Labels don't mean much to me one way or another -- except when they close the minds of potential readers. I'd much rather we do away with genres and simply file everything under fiction. I know it can work -- one of my favourite record stores (Waterloo Music in Austin) simply files everything alphabetically and no one seems to have much problem finding what they're looking for.
I write on a computer, but I've run the complete gambit. When I was very young, I wrote with a ballpoint pen in school notebooks. Then I got pretentious and started writing with a dip pen on parchment (I wrote at least a novel-length poem that way). Moved on to a fountain pen. Then a typewriter, then an electric self-correct. Then someone gave me a word processor and I was amazed at being able to fit ten pages on one of those floppy discs.
There were two forests for every one you entered. There was the one you walked in, the physical echo, and then there was the one that was connected to all the other forests, with no consideration of distance, or time. The forest primeval, remembered through the collective memory of every tree in the same way that people remembered myth- through the collective subconscious that Jung mapped, the shared mythic resonance that lay buried in every human mind. Legend and myth, all tangled in an alphabet of trees remembered, not always with understanding, but with wonder. With awe.
Music's always part of my writing. I think all art is interconnected. You can't create or experience one without its influences bleeding into another. In my writing, music's mostly something that feeds my inspiration and mood while I'm writing, but it's also taught me how to score scenes and even novels. The rise and fall of the storyline echoes the flow of a good piece of music.
It seems like I always wrote, I just didn't think of it as a career choice. I just liked to tell stories ... to myself, to pen pals (I had a lot of them, all over the world). Of course this was in the days before computers were everywhere, and anyone could access the Web. You had to make an effort keeping up a correspondence, and the arrival of the mail once a day was a big deal. I think if modern technology had been around when I was a kid, I would never have left my bedroom except to take the dogs out for their run three times a day.
The old gods and their magics did not dwindle away into murky memories of brownies and little fairies more at home in a Disney cartoon; rather, they changed. The coming of Christ and Christians actually freed them. They were no longer bound to people's expectations but could now become anything that they could imagine themselves to be. They are still here, walking among us. We just don't recognize them anymore.
The only real reason for self-referencing is the fun factor. It's fun for the writer, getting little peeks at what old characters might be up to. And it's fun for readers to spot a familiar face, or pick up on a made-up book title or something from an earlier story. I don't know that it does -- or even should -- contribute to the story in hand being any better than it would have been without it.
From the first time he'd met her, he'd sensed an air of contradiction about her. She was very much a woman, but still retained a waiflike quality. She could be brash, and at times deliberately suggestive, yet she was painfully shy. She was incredibly easy to get along with, yet she had few friends. She was a talented artist in her own right, but so self-conscious about her work that she rarely completed a piece and preferred to work with other people's art and ideas...
What do they say about meeting a bear in the woods? Oh right, you shouldn't. And to make sure you don't, you should make a lot of noise so that they'll will know where you are and keep their distance because, supposedly, they're as nervous of us as we are of them. Which is all goo, except this bear doesn't seem the least bit nervous. He's giving me a look like I'm Goldilocks, ate his porridge, broke his chair, slept in his bed, and now it's payback time."- Widdershins
There are no happy endings... There are no endings, happy or otherwise. We all have our own stories which are just part of the one Story that binds both this world and Faerie. Sometimes we step into each others stories - perhaps just for a few minutes, perhaps for years - and then we step out of them again. But all the while, the Story just goes on.
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