A Digression

Today is a new day.

I find it interesting how I have, up until this point, more or less divorced my professional writing from my faith. (for those who are touchy about this, don't worry, I'm not going to go nuts and preach... that's for Sunday... lol...) I actually do this on purpose. Religious people will say it's because I'm ashamed or some such nonsense... but that's simply not the case.

A whirlwind summary of me up until now: I am a childhood cancer survivor. I have died several times. I've met God (and yeah, he's totally a cool guy!) I "grew up in the church", but it took until around college time that something happened. (actually, now looking back, these events coincide with first beginning to write Rienspel - so hey, full circle!) There came a moment when I began realizing my flavor of Christianity had all these great answers to none of the questions I was (and still am) asking.

Despite even now being a pastor (oh yeah... did you know that about me?), I'm not a Team Church kinda guy. I'm just not. I could go waaaay more into detail on all of this faith stuff, but suffice it to say now I try not to sugar coat stuff. I've seen people and I've seen God. I've seen some of the failings and triumphs of the church at large in America today, and all of it has swirled around to help influence who I am today.

Back to the writing and religion...

I don't like saying I'm a pastor. People start to treat me differently. Non-religious folks usually put up this shield. I can feel it turn on around them like ship shields out of Star Trek. Then they start acting all funny... and it's like, dude, it's still me. Hello? I'm still standing here, right in front of you - the very same person that was here before you knew... (sometimes I wonder if this is what 'coming out' is like, to a lesser extent, for LGBTQ folks). On the other hand, if it's a religious person, more often than not, they'll start acting like we're in on some secret society, and start using funny lingo. This typically means we both have to act like gays are bad, liberals are bad, the Bible is good, and church is always awesome - oh, and evolution and Science are always wrong, stuff-your-fingers-in-your-ears-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you... you get the idea.

I'm a marketer, too. I know, I know, yes - my posting online can be obnoxious at times. I'm sorry, ok? It's hard to "Be One Person". Especially when one side wants to sabotage itself culturally, while the other still feels to me like it has an all-things-religious taboo going on. It's like either you have to act like Kenneth the Page or BE Kenneth the Page... I don't like it either way you're swinging.

I feel like, as a fantasy writer and author, I have to either have super-cheesy resurrection/Jesus references plastered all over my stories - or be this hard-core magic maverick writer. And then, if I ever want, I have to pick a side and then stick to it when it comes to pitching to agents and publishers. It's like, dude, come on! I can't win. And the dividing lines between Religion and Culture continue forming a gulf so wide it touches everything.

I'm not here to complain. Honest. But what I am saying is a good story ought to be enough. Forget branding and target audiences. Forget taboos and party-lines... Did the tale you're reading move you? Did it make you think? Because if it's just merely making you nod your head, because you're hearing more of what you like or are encouraged to believe and identify with - whether that's Bill Nye on NetFlix or your pastor on Sunday, what does that really say about you?

But I digress.

So, in case this all came straight out of left field for you, yeah, I try to follow Jesus as best I can. Yeah, I drink. And yes, I do wear kilts. I also write. So sue me.

And if this is TooEdgy4Me, I guess I'm sorry about that too? - IDK, go read some other writer's blog, then.

- Ryan

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