Race and Writing

OK folks, I do try staying out of politics, especially on social media. However, time and time again, the issue of race keeps popping up. Racist comments, whether intended or “jokingly”, have been stated from the president to prominent figures to everyday people.

As mentioned before, my grandma’s grandma (Sue) was full blooded Native American – Cherokee. Sue’s husband was also Native American, but we don’t know his percentage or of which tribe (most likely Cherokee, but we’re unsure). Sue’s parents walked in the Trail of Tears, but managed to escape it and settled in central Tennessee. There, Sue married her husband and had (I think) nine children. Just before the 1900’s began, Sue’s husband (census records call him W.H., but his gravestone had something else on it that I can’t remember right now) was accused of stealing a pig. Sue said there was no pig on the farm, nor was there any meat – they were too poor to afford meat. The husband was shot with out a trial or proof. My grandma asked Sue as to why she never called the police. (Number one, this was a different era, so no police.) But Sue responded, “We’re Indian. No one cared.” Sue raised my grandma and told her all throughout her youth, not to tell anyone she was Indian and would refuse to tell my grandma Sue’s family history for fear of being found out. This was in the 1930s and 1940s. At one point, Sue was offered property on the North Carolina Qualla Boundary, but she believed it was a trick of the government and ripped up the forms. My grandma can still buy property on Qualla Boundary, but refuses to because she believes it a betrayal of what her family was put through. My grandma seriously did not know who her great grandparents were until I did genealogy research a few years ago.

I write this to show/tell you what racism does to people, especially to my great, great grandma. Yes, this was a different time. Yes, this did not happen to me. But why is this still an ongoing issue today?

The truth is, I don’t know. At times I wonder if it comes down to the child is the product of how they were raised or a bad situation resulted in negative reasoning. But I don’t think that is the majority of cases. Part of it is down to the individual and how they perceive the world around them.

I’m from a predominantly white community in rural Indiana and was in for a “culture shock” when I went to college in Kentucky. However, I met some of the best people there and a black lady was so loved by our classmates that she was referred as “Mama” for the duration of the program. I’ve graduated several years ago, but still chat and meet with Mama regularly. I adore her. In comparison, I’ve got a white individual who lives near me who has had multiple run ins with the neighbors and the law. My point is, that it doesn’t matter the skin color or culture, there are good and bad people of every walk of life. We should not judge someone by their skin color, blood status, or culture.

A few examples of this are in writing:

  • Harry Potter series doesn’t so much focus on race exactly but does with the magical blood status. They are all magical, but there is the pure blood vs half blood vs muggle born.
  • In the Twilight Saga, I like how she did highlight the Quileutes Tribe.
  • Other examples are in Non-Traditional Characters

So to you writers: give your story depth. Add characters of different backgrounds and explore those backgrounds. You may be able to relate to a much wider audience and find additional plot twists to use. But don’t rule people out just because of something as minor as skin color.

I leave you with an explanation of three characters from Boy Meets World sitcom:

“All of us are from different backgrounds, like cards in deck.”

“Some cards are red, some cards are black. Some are kings and queens and some are sixes and sevens.”

“But without even one of them, the deck of cards doesn’t work. And that is what Mr. Matthews says is America.”

Watch it here.

L. R. Mauck

P.S. This is not written to create a discussion or a political piece. I only ask for people to open your minds and hearts.

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100th Blog Post

I want to do something a bit different with this particular post. I want to address you on a personal level.

We all have very busy lives where we are pulled in several different directions. Sometimes in the madness, we lose ourselves in who we are and our own valued worth. Whether you are a husband, wife, father, mother, sister, brother, pet owner, or have bonds or interactions with those outside your family, you matter to someone. Take that thought and expand on it. You not only matter to someone, but you have personally influenced everyone you come in contact with. Without you, someone’s life would be very different. You are important and loved.

Everyone has low points in their lives that drag them down mentally and/or physically. Sometimes it can be the situations around us or it can be a personal battle. You are worth it, so keep pushing forward.

If you have made a New Year’s resolution this year – great for you. I wish you all the best. For every day or hurdle you pass is another one to show just how strong you are. For you are strong. Believe in yourself that you can do it and you will succeed.

Most of you who follow this blog are fellow authors. Your writing is your craft. Your very first draft of your story is not going to be perfect. Practice makes perfect or, better phrased, revisions make perfect. You will get rejections if you seek out publications, but it is not the end of the world. It does not mean that your writing is horrible or that no one will like all your hard work. It just means that either you haven’t found the right fit yet or its’ not that books time. Keep pushing. All artist struggle at first, but if you want it, you will get it.

Remember that you are loved, worth it, and strong.  I wish you all the best in all you do.

Keep writing and keep learning.

L.R. Mauck

Small Personal Update

Hello,

Thank you to all the followers and viewers. I was blown away when this fourth month old blog went over 100 visitors last month and I can’t thank you enough.

I must apologize for posting sparingly for last week, this week and probably weeks to come. My schedule has become increasingly busy and I’ve taken on a 3rd (part time) job as a chef at a candy shop (so excited that I get paid to play). My writing is suffering as well. I did put in a few hours last night editing, but no new writing for a while now. I hope that once my schedule gets a little bit more routine that I can get back to my stories. They keep playing out in my head, so I really wish to have them on paper soon.

I wish you all well with your writing and to keep with my motto: Keep learning, keep writing.

L. R. Mauck

My Ramblings

Update on my novel – I have a few queries  send out currently. I need to submit more and will try to this week. However, I’m still editing while going through the book again. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to declare it prefect, but that’s just me. I always find flaws in my work regardless of it being a craft, painting, or my writing.

On a positive note: a 13 year old girl I know, told me she loved the book so far. She started reading it back in December when she was 12 and loved it then, but her family moved and she lost the file. She asked for a new copy. I waited until I finished another revision on it before emailing it to her a week and a half ago. She told me twice since then that she really loves it and as of yesterday, she’s nearly finished already. She is the youngest of the five people who have read it and liked it. That’s a nice confidence boost.

The story idea I wrote about on Wednesday last week, I’m still piecing that together. I have the character’s name, some background information, plot idea and two big twists to the story thought out, but for some reason a lovely writers block has formed preventing me from actually starting the book. I’ll get there. Just like with any of my writer blocks, I’ve got to think it through more and force myself to write through it. I know that once I get started officially (rather than just jotting down notes), it’ll go smoothly.

I hope everyone else has made progress on your writings this past weekend. Remember to keep writing. That is the only way you will better your craft and explore and push your boundaries.

L. R. Mauck

Write Outside Your Comfort Zone

writeI’m a big believer in writing stories or ideas outside of my own comfort zone. I’ve tried different genres over the years from fantasy to romance to middle school aged mystery book to Native American historical fiction. I’ve even toyed on writing a suspense thriller story, but it’s too close to home for me at the moment and I don’t want to jeopardize any legal issues that might occur in the future.

A new story idea came to me last week. The more I thought about it the more I want to expand my writing. I’ve written fantasy that borders on realism in the past. I’ve not really ever done high fantasy before. I typically shy away from high fantasy, believing that dragons, wizards, and the good vs evil plot has been done too many times before. So, I’m considering to tactical the high fantasy element but go with a twist. Instead of writing from the good guys perspective, I’m thinking of writing a dark high fantasy. I’m still in the thinking phase. My main character is there and named, but I don’t have the rest figured out yet. I’ll post updates on it if I start writing it.

My suggestion to you is to get out of your comfort zone. Write something that you have never tried before. And when you start writing, think of a different angle, one that may seem daunting to you. I like challenges because they can test your thinking abilities and your creativity. If whatever you’re working on doesn’t pan out, that’s okay. It may inspire other ideas or at least it will give you a new level of knowledge for you skills. Always keep writing. Never stop learning.

L. R. Mauck

If I’m Being Honest…

This is my acceptance of my weekend challenge. I’m not really satisfied with it, but I wrote it after hearing about an online bullying incident of a friend. By my own personal rule, I stay out of hot topics online.

 

If I’m being honest…

 

If I’m being honest…

I’d say I’m trapped in a parade.

Always presenting an outside life.

Walking an endless charade,

Along the edge of the world’s strife.

 

If I’m being honest…

I hold back what I yearn to say.

I wish to take up my sword

And run into the fray.

Never to turn back, but always towards.

 

If I’m being honest…

I’d admit I’m scared,

And I’ll bite my lip.

Instead of facing the feared

I’ll give them the slip.

 

If I’m being honest…

I’d tell them they’re the cowards

For hiding behind computer screens

And using anonymity’s rewards

To say things cruel and mean.

 

If I’m being honest…

One voice shares an opinion

Only to be torn down

By family, friends, or Satan’s minion

Who laugh as the innocent frown.

 

If I’m being honest…

I’d say I’m tired of the fighting.

We’re all humans, living together,

Why are we still bickering?

There’s more important things to weather.

 

If I’m being honest…

We should use this passion

For things that really matter

Like against slavery, hunger, destruction

Abuse, hate, and murder.

 

If I’m being honest…

I’d shout to the world

That we need to be in alignment.

But because of the harsh online world

My message will remain silent.

 

L. R. Mauck