(The final week of December is for reruns, so I hope you’ll forgive me if instead I write a paean to my favorite book. We’ll be back to seriousness next week. Promise!)
It has been nearly a year since my spirit guide, Thomas, broke into my daytime existence and began the process that led to Liberating Jesus. I found it all to be a harrowing experience, and then I went through a summer of angst because the book is so extreme. It was only when Liberating Jesus was bought by all ten national chains that sell books that I really believed that Jesus was pleased with it!
Meanwhile, toward the end of the summer my eternal friend, Thomas, lightened up. He had made allusions to his having “helped” me write my Doubleday novel about Thomas Jefferson’s marriage, and finally in September he flat-out told us that My Thomas is a channeled memoir of Thomas Jefferson’s life during the Revolutionary War.
Well, of course it is. I feel foolish that I ever imagined I could have written it myself!
The idea for My Thomas came out of the blue, but the notion of writing it soon compelled me. Thomas Jefferson was married in 1772 and widowed just over a decade later, so his marriage spanned the Revolutionary War period. And what a marriage it was! Jefferson was so bereft at Patty’s death that he burned all their letters to one another. Even in his old age he referred to his long-ago wife as “the cherished companion of my life” and to his marriage as “ten years of unchequered happiness.”
After a year of doing intensive research that felt like a treasure hunt, easy and joyous, I sat down to write, and I found the story already forming into scenes in my mind. Writing it was easy! I could hardly type fast enough. It came out all in a single draft – even written in Elizabethan English! – and when my agent sent it to Doubleday’s head acquisitions editor, she bought it at once. That she soon found a better job so My Thomas was orphaned and ignored seems now to have been part of the plan. It was essential I not be a novelist!
Thomas Jefferson was immensely private. His only “memoir” is a dry account of aspects of his public life. So why would he have channeled in 1990 an intimate account of the most private part of his whole lifetime as Thomas Jefferson?
Thomas now has me on a need-to-know basis because he has learned that whatever he tells me I will blab. But by September 15th, Liberating Jesus was at last on track toward publication, and when I had a reading with Susanne Wilson that day, a relaxed and very cheerful Thomas told us some remarkable things. He said that:
My guess is that before I was chosen it was important that they demonstrate that I could do spirit-assisted research, and also that I could channel. So Thomas guided me in researching and writing a beautiful story from his Jefferson lifetime of which he knew there would be lots of evidence. Apparently My Thomas was written as a demo.
I passed those decades in extensive and very disciplined afterlife research as I perfected my understanding of the greater reality. And apparently, night after night as my body slept I sat at an astral table where I was coached in interpreting the afterlife evidence, coached in understanding the Gospel red letters, and coached in channeling The Fun of Dying and The Fun of Staying in Touch. I see now that I’ve done none of this on my own!
Liberating Jesus is not my baby. When I read it, I find beautiful truths and extraordinary phrases that I did not write. But even after Thomas’s confession that, you know, he channeled that one, too, My Thomas remains the child of my heart. It is a glorious love story, a meticulous account of daily life at America’s founding, and the most beautiful thing that I ever will write. That it is the youthful memoir of America’s ideological Founding Father actually makes me love it more! Whatever you might think of Thomas Jefferson now, at one time even he was young. And he fell into a love so perfect that ten years of it lasted for the rest of his life.