Friday, August 31, 2007

Wind Follower has arrived at my doorsteps

Hi all:

I just got my novel Wind Follower from the publisher. I'm sooo happy. My very first book. I am sooo happy. Soo happy. I'm a published author of my very own book.

If you know anyone who is into folkloric fantasy, or Christian fantasy, or ethnic fantasy, tell him/her to go on over to Borders and B&N to order it.

Thanks so much.

Then said I, "Here am I. Send me."
Carole McDonnell

Monday, August 27, 2007

Trying to find my inner gold digger

Hi all:

I'm trying to get back into the Daughters Of Men work-in-progress again after a brief hiatus away from it.

I was so into thinking about the male motivation/issues in the story that I wasn't really exploring in a truly deep way the motivation of my female character.

I suspect now I have to get in touch with my inner gold-digger. It seems to me that women growing up in a bereft culture where there are men with power and men without....well, these women would see the overseers as sugar-daddies. This connects in some ways to my love of reality love-match TV shows like Flavor Flav.

I suspect that's what much of those competition shows are about. They show the need women in this culture have for good men, rich men, beautiful men, powerful men, researched men. Most of those girls were poor and in need and the show was their way of getting money...and fame...even in some small fading hip-hop hipster kind of way.

I have to decide if Ellie, main character in DOM, is needy enough to want one of these guys ...secretly. Or maybe she's a user. And even if she's not a user, she might very well be so oppressed by all the sorrows and responsibilities of life that she finds a part of herself that actually needs a relationship with a paranormal sugar daddy.

The problem is I have to decide if she is like me or not. Satha was pretty much who I would be if I were in that situation. Now I have to decide how noble a character Ellie will have to be. Or rather, how noble a character I would be if I were in Ellie's situation.

The true glory and the true blessing of Josh my main human male character is that he's human. The true horror and the true curse of Josh is that he's human.

An inhuman overseer has power, wealth (presumably), the power to heal, the power to understand everything going on inside a woman's mind. And all they want is love. A real guy can't stand up to that.

Women want real guys who happen to be super-human.

I want to find the real Ellie. Not an Ellie "feminists" or "Christians" or "blacks" or "good girls" or "bad girls" would like. I want to find the real Ellie who will make DOM work. And she probably is not a "pure" user. But an impure one. One with a mix of need and desires and insecurities.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Devil of Resentment

Well it’s that time of year again. Unlike events I actually can control, this “time of year” usually has nothing to do with my planning. If it was up to me, I’d avoid it entirely. But unfortunately it’s never up to me. God’s in charge of that. Or it’s the pastor. Either I get this overwhelming impression that just won’t go away, or the pastor surprises the church with one of his annoying sermons about forgiveness and loving our neighbors. Yep, it’s that time of the year when –out of the blue– I feel the burden of my inability to forgive.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve got a lot of people to forgive. I’ll also admit that I feel very trapped when this business of forgiving our enemies comes up. After all, to paraphrase C S Lewis, “The devil of resentment is that it's justified.” By which he means that the resentment the unforgiver feels is justifiable because there usually has been some harm done. So, yeah, you and I know that I have every right to dislike some of the horrible creeps out there. And being human I just am not in the mood to kneel by my bed and say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Heck, some of those people knew exactly what they were doing when they devastated, hurt, rejected, and trampled upon my heart. Yeah, I know…I sound bitter. And yeah, the reason I sound bitter is because I am.

But a Christian gal’s gotta do what a Christian gal’s gotta do. And it’s at this time of the year that I wished I belong to a religion which would allow me to hold on to my hatred of some people. Unfortunately, however, most religions command us to forgive. So even if I were a Buddhist I’d still be trapped with having to do what I have to do.

So, there I was…lying on my bed; praying for my son, praying for myself. And what comes into my mind? All the horrible things my mother-in-law, former friends, white Christians, racist white doctors, rich snooty suburbanites have done to me. Hey, I’m no dummy. I knew what God was doing. He was bringing to my memory all the things I needed to clear from my heart. Yep, the time had come to forgive once again.

As a culture, African-Americans have been taught by Christianity to forgive the nasty behavior of racists. For example, the power of Christianity is seen in Desmond Tutu’s Committee on Reconciliation in South Africa. Considering what black folks have experienced in American and South African history, it amazes me that the annals of crime aren’t more filled with bands of roaming black hate groups bent on destroying white folks. Rather, I see the opposite: the oppressive white racists tend to hold more racist grudges than the black folks they formerly oppressed. So, like most church-going African-Americans I have to contend with the religions tenets about not holding grudges. I and my people do our best and so if I and other church-going little black ladies are angry and unforgiving, there is a dang good reason for us holding on to a grudge for so long. After all, many of us still remember uncles and fathers and grandfathers who were lynched by whites. We remember racist white folks spitting on us and treating us like feces at the bottom of their shoes. So it’s hard to forgive. And back to C.S. Lewis, “The devil of resentment is that it’s justified.”

Case in point: When my racist, atheistic, mother-in-law found out about the diagnosis about our younger son, a self-satisfied spiteful smirk appeared on her face. Something that could easily be translated as “Serves her right for marrying my son and let’s see how her God is going to get her out of this mess.” My mother-in-law has been a trip.

Case in point: I was dragging myself around the house after not sleeping for two weeks straight, wondering if I should put myself in the hospital for exhaustion. Fifteen year old son (diagnosed with autism and non-verbal) was throwing a bottle of prune juice on the walls and inside furniture and generally tearing the house apart. Black neighbor comes in and says, “Carole, you really should learn how to clean your house…even if you ARE sick.”

Case in point: Snooty white developmental pediatrician who diagnosed my son. After he told me the diagnosis, I said, “You only judged that he’s autistic from letting him play with blocks. Aren’t you going to check lead levels, heavy metals, brain anomalies, genetic testing, and allergies?” He looked at me and said, “Mrs. McDonnell, you’re over-studied.” Either he thought black women didn’t know much or he was just lazy and smug. Whatever his reasoning, I resent him greatly.

Case in point: Friend (and illegal immigrant from Mexico) whose son had been diagnosed with mental retardation and other issues. Her son was prayed over at church and miraculously healed and now speaks. She believes I watch TV too much and if I didn’t do so my son would be healed. She’s a great person but she has a judgmental streak that is relentless.

Case in point: Primarily white Assembly of God minister who dragged my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I up in front of the entire congregation and said, “The Lord will not heal you of your illnesses, Carole, if you don’t stop living together.” Note: he didn’t do this to the other girls who were living with their boyfriends. Could it be because they were white and were related to the rich white folks in his congregation? I’m utterly convinced he wanted to show the congregation what a forceful minister he was and I was the tool to that end. Suffice it to say I have never stepped into any Assembly of God churches after that.

And these are just a few scenes from my life.

Now, I’ve done the bargaining bit: “Lord, I’ll forgive these folks if you’ll enlighten their eyes and let them see how they sinned against me. I’ve tried but they don’t understand.” Honestly, folks, I could pray ‘til I’m blue in the face, God ain’t gonna do that.

The inability to forgive is linked to many mental and physical illnesses such as depression, sleeplessness and anxiety. I have no doubt my illnesses are only made worse by my mental ruminations over all these past hurts. And honestly, I could live with my illness. Except that Jesus makes such a point of saying over and over and over that “when you stand praying, forgive. If you don’t forgive your fellow man, God cannot forgive you your sins.”

Ah the crux.

As a Christian I’m supposed to be like my dear Lord and say something like: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Honestly, I haven’t got it in me to do that. For one, those people KNEW what they were doing. For two, I would rather wring their racist or judgmental little necks instead of forgiving them.

And even worse: I’m not only supposed to forgive them but I’m supposed to bless them. This only manages to make me feel trapped in the universe. I kneel down beside my bed: “Lord, please bless that racist mother-in-law of mine. Bless all those white grandchildren she has…since they are the only ones she loves.”

Okay, let’s try that again. “Lord, please bless that mother-in-law of mine. She raised a good son. So I suppose she should be blessed for that. Keep my nephews and nieces well and safe from harm. Bless them, but don’t let them be more blessed than my kids.” Aargh. Okay, that’s a bit better. It’s not exactly great but honestly it’s the best I can do.

It’s been said that not being able to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the one who has harmed us to die. Ain’t gonna happen.

The annoying thing about forgiving people — family, friend, stranger, or foe– is the utter lack of control we have over the situation. We say to ourselves, “I’ll forgive them if they change. I’ll forgive them if they understand what they did to me.” But we have no control over the evil thoughts or evil actions of other people. We cannot hold them to their promises to be understanding. We can’t make their hearts loving, kind, and free. We can only be strong and not allow their evil to taint us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blessing and Cursing

Ever since childhood I’ve hated it: those impromptu African-American or Jamaican get-togethers on someone’s porch or living room. I hated them because although everything would be fine and dandy at first, sooner or later --suddenly-- someone would say some fatalistic despairing comment which everyone else would agree with and bingo! I was surrounded by folks talking about the horrible lot of black folks. I’d be suddenly overwhelmed by a tangible despair. So much so, there were times I simply could not breathe.

Now, maybe this was only my problem. Maybe there’s some chemical missing in my brain that makes it hard for me to be hopeful. Maybe I’m a writer and I think too much. But I cannot adequately describe the sense of hopelessness and doom that would come upon me as a child whenever I heard the adults around me speaking like this.

However, when I was a teaching assistant in the high school I began to realize that I was perhaps not the only one to be so affected. Many of the kids I taught had an existentialist despair and a fear that could only have come from listening to this kind of fatalistic trash talk. I honestly believe it’s a kind of cultural abuse unique to black folks --something akin to the Native American notion of cultural trauma but worse because we as a people are perpetuating the victimization of our children.

Over the years I’ve become an escape artist. I have learned to simply make a quick sudden exit whenever some person beside me starts going on about some possibly-racist goings on. I’ve even been known to rise before dinner was served and say, “Oh my gosh! I have to go. I forgot to do something.” Or – if I simply cannot get away– I get up and sit by myself at another part of the house and remind myself of hopeful Bible verses.

I remember certain talk that spewed out of my unthinking friend’s mouth when my mother was dying. Stuff like: “Well, you can’t really trust them to do their best for your mother. After all, she’s only a black woman.” Stuff like, “Your mother’s landlord is racist. He only wants white tenants and he’ll give you a hard time about getting back her security.” That’s the stuff I had to deal with. The same thing I had to endure when I was a child. It never seems to dawn on these unthinking despairing talkers that they are oppressing someone’s heart with hopelessness and fear. When I think of all the black kids who had to deal with such fear and hopelessness from the day of their birth, I want to cry.

As I see it, we Black folks can be a very negative lot and we generally don’t take care to prevent young kids from hearing our racial despair. Quite the contrary, sometimes we think it is our duty to tell black kids how bad life will probably be for them. We think we are doing them a favor by telling them that the reason they didn’t get the job is because the evil “white man” is all-powerful and simply is not going to give a black kid a chance.

In a recent conversation with The Black Thought Group, a group made up of mostly writers, mostly Christians, the moderator/chairman posed this particular question:

“We've been taught----or should I say, I have heard and read a lot of people teaching Proverbs 26:2, (NIV)

2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

They say it is our own actions that bring about a curse or a bad situation in our lives. Some teachers and preachers also imply that by our thoughts/speech/actions we invite Satan into our lives. BUT----could it be that the curse that is afflicting black people in our nation and on our planet is not just our fault. Could the cause of that curse be racism? Does this also mean that sometimes, even though we are doing our best to be righteous, we are still going to
have racists and other evil people trying to curse us? What I'm saying is this: does the cause of the curse HAVE to be us?”

I answered: Honestly? Spiritual cause and effect and Biblical interpretations aside, I think we black folks use our mouths all the time to curse ourselves, our lives, and our children. I know the Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I know the Bible tells us that we must be careful what we say because “we will have what we say.” But speaking on a totally materialistic level without considering spiritual laws and spiritual cause and effects, as a culture we like pontificating about the world and talking doom. We talk doom a whole lot. We are a very negative people and we talk despair and fatalism too damn much.”

A few examples:

The black father sitting on his porch with beer in his hand telling his drinking buddy that "the world is out to get the black man and the black man has no chance" -- WHILE HIS CHILD IS SITTING NEARBY.

My neighbor who keeps praying for her son in one breath (blessing him) and at the same time in effect cursing the kid by saying, "If it weren't for bad luck, he'd have no luck at all." (Of course, the guy’s bad luck is the worse I have ever seen. Things happen to this guy that simply seem choreographed by evil.)

The self-pitying woman friend who keeps saying stuff like: Cancer runs in my family. I'm gonna get it. Ain’t nothing I can do about it.”

My son’s annoying teenage friend who says things like: "I just know I won't get this job. They don’t like giving black people jobs." This is obviously a kid who has listened way too much to his pontificating negative knows-how-society-works dad.

Now I’m not guiltless in this either. I’ve gone into Prophetic Mom mode.
“Don’t wear dirty underwear; what if you end up in a hospital?”
“Don’t make faces like that; your face will be frozen like that?”
As a Jamaican mother who was a child of a Jamaican mother and raised in the United States, I tended to take my little prophetic mom mode to a higher – or perhaps lower– level. Like many other minority mothers, I added racial, governmental, and social consequences. This was no mere case of wearing dirty underwear. This was a black child wearing dirty underwear whose future – and mine– in the white man’s America would be greatly affected by those messy boxers.
“Keep behaving like that,” I said to my son, “and keep hanging out with those no-good friends of yours and you’re going to end up in jail.”
“You’re going to kill me with this selfishness of yours. Then when I’m dead you’ll see how right I was. But then it’ll be too late.”
“I hope I don’t have to trust you to take care of me in my old age. I’ll be in so much trouble if I have to depend on you.”
“Son, it’s tough for black people out there. You have to work twice as hard as white people to succeed. If you don’t study, you’ll end up with some low-level job for the rest of your life.”
“Son, please don’t date a white girl. If you go to some racist part of this country, they’ll kill you.”
“Daughter, please don’t go out and get pregnant. If you do, you’ll be making life very hard for yourself. You won’t rise above the job of being some mere secretary.”
It is understandable that during stressing arguments, we black mothers want our children to learn the economic, racial, and social facts about life. But black folks simply go too far sometimes. And honestly – admit it– is there anything that is accomplished by any of these negative prophecies? Can’t we just give an order without adding a negative prophesy tag to it?

Yes, RACISM is powerful and affects us. But we as a people have protected ourselves from racism by adding negative self-fulfilling prophecies to our normal conversation. Indeed, negative mindset has become such a part of our lives that many people expect a good joke to have a great deal of self-loathing and negativity to it. I understand that we must address the racism in society, that we must teach children that choices they make have consequences. I understand that we have had experiences with racism and other troublesome factors. We have a dirty pool of harsh memories from which we can continually scoop life lessons. But can we not learn to simply keep our mouths shut? Yes, I know. We are a people who like to talk and we are a philosophical people...but as a noble and spiritual people, can we perhaps learn to keep our mouths shut?

The Bible tells us that no one can tame the tongue. Many people may not believe what the Bible says about the power of the tongue – like a rudder– to steer the course of our lives. I believe it, but not every Christian believes everything the Bible says. So I won’t speak about spiritual things. I’ll only talk about matters on a materialistic non-spiritual level: My people, my people, the tongue has a power to destroy us psychologically. Can you not see that?

We must also learn to speak more hopefully as a culture. We must tell our kids that if the worst happens and they do end up in an accident in dirty underwear – that God is able to help them and that they have resources within them to bring about restoration, that if they wear dirty underwear and not end up in an accident while wearing said dirty underwear, that the worst case scenario probably will not happen, that they might meet a nice white person who actually likes them and will mentor and help them.

In the Bible, James wrote in his general letter, “how can we bless and curse with the same mouth?” In short, how can we say we trust God in one breath and yet two seconds later talk about how hopeless it all is for black folks. We are very undisciplined with our mouths. Whatever comes to our mind, trips over our lips.

Why do we sing and dance in church about faith yet on our doorsteps talk fatalistically? Why do we fill our kids’ brains with fear about their futures and make them feel they are inevitably doomed?

I used to hang out with writing groups where all the people talked about was how hard it was to be published. They kept saying the evil white publishing world just didn’t see how great they are. I kept telling them to stop speaking such negative self-fulfilling prophecies over their lives. But they couldn’t stop. Many people think they’re being realistic when they despair, and they believe they are being ignorant and childish when they hope. As far as I was concerned, if a story of mine wasn’t published it was simply because my story wasn’t good enough or I had chosen the wrong publisher. But these guys were always seeing conspiracies and hopelessness. After a while I HAD to leave that group. As yes, I’m the only one from that group who has had my book published.

As a culture, we black folks aim to be righteous. We are a very, very decent people. We bring food to our poor neighbors, we visit the sick, we clean the houses of old folks and we have prayer services for people in distress. Yes, we do righteous stuff. But righteousness has to do with not only right behavior but with right words. And as a culture our mouths are full of negatives and we have to set a watch before our lips, as the Bible says. And we must “be careful how we hear.” (Luke 8:18)
I challenge you – as I challenge myself. The next time you’re at a barbeque or in a cultural group and someone brings up the old refrain of how bad it is for the black man and starts running his mouth with negative prophecies –especially in front of kids– tell him to be quiet. Or get up and leave.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Observation, Imagination, experience

Quote of the Day: A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.

--William Faulkner

This is sooo true. And I often see the lack one of these things...but often the other things that are in the author don't seem to supply the lack of the others. This is just my opinion. For instance, I didn't know much about observation. I was terrible about "showing" because I truly had to learn about the various kinds of body language. My characters tended to be talking heads. And they still kinda i'm glad my crit friends remind me of these kind of things. But there's a different kind of observation and I've often found that many Christian writers don't write about what they have emotionally observed, they are too busy writing what they THINK they have observed. For instance, a Christian writer will often show lust to be evil and selfish. Well yeah, a lot of lust is selfish. But some of it isn't. Some lust is desperate, despairing, needy, loving. But because Christian writers are "taught" that lust is selfish, they often end up writing a story that isn't what they have observed about lust but what they "know" from sermons lust to be like. Certainly if they have observed their own lives they wouldn't be so one-sided or dishonest in their depictions.

The other thing with observation is that complications and complexities enter the equation. I for one know that I've lusted and loved at the same time. I know from observation that there is such a thing as a married woman being a person she doesn't have sex with and yet I feeling closer to that person than she does with her husband. Or vice versa, there are people I know who have loved their husbands but felt that sex with the husband is only a cold lustful thing and not a heartfelt thing. Some Christian writers would never write about such things.

As for imagination, I've seen a lot of imitative writing. People think they're being imaginative...and they are being imaginative as far as they know...but honestly in a lot of allegories I've read, they're imagining a world that is already created. Or a concept that already exists...and they aren't using it or mining it...anymore. They think they're imaginative because they are stringing together a kind of plot....but it's really a plot based on something they didn't imagine. For instance, why are so many dragons in the stories of beginning writers named "Draco." It's a bit much.

I wonder: what would Christian fantasy publishing be like if C S Lewis, Frank Peretti, and J R R Tolkien had not written books? What would christian romance publishing be like if the world's romances hadn't existed?

The last thing is experience. This is kind of tough. We all have experience...It's not really about youth, i think...but about the ability to be in touch with your own experience of joy, pain, need, fear, whatever, and get it into the story. So many of the stories I've read by Christians feel so unlived in. Someone writes a story about an ugly brute who is being rejected by a beautiful woman. Yet the story feels as if the writers don't seem to understand rejection or what it means to be ugly....even if one knows they must have been rejected...or that they must have considered themselves ugly at one time or another. Of course maybe it's all me. Maybe I've read sooo many memoirs and so much heart-rending poetry (intense, heartfelt, distant, doesn't matter what style) that I expect all emotional writing to be heart-wrenching.

Most of the world's Christians are non-white and live in non-white cultures. Yet most of Christian publishing is done by whites, especially whites in the western world. I wonder what Christian publishing --Christian fiction, Christian memoir, Christian sermons, Christian apologetics-- will be like when our non-white Christian brothers and sisters in China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and the United States start writing? What a blessing that will be to the church!


Monday, August 06, 2007

The Kill Point

The Kill Point, which was shown on Spike TV, and which will probably be rerun quite often, has got to be hands-down is one of the best heist films I’ve ever seen. Just when I was thinking the genre had become predictable, up comes this topical, riveting, heart-wrenching, and --dare I say it?– downright patriotic thriller. And bingo, modern issues have put new life into an old genre.

Not that there was anything so wrong with the old genre. I like heist films and even at their stalest, they’re better than the typical actioner out there. But lately, they had lost a lot of their topical moorings. People were planning super-heists merely to steal a whole bunch of cash. Okay, but not really worthy of my spiritual viewing time.

Heist films are suppose to have topical issues and cultural references. Remember The Public Enemy, Roaring Twenties, White Heat, and Little Ceasar-- movies that created this genre. These established the basics of a truly noble heist film. The bad guys are in serious need of cash but there’s always something else. For some reason they don’t fit in, for some reason life is overwhelming. They are war veterans who have returned home to the evils of civilian life. They have been rejected by society at large. They are slightly mad. Whatever the reason, they just don’t fit in.

Of course some of my favorite heist films aren’t terribly angst-ridden. City of Industry, for instance, is a perfect little gem of the revenge-after-the-heist-because-the untrustworthy-henchman-has-betrayed-his-brothers-in-crime sub-genre. And The Usual Suspect works because, well, it is just so plain odd and moody...and a good surprise ending certainly doesn’t hurt.

But the majority of heist movies had lost their connection to the common man, the poor schlub who was embattled and overwhelmed by life. It was fun to get caught up in the planning, the expectations of what we know “should” happen, the inevitable mess-up when after initial success the short-lived criminal victory falls apart. But with rare exceptions such as Set it Off, there generally wasn’t much of an emotional investment.

Well, imagine my utter uncontainable joy when I saw that John Leguizamo was in this heist film. This guy always plays scrappers. Intellectual, emotional, fidgety, cool, all in one. The guy can act. He plays Mr Wolf, and he leads his animal-aliased crew of disgruntled former soldiers with such passion and compassion that I actually found myself falling in love with him. The characters are desperate, yeah, but not sordid. And everyone knows that in a really staisfying heist film, the viewer's complicity in the crime becomes problematic because the bad guys are truly not so very bad. They have no desire to kill anyone, for instance. But as we know from other heist films such as Dog Day Afternoon, the best laid plans often fall the very beginning.

Add a few 2007 issues such as media hype, government propaganda and lies, and the government’s very nasty treatment of returning vets, and we have a situation where the viewer –however moral she might consider herself– simply wants to see these guys miraculously saved from the mess they have brought upon themselves. Yeah, it’s impossible but one hopes. Somehow. Somehow. The money be damned! Some Deus Ex Machina has got to come down from heaven and whisk these bank robbers safely off to someplace that has no extradition treaty. Could their helper be the computer hacking kid? Could the contagious Stockholm Syndrome kicking in on their hostages somehow save them? Dang, even the cops (a nice multicultural mix which includes a black woman swat expert yay!) understand where these slighted patriots are coming from! What can be done to help our guys leave the botched bank robbery safe and sound? Yes, I “know” that “crime doesn’t pay,” but dang, how I wish it least for these army guys, this brotherhood of criminals who have been given a rotten deal by the war-mongering government.

It has been said that writing is often a conversation between the soul and the spirit. In this case, the Christian in me knows what I "should" want: law and order. But the Christian in me also knows that these men, like Jesus my Lord, are "men of sorrows acquainted with grief" who was executed via capital punishment and whose body hung between the bodies of two thieves. A Christian, a working class person, or a minority person will understand (and be compassionate toward) these rejected, outcast, desperate men who are not only each other's brothers but also our brothers. But what can I say? The law is powerful and relentless and our bad guys aren't going to get a blanket forgiveness.

The Kill Point is being shown in Six episodes. Try to catch all of them. Be wonderfully surprised. Be wonderfully touched.

Sin Eating

I recently saw The Final Cut, an indie scifi film starring Robin Williams. Jim Caviezel also appears in it. Yep, the actor who played Jesus in the Passion.

First, I've got to say that I generally don't like Robin Williams. That "i'm from another place/country/world/planet therefore my humor and insights about all things earthly and American thing can get a bit old and arrogant.

But it turns out that I like him in indie flicks. I even liked him in One Stop Photo.

Well, The Final Cut is about a world where memory chips are placed in people's heads when they are children. Not everyone has these chips, just a few. These chips record everything a person does or is involved with....and when the person dies, all that they have seen, known, experienced, can be classified, edited, and recut. The edited memories are even placed on their owners' tombstones.

Ah, this is where the issue of truth comes in! And also the issue of who is the editor, and how he decides to edit what he sees. Other questions about memory also pop up. It's a good little plot and although a bit of a downer in the end, it worked for me.

But while I was watching it the main character Mr Hakman describes himself as a sin eater. Someone who sees all the sins folks have committed and who destroys them so the good remain.

That got me thinking.

Last year Fox Faith films did a movie called The Sin Eater. I wonder if both these films could make a Christian movie night double feature. They might. Stories of sacrifice for the good of all, stories of what to do with memory, guilt, sin, knowledge of other folks' sins. They both come at the questions in different ways.

The trouble however is that The Final Cut doesn't have that gooey slice-of-life nostalgic feel many Christian films have. I don't know why Christian filmmakers often like to do little nostalgic pieces but they do. The Final Cut is urban, urbane, and somewhat bleak. Christian movie makers don't like darkness or bleakness. Still it would be a nice double feature, i think...and some church has to try to.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

God's little nudges

I was walking downtown and felt a little nudge to go into a deli. The thought occurred to me: "you know how sons are. No matter how old they are, they believe you love them if you bring them a little snack." So I entered a deli to get him one of his favorite snacks. While there I saw a lady and got another nudge to tell her about my soon-to-be-published book. So I did. We had such fun, she and I talking and chattering away. I don't know why but I felt God wanted me to talk to her. It was interesting/ Those nudges are interesting. -C

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