A bit about me

My name is Ian Anderson (@ian_writes), and for a while I chose to post and comment with the pseudonym Man O' Clay. There is a little explanation below about what that name means, and I still like to reflect on who I am in those terms.

First, the name "Man O' Clay." My pseudonym comes from the Genesis narrative; man was made from the very ground. And just like Job, and every other son of Adam, I need to be reminded of my humble origins.

That's good to think about before I type anything. It's also good to think about as I live and move within my home. I'm a husband to a wonderful woman, and she is the mother of our two children. I'll write about them a bit, and reflect on what it means to be a man who is striving to be obedient to God's plan.

I'll also reflect on Literature and teaching. I teach Literature, and books have been one of my passions for a very long time. I grew up with parents who read to me, and it was the two of them who introduced me to the worlds of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. My taste for words written by those two men simply grows with my age - as does my taste for the man who inspired them both, George MacDonald. So in college, when I had to choose what to study, I chose classes that had to do with books. Yet it was a course in sociology that introduced me to a work of art that led me to major in English. The work is a speech, but nonetheless a piece of art in itself.

The man is Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, and the work is his Nobel Lecture from 1970. Please, if you spend 20 minutes reading today, read his speech - here's the link: Nobel Lecture on Literature. It was Solzhenitsyn and his high opinion of art (especially Literature) that inspired me not only to study English, but to want to write something beautiful. His illustration on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty works still on my mind, and I will endeavor to create a beautiful place for readers in my blog, one that points also to Truth and Goodness.

This year (2011) is the year I'm naming "The-year-of-the-agent." I've written a novel modeled after the works of Grahame and Milne, and I'll be searching for an agent this year. That is to say, I'll reflect on my efforts to find an agent as well.

Update on "The-year-of-the-agent" (11/15/11): Turns out this should have been "The-summer-of-the-agent," as I haven't worked on any more proposals since July. Stay with me though, the dream is still alive!

Update (5/9/13): Wow. Still no agent. It probably doesn't help that I haven't sent out any queries. I'm leaning more and more toward publishing - at least short stories - on my own. Amazon has created quite an opportunity for writers in that you can now publish with no upfront cost (you'll share royalties, of course). And although I'm still resistant to going all in with electronic texts, it's a beginning at least.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and I like trees.  And coffee.


Paul said...

Books, trees and coffee - you'll do!

Chris Phillips said...

I was going to read that bearded guy's stuff once, but then in the first paragraph it mentioned the word, "gulag" and I was like, "whoa, that's a soupy kind of stew, right? How can a man be trapped in Gulag?" so I stopped reading it. Then I figured out I was thinking of goulash, but still didn't read it. Good luck querying.

mare ball said...

Wonderful to find a Godly man in cyber-space! I'll check back now and then...just found you on the A-Z reflections link.

Shayla Bellamy said...

I really want to read your book! I think it'll be great!! :)

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