Writing my first short story has been, in a word, transformative. As I explained in a previous post, writing made me think about belief and divinity in a completely different way than I had been. One of the most interesting parts was writing the ending. It went through several different stages, the first being a very awkward bit involving a lot of birds and some yelling (trust me, it didn’t work).
After that, I made the story a bit more practical. I realized that, unbeknownst to me, it had been building up towards a climactic confrontation between Arash and John. John treats Arash like a pack mule for the duration of the story, while Arash consistent pushes John’s buttons concerning his beliefs and family. Both of them are made out to be very different characters at the beginning of the story, and it is only through a final confrontation concerning their differences that they learn that their backgrounds aren’t so different after all. Both of them were in some way rejected by their families because they turned their back on religion. Not to mention their higher education and passion for medicine.
I struggled to find to find words powerful enough to capture the depth of their arguments and growth throughout the story, so I simply made it a physical fight. This turned out to be a great decision because a physical confrontation is tangible; it feels as though there a release of tension between them that brings everything to light. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that it accurately illustrates the depth of intricate relationship that has existed between them for the duration of the story.
It is with great pleasure that I finally present the finished story.
As for my next story, I have some very interesting ideas in the works. This one is definitely going to be more humurous, while still concerning some fundamental questions about divinity. The story will take place at an enormous world religions fair in the middle of the Mojave desert. The fair is divided roughly into three sections, shown below:
Abraham’s Yard is home to the Abrahamic religions, (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). Since they are the most populous religions, they take the most territory. Continental Territory is devoted to any well-practiced religion that is not Abrahamic (Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, etc.). Finally, Dead Square is devoted to the celebration any study of dead religions, and therefor given the smallest section.
Unbeknownst to the mortals that live there, Gods and Godesses from many religions take a day off each year to visit this fair, particularly the dead Gods who have plenty of time on their hands. They catch up with old friends, drink a beer, and maybe buy some joints off of the mortals who smuggle them into the fairgrounds. I love this setting because with a meeting of Gods comes some interesting rules. Of course, there couldn’t be a meeting of such characters without a peace treaty. In fact, within the fairgrounds, there is total peace. Osiris and Set walk around like old friends, Cronus catches up with his children, and Odin plays cards with the Serpent.
This brings up some very fundamental question about interreligious relationships. Why is there war between religious groups? What prevents them from getting along? Do their conflicts matter in the long run? Read my following blog posts as I ponder these questions myself.