May 28 2010

Inked

I got inked again.  I’d like to upload a photo, but for some reason it isn’t working out so well.  So instead, I’ll post one on my facebook page, and I invite you to go there, become my fan, and check it out!

It is definitely a tattoo that has personal meaning to me, but I’m not about to explain it to all of you.  It is based on two Blindside songs, “Put Back the Stars”, as well as “Thought Like Flames.”  It was designed for me by an amazing artist, Sam Smith, at Bushido Tattoo.  If you are considering a tattoo, I’d suggest you head over there.

My new tattoo means sleeves at work, it means an eyebrow or two, but most of all it means I will always have a reminder of those songs and what they mean to me.  I will always be able to look down and see it, and when I need it, it will give me strength.

Plus, it’s just plain badass.

Embrace Truth,

Kayleigh E. Suggett

I hoist my sails though there is no wind in sight

–Blindside–


May 23 2010

Where do you fight?

The question was raised in church last week “what in your life, do you feel this all-out, fight to the death kind of intensity for?”

My thoughts immediately went to my work.  My stories.  The way I write.

I have been afraid in the past that some of what I write may be too dark or delve into topics that others will not understand or want to read about.  I’ve been afraid of offending people.  Not the general public.  But those closest to me.

I know for a fact that the very presence of the word “fuck” in my manuscripts will cause a few eyebrows raised.  The fact that there is sex, drugs, a total lack of faith, and a few phrases that are quite clearly blasphemous will make some people look at me and wonder.  Wonder how a “good Christian” could write that.

But I feel that I have to.  I feel that to change anything in these scenes would to take the reality away from them.  The reality is that we don’t live in a nice little Christian story where everyone gets saved at the end and no one swears and everyone does the right thing.  And I cannot and WILL not be one of those writers that just wants to write a nice little story.

I believe that my stories are my calling in life.  I believe that they do not come from me at all, but that they are a gift from God and my job is simply to honour that gift and write them down.  Truthfully.  With honesty.  With fear and trembling.  With an all out fight.

You see, I’ve been tempted in the past to “church” them up a bit.  Change that “goddamn” to something else when I clearly know that’s what the character would have said.  Do I agree with taking the Lord’s name in vain?  No.  But I do know my character wouldn’t care.  He needs that kind of intensity.  So I changed it to “fucking” which I find less offensive.  The word fuck has never bothered me, nor does it bother most people these days.  I mean, sure out of respect we don’t use it, and I’m glad of this.  I think respect is a wonderful thing.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that the character, in that place in his life, in that moment, would have said “goddamn”.  It was one of the most vivid scenes given to me, so vivid I could have sworn I heard the character speak to me.  And I chickened out and changed it.  I will, of course, change it back.

But it got me thinking.  What risks am I willing to take?  Sure, there’s the risk of “will I find a publisher”?  But that’s a lame risk.  That’s not a risk at all, actually.  That’s just the business.  The risk is do I stay true to the story, or do I change it so as not to cause a ripple?  Do I fight for it, knowing where it came from, knowing that there will be a lot of “good Christians” out there that will call me all sorts of nasty things and never believe the truth of my story simply because they can’t see past the swear or the sex?  Do I, in essence, take the stand?

Then I look to Jesus.  He himself was unappreciated by his own family.  That is my model.  He fought to the death for what he believed even though he was called the devil’s servant.  But he delved into the grit.  He looked at the broken.  He realized that not everything could be solved with pretty story where all the ends get tied up nicely and if anyone does something questionable, it’s sort of glossed over so as not to offend.  In his stories people were beaten and killed.  Sons went out and spent money on whores.  His own death was not glossed over.  Nor should it be.

You see, my heroine, Madeliene L’Engle, was also called a heretic.  I don’t know where I’d be today if not for that woman’s wisdom.  It seems to me I can’t write a blog without mentioning her.  She was accused of writing books to disprove God, when she was actually doing the exact opposite.  People called her books pornographic even though she wrote them from the heart from what she knew was God’s truth.  She said that some people are simply looking for evil.  ”What are we looking for?”  She asks.  When we look for evil we find it, just like the people who didn’t bother to read her stories, and instead counted every word they thought was inappropriate.  If they had bothered to read her stories, they might have been transformed, as I have been.

Her stories have uplifted, healed, carried, and taught me.  Her stories have healed wounds I thought could never heal.  If she refused to be honest, to be brutal, to be true, I would never have been blessed as I have been.

I’m not saying that my stories rival hers, but I do believe that I was called to be a story teller.  And a story teller that refuses to be honest to the story is a liar.  She said, “Story is truth”.  And I like to think, and in a way that I hope is truly humble, I believe, that my stories WILL impact others the way hers impacted me.  I do believe there is a capacity for healing in my stories.

So there it is.  Maybe it’s not the fight to the death that most people imagine, but in my case, this is my fight.  And I’ve got to face it with the on the edge intensity it requires.  In the end, it really is life or death because this is my life’s calling.  This is what I was made for.  And if it is who I am, it is every part of my relationship with my creator and therefore my faith.

How can I put “Stories about Life, Truth, and Love” as my slogan if I refuse to be truthful?

Embrace truth,

Kayleigh E. Suggett


sesli panel sesli chat