The name is Cesalie. Cesalie Chase. Interests include writing novels, dabbling in choral composition, translating Latin texts, volunteering at the library, and playing badminton. Guilty pleasures include PG Tips, gummi bears, and detective fiction. And Celtic Thunder.
Also, I'm a big fan of P. G. Wodehouse. He's basically my literary role model.
Oscar Wilde gets honorable mention.
As a writer, I gravitate towards humor. I love finding creative ways to surprise people with language. Word-sculpting, I call it. It's a good deal of fun. Unfortunately, it's also a weakness. Because, while I call it 'word-sculpting,' in reality it's 'perfectionism'. Agonizing over the sounds of words, the sort of atmosphere they create, et cetera. The result, I'm afraid, is that my stories can be a bit slow-moving, and plotlines may or may not exist.
Which is probably my biggest weakness. Plotting, I mean. It's what I'm eternally working to improve. Creating motion in a scene. Action. Getting characters from place to place—if not physically, then emotionally. Making something happen. Something that people will care about.
So, on the technical side of things, that's where my writing is. Content-wise, things are a bit scattered, but apparently there are definite patterns to my stories. In particular, I seem to enjoy writing about the everyday lives of highly dysfunctional families with far too many children. And, as they say, there's always a place for classical music in a good story.
And now comes the part where I talk about being a Christian. And this, to me, is the most important part. Even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it.
Does anybody else struggle with the concept of 'Christian Fiction'? As a follower of Jesus, I want my thoughts and actions to be pure and pleasing to God—but as a writer, I long to be real. Genuine. The last thing I want to do is to whitewash the grit of reality with easy answers and happily-ever-afters; I don't want to cheapen the real suffering that is human experience. If being a 'Christian writer' means I've got to stick to daylilies and preacher's daughters and Amish communities (though there is a place for all of that), frankly I don't think I could do it.
Jacques Maritain writes about this tension beautifully:
Do not make the absurd attempt to dissociate in yourself the artist and the Christian. They are one, if you are truly Christian, and if your art is not isolated from your soul by some system of aesthetics. But apply only the artist to the work; precisely because the artist and the Christian are one, the work will derive wholly from each of them.
—Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism (Chapter 8:)
Okay, I'll spare the philosophical discussion. Suffice it to say that, as a writer, I have a responsibility to treat my subjects as authentically as possible. No preaching. No easy answers. I write about life the way I see it. And as a Christian writer, I can only hope that, through this sort of authenticity, my work will be infused with the grace and love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
That's pretty much it, I guess! Not to say that's everything, but it's all that needs to be said. All the rest is in the work.
Thanks for stopping by! Write well, and God bless. :)
p.s. Right, yes. One more thing. I love reading stories on here. And I love interacting with other writers. That being said, I'm happy to exchange constructive feedback with anyone, so please don't hesitate to ask for a review. I'll gladly read your work and respond to it as thoroughly as possible. (My strongest areas of interest include: Mystery, Humor, Family, and Young Adult; but I'll pretty much read anything!)
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