Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A New Hope

This week, dear readers, we are going to give the atrocity that is my "other" novel a well deserved rest.

At the bottom of a well...In a welded steel box...Encased in concrete.


Instead, I want talk on a subject more appropriate to the season. I want to discuss Hope. You know, that perky emotion that keeps us all from going postal? Yes, that one.

Actually, what I want to discuss is the apparent lack of hope (or any redemptive emotions) in modern fiction.  Ok, so I am a middle aged white guy who is about to go on a rant about a thing that irritates me. Cranky old man disease. So in the interest of following my old advice, I will keep my chagrin to a minimum.

So, in conclusion, I do not like the dark and morbid tenor that most fiction seems to be embracing. Why, even the austere and reserved book reviewers on NPR were lauding the "jagged" nature of their latest picks the other night. Misery and pain and then let them die (and not usually well) seems to be the current theme.

Don't we have enough of that already? Isn't the world dark enough?

Thus, I sit here in the waning of the year with the Winter Solstice fast approaching watching the sun die a little bit earlier each day. I despair at the lack of light and warmth. I cringe inwardly at the sight of the skeletal trees. The snow has kept away, but that only leaves the browns and grays of fallow and dormant things.

And yet...

There are lights. Tiny points of starlight strung together across the deck, the peaks of the neighbors roof line, dangling in glittering racemes from the gutters of another, and strewn across the landscape as if following unseen aural lines.

And there is music, Soft and bright or loud and brass, there are songs of hope. People who do not normally sing, hum along to the familiar tunes. Songs that remind us of light.

And so, my friends, I have decided that I shall not follow the trend of darkness. I will write my novel with light at the end. True, there will be trial and struggle for our stubborn, but well meaning protagonist. But, he shall not die the tragic and hapless hero. The will be light at the end of the novel. There will be hope for what comes after.

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