Haunted Computer Books
In many ways, I’ve felt my writing was a journey or search for answers.
If you look, you can find most of my flaws, both of the moral kind and the grammatical kind. I’ve always been the sort who claims them and owns them, though maybe I don’t always celebrate them. In both writing and my free-lance editing, I’ve uncovered major thematic issues that are affecting the writer, often without his or her knowledge.
Sometimes it’s rather disturbing, unless you accept that the act of writing is a path of understanding, communicating, and maybe healing. I’m not one of these writers who say “I only write for myself,” because ultimately that is a little vain. But, heck, you might need it for your mental health, because it requires both concentration and a tapping into your subconscious self..
One obvious literary search for me is spiritual exploration. I’m too unconventional to merely pick an ideology and stick with it. It’s my nature to question everything and easy acceptance of a belief system is not very challenging. In other words, if you told me everything I simply must believe, I’d be forced to find reasons to disbelieve all of it.
On the other hand, I believe in everything already.
I was raised Southern Baptist, for the most part, though we never troubled over denominations. We were never made to attend church regularly, and we moved a lot, so we’d sometimes just go to whichever church was closest. I know we went to Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian churches along the way. Then I hit my teens and started questioning the inherent contradictions of Christian faith, as evidenced in Ronnie day’s struggles in The Red Church. I just couldn’t square the image of the smiling, merciful Jesus with the bearded old codger who’d roast me in the pits of hell for eternity if I didn’t shape up.
One reviewer of The Red Church basically claimed that Baptists weren’t allowed to be in horror novels, that only Catholics could do horror right. Well, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby are decent testaments to that theory, but I think such a position is small-minded.
In my later teens, I was more in “free range” mode, thinking that spirituality meant taking drugs and reading hippie books about space cadets taking drugs and having spiritual experiences. As you can imagine, such a road led to the conclusion that once you’ve taken all the drugs, what else is left? However, I did get my first exposure to Taoism during that period, reading Lao Tzu’s Tao-te-King.
My first wife was a Catholic and my children were christened in the faith. I attended services irregularly and waffled between being annoyed by the Catholic Church’s opulence and accepting whatever peace and grace it offered. But the pervert priests and the lies and the political cover-ups killed whatever fondness I had developed, and my then-wife later left the church for the same reasons.
As a seeker, I have rubbed elbows with many different types of believers. I’ve hung out with Scientologists and Hindus and Buddhists, participated in Wiccan and pagan solstice ceremonies, and researched Satanism for my novel The Skull Ring, though I’ve only met a couple of professed Satanists. I developed a workable relationship with a higher power nearly five years ago while emerging from a personal Dark Ages. I don’t claim membership in any particular church, though in the last few years I’ve been to Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Church of Christ, and Catholic services.
My current and final wife claims to be a Catholic, though she was kicked out of Catholic school in the seventh grade and has dragged me to most of those above services. She understands the deep hooks that the Catholic church manages to get into people, especially those indoctrinated at an early age. But we also talk a lot of about spiritual matters and have a shared set of basic morals and principals.
On our first date, she gave me a book called “365 Tao,” a book of daily readings of Tao philosophy. “I just knew,” she said. We read entries from that book back and forth over the next year, and still hit it once in a while, because though the words stay the same, we change, and the tao changes, even as the tao stays the same.
Taoism is more properly a philosophy than a religion, which is fine with me because it allows me to indulge in any religion I want. It’s more of a path of balance, a middle way, accepting yet also acting. It’s the path of a warrior who hopes to avoid conflict. It’s a path of embracing the death in the beauty of life, the eternal stream and circle of things. It even works on a scientific level, since matter can neither be created nor destroyed.
Tao can’t even exist in its true form, and it can’t even be properly named. Can you see why it works for me? It’s a self-contained perfect contradiction.
We each have our own personal journeys and our own personal relationships with the gods or makers or sets of empirical evidence of our choice. I’ve come to a point where I don’t need to worry about yours or mine. I think I’m okay. I believe you are, too.
For every book of mine that hits the Top 100 during the tour, I will throw in an extra Kindle 3 giveaway. Tell your friends. Amaze your neighbors. Shock your therapist.
Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories.
To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm
Comments closed … Thanks Scott and everyone who took the time to enter ! Best of luck in the drawing !