Strength begins in the spiritual arena. Our Stormpoint for this month is how conflict in fiction spills into battle in the inner arena.
Inner strength draws evil, or pits us against it, as our authors’ books this month attest. C. J. Milacci’s Fugitive of Talionis has a heroine who is top of her class as a kidnapped trainee but who is just at the beginning of her inner journey that will strengthen her or break her. That’s the thing about hard circumstances. They make us more bitter and defeated, or wider of heart, stronger in both spirit and body. For each affects the other, as the inner arena touches, even directly feeds, the outer parts of us.
Paths of fantasy, under water or over wold, take us to interesting places and wondrous spaces, not to mention introducing us to fascinating people where every character is involved in the battle we all fight.Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure Pg. 8
Gaining the skills to survive, the will to conquer, the hope that makes us look up, the courage to fight, all drive us to become strong. And the simple yearning for justice, that evil will not always rule by force and fear, that also strengthens us.
But where are the roots of spiritual strength, and what are the results? The roots of every strength are in truth. The true truth of your circumstances. The truth of what you think. The truth of what you believe. The truth you act on. The truth of what is real, not what you wish were real.
“Call me crazy,” Nika says as we walk around some old rubble, “but I thought you were going to share a little more than that.”
I rub the back of my neck. “Remember Ava?”
“The girl who died in the river?”
“Of course I remember her. Not something easily forgotten.”
She goes quiet, and I can tell she’s replaying the scene in her mind same as I am. I can still see Ava slipping from my grasp into the clutches of the river. Her lifeless body washing up on shore hours later.
“What about her?”
“Leddington is her hometown.” I let the words sink in.
I lick my lips. “I need to tell her family what happened. Tell her sister that with her last words she wanted her to know that she loved her. You get that, right.”
She nods. “Yeah. I’ll back you up.” . . .
“I need to do it, Nika. But how can I face them when I’m the reason she’s dead?”
Nika stops and grabs my arm. “Bria. You’re not the reason Ava’s dead. She drowned because of Commander Ark, because of Colonel Valarius. Not because of you.”
“Maybe.” I shrug. “But I couldn’t save her.” I stare off into the distance.
Nika squeezes my arm that she’s still holding. “But you tried.” . . .
“I just wish I could have done more. Wish I could have held onto her. Kept her alive.”
“It’s not your fault. But I get it.” Nika ducks under a branch. “You’re not the only one with regrets. I have them too.”
I look over at her in time to see a flash of pain sweep over her face.
“But we can’t let those regrets rule our lives. God’s forgiven us both, and He has a path for us to walk in. If we allow ourselves to be hindered by everything we wish we could change or undo we’ll never really be able to walk in the freedom of God’s plan for our lives.”
I let her words sink in, not sure how to respond. Silence stretches between us, but somehow I think we both need it. As we hike the last miles of the forest, I can’t help but wonder what Nika regrets.Fugitive of Talionis – ARC
Turning from the false and following what is true gives us strength and leads to more strength.
The impact of choice remains to be seen. Candace Kade’s Enhanced demonstrates this.
Don’t miss these good reads, (Enhanced is out, and Fugitive of Talionis goes live on Kickstarter the 22d.) There will be new authors and books and more on choice next month.
Have a great week,
Azalea – Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure