Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Your Favorite Moon Songs

I'm doing a little research for my novel and I thought it might be fun to bring anyone in on it who would like to participate. I need to know your favorite moon songs- that is, songs about the moon. One of the characters is making a mixed CD of moon songs and while I won't be naming every song in the actual novel, I enjoy a well developed backstory.

Here are a few to get us started:

Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
Moon Dance - Van Morrison
Blue Moon of Kentucky - Bill Monroe
Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Character Reaction Believability

Something on the light side for the blog today. Don't worry, I haven't forgot about God.

Fictitious characters in novels and movies run across creatures and situations that would cause ordinary people to wet their pants. Characters maintain enough composure to battle zombies, capture fairies, speak to ghosts, and kiss mermaids and it's typically believable.

The kids and I are currently watching Hellboy. When Agent Myers meets Hellboy for the first time, he doesn't run screaming from the room. He doesn't become petrified by fear. He greets him as politely as he's able.

Harry Potter and Hermoine run across ghosts for the first time at Hogwarts and don't turn white and flee the Great Hall and they grew up in the ordinary world like the rest of us.

In Labyrinth, Jereth, the goblin king, stands before a brave Sarah who juts out her chin and sasses him. She calmly walks into the maze and asks a worm for advice.

Alice falls unnaturally slow down the deepest rabbit hole ever burrowed lined with bookcases and wonders calmly where she'll end up.

So in my budding YA urban fantasy novel, why is it so hard for a couple of my critiquers to believe that a young woman doesn't absolutely freak out when the guy who stalked her and made a lame attempt to kidnap her buys her a sandwich? Is she under reacting? You betcha, if we were talking about a real person. She's going to face a lot weirder things before this novel's through. If she became hysterical every time something frightening happens, we won't have much of a story.

Maybe my problem is, I haven't billed it as a fairytale.

Any idea from fellow writers, readers, or avid movie watchers?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goodness as an Argument for God

A love atheists. They're especially good on toast. ;) One of my favorite writers, Douglas Adams, was an atheist. I like to think he's changed his stance on that since his death. Atheists are so impassioned about their belief that God doesn't exist. They can be as fervent in their belief as many Bible-thumping Christians.
So, one of my favorite living atheist left me a comment:
Randy's comment
I followed with an email and then he was inspired to write a couple of interesting posts on his blog Sisyphus Sidestepped. I'll now discuss the idea of goodness as an argument in the favor of God's existence. I welcome any and all feedback.

Randy supposes we are purely selfish creatures seeking our own pleasure. He wrote that the number one driving force in life is the avoidance of pain. No doubt that is a huge driving force in many people's lives. But we are thinking humans and not animals so we can override that instinct. Humans risk death and injury to save another person. We donate to the poor when it would be much more fun to spend that money on ourselves. We refrain from boxing up our unruly teenagers and sending them to Timbuktu- (much to the relief of the Timbuktuvians). You can fill in your own examples, I'm sure.

The argument can be made that we do those things to keep ourselves from feeling pain. The pain of seeing another person starve, burned in a building etc. But think. A firefighter risks his/her life to protect people. Most they save, a few they can't. Wouldn't firefighters be happier avoiding fires altogether? Something drives us to think of others first. That leads me to my main question...

Why does human life have value?
Or does it?
Why should I care if somebody suffers or is killed? What's it to me? Why does it hurt me to see somebody suffer? Why should I care if people are starving halfway across the world? Why should I care that millions were killed by Nazis during WWII? If we have no souls and we're just a lump of flesh created randomly, why do we love other people? Do you believe in the existence of love? It's not tangible. You can't see it or touch it.

I believe human life has value because God loves us. I'm not the first to suppose this. The Declaration of Independence states that, "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If anybody wants to deny this statement, go on and give up your rights now. After all, survival of the fittest should dictate that the strongest among us should get what we can without considering another person's rights and value. (It should be noted that I'm a heck of a lot weaker than Randy, so that could be part of my rejection to 'survival of the fittest.') ;)

So, I leave you with two questions:
Why does human life have value?
Do you believe in the existence of love?