Artist in Residence 2019: Lancelot Schaubert
By Lancelot Schaubert• Galatians 4:21–5: 1
That year, we all got really into paintball, you know. Simon’s grandad had lead the O.G. paintball team that won the first world cup, the one that made every company in the paintball world try to seek out his hand, his face, his words, his name for an endorsement. The Stingers. Mascot was a bee, kinda like Jesus in the Catholic church, only less packed with meaning cause I think they just thought of the little bruises from the balls.
Responding to Galatians 4:21–5:1, author and 2019 Artist in Residence Lancelot Schaubert presents the final installation of his four short stories that will ultimately become chapters in the third novel within his White Trash Magic trilogy.
Note: These stories contain strong language and may not be suitable for all audiences.
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Galatians 4:21–5: 1
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
For this final piece, I wanted to show how the common life of these boys starts to radiate out in strange ways towards the fantastic. The four pieces were always intended as a sort of series of intro chapters for the book 3 sequel to the trilogy I started with Bell Hammers, my forthcoming debut novel. I think, in general, I wanted the text to show how you can preserve both the fantastic and the mundane in the same family and through different methods. In this piece, it's clearly showing the good and bad, miraculous and fantastic I myself have witnessed in religious communities of various shapes and sizes. But I also — as the epigraph pointed out — wanted to show some of the danger of magic. Sometimes you play around with the wrong thing, you get real and truly lost and that can be bad or good, depending on your response and to whom you appeal for help.
I'm grateful for Jonathan and Rebecca and the whole team at Spark+Echo for making this possible for me. The residency itself not only gave me space to play in this world in an otherwise busy publishing year, it actually helped me consider whether I'd properly seeded the fantastic in my debut novel — I had, as it turned out. And, practically, it gave me the cash to hire a cover designer with whom I am quite proud as you'll see in the Goodreads copy. In fact, while we're here, if you enjoyed any of these pieces, you'll enjoy Bell Hammers, so could you just boogie over there and rate my debut novel 5 stars and add it to your want to read list? That would be a huge help as we finish out this thing.
Keep an eye on the world. This Spark+Echo residency is simply a small, small piece of an epic journey. It will be revised — in some ways — beyond recognition, but those of you who have followed along and who buy my stories from the Vale universe will see very soon how it plays a vital role.
Born and raised in Southern Illinois amid four generations of carpenters (and named either after Lancelot the knight or Lancelot the soap opera character, depending on which parent you ask), I moved to Joplin, Missouri for college where I did internships in San Diego among young artists and in Detroit — Dearborn — where I taught English and citizenship to Arab immigrants. I auditioned for some TV shows, helped internationals feel at home, and started an artist support group with Mark Neuenschwander, the photographer.
In college, I majored in rhetoric and minored in mythology and ancient literature. Somewhere in there, I fumbled along trying to woo the grooviest girl in the world to marry me. She was from Ferguson, Missouri.
Now, we live in New York City. In addition to writing and producing, I work for ACT International helping artists in the city think cleverer, feel deeper, and act truer. Sometimes I give them grants to jumpstart their careers. Most of the time I just cook them food, let them crash at my place, and hold them when NBC rejects their screenplay or only five of their paintings sell at their gallery. If that’s you, I’m in your corner.
By now, I’ve written hundreds of articles and stories and poems (maybe thousands?) and I’ve spoken for various conferences on writing, culture creating, neighborhood development, and virtue ethics.
I’m hard at work on what will be my first published novel, but I’m also quite dangerous with a nail gun. Ask me about the squirrel sometime.