Pronunciation Guide

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Writing Meme Thingy!!

I was tagged in this Writing Meme by Rachel, so I shall answer these questions (I love answering questions!!), and tag some fellow writers!

1) What is the title of your next book/work?
My current story will be seven books, and I’m kind of working on several at once. (Some of the timelines overlap a bit.) The series itself is currently called “The Purification Era,” which is what they in my story-world call their current era. I’m not sure if that will change or not, though I like it a lot and it fits, so… I’m currently writing (er, should be writing…) book one, which is “Emerging of Emerald.” I’m also revising book two, “Searching for Silver.”

(S for S was originally book one, and I revealed what happened before it started via flashbacks. As a friend edited it, she said she felt like I was trying to tell two stories at once and should separate them. That confirmed something I’d been wrestling with for a while, so I decided to do it. As I started writing new book one, the storyline changed drastically, which means that a massive revision is needed for book two. It may not sound fun, but I love it!)

2) Where did the idea come from for the book/work?
WELL. That’s a fun question. I don’t know where the original idea came from because I don’t remember it. I started this story in 2003, lost it for about five years, and re-found it late one night. The basic idea was about a girl who is somehow different and who somehow finds people like her. It had something to do with their eyes. The big thing that spurred it on was the song “Under a Killing Moon” by Thrice. Here are the lyrics…

The air my lungs first loved carves craters from my eyes.
They said, “Breathe deeply son, or be the next to die.”
Beneath the falling night and heaven’s shutting gate,
pray keep your tongue held tight, or suffer the same fate.

“The blood on our black gloves, it is none of your concern.
If you want to call our bluff, get in line and wait your turn.
And watch the witches burn.”

Don’t flinch when innocents are dancing with the flames;
if they wanted to live, they’d learn to play the game.
You can still walk away if you just hold your tongue;
if you’d just walk away, you’d live to see the sun, but…
Under this killing moon, under this burning sky, the fire’s shining groom,
I hold my breath and close my eyes.

Listening to that, I got the image of people in black burning people that they deemed bad, dangerous, the enemy. And I saw someone else standing off to the side, watching the killing and believing it to be wrong – and knowing that if they spoke up against the killers, they’d die too.

From that, the story was birthed. It has changed a lot, but that is still the foundation. Especially of a certain character’s (Rab) moral dilemma early on. =)

3) What genre does your book/work fall under?
Fantasy for the most part, with elements of dystopian too. I’m not sure whether it would fall under high fantasy or low fantasy… I don’t fully grasp the differences between the two, but from what I’ve read, mine sort of straddles the line.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven’t the slightest idea. Seriously. Never thought about it at all.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Oh gosh. Just one sentence? Um…

In a war-torn world, two sisters must forge a path through the darkness and find their purposes.

…Sure. We’ll go with that.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am going to self-publish. =)

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I edit/revise a lot as I write, and I write in pieces, so it’s really hard to say. But it probably took about two and a half years? Something like that.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Uh…not a clue. Haha!

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Ultimately God. So many things have inspired me though – song lyrics, news stories, sermons, books I’ve read, movies, my own life experiences, a video about human trafficking…

Basically, the story is about redemption. Redemption has been the cry of my heart for as long as I can remember. Redemption not only for those who have endured horrible things, but for those who have done horrible things. In thousands of tiny ways, I am inspired all the time.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I don’t know how much it will pique people’s interest, but the way I am writing it should prove interesting (especially should I pull it off the way I want to). It will be told from alternating perspectives of my two sisters, Ari and Rab. And while what is going on in the world is the backdrop of the story, this story is not a sweeping, epic fantasy. I’m showing war, but instead of focusing on massive battles on a huge scope, it is more intimate. Ultimately, it is about two girls who change – not about war or those girls changing the world. Yes, the world will change, but only when people change. It is about relationships, brokenness, healing, and forgiveness. It’s about how individuals are affected, and how they affect other people.

I don’t know how different that is, but I’m hoping it’s at least intriguing. =)

Thanks for reading! I shall tag some people!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

“N” is for nachos. …No, not really.

It is for nature vs. nurture.

I haven’t done extensive research, but I know the basics. One side says that genetics determine who you are; the other side says it’s how you are raised/what you experience.

Most of my character creation comes down to life experiences and environment. Some things are “inherited” – prejudices, tempers, weaknesses, bitterness, fears, brokenness, etc. – but even in that, I don’t believe it is genetic so much as experiential. Where did those “genetic” personality traits begin? Even if it is a genetic thing, what made that trait take precedence over other traits so that it, above other options, ended up being passed on? Would it have been passed on if it hadn’t been acted upon? A certain character may have “inherited” a quick temper from his father – but where did the father get it? From his parent? And even if he did, where did that parent get it? Is the quick temper truly a genetic thing – or is it a learned behavioral pattern established through years of being around someone with a quick temper? Or does it stem from a wound – unhealed hurts, unanswered questions?

It kind of gets crazy.

Children learn what they live. Or do they?

It believe it all comes into play – inherited personality traits and genetics, as well as experiences, desires, needs, fears, wounds. And, honestly, probably more so the emotional-type things. A personality begins to take form at a young age – but is it truly us? Or something imposed upon us?

My main girls – Rab and Ari – are half-sisters; they have the same mother but different fathers (though they don’t know this until way later). They grow up in the same home, with the same mother, but they do not grow up with the same personalities. Why? There is something to be said for each girl’s inherent personality. But it is largely because of their experiences in that home and with their mother. (As well as other people in their lives.)

Where naturally sweet-natured Ari is the target of their mother’s abuse, naturally feisty Rab is the one who stands between to protect her sister. Ari learns that those in authority must be obeyed or there will be suffering; Rab learns that those in authority can be wrong and should be opposed. Ari’s natural desire to keep the peace drives her; Rab’s natural aversion to injustice intensifies each time their mother lashes out. Ari learns to be quiet and keep her eyes down; Rab learns to look confrontation in the eye and speak out. While this doesn’t work well for either of them, it is how life is. It is all they know.

Then things change.

Ari is thrust into a world where she will either adapt or die. Rab is ripped from everything she loves and must forge a new identity for herself. The naturally strong one must learn to find true strength in herself apart from what made her strong before. The naturally timid one must learn she has strength – more than she’s ever known. Some things about them will remain the same. But other things will change, and change drastically.

Ultimately, I believe it comes down to this: free will. The gift of choice, the ability to change. We are who we choose to be. Yes, sometimes the “nurture” one receives must be overcome – but it can be overcome. Certain genetic things cannot be changed, but you can change how you view them, and you can change how you live in response to them.

I believe people were created good. I believe everyone was created with a purpose specific to them. Then darkness crept in – a darkness that corrupts, poisons, and ultimately destroys. But the original design is still there. That original design is intrinsic, goes far deeper than any personality trait your family has had for generations. Maybe it’s buried under years of horror, pain, and anger – but it is there.

And it can burst free.

Friday, June 27, 2014

“M” is for mother

She left her hometown and got married on her sixteenth birthday to a man she barely knew. He was nice enough, but his status intimidated her, and she struggled to believe he could actually care about her too. He did care, but she confused him and he didn’t know what he was doing wrong. About a year and a half later, she gave birth to a daughter. Their feelings of inadequacy multiplied, exacerbated by the strain of caring for a newborn. His duties called him away from home more often than not, and when he was home, she was busy with the baby or exhausted. Feelings of neglect grew in silence, spread roots of bitterness and frustration through both.

Unable to understand his wife’s distance and feeling alone and unwanted, he sought solace in another. His guilt intensified their distance, but though she felt it, she didn’t understand. Then circumstances transpired and the truth revealed itself. Reeling, she ran. Ran from the town, from the scene they didn’t know she’d witnessed. Ran toward the forest, where she finally collapsed in sobs.

Darkness fell and the guards closed the gate. With her outside.

The enemy found her, but he did not harm her. Instead, he spoke kindly, promised protection. Not believing it, she fled to the wall and waited until dawn. She kept quiet about what she’d seen regarding her husband, what had happened. But his betrayal ate away at her, and in desperation, she returned to the forest, seeking the kind enemy man. Ostracized from his home, he too was alone, hurting. Desperate for companionship. Eventually, in her pain and rage, she repeated her husband’s offense.

And she became pregnant.

Thinking they’d run away together, she told the enemy man. But instead of going along with her plan, he ordered her to carry out a new one – to go home to her husband and do everything she could to make him believe the child was his.

Then the enemy man left.

She went home. Did her best to obey, to reconcile her shattered heart with her husband’s shattered heart. The child was born, another girl. Not quite two years later, a nearby town was attacked, and her husband charged to their aid. He did not return.

At barely twenty years old, the young mother was all but alone in the world. She clung to the hope that her second child’s father would return and save her, take her and her children away with him. He didn’t. Her hope turned to disillusionment, disillusionment to aching resentment, and the resentment to seething rage.

She moved back to her hometown, hoping to forget it all, hoping for some sense of healing. But the child’s existence reminded her. Constantly mocked her, hurled her pain back in her face, ripped open the wounds. Anger she couldn’t unleash upon the men fell upon the little girl – the result of their abandonment, their selfishness. The source of her pain.

The second daughter grew up knowing only hatred from their mother.

The first daughter grew up doing everything in her power to protect her little sister.

How deep those wounds go, I have yet to discover. But I have seven books within which to do it, so… =)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

“L” is for loss and lawlessness

I was stuck the other day, unsure what to write for “L,” so I posted a status asking for ideas. I got some great responses, but two stood out the most – loss and lawlessness. I’m going to try to write briefly about both, because they kind of weave in and out of each other.

The world is not free, and has not been for a long time. The people in charge – H-guys – think they are protecting people, creating a safe world…but they aren’t. They “protect” at the cost of freedom, and they rule by oppression and fear-mongering. Though life is preserved, the people live in fear of the enemy, and in fear of going against the H-guys.

For Ari in particular, the loss cuts deeply. She loses her innocence; it is ripped from her in the form of men. She loses her sister, spends most of the story believing she is dead. She loses her friends, her home, and she can never go back. She loses the man she thought cared about her. She loses her identity, finds out that she is something other than what she always thought she was. She loses her freedom – first in the brothel, then as a labor slave. She loses hope over and over again. She loses pieces of her mind, slips closer and closer toward insanity. She loses her child. She loses other friends. She loses her courage, her peace, her personality. She becomes hard, angry, bitter. Driven by distrust and woundedness, she struggles to simply survive.

Rab’s story is similar, though she reacts differently. She has already lost her innocence by the time the story starts; her eyes have already opened to the cruelty around her. She loses her freedom, which, for her, has always been the beat of her heart. She loses her home, but she was never that attached to it. Her biggest loss is Ari. Her entire life has been built around protecting her little sister, and when that is gone, she has no idea who she is or what her purpose is. She has no identity apart from her sister’s protector. She loses her friends, all of them gone in an instant. She loses her hope. She is lost amid a darkening world that is spiraling out of control, her strength ripped from her as her deepest fears take hold. The unbreakable girl is broken, the feisty warrior is leveled under a wave of despair and guilt.

And that is only those two. Many, many others have lost their innocence, have been brutalized by the world and its people/system. Most have lost family members in horrific ways; many have been abandoned by those who should have loved them. Many have lost children they never wanted, but loved all the same. Thousands have lost their homes, have been uprooted from all they’ve ever known. Loss pervades every corner of the world; no one – not even the worst offender – is exempt.

My original ending was that the H-guys would be defeated and peace would come to the land. But the more I dig into this world, the more I see that when the H-guys are out of the way, then tons of people will be vying for control. Peace wouldn’t descend gently upon their defeat; the world would implode even more. It would be chaos. Lawlessness. The H-guys are sort of the police of the world; with them out of the way, yes there is suddenly freedom – but with that freedom comes the abuse of it.  

The world will descend not into peace, but anarchy.

Not sure where all of this is going yet.
But it is going to be fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

“K” is for…

“K” is for…klhn (klen; like “clan” but with an “eh” sound). My k-guys. My other creature race. =)

I am going to try to give some backstory. Because backstories are fun. Hopefully this one is not lame.

The story my humans present as truth:

            Many ages ago, when the world was still new, there was just darkness and water. Then there came a light. A flash of lightning, splitting across the skies. Splitting the water apart, and causing dry land to rise out. A thousand years passed – then the lightning split the skies again. This time, it struck the land and sparked a fire. From that fire rose a people – the ka’lin (kah-LIN). Pale as lightning, with eyes of fire. And like the fire that had birthed them, they too possessed fire in themselves. They set fire to the dirt, and from the smoke, they formed the diikhiin (DIE-ik-hine). An echo of themselves, a shadow. From the dirt itself, they formed humans. It was a power that they used to create – and then subdue – both races.
            But the ka’lin were cruel taskmasters, forcing the humans to serve both them and the diikhiin. At last, the humans rebelled – and by their might, they drove the ka’lin into hiding. They then turned to the diikhiin, the echoes of their wicked creators. And they’ve been at war against them ever since.

How it really went down:

1. Humans saw the land of the klhn and wanted it.

2. Three of the five lands joined together to take it.

3. The klhn rose to defend themselves/their land.

4. In so doing, they discovered that they possessed the power to both create and manipulate fire. Without meaning or trying to, they slaughtered over half of the attacking humans within seconds.

5. Horrified, they surrendered their land to avoid further destruction. They grew angry toward the diikhiin (the other creature race and their allies, so they thought) for not coming to their aid; the diikhiin felt they didn’t deserve help since they surrendered.

6. The three nations settled into their new home.

7. The other two human nations got together and started talking about the diikhiin – a race more numerous than the klhn, and certainly just as dangerous.

8. The two human nations went to war against the diikhiin.

9. The diikhiin fought back – without fire powers, but with determination.

10. The two human nations went to the klhn to ask for help and persuaded them that fighting the diikhiin would restore their honor. They also said they’d give them their original land back.

11. The klhn, who had grown extremely bitter toward the diikhiin and felt betrayed by them, agreed to fight alongside the humans.

12. They killed thousands of diikhiin, realized what they’d done, and were convinced they were monsters. In their shame, they exiled themselves into the mountains and haven’t been heard from or seen since.

13. Peace eventually won out.

14. The H-guys popped up, brought back the fear and hatred of the past.

15. The humans and diikhiin have basically been at war ever since.

SO. Some things about the klhn.

~They have fire powers. Or had. They may or may not have any powers left. Muhaha. ;) ;)

~They can live to be 2,000, but most don’t get anywhere near that anymore. Their exile has taken a toll on them, and they are rapidly dying off.

~They believe themselves to be monsters, capable of creating only destruction.

~There are only a few left. Less than a hundred. I’m thinking maybe around seventy.

~The klhn, the diikhiin, and the humans are all indeed related, though not as the legends state.

~Their skin is pale white, and their hair is white. Like lightning. They are all but blind, and their eyes look like a cat’s eye when it hits just a bit of light and turns an iridescent orange color. Their eyes look like this all the time.

~Unlike the diikhiin, they have no markings at all on their bodies.

~They have no vowels in their language, apart from “y.” Their words are said breathily.

~For a while, they followed the happenings of the world. With each conflict they didn’t involve themselves in, they condemned themselves more.

~On the whole, they are cowardly and bitter; they cling to the past and refuse to let it go.

~The Prince of the klhn comes into the story at one point, seeking redemption and hope for his people.

Aaand…that is all. =)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

“J” is for Jehur!!!

“J” is for Jehur, hands down.

Jehur (JEH-hur) was another thing (er, person?) that wasn’t intended.

My story was putzing along with a nice (if somewhat cliché) plot, filled with true love and purpose and all of that, when BAM! – I had another innocent thought.

…Sigh. I should stop having those. (Not really; I like them.)

What if, at some point, she sees one of the inn-guys again?

Aaand…cue a complete change in direction.

So, some stuff about him…

~He is newly 31 when he enters the story. His birthday is April 5th, he has a medium shade of brown hair, and light gray eyes. Ari calls his eyes “silvery.”

~I am basing some aspects of his life on the Apostle Paul, with some Manasseh inspiration thrown in as well.

~He is a very high-ranking H-guy. He is the third-most powerful man in his nation, and about the fifth-most powerful in the entire world.

~He has a younger brother and two younger sisters. He has an older cousin (Jek), who lived/grew up with him and his family, and with whom he has a long-standing rivalry.  

~He comes from a typical H-guy family and had a relatively uneventful childhood. His father was strict, but never abusive (say, like Azcmavel’s father). I wanted him to be “normal” – making it all the more chilling that he becomes what he becomes.

~With him, I desire to show how small wounds and fears, left unchecked and unhealed, can spiral into horrific behaviors. Hurt people hurt people…

~His uncle (father’s brother) decided against becoming an H-guy himself and was eventually disowned by his father (Jehur’s grandfather) for it. Jehur’s father started off puzzled by the decision but supportive of his brother, but slowly grew just as disdainful toward him as their own father. Jehur witnessed all of this at a young age, and as such…

~He is driven by a desire for power, stemming largely from desperation to please his hard-to-please father and a fear that he, like his uncle, will be disowned and scorned by those he most admires. He vows at a young age to become the best H-guy ever, and he tries his hardest. His deepest fear is that he will be found out to be not enough. This is a leading factor in why he goes to the inn in the first place – because in front of everyone, his fear comes true…

~Other reasons include: a need for control, a deep desire for someone who won’t/can’t reject him (guess what Ari does in his mind?), a desire for pleasure/relaxation (he never feels he can let his guard down), a search for something to “fix” him. (Even though he doesn’t consciously acknowledge that he needs fixed.) The inn not only doesn’t fix anything, but it makes him angrier and he doesn’t know why.

~He does not feel shame or guilt for the inn stuff (until later, at least), but deep down, he knows it’s wrong and he can’t shake that feeling. He eventually goes home, hoping that being around his siblings will help soothe the boiling inside. It doesn’t, just makes it worse.

~He is kind of a mess.

~Personality-wise, he starts off prideful, intensely prejudiced (both against d-guys and anyone who doesn’t agree with him), ruthless, and calculating. He is serious and has trained himself to be controlled and hard to read.

~I’m not sure what his eventual personality will be yet, but I know he is somewhat suicidal for a while and lives under great shame. Though he longs to fix the damage he has inflicted on the world, the task feels insurmountable. But during his attempts to change and fix things, his manner toward people softens. Especially toward those he once viewed as sub-human and disposable.

~It was his idea (at age 18) to use a half-breed child as the initiation into the H-guys. (From this post.)

~He has a dream-like vision that awakens him to who he has become and what he has done. His ultimate desire is to be good, perfect; within the H-guys, he believes he is that, and is on the path that will continue to lead him there. When he realizes otherwise, sees himself through someone else’s eyes, he is horrified.

~His transformation is a huge part of the story, as are the relationships cultivated as he tries to change. Not only with Ari, but with the people he has essentially persecuted, murdered, etc. He becomes a leader of those he once terrorized. =) Also in this vein, because of what happens with Ari, he makes it his goal to rescue people from slavery and throws all of his passion into that.

~For part of the story, Ari views him as the antagonist. He brings back everything she is trying to forget. Funny thing, he views her the same way. She reminds him of the horrible person he’s been; her presence whispers that he can’t really change, will never be able to be anything other than evil and twisted.

~He is the key to Ari’s true freedom and healing. She is the key to his.

~I completely love him.

~He looks something like this in my mind, just with shorter hair. And different clothes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“I” is for…uh…uh…

Wow. Eight days later. I am lame.

“I” is for…uh…uh…
Well, how about inn/innkeeper?
Sounds good; let’s go with it.

Oh, the inn.

I have no idea what my original story was. I know I had something planned, but it is gone from my mind. Because soon after I re-found this story, God derailed whatever plan I’d had and sent me spiraling into this insanity. (Ooh, “insanity” would’ve been another good word.)

I walked in to the youth service (for which I volunteered) late that day. I am often late; this was nothing new. The room was dark; a video was already playing. Leaning against the wall, I watched a girl telling her story. (Though I think the onscreen girl was a stand-in for the real one.)

I don’t remember her name. I don’t remember what country she was from. I don’t remember how she got away.

What I do remember still gives me chills.

Her friend/cousin said she’d found a job in a beauty parlor in another country, and the girl could get a job there too. Wanting to help provide for her family, the girl agreed. But when they got to the parlor, it wasn’t a parlor. It was a brothel. The traffickers told the girl that they knew where her family was, and if she didn’t do what they wanted, they’d kill them.

I stood there, mouth open in horror and fury, tears streaming down my cheeks.

The youth minister had talked about human trafficking before. But that is when it started becoming real to me. I wanted to do something. And an innocent (ooh, another word!) thought entered my mind.

What if the inn that my girl gets to isn’t a safe place, but a front for a prostitution thing?

That has changed everything.
Including me.

I’m not sure how much I should say about the innkeeper’s backstory, as Ari doesn’t know it, but here we go…

She was married to an H-guy, but in her husband’s absence, she was raped by a d-guy. (People get married rather young in my story-world.) She got pregnant and gave birth to a half-breed daughter. She kept the child a secret from her often-away husband, fearing he’d kill the child if he knew. Eventually, her fears took form – the daughter was discovered and the husband murdered her. He was killed soon after.

The innkeeper’s grief turned to rage, and rage to hatred. For all H-guys. In her twisted mind, she yearned to destroy them as they had destroyed her, to cut to the core of who they were. So she created the inn. She entices half-breeds, disguises them as human, and sells their services to H-guys only. She keeps a record of every man who enters her brothel, and plans that upon her death, the records will be sent out to different major cities. She is so consumed by hatred and pain that she can’t see the pain she is inflicting on innocent people.

Such is the eventual darkness of hatred and unforgiveness.

And on that note, I am done haha!

Monday, June 2, 2014

“H” is for half-breeds!

So, things have changed hugely since the last time I wrote. Haha. I now have two “main girls.” The girl I’ve been referring to as “main girl” is henceforth Ari. Her rebel sister is Rab.

And now…

“H” is for half-breeds!!! Specifically, the half-breed group and how it came to be…

In my story-world, there are two main races: humans and d-guys. The humans are ruled by H-guys. The two races hate each other. Rape is rampant, and humans and d-guys (who are not all male, ha) reproduce easily with each other.

As such, half-breeds are everywhere.
At least, they were.

Up until about thirteen years ago (as of the start of book one), half-breeds lived in relative peace within the human nations. They weren’t universally wanted (though many families chose to keep their half-breed children), but they were mostly tolerated.

Then someone – someone filled with such a self-righteous hatred for all things remotely d-guy – got a “good” idea about how to better test the loyalty of new H-guy initiates.

It did indeed test loyalty. And pushed the already-paranoid H-guy leader further toward the edge of his sanity.

Overnight, everything changed.
And the Purging began.

Half-breeds were captured (taken from the streets or ripped from families), put in prison camps, and forced to do unspeakable things – all in the H-guys’ attempt to produce as many children as possible for the test.

H-guy loyalty came at the cost of humanity, their hands stained with the blood of innocents.

Caught in this horror was a young half-breed man named Tirhakah (tur-hah-kuh). (I can say his name because I didn’t make it up, haha! I stole it from here.) Born of rape, but raised by loving parents alongside his fully-human siblings. Witness of his rebel parents’ brutal murder at the hand of H-guys. He and his siblings lived on the streets for several years, taking in abandoned children. When the Purging reached that city, he and his siblings were separated.

Tirhakah eventually escaped the prison, taking with him most of the men and many of the women. He and his siblings had agreed to meet in the forest if they were ever separated, and though he was sure they were long gone, he led his refugees there anyway. His siblings had waited for him. And in his absence, their numbers had multiplied as children fled from the Purging and to the forest.

And thus, the half-breed group was born.

Their mission: to seek and save the lost, abandoned, hurting, and rejected. Their teams sneak inside cities searching for anyone in need. They’ve also destroyed many other prison camps (and rescued those held captive). Tirhakah’s cousin (Sorek; taken from here) – a former H-guy turned rebel – works with them in the human cities, sneaking half-breeds to them and gathering his own army.

The half-breed group that Ari ends up with is one of the teams.
And the rebel group that Rab is a part of is the group led by Sorek.

Oh, and the guy responsible for the Purging – who is someone Ari ends up meeting – is eventually brought to Tirhakah’s camp as a prisoner.

Ooh fun.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

“G” is for grace

Dropped the ball a bit, sorry. Going to try to get back to this A-Z thing!

So. “G” is for grace.

One of my main girls (the one I usually refer to as “main girl”) starts off as a sweet, gentle person. Loyal and trusting, though naïve. But as horrible things happen to her, she hardens herself; she grows angry, distrustful, even violent. Though she vacillates between numerous different emotions throughout the story, the rage remains, latched to her soul.

But there comes a moment.

A moment when she is confronted with all that she’s been trying to forget.
A moment when hope, salvation, and the life she longs for stand in front of her – in the form of a man.
And she doesn’t realize it, can’t fathom that anything good could come from his arrival. His existence.

…This may sound like it is shaping up to be one of those impossible love stories.  
It ultimately is.
But not the way you may think.

She has every reason to hate him, fear him, distrust him; he deserves it all. She puts everything on him – he becomes the visible representation of the horror and torture she endured.

He is the reminder of the past.
He is also a huge part of her salvation, her future.

He is the path she must walk if she is to be free. It is a path of forgiveness – but beyond the “typical” mindset of, “I forgive you, but I don’t trust you and never want to see you again.” If she is to truly heal, truly find hope, she must walk a path of grace as well.

Grace toward him, one who does not deserve it.
Grace toward herself, which might even be harder.

She must allow herself to love him. She must allow him to love her.

In him is everything she hates, everything she fears, everything that hurts her.
In him is her redemption.
And in her is his.

And I am so excited to tell this story.