you know I am writing my story ........... again?
you are on any of my Facebook pages (ABBI & ALOU)
then you would most likely know. I even went to Bali on a writing retreat for
two weeks over Christmas/New Year to make some serious progress. And I did. But
it ain't finished.
thought that in many ways the third edition would just be an update but it's
proving to be much, much more. Just like a new
book actually that will have a new
I have a fantastic
editor in the US
who is helping (read stretching and challenging me) to go deeper than before.
This is always a challenge. As a writer you have to go back to the moments,
feel the pain, get that out and communicate it effectively on the page for the
reader. I remember the last time I had
to do this I ended up in bed for three days recovering from emotional
A Life of Unlearning – coming out of the
church one man's struggle. Covering years 1951 – 2000 (320 pages)
A Life of Unlearning – a journey to find
the truth. Covering years 1951 – 2005 (400 pages)
great new title but can't reveal that yet). Covering years 1951 – 2013 (??????
What's the new book
In addition to going back over the journey of life, refecting as well on the events of the last 9 years has been interesting. Much has
happened. Also there were behind the
scenes things that I could not previously talk about but now I can reveal.
I'm excited about the impact my complete story will have as the other editions have. Even saved lives. Who knows? This edition
might be the one that becomes a film. Read about that here. Why I
chucked out my dream board. Once I have finished writing Chapter 24 and the
epilogue I will have to do at least one more draft....possibly two.
new edition will be available on all platforms eg hard copy, Kindle, iBooks
etc. I will also be re-releasing the
2004 edition as a succinct coming out story. YOU can be the
first to be notified by being on my newsletter list.
the meantime here is a little snippet of Chapter 6 In The Army Now that will give you some idea of the development
when you contrast the two passages. Hopefully you can spot the difference. Let
me know what you think firstname.lastname@example.org
previous edition 'A LIfe of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth'
I was having my
evening meal with three hundred soldiers in the dining hall but was sitting
away from my platoon. Every time I sat with the guys from my platoon they made
sure I wasn’t included in the conversation, making me feel more like an
outsider. If I sat with a stranger, though, we might start a conversation about
the activities of the day or, better still, I might get an opportunity to tell
them about the difference Jesus Christ had made in my life. Looking down at the
sloppy stew mixing with the watery mashed potatoes and peas that had turned
yellow from being boiled too long, I began to lose focus. My eyes filled with
water. I slowly moved the slop around the plate with my fork and tried to gain
my composure but tears began to fall into the plate adding to the watery mess.
It was impossible to hold them back. The guys around me looked bewildered as I
quickly grabbed my plate and utensils and ran from the mess hall. I moved as
fast as possible trying to contain the emotions that were erupting in me, but
where could I go? Not back to the barracks where others could see me in this
Same segment - first
draft of new book
The dining hall, with
several hundred men, was a cacophony of loud male voices, hard army boots on a
wooden floor and the constant clang of cutlery, plates and pots. I was sitting
away from my platoon for a reason. If I sat with the guys from my platoon it reinforced
my feeling of being an outsider as I was rarely included in conversations. What
did I have to offer to the conversation anyway? It was usually about women, sex
and filthy jokes. I knew nothing about the first two topics and as a Christian
could not find 'those' jokes amusing. If I sat with a stranger however, we
might have a conversation about the activities of the day or, better still, I
might get to talk to them about Jesus Christ. Or, miracle of miracles, meet
another Christian brother to fellowship with.
The loss of appetite
was not because of the sloppy stew, watery mashed potatoes and over boiled
yellow peas in front of me. I languidly shifted the slop with my fork from one
side of the plate to the other and rested my head on my hand in an effort
to hide from the mass of masculinity surrounding me. The meal disappeared as my
eyes filled and tears began to drop into the watery mess on my plate. A
projectile vomit of suppressed emotions was about to spew forth. The guys
sitting around me looked bewildered as I suddenly grabbed my plate and
utensils. Running through the narrow passage between the tables I didn't stop
to apologise to the men I bumped on the way but I heard their curses behind me.
I needed somewhere to release the erupting emotions, but where could I go? Not
back to the barracks and be humiliated by my weakness. Real men don't cry;
especially in the tough and rugged army.
Maybe I was teetering
on the edge of a nervous breakdown? If I let go, I could plummet.
© Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.
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