About a million years ago, I was working on a YA fantasy novel called The Weeping Queen. As happens pretty often in my line of work, I had a lot of great concepts and no real plot, so I got about three chapters into it before losing interest and abandoning it (and I do still have those three chapters on a flash drive somewhere, awaiting their proper time). One of the great concepts was something called The Guild of Shadows. It came partly from contemplating the Ursula Le Guin quote that appears in the header of this blog and partly from my own experience. See, I was born an iconoclast. I hate dogma and despise rules, especially when people mindlessly adhere to them and never examine their origins. I question everything, and when someone says, “This is ABSOLUTELY TRUE,” my immediate response is to point how the ways that it isn’t.

At the time, I was serving as secretary of the board of the local arts center, which was then a very new concern. I live in a rural town where the hippies and the rednecks often rub each other the wrong way, and when one group proposes something the other is sure to disagree with them. Consequently, we had a lot of interesting times trying to get the arts center going. The president of the board often complained, “But we’re doing this for the community! How can people object to it?” And my response, of course, was to say, “Well, you have to look at it from their point of view…”

All of these things went into the compost heap that is my brain, and I came up with the Guild of Shadows, which is an organization dedicated to getting people to ask an face difficult questions, to look at situations from the other point of view, and loosen their grips on those dogmas that people tend to hold so dear to their hearts. Members of the Guild go where there is conflict and mediate by getting the individuals concerned to give up some ego investment in their “rightness” and come at least within naked-eye distance of the other side. And since a lot of what I intend to do here is challenge assumptions about all kinds of things, I thought it appropriate to co-opt the Guild House name for this blog.

I am a Shadow.

Welcome to The Shadow Sanctuary.

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