Thursday, December 26, 2013

Proprietry, Acculturation, comic books, prayer, writing, denominationalism

So there I was working on "My life as an onion" (my current WIP) and suddenly three new plot points appeared. Actually, they weren't new, but they had been there all along, hidden in plain sight....ramifications of the theme and charaterizations of the plot. Suddenly, after all these years, the idea of propriety pops up...that is: how does one train a poor Jamaican girl to become the wife of a Korean chaebol prince?

Generally, I don't care much for propriety. Propriety is needed sometimes of course. One can't talk to the boss (or one's husband's boss) in any kinda way. One certainly cannot talk to God in any kind of way. Although we Christians can start a prayer by saying, "Oh, great Creator" or "Judge of the earth" or "Oh great king" the fact remains that the rules we were given is that we must begin our address to  Him as OUR FATHER. It shows our sense of community with all humans, and it shows our understanding of God's love for us. This is the highest honor. In addition, although this rule is fairly flexible and one can't always use it (especially if one is in a pinch or being mugged by some thug) we are SUPPOSED to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. So, yeah, propriety.

There is also the whole acculturation to the kingdom thing. Different cultures have different rules, different kinds of foods, different kinds of dialects, jargon, and accents. Christians eat different spiritual food than non-Christians. We follow the laws of the kingdom (The Beatitudes.) We have denominations based on human cultures and human priorities/preoccupations. Roman Catholicism has the whole roman empire thing happening at one extreme while Quakers --especially modern Quakers in some urban areas-- have gone almost New-Agey. That's why in all my fantasy stories people of the same general religion always have different ways of dealing with their religion. In Wind Follower, everyone approached their religion out of their own hearts (for good or bad, the theological idea of "scruples" apply) and the three different longhouses showed three different ways of dealing with the main Doreni religion. Plus there were cultural influences that affected the stories....and cross-religious pollination. Which is pretty much what happens in the real world. Islam has gotten even more affected by western Christianity. Nowadays, I've even hears my moslem friend say stuff like "God is our Father" and "God loves us" which would never have been said ages ago and which is still pretty much frowned on by Middle Eastern Moslems.

Acculturation happens outside of art as well...or at least it happens in how the art encounters the world. Back in the day when hubby worked at DC, he worked with Mark Verheiden on a comic book called The Phantom. Mark has gone on to other things -- executive producer of the updated Battlestar Gallactica, producer of Falling Skies, movies such as Timecop, etc. But I doubt he would ever write a Phantom movie. And why not? you ask. Because while comic book culture can accept a white guy running around the African jungle saving the black natives (and terrifying then in his purply-black leotard) Hollywood is not so racially-blind as to dare do something that ridiculous. So in this thing, comic book folks have a different culture. Comic book folks are by no means racist, but you know.... some cultures accept certain things.

Oh where was I? (Kinda got off on a tangent there)

Suddenly I get to this plot point which had been there all along in my Cinderella story. My focus all these years has been on how to change/save the hero and bring him into the (best of) the (truest part of the) Christian culture...and suddenly SUDDENLY rising to balance the plot, and countering my original theme: heroine also has to change -- she has to learn how to cook Korean meals which is all fine and good but she also has to learn how to be a rich wife or at the very least (if hero doesn't marry her) she has to learn how to be the girlfriend of a rich chaebol (spoiled) prince. Interesting turn of events, no? Let's see how this turns out.

Happy creativity, all!

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