Writing the Drunken Menno blog has changed me as a writer.
When I started the blog, I had a novel that was close to finished. I am now shopping the manuscript around for an agent and/or publisher. I’ve tinkered with it a bit over the last few years. It’s now called Sheltered. It’s still a gender-reversed Mennonite re-telling of the Odyssey set in Ontario, Canada.
And then – well – so many people have told me I should do a cocktail book that I have worked up a proposal for that as well. I was initially skeptical that anyone would publish a Mennonite cocktail book. Not that this is how I pitch it in my proposal (any agents or publishers reading this, please disregard that last sentence). But, as I looked more into it, there actually is a market for novelty cocktail books and a seemingly unlimited interest in all things Mennonite. The book won’t duplicate the blog. It’ll have shorter text and better cocktails.
But if you thought that a Mennonite Cocktail book might only appeal to a niche audience, you haven’t heard of my third Mennonite-themed project. This one is so niche that I haven’t even begun to explore publishers and fear I may have to self-publish. Inspired by a tweet from a Mennonite mom admitting difficulty explaining the difference between different types of Mennonites to her curious pre-schooler, I have come up with a children’s book outlining a number of our most significant schisms. All in rhyming couplets.
That’s it for my Mennonite writings. For now, anyway.
There are times when I think beyond my relatively narrow little socio-cultural-religious group. My next novel — I am currently working on a first draft — is a campus novel set in the near future. It’s about community, social class, and the impulse to make change in the world. And academic politics, of course.