The simplest way to say it is this: I’m a pretty simple guy and tend to be a messy one.
I’m also a Jesus-loving follower, married to my best friend, Karen. This year (2021) we will celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our four grown daughters are beautiful, wise women who are changing the world, each in her own way. We embrace three sons by marriage, five grandchildren and many other chosen children and grands. I’ve been writing for decades, you should see my stack of journals! I’ve been blogging for five years at http://www.caminowalk2016.com. Follow me.
My first novel Hello, My Name Is Phillip released in January 2021. I began publishing the novel in serial fashion on my blog in 2021.
This story emerged out of my wife’s past and my own, not as if it tells our stories, but it connects to them. What I’ve learned about relationships is this, a good one comes along to help heal the broken ones. And relationships in life are meant to be instruments of healing and joy in our lives. Many relationships don’t live up to this, I know. But then other relationships will.
So, in this story you encounter a little boy whose hard relationships get healed by better ones and the Best One, Jesus. In many ways, this story was given to me. In teaching a class on gifts and talents, when I fulfilled one of the assignments, I got this picture of this little boy in a closet, rocking and saying his colors. Then, the opening line came to me, “Hello, my name is Phillip.”
“Phillip!” I thought. “I love Phillip!”
That was the name of one of my wife’s inside kids. Karen’s heart was fragmented by the abuse she experienced, each fragment got a name, and as she worked toward wholeness over a 25-year process, I got to meet many, many of these inside kids. One of the first ones I met was Phillip. He was 6 years old, he rocked and said his colors to calm himself down, and was on the spectrum. I always loved him in Karen. That may sound really strange to some readers. You might not have experienced the trauma which causes the human personality to be broken like this. It happens, but wholeness is possible.
I went to Karen and said, “I would like to write a story in which the main character is a little boy named Phillip, based upon your Phillip. Would he mind?” We had quite a conversation.
Phillip, that inside part of her who is another person, was uncertain at first. But gave me permission. I told Karen, “I’m not telling his story, but another story and using some of his characteristics.”
But, something else happened as I wrote, not only was Phillip in the story, but I met a younger part of myself in his story, too. When Phillip told of getting his dog, I remembered getting my favorite dog, Benjamin, and wept and wept as I wrote. I was there getting my dog. When he chose colors in the paint store, all those places inside me which love color were as excited as the Phillip in the story. When he was lost in the woods, my own little Brian, often lost and alone, connected right in. So, writing was like a journal experience with Jesus for my own heart.
And then, as the story kept writing itself, for it felt like I was seeing it and experiencing it more than telling it, I would get surprised, shocked, sad and hopeful at turns of the road. I foresaw some events before they occurred and so did not want them to happen. I put off writing for days to avoid experiencing them. Other times, as I wrote something, I was shocked by the twist in the plot!
This book is written to remind kids everywhere they deserve safe adults around them. And also to let them know, if the adults they live with are not safe, there are adults out there who will be. It is a book to bring hope.
May Phillip bring hope to your life and the lives of others you know.
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Love to you!