After eleven weeks, The Shadow of Your Wings is complete. Coming in at around 190 pages, it’s a short novel, but I’ll cut myself some slack for not producing the next War and Peace. I hope you’ve enjoyed following my progress, and remember that you can read all 56,900 words for free right now (how enticing does that sound?).
I started writing the book with a general sense of where it was heading, but I never like to lay out a fully-fledged plan – which made things interesting at times. I miss cycling around Oxford trying to work out how the story should unfold. And yet, I experienced far less writer’s block than in the past, for the simple reason that The Shadow of Your Wings is a very personal novel. Having recently become a Christian, I had plenty of ideas that I wanted to explore, such as the joys and struggles of faith, the relationship between Christianity and romance, and, most importantly, the life-changing experience of conversion.
I often forget quite how much faith has transformed me since I became a Christian earlier this year (unlike Paul on the Road to Damascus, I encountered Jesus more gradually, so I can’t put a precise date on these things). But if there ever comes a day when someone subjects my work to literary criticism (what a waste of time that would be), I’m sure they’ll notice the shift from Say Cheese, in which I present an interfaith religion as edifying for society, to The Shadow of Your Wings, in which I discuss the love of God, the supremacy of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit… As I suggest in the book, I don’t think you can fully comprehend Christian conversion unless you experience it yourself. Having said that, I hope I’ve provided some idea of the joy that comes with following Jesus. In fact, one of my main aims with this project has been to encourage people to consider the Christian faith. If you’d like any suggestions for reading or listening materials, I’d love to help. It would make me very happy to know that God has used this book as part of His plan. And at the time of writing, the website has received 1582 views, which I think is pretty cool. That’s certainly a lot more engagement than I’ve had with my previous two books…
My second, related aim has been to raise money for The Salvation Army. The story of this church is fascinating, and I’d recommend reading about its founders, William and Catherine Booth: https://britishheritage.com/history/story-of-the-salvation-army. So far, the project has raised £634. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far – it means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means far more to all those who’ve benefited from your generosity. I wish I could see the impact of these donations, but I trust that The Salvation Army is supporting our marginalised brothers and sisters around the world. If now is a difficult time for those who have families, food, and shelter, I can only imagine what it is like for those who are used to feeling helpless. But there is a way to help, and I encourage you to give whatever you can: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shadowofyourwings. My target remains £1000, and I’ll be keeping my fundraiser open until the 24th December in a bid to meet (and pass) this goal. As Paul says in Acts, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Writing The Shadow of Your Wings was a fantastic experience. Having a weekly deadline encouraged me to let go of perfectionism and trust in my abilities. Thank you to my girlfriend Tilly for reading every chapter and providing much-needed advice; you already hear enough of my voice, so an extra 60,000 words can’t have been fun. And thank you to all those who’ve given me such kind feedback, especially James Askey-Wood. James and I hadn’t spoken for some time before this writing marathon, but he gave me regular updates on how much he was enjoying The Shadow of Your Wings. It meant a lot, so I thank you, old pal.
With that in mind, I’d highly recommend using lockdown to create something, whether it’s a song, a go-kart, or a Sunday roast. I’m sure you’ll make life more interesting for yourself and for others.
Follow me on Twitter for updates on my next project, which is already in the pipeline: https://twitter.com/tuppymorrissey.
Keep fighting the good fight, and God bless you.
Morris E. Morrissey