I’m not sure whether the following is a “normal progression,” or not, but, in terms of time investments — comparing the hours/days to produce a poem or a personal essay, to the months/years to produce a novel — the expanding time scale from poetry to the novel does seem like a progression of sorts.
The culture of Thailand was, say, 50 years ago something of a throwback to much earlier times when the Kingdom was affectionately called “The Land of Smiles.” Of course, much has changed since then, but the charm of this country still stands out.
I’ve had a second novel in draft form for some time now. Again, it has a religious theme. The premise for the story occurs at the confluence of Christianity and Buddhism — a place I am drawn to, for reasons beyond my current understanding. I like to tinker around at the fringes of orthodoxy, in places which are often a long way from the comfort zone of many fellow Catholics. It is as place where the language is rough and the characters undeserving.