Who Elected To Listen?

So how does it feel to be outgunned by the biggest story of the year? The first Tuesday of each month is the occasion of WPCA-FM’s broadcast of my short story readings, and last night was the first Tuesday of the month. Also, it was election night. And the election had most likely the highest interest and participation of any election in decades. So who took the time to listen to little ole me? Well, I did. Per usual, I’m critical of my diction, which I think has become pretty sloppy in the half century since I did most of my professional theatre work. I read “Holding The Fort”, a story about the past and prejudice in Apache country in the State of Arizona. It’s a good story. When I read it last month in Amery at the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts, one audience member told me afterwards that she wanted to hear a sequel to find out what happened to the characters. Whether it’s turning pages or something like that comment, any author would take that as a positive, a sign of successfully telling a story. On the radio, I’m introduced as a pastor, as well as an author and perhaps people expect some kind of a sermon; but I tell stories. Some have morals, such as the question of whether suicide is brave or cowardly or how to erase poverty or, perhaps it’s the issue of immigration or a May-December relationship or even if angels really exist. In any event, they are simply stories. One story comes to mind that foretold the “#me too” movement; I wrote it several years before that was in the public’s discussion. Another deals with racial discrimination; I wrote it years prior to the time when today’s racial issues are dealt with so openly. How so? Stories come to me, usually in the wee hours of the morning, with the dialogue complete and the basic story scenario set. During the writing, characters can change things, even the direction of the story, as the characters become themselves. Because of that process, I couldn’t ever teach a course in writing.

Wolf Creek United Methodist Church now is on You Tube and Facebook. We have been meeting face-to-face for some weeks now, socially distancing and wearing masks. However, with the rapidly rising case numbers of the virus in Wisconsin and Polk County, we’ve decided to revert to meeting via Zoom for the rest of November. We will decide the last week in November how to handle December. Our plan is to Zoom meet our Sunday service and then broadcast it via Facebook and You Tube, We’ll see how it goes. I Zoom from my office here at the house. Meanwhile, the weather this week is unusually warm, following an unusually cold spell, so I’ve been able to get outside and finish raking the leaves that were covered by an early 5 inch snowfall, as well as cut up and split some more downed trees for Winter firewood. The wood stove made things cozy last night while I tracked the election results.