Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Religion and Paranormal Writing, Is there a happy medium?

Religion and paranormal writing,
Is there a happy medium? (No pun intended)

Religion is a dangerous topic as is the paranormal. I’ll start by saying I hope y’all will indulge me as I climb on my soapbox here. Almost anything I say will make at least one other person angry. Those who believe in a higher power, whichever they choose, fight for their faith with an unwavering loyalty you must applaud whether you agree with their choice or not.

I was raised in the deep South, Alabama mostly, and grew up with the Church of God teachings my mother believes. I come from Irish, Scottish and Cherokee blood with a little English thrown in. My great grandfather read the cards, and my great grandmother had visions, yet both were very devout in their belief in Christ. I’m Christian, by choice rather than raisin’. I am not ashamed of my faith, nor do I try and force it on others. I have friends who are Wiccan, Christian, Jewish and so on. That being said, you might ask where this fits in with a the path of a paranormal writer. Good question.

Everything I have ever written has had a main character with some sort of magical ability. Witches, werewolves, vampires and what have you are integral parts of my imagination. I’ve tried forcing them out, but was never truly happy with what I created. Yet, my church frowns on magic, and therefore I can’t share this part of me with my church family. Write for Harlequin? That’s acceptable. We all need romance. Write erotic romance? Frowned on, but ignored. It is still a love story, right? Write magic and you are automatically condemned to the devil, but we aren’t supposed to judge others are we? Seems like I’m balanced on the tip of a double-edged sword.

My characters casts spells, but that act may have saved someone they loved. Is she wrong to call on magic? Would I be wrong? Maybe, I do not know, but if my children or husband were in danger, sick or in need, I’d do everything within my power to help them. One action is damned the other rewarded, but aren’t they essentially the same?

My childhood was rough. There was always someone yelling or fighting and the only place I felt safe was inside the books I treasured. The enchantment of them helped me escape the reality of my life. They shaped what I am today. I have always wanted to be able to give that sanctuary to others. We need the unknown, the supernatural, the magic to balance the everyday things.

Where do all these puzzle pieces fit? How do you find a happy medium between your faith and your work? I try to incorporate my beliefs and morals into my characters, and I try to teach them a lesson along the way. My current work in progress has twisted and turned into a story of a vampire fighting against his own kind because of his love for a witch. Both Kail and Kayleigh have magic at their disposal and aren’t shy about using it. Still, a price always has to be paid. I hope to share more of the storyline with you soon and maybe the first page.

There are Christians that believe in gifts of the spirit and that everyone has an innate ability given them by God. It’s up to you to learn what they are and use them wisely. I’ve found my calling, though there are those who would judge me because of I what I do. God made me. Life shaped me and I will share what I have learned with those who wish to listen. Magic exists, in the beauty of the trees, the twinkling of water and all the wonderful things around us. The paranormal is how we define that which has no explanation but simply is. I’ll climb down from my preaching post now, and I hope I haven’t bored any one to tears, or sent you running for your pitchforks and torches.

Thanksgiving is just around to corner. However, you celebrate don’t forget to be thankful of all the wonderful things in your life. Tell those closest to you how much you love them. No matter how bad things are, you are still so blessed. I’m thankful for all of you and the time you take to read my thoughts each week. Have a wonderful holiday everyone. That goes for you too, Nichole, Barb, Heather and JK.

Beth (Anxiously awaiting Turkey-day and the Auburn/Alabama game. WAR EAGLE!)

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