God was always reminding the Israelites of the story they were dropped into at birth. The story that began long before they were born, before their people were even a people; the story that would continue long after any individual had reached the end of his or her life span. Old Testament scripture records those repeated remindings of identity, calling, and sacred responsibility, until those scriptures themselves became a perpetual reminder.
Over a decade-and-a-half stint as a lyricist I began to notice a pattern: The songs that mattered most to me tended to also be the ones that record labels had no interest in. At a certain point, I quit even trying to pitch those sorts of lyrics in industry settings. Instead I wrote them for my own reasons and tucked them away.
One of those was a song I called “North Atlantic.” The lyric voiced the unfolding, final thoughts of a man on a ship going down in frigid waters without hope of rescue. He speaks to his wife words she will never hear:
At Hutchmoot-most-recent I was delighted to join the company of N. D. Wilson and Helena Sorenson for a session on fictional world-building. More comfortable leaning on pre-thought thoughts than trying to formulate new ideas in public, I began by Read More ›
When you write a book it becomes somehow precious to you. Precious in the way that a child is precious.
Okay, not quite that precious. Read More ›
I experience winter, if not as a kind of death, then at least as a closing in of the margins of life.
The light grows shorter, the cold creeps in. The days betray, ending too soon.
I tend to take this personally. Read More ›
Author’s Note: Last May (2016) I enlisted Jamin Still’s visual genius and together we launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring our picture book, The Wishes of the Fish King, to print as a Rabbit Room Press project. Read More ›
Hutchmoot 2015 did not pass for me without effect.
More than a year later those changes are still evident.
It was during those four days that my vision for artmaking came into sharper focus Read More ›
I carry through life many images and impressions from my annual childhood treks to Ponca City, Oklahoma. I remember the Marland Mansion & Estate, the regionally famous Pioneer Woman statue, Read More ›
I’m now at that stage in life when–as a father of 3 beautiful, sparkly, creative daughters each at or near college age—I have been increasingly called upon to offer “context” for the benefit of certain young men who frequent the premises. Read More ›
“Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.” –G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
An Explanation for the Uninitiated:
Subjects With Objects is an ongoing, collaborative art project forever ordered according to the following rules: A shadowy public spaces painter sets up in pubs and executes spontaneous portraits at the rate of Read More ›
[Editor’s note: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his book The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog, Doug McKelvey is giving it away for free via Kindle for the next three days. Click here to grab your free ebook, or click here to get the paperback and read it like a real person.]