Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Forgiveness and Courage in Real Life

Someone wrongs you - maybe speaking about you in a bad way, or taking what's yours, or breaking their promise - and of course your feelings get hurt. It happens to us all, one way or another. In The Calling it happens to Valin and to Mertyl, and much of the story involves how they deal with their hurts.

The hardest hurt can be when it's someone close to you that wrongs you - a parent, a sibling, or a close friend. I remember when I was about 7 or 8 or 9 having some terribly loud, door-slamming arguments with my older sister over terribly small things that I can't recall now. And I get on very well with my sister now - when she's not rolling her eyes at what I wear or the odd things I do... ;-)

Where does courage come in? Both Mertyl and Valin have need of it when facing the Vreymak raiders, but another form of bravery comes when they have to let go of their anger and forgive. After all, when you're angry with someone who's wronged you, you just know that they don't deserve to be forgiven, and that they owe you a big apology. Why should you let them off the hook? Why can't you show them how it feels, and hurt them just like they hurt you? Wouldn't it make you feel better?

No. Just ask Mertyl about that. It doesn't solve your pain, and you won't get back what you've lost.

Courage, in this situation, is letting go of your hurt and refusing to let it rule you anymore. This way, guess what? You win! That's right. Release the other person from your anger, and tell them about it. Who knows? They might realise what they've done and make it up to you, or they might not. But at least you won't be weighed down and tormented anymore.

You'll be free.

It might be that you feel you don't have what it takes to forgive; you just can't. Then you need help from outside, from one who is always prepared to help and to change you a bit more into the person you should really be. He's just waiting for you to call.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

What's in a name?

As part of my ongoing quest to make my writing as good as it can get, I'm renaming a major character. (Can you guess who?) I joined a facebook group of writers and several strongly felt that this name sounded more like a pharmaceutical product than someone a reader could identify with and cheer for throughout the ups and downs of the adventure.

On reflection, I have to agree. Thing is, I don't buy that many drugs so it didn't have that connection in my mind. And I doubt that many of my readers, aged around eight to thirteen, would think, 'Ugh! Sounds like medicine!' But for those for whom it would create a bad taste in the mouth, here goes...

I formally rename Merratol as...   Mertyl.

I hope you'll continue to make her welcome in The Calling, whatever her name is.

Mertyl. I'm not used to it yet. OK, what does that remind you of? Any associations? Maybe a Welsh mining town? Or a trademarked variety of roofing material? ;-)  I don't know. Maybe 'Valin' sounds too much like that other drug, whatsitsname...

Anyway, you can see the immense power of publishing on the internet. I can upload an updated version of my manuscript for free, at any time, both to Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace, so that the ebook and the printed book reflect the very best that I can do. The CreateSpace book does become unavailable for about 48 hours while the file is updated and reviewed.