The Power of Art

It’s been a tough haul working on the writing these last few weeks. We are about a month out from the election and the hits just keep coming. Yet, I have managed to get another draft of my novel done. That was a stroke of luck, largely because the first draft looked better than I thought it did.

I have to say that the question has come to my constantly. Why do I want to write a melodramatic story about characters standing up in the face of odds during these awful times?

Well, perhaps I have answered my own question.

My parents were not the best moral compass for me as a kid. I credit a lot of novels for giving me moral compass. I learned how to behave, how to be noble and ethical from books. Many of the characters I admired stood up for what they believed in the face of adversity. Many of them defied impossible odds and triumphed. Some of them held their beliefs and lost, but maintained their integrity.

I know that people are flawed. Honestly, I know some fine, fine people. I don’t honestly know how most of them will behave in New America. I like to think that I do, but I’ve lived through a school censorship in the early 90s, so I’m going into this with my eyes wide open. The majority of people, when the chips are down, are NOT Frodo or Katniss. I am not disillusioned, but let’s say I’m not the believer in the nobility of humans that I was in the last century.

But chances are better that there will be those heroic stands if people see them modeled, both in real life and in ART. IN ART. What art did for me as a girl and as a young woman, I owe it to future readers to attempt. ESPECIALLY when life is not easy. Courage in the face of fear and uncertainty is NOT easy, but good examples always make it easiER.

I write Carlo Borgia because I want the world to believe one person can make a difference. I write Drusus Claudian because I want people to know ethics cannot be compromised. And I write Octavia Klaereon because I want people to know it is never too late to make amends for a bad past. (Looking at you, Glen Beck. 😛 )

So we can understand what is good and noble and right, even if it is not sanctioned by our political or social systems. And yes, we can get all relativistic about what is right and wrong, but you know what? Deep down, I expect you know what good civil liberties and human rights are. Anything that suppresses those, that’s where we make our stand. That’s where our characters do too.

I want you to get out there and ART. ART HARD. Give us all something to believe in and aspire to. So we can steel ourselves for what is ahead.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.