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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The real and the fake...

Tonight I was at Words for the Journey and Heather spoke about blogs and blogging as writers. Huh. I be a writer. I blog. One of the points she made that made me think (oh no, not that!) is that our blogs are promotional tools for our writing. More importantly, our blogs should be related to our writing and geared at the same audience.

On one hand, thinking about that scared me, because anyone who's read this blog for a long time knows that I blog about anything and everything. I'm all over the place. And I thought, maybe I'm blogging all wrong. *gasp* the horror! I've had a blog for over three years now and one would hope I was getting it right.

After the meeting, a bunch of us sat in the coffee shop where a lovely Starbucks barista gave us a coffee tasting demonstration. And then, we did the usual writer thing and talked until they kicked us out for closing. (I really meant to write, really I did, but is it MY fault they had to close?) We talked about a lot of things, but the thing I keep coming back to is that the common theme through each piece of the discussion is that we were all trying to live out our lives as Christians in an authentic way.

And so, as I drove home, I realized that is exactly why my mishmash blog relates to my writing. I'm transparent in my blog (and hopefully, my life) because I want my authentic journey to be a witness to others. Not just in the sense that God did some incredible miracle in my life (and He's done a lot), but that I am a wretched, imperfect being who loves Jesus. And while I do (and say!) a lot of dumb things, God loves me. But see, it isn't just about me. It's about you. It's about the love God has for you, no matter what dumb things you've done.

See, I've been there. And some days, I'm still there, sitting in my hole of doom, wondering how God could love a total screw up like me. That after a day like today, where I literally had so much anger and frustration over all the stress I'm under compounded with a three year old who spends every waking moment pushing all of my buttons that I had to leave for a while, God still thinks I'm the perfect mommy for my beautiful children. He knew I was going to have a mental meltdown before He ever gave me these two little (sometimes) angels.

I write about these things in my books. Real people, who could be you, me, or the girl next door. One of my favorite movies is 13 going on 30. I love the whole redevelopment concept she has for the magazine, reading about real women, not the fake airbrushed crap. If you want to know the kind of stories I write, those are the kind I love. Ironic, since my new story is about a celebutante, but even that is about drawing the realness out of people we see only as icons. That underneath the tabloid stories, they are people with hopes, dreams, and even feelings. I write about human beings, because in this world, we've forgotten what it means to be human. While others may write about aliens or werewolves or vampires, I want to write about real people. Maybe it's not "hot" right now, but it's real. Frankly, there is so much fake in our world right now, that I truly believe we need a little something real to ground us and let us know that it's okay to be imperfect.

Case in point: last night, for the first time in a couple weeks, I was able to take a bath. Which, as many know, is my way of regaining sanity. And, as always, I took a book in with me. Now this book had come highly recommended and I'd gotten it as a freebie at RWA. Gag, Gack, and Vomit. Were it not for my highly refined anal retentive side that demands I finish reading every book I start because I must know the ending and how they got there, I wouldn't have finished it. A lot of things bothered me about this book, not the least of which was the fact that had I marked out all of the steamy parts, I'd have ended up with barely enough material for a novella. The worst thing, though, was the constant attempted rape that increased heroine's arousal.

Now, I know from research that yes, some people do experience an involuntary arousal at being raped. However, WHY would an ordinary human being WANT to experience this repeatedly? So WHY are people writing books about this being a GOOD thing?

Interestingly enough, out of the five women that were having coffee tonight, 4 had experienced some sort of sexual abuse. 4 out of 5. The other had dealt with sexual issues as well as emotional abuse. Is reading about someone enjoying being raped something these women really want to do? Of course not.

And yet, these books and books like it are selling like hotcakes. Authors of this sort of book will tell you that it's all based on fantasy. It's fake, so it doesn't matter.

On behalf of the other women out there who've experienced abuse, let me just say, it does matter. It is not okay to abuse another human being. I have a very satisfying relationship with my husband that I treasure. It is satisfying because he touches me in love, respect, desire, trust, and other decent and honorable emotions. And when I write, I want my stories to reflect those values. We do not have to settle for a man who mistreats us or accept a reflex action of our bodies as satisfying. We are beautiful, holy princesses, belonging to God Himself. That is something real. Anything else is a complete and utter fake, and I'm not really interested in it.

So, when you read my blog, my books, or have the chance to meet me in person, you're going to find it's probably a mishmash of a lot of things. But the thing tying it all together is my genuine desire to present the very real grace God has given all of us, no matter where we are in life.


Jana said...

For what it's worth, I feel that you reflect exactly what you intend to. Coming to your blog is one of the highlights of my day and has been such an inspiration to me. I enjoy your humor, your honesty and most of all, I've gained a lot of insight into my own life and spiritual journey through you. (Not to mention that you're a wonderful friend!) God has certainly used you as a living witness and I hope you never change that. (((hugs)))

And Ewwe, on that book, btw. I'll admit that I went through a steamier phase a while back but the steamy factor seemed to become less about the emotion and more about the act itself and it left me feeling empty and a little sick. Maybe you shoulda drowned the book. hehehe

Heather said...

Re the book: that's awful. Many women who have experienced that deal with enough guilt.
Re the blogging thing: the thing I've been thinking about is what my husband calls the Oprah factor. You trust the person, so you trust their recommendations. Oprah sells more than advertising. If someone trusts me, they're probably more likely to read a book I suggest. Not that I want to use their trust. On the other hand, what about the fun and community and kindred spirits? That's my favorite part about blogging. Forget marketing.

Danica Favorite said...

Thanks Jana. Yes, it was a terrible book.

Heather, great points!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I never said you were blogging wrong. in fact you do have a theme here... you have from day one. and it works for you. :o)

Jan Parrish said...

I wonder how old the writer of that book was and if she had been abused herself, possibly even raped.

You may not be old enough to remeber the 80's but we had what I call the 'Dallas factor' of mixed messages. Women who always said NO but really meant YES. Men saw this and thought, "When she says NO, she really means Yes." I believe the Dallas Factor contributed to many date rape situations. I agree with Jana, shoulda drowned it.