Last week was an amazing week for me. I got news that I will be a published author, I wrote 5000 words in Everdome, and there were a few other pieces of news I can’t talk about yet.
Everything was going great then my body utterly crapped out on me. I had a major allergy attack (which for me is thankfully not anaphylactic) and I’ve spent this week feeling like I have cotton balls instead of brains and I’m fairly certain a kitten could beat me up.
There were also two celebrity deaths that have consumed my social media feeds. All of which kept making me think about death. I think Adam Ruins Everything can sum up the feelings I had.
Warning: This video shoves your mortality into your face.
I spent most of Monday catching up on Daredevil. The show has a few scenes where the main character discusses good and evil with a priest. It’s done in an introspective way that really speaks to me.
I was raised French Catholic. (Yes it’s tough not to say, “And with you” when I hear, “May the force be with you”) One thing I always hated about organized religion was the lack of introspection and questioning. In fiction people will say they are, “Searching for faith” or “Questioning faith” but it’s rarely explored. (On a side note, the lack of this exploration that probably soured me on the Exorcist.)
“Write a million words–the absolute best you can write, then throw it all away and bravely turn your back on what you have written. At that point, you’re ready to begin.”
– David Eddings (Possibly referencing Heinlein or Bradbury)
As I’m approaching the mythical one-million words I’m starting to see themes in my work that I didn’t realize where there before. Dreams, intelligent villains, hope vs fear, sentience, and faith. If you’d asked me ten years ago if I’d have faith as a theme in my writing I would have laughed and said no.
However faith is more than just belief in a higher being(s) it’s belief if ourselves and those around us. It’s believing in humanity and hope. I’m sure, to some, it sounds overly optimistic or naïve.
In A Case of Synchronicity (one of the sequels to A Study in Aether), the main character (Elizabeth) starts doubting what she knew about her mother and what she knows about the world. She visits a church and speaks with the priest there about what is right and what religion means in a world saturated with magic. (Don’t worry the book also involves kissing, time travel, and scary vampires)
It’s a theme I’ve also been exploring a little with the Hal stories. (what is faith like in a galaxy where you know there’s a god living in the Sun?)
I’m always fascinated in characters that have faith without zealotry, spirituality without hate, or hope without fear.
I’m still not sure what I believe in the grand scheme of things (and I’m rambling little… sorry) maybe that’s why this sort of exploration and introspection appeals to me.
Do you think I’m being overly sentimental and naïve?