Did you know Susie was fooling around with Tom at work?
What a juicy bit of gossip that is. Truth told we love a good bit of gossip. The reasons are evident to most anyone with a brain.
- We want to feel better than that person.
- We are better than that person.
- We love the titillation that goes along with gossip.
- Their behavior might justify ours.
We have this duality within us of who we are. We attend church or work, and we wear this face that we allow the world to see. While sitting there listening to the pastor drone on about Paul or David or JESUSsssss, we are thinking about what has to be done when we get home from church.
Some of us are thinking about last night and how wonderful it was to be in his or her arms.
A few of us are actually writing in our bibles or making notes to stay awake, and not snore like the fellow in the pew behind us.
I am no better than you. If the pastor hits a dull moment, my mind is elsewhere. Much like reading a book where you hit that middle of the road slump. Your eyes pass over the words but they don’t register because we are looking for the ‘juicy stuff.’
As a writer, we must keep this in mind when we are crafting our stories. Pacing is essential and so is the ‘juice.’
Who is your audience?
In Church on Sunday, the preacher, who most probably doesn’t want to be there either, is addressing his or her flock. The flock is us, the sinners. As a preacher, he must keep us engaged throughout the sermon or we are all wasting our time. There are no time clocks to punch. God will not be looking at some history to see how many hours you ‘sat’ in church.
We may all wear this mask of how effing great we are, (yes I wanted to use the F-bomb to get your attention) but inside, we are just us. If you happen to go to a Calvinist denomination of Christianity, you know ‘because you have been told repeatedly’ just what a lowly piece of shit you are. That definition does not even underscore how truly rotten Calvinism makes you feel. I left one of those churches as Calvin was a crazy man, as was Martin Luther. Both were horrible Anti-Semites who, if they had self-flagellate themselves, I would be grateful. Too harsh?
I should note that God can use the worst of the worst to do his bidding. From David to Trump, God can use even you, to do his bidding, turning evil to good. ‘Like how I put you in there so you keep in mind that you are no better than any of them? I did too.’
That is where we get into trouble when we think we are better than thou. You might love or hate Trump but, I can tell you with all certainty, he will use him to do his bidding.
We as writers can use what we know and who we know as fodder for stories. We can use every experience that we ever have to weave them into the tapestry of your dystopian adventure through Never Land.
The issues with being a writer as I see them, we think outside the box, and we take nothing for granted. We might sit in church and listen as the preacher prattles on about demons or how the streets of heaven are made of gold. Ok, they are streets, gold is a soft metal; wouldn’t it make more sense to make them with something more ‘concrete?’
‘Did you like that? Concrete…” C’mon at least smile.
If I took a notion, I could dismantle the Bible in its entirety from what I know about physics and science.
That is a powerful statement, and it is true. Here is something else I know. I can absolutely prove to you that there is a God or Creator of all things. Again, I can use Science and physics to determine that.
Where does that leave us as a people? If there is a God as I am sure there is, what is it? Where is it? Who is it? Does he or she watch over us like Santa Jesus, making notes when we mess up?
No, I mean no disrespect, I am making a point. Don’t send me ugly e-mails, I don’t have time for them.
The problem with the bible is every part of it is tied to every other part of it. If you pull on one, lose string, the house of cards falls apart. They, in fact, become stories. Allegorical tales meant to put some modicum of understanding of how the world and God worked 2000 years ago.
Have we outgrown God?
With church attendance falling, we see the beginnings of a dystopian world. How do we as writers, play into this part of the world? We are part of this world, not merely observers. Are we responsible for shaping the world with our words?
These are just a few thoughts I have when I witness the violence from Hollywood or the Graphic video games that are nothing more than simulators for death. What role do we as writers play?
One of my favorite lines from any movie was from Contact.
(Paraphrased) ‘You people have such wonderful imaginations and thoughts, and you have such horrible nightmares.’
This line captures the duality of which I speak.
In my novels, I attempt to speak to both. We are that Jekyll and Hyde but hopefully not to that extreme.
In Nudists of Shangri-La, I speak to Judy’s Demons. If you read it, you will recognize her demon as we all have it. Possibly it is not to that extreme but it is there never-the-less.
As we head into the weekend, I wish you a safe and happy one. Thanks for following me here and on twitter.