To commemorate the July 4 holiday, A Drift of Quills posts today on what freedom means to us and how the concept of freedom plays into our writings. As a special bonus, we have a guest author joining us.
Let's begin with our guest author this month, Raymond Bolton, author of Awakening, the Ydron Saga.
Here is what Raymond has to say:
Freedom is a difficult concept to wrap one's mind around. It doesn't refer to things one is permitted to do. The possibility that permission can be revoked implies constraint, and constraint implies license. One who is licensed is on a tether and tethers can be yanked, or tied to something. On the other hand, lack of all constraints whatsoever leaves open the possibility of trampling on the rights or freedom of others, and such acts lead to consequences. Consequences, of course, are tethers. So are laws. And since we live within a society, and society is governed by laws, it begs the question how can anyone be truly free?
I think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn began to approach the essence of it when he stated, “Someone that you have deprived of everything is no longer in your power. He is once again entirely free.” True freedom, then, is somehow tied to desire or ambition, because ambitions and desires are also constraints. In fact, all of the major philosophies and religions teach us to shun all things worldly, for isn’t the attainment of paradise—however you perceive it—the ability to walk forward into the world without constraint and without fear? In fact, fear is the ultimate constraint. It is that which prevents us from acting. It stems from desires and is that which binds us most.
In my debut novel, Awakening, Prince Regilius awakens to a nightmare. His head is filled with visions of murder and carnage and attempts are made upon his life. As the world he thought he knew unravels before his eyes, he learns what is happening is not accidental. These visions are the result of blossoming talents. He has been engineered by an alien race to combat the Dalthin, a predatory alien species that enslaves worlds telepathically, and as his mind begins to open, he finds himself exposed to the predators.
Furthermore, by himself he is powerless to avert the impending holocaust. He has only been designed to perceive the Dalthins’ presence, not engage them. In order to avert the threat, he must unite his people. It is then, when his mother murders his father, that the land descends into chaos and his task may prove impossible. Faced with slaying the one who gave him life in order to protect his world, Regilius seeks a better way. Eventually, it is only by freeing himself of both his fears and his ambitions, that he will stand any chance at all of succeeding.
Find out more about Raymond on his website here.
I am up next!
As today is July 4, it is appropriate to give thought to the concept of freedom. What is it? What does it mean to me? How does it play into my fantasy novel, Oathtaker?
Dictionary.com defines freedom in several ways including “exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.” and “the power to determine action without restraint.”
Often you will hear children say that they want to be grown-up so that they may do as they please. It seems a common misnomer—that adults get to do what they want. The truth . . .
Read more on my website here.
Kristie Kiessling, author of Sanguis Dei and the poetry collection, Light and Dark, is next.
I love the 4th of July. Not just because of the BBQs or the fireworks. In fact, my dog hates the fireworks, and runs to me for comfort. Her fear is a reasonable thing and though she doesn't understand, she points to one of the reasons we send those rockets skyward. The colorful explosions inspire us and are a visceral reminder of the noise and smoke of battle. We pooh and ahhh, but the cannon-loud "duds" that made me cover my ears as a child, while designed to be beautiful, also make me soberly recall those who have gone before.
Read more on Kristie's website here.
Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is next. What say you, Robin?
Freedom . . . As tough to grab onto as a cloud, but weighty as the earth itself. As Raymond pointed out, it's a difficult concept to pin down.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (Nelson Mandela)
Right away we see that freedom does not, cannot, exist by itself. . . .
Read more on Robin's website here.
Thank you, readers, for joining us. Please check in again!