LEVIATHAN: A SHORT STORY
I finally got "Leviathan" put up on my story site. What do you think of it?
LEVIATHAN: A SHORT STORY
Robert E. Lee is by far one of my most esteemed heroes...the tears well up almost anytime I read what he wrote, or said--such love did he have for his people.
"Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no, sir, not by me. Had I foreseen the results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." ~~General Lee to Governor Fletcher Stockdale of Texas
I have been doing some pretty steady reading over the past two days while scribbling notes and noting on a piece of notebook paper topics I need to further investigate.
No, it's not exactly the War Between the States...it's Reconstruction!
HA! And I thought the Civil War was a complicated piece of business...just wait until you start trying to cram an understanding of the aftermath of that war (commonly called "Reconstruction", though a more truthful title would be "Deconstruction") in just a few days. The brain begins to scream for mercy!
It's so easy to look back in hindsight, 140-150 years later and declare the mayhem and muddle unjust and unrighteous--on both sides. But...take a minute and put yourself into the shoes of those Southerner's. How would you, or I, respond to the devastation they were forced to undergo, with no political or legal recourse? Might we ourselves not have joined the infamous KKK (or at least, as in my case, being a woman, created their outlandish garments)? (The question here arises--was the Ku Klux Klan as horrid as we are led to believe? There's the making of a documentary in that question--one which I would like to tackle some day. I cannot answer the question really...)
Would we have found hate boiling up in our hearts, not just for those sneaky Scalawags and condescending Carpetbaggers, but for the blacks who were, in many cases simply being used as pawns in the hands of diabolical Radical Reconstructionists? (Or so I preceive it, with my hindsight.)
I don't know about you...perhaps, my dear reader, you are of a gentler, more loving disposition than I. As for me, I do believe anger and, yes, even hate, would have been something I, as a Christian, would have had to fight very hard to not be overcome by. Just in reading the deeds of the the Radicals, I find my cockles rising, my eyes flashing, and my desire to cast them out of my Southland burning in my bosom. (Gracious, I sound slightly like I have been influenced by 19th century language!)
Anyway...it's a HUGE subject and one that cannot be fully grasped with all it's ins and outs over the course of just a few days. Injustice was not absent from either side...neither was murder...beatings...terrorism...and other such activities that rend life into a miserable mess.
Oh...and just an interesting little side note.
Have you ever wondered why the Yankee government never a) brought Jefferson Davis to trial and/or b) executed him? (Believe me, those Radical Republicans wanted the President dead!)
Well, it turns out, that at the threat of a trail for President Davis, some of the best trial and Constitutional lawyers in the land couldn't wait to take up his case for him. The reason? They knew they could win.
Davis longed to be brought to trial because he too knew that the case would be won--thus justifying the South, her secession, and, of course, but I do not believe as importantly for him, himself. Conversely, it would show the Federal government up as a tyrant and un-constitutional in their perusal of the war.
So...the US government decided that the best (safest) course of action for them would simply be to free President Jefferson F. Davis.
You can actually see in this picture his left eye is blurred. He has some sort of problem, I forget what, that made him essentially blind in that eye for a largish portion of his adult life.
If you know anything about Davis, you know that the lack of a trial was a sore disappointment to him--he had such a passion for being right! And not to have his cause, which he championed long before 1860, justified before the world was something of a bitter pill to swallow.
Anyway, with those rambling, wandering thoughts, I leave you, shortly to head off to bed...and rise in the morning to tackle my very first Farmer's Market of the season. (I wonder if I've lost the touch...it's been two-three years since I last beamed from behind a market table.)
Lemme tell you...any time you have huge, giant, ugly blisters on the pads of your thumbs, your days are going to slightly odd. I feel a lot like I have band-aids on each of my thumbs. It's really weird...
Anyway, skipping Monday (which was the day I blistered my thumbs by using my new favorite tool glove-less), this week thus far as been unusual. Yesterday morning I went for my blood draw. It could have been much more unpleasant that it was--but no one told me that I should have really been drinking water between the time I got up and the time I left home! Since I had had very little to drink all morning, my blood was a little thicker than maybe it should have been so it took longer for the lady to get the 12 vials. She ended up having to use both my arms. I am kind of green now in the left arm where my elbow bends.
When we got home, Mama told me not to do anything much for the rest of the day (not that I could have been of much help out of doors anyway with these vile, self-imposed bumps on my thumbs anyway!), so I sat and watched an 1950's film of Lorna Doone (the book is better--they cut the detail out of the movie and changed some of the major parts) with Richard Greene. I rather like him. :) And I also watched The North Star, a 1943 (I think) movie set in Ukraine when the Nazi's invaded. It was very good and I think I shall have to do a review over on Reformed Reviews. While watching these movies, I sat and put together eight of my cockade hair bows.
I don't suppose that sound like a lot, but it takes time to make them.
Today, I had one of my "I feel like writing and I have a new idea for a story" moments. Believe it or not, I started and finished the whole story today. With a title like Leviathan, it may not come as a surprise that my reading of Job 41 this morning prompted the inner workings of my brain to crank this out.
The nice thing about it is that I knew pretty much where I wanted to end it--which, as I think I have bewailed before--is a deadly pitfall in my writing. I have an idea and do not fully form the where of the ending before I plow into it, just to slam against a brick wall. I changed a few details of the plot while writing it, but overall, I think that improved it.
I will try to get it up on Stories by Racheal soon (starting this evening). I think I shall put it up in parts even though it is a 'short' story (if you think roughly 17 pages is a short story.) *addendum: it looks like I will not be able to start putting it up tonight because my laptop does not have Word on it and Notepad will not open a .wps file. It looks as though I may have to type it over from my big computer (which I wrote it on because it does have Word on it). Shoot....
Anyway, I spent all day on it, but that was really alright because it rained on and off all day...
Today's post is a "guest" post! Our own dearly beloved Nate Reckrap* has put his mischevious journalistic mind to the task of telling in humorous fashion what would ordinarily be a rather plain story. Okay, brother Nate...you're on!
Let Sleeping Mountains Lie
I hope you enjoyed Nate's tale. He's been snickering over the prospect of writing it ever since this morning's coffee...
*Nate: He is affectionately known as my "invisible twin brother". Nate and I have 'co-existed' since I was eight...he's my male alter-ego (ha!), going about rescuing damsels in distress (usually his sisters Isabelle and Francine). Guess that's what happens when you "always play the boy"--you create one who stays with you forever. :)
I've been reading a bit more lately as you may know, but I've also been doing a little writing and/or thinking about writing/stories/screenplays/etc. Even while I may not actually write (in the way of authoring) everyday, it's generally not overly far from the back of my mind.
I should like to think of myself as a writer. I've never finished a novel, but I have written some short stories; so does that count? I'm not much of a writer, but I can write and I enjoy it. (There is just something about "playing with words" that is so much fun; but it can also be downright frustrating too!)
Anyway, this morning, during that time when I seem to do my most of my profound thinking, (aka when I should be reading my Bible), I got this idea for a post...but I need my readers help. I'm trying to get a feel for what kinds of fiction books young people (from the elementary to the young adult catagory) like to read...and why. The second part of the question may be harder. Why does a particular genre draw you in? (This is where it could get philosophical.) Even if you don't classify in that "young peoples" category exactly, you probably know some of them. What do they read? (Biographies and histories can be added to, but the main focus is the discover the type of fictious literature that kids and young adults read.)
I made a list of ten (sometimes overlapping) genres that I'll put up here (along with some commentary on why I like this one and don't like that one and if I want to write along these lines or don't or can't along others).
Okay, here goes:
1) Historical Fiction
This is a broad field. It can include these other genres within it: Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Westerns. This is one of my favorite genres and the one I'm most
eager to write. (Obviously, both of my unfinished novels classify in this genre.)
In this particular genre, which era and/or time period is the most interesting?
This frequently is historical fiction, so I won't say over much here, other than
adventureous historical fiction (like swashbuckling tales) is by far one of my most
I have read very, very little science fiction. It's definitely not up there on my "faves" list. I have little to no inclination to write it. [For further discusison, see below.]
If it's something along the lines of old time fairly tales or the Lord of the Rings, I like it. I might be interested in trying my hand at writing some someday. [For further discussion, see below.]
Until last year, I didn't even know what that was. I have never read any and really have no desire to. [I guess that means I haven't much inclination to write it either.]
I love a good mystery (most particularly those written by British authors such as Agatha Christie and Ellis Peters). I don't feel "smart" enough to even try writing
Is this more a film category? I'm not sure, but as far as I am aware of I have not read anything that would classify in this category.
A species of historical fiction and/or adventure, I have read a couple...one of my
novels actually started out a Western, but for reasons of my own got switched to
being an "Eastern", so yes, I would write westerns.
As such, unless you count Jane Austen's works, I have not read any. I do like a little
'romance' in the stories I read (depending on circumstances), but even then, I don't
want that to be the main focus. It's probably pretty obvious that I don't intend on
writing anything that falls strictly into this category.
10) Animal Stories
Um, no. For the most part. I never liked them as a kid. I don't want to write them.
(These would most likely fall in the more elementary reading levels anyway.)
Further Discussion on Science-Fiction and Fantasy
First, let's look at Sci-fi. Like I said, I've done very little reading in this category. I'd probbaly say that C.S. Lewis' trilogy (can't remember what it's called at the moment), is probably the closeset thing I've read to actual sci-fi. It was weird...but that's beside the point. I have noticed that a largish number of young, Christian, homeschooled writers write sci-fi. Why? I don't know. It just makes me wonder a little bit, rather incoherently about a 'something' that I can't put my finger on exactly...
Second, and a little more coherently, fantasy. I have read some (very little) modern fantasy and for the most part it is very autonomous and feministic. It's unsettling. Also, the fantasy stuff that, once again, the young, Christian, homeschooled kids are writing, from the little I have read, seems to be so very dark...oppressive. I recall one story that I started (and never finished because I couldn't find it again), that left me feeling depressed and distraught. Why are Christians writing dark fantasy?
That isn't to say that there isn't a place for evil in your stories--you have to have good and evil. But to write something that leaves a feeling of dispair over your reader?
Anyway, I'd much appreciate your input on this subject. What do you (or your kids or grandkids) read? Why do you (or they) like the particular genre(s) they are drawn to?
Call this research if you like, but I'm just curious...
P.S. I just realized I said I would explain why I like the genres I do...so: Historical fiction/adventure--I like history. Historical fiction helps bring it to life...and adventures? Well, they are interesting! This is not to say that any and all stories in these categories are an immediate "Yes!" because I've read historical fiction that is unedifying (don't ever read "My Brother Sam is Dead"; one of those I actually remembered the name of because it was so bad) and revisionist and feministic. Is not the purpose of reading it to get wrong theology, false philosophy, and lying history.
Mysteries (once again, not any and all)--I have yet to guess "whodunnit". That's part of the appeal. Trying to use one's brain to figure out who did it, to keep track of the clues, to 'read' the characters, to guess the motive, etc.
"At what again?" you might ask. Believe me, you'd be justified in asking that question. There are so many things that I do "on again, off again" that if I didn't specify, you'd probably make yourself dizzy trying to guess what I was up to.
Anyway, to put an end to your suspense, the "it" I'm at again is research.
You see, I woke up this morning with the writing bug gnawing at me. For reasons I cannot remember, instead of working on "Mr. O'Brian" (a screenplay in the making), or "James and Burke", or addressing myself to a new project (I did have an idea for a fantasy story this morning--prompted from Genesis 49: 19), or even "The Yellow X" (I don't know, have any of you heard of that one? I started in way back when I was 14. It's been quite a while since I worked on it and I have some major changes I want to implement [not quite sure how do it]), I dug around and pulled out my as of yet nameless novel about Southern Reconstruction.
I had, up to this point had three "chapters" written, but lacked a real story vision. I roughly knew the history I want to tell through the novel and "sorta" knew the story, but it really wasn't clear enough to go anywhere. Therefore, I sat and did some very preliminary research. I scribbled and scribbled and scribbled. I think I wrote the same thing basically three or four times, but each time through I managed to narrow things down just a little bit.
I still am not one-hundred percent clear as to how the story details are going to play out (some of that will come with more in-depth research, I think), but I now know somewhat better the angles I need research. In addition to that, I did a little thinking and scribbling on the protagonist's character, personality, and history. I wrote a "Prologue" that kind of sets the stage for the rest of the story. It fills in a few gaps I felt were nagging in the first three chapters that I had already written. I do believe it helps to previously kind of "know" the character before you are actually officially introduced to him.
I wrote a fourth chapter, opening up some of the other characters a little bit more, explaining them and their relation to the protagonist. I have not quite started actually addressing Reconstruction policies yet. There are a couple of reasons for that.
Firstly, and I suppose most importantly, it is because I have a ton of research to do before I understand them well enough to freely converse about them.
Secondly, I believe a little stronger understanding of both the Confederate and Federal sides of the war will be helpful (thus I need to keep reading my assigned reading over here in the box to my left--and I will most likely have to purchase a few resources),
Thirdly, and the most inconsequential at this point, is that dialogue tends to be rather hard for me. I recently read, over here someplace (at least I think it was here), about recording yourself talking out your dialogue--or something like that. I think that might be a good idea...but as previous mentioned, I have to have a better grasp of the ideas before I could do that. Oh, by the way, I intend for a lot of the political aspects of the book to be brought out via conversation between two particular characters. That may or may not work. Thoughts, anyone?
Anyway, this is the fashion in which I have spent most of my day. I did not read either of my books which I am "officially" studying. However, I do not feel the day to be wasted and I think that with this freshly in my mind, it will help me to pick up certain things better during my studies. Interesting how things work out sometimes...I can do "double-duty" with my WBtS study here. :) ("Bedford" and this unnamed novel.)
Ah well....time for supper!
New post on The Bee Project! 4/13/17
The Middle Kid
I chose to title this blog "The Adventures of a Middle Kid" because that is exactly what I'll be detailing (mostly). I chose 'kid' over any other word, like 'girl' (I am the middle girl so it also would have worked) or 'child'
The anti-Christ will not overrun Christ’s church or kingdom.