spiritual meaning in a way that makes sense of everyday life.He is an international speaker and writer, with a style that is refreshing, humorous, passionate and earthy. He has spoken to thousands of people all over the world, and has written over twenty books.His latest book, THE HAPPINESS SECRET, takes a look at the most famous sayings of Jesus - the Beatitudes - to find clues to embracing a life of joy and fulfilment. He unpacks each of Jesus' great sayings, placing them in their first-century context and also revealing how they are applicable to our lives today.J.John is married to Killy and has three sons Michael, Simeon and Benjamin. He lives in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England.

Jackie Pullinger

Jackie Pullinger-To is a British woman who lives and works among the poor, the homeless and the drug addicts of Hong Kong.Over thirty years ago she went to Hong Kong on a one way ticket, and arrived knowing no one with just $100 HK in her pocket. She lived and worked in Kowloon's notorious 'Walled City' and by 1981 she had set up the St Stephen's Society, which provides rehabilitation homes for recovering drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members. By December 2007 it had grown to provide homes for 200 people. The charity's work has been recognized by the Hong Kong government who donated the land for the rehabilitation homes.Jackie's story is told in her renowned book Chasing the Dragon and she still lives in Hong Kong and runs the St Stephen's Society.

James Bryan Smith

James Bryan Smith is assistant professor of practical theology and chaplain at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.Through his work with Richard Foster's Renovare organisation, James Bryan Smith is emerging as a spiritual leader for a new generation.

John Eldredge

JOHN ELDREDGE is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs. John has written numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, Wild at Heart, Desire and Beautiful Outlaw, and is the co-author of Captivating, The Sacred Romance and Love & War. John has been married to Stasi for twenty-five years and they have three sons.

John Van Sloten

John Van Sloten is a pastor, teacher and writer who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For the past 20 years he's been exploring a worldview that seeks to discern God's voice in all things: the Bible, the arts, sport, science, film, music, literature, history, maths, nature and human nature. John's first book, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything (Square Inch, August 2010), listened for God's whispers in pop culture. John has been the recipient of two John Templeton Foundation grants, exploring the intersection of faith and science in the context of preaching.