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C is for Cards: Issues for a Blind Character

Is the book I choose for my blind character to read even available in Braille?

Is the book I choose for my blind character to read even available in Braille?

Check out other A to Z Blogs by searching your blog host or twitter for #AtoZBlogChallenge or visit here.

Can a 21-year-old blind girl play cards with her sighted friends?  One of the reasons I like writing fiction is because when I sit down to write I can jump straight in and get the story and characters down. Research, though, is a part of almost every kind of writing. Sometimes I skip over the part that needs to be researched and forge ahead. Sometimes the research stops me dead in my tracks for a while.

This happened not long after I got my ideas down for Desta Cartwright, the blind heroine in my second novel, Death Taint. The heroine from my first novel was moving in with a blind roomie. How would the cabinets be organized? The lay out of the furniture? There were roommate adjustments beyond the norm. Desta moved off to the small town to be independent for the first time in her life. How would she search the web? Play cards? What job would she have? And can she knit? Knitting played an important role in one of the pivotal scenes of the book. (Curious? Read this scene in the sample here.)

So I turned to research and writing lagged. Now I have an entire document called “Issues for the Blind” with all my notes about cooking, furniture arrangement, labeling items in home, relationships, technology available and its costs, etc. The section on using a cane vs. a guide dog is so interesting, but I needed to figure out why MY character uses only a cane. A dog just wouldn’t work since canines react badly to my vampires. The things I learned fascinated and inspired. Perhaps you have questions as well?

A big THANK YOU shout out to LivingBlind.com which is an excellent resource for information and accessibility.

Living Blind is an online community of blind and visually impaired people sharing ideas to create a friendly and informative site so that we can learn and grow together! We offer information and helpful how-to tips as well as a place to just relax, soak up some knowledge about Living Blind and gain some moral support and much encouragement.

Live and Learn!

Topics on LivingBlind.com

Topics on LivingBlind.com

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 

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Why Wednesday: Vampires, Zombies, and Me (Part III)

The Un-human Condition

What I think the monster stories get at that most other genres can’t quite capture is the spiritual death.  Because we were born into sin we are the walking dead (Ephesians 2:1).  We cannot truly live, have life, or understand what life is without a connection to Jesus Christ, the source of Life (John 14:6), for whom and through whom we were made (John 1:3-4).

Zombies are the walking dead horror show we fear the most.  We know we are dead.  We consume.  We have no purpose, no hope, so we feed and feed and feed  on whatever appears to have life in this world.  But it never satisfies and the hunger and the emptiness know no bounds (Ephesians 4:19).  In the Zombies we see the monsters that are given over to the desires of the flesh and it is all empty vanity (Ecclesiates 1 & 2).  They walk in darkness.

Even the hero and/or heroine who may ultimately escape the zombies are running barely clinging to life.  They only appreciate life as they know it because death treads on their heels at every moment.  Running from inevitable death is what they feed on in order to experience life.  The hero walks in the light. In Christianity, she knows the light and the Light is life (John 14:6).

It is the human condition.  We entered into death and became the walking dead.  Bodies moving, souls existing, but no longer alive because we were not connected to Life Himself anymore.  Indeed we cannot be connected to life without the perfect blood sacrifice.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me,” says Jesus.  The Light of the World. (John 14:6, John 1:1-13)

The Best of the Best

Vampire stories capture our plight the best.  Condemned from the moment of their vampire birth not only for what they will do wrong (i.e. their sins), but for what they are (i.e. sinners).

The better stories have two types of the fallen.  There are those who have lost all humanity; they are given over to the desires of the flesh as if it is all they are and all they ever will be.  They are the evil, “bad” vampires.

Then there are the vampires who are holding on to some semblance of their humanity in that they value human life, and cling to some form of human morality.  They fight the desires of their own flesh that war with in them against their spirit (Galatians 5, however it is the Holy Spirit in the believer who fights otherwise we are doomed to failure).

This second type of vampire often believe they have no soul, but the sympathetic reader (and one or two of the characters) knows they have a soul.  Otherwise they would not hold human life in such high regard.   These are the “good” vampires.

And at just this particular point, so many of my friends have a bad taste in their mouth.  “Good vampires?”  “Yeah, let’s take what is evil and make it ‘good.’”  There are some very valid points to be made on that count.  I’m not writing about those, but you are welcome to read plenty of critiques of works such as Harry Potter for more about that.

 But to return to my soapbox, see the good vampire sickened by the evil he’s wrought.  Hear his self condemnation, his disdain for what he’s become.  Watch as he hopes against hope for redemption.  From my view this character is often better off than many people I know.  He knows that he is a sinner.  Every moment of his existence is lived with the weight of how great his need for redemption truly is.  And like friends I have personally spoken with about this very topic, they, like this character, often believe they are beyond salvation.

Oh what a great sadness is mine to think of my friend from college who believed this of her own life.  Do you have such a friend?  Have you ever thought you could not be brought back to God or that he didn’t want you? Another fellow student I knew thought what they had done made them too bad to come into a church.  And if it was only the blood of a ram, a goat or some other animal or even of just a human being that was shed for them, they would be right.  It won’t cover it.

But my God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.  He sacrificed the blood of his son, let his son die the death we deserve so that we can be redeemed, brought back into relationship with him for eternity.  Why?  Because God is LOVE (1 John 4:8).

Enter, the Romance

If the vampires capture our fallen state better than any other monster, it is the vampire romance story which is then the best of the best.  Beauty steals the scene and the vampire’s heart.  He finds hope in love.

Love is the source of redemption.

Of course, the human love interest is portrayed not as the fallen creature they really are, but more as someone who by their willingness to love the condemned vampire redeems the fallen some how.  Here the story falls massively short as we are all actually the fallen (Romans 3:23).

I hope my musings here explain my views of the parallels between monster lit and the Greatest Story ever told so that at least a few of my questioning friends see how I connect the dots from follower-of- Christ to vampire-novelist.

I will leave my soapbox for now to do some research on the rate of body decay when the corpse is refrigerated. Researching a vampire romance is so much fun.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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Why Wednesday: Vampires, Zombie, and Me (Part II)

“For what it’s worth” 

The Greatest Story Ever Told is that of the God of the Universe who “so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) When I say story in that context I mean, quite literally, HIStory.

Then there are the stories we write not with our lives, because we are not in control of those, but with our  creativity and the “pen.”  There are those we return to again and again, and we do so (often unconsciously) because we are, in my opinion, drawn to the elements within them that parallel those of The Greatest.

Maybe I simply see more of those elements in monster stories than in the other fiction I tend to read.  I think that is why the vampires are my favorites.  (Kudos, however, to those who offered a blue pill to enter the rabbit hole of an entirely different genre with similar effect ala The Matrix NOT Alice in Wonderland).

Pause to consider monsters.  The best monsters are those who were once human; the zombies, vampires, werewolves, The Swamp Thing, and such.  We respond to them with fear, of course, and then revulsion and/or compassion.  And is it not so because somewhere inside we know that we are the monsters.

“We were meant to live for so much more, Have we lost ourselves? 

We were meant to live.” (Meant to Live by Switchfoot)

We were created “very good” (Genesis 1: 31) by Perfection to walk in the fullness of life with Love Himself beside us and to live forever  (Genesis 1&2). Death was not part of the plan in the Garden of Eden.  There was no death for man nor beast until we chose to sin. (Genesis 3) That was the fall.

And in our heart of hearts we know it.  Every man, woman and child who has experienced the loss of a loved one, whether that person was four, forty or four-score, we know that death is wrong.

It should not be.

We respond to it with righteous anger, denial, and heart-break, reflecting the very heart of God in whose image (Genesis 1:26) we were made.

I often hear someone say that an elderly person who has died “lived a good long life” and speak as if death is just natural.  But I tell you the death of the ninety-nine year old is as great a tragedy as the death of a child.

Haven’t you felt it?

The loss, the pain, the core of your being crying out that this thing, this death, is wrong.  We were made to live in relationship with God and each other forever, and our souls scream this truth at us every time a loved one is ripped away.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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Vampires, Zombies & Me (Preview)

Confession: I am a fan of the vampire genre be it written or filmed. Often, however, when I mention my interest among Christian friends, parents, pastors, I meet with surprised comments.  “Really?”  “Why?’  “How did that happen?”  I guess they don’t see their devout, Christian, homeschooling, PhD educated friend as the type.  Add to that the fact that I’m writing a vampire novel. . . well, it doesn’t always sit well.

So I thought I’d get on my soapbox and explain a bit.  My mind went off on a tangent with monster metaphors, so now I’m posting pieces from the original FB Note here for-the-record, so to speak.

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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