Robert McKay: Blog

Back to Robert McKay's Blog
January 23, 2012
Posted at 12:23 pm

More stories

Well, I'm back posting my stuff. It turns out that the possibility that I wanted to look into fell through, and since I write for the writing, and not for publication (though I admit I wouldn't turn that down if it fell into my lap), I'm just as happy to post my stuff here as go through the hassle of selling it someone, and promoting it, and all that. (I will mention here that while this is true of my prose, I'm more interested in publication when it comes to my poetry. If the site's still up - I don't know whether it is - you can see some of my older work at, and I'm actively, if slowly, looking for other places where I can electronically submit my poetry. If you force me to choose between "fictin writer" and "poet" for a label, I'll choose the latter.)

I've decided to not only continue the Carpenter novels in order, as I was doing before the hiatus, but to also begin posting other novels which take place in the Carpenter universe but aren't part of the Carpenter series. All my fiction connects - every single story in some way involves MJT Christian Fellowship here in Albuquerque, the fictional church where the Carpenter family has been since 1994 (and Darvin as a single man since 92). In some that's the only connection there is, while in others some or all of the characters know the Carpenters. But they're all in the same universe.

The non-series stories are explicitly Christian. I'm a Christian myself, and according to the original definition of the term "fundamentalist" (someone who believes the five fundamentals of the faith, as set forth in a series of articles under the overall title of The Fundamentals) I am one. I'm calvinistic and baptistic - that is, I subscribe to the TULIP of Calvinism, without the hierarchal church government and creedalism which is part of (most) Calvinism; and my doctrine and practice are in accordance with those of the Particular Baptists, though I haven't been a member of a Baptist church in several years.

In the Carpenter series I don't hide my faith. The Carpenters are all three Christians, and they discuss Christian doctrine and practice from time to time, and are active in church, and behave - to the best of their ability - as Christians ought to behave. But those stories are about the relationship between Darvin and Cecelia, and then Darlia, and they're "Christian fiction" in a sense only because I refuse to hide my light (such as it is) under a basket.

The non-series stories I'm going to begin posting are very much Christian stories. I try not to pontificate (which is not the same as preaching, though some people use the latter term to designate the former practice), but I make explicitly Christian points. If you can't abide Christianity, then you probably won't be able to stand these non-series stories (and I'll designate them as non-series when I post them, so that those who don't want any Christianity can avoid them...among other reasons). But if you're willing to tolerate (if not agree with) the Christianity in them, then I think you'll find that they're among my best writing. I put most of my effort into the Carpenter stories, for various reasons, but there've been times in my non-series writing that I've found myself wishing I could write that well - because usually I can't. I know exactly what Ernest Hemingway meant when he said that he always wrote the best he could, and sometimes had luck and wrote better than he could; I've had the same experience in these non-series stories.

I'm going to post them in roughly chronological order - only roughly because they overlap a lot. The furthest back they go is 1993, but that one goes up to 1999, while the second in line covers the years 1997-1999. That's two, and all of the remaining five overlap at least a little. They're not following a family through the years, and so I didn't pay quite so much attention to the years, nor did I make it a point to write them in "real time" as I do with the Carpenter stories.

Taking them, then, in this way, I'll begin with Flower In the Wind. I could outline the plot here - indeed, I began to - but I find that it'll make more sense if you read it than if I try to boil down all that happens into a few sentences. I'll just say that this is one of my favorites out of everything I've ever written, and Al McGee is one of my favorite characters.