A Thousand Glass Drops
And each one a story.
Hi! I’m Gordon Saunders. I had the privilege of living in Europe with my family for about 25 years. We learned to listen. We heard lots of stories – some that would lift you up to the clouds and others that would break your heart. We learned to look. We saw beauty and we saw ugliness. We saw the banal and the exciting. But so much! And so many differences between places and peoples!
So many similarities as well. This website and much of the other writing I’ll be sharing here will reflect some of those stories – of the differences and the similarities and of how some of the differences aren’t that different after all.
The photo above was taken in the lobby of a smallish shopping mall off Place du Havre, on the border of the eighth and ninth arrondissements of Paris. It’s across a wide boulevard from the Gare St. Lazare train station – named after, you know, the man Jesus raised from the dead. And it’s half-a-block from the Lycée Condorcet, the high school where Jean-Paul Sartre taught for a season. You know who he is, too. The famous atheist existentialist. They’re not so very different now, and both with full knowledge of what the truth really is.
We visited Jean-Paul’s grave at the Cimitiére du Montparnasse. Just take a right on the first cemetery street after you come in the Boulevard Raspail entrance and you’ll see it almost immediately. It was edifying to see that the principle artifacts left on both his grave and that of his partner, Simone de Beauvoir, were not flowers but cigarette butts. Must be a story there!
I’ll be talking about writing here, providing information that should help you on your publishing journey – whatever it may look like – and sharing some of my 20,000+ photos. I’ll be creating, too, not just sharing what someone told me. But the foundations will be what I’ve heard and seen in Europe as well as in my home country, the United States. And what I’ve learned in the process both of writing and of getting that writing out the door.
I came up with the name ‘mediaropa’ to create a brand for ‘experiencing Europe through images and conversation.’ You can see more of that on my Tumblr blog, mediaropa.tumbler.com. I hope you’ll enjoy the images and participate in the conversation. But mediaropa is not just about Europe anymore. It’s about life – yours and mine.
Welcome to mediaropa!
Okay, here’s a little more stuff my family said I had to put in.
First, I have a Ph.D. from Duke University, a Masters of Theological Studies degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a bachelors degree from Wheaton College (IL).
Second, all that was the ticket needed to teach university students for ten years, seminary and graduate students for more than thirty years, and adult students during that whole time. I estimate the number of papers I read and graded during those years approaches a million.
Third, I got to teach in about two-dozen countries, primarily in English, but also with translation. One of my books, an overview of the Bible and the course of salvation, called “To Give You a Future,” was translated and published in Russian and Romanian.
Fourth, Just prior to and during my time in Europe I wrote several books for young adults in two series: the first, Young Adult Fantasy, and the second, Young Adult History. Four of those have now been published. I’ve also written and/or massively revised four others, all of which are under contract and will, with God’s grace, be published in 2021. You can learn more about these books at gordon-saunders-writer.com.
Finally, I worked the traditional publishing pathway for a while, for my Toujours Amis series of commercial fiction, and then decided I was too old to wait around for multiple years to get an agent. So I determined I would go the Indie route (also known as self-publishing). However, COVID came along. And since those stories were set a few years in the future when I wrote them (between 2016 and 2019), they now have to be edited to accommodate all the changes COVID brought into our lives – as well as the changes to my two major settings, Morningside Heights (New York City), and Paris.