Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fighting against myself

Well, I seem to be in a battle against myself...on many fronts. Okay, okay, the battle is not ours but the Lord's... but still I've got to be aware that there's a battle going on.

First, on a creative level, I have to deal with this carnal Christian part of me. Yep, I'm a carnal Christian. So there I am...wanting to explore wounded and perverse sexuality (in a novel) and at the same time wanting to write a novel about a sane lovely white guy who falls in love with an older black woman. Problem: if I create a main male character who is too wounded, the subtext is gonna be "See, only nutty white men fall in love with black women." Yes, yes, admit it. That's what folks'll say. (People always ask why X falls for Y when X and Y seem diametically opposed.) Heck, that's what they said when my hubby fell in love with me. Hubby is kind of a cross between Ethan Hawke and Timothy Hutton. Nice looking, handsome in the sexy light of the bedroom. But hubby is relatively sane. Folks just couldn't understand what he was doing with me. (Never occurred to them that I am so witty and gorgeous that men simply had no control over themselves ....and that doors opened by themselves as I approached. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate a bit.) Upshot, though: I want to put black women up there as being beautifully sexual...past a certain age. Something this society doesn't do. Gotta do my part toward healing us and redeeming us from the Aunt Jemima image. And a young white guy character has got to be the male hero..cause --uhm-- they are the ones whose opinion on beauty matter in the media of these United States.

I really want to do a Christian love story...and watching Kate and Leopold last night -- first time I've seen it-- I have to admit I was touched. This in spite of all the historical errors. There is something about a noble hero. But then again, there is something in me that hates turning a story into some shared masturbatory pleasure. I want to create a noble lover worthy of a great story, but I don't want to be sitting around thinking, "Let me imagine what it would be like having such a cutie be in love with me."

And then there is that carnal part of me, the part of me that wants to deal with how sexually wounded I --uh, hum....I mean... WE... uh...no, i mean...some of us...-- are. Ah, gee! One has to be so careful. I certainly don't want to go around saying that some Christian women are sexually screwed up, repressed, wounded, victimized, etc. And I certainly don't want to say that I am a mess. But dang, I wanted to write about sexually wounded men. Sex is such a strange and powerful force in our lives. How to do it? how to do it? And do I have the skill to make it all lyrical, spiritual, Christian, yet not heavy-handed?

The clearest bit of wisdom I've gotten from God so far is this: "Carole, you're trying to write a novel that will work for a secular company (which doesn't mind eroticism and racial issues but which might have problems with the religious aspect)and a Christian company (which might have problems with race and sex but which would like the Biblical stuff). If you're trying to hit two targets that are in two different directions, how can you hit either?" Okay, I think that was the wisdom and guidance God gave me. I think.... Holy Spirit didn't give me any specific instruction about what to do. I think He's leaving that up to me and will bless whatever choice I make. He just wants me to "choose instead of trying to hit all the targets with one book." At least I think that's what He's saying. So I have to choose what kind of book Inheritance will be.

But that's not the only fight I have going on with myself. Other stuff: my temper, my problem with this current fast. (Dang, I hate not eating!) Aaargh. Okay, Lord, you've got to help me out here. I need to see clear. Be a light to my path....and a co-author to my new novels.
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