Tag Archives: beliefs

Using Fiction to Explore Personal Issues

Guilty as charged! I’ve often used fiction to make sense of real life. Aren’t certain stories specially tailored for this purpose? Think about Cinderella, couldn’t this fairytale be used to explain the basics of karma? Or Shrek, if one wanted to be more modern; that movie fully illustrates that a “book can not be judged by its cover”. Even an unsavory looking ogre has potential for great kindness, right?

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this, so here is my point. Yesterday morning, I was combating the Manhattan traffic while listening to an interview on NPR. The traffic horror got most of my attention of course, which might explain why I forgot the name of the person being interviewed *sigh*. All I remember is that he writes children’s literature and has the cutest English accent ever.

Anyway, his accent was quite lovely, but what caught my attention was something he said. He suggested that brining personal opinions and/or issues into fiction writing would be “cheating” the reader. He continued to say that reading should be fun and using the writer’s—or someone else’s—reality to tell a story, pretty much killed the fun factor.

My first thought was Geez my stories must be a fun vampires! I pour myself into everything I write. I don’t necessarily share my deepest desires and frustrations, for if I did I would probably be committed or put in jail. However, I do use my stories to portray truths that are too difficult for some people to even fathom. Some of these veracities are actually simple, but they haven’t touched some individuals at a personal level, so they care little about them.

A good example is the story I’m working on. One of my characters is HIV positive. The story is not about HIV, but it does offer glimpses into what living with HIV might be like. Not the nightmare that most people have heard of, but a normal happy life if the individual takes care of him/herself. Also, most of my stories include Pagan elements. Could my writing excude Paganism, and my belief that HIV positive people are as normal  as everyone else? Probably; I just don’t want it to.

My writing is a reflection of who I am and what I believe in. If that is fun killer for some, then I’ll have to be happy writing for me and for those who are into reading dull fiction that touches reality every now and then. I understand that I can’t fight every battle with a story, but I know in my heart that to leave every personal belief out of my own writing would be the real act of fraud.

What do you think? Should fiction writers leave personal issues out of their stories? Or is the thought of it just an unlikely fairytale?

My Spirituality and how it came about

Growing up, I knew I wasn’t being taught everything because, I knew things that wasn’t taught in school or church. Things like, how to know what animals said when they came up to me. Or knowing how to heal them when they needed it. I knew that my invisible friends were spirits and not imaginary. In addition, I knew what I could and could not say to adults because I knew how they were feeling.

Now I am not talking about things children learn, as they get older. I’m talking about their actual feelings. I knew because I could feel it. And, almost as if I could read their minds, I knew what they would and would not accept. Like me kissing a girl instead of a boy when I was four or, my talking with the animals and spirits. For years I didn’t say a thing about anything other than what I was taught.

Until we were taking a trip, one day and I started asking questions about where we were going. As they explained whom we were going to see, I slipped up and said “Oh you mean the ones who lives…” and proceeded to describe every portion of their abode – from the street all the way back to the salt block sitting in the back forty. You would have thought I suddenly sprouted fangs and was going to attack them.

As they said the words, I had worked hard never to hear, “Never do that again! That is of the devil!” I knew I messed up and revealed my lifelong secret. I would have to work harder than ever to cover up for that mistake. It wasn’t enough for me to apologize and promise never to do it again, they dug until they found the one thing I mentioned that was wrong – pictures. As they went off on me with “See we told you you had never been here before. You described the wrong pictures.” This, of course, triggered questions from the branch of the family we were visiting. When my grandmother finished with her discourse, their response only made me cringe more. “Oh we took those pictures down a couple of months ago.” I so wanted to hide. Instead, I did the next best thing, I slipped out the door to go play with the rest of the children.

I said all this to say, I was born doing what I do. For many years, I searched for a religion, which believed as I did. Pieces of what I believed showed up in many religions but never all of it. Finally, giving up looking for a religion, I decided to be spiritual. When I did, a way opened up for me to learn about Spiritualism. They understood my frustration and disillusionment with religion.

One woman in particular was very understanding. So much so, she decided to take me under her wings, and became my mentor. She spent several years teaching me what I did and how to control it. In addition, she tried to teach me other things that I just couldn’t grasp like Tarot. However, in the process, she discovered I used Psychometry to give messages and that they were more descriptive than when I gave messages without using it. After a year of teaching me, she decided to groom me to take over her teaching position, which took me a couple of years to get my courage up for that. Plus, I didn’t want her to stop teaching others. But the day came when she did and told me it was time for me to step up and take her place. I did, for a couple of years before I had to move on.

My spiritual beliefs came about as you can tell, from birth to trying out and learning different things. They encompass things like, “Thoughts are things so think only positive thoughts.” “Life is a circle, what you wish on others will return to you 10 fold.” “Mother Earth regenerates our energy if we don’t block her.” “No matter where you are on your path, you are okay as you are where you are suppose to be at any given time.” I tend to follow the Native American Belief mostly although I have bits and pieces of other beliefs mixed in. There is no name for my belief as far as I know. I figure it is just me being me – always going the opposite direction from the flow.

So what makes me a pagan? I don’t believe as the Christians, I talk to the dead, and I don’t call my higher power God.

Well, this is the best I can put into words how I believe. I know there is much more to it, but the words won’t come. So I will leave you with well wishes.

Have a great day everyone!

Bo Perkins