Novel by Christina Carson
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Quote from Suffer the Little Children:
"Perhaps what we call misfortune is actually a place where the universe interrupts our habits that keep life so limited and small, forcing us to respond differently. The opportunity it offers depends on how hard we work to close the gap or hold it open, allowing ourselves to glimpse realities we've never glimpsed before."
Novel by Christina Carson
Quote from Dying to Know:
"I knew in that moment, we were never meant to surrender our childlike innocence, to trade a world in which we fit like a glove for one that hung on us like ill-fitting hand-me-downs. However, all about us insisted on our membership. And instead of a handshake or a mystical password as entrance into this spurious society, we agreed instead to share a lie, the one that says we’re safe, secure, and fulfilled living this way."
This one is a tad long today, but I wouldn't ask your time if I didn’t think the topic worthy. See for yourself.
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” These were inaugural words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during yet another time of deep recession and upheaval in this country. Politics aside, these words possessed a depth of wisdom that not even the writer may have known, for they capture the essence of a truth that changes lives forever. Fear is like a lens that shapes the way we see life. Through it, we are actually convinced that concern, doubt, regret, anger, and anxiety are accurate and useful assessments of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Because we don’t question that assessment, we are the most fearful creatures on the face of the earth.
We live with fear like living with a low grade fever, always there, always putting us slightly off center, until of course it spikes, causing acute symptoms of pain and suffering, and worst of all, keeping contentment just out of reach. Not understanding this puzzling behavior of ours - to be afraid without any accurate supporting evidence - eventually steals every dream, every moment of joy that we experience.
I say this not to be negative but to arouse your curiosity. Here we are, this massive group of new writers, enthralled with an undertaking we, in many cases, never imagined we’d have the guts or the ability to do. And wonder of wonders, we are doing it, and we are finding a new breath of life in the process. We have something fine to wake up to, something compelling and purposeful to engage us. So let’s not bungle this one, the way other dreams and hopes got bungled before. And truly, the only thing that takes away our dreams is fear.
Socrates, in his fortieth year, brought to a head the many questions that had plagued him throughout his life, all of which could be roughly summarized as: Is there not another way to live? This continuous state of contradiction that is the human condition – we say one thing, yet do the opposite, while completely unaware of this behavior – had become intolerable to Socrates, leading him to the conclusion, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” motivating him to find answers.
Count Leo Tolstoy is another example of a human being beset by this contradiction. Yes, his earlier life was not anything we’d like to see on our own bio, but when he became a writer, driven by his desire for a new form of fame and fortune, he found his achievement was still as empty as ever, and he too spent the the next stage of his life exploring this strange seeming nature of life to give with one hand while taking back with the other. He too arrived at a conclusion:"To find yourself, think for yourself," wise, but not so easy as it seems.
I’m not suggesting that we writers also sign on as seekers, though, trust me, it’s a worthy endeavor. What I am suggesting is that we use our writing career as a place to take our stand against fear, to see it for what it truly is, so we don't let it sully yet another dream.
Writing brings meaning and contentment to our lives; this is what we must not forget. While we’re within its loving arms, we remember this, but how quickly we forget as we seek awards, crave kudos, or anguish over book sales. Contentment is an inside job. Writing is an inside job. That’s why writing and true happiness issue together from within us. What the world offers as a seeming joy is, in fact, a perversion and we need to see that for ourselves. Knowing that difference - what we've been taught to think of as bringing joy and contentment versus what actually does - will insure writing won’t be just another grand idea gone sour, but one we can enjoy to the edge of our graves. And oh yes, I hear you say, but, Christina, my situation is different. I have to make it, my finances, my family, my sanity requires that I do. Well Christina has been in all those “mean-spirited roadhouses” too, to quote Rumi, and they do not change the truth. If you want joy, get clear about what's truly sourcing it, and do that, and watch fear disappear. Jesus didn’t say, “Be not afraid,” to comfort us. Comforting was not his thing. He said it, as he did all else, because he knew the truth.
Many years ago, a good friend of mine, beset by the notion that if he just found the right woman, he would be happy forever, came to me with yet another liaison he swore was the one. Since nothing I’d done in the past had worked by pointing out the obvious, they were already married, too young, too old, too different – I took a new tack. This time I asked him one question and one only.
“Answer me this,” I said, “and if you’re still enthralled, I’ll come to the wedding. Tell me how long, in minutes, in hours, after you’ve won this lady, will the fear of losing her set in.”
To his credit, he took the question seriously. His honest reply was, “About five minutes.” I added quietly, “You’re the source of your joy, so bring it with you, and you’ll find the right one.”
If we’ll remember that writing is the joy, that writing is what enthralls us, that writing is what gives our life meaning – because it is true, we will be able to defeat fear when it tries to locate the source of joy elsewhere. And then this dream will be written up on the other side of the ledger, the side entitled: A Dream Come True.
Oh, and by the way, if you want to know more about fear, investigate the late Vernon Howard, a home-grown American sage of great measure.
And if you’d like to read four fearless writers and the outstanding work they are producing, visit Caleb Pirtle III's suspense novels, Stephen Woodfin's legal thrillers, Jack Durish's historical novels, and Bert Carson's novels centering on Vietnam veterans. Enjoy the fruits of their dreams coming true.
You can find my novels that speak fearlessly to new visions around family, relationships and truth on my Amazon Author Page.