Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Hit Publish! And: Why is My Version of the Noah's Ark Story so Dark?

Yes, I finally hit publish on Forty Nights...and I'm only about four months and 8 days late!  Seriously, I feel awful about this, and I'm so grateful to all of you for your patience.  Forty Nights is not very long (although it feels long to me, dammit!), but for some reason it has been one of the most difficult things I've ever written.  I'm not sure if this is because of the story itself or other things going on in my life over the past few months--probably a combination of both.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a little insight into why my version of the Noah's ark story is so dark, and why Neima's family isn't always so...well...nice, even though these are supposed to be the people God chose to repopulate the world.  I don't come from a religious background, so I actually read the complete Bible story for the first time only when I was considering retelling it as a YA novel.  And I was struck by this line which occurs at the END of the story, after the rain has stopped and Noah and his family have been saved.

...the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done."

The above is the version I quoted in my book, but I actually just found this translation which I like even better:

...the Lord said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[i] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."

I stuck with the first version, though, because I wanted to be consistent and use the same translation throughout my novel.

Anyway, what really interested me about this quote is that God doesn't say he'll never destroy the world again because now the evil has been wiped out, and humans are pure.  To the contrary--he's actually realized that all humans contain the potential for evil within them, so basically the flood was pointless.  OOPS!

I thought this was a really interesting and different way of looking at the story--as a parable about the good and evil within ALL humans, rather than about eradicating the evil in the world.

I'm exhausted and I'm pretty sure this is getting rambly, so...I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.  I'll let you know when Forty Nights is live!


  1. Congrats on hitting publish! Glad you were able to finish. Better late than never though, right? :)

  2. Yes!!! And I am reading somebody else's book right might know her! (hint, hint)

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