[WARNING: what follows is an interview that reveals the details and depths of Little Miss Lucifer: The Legend of the Exorcess. SPOILER ALERT.]
—You: The second chapter’s title Intervention reminds me of the phrase “divine intervention”. I’m guessing that’s what you were going for?
—Evan: You guess well – that’s exactly what I was going for. It’s a pretty common phrase, even found in pop songs like Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. It usually means that God (Divinity) cuts into the world to directly make a miracle happen. The Lord usually let’s be the laws of nature (that He designed), but sometimes He will make an exception, and not to go against nature or logic, but to go above nature: to cause supernatural phenomena.
—You: And in Intervention, we see a sort of Great Escape.
—Evan: You know what, I wasn’t even thinking this when I was writing the scene, but it reminds me of when Peter was imprisoned. An angel sears into the jail cell, wakes Peter and breaks him out! My goodness… this scene matches really well with Luke’s account in Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12. There’s even the light shining on Peter, as there is a light shining on the protagonist in Intervention!
—You: I’m going to read Acts 12 and see for myself! But I sort of recognize the beginning of your second chapter: “In the sixth month since…” It just doesn’t sound like something anyone would write these days – the style.
—Evan: That’s because I’m alluding to the Gospel of Luke’s first chapter, verses 26 and 36 (I actually just realized it matches with 36 too!). In verse 26, the Angel Gabriel visits Mary in the sixth month, and in verse 36, the Angel Gabriel shares with Mary the news of her cousin Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy. So… there’s some recurring theme here…
—You: Haha, not to mention that the Angel is an agent of divine intervention. Very Biblical! I noticed terms like fishermen and mission too.
—Evan: Yep, I decided to stick to metaphor. There’s just so much weight and richness when using metaphor and analogy.
—You: I noticed. You supersaturate the pages with metaphor. In fact, I don’t think you even used the word cry or tears at all in this chapter. I’ll have to reread it to be sure, but all I remember are words like heavy rain, streams, rapids, waterfall, ocean, whirlpools, monsoons, typhoons, tsunamis and weeping mommies.
—Evan: And aren’t those words a bit more expressive? I’ve decided that in my writing, I want to describe and say things in ways no one has said them before, or at least in ways rarely used. In this story, I also tried to use an organic approach: I wanted to use living and natural things in my descriptions. I avoided techie and artificial objects. It makes the tone more… gritty and alive. Of course, it matches the type of story too.
—You: One thing I’d like clarified is the “sisters” we’ve been reading about. Are they all related, like biological siblings here? Or are we talking about Catholic nuns?
—Evan: I’ll have to let you think that out. But I will share this: All nuns are “sisters”, but not all “sisters” are nuns; and when I say nun and sister, I mean Catholic Christian women who have taken vows to live lives of poverty, chastity and obedience. Such women are called consecrated/religious sisters, and such men are called consecrated/religious brothers.
A nun is different from a religious sister in the same way a monk is different from a religious brother. Nuns and monks are cloistered, meaning they lock the world out so that they can focus on a simple life and pray the rest of their lives, praying for you and me, praying for those of us who have no one to pray for them. In fact, that’s kind of what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI decided to do when he retired from the papacy. He went into a monastery to pray (for the rest of his life) for Pope Francis, for the Church, and for the world. He didn’t retire to relax!
Religious sisters and brothers do not go into cloister. Instead, they work in the world, minister to the ill, the weak and the abandoned. They become teachers, nurses, engineers, and even multimedia specialists. Anything to help evangelize. There was even a religious group of sisters who went on Oprah!
—You: Ohhh, I see. So Mother Teresa is a religious sister, not a nun. And that’s pretty cool that Benedict XVI is doing that. I didn’t know!
—Evan: So these sisters you’ve been meeting in LML are not technically nuns, nor biologically siblings.
—You: They’re religious sisters, and spiritual siblings? I get it now, I get it. And those prayer knots, I think you called it a knotted thread? Is that what I think it is?
—Evan: If you’re thinking it’s a Rosary, then you’d be right. You can actually make one yourself! It’s not too difficult, and with enough time and practice, even middle schoolers can make them (I helped a bunch of them learn during a Lent retreat last year).
—You: Aren’t Rosaries made of beads though?
—Evan: They can be beaded, but the simplest ones are just a series of barrel knots. I actually like these cord Rosaries best. They’re durable, resilient, light and quiet. I’ve seen people use big cords to make knots as big as fists, or they can be the usual pea size. All you need is enough thread/twine/string/etc. Anyway, I’ll share more details about it in the coming chapters. It makes a reappearance. And hang onto the setting of this scene, it’ll come in handy further along the story… when flashbacks happen *hint hint*.
—You: Hmm… all right, until next time!
—Evan: Happy Feast of the Epiphany And enjoy your snowday!