Monday, April 25, 2005

Forgiving great evil

I read a quote the other day from J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon Five (and lots of other things), about forgiving evil. He said he wrote the episode of B5 called "Passing Through Gethsemane" in order to try to understand how someone can forgive a great evil that had been done to them, because it was something he could never do.

It's a question I've pondered a great deal. How exactly do we forgive? I think I'm a mostly forgiving person, to a point. And that is the rub. Where is that line drawn? I'm not a person that holds grudges. Someone can really piss me off, and if they apologize sincerely, five minutes later I'm fine. (This bugs the crap out of my wife.) But these are usually minor disagreements, or someone being rude or thoughtless. Not someone who has done me, or my family, considerable harm.

I could not, under any circumstance that I can envision, forgive someone who harmed my son. I don't believe in sin the way the church (take your pick which one) does, but I think an adult who willfully harms a child is committing the worst sin imaginable. How could a parent forgive a pedophile who molested a son or daughter, or killed them when he finished sating his appetite? Yet what is the alternative?

I worry about my son sometimes. Not in an obssessive, unhealthy way (at least I don't think so), but I imagine in the way most parents do. What would I do if something happened to him? How could I go on? An accident would be devastating enough, but if someone deliberately took him from me...? I could not forgive. That capacity is beyond me in that circumstance. I fear something happening to him not only because of the depth of my love for him, but because of what it would do to me as well. I would be consumed by hatred and guilt. Hatred for the person who took him, and guilt that I could not do what all fathers are to do, and that is protect their children. It's something that's too awful to contemplate.

But there are people who have lost children, or spouses, or parents, who have found the ability to forgive what was done to them. I believe it is a survival mechanism of some sort, a way of dealing with a trauma that otherwise would be as deadly as ebola. But it's also a conscious decision, a choice made to forgo hatred and the desire for vengeance. Do these people feel this way because they are religious and believe what happened was somehow a working out of God's will on Earth? I don't know. I only know that such forgiveness is beyond me, and I hope I never experience it outside a father's late-night wonderings.

Lack of updates

I apologize for the lack of updates, but not much has been happening book-wise, and I'm not one to take the time to fill up space with a lot of crap about what I'm having for lunch (pizza from the Pizza Grille! Yummy!) or other such inconsequential nonsense.

My work on The Words of Making has been going great. I'm past 150,000 words (out of what will probably be a total of 220,000-250,000), and have been getting more than 2,000 words written every day. But making daily or weekly recaps of my word count would bore me to tears, so I won't inflict that on anyone reading this, either.

My agent is happy with the rewrite of Foreverness, so that is going to market soon. I will, as usual, keep everyone updated if there is interest from a publisher or a sale.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cover scene decided

I heard from my editor today, who told me the cover scene had been chosen. It was one of the scenes I suggested, with a slight change to it.

My original thought was that, if they wanted a "minimalist" look, they could use the black door where books of forbidden black magic are kept that the main character steals in an attempt to summon a long-dead wizard from the grave to learn the location of a lost library of knowledge. The door is inscribed in gold with the wizard symbol for death, and protected by powerful spells to keep people out. They loved the scene, but thought it needed the main character in view as well. The symbol of death may be embossed and foiled, which I think would be pretty dramatic and eye-catching.