Thursday, March 25, 2010

One man's flaw is another man's vice . . .apparently

I've been purposefully not posting about writing. I was hoping to have a book out by now and thereby have more gravitas on the subject. However . . .

The insistence of having flawed characters has either been mis-interpreted or incorrectly taught. At least in my opinion. It seems that many translate having a flawed character as having a character with a vice. Why can't novels have a really good person as the lead character? Some say it's unrealistic. Hogwash. I've known some wonderful people in my life and I love reading about good people. They hardly ever come out on top in real life. At least they can prevail in fiction. It may be the only thing keeping me sane. They definitely don't make a novel less appealing. Dean Koontz's stories are filled with good, decent protags and I'm pretty sure he's sells a few books.

I think this idea needs to be tweeked. It's not a flawless character you should avoid. It's an invincible one. Kryptonite is not superman's flaw, it's his vulnerability. Good, moral, decent characters with vulnerabilities are my favorite. They play by the rules and the antags don't. So your lead character's flaw (vulnerability) could be that he's too trusting for instance. Antags can take advantage of that. We want to read about characters who follow their morals, play by the golden rule and still beat the bad guy.

With that said, sometimes an invincible character works. See James Bond, Jason Bourne, Rambo. But I think it's for the same reason. Readers (viewers) want to see the good guy triumph in a world where they usually don't.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Watermelons for sale . . .

I'm not a big Dan Rather fan, but you northerners and city folk have got to relax.

In the south, watermelons are sold on the side of the road. And strawberries, oranges, field peas, etc. And in Louisiana: Shrimp. Also, we love to use saying such as "He could sell ice cubes to an eskimo" and the like.

Now I know if a conservative said it, he or she would get no benefit of the doubt and all hell would be breaking loose. But we conservatives are supposed to be better than that. The weird thing is that it's liberals who seemed the most taken aback by the comment. Well, they did creat the p.c. monster.

Btw, next time we make up a fake stereotype, can we pick something less delicious than fried chicken and watermelon. I can't get enough of either and neither can my fellow white southern brethren.

p.s. If you've never tried it, put a little salt on your watermelon. It's like a party in your mouth. It's also very refreshing on a hot day.

Wow, watermelon is like the bacon of fruit. I can't stop thinking about it. Hmmm. I wonder what bacon wrapped watermelon would taste like?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Avoiding absolutes . . .

I have been accused early and often as being opinionated. I rarely sit on the fence and almost compulsive in letting people know what I think. But when it comes to Biblical interpretation I avoid declaring absolutes which aren't clearly spelled out. Which can be problematic with my Christian brethren because the standard for "clearly spelled out" is a moving target to say the least.

I usually avoid these topics because it can cause strife with my fellow Christians who don't apply the same standard I apply to secondary theological issues. Many declare you lost or damned if you disagree on a peripheral issue. Usually because they have made it the cornerstone of their salvation foundation. I don't condemn (nor am I allowed to) anyone for disagreeing with me on a secondary issue. I may give them my opinion which they may mistake as such, but I try to do so with kindness and, more importantly, respect. Unfortunately, I'm not always afforded the same measure.

For instance: I don't speak in tongues. I have studied the issue and do not believe there is enough evidence to declare today's utterances the Biblical utterances. But hey, it's not absolute. I could be wrong. But since it's not absolute, I'd rather contract to essential Christian doctrine than expand beyond it. I do believe in the gift of tongues (languages) for the Apostles in preaching the Gospel because it is clearly spelled out.

Now, keep in mind, I don't hold anything against people who do speak in tongues. An acquaintance of mine once declared it demonic and strongly suggested I leave the church I was attending (and playing guitar in the worship band in the youth group for). I defended my tongue uttering friends by assuring this person that they believed in essential Christian doctrine and are definitely not demonic.

On the other hand, I've had tongue speakers declare that I'm not receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

This pastor of the aforementioned church who would declare God's presence in our church only if a majority of the congregation were speaking in tongues. It was not only a litmus test but a measuring stick. Sort of like a God decibel meter. This goes against "where two or more are gathered." Of course, you can always go non absolute and claim the Bible writers left out the inferred "where two or more are gathered (and speak in tongues.)"

Now I know that those who do speak in tongues may be able to give what they claim is an absolute interpretation of the issue to back their beliefs, but I don't see it. However, they are still my family in Christ and do not deserve to be denigrated.

Side question: Do you think someone who speaks in tongues would now be hesitant to buy my novel (if published)?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


--The Saints superbowl euphoria is still going strong. Pat on the back for us: victory parade - 800,000 people, no burned police cars, riots, or looting.

Special shoutout to everyone who thought Brees was washed up when he hurt his shoulder and was shown the door in San Diego. I spent the first off season re-assuring my fellow fans that Brees was the answer. I never could understand why the Chargers kept looking for a QB when they had Brees. So he ain’t 6’4”, 220, with a 80 yd bullet pass. He’s a football player. I’ll take a football player like Brees or Flutie over a spec sheet player ( Jeff George ) anyday.

--For those of you who’ve read Tosca Lee’s Havah, I joked with her that I was working on a companion volume titled Adam. The same story from the male perspective. All I’ve got is the first line: It’s her fault….. Can’t really think of anything else to say.

That was a joke. I don’t blame Eve for Adam’s decision. The Bible says Adam was not deceived.

Actually, I love the idea. A scene by scene (almost) Adam version of Havah.

--I’m very hard to offend, but two words do cause me momentary involuntarily pause: the F-word and the N-word. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t stop reading and write the author a nasty gram. And I’ve uttered these words too many times in my life. The N-word, though my least favorite word in the English language, is necessary sometimes in novels. See Athol Dickson’s River Rising. (if memory serves)

--Just got a letter from the child I sponsor through Compassion. There was a drawing of a butterfly on it. For those of you who’ve read my novel, you can see why this caught my attention.