the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Monday, August 09, 2010


Every now and then, something will just leap out at me and irritate me, even if it is something not particularly related to any of my major concerns. The whole issue of blood diamonds is an important one, but not one I feel I need to speak out on. And I don't care that much about celebrities. But Naomi Campbell dragged her feet so long in attempting to avoid testifying that I was curious what she was going to say when they finally got her on the stand.

As I understand it, her reason for refusing to testify until she was compelled to was the fact that Charles Taylor is a scary, violent man, and she didn't want to risk his harming her or her family. That sounds reasonable - at first. But wait! She didn't know who he was, isn't sure he was the one who gave her the diamonds, and wasn't even sure they were diamonds until someone else pointed it out to her. In other words, if you believe her, she knows nothing.

So why was she afraid of testifying? Even a violent and dangerous man is hardly going to go to the trouble of harming someone, or their family, just for saying they don't know anything about him. I know absolutely nothing of these events beyond what I've read in the press. What I'm about to say is purely my own opinion, but it seems to me that the delay was in order to find out just how vague she could make her testimony, just how unrevealing, without quite crossing the line into anything which could be proved as perjury.

Now, that's just my analysis of what she said, based on the point that, if she really knew so little, I can't understand what she would have had to fear in the first place. But what irritates me is that no one in the press, no one in the courtroom, no one at all, seems to have even thought of this possibility. Shouldn't the question at least be asked? Shouldn't the possibility at least be discussed?

As I said, the violence and lust for power that lurks behind blood diamonds is an important issue, and one that should be explored thoroughly. I don't know what really happened, or who is to blame, but if so much money and effort is going to be expended to look into this, shouldn't someone at least consider the obvious?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Anne Rice: Writers, Christianity, and Following Christ

Reading about Anne Rice's decision to quit Christianity brought me back here after such a long absence. Although I don't have even one reader for every ten thousand she has, I've struggled with many of the issues which drove her to make such an anguished declaration. I've never even mentioned before on this blog that I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ, not because I am ashamed of him, but because I am ashamed of many of those who claim to follow him.

Even as a writer, I'm an outcast. I've finally come to terms with that. But what troubles me is the thought that my readers and friends might go away and never come back, without ever giving me a chance to explain I'm not like "them". I've waited, hoping I could find the right words. But now, I suspect there are no right words. Some of the most vocal of those who call themselves Christians take positions I disagree with on nearly everything.

Even most of the Christians I respect are not people whose opinions I agree with without question. Of course, I don't expect anyone to agree with my opinions without question, either. The problem is, non-Christians often assume anyone who says they are a Christian must be like the worst examples they can think of, and Christians often assume anyone who calls themselves a Christian must agree with their interpretation of the Bible.

I don't think Jesus Christ cared about politics. He cared about people's hearts, and left the politics to the politicians. That was one of the reasons he upset people. He refused to be politic and keep from upsetting the status quo. And I don't think he expected his followers to impose Mosaic Law on non-believers, even the "family values" clauses within that law. All he asked of us was this, to believe in him and to let him work in our lives, so he could help us set an example for the rest of the world.

In those days, people still left unwanted newborns out on mountainsides to die. If these babies, usually either girls or sickly boys, were lucky, a slave trader would find them and raise them until they could be sold. Jesus didn't send his disciples out to find people exposing their children and stone them. He simply told his disciples to follow him. Now, I happen to believe abortion is wrong. That isn't the point. Where I disagree is in how Jesus would expect his followers to act. I don't think he'd have us pass laws; I think he'd just have us live so much for him that we radiated his light into the world, making others want to know and follow him, until the practice just naturally withered.

Maybe I'm wrong about that. I'm not God, and I'm not Jesus Christ. But it is what I honestly believe, based on what I read about his actions and those of his followers in the Bible. I don't say that lightly. I've agonised over the issue. In Nazi Germany, I would have been considered unfit and gassed. No matter how much the modern world would like to forget this, abortion grew out of the eugenics movement, and the eugenics movement is just the generic name for Nazi "race science". I instinctively loathe and fear anything that smacks of their policies.

Abortion is as horrible an idea to me as it is to anyone else, with aspects of nightmare overlaid. I just happen to think the usual Christian way of attacking the problem is not the way Christ himself would have tackled it. His followers did things his way, and it wasn't very long before babies were no longer left to die in the wilderness. All the Christian protests just seem to strengthen the resolve of those who support the idea of abortion as a kind of freedom.

Fiction writers are tortured at the best of times, and a fiction writer who genuinely wishes to follow Christ is torn between the competing forces of the stories that rise up inside them, and whatever Christians decide to define as "Christian" fiction. Why can't a Christian writer just write, and trust that some bit of the beliefs which led them to their faith will shine through? Jesus often spoke in parables which were far from clear, even to his own disciples. Yet they told a story and made a point he considered important. He seems to have considered these little stories, with their subtle points, the best way to communicate in many situations. Since he is capable of opening anyone's ears and heart, why can't he use a story which does not fit the "Christian" label to do so?

There are so few Christian writers who honestly want to serve the God they believe in, but who also reject the traditional niches reserved for "Christian writers", that it is impossible to even find anyone to discuss how best to keep our writing on the right track. A well-known writer such as Anne Rice, with a publisher and editors imposing their own expectations on her, and fans adding their voices, has an impossible task.

Don't any of you Christians who are so quick to object to her remarks ever consider you might share some of the blame for driving her to this point? If you don't, you should. As obscure as I am, I understand her frustration and her agony. I pray for her, not because I think she has done anything terrible, but just because I think she has been trapped in a terrible position. And we can all use prayer. If you read this, and consider yourself a Christian, please pray for Anne Rice, not because she is any more imperfect than you are, but just because she is hurting.

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